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Why Windows 10 isn't really free: The subtle new world of built-in costs

Brad Chacos | Aug. 7, 2015
Windows 10 isn't really free. Realizing why and how it isn't really free can help you understand why installing the operating system on 1 billion systems by 2017 is such a big deal for Microsoft--and why this version of Windows is very different at its core than Windows 7 and its predecessors.

In other words, while Windows 7 customers never contributed anything to Microsoft's bottom line, Windows 10 is chock full of opportunities for Microsoft to make some money off of you, long after you've paid up for your Windows license. Which, of course, you still have to do. Microsoft isn't crazy.

And that's just fine! Windows 10 is a wonderful operating system, and a worthwhile upgrade from Windows 7 and 8. Plus, Microsoft provides you the option to disable or outright not use any of its services--though they are pretty damned polished and helpful. You don't have to pay Microsoft any more money or let it peer over your shoulder just because you use Windows 10 (though the express installation settings enable it all by default, natch).

But Windows 10 definitely isn't free--and it pays to know why. 

 

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