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PSA: Windows 10 Is Still Free For Those Who Use Assistive Technologies (theregister.co.uk) 91

BarbaraHudson writes: When is a deadline not a deadline? The Register is reporting that the Windows 10 upgrade is still free for 7/8.1 users. [Microsoft] had previously said that those who use assistive technologies would continue to be eligible after the July 29th deadline had passed, and I pointed out in a story last month that Microsoft hadn't figured out yet how they would be able to tell who would be eligible. Looks like they never did figure that one out. [The Register reports:] "Microsoft's year-long Windows 10 free upgrade offer ended over the weekend, but it's still possible to secure Redmond's finest -- even the new Anniversary Update -- for the low low price of 0.00 in whatever currency you prefer. The free upgrade is reserved for those who use assistive technologies, the many features that magnify text, offer text-to-speech or otherwise assist those who don't see or hear with the perfect acuity. But The Register browsed the site and found no checks before downloading. It looks like it's open to anyone."
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PSA: Windows 10 Is Still Free For Those Who Use Assistive Technologies

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  • Oh thanks guys (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Monday August 01, 2016 @08:28PM (#52625443) Journal

    Ever think about keeping your mouth shut?

    Now they're going to close the tap for sure...

    • Re:Oh thanks guys (Score:5, Interesting)

      by BarbaraHudson ( 3785311 ) <barbarahudson@gm ... om minus painter> on Monday August 01, 2016 @08:38PM (#52625491) Journal

      It looks like many of us suspected - the deadline was a "soft" one. It encouraged people who were on the fence to jump, bumping up the numbers. Can't really blame them, if they hadn't set an artificial deadline, people would just keep putting it off.

      If they had killer assistive tech without the data mining, I'd probably give it a whirl ... but when simple things like the screen magnifier give me nausea and don't close by hitting ESC but need you to either remember a keyboard shortcut or kill the process manually, I'm a bit leery. Especially since the screen reader doesn't work until you're logged in. Imagine a forced update that makes the machine not boot - no screen reader, what are you going to do except ask someone else for help? Forced updates are a deal-breaker for those using assistive technology.

      • Yeah, my "assistive technology" consists of a 32 inch, 1080 TV and a cell phone running VNC viewer, both not commonly considered assistive technology.
        • Yeah, my "assistive technology" consists of a 32 inch, 1080 TV and a cell phone running VNC viewer, both not commonly considered assistive technology.

          Lucky you. I can't even follow a hockey puck when standing a couple of feet from my 50" tv. Good thing I'm not a hockey fan.

      • Yup. As hard as they tried to push Windows 10 on us, it doesn't make sense that they would vigorously enforce the deadline - which, as you suggest, likely was only intended to create a sense of urgency. ("This offer is limited, so call now!") However, the "assistive" loophole seems unlikely to produce large numbers of additional installs. So, I'm still expecting them to come out with some sort of excuse like "Due to popular demand, we've decided to extend the deadline, yada, yada, yada."

      • by movdqa ( 1122661 )
        I'd guess that anyone over about 40 could have a valid claim for assistive technology given what happens to your vision as you age. Over 50 and you probably need tech like turning up the volume knob. I upgraded before the deadline so we're running Windows 10 just fine. BTW, my main system is running Mac OS X and Windows 7 - I have a few rarely used machines that I upgraded.
    • by CTU ( 1844100 )

      Oh darn now I can't get my free spywa....I mean free upgrade

      • Just work some firewall voodoo on your router, and you don't have to worry about spyware.

    • by Briareos ( 21163 )

      Ever think about keeping your mouth shut?

      Now they're going to close the tap for sure...

      On can only hope...

    • This is Windows literally adding insult to injury.
  • For those who can't find the link, it's beside the title.

    Also, I still haven't "upgraded" ...

    • Technically, except it has an odd hash-id: "?tduid=(3d0a9b914f4e1448707e8ed162c69bb7)(266696)(1503186)(skim33330X911647Xa68e5caea18d748c47809d1b2ce9d04b)()"
      The "reserve windows 10 [microsoft.com]" link without that, works perfectly fine - it would seem.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    If you didn't accept Microsoft's many attempts to install Windows 10 and didn't fall for the tricks, why would you willingly install it now? Why would you open yourself up to the advertising and spying? That's like building a wall around your country's border and then willingly allowing Muslims to enter. It just doesn't make any sense.

  • They're not trying very hard to make people pay for windows 10. From the free versions for OEMs making tablets to the insider program open to the public to the arrrrr me matey win 7 keys flipping into valid installs to this. When you think about it windows is still the only mainstream OS that costs money. OSX, *nix, Android, IOS are all free to the owners of the hardware. It's almost like microsoft wants to make windows free but the shareholders or someone higher up (bill gates maybe?) is against it happening across the board.

    • OSX & IOS are not free to owners of just any hardware, they're used to sell the underlying hardware.

      Android is the closest comparison to the new direction Microsoft appear to be taking, using market dominance to profit off user data.

    • by Dracos ( 107777 ) on Monday August 01, 2016 @09:18PM (#52625697)

      Their motivation has changed. They still want Enterprise to pay for it, but they want consumers to use it, thereby subjecting themselves to telemetry, data mining, and OS-level advertising. MS has decided that consumer data is worth more than consumer money. They're obsessed with users as a commodity now; that's why they bought Skype and LinkedIn. They don't care about those services, they want the users.

