Windows 9 to be free for Windows 8 users?

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 26, 2014
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Microsoft

A rumor has been floating around on the Internet for some time now that suggested that Microsoft will make available its upcoming client operating system Windows 9 for free to some or even all Windows users.

Microsoft, as is the case with all rumors about company products, has not confirmed or denied the rumor which meant that it has not been verified up until now.

It appears that Microsoft's Indonesian CEO Andreas Diantoro may have confirmed the information on Thursday. The Indonesian news site Detik reports that he made that statement during a conference.

According to the information, Windows 9 will be free for Windows 8 customers and that it will be easy to update from Windows 8 to 9 using the built-in updating tool of the operating system.

The mag reports that he mentioned furthermore that it will only be free of charge for Windows 8 users and not users of previous versions of Windows including Windows 7, Vista or XP.

If true, it looks as if Windows 9 will be delivered to systems in pretty much the same way that the Windows 8.1 update was. The update, which was not available as a standalone image file that you could burn to DVD or Flash Drive, had to be installed from the built-in store initially.

A standalone version has not been mentioned by Diantoro even though it is likely that one will be made available. It is unclear if users will have an option to install Windows 9 on a system not running Windows 8, or if it is necessary to first install Windows 8, then all the updates to finally install the new version of Windows in the end.

Another thing that is not clear is if there are limitations in regards to which Windows 8 versions are eligible for the free update. Are all versions included or only select versions, e.g. only retail versions.

It makes sense from a marketing perspective to offer Windows 9 for free to customers who have bought Windows 8 or a device running the operating system. Considering that Microsoft wants to move on as quickly as possible it may be good for the image of the company to offer existing Windows 8 users something in return, especially since the operating system won't receive many future feature updates, if any.

What's your take on this? Should Microsoft offer Windows 9 for free? If so, should the free upgrade be limited? (via Deskmodder)


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  1. Ali said on September 26, 2019 at 5:57 am

    Haha Windows 9

  2. JPS said on September 28, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    One of the things I’d like to know is what kind of version of Internet Explorer Windows 9 will come with{I assume it will be IE12}.But will it be like it was with Windows 8 where your only choice was to go with IE 11{where you couldn’t install say IE10}? Or will it be like it was with Windows 7 where you had the choice to go with IE11 or a previous version of Internet Explorer? I ask this because fortunately,I still have Windows 7 and can install previous versions of IE.The big difference between IE11 and 10{and earlier versions}? With IE11,you can’t disable tabbed browsing and you can’t install a previous version of IE with Windows 8 because IE11 ships with and is made for Windows 8.With Windows 7,you don’t have these limitations and so you can still disable tabbed browsing.Martin,or anyone else have any thoughts on this?

    1. BBB said on September 29, 2014 at 11:37 am

      in most cases you can press the F12 to enter debug mode in IE10 and the choose a different render for IE 7, 8, 9 or 10.
      And you can set event this as a preference for that site.
      That’s why you can’t install an older version, becaus they are included in the new version.

      That beeing said it doesn’t always work 100%, but those site have other issues as well and I would not like to have an account on those sites.

    2. Pierre said on September 28, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      Here a French article about it (so sorry, it is in French)

      I guess IE12 will be compulsory

  3. chesscanoe said on September 28, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    I’m potentially interested in moving my PCs from Win7x64 to Win9 from a security perspective. Surfing the links you provide took me to which analyses the security of a password you would like to use re any OS. It shows my now former method to define a password needs rethinking….

  4. Pierre said on September 28, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Will it be the case in a Surface tablet with Windows 8.1 RT ?

  5. iron2000 said on September 28, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Maybe soon some MS guy from the US HQ will correct the comments of this Indonesian CEO?

  6. jimmyjamesjimmy said on September 28, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Windows 8.19 ?

  7. InterestedBystander said on September 28, 2014 at 5:20 am

    When people have only one option — only one mode of transportation, one available internet provider, one food market, or one social club — and someone messes with that option, then people get VERY upset. They feel powerless.

