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Free upgrade of Windows 10 creates uproar in the market

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Jan. 31 2015, Updated 8:47 p.m. ET

Apart from revenues, Windows is a key contributor to company profits

Microsoft (MSFT) is synonymous with Windows. There’s a reason for that. According to the Wall Street Journal, Windows contributes approximately 80% to Microsoft’s profits. However, this scenario has changed since Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, took the reins of the company.

While keeping the Windows operating system an integral part of the Microsoft, Nadella has also pushed other products such as Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure, a cloud computing service for corporate.

Microsoft has formed partnerships with its peers Oracle Corporation (ORCL), Salesforce.com (CRM), IBM (IBM), and SAP AG (SAP) to certify its applications and development tools on the Azure cloud platform.

Before Windows 10, Microsoft launched the earlier version, Windows 8, in 2013. Windows 9 was never launched, and Windows 10 got its first announcement by Microsoft in September 2014.

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Windows 7 customers get to download Windows 10 for free, but only for a year

The Windows 10 download will be free for customers who are currently running Windows 7 or later versions, including Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1. But the download will only last for the first year of its release.

The important thing to note here is that Windows 10 is not a free upgrade for the first year. It’s a free upgrade for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 users within the first year of its launch.

The Windows 10 operating system is expected to be launched in late 2015. At the end of the free one-year window, users who wish to continue using Windows 10 have to pay for the software.

Correction: January 31, 2015

An early version of this research piece misstated that users eligible for a free upgrade for one-year who wish to continue using Windows 10 “have to pay for a subscription”. The payment terms for these users to continue accessing Windows 10 following their first free year have yet to be announced.

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