      The Win10 deadline came and went as almost everyone suspected, and with this change in consumer strategy they have zero incentive to raise the "price". I expect them to start moving up the non-enterprise end of life dates on previous versions instead. Win7 support ends in 2020? Not so fast, it's 2018. If you miss that deadline, pay $119 for the "safety and security" of Win10.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        they want people to use the appstore. they want that %%%% cash.

        what most people miss is that trying to figure out how to make people use the store and monitoring how much people user the store and what mouse click the interaction flow with the store stops is the reason for 98% of the tracking in win10. they think that tracking will provide them with some secret super insight into why people aren't using the windows appstore.

        enterprise they want to shell up a monthly cost. and to still use the store and sto

      • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Tuesday August 02, 2016 @12:49AM (#52626341) Homepage

        The Win10 deadline came and went as almost everyone suspected, and with this change in consumer strategy they have zero incentive to raise the "price". I expect them to start moving up the non-enterprise end of life dates on previous versions instead. Win7 support ends in 2020? Not so fast, it's 2018. If you miss that deadline, pay $119 for the "safety and security" of Win10.

        I'm sure we could get more unwanted nagware or telemetry "features" on Win7, but they've never messed with already promised support deadlines. That would make all their corporate/enterprise customers question the validity of their support guarantees, it'd be shooting themselves in the foot in a major way. And I really doubt Microsoft will try to collect money on upgrades, sure they had to put a deadline and try to scare people into upgrading now rather than later but I'm sure there will be loopholes and new rounds to "encourage" people to upgrade. Feels good to get a $119 upgrade for free if you're smart, right? Setting a ridiculously high sticker price and slashing it is the oldest salesman trick in the book.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          They are slowly breaking Windows 7 to "encourage" people to upgrade. New security patches seem to get barely an testing and often cripple performance of the thing they are fixing. Network performance in particular has taken a massive hit over the last year or two. 30 second delays opening network drives, incredibly slow VPNs. A fresh install of SP1 is fine, but after you install the hundreds of megs of updates...

          I'm worried 8.1 will go the same way. With a bit of luck the EU will force them to produce a goo

      • They can't shorten thise dates without incurring a lawsuit. For Windows 7 and Windows 8 they were established when the product was sold. If they tried to cut support off early they'd be in breach of contract.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    On the fence about what? I just cloned my HDD, did the downgrade to Windows 10, did the rollback, wiped the drive, then put the original back in.

    If Windows 10 ever becomes critical to run a game I care about or it becomes less of a train wreck, then I can still reinstall for free at that time.

  • going to test the older installer with a 7 key clean install.

    • by Dwedit ( 232252 )

      Installers with clean 7 keys never worked. You need to install 7, then perform an upgrade to migrate the key.

      • not the 1st installer but the 2th one does.

      • Then wipe and install 10 again with no key, then activate. The PC's reservation will stick and the online activation will work. (And yes, this officially sanctioned if that matters to you.)

        Just don't change any hardware between the wipe and reinstall of 10.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 01, 2016 @09:06PM (#52625637)

    it's still possible to secure Redmond's finest for the low low price of 0.00 in whatever currency you prefer

    Nice! So, free Xenix then? I didn't even know they were still supporting that any more.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Users are finding assistive technologies are being turned on automatically in older versions of Windows.

  • Considering all the trouble I went to in order to ENSURE that W10 didn't infect my 'doze box, this news is .... unhelpful.
    Now, if I can get WoT working under Linux and a video editor that doesn't make me want to scream and can afford, I'd be done with Microsoft.
    (Yes, I know about OpenShot. No, I don't want to change to it. Remember I said I didn't want to scream?)

  • In many parks, one can find evidence that dogs have been at large. Even though their leavings are available free of charge, I have no desire to take any home and put it on my computer.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I dunno man, at least the dog poo doesn't autoinstall yet more dog poop.

  • Hooray I called it!

    https://news.slashdot.org/comm... [slashdot.org]

    Ok, it wasn't particularly difficult to call, being that Microsoft told us pretty much every single thing ahead of time, per my link in that thread.

    I wonder what mandatory updates will have in store for the Windows boxes? One thing we know for sure is, someone will post a massive shell script that invokes binaries, diddlefucks services, and uses some third party tool to mitigate the impact to all the xbox OS PCs, and somehow that will be ok, because Windo

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The real question: Will the lock screen for the visually impaired end up containing text to speech ads?

  • by CptLoRes ( 4510239 ) on Tuesday August 02, 2016 @06:23AM (#52627127)
    Even if you pay for a Win10 license, you still get the Start menu ads, forced telemetry etc. I could kinda understand why when Win10 was for free, but how do they justify showing ads and not being able to disable Windows Store etc. when the user is on a payed for licenses?
  • OK, I understand that you dislike metric, but using Imperial (7/8) together with metric (8.1) is just plain silly.
    Use either one or the other!

  • This gives Microsoft a PR boost for sacrificing profits for the sake of users in need while taking steam out of piracy by giving a free upgrade to users who are realistically not going to pay. Someone in MS business department more than earned their salary.

  • REDMOND -- In what is sure to be judged by future historians to be a 'dick move' by Microsoft Corporation, the mega-corps' plans to fool, trick, and otherwise swindle the disabled into 'upgrading' to Windows 10 was revealed. "They don't know any better and generally don't have the mental awareness to realize the consequences of their actions.", says Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, speaking from his command and control lair located under Mt. St. Helens, "They're prime candidates to become part of the ever-growi

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