Windows 10 Free Download Deadline, Do It Now Or Pay $119 Later

The deadline for the Windows 10 free download is July 29, after that, users will have to shell out $119 for the home version of the operating system, as reported by Microsoft. The free download deadline comes one year after Windows 10 was first offered on July 29, 2015.

Initially, Microsoft deployed the Windows 10 download to customers who had requested it in waves. Many who grew tired of waiting simply installed the free download directly from Microsoft. Tens of millions of users had installed the latest Windows within the first few days, as reported by the Inquisitr. In March 2016, Windows 10 was reported to be running on close to 300 million devices.

Windows 7 and 8.1 users who want to upgrade can get the Windows 10 free download from Microsoft.

Windows 10 is free for users upgrading from versions 7 or 8.1 until July 29. After that, the price increases to $119.

The Windows 10 free download upgrade with cost $119 after the July 29 deadline. [Photo by Sasha Haagensen/Getty Images for Microsoft]Net Market Share reports that, as of May 2016, Windows 7 was still the dominant desktop operating system, capturing 48.6 percent of users; Windows 8.1 had 8.8 percent. Even Windows XP still commanded over 10 percent of the desktop OS market. Consumer Reports has stated that users of Windows XP are putting their data “at risk,” as Microsoft no longer offers XP support or updates.

In its first nine months of life, Windows 10 captured 17.5 percent of the desktop operating system market: no small feat. The 67.4 percent of the market still using Windows 7 and 8.1, close to 1 billion machines, who have yet to install the free Windows 10 upgrade can save $119, simply by downloading the update before the July 29 deadline.

The speed with which Windows 10 operates has been consistently cited by industry observers as one of its, perhaps unexpected, advantages.

“Built-in Cortana voice-responsive digital assistant. Fast startup. Rich software and device ecosystem. Free upgrade. Familiar interface with Start menu. Better gaming features. Included music, news, and video apps,” PC Mag wrote about Windows 10, while noting that Windows 10 was less “touch friendly” when compared to Windows 8 and lamenting the lack of browser extensions available for the Edge browser. PC Mag editors gave Windows 10 a four-out-five rating and called the software “excellent.”

Windows 10 is available with a free download until July 29, after that the operating system will cost $119. Ike Barinholtz updates to Windows 10. [Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Windows 10]Installing the free Windows 10 download may even speed some computers up.

Included with Windows 10 is Windows Defender, an industry leading antivirus program that protects against viruses, spyware, and malware. Users who install the Windows 10 download before July 29 will receive automatic updates to Windows Defender virus definitions, along with regular updates to Windows 10 itself.

Windows 10 is the showcase for Microsoft’s personal virtual assistant, Cortana, which is reported to have helped users with more than 6 billion queries since first being introduced. Cortana’s ability to work with Windows 10, as well as on iOS and Android devices, has been cited as desirable. Cortana is reported to work seamlessly with the Edge browser.

Microsoft reports that in the first quarter of 2016, users of the Edge browser spent 63 billion minutes viewing web pages, representing a 50 percent quarter over quarter increase.

Tech Radar described the browsing speed of Edge as “brilliant,” yet the publication also noted the computing community’s continued disappointment with the lack of availability of browser extensions. Thankfully, both Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome run beautifully in Windows 10.

Over the past 12 months, shares in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) have returned 11.7 percent, compared with a loss of 1.0 percent for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI), of which it is a member. Microsoft has a market capitalization of $400.8 billion, making it the third-largest publicly traded company in the United States, behind Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), which have market capitalizations of $478.9 billion and $523.3 billion, respectively.

For 2016, Wall Street analysts expect Microsoft’s revenues to decline 2.2 percent to $91.5 billion, perhaps coinciding with the free Windows 10 download giveaway. However, earnings per share, perhaps the most accurate measure of the profitability of a company, are expected to rise 8.5 percent to $2.67. This view has been reduced from $2.76, 90 days ago.

If you’re a Windows user and you haven’t already, do you plan on installing the Windows 10 free download before the last day it will be available, July 29? Tell us why or why not in the comments below.

[Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images]