Yeah, but Windows isn't free unless you're a member of their beta testing program. Windows 10 is a "free" upgrade, but that means you don't have to pay an additional fee for the update from your current version, not that you don't have to buy Windows to begin with.
True, but you're missing the viewpoint of Joe Consumer.
Windows didn't cost anything, it came with the computer, much like a radio and wheels came with his car.
This is more like a car dealership offering a free upgraded radio or free tires 2 years after you purchase the car. You had to buy the car in the first place, but most people see such offers as "free" since they already bought the car.
If you buy a new car, it also comes with a radio and tires. No, they aren't really free, but the consumer sees them as just part of it. How much the car marker paid for them is not the concern of Joe Consumer.
How much Dell paid for Windows is ALSO not the concern of Joe Consumer.
Frankly, I expect that sooner or later, Windows will become free for home/consumer use, it will have a small licence cost for businesses, and manufactures will have a small "preinstall' cost to put it on new machines.
This would all but remove any incentive from consumers to ever look at anything else.
I don't want any functionality that was present in Windows 7 to be ad-burdened in 10, even if it is just Freecell.
Fair enough, I can respect that. However, I think you've already lost that battle, if you care that much, stay on Windows 7 until 2020, then you have to decide what to do at that point.
Maybe you'll go to Linux, maybe Mac, maybe you already have... but the vast majority of people just don't care.
My wife plays a social media version of Scrabble on her phone with her friends. There are ads on the bottom of the screen, you can pay like $5 to remove them forever. I asked her if she wanted me to do that and she said, "why, I just ignore them, that seems a waste of money".
She is a Jane Consumer, not a techie (she is a doctor by profession). She just wants it to work, how much each part cost, what each part does, etc. she couldn't care less about.