Microsoft is taking a page out of Apple's playbook and is said to offer free Windows 9 upgrades to all users of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.
The rumors first came from ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, a long-time follower of Microsoft with insider sources, who said that the Windows maker might be planning to offer free major operating system upgrades the way Apple started allowing Mac users to upgrade OS X for free. However, a report coming from Detik, an Indonesian publication, says the rumor was confirmed by Microsoft Indonesia's President Andreas Diantoro himself.
The report was first spotted by BGR, which obtained a translation of the report that said Diantoro, in a press conference at the Hotel Mulla in Jakarta on Sept. 25, confirmed to the local news media that Microsoft will make Windows 9 upgrades available to all Windows 8 and 8.1 users when the platform debuts in April or May 2015. He also said that downloading the new operating system will not require technical knowledge and will be easy for users. This coincides with an earlier report from Windows blog Neowin that Microsoft has included a one-click tool that allows users to upgrade to Windows 9.
"When the OS is launched later, users who have been using Windows 8 just need to download the update on his device," says Diantoro in translated text. "It will be installed automatically."
It is not clear, however, whether the free upgrade involves users of older Windows iterations. Different versions of the rumors say Microsoft is planning to provide free upgrades to users of Windows XP, which the company dropped support for earlier this year, and allowing users to switch over at no cost should be a great incentive for them to drop XP for the newest platform. Diantoro also did not mention Windows 7 users, which currently make up the majority of all PC owners. No word was also made on the pricing model of Windows 9.
Microsoft is said to officially announce the existence of Windows 9, which has been codenamed Threshold, at a press event on Sept. 30, where the company will supposedly unveil a live technical preview of its latest operating system. Windows blogger Paul Thurrott, however, says the technical preview will arrive at a later time but confirms most of what we already know about Windows 9, including the return of the highly missed Start Menu, the integration of Metro-style tiles into the Start Menu, the arrival of Cortana personal digital assistant first introduced on Windows Phone and the introduction of virtual desktops.