Users might still be able to upgrade to Windows 10 free of charge
In 2015, Microsoft rolled out a controversial tool to encourage users to upgrade to Windows 10 almost to the point of annoyance. Back in July of this year, the "Get Windows 10" program ended and users stopped receiving the near constant updates to upgrade. This should mean that users wanting to upgrade to Windows 10 will have to pay for a valid license from Microsoft, right?
Wrong. Well, maybe.
Ed Bott at ZDNet writes that he was able to upgrade an older machine of his that was running Windows 7 without hassle or cost. After testing the method on two virtual machines running legitimately activated licenses of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, Bott was able to upgrade both to Windows 10, free of charge.
The method, outlined on this page, essentially boils down to downloading the Windows 10 installation tool from Microsoft's own Windows 10 download page. Users can then either choose to upgrade their current machine or use the ISO file to create a bootable drive. If the installation detects a valid copy of Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1, the upgrade should initiate without a hitch. Users installing the OS on a new machine might run into some more trouble, but may be able to use an unused and valid Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 license key to activate the install.
All of this should be taken with a grain of salt, and Windows may change the process at any time, but it must be said: this method is not guaranteed to work, and we cannot be held responsible if it doesn’t. Microsoft has said that they will continue the free upgrade program for users that use assistive technologies, and this method may be how Microsoft is able to extend the offer to these customers. However, with this upgrade method coming to light, it may not be too long before Microsoft shuts it down, so use caution if you attempt it.