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As Windows 10 Free Upgrade Expires, Anniversary Update Is Set To Launch

As part of the Anniversary Update, Microsoft has disclosed planned enhancements to security, the Cortana virtual assistant and the Edge browser.

Microsoft’s offer of a free upgrade to Windows 10 for users that are running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 comes to an end Friday.

The offer applies to Home and Pro users -- Windows 10 Enterprise isn’t included. However, Microsoft previously has said it’s aiming to broaden access to Windows 10 Enterprise, which has additional security features, by offering it on a subscription basis.

[Related: Microsoft Unveils Plan To Sell Subscription-Based Windows 10 Enterprise]

Microsoft, Redmond, Wash., has listed Windows 10 Pro at $199 and Windows 10 Home at $119.

Meanwhile, a major update to Windows 10 -- dubbed the Anniversary Update -- is coming on Tuesday, Aug. 2.

Microsoft has disclosed planned enhancements to security, the Cortana virtual assistant and the Edge browser as part of the Anniversary Update.

[Related: 10 Things To Know About The Windows 10 Anniversary Update]

David Barter, practice director for Microsoft technologies at Kittery, Maine-based GreenPages Technology Solutions, said he believes one of Microsoft's goals for Windows 10 is to eventually make it part of a software subscription package for businesses.

A subscription model for Windows could be especially relevant to businesses with 500 or fewer employees, which don't receive the discounts that come with licensing model offerings from Microsoft, he said.

Such businesses could potentially get both Windows 10 and Office 365 ’for one low monthly payment of X, and never have to worry about an upgrade or hardware/OS support conflicts again,’ Barter said.

Businesses would then be able to ’take advantage of potentials for hardware platform OS migrations -- much like Office 365 offers when you move from device to device and maintain all your settings,’ he said. ’What if you could do that with Windows and not have to run VDI?’

And, Barter said, ’Once you’re in [with a subscription], are you ever going to change? That answer is almost always going to be no.’

As for users that are not upgrading their PCs to Windows 10, security patches will continue for Windows 7 and 8.1 -- until 2020 and 2023, respectively -- but the ability to use the operating systems on new devices may not.

That's because Intel's upcoming generation of Core microprocessors, known as Kaby Lake, will only support Windows 10. Kaby Lake processors began shipping to PC manufacturers this month.

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