In fact, those that upgraded in the first days of Win 10's release have already passed the date of no return.
It's a common misconception that you will have to pay after the year is up which is NOT true. The 1 year time limit is how long you have to do the upgrade from W7 or W8 for free. After that year is up, you will have to pay to do the upgrade. If you do the upgrade within the first year then there is no cost for W10.
It will be interesting to see what happens when the law minded guys get moving. With many computers these days, there is a "restore to factory" option - Dell for example.. The buyer has paid hard cash for a computer with, say Windows 8.1 installed. he is subjected to the MS bombardment to upgrade, and succumbs... For several reasons, a year could go buy before that user discovers that some items are not satisfactory, but that is a personal, and irrelevant issue.
He may decide to use the factory restore, which should, in the eyes of the law, put him back to the OS he has purchased. I cannot find, on any authoritative pages, including those of MS, as to whether he will then find he has an unactivated OS. I think the answer is that it will be so.
He may then feel he has the right to take the complaint to the retailer.
Interesting though, would be if the factory restore does, indeed, produce an activated OS. If the user has been cunning enough to make an image of Windows 10, he could find himself with two legit OSs on his computer.
The Windows 10 licence replaces the licence of whatever operating system was originally installed even if it was retail.
The Windows 10 licence is tied to the machine that the upgrade was performed on and is non transferable.
The actual activation key is stored online on the 'activation database' a feature recently added by Microsoft. This means that the user once upgraded can perform a clean install without having to input an activation key. I've tested this myself and it works fine.
Thanks Ross. I am aware of those facts, but it does not address my "pondering"
It is still possible to buy machines here, with Windows 8/8.1 and with the factory reset for the installed OS. The upgrade remains of course, inherent for Windows 10.
From the posts which appear in forums such as this, the majority of straightforward users will not be aware of the consequences of upgrading, nor will they bother to read the advice and warnings. Certainly, the salesmen will not use too much energy to explain it to them.
The whole idea as is patently obvious, is to catch and eliminate a huge number of users with pirated copies. This is even connected with the subsequent forced updates, which will catch out some of the remainder.
Ms have covered there tracks. They are innocent bystanders. The retailers will have to be prepared for comeback, but, I think there is an huge onus on the manufacturers who offer the "factor reset" to think carefully of the possible consequences, before it has gone much further.. The obvious suggestion is that, at least temporarily, they do not put factory resets (for Windows 8/8.1) on the computers in the first palce.
I see your point David regarding partitions containing a copy of 8.1 or Win 8 and the factory reset. Obviously once upgraded if the user tries to go back after the 30 day period then they are out of luck. They can of course re-install Windows 10 as this will have an activation key associated with it. Your right though as to how many may realise this..
Windows 10 may well be free now but future updates like the coming 'Threshold 2' in November will at some point cost users money 'apparently'.
Mind you so much has changed it wouldn't surprise me if that changes too.