Questions Microsoft needs to answer before the Windows 10 launch

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 14, 2015
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

Microsoft Windows 10 will be released in two week's time to Windows Insiders and users who have accepted the free upgrade promotion that Microsoft ran on Windows 7 and Windows 8 devices.

While Microsoft revealed a lot about the upcoming operating system, the company has been tight-lipped about some important aspects of it.

In addition to that, a few PR and announcement blunders along the way caused extra confusion that Microsoft has not yet addressed fully either.

This article looks at questions (inspired by this article on Forbes) that every user interested in Windows 10 should be interested in before taking the plunge to run an upgrade of an existing system, set up the operating system on a new PC, or buy a device running the new operating system.

What does Free really mean?

Microsoft announced that Windows 10 would be free under certain circumstances. The company rewrote the announcement several times and communication on other channels did add to the confusion that users have with it.

If you read comments and ask users right now, you get different answers when it comes to free. Some users believe it is free for life, others for the lifetime of the device while others expect Microsoft to introduce a subscription-based services along the way.

What we know is that Windows 10 is free for the lifetime of the device. There are two issues though with the statement that Microsoft has not addressed yet.

First, Microsoft did not define device in the context. Windows may under certain circumstances identify a device as new after hardware upgrades. It is not clear if Windows 10 can be re-activated again on an upgraded device or if customers would need to purchase a license in this case.

Major upgrades are the second issue. Are those, something like the upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 free as well or do they require a license?

According to Computerworld, Microsoft may provide free updates to Windows 10 only for 2-4 years. The different support periods are determined by "customer type" according to Microsoft which according to Computerworld means that Home customers are on the lower end of the support scale while business (Pro) customers on the higher end.

estimated device life

If you read the statement carefully, you may come to another conclusion. Microsoft simply estimated the average device lifetime for devices running Home and Pro versions of Windows 10 and came up with the 2-4 years range for those.

If the conclusion is true, customers would be able to use Windows 10 on the device for the lifetime of it.

How long will Microsoft support Windows 10?

windows support

Update: Microsoft has published information on the lifecycle website. According to it, Windows 10's mainstream support ends October 13, 2020 and its extended support on October 14, 2025.

Information about how long Windows 10 will be supported with feature upgrades and security patches have not been revealed by the Redmond company.

If you take past support cycles into consideration, Window 10 mainstream support would end in 2021 and extended support in 2026.

But Microsoft mentioned already that Windows 10 would be a new chapter, that it would deliver Windows as a service, and that it would release "new features when they're ready" to systems and not via major releases like it did in the past.

Fact is, Microsoft has not revealed information about how long it will support Windows 10.

Forced Update questions

Microsoft announced previously that some Windows editions would ship with mandatory updates but failed to reveal additional information about the process.

Current Windows versions allow users to configure the operating system's update behavior. Users who don't want automatic updates can disable those to test and deploy updates manually.

There are valid reasons why users would want to block updates from being installed automatically. The past has shown for instance that updates have rendered systems unbootable or caused other issues that users and system administrators avoided by blocking them from being installed.

It seems right now that Windows 10 Home users won't have the option anymore to delay or block updates from being deployed on their devices.

Pro users on the other hand get time-limited options -- eight months it seems -- before updates can no longer be blocked.

Questions that Microsoft has not addressed include:

  1. What happens when updates are blocked using other ways (e.g. through hosts file or other blocking options)?
  2. Can Microsoft be held responsible if forced updates render systems unusable?
  3. Can updates be removed from systems with forced updates?

Now You: Do you have questions about Windows 10 that have not been answered yet by Microsoft?

Questions Microsoft needs to answer before the Windows 10 launch
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Questions Microsoft needs to answer before the Windows 10 launch
Microsoft has yet to answer important questions about its operating system Windows 10 that users should know before installing or upgrading the OS.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

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