Microsoft has confirmed that the Windows 10 upgrade will be available for install starting July 29, and that the upgrade will be free for existing users of Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 SP1 for a period of one year. Microsoft has also created a quirky system to “reserve” your upgrade download.
The Windows team has put up the page Upgrade to Windows 10 for free describing how the process will work.
According to the site, Microsoft will use the Windows Update mechanism to determine whether your machine can run Windows 10, then push a new icon to your taskbar, as shown below. If you don’t see it and want to force the issue, fire up the Windows Update control panel, or check out KB3035583. The KnowledgeBase notes slyly say that it provides “new notification capabilities for Windows Update”, but says nothing else.
Clicking on this will pop up a window giving you more information on the process, and the button to click to reserve your free upgrade:
Oddly enough, the window just disappears afterward without confirming. You can use the new upgrade notification icon to check your status, though:
Enterprise users will not be eligible to reserve, and will get the upgrade via the usual methods.