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Microsoft Windows

Microsoft: Windows 10 Will Remain Free For People With Accessibility Needs (betanews.com) 78

Reader Mark Wilson writes: The free ride is coming to an end. Windows 10 was always going to be free for the first year after release, and this year is up on 29 July. There are, of course, still ways to get your hands on Windows 10 for free beyond this date. One way is to buy a new PC with Windows 10 installed, although not many people would regard this as a free upgrade. But Microsoft has also confirmed that people with accessibility needs will still be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free after the deadline. Writing on its Accessibility Blog, Microsoft points out that the 29 July cut-off point does not apply to people with accessibility needs.From Microsoft's blog post: As you may have heard, the free Windows 10 upgrade offer for customers running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 is set to end on July 29, but we want to clarify that that deadline will not apply to customers who use assistive technologies. We are continuing to deliver on our previously-shared vision for accessibility for Windows 10 and we are committed to ensuring that users of assistive technologies have the opportunity to upgrade to Windows 10 for free as we do so.
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Microsoft: Windows 10 Will Remain Free For People With Accessibility Needs

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  • Glad to see they will still allow those who were unable to correctly click the update now button another chance!

  • Wouldn't anyone using Windows 10 be considered as having accessibility needs?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Does this mean the forced-upgrades arms race will finally come to an end?

    • by Qzukk ( 229616 )

      No. Starting July 29th, Microsoft will assume that anyone not on Windows 10 is blind and therefore could not see the "upgrade now" popup. As a service to the blind community they will provide all of them with an automatic free upgrade to Windows 10.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Will this mean the end of the stupid forced, fuck-you-user, upgrades then?

    • by dmoen ( 88623 )

      Nah. Your machine will still be forced to upgrade, but after reboot, the machine won't operate until you enter a valid credit card number.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Windows 10 upgrade is NOT free. This is just basic economics. It requires that you trade in a license of win 7, 8, 8.1, which means that the upgrade costs you the current market value of the OS you are trading. If a Win 7 Pro license currently sells for $50, then upgrading to Win10 costs you $50, even though no money leaves your bank account. If you went into a car dealership and traded in your old car for a newer car of equal value, the dealer did NOT give you a free car. You paid for it with your old

    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

      It requires that you trade in a license of win 7, 8, 8.1, which means that the upgrade costs you the current market value of the OS you are trading. If a Win 7 Pro license currently sells for $50, then upgrading to Win10 costs you $50, even though no money leaves your bank account.

      Wrong. It doesn't matter what a new copy of Win 7 costs, it's what you could get for your own copy of Win 7. If you could sell your copy of Win 7 for $50 then the upgrade has a(n) (opportunity) cost of $50. Now, it looks like depending on your situation it is legal to resell a Win 7 license, but with new copies going for $50 or less, a used key would probably net you $25-30 at best. But in the end, the upgrade did not cost you money. It simply cost you the opportunity to make (very little) money. You

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ( 4475953 )

      That's one reason why the upgrade is not free. Another reason is that you will loose many hours if not many days in productivity by botched upgrades, newly introduced bugs, features like advertisements or Cortana that slow down your PC and make you less productive, forced OS updates that come at the wrong time, and so on.

      Additionally, you will likely loose the equivalent of a 30% price increase with every application purchased from the Windows store, since professional developers have to take into account t

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      If you want proof that Windows 10 is not free: try to upgrade a computer that is still running Windows XP.

      And yes, for those who like to nitpick arguments to death, that computer is more than capable of running Windows 10. It's called a custom build.

  • by The-Ixian ( 168184 ) on Monday May 09, 2016 @09:12AM (#52075211)

    Does this imply a specific build of Windows 10 that has accessibility options permanently enabled? That would seem unlikely unless it just enforces 1 option to be active at all times.

    I am guessing if that were the case, the "hold ctrl to find the mouse cursor" option would not count...

    The solution would have to be automated though, right? I mean, MS isn't going to make a huge amount of work for themselves by verifying doctor's notes or something like that...

    Interested to see how this will work and how long it lasts (since it seems like a pretty easy system to "game").

    Perhaps MS is just creating a glaring loophole and giving everyone a "wink and a nod" to allow them charge for Windows 10 at the same time as making it "free" for anyone who wants it...

    • by wren337 ( 182018 )
      Except for businesses. A business, or most businesses, won't go for the "wink and a nod" upgrade. So this gives them the home users that they want, so they can stop maintaining old versions, and forces business to pay for upgrades if they want to wait.
    • by ezelkow1 ( 693205 ) on Monday May 09, 2016 @09:50AM (#52075523)

      I dont think they are really leaving a loophole, its because they dont want to have to backport features. There are a huge amount of accessibility requirements that came down from the FCC for all manner of electronics and software that has to be implemented by the end of this year (thats why there have been multiple accessibility articles as of late, companies using this for free good press as they push out their solutions). So Im guessing MS does not want to have to backport features to win7/8/etc to keep those who need them happy and would rather they just upgrade for free

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      Perhaps MS is just creating a glaring loophole and giving everyone a "wink and a nod" to allow them charge for Windows 10 at the same time as making it "free" for anyone who wants it...