    I remember sitting in front of a Toshiba with Vista, staring at it after an MS update broke. I was VERY upset because it was the only option I had, and MS had f***ed it up.

    That same laptop is now a multiboot machine with 4 different Linux distros on it — an Arch distro, a Slackware distro, and (currently) two Ubuntu-lineage distros. I have Win7 on another machine, which usually boots to straight Ubuntu. And I have backup OSes on thumb drives — Porteus, Puppy, Android.

    My point is not to brag (all these systems are easier to install than Windows [maybe with the exception of Android]). I do mean to point out that *the more options you have, the less upset you get when one breaks*.

    Stepping away from Microsoft Angst was one of the best things I did for my home computing.

    Windows 9? For free? I guess I’d think about maybe downloading it, if it sounded like an improvement over Win7. But there are a lot of other OSes that sound more interesting to me right now. Especially with the apparent escalation in security breaches, data harvesting, and worries about backdoored kernel code. Qubes OS, anyone?

  8. kalmly said on September 27, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    I really don’t care.

  9. Sukhen said on September 27, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    My wild guess is that
    1) it’s practically an upgrade of version 8.1, only the name differs (we heard of 8.2 earlier, may be 8.2 is 9 now)
    2) it’ll be more ad prone
    3) probably MS had to surrender to governmental pressure to open up more re privacy
    4) this may be another attempt to kill XP
    5) per real functionality… not sure yet but certainly, MS is trying to bring handheld users and desktop/laptop users on the same platform with ease.

  10. Jim said on September 27, 2014 at 5:22 am

    This has been worrying me for a while. I have had this nagging feeling that Win8 users would be stuck with what they have and quickly be forgotten much in the same way that ME and Vista users were. The Vista users got more love than ME users, but are still mostly ignored. Their only choices were to fork over more cash to replace the broken OS they were sold or to suffer with what they had until they got something newer with their next computer purchase. Vista users were at least updated to something usable, but the ME users might as well not have existed. Once XP came out, all mentions of ME were erased from the MS website.

    I bought a retail copy of Win8 which is installed on my desktop and it came installed on my laptop. Both are modified to look and work like Win7 (as much as possible). I would be very upset if MS kicked me to the curb or expected me to pay them more money to fix their screw up. That would likely be the end of any MS products on my own computers.

  11. freakassoid said on September 26, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    if and when this happens i hope it’s not like there Windows 8.1 upgrade

    i bought my pc just over a year ago it’s a OEM HP and came with Win 8 and after
    the upgrade to Win 8.1 i got the added 350mb recovery partition that Windows defrag
    program see’s as \\?\volume and you can not defrag

    then later after a few months i had to restore back to factory original settings from
    the restore partition back to Win 8 then upgrade back to Win 8.1 and it added a second
    350mb partition so now i have 2 of them

    so i’m thinking that if i keep doing a restore back to factory original settings and then
    upgrade back to Win 8.1 it will keep adding that 350mb partition

    i had to restore a friends HP all in one pc and it did the samething by adding a second
    350mb recovery partition

    then i found someone that restored more times than me this person had 13 350mb partitions
    and tryed to delete them and ran in to trouble from it

    one would think there are others are out there and do not know

    Microsoft should do something about this before Win 9



  12. Karl Gephart said on September 26, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    MS should also think about not having a repeat of XP users with Win 7. Not to mention, the competing Chromebook market which, pricewise, is looking awfully appealing to me, especially with OEM Asus. The one thing they may be doing right is trying to make friends with Samsung. God knows, MS needs all the help they can get with the mobile market.

  13. Wayfarer said on September 26, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    I can recall some TV piece a while ago (or it might have been YouTube – can’t recall right now) by a senior computer science figure who opined that Windows could still make a handsome profit if it was totally free – ensuring along the way that there’d be no point whatever in piracy, plus it might check a lot of governmental moves across the planet towards lower-cost open source OS’s. I can’t say I understood the financial arguments, but they sounded very convincing.

