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Was the free Windows 10 upgrade deal a success?

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Microsoft's year-long offer of a free upgrade to Windows 10 has now finished, albeit with a couple of loopholes still to be closed.

Since the deal was launched last year there are now more than 350 million devices running the new operating system, mostly thanks to the offer.

It's not especially surprising that users have quicker to upgrade to Windows 10 than earlier versions: Microsoft was giving it away for free, after all.

Microsoft's offer was, to an extent, bowing to the inevitable: since the rise of the smartphone with regular free mobile OS upgrades, consumers increasingly expect to get new desktop OS upgrades for free (indeed, Mac users have done since 2013).

The touch-centric look-and-feel that arrived with Windows 8, which confused and upset many users, was onther reason for the Windows 10 offer. Giving Windows 10 away for free helped Microsoft put that painful negative reception behind it, and in the process got rid of much of the Windows 8 installed base still out there (has any version of Windows appeared and disappeared so quickly?).

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