Microsoft has been forced to quietly edit a misleading blog post that seemed to suggest that anyone could get their mitts on Windows 10 for free – if they first installed a test version of Redmond's upcoming operating system for PCs.
The only caveat appeared to be that folk had to use a Microsoft Account (MSA) that's connected to the firm's Windows Insider program.
Microsoft had said that a freebie upgrade would then be applied for anyone who has installed its latest Windows 10 preview (build 10130). And that promise seemed to stand even for users who didn't have Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 previously installed on their PCs.
Windows boss Gabe Aul had said in a blog post on Friday:
Windows Insiders running the Windows 10 Insider Preview (Home and Pro editions) with their registered MSA connected to their PC will receive the final release build of Windows 10 starting on 29 July ...
As long as you are running an Insider Preview build and connected with the MSA you used to register, you will receive the Windows 10 final release build and remain activated.
Once you have successfully installed this build and activated, you will also be able to clean install on that PC from final media if you want to start over fresh.
However, that apparent slip of the tongue (use of the word "activated") has now been removed from the post.
And Aul has since added this clarification: "It’s important to note that only people running Genuine Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 can upgrade to Windows 10 as part of the free upgrade offer."
Meanwhile, Windows fans should take note of the following:
If you don’t have your Microsoft Account (MSA) connected to your PC, starting in the next build you’ll start seeing notifications asking you to do so.
You’ll need to connect the MSA that you registered for the Windows Insider Program with (and accepted the “Microsoft Windows Insider Program Agreement”) in order to continue receiving new Windows 10 Insider Preview builds (both Fast and Slow rings) from Windows Update.
If you already have your MSA connected to your account on your PC, then you’re all set.
We’re introducing new infrastructure in Windows Update to help us deliver new builds more effectively to Windows Insiders, and ensure that we’re flighting builds to people who have registered and opted in to the program.
In other words, users running the next preview build of the OS will soon be nagged to connect their PC to the MSA they used to register for the Windows Insider program.
Which means that, once that build lands, testers (who haven't done so already) will have no choice but to sign up for a Microsoft Account if they want to continue fiddling with tech previews of the OS ahead of its planned release on 29 July. ®