In January, we learned that for one year, Microsoft would offer free Windows 10 upgrades to those running Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1. While Windows 10 for PCs isn’t launching until later this summer and Windows 10 for phones is coming after that, we’re now seeing the first indications of how the free upgrade process will work.

Reddit user p4block spotted the new “Get Windows 10″ message on his Windows 8 computer earlier today. Other users, including those running Windows 7, confirmed they received the message too (shown below).

The update that is causing this notification to show up is KB 3035583, which also happens to be responsible for the actual Windows 10 upgrade process. If you got the prompt and want to get rid of the notification, this is the update you’ll want to uninstall. Alternatively, if you didn’t get a prompt but want to reserve and install your free Windows 10 upgrade, make sure you have this update installed.


In case you can’t see the image above, the explanation for “How this free upgrade works” is quite straightforward:

  1. Reserve your FREE upgrade to Windows 10 now. It will download once available, and you can cancel your reservation at any time.
  2. You’ll get a notification after Windows 10 is downloaded to your device. Install it right away or pick a time that’s good for you.
  3. After it’s install, Windows 10 is all yours.

The asterisk at the bottom explains that yes, the upgrade is free, that it’s not a trial, and that it is a full version of Windows 10. Requirements include 3GB for the download and Internet service fees in case your ISP charges you for using too much bandwidth.

KB3035583 requires Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 to function correctly. We installed the update on a Windows 8 computer, but because it’s not updated to Windows 8.1, we didn’t get asked to reserve our Windows 10 upgrade.

That said, you may not be prompted even if you have the update installed. Other requirements, such as how up-to-date your Windows version is, your locale, language, and so on can impact whether you’re asked to reserve your copy. Furthermore, Microsoft is likely rolling these prompts out gradually as opposed to all at once, so sit tight if you’ve tried everything but still don’t see it.

The fact that Microsoft is turning on this notification now shows just how eager the company is to get users onto the latest version of its operating system, OEM pricing for which leaked just yesterday. Offering users the option to reserve digital copies in advance, which really don’t have to be reserved because they’re digital, will help Microsoft determine how much resources to allocate on the big day as well as how much it still needs to promote the offer.

A lot is riding on this upgrade process. After all, in two to three years, Microsoft hopes to have 1 billion devices running Windows 10.

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