      Why am I getting the mental image of a pig-faced prostitute with too much makeup, that nobody wants to bang, winking and and nodding from a street corner.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Good news everyone! Downgrading your OEM install of Windows 10 Professional to Windows 8 Professional or Windows 7 Professional/Ultimate is still free! And will still be free after 29 July 2016.

    https://www.microsoft.com/oem/en/licensing/sblicensing/Pages/what_to_do_downgrade_rights.aspx [microsoft.com]

    https://www.microsoft.com/OEM/en/licensing/sblicensing/Pages/downgrade_rights.aspx [microsoft.com]

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by StormReaver ( 59959 )

      Good news everyone! Upgrading your OEM install of Windows 10 Professional or Windows 8 Professional to Windows 7 Professional/Ultimate is still free! And will still be free after 29 July 2016.

      There, fixed that for you.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      does this mean that if i upgraded my win7 to win10, I can downgrade to 8.1?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Your product key won't work for 8.1 once Microsoft "flags" it as being upgraded from 7 to 10. You will, however, be able to freely downgrade to 7 again (I would imagine they leave that alone for machine rebuilds from the original source media).

  • "Bear trap will close when your leg is inactive for a period of time."

    • by rossdee ( 243626 )

      "Bear trap will close when your leg is inactive for a period of time."

      Of course the leg may be damaged, but thats ok, its the bear arms that are valuable

  • by evolutionary ( 933064 ) on Monday May 09, 2016 @09:22AM (#52075317)
    So, does this mean MS will stop trying to force feed that bloated piece of spyware now? (do any of us really think that is likely to happen...). Now they are trying to look cool be saying people with disabilities get added consideration? I smell tax credit somewhere...(I'm no tax lawyer but it smell like they benefit from this financial on top of all the data they intrusively collect and the ability to turn on/off features as they see fit...gee sounds like the iphone..)
    • So, does this mean MS will stop trying to force feed that bloated piece of spyware now?

      Does it also mean that they will remove that copy of W10 that they installed on my Windows 7 setup?

  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Monday May 09, 2016 @10:01AM (#52075599)

    Forget all the "Windows 10 is spyware" stuff for a second; the interesting thing to watch is the tactics they're using. In my opinion they're pursuing a good strategy (for them) but it's going to really anger most "prosumer" users and smaller business users.

    The interesting thing about Windows 10 is that it's not a "free upgrade," it never was "free," The consumer versions (Home and Pro) of Windows 10 use data mining to pay the bills with Web 3.0 bubble money. From an IT perspective, the only option these days is Enterprise if you want full control over the machine. You only get Enterprise if you sign a Software Assurance agreement, meaning you basically are paying on an ongoing basis for the OS. The big difference is with Windows 7 and 8, small to medium shops would usually just re-use the Professional license that the OEM obtained when they built the PC, without having to re-license it, because the Professional version gave enough control over the computer. With Windows 10, you can't disable the Store or the telemetry on anything except the Enterprise version, nor can you access the Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) which is the closest thing you can get to the old RTM + Service Pack update cadence.

    Honestly, it's just semantics. Since it's still a "product," Microsoft still needs to tout a free upgrade as the stepping stone from the previous OS versions. They're just taking a one-time revenue hit pulling everyone up onto the same version of the operating system much the same way Apple has been trying to do. In return, they get all the "grandma PCs" running ancient versions of Windows out of the ecosystem and can redeploy all those development resources doing legacy stuff to the new versions. Windows 8 is basically in the coffin, and Windows 7's end-of-support date is constantly being moved up in such a way that they don't violate any promises, but they do make it hard to deploy new copies of it. In reality they're going to be offering whatever channels they can for free upgrades to Windows 10; there's no upside for them not to at this point.

  • by Holi ( 250190 )
    Window 10 will remain free until you are all assimilated. Resistance is futile.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Win10 is hard enough to use as a non-disabled person.

  • Oh, I'm a retard, and I'm okay,
      I sleep all night and I work all day.

    CHORUS: He's a retard, and he's okay,
      He sleeps all night and he works all day. ....

    now free retardation with your acceptance of win10 EULA

  • Now I can get back to using Windows 7 without wondering every day whether MS has tried to backdoor Windows 10 onto my machine.

  • Paid operating systems are unethical at any price. Do we really want a software corporation deciding who is more deserving of cost reduction.

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