Microsoft was supposed to shut down the free Windows 10 upgrade path for Assistive Technology users on December 31, 2017. However, as we reported earlier this month, a loophole remains that allowed users to upgrade for free. Good things are not meant to last and today is the final cut-off for the upgrade.
When the loophole was first discovered, it was unclear why the upgrade offer was still available. Microsoft later clarified and said the Windows 10 free upgrade was extended to Jan. 16, 2018. That's today if you have not checked the calendar today.
“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.”
So, today is the end of the road for this well-trodden upgrade path. You still have a few hours to embrace the free upgrade if you want to move to Windows 10. After that, officially at least, the path will be closed.
Microsoft spent much of 2017 saying the free upgrade for Assistive Technology users would come to an end. The company put an official date on the closure in November. While the Dec. 31 date was extended, we would be surprised if the company extended the cut off again.
One of the most interesting aspects about this upgrade path was its accessibility to everyone. In a bizarre decision, Microsoft never asked for user verification during the upgrade. That means people who did not use assistive technology could use the free update. Microsoft never checked if the users needed the assistive tech features.
Windows 10 Assistive Technologies
Assistive Technologies on Windows 10 comes with some new features. One of them is a narrator, which allows users to navigate the platform without a screen. Narrator functions across Windows applications and the Microsoft Store.
Other abilities include audio description keyboard shortcuts, resized screen components, speech recognition, and more.