Nothing is finalized. The upgrade path is uncertain at this point.
A clean install will, most likely, be possible by bending the rules (ESD->ISO) or buying a license. The free offer is for upgrades only.
There is no end-of-life-cycle phase. Win10 lives on forever - it evolves, as John says.
Which is another way of saying... the PC user with a new PC (if we still use PC's) in say 10yrs hence will want the latest features etc. So the OS of that time will be unrecognisable to what we have today. So how does the owner of an old PC install W10 in the future ? Will there be archived editions of W10 by year ? and with just those editions receiving targeted updates relevant to the era.
W10 will not be an OS for life... I'll bet there will something new, something better before not to many years have passed.
Good points and interesting questions Mooly.
the then current W10... if that is how it works out... would be like trying to install W8/8.1 on a pc dating from the millennium
I think you're saying: A new OS won't necessarily work on old hardware.
The best I can do is guess. Win10 will update/evolve on the hardware it was installed on just as it is today. At some point the OS will be more advanced than the old hardware. Windows will stop evolving, but continue to work and be secure on that machine.
I don't think MS is going to store archives, more likely the install will be intelligent. Win8 is pretty close to that now, so I don't see any huge obstacles. A change might be in order so that the user can install the best OS for given hardware - no longer to PCs become obsolete based on the OS. Old PCs run Linux fine, why not Windows. An easy way would be to install a minimal base and get the rest from "up there somewhere" (Windows Update, MS Store, .... from some location using some mechanism). We're talking abut the future, so anything is possible.
You're probably right, let's agree on Win10 will evolve for the foreseeable future
We don't know what Win10 will evolve to
anymore than we know what we will evolve to become.
Last edited by Slartybart; 23 Jan 2015 at 18:51.
Yes, that is pretty much what I meant I was kind of thinking aloud really. The OS of 5 to 10 yrs hence will be far in advance of what todays/last years hardware can support, not least in just the basics, but also with the guaranteed to be developed interactive stuff that is sure to appear over time.
I agree that its pretty inconceivable that MS would make available archived copies of an OS.
It will be an interesting few years ahead.