Windows 10 Upgrades
In my estimation Microsoft has been quite generous with its free upgrade to Windows 10. Windows 10 was released to the public in July 2015 and Microsoft offered a free upgrade for one year after that to anyone who had a valid product key for versions 7/8.x. That option officially expired in July the following year, but still worked for some time after that. Heck, for all I know it still works.
UPDATE: Paul Thurrott confirms in Windows Weekly that it still works as of November, 2, 2017.
There was an additional way of getting a free copy of Windows 10 and that was if you were using any form of Assistive Technology. Even using a screen reader would qualify you for the upgrade at no charge. Microsoft, to my knowledge, has never challenged anyone trying to use this method of attaining a free upgrade. This is all about to come to an abrupt end very soon.
After that date, customers will have to pay the full license fee– Windows 10 Pro OEM System Builder (32/64 bit) – $147.55 ($99.00 with Prime) at Amazon (USD) as of this writing.
The Gray Area
Some may argue that it is unscrupulous to take advantage of the loophole by saying that you use Assistive Technology when you actually don’t need it. Others may contend that since they used the magnifying glass a couple of times that they most certainly do qualify. Personally, I’m on the fence. Yes, it is questionable behavior if you’re a purist, and on the other hand, Microsoft is well-aware of these actions and doesn’t seem to mind. They could have easily put a stop to it long ago if that was their desire. Well, I guess that’s their desire now.
One point to remember is that Microsoft benefits greatly by drawing in as many Windows 10 users as possible. It lowers the problems they incur by having to support past operating systems. They aren’t doing this simply because they are nice; there are business benefits to consider. And they carry some big sticks, too. AMD has decided not to support Windows 7 systems with their new Ryzen chips– the writing is on the wall. That could give many people incentive to move on… and they should… it’s time.
So, how do you feel about the “gray area”, and are you finally going to upgrade to Windows 10 for free? Let us know in the comments,