Windows 10 is free for Windows 7 and 8/8.1 users. But everyone else needs to pay over $100 for the Windows 10 Home Edition license key.
Don’t feel like shelling out major coin for a Windows 10 license? Today, we’re explaining how to get the operating system for as cheap as possible.
Microsoft is Not Cracking Down on Low-Quality Licenses
I don’t know about you, but my Windows 7 license has a bit of a complex history. I originally owned two copies of Windows 7 – one for my PC and one for my laptop. I had to perform a fresh install of Windows 7 on my desktop PC, only to find that I had lost my license key. I used the license key on the bottom of my laptop, and now my two devices are running the same version of Windows 7.
I haven’t had a problem upgrading to Windows 10 on either device.
Most other users are reporting similar things: Microsoft is not cracking down on licenses of dubious or suspicious origins.
So if you got your license through some weird volume licensing deal at work/school, or if you upgraded from an old machine, then you may be eligible for the free Windows 10 upgrade.
The Cheapest Way to Upgrade is By Buying Windows 7
The cheapest way to get Windows 10 doesn’t actually involve buying Windows 10 at all. It involves buying Windows 7.
There are a few different ways to get your hands on a legitimate Windows 7 device and license key:
–Buy a brand new copy of Windows 7, which is still available online and offline from certain retailers (although Microsoft doesn’t officially sell brand new license keys, so these retailers are just clearing out old supply). These copies can go on sale for as little as $70, so you’re not saving that much money off the price of Windows 10 (but it helps).
–Buy a new or used Windows 7 device from a trusted retailer. All you really need is the Certificate of Authenticity (COA) that’s found on a sticker attached somewhere on the laptop. You can find cheap, old laptops online for as little as $50 – which is less than half the price you’d pay for a brand new Windows 10 device.
–Use eBay or your local classifieds to buy a cheap, old Windows 7 PC. Once again, all you need is a COA from a valid Windows 7 device. Microsoft isn’t blocking these licenses regardless of their source. Find someone selling an old Windows 7 desktop or laptop from 2007 and you’ll get Windows 10 cheaper than anyone else (except those who upgraded for free, of course)
Why Not Windows 8?
Windows 7 is the cheapest way to upgrade because Microsoft sold Windows 7 licenses at a cheaper price than Windows 8 licenses.
However, you may be able to find cheap Windows 8 deals online on your local classifieds site (a lot of people didn’t like Windows 8). So it may be worth a quick search.