A new blog post from Microsoft’s chief operating officer, Satya Nadella, argues that Microsoft has yet to update its Windows upgrade policy.
“We’re still waiting for Windows 10 to be released, and we don’t plan to do so until at least the second half of next year,” Nadell wrote in a blog post.
Microsoft has repeatedly said that the upgrade process for Windows XP and Windows Vista is the same as for Windows 7 and Windows 8.
“Windows 10 is designed to run on XP, Vista, and 7.
And while Windows 10 has a different Windows architecture, it also runs on the same core OS,” Naidll wrote.
“This means that, as long as the operating system is updated to work with Windows 10, we can deploy Windows 10 on Windows 7 or 8 machines.”
But in his blog post, Nadello does not address the fact that some of Windows XP’s features and apps, such as Skype, are no longer available for Windows 8 users.
The post does not explain why Microsoft has chosen to keep the upgrade path for Windows Vista and Windows 7 unchanged, instead of providing an upgrade path that allows for both Windows 7 machines and Windows XP machines to upgrade to Windows 10.
“When Microsoft is ready to release Windows 10 for Windows users, we’ll have the opportunity to upgrade Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2003,” Nadesll wrote, referring to the three versions of Windows that Microsoft releases to the public.
“If you’re a Windows XP user, and you want to upgrade, you can do so now.”
The move is in contrast to Windows 8, which made Windows XP available to all Windows users in October.
“Microsoft’s new upgrade policy is the first step in ensuring that Windows XP remains the best way to run your favorite applications and games, while keeping all the new features and improvements that Windows 10 brings,” said Michael Abrash, senior director of product management for the Windows Group at the Windows and Devices Group, in a statement to Ars.
“For the Windows 8 and Windows RT user, we’ve also created a way for you to update your Windows 8 or Windows RT machine, so that you can start enjoying Windows 10 right away.”
In its statement, Microsoft reiterated its decision not to provide an upgrade-path for Windows Windows XP.
“At this time, we do not have an upgrade policy for Windows Server 2008 or Windows 7 users,” Nesbitt wrote.
The new policy “allows us to upgrade all existing Windows 7 (and Windows 8) users to Windows Server 2012 and Windows 10 at no additional cost,” Nedbell wrote.
However, Microsoft is not the only company to move to an upgrade approach for its older operating systems.
Microsoft is also rolling out an upgrade for Windows Mobile, which is the successor to Windows Phone, but only for those who buy a new phone or tablet in the next year.
“The Windows Mobile team is currently working on a migration plan that will enable all users to upgrade their devices as soon as they purchase a new device,” Niedbell wrote in the blog post announcing the upgrade.
“With this migration plan, we are working to allow the majority of customers to upgrade in the coming months.
In the meantime, customers can use existing hardware that supports upgrade through Windows Update and continue using Windows 7 as their primary operating system.”