    1. Andrew said on September 26, 2014 at 11:07 pm

      I could see it, by making their money via services and software. Pretty much how Google makes their money with Android to my knowledge.

  14. Bob Sireno said on September 26, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Before Windows 7 and 8 came out there were similar rumors, that the new version would be a free upgrade. In each case, new PC’s that were purchased after a specified date were given free upgrades after registering online. Other Windows users needed to pay $40 for the new OS, during a limited time offer. I suspect that Windows 9 free/reduced price upgrades will be offered the same way. Only the prevoius version allowed for a true upgrade. Two Windows versions old and one had to do a clean install.

    So, the rumors may again be true, but not in the way that we would like to believe. I hope I’m wrong and everyone gets a free upgrade to Windows 9. That would be awesome, but very unlikely.

  15. Gonzo said on September 26, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Is it a free upgrade to the adware Bing version with reminders on how to upgrade to the proper version for $$? This is Microsoft we’re talking about! ;-)

    1. Robert Palmar said on September 26, 2014 at 11:58 pm

      Microsoft with Bing is a “proper version” of Windows.
      It does not contain any adware nor does it prompt
      you to upgrade to a “proper version” since it
      is the identical Windows version already.

      It does come with Bing set as the default search engine
      in Internet Explorer, a setting the user can change
      to any search engine he chooses just as before.

      Windows with Bing is offered free to OEMs
      for smaller form factor tablets and laptops
      to foster competition at the lower price points.

  16. Ed said on September 26, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    I think making it free is smart just because of the cost of supporting Windows 8 moving forward. I would actually make it mandatory at some point. If you want to continue to get patches and support, you should have to upgrade to Windows 9. My company has purposely not deployed new computers because we are waiting for Windows 9 to be released. Personally, I can’t comprehend sending out PCs with no start menus to our branch users and expecting to keep my job. My elderly parents needed a new computer recently and I went with Windows 7 to replace their XP PC.

    If MS is going to offer a free upgrade, I would start advertising it soon so the whole PC industry doesn’t lose major XMas sales.

    1. circleinsideabox said on September 26, 2014 at 10:38 pm

      windows 8.1 brought back the start button and it has a small context menu, fyi

      1. anon said on September 30, 2014 at 7:38 am

        Uh huh, it sure worked well for MS.

      2. Andrew said on September 27, 2014 at 11:01 pm

        a start screen works just as fine

      3. fokka said on September 27, 2014 at 9:25 pm

        but what good is a start button without a start menu?

      4. Andrew said on September 27, 2014 at 6:53 am

        Doc, I have windows 8.1 right now and it has a start button… don’t confuse start button with start menu

      5. Doc said on September 27, 2014 at 6:10 am

        No, Windows 8.1 did NOT bring back the Start Button…I have 8.1 on my newest system, and there is NO Start Button unless you install a utility like StartIsBack or the like.
        I don’t know who told you that, but it’s an outright lie.

  17. Robert Palmar said on September 26, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    This is smart marketing, if true. And it appears to be true.

    Microsoft should announce this soon too to boost Windows 8
    uptake, especially for enterprises who are waiting for
    Windows 9 and knowing they can get it free later
    could very well push many to upgrade now.

    This should be implemented through Windows Update,
    as currently rumored, and I think to it should be
    a forced update much like 8.1 was implemented.

    I can only see this being offered to systems
    with Windows 8.1 already installed, that will be
    a limitation of sorts, and any system running 8.1
    should be eligible whether retail or OEM versions.

    Making it a forced update will help relegate Windows 8 to
    history quickly boosting Windows 9 installations dramatically.

    For the record I like Windows 8.1 and do not subscribe
    to the criticism but I do acknowledge it is there
    and Microsoft itself is resigned to this fact.

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