We’ve been advising assistive technology users to grab a free Windows 10 for several months. It was due to end on December 31, but the new year came and the offer remained. A new update to the webpage reveals that Microsoft has extended the offer to January 16, 2018.
“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 this offer before it expires on January 16, 2018,” says the webpage.
You can upgrade from versions of Windows 7 and 8.1, avoiding the regular $120. The only requirement is the use of some form of accessibility tech, but Microsoft doesn’t check. As a result, anyone with the earlier OSes can upgrade for free.
The Windows 10 Adoption Struggle
It’s not clear why Microsoft has extended the offer, and it didn’t make an announcement about the change. It could be due to time management, or because Windows 10 adoption isn’t as high as the company hoped.
Though it has given an extra year, it can take some software makers a long time to adapt. Microsoft’s telemetry could be showing a disproportionate amount of assistive technology users.
Reports from PC Trends put Windows 7 above Windows 10 in userbase, despite its age. By extending the offer, Microsoft lets more users upgrade easily, while still remaining strong on its deadline for non-assistive users.
It seems unlikely that the company will extend the deadline again, so make you take advantage of it. Extended support for Windows 7 ends in 2020, meaning no more updates and potentially an insecure system.