When Windows 10 initially released to the public on 29 July 2015, Microsoft promised a one-year free upgrade period where any valid copy of Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 could download and activate a free copy of their new operating system. Once this ended in June 2016, two upgrade methods remained open, both of which are mentioned in a previous article. One of those ways involved using a valid Windows 7/8/8.1 install and initiating the Windows 10 upgrade by specifying that you use assistive technology.
Up until recently, there was no specified end date for this upgrade path. However, Microsoft has now published changes to their assistive technology update FAQ to distinctly display that assistive technology users will no longer be able to claim their free update after 31 December 2017.
Microsoft allows this upgrade path because of the improvements made in assistive technologies for the newest version of Windows. There is no validation step when performing the upgrade to verify that the user does use the assistive technology features, so some able-bodied people use this method to obtain Windows 10, which enters a moral grey zone. It isn’t clear whether this limitation is in place due to users abusing this upgrade method.
Craig Ward - Tech Writer - 397 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I grew up in a family surrounded by technology, starting with my father loading up games for me on a Commodore 64, and later on a 486. In the late 90's and early 00's I started learning how to tinker with Windows, while also playing around with Linux distributions, both of which gave me an interest for learning how to make software do what you want it to do, and modifying settings that aren't normally user accessible. After this I started building my own computers, and tearing laptops apart, which gave me an insight into hardware and how it works in a complete system. Now keeping up with the latest in hardware and software news is a passion of mine.