The Windows upgrade had been a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8 users until July 29th, 2016, at least for most people. Microsoft then started charging $119 for the Home Edition or $199 for the Pro Edition. For now, a backdoor has been left open, you can still get a no-cost upgrade to Windows 10. Read on and follow the link to a page for people who use assistive technologies.
You qualify for the free upgrade if you use assistive technologies. Assistive technologies, such as a magnifier to see the screen enlarged, a narrator to read the text in browsers or in a document aloud, keyboard shortcuts or an on-screen keyboard. Assistive technology provides additional accessibility to people who have physical or cognitive difficulties, impairments or disabilities.
Microsoft is still pushing for people to move to Windows 10, so why add a financial barrier? Who knows why Microsoft does things sometimes. Microsoft probably wanted a deadline to give that extra push to people who were on the fence. Personally, I think Windows 10 is far superior to Windows 7 or Windows 8 because it combines the best of both worlds with a speed boost and bug fixes as well.
Download the upgrade for no charge, thus the backdoor. Use the Windows 7 or 8 machine you want to upgrade. Go to the Microsoft web page called “Customers who use assistive technologies can upgrade to Windows 10 at no cost”. Click on the Upgrade Now button and then Run the executable file to install the upgrade.
Microsoft then displays a series of screens that take you step by step through the set-up process. Follow the screens to install Windows 10 on your device. One of the first screens does check to make sure your machine meets upgrade requirements. Some manufacturers may not have provided Windows 10 drivers for their Windows 7 and 8 machines. It is best to check the manufactures site to verify that your machine meets upgrade requirements.
The most common driver issues I have found were network drivers, which means you can loose internet connectivity. I suggest placing the drivers on a thumb drive or CD so that you can install them after the upgrade.
Microsoft does not actually ask you for proof that you are using assistive technologies, so let your conscience be your guide, though Microsoft hopes otherwise. Microsoft has stated that “…it is not intended to be a workaround for people who don’t use assistive technology and who missed the deadline for the free offer.” Personally, I have no qualms about using this backdoor as long as Microsoft continues to push hard for upgrading to Windows 10.