You can still Upgrade to Windows 10 for Free, by the end of 2017 - Here's how
If you missed out on the Windows 10 free upgrade offer, here's one more chance for you. Microsoft still offers a free Windows 10 upgrade, from Windows 7 and 8.1, for people using assistive technologies. By using this method, your PC will have a permanent genuine Windows 10 license, called "digital license".
So what are Assistive Technlogies?
Assistive technology tools are used by people with disabilities, who cannot use a computer in a conventional manner. For example, narrators for the blind, eye tracking machines for those unable to move a mouse, and so on. This MS page lists the following tools:
- Programs that enlarge or alter the color of information on the screen
- Programs that describe information on the screen in Braille or that provide synthesized speech
- Hardware and software utilities that modify the functions of the mouse and keyboard.
- Programs that enable people to type by using a mouse or their voice
- Word or phrase prediction software that allows people to type more quickly and with fewer keystrokes.
- Alternative input devices, such as single switch or puff and sip devices, for people who cannot use a mouse or a keyboard.
The original free upgrade to Windows 10 ended on 29 July 2017, but Microsoft decided to extend the deadline for a free upgrade to people using these type of computer aids. It's worth mentioning that Windows 10 also made a lot of progress on their accessibility tools.
Who can take advantage of this offer?
Since the validation system is based on a honor rule and no actual verification is made to the people using the upgrade tool, the free upgrade can be used by anybody, provided their moral code allows them to do so.
What's the deadline?
31 December 2017 is the last day you can upgrade to Windows 10 using the Assistive Technologies offer.
How to upgrade to Windows 10 with the assistive technologies free upgrade
Step 1. Make sure you have Windows 7 or 8.1 installed and activated on the PC you wish to upgrade to Windows 10.
Previously, you could use a Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 key directly with a Windows 10 installation, without the need for having Windows 7 or 8.1 installed, but this was only working with the original free upgrade offer from Microsoft.
With this method, you actually have to have Windows 7 or 8.1 installed when running the Upgrade Assistant.
Step 2. Run the Windows 10 Update Assistant.
Go to https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/accessibility/windows10upgrade and click on the Upgrade Now button. This currently downloads the file Windows10Upgrade24074.exe.
Run the .exe and follow the steps.
The update assistant will check if your PC is compatible, with enough free space, compatible CPU and RAM. Afterwards it will download the upgrade files.
Follow the rest of the wizard and you'll end up with a PC running Windows 10 on a valid, permanent, genuine, license. After this, at any point in time, before or after 31 December 2017, you'll be able to reinstall Windows 10 from scratch and it will still be activated with this license.
What happens to this free upgrade offer after 31 December 2017?
We're not sure yet. One scenario would be that people with disabilities will still be able to upgrade for free, if they contact the Disability Answer Desk directly. We'll update once we know for sure.
What do you think about all this? Is it a good or bad move by Microsoft? Have you upgraded to Windows 10 yet? Is it wrong to use this offer if you're not actually using assistive technologies for Windows?