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Microsoft promises same-day Windows 10 upgrade or a free Dell laptop

Time is running out for you to get your hands on Windows 10 for free, and Microsoft is throwing a Hail Mary to get you to upgrade. They’re giving away free laptops.

Yes, free laptops. Dell’s Inspiron 15, to be more specific. There’s a catch, of course, but you didn’t really think that Microsoft was so desperate to get people to upgrade at this point that they’d just start throwing laptops at people — even $250 ones — did you?

Well, OK, maybe they are that desperate, but that’s not how this particular promo is working. To score a free Inspiron 15, you’ll have to let one of Microsoft’s own techs take care of the upgrade process for you.

Take your computer in to a Microsoft Store and head back to the Answer Desk. If it currently runs Windows 8 and meets the hardware requirements — and you haven’t done anything sneaky like bring it in without a hard drive or a battery — just drop it off by noon and they’ll upgrade it to Windows 10 by the end of the business day.

If they miss their self-imposed deadline, they’ll give you a free Inspiron 15 to make up for the inconvenience. Alternatively, if your computer is incompatible with the upgrade, Microsoft will gift you $150 of vouchers towards a new machine.

They’ve got a few other requirements you should know about. Don’t try to pull a fast one and drop off a machine that shows obvious signs of a liquid spill, has missing or damaged warranty void stickers on it, or has massive cracks in the bezel or screen. They’re not going to touch something that looks like it could go belly-up during the upgrade process.

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