"*Hardware and software requirements apply. No additional charge. Feature availability may vary by device. Some editions excluded. More details at http://www.windows.com./" This basically let's them downgrade the "free version" into shitty "limited edition" and then ask for sub money for "full edition".
Not sure how you got that interpretation from the disclaimer. This is how it reads to me:
Feature availability may vary by device
Don't expect your Windows Phone to get all of the features that your laptop has.
Some editions excluded:
The limited netbook versions of 7 (Home Basic, I believe), and Windows 8 RT can't be upgraded to Windows 10. (Just a guess, I'm not sure if RT can or can't be upgraded, or if Home Basic is excluded).
Microsoft has made some stupid mistakes in the past, but I'm a fan of their new direction, and I can't see them bricking an OS right now. They are trying to get back some of their marketshare, and taking away features really isn't the best way to do that. Take off the tin foil hat, and read through the article again, this time with a little less FUD, and it sounds like it'll just be similar to the limited time $40 Windows 8 upgrade, only this time free for a year.