If you do not have your free copy of Windows 10 yet, you should know that, sadly, the Microsoft’s free upgrade program that offered free upgrades to anyone using earlier versions of the Windows OS ended in July 2016, meaning that you will now need to pay $119.99 for the most basic version of Windows 10 if you decide to upgrade the older version you have. Although Microsoft no longer offers free upgrades to ordinary users, there are still some users who can claim their Windows 10 upgrades for free. Microsoft released the official announcement to inform customers using assistive technologies on Windows that they can still get their free Windows 10 upgrades at no cost until December 31, 2017. If you belong to this group of people, you have roughly two months to accept this “last minute offer,” and we suggest that you do not postpone the upgrade. You need to act soon because it is very likely that it is your last chance to upgrade your older version of the Windows OS to Windows 10 free of charge.
Ordinary users who missed the deadline have quickly realized that they can upgrade their older versions of Windows quite easily too because Microsoft does not check whether those who download the upgrade really need assistive technologies. Most likely, it was believed that only a few users would try to “abuse” the system to upgrade their Windows. What does “assistive technologies” mean? Assistive technologies are tools designed for people with special needs, for example, text to speech tools, programs that describe information on the screen, software that enables people to type by using a mouse, etc. At first, it was unclear when the last day of the offer available for people using assistive technologies would be, but Microsoft specified the date over Twitter on the 17th of October, 2017. Additionally, information on Microsoft’s official page was updated shortly after:
If you use assistive technologies, you can upgrade to Windows 10 at no cost as Microsoft continues our efforts to improve the Windows 10 experience for people who use these technologies. Please take advantage of t his offer before it expires on December 31, 2017.
Users who decide to accept the offer, i.e., decide to get the Windows 10 upgrade should first find out whether assistive technology tools they use are compatible with Windows 10 before starting the upgrade procedure. The easiest way to do that is to contact the technology provider. If it turns out that tools used are not compatible with the newest version of the Windows 10, the chances are high that you could no longer use them if you upgrade your Windows OS. It is up to you what to do in this case, but do not forget that it might be your last chance to upgrade your operating system for free. As mentioned above, at the time of writing, the price of the most basic version Windows 10 Home was $119.99, whereas Windows 10 Pro could be purchased for $199.99.
If you still cannot decide whether it is worth acquiring the upgrade, you should check Microsoft’s official page for further information about Windows 10. The newest version of the Windows OS is promoted with the following sentence: “Windows 10 offers experiences that are familiar, safer and more secure, and more personal and productive – enabling innovative new experiences.” Also, users are told that the Windows 10 Anniversary Update will bring even more improvements in accessibility. For example, faster text to speech voices, new languages in Narrator, several punctuation modes, automatic suggestions, and much more. You still have some time to make up your mind, but do not forget that the final free Windows 10 upgrade offer ends December 31, 2017. Mark this date so that you would not miss it!