Microsoft: Windows Insider program is not a free upgrade path for XP users to Windows 10

Last week, Microsoft published a post that created quite a bit of confusion about how Insiders could potentially use the technical preview program to obtain a free license of Windows 10. At the time, Microsoft made it seem as if there was a path to obtain a free license to the OS through the Insider program but as we noted, that is not the case.

In an update to that same post from last week, Microsoft has further clarified how Insiders, who move to the final release and opt out of future updates, will move forward with licensing. According to their update, Insiders who leave the program and upgrade to the final build will be governed by the same offer that is currently available to non-Insiders (a free upgrade if you own a license to Windows 7 or 8).

More specifically, Microsoft says that if your system was upgraded from a genuine install, you will then have an activated copy of Windows 10, if not, you will be required to roll-back to the previous OS or acquire a new Windows 10 license. The company clearly says that this is not a path for a free upgrade from Windows XP or Vista which means you should not be surprised if you thought this loophole would get around buying a new license.

If you want to stay in the program, there is nothing that you will need to do. Each version of Windows 10 in the Insider program comes with a pre-release key that will keep your install activated. Microsoft does say that each preview build will expire after an unspecified length of time but you will have received a new build before the old build expires.

Hopefully this clears up any last bit of confusion about how the Insiders program works when it comes to licensing and will finally put this issue to bed.

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