Windows 10 free update offer officially ended last year, with Microsoft shutting the download scheme on July 29 2016.
Despite this, there remained a number ways for PC users to secure a Windows 10 free download.
One of those ways was the assistive technology route, which previously had no end date.
However, that’s all changed now – with Microsoft stopping these Windows 10 free downloads at the end of the year.
The assistive technology site has now been updated to say: “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 December 31, 2017.”
There is potentially a wide umbrella of people who qualify for the Windows 10 assistive technology scheme.
According to LifeHacker, if you use assistive features like the Magnifier, dictate writing in documents using speech recognition or use Cortana you’re eligible.
So if you qualify, you still have plenty of time to upgrade for free to the latest version of Microsoft’s flagship OS.
Alternatively, there is another route available to those who have yet to upgrade to Windows 10.
You can still get a free Windows 10 upgrade if you have a valid Windows 7 or Windows 8 product key to enter into the Windows 10 installer.
This is an unofficial route that Microsoft has never acknowledged or talked about, and it’s surprising the option is still available to user.
Thurrott.com recently tested to see if an unused Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 product key can still be used to install Windows 10.
And more than two years after Microsoft first enabled the feature, it’s still active.
Thurrott went through step-by-step how to update to Windows 10 using the product key option.
Firstly, you need to download the Windows 10 Setup media which always provides the latest version of the Microsoft OS.
At the moment, this will be Windows 10 version 1709 – or what is more commonly known as the recently released Fall Creators Update.
You will then be able to perform a clean install of the OS of any PC, and then you just have to activate it.
To do this, you can enter an unused retail Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 product key.
It’s surprising this Windows 10 free upgrade route remains open, so it wouldn’t come as a shock if Microsoft do decide to disable it soon.
Despite being available for more than two years, Windows 10 still isn’t the most popular version of the Microsoft OS.
Windows 10 currently holds a 29.26 per cent of the operating system market share, according to NetMarketShare.com.
However, this means it’s only the second most popular version of Windows.
The most popular version of the Microsoft operating system, and the most popular OS in general, is Windows 7 – first released in 2009.
For the huge amount of PC owners using an earlier version of Windows, they were recently given a stark warning as to why they need to upgrade as soon as possible.
It’s been revealed Microsoft has been patching out security bugs in Windows 10 but NOT immediately rolling those out to Windows 7 and 8 users.
This lag in updates leaves potentially hundreds of millions computers at risk of an attack.
The exploits that hackers and malware are taking advantage of is being fixed in the big Windows 10 releases.
However, this is only slowly filtering back to Windows 7 and 8 in the form of monthly software updates.
The news was revealed by researchers on Google’s Project Zero team.
It’s feared cybercriminals comparing the various builds of Windows will notice these holes in earlier versions of Windows and take advantage of it.
Google Project Zero researcher Mateusz Jurczyk said: “Microsoft is known for introducing a number of structural security improvements and sometimes even ordinary bug fixes only to the most recent Windows platform.
“This creates a false sense of security for users of the older systems, and leaves them vulnerable to software flaws which can be detected merely by spotting subtle changes in the corresponding code in different versions of Windows.”
Published at Wed, 08 Nov 2017 16:48:00 +0000