Upgrades Vs. Updates

Henry had a common question we keep getting asked about Windows 10. Even though it’s been answered many times, folks keep coming at it from other angles. Henry asks: “It was mentioned that for the free version, updates are mandatory but also free for a year (I think.) Will there be charges for updates past the one year times span? How will that differ from a Purchased version? What I was told by a computer service fellow in Denver was that upgrades for the free version are free (and mandatory) the first year, but those folks would be charged after the first year.”

Henry, I think you’re mixing up the terms “upgrade” and “update.”

Upgrade – when we’re talking about transitioning to Windows 10 – refers to moving from Windows 7 or 8.1 to the Windows 10 operating system.


Updates – are updates issued by Microsoft to your PC for security and bug-fixing purposes.


The Upgrade to Windows 10 is not mandatory.  Users of Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 can upgrade for free until July 29, 2016. After that point, if you haven’t upgraded, you’ll have to pay for Windows 10 if you decide you want to upgrade. Once you’ve made your free upgrade, that upgrade remains free. They aren’t going to start charging you after a year.

Updates have never cost anything and they won’t. Microsoft promises security updates for 10 years from the public release of an operating system. That means, Windows 10 is guaranteed to get them until 2025. If you upgrade to Windows 10, updates do become mandatory. You can choose when you want to install them, but the security and bug-fix updates will happen automatically.

I hope this clears things up.

~ Cynthia

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