For the longest time, users have always had the ability to upgrade to Windows 10. In July 2016, Microsoft ended the mass free upgrade to Windows 10 with the anniversary release. However, there was always a backup version of the upgrade. If you used assistive technology to operate your Windows machine, you were still eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10. At the time, there was no end date to that offer. That is no longer true.
Ars Technica is reporting that assistive technology users have until December 31, 2017, to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. Will they create a new way for a free upgrade, most likely not. It has been two-and-a-half years since the rollout of Windows 10. Much like with the upgrade from Windows XP, Microsoft will not continue allowing a free upgrade forever.
Newer desktops and laptops have been coming with the upgrade software since 2015. Anyone that wanted to upgrade will already have done so. If you have been holding out for one reason or another, you still have a chance. It is key to know that verification that you use assistive technology is not required. I know this because I read about it and actually did it.
Several months ago, I rolled back an older laptop from Windows 10 to Windows 7. A program I was using was giving me compatibility issues. The program’s site claimed that if I wanted it fixed, I would have to spend $100 to upgrade it. In my defiance, I chose to roll back to Windows 7 and do it that way. After a few weeks, I found a hack that would fix my issue. So I considered going back to Windows 10.
Unfortunately, I would have to pay for it until I discovered the assistive technology upgrade. Now, the upgrade does not offer you a clean install. However, once you are upgraded, you can create a media creation tool for a clean install. That is always recommended. Too many glitches occurred when you upgrade and kept your files intact. In some instance, you had to re-download a program for it to work.
Microsoft can be a pain in many areas but restoring an existing version of your operating system is not one of them. They have been attempting to get people on the same operating system for easier updates. Much like what Apple does with their operating system. This is rumored to be their last specific operating system. If you are still leery about it, get over yourself. It is something new to learn. However, it is a lot better than Windows 8 or Vista.