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I use three computers:

  • Personal desktop computer with OS history from last format: Windows 7 -> Windows 8 Pro -> Windows 8.1 Pro - Eligible for free Windows 10
  • Personal ASUS laptop computer with history: Windows 8 Pro -> Windows 8.1 Pro - Not eligible for free Windows 10
  • Work HP laptop with Windows 8.1 Pro freshly installed and connected to AD domain - Not eligible for free Windows 10

I am not interested on upgrading the work laptop, but I would like to know why did I find the free upgrade promotion on desktop (by chance, the one I do not want to upgrade yet) and not on my personal laptop. I believe that without the tray application that offers you to reserve a free Windows 10 upgrade I won't be able to get the new OS for free anytime

I would prefer to try the new OS on laptop first, and when it will become reliable to my judgement, format or upgrade on dekstop.

What are Microsoft's criteria for Windows 10's eligibility to free upgrade? If I don't see the promotional tray icon on my computer, will I be able to obtain a FREE copy of Windows 10 at a later time?

  • 2
    And how, exactly, did you determine you’re not eligible? – Daniel B Jul 15 '15 at 10:18
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    The only computer that isn't eligible is your work computer because its connected to a domain and it actually is eligible if the administrator install the required update. – Ramhound Jul 15 '15 at 10:20
  • @DanielB because I haven't been proposed the upgrade via Windows Update even after checking for updates several times – usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ Jul 15 '15 at 12:00
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    @djechelon That’s irrelevant. The tray program is irrelevant, too. It’s all just for promotional purposes. – Daniel B Jul 15 '15 at 12:45
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What edition of Windows will I get as part of this free upgrade?

Some editions are excluded: Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT/RT 8.1. Active Software Assurance customers in volume licensing have the benefit to upgrade to Windows 10 enterprise offerings outside of this offer.

What about Windows RT?

If you’re running Windows RT, your device won’t upgrade to Windows 10, but we will have an update for you around the time of Windows 10 release.

Can Enterprise customers get the free Windows 10 upgrade?

Enterprise customers with active Software Assurance subscription in volume licensing have the benefit to upgrade to Windows 10 enterprise offerings outside of this offer.

More in Specifications.

These are for a pre-released version of Windows 10 and are subject to change.

  • Very helpful in understanding the upgrade criteria. In my case, the home computers don't run RT. Thank you – usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ Jul 15 '15 at 14:14
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Possible answer is activation of BitLocker.

Both laptops are Bitlocker-enabled. According to Wndows 10 specifications linked by @JosefZ, BitLocker requires at least Windows 10 Pro, and does not work with Home edition.

Windows Update might have detected that the OS has Bitlocker enabled and will prevent from offering a free upgrade to Windows 10.

As suggested by @Ramhound, laptops connected to AD domain are never offered a Windows 10 upgrade, plus that in this case they are both encrypted with BitLocker

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    If you have Windows 8.1 Pro, you're upgrade path to Windows 10 is Pro as well. Have you checked out the steps offered in the Windows 10 FAQ underneath 'Why don't I have the Get Windows 10 app?' microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-10-faq – Ben Sampica Jul 15 '15 at 12:32
  • @BenSampica thanks. I have updated the question in order to highlight that I am talking about ONLY the free upgrade to Windows 10. Windows 10 Pro AFAIK will not be distributed for free so unless I buy it or get an MSDN license I won't be able to install it – usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ Jul 15 '15 at 13:40
  • Did you look at the FAQ? Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 Pro get the free upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. – Ben Sampica Jul 15 '15 at 15:18
  • @BenSampica sorry, I have misunderstood the FAQ reading incarefully. I didn't understand that the Win8.1Pro->Win10Pro was part of the free path, I understood I could "upgrade" (perhaps for money?) Win8.1Pro to Win10Pro. My mistake – usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ Jul 15 '15 at 15:38
  • Perhaps I don't understand. How is this an answer to your proposed question? – Ramhound Aug 6 '15 at 19:12
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I am having the same issues with my brand new laptop, I was told in the store would be upgradable. After running Windows troubleshooter, this seems to be the only answer I can get: If, after running the troubleshooter or doing the manual steps, you still don’t see the icon, your device may not be compatible with Windows 10. The troubleshooter should inform you if there are compatibility problems. If that is the case, you will not be able to reserve a copy at this time. More information will be available later regarding what you can do about that. For more information about Windows 10 requirements, go to: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-10-specifications

  • This does not really answer the author's proposed question. – Ramhound Aug 6 '15 at 19:10
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After public rollout of Windows 10 I have found by myself a way to try an upgrade on computers that Microsoft didn't choose for automatic downloading of Windows 10.

This page describes how to make an ISO file for installation on any device, including those that for an unknown reason didn't receive the Windows 10 free upgrade offer.

Basically one can download the tool that will download the ISO from scratch.

Or, for those who already downloaded the update, this page shows how to decompress the iso file from C:\$Windows.~BT folder

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