Windows 10 “Free Upgrade Program” meant for computers running Windows 7 or 8 might have ended long back on July 29, but surprisingly, there are a few tricks that older Operating System (OS) users can still use to safely and legally update their PCs to the latest offering from Microsoft.
Microsoft was to officially terminate the Windows 10 free upgrade program on July 29, and it did. July 29 was supposed to be the last date any PC user still holding onto their Windows 7 or 8 OS could make the jump to Windows 10. However, as expected, millions of users chose to unwaveringly stay loyal to their officially discontinued OS after reading several reports of unexpected behavior by the computers that were updated to Windows 10 or other stories that aimed to scare people into continuing with their old OS.
Although July 29 may have come and gone, and with the number of PCs running Windows 10 continuing to gradually rise, there are millions of computers that still run Windows 7 and thousands that run Windows 8.
With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update promising to do away with alleged random crashes, freezes, misbehaviors, and other unacceptable performance from a PC, the OS appears to be a reliable upgrade and a safe bet as compared to the situation just a few months back. Microsoft claims there are 400 million devices that actively run on Windows 10. However, there are still a lot of Windows 7 and 8 PCs chugging along out there.
For those who wished to upgrade but weren’t sure or couldn’t get around to hitting that upgrade button back when they had the chance, there are still a number of ways to secure a free Windows 10 upgrade, reported TechSpot. It isn’t clear why the Redmond-based company hasn’t clamped down on these legal “loopholes” even months after the free upgrade offer formally ended. However, for those who wish to jump the fence and join the Windows 10 revolution, here are a couple of the ways you can grab a free Windows 10 upgrade even in the New Year.
Assistive Technologies Offer
Microsoft continues to offer free Windows 10 upgrades to those who use assistive technologies. These nifty programs, including screen narrator or magnifier, are great tools for those who have physical or cognitive difficulties, impairments, and disabilities. While this offer is technically restricted to people who rely on assistive technologies, practically anyone can opt to upgrade their PC to Windows 10 through this route.
Simply head to Microsoft’s accessibility website and download the program that’s listed on their upgrade page. After successful installing the program, head over to Windows 10 Upgrade and install your free Windows 10 update.
This technique is possible because Microsoft isn’t really checking to see whether you are actually using these assistive tools. Although Microsoft has posted an ominous warning that it will make “a public announcement prior to ending the offer,” so far the path remains open and accessible to all.
Windows 7 or 8.1 “Key”
Interestingly, back when the free upgrade offer was still on the table, Microsoft had promised that any user using legitimate Windows 7 or 8.1 could opt to update to Windows 10. This method relied on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 product keys. Anyone wishing to update could simply enter their legitimately procured keys into the Windows 10 installer or later in the operating system to get an officially licensed Windows 10 OS without shelling out any more money.
Interestingly, this activation method for Windows 10 is still wide open. PC users who do not have a legitimate key can easily buy one from online shopping portals for as little as $30. While this method is not completely free, it is still much cheaper than Windows 10’s sticker price.
It is not clear why Microsoft, despite being aware of these loopholes, is allowing people to update their Windows 7 and 8 machines to Windows 10. Experts, however, suggest Microsoft is more concerned about getting people to adopt Windows 10. Many speculate the company could be quietly figuring out ways to get users to indirectly pay for a license in the long run. Moreover, many new PCs come pre-loaded with Windows 10, and buyers do end up paying for the license.
[Featured Image by Craig Barritt/Getty Images]