Microsoft has celebrated hitting 300 million active devices running its latest Windows 10 operating system, even as it reminds users that the free upgrade offer is coming to an end.
When Microsoft launched Windows 10, it did so with a move it has never tried before: offering completely free upgrades to users on the last few releases of its majority-share-holding operating system. The offer came with only one major catch: users would have to upgrade within the first year of the operating system's launch, after which the usual pay-a-fee licensing model - either for an upgrade or retail release - would apply.
While the company's approach was initially lauded, its aggressive attitude towards convincing those still running Windows 8.1 or earlier to install the upgrade and its backtracking on which devices would qualify - originally stating that its entire Windows Phone 8.1 family would see the upgrade before excluding a number of devices from the offer for ill-explained and opaque reasons - have left some with a bitter taste in their mouths. The time is rapidly approaching, though, that the offer will go away for all.
In a blog post
published this week, Microsoft's corporate vice president for the Windows and Devices Group Yusuf Mehdi warned that the company is still planning to withdraw the free upgrade offer at the end of July, despite rumours the company may extend the programme for another year in the face of numerous holdouts. 'Today, we want to remind you that if you haven’t taken advantage of the free upgrade offer, now is the time,
' cajoled Mehdi. 'The free upgrade offer to Windows 10 was a first for Microsoft, helping people upgrade faster than ever before. And time is running out. The free upgrade offer will end on July 29 and we want to make sure you don’t miss out. After July 29th, you’ll be able to continue to get Windows 10 on a new device, or purchase a full version of Windows 10 Home for $119.
In the same post, Mehdi crowed that Windows 10 has been installed on more than 300 million active devices globally, that its new Edge browser has seen continued growth to 63 billion minutes usage in March this year, its Cortana personal assistant system has answered six billion queries, and that Windows 10 gamers have played more than 9 billion hours in total since launch.