Microsoft Confirms Free Windows 10 Upgrades Also Licensed For Clean Installs
It's a question many of us have had: if we take advantage of the free upgrade to Windows 10, can we reinstall fresh afterwards? I admit I had no great thoughts about having to first install Windows 8.1 each time I want to format and then upgrade from there. Not only is that time-consuming, it also leaves junk around that needs to be cleaned up afterwards (eg: a Windows.old folder), and could cause some other oddities to happen.
Well, there's some good news. In response to a question on Twitter, Microsoft's Gabriel Aul, General Manager OSG Data and Fundamentals Team, responded that yes -- you can reinstall after upgrading just fine.
@insanelyapple Either way will work. Once you've upgraded to 10 on the machine the license will allow you to reinstall at no cost.— Gabriel Aul (@GabeAul) June 3, 2015
Given this, it seems Windows 10 could be the first Microsoft OS where the company actually lets you download the install ISO without having to jump through hoops. With that ISO, you could either burn a CD, or go the new-school route of creating a bootable flash drive installer (which could be a lot easier than you may think). Admittedly, it's still kind of a pain to have to upgrade at least once to make the Windows 10 license click, but it's a lot better than nothing.