Windows 10 Free Upgrades End In Exactly One Month, Anniversary Update Lands August 2nd

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If you’ve managed to avoid installing Windows 10 for the past 11 months (deftly dodging the popup nag screens and Microsoft’s penchant for installing the operating system without your permission), it’s time to do some real soul searching. If you’re running thoroughly modern PC hardware, is it worth snubbing Microsoft’s free upgrade offer to continue running Windows 7/Windows 8, and in the process give up access to plenty of Windows 10 exclusives?

Well, if you’re at all on the fence about upgrading, you only have a month to make your decision before the free Windows 10 upgrade offer expires. That’s right, July 29th is the final day that you upgrade without paying a dime; afterwards, you’ll have to pony up $119.

Microsoft so far has been pleased with consumer interest in Windows 10, and it today announced that over 350 million PCs around the world are running the operating system -- this is a 50-million-unit increase from early May. “We’d like to say a special thank you to each of you who have upgraded to Windows 10,” said Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for the Windows and Devices Group.

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“Customer satisfaction is higher than any previous version of Windows and customer engagement is also incredible with more than 135 billion hours of use on Windows 10 since launch. We’re pleased that so many of you are being more productive and having more fun with Windows 10.”

So what’s the next big step for Windows 10 as it enters its second year of life? The answer is obviously the Anniversary Update; which Microsoft says will arrive on August 2nd. As we’ve detailed numerous times over the past few months, the Anniversary Update includes a wealth of feature improvements for Windows 10 including Windows Ink, a more powerful Cortana digital assistant, extensions support for Microsoft Edge, and better interoperability with the Xbox One (among other things).

Once you get past all of Microsoft’s shadiness when it comes to Windows 10 (actions that recently cost the company $10,000 in court), it’s actually a fine operating system. It’s clearly heads and shoulders above its predecessors and it’s a shame that its reputation has been sullied by Microsoft’s aggressive attempts to get customers to upgrade.