Microsoft is giving Windows 10 away for free to Windows 7/8/8.1 users. If one reserves Windows 10 with the new notification in the tray area, what will happen to their Windows 7/8/8.1 license?

Are you really getting Windows 10 for free, as in you upgrade from 7/8/8.1 but you still own the previous version of Windows and Windows 10, or are you really trading your old Windows license for a new one?

Basically, after upgrading to Windows 10 for free from Windows 7, will I still own Windows 7? (Will the product key for 7 still work?)

  • Microsoft has not said one way or another. In the past the way similar programs work, both licenses could still be used, just one was technically invalid. The way the free Windows 8.1 w/Media Center upgrade work is a really good indication how we will claim our Windows 10 licenses, you purchased the upgrade for $0.0 , and were sent an email which contained a valid Windows 8.1 w/ Media Center license which was independant of the original Windows 8.1 license.
    – Ramhound
    Jun 2, 2015 at 18:19
  • The "duplicate" question 486959 doesn't have an applicable answer here. But section 7 of the EULA (microsoft.com/en-us/Useterms/Retail/Windows/10/…) does seem to talk about downgrade rights for Professional versions.
    – mwfearnley
    Aug 17, 2015 at 23:49
  • I'm mixed on the duplicate-ness of the question, but I do seem to think this and the other questions are more about licencing than computers, and well, isn't entirely on topic. I'm inclined to leave it closed, as such.
    – Journeyman Geek
    Aug 18, 2015 at 5:38

1 Answer 1


It is absolutely clear. After you have upgraded, there is no downgrade "right" though doubtless you can continue on 7/8 at least for a while.

Certainly if you are asking will the 7/8 license ALSO be valid at the same time - it will not. It is replaced entirely.

  • So if I upgrade and try to use my old Windows 7 key on another computer, it will not work?
    – JohnDoe
    Jun 2, 2015 at 18:30
  • Correct, it will have been replaced. The old license is no longer valid. Jun 2, 2015 at 18:32
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    @JulianKnight - Where has Microsoft stated, that the license used to claim the free Windows license, will cease to work entirely? Because from personal experience with the free Media Center upgrade, I ended up with two licenses that could be activated.
    – Ramhound
    Jun 2, 2015 at 18:41
  • Mediacentre is very different to Windows itself. The only reason they are making this offer to people not on enterprise subscriptions is to try and kill off Windows 7/8 as quickly as possible so they can focus on 10. They are notoriously tight-lipped about Licensing which is an industry in itself but I've been working very closely with them recently & their intent is clear. Jun 2, 2015 at 18:49
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    @JulianKnight - What kind of formal evidence do you have? If you are saying that Windows 10 will accept and activate with Windows 7 and WIndows 8.1 key I might accept that explaination. My conclusion to how the upgrade process will work is entirely different, I suspect and my past experiences support this, is that come July 29th 2015 you will literally "purchase" a Windows 10 license for $0.00 using a similar tool that was used to order Windows 8 and the Media Center upgrade. I will continue this discussion in the chatroom shortly.
    – Ramhound
    Jun 2, 2015 at 18:55

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