Microsoft was meant to be streamlining its OS with Windows 10, so why is upgrading so confusing? Oh, because it's Windows. Moving on to the details, then.
Last week Microsoft revealed that Windows 10 would be coming in a number of different editions when it launches later this year. We already knew that Windows 10 wouldn't be a free upgrade for Windows Enterprise users, but it wasn't clear exactly how the Home and Pro editions of Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 would translate across to Windows 10.
Thankfully Microsoft has clarified the matter a little further on its Australia Partner Network Blog.
Windows 7 Home Basic and Home Premium licence holders, as well as Windows 8 and 8.1 users, will all be upgraded to Windows 10 Home – Microsoft's basic Windows 10 package. Those using Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate, and those using Windows 8 Pro and 8.1 Pro, will be upgraded to Windows 10 Pro.
Providing you hold a valid Windows licence, the upgrade process will be completely free, and will be distributed exclusively through Windows Update. All corporate Windows Pro systems using Windows Server Update Suite will also have to use Windows Update to access the free upgrade.
Enterprise-level users wishing to upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise will need to purchase a new set of licence subscriptions, as per usual for a Windows OS upgrade. Those wishing to take up Windows 10 Education edition – equivalent to Student and Teacher editions – can do so by upgrading from Home or Pro, or purchasing outright from launch.
As Windows XP is no longer supported, and Microsoft has all but forgotten Windows Vista, you'll need to purchase Windows 10 from scratch if you want to upgrade from either of those operating systems.
Windows RT devices are also excluded from the update process. Ars does report that Microsoft has promised an upgrade for ARM device owners, such as the Surface RT and Surface 2, but the company hasn't yet detailed what form that will take.
Maybe all that isn't confusing. But it sure is complex. Still, operating system are hard. You keep at it, Microsoft!