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Microsoft Operating Systems

Microsoft Quietly Announces End of Last Free Windows 10 Upgrade Offer (zdnet.com) 147

Ed Bott, writing for ZDNet: If you've been waiting to claim your free Windows 10 upgrade using the "assistive technologies" exception, you need to act soon. In a quiet change to an obscure web page, Microsoft announced this week that those exceptions will end on December 31, 2017. On July 29, 2016, Microsoft officially ended the Get Windows 10 program, which offered free Windows 10 upgrades to anyone currently running a supported earlier version of Windows. But the company left a giant loophole in a separate announcement at the same time. Under the terms of that announcement, individuals who use "assistive technologies" received an automatic extension of the free upgrade offer. Sometime in the past week, Microsoft quietly edited that page, to add "The accessibility upgrade offer expires on December 31, 2017."
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Microsoft Quietly Announces End of Last Free Windows 10 Upgrade Offer

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  • by DanDD ( 1857066 )

    .. thank you.

    • I will take note if I see an angry post with your ID calling MICROSOFT EVIL FORCING ME TO UPGRADE in 2020. It is only 2 1/2 years away.

      I see people mad at Microsoft for offering free upgrades and features and this doesn't make any sense. I can understand if what you have works fine and you do not want to upgrade right now, but it is negligent if it is free to not consider doing it unless you plan on dumping your system for a newer one or use Linux in the next 2 years.

      • I see people mad at Microsoft for offering free upgrades and features and this doesn't make any sense.

        Windows 10 is adware/spyware. I would rather pay to be a customer than get something for nothing and be treated like crap.

        I can understand if what you have works fine and you do not want to upgrade right now, but it is negligent if it is free to not consider doing it unless you plan on dumping your system for a newer one or use Linux in the next 2 years.

        Two years of not being a beta tester / guinea pig seems smart to me even for those who plan on eventually downgrading to Windows 10 stalker edition. It isn't as if anyone is missing out on anything useful by not downgrading.

        • I see people mad at Microsoft for offering free upgrades and features and this doesn't make any sense.

          Windows 10 is adware/spyware. I would rather pay to be a customer than get something for nothing and be treated like crap.

          I can understand if what you have works fine and you do not want to upgrade right now, but it is negligent if it is free to not consider doing it unless you plan on dumping your system for a newer one or use Linux in the next 2 years.

          Two years of not being a beta tester / guinea pig seems smart to me even for those who plan on eventually downgrading to Windows 10 stalker edition. It isn't as if anyone is missing out on anything useful by not downgrading.

          Yawn. FYI I bet you own a smart phone and use Chrome am I correct? Do you have updates that are less than 3 years old on your Windows 7 system? If you answer yes to any of these guess what? MS already has telemetry data anyway. I am not saying this is ok, but rather it is what it is and the data is not a keylogger.

          It just says hey if you send a request via Cortana to Bing that data will be sent to us etc. I have telemetry on other products too as I like bug fixes. I can tell you Microsoft doesn't have all s

  • If I turn on assistive tech in my win 7 install, and go to DL win 10, I'll be able to install it and it will work?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      No, you really don't have to do anything "assistive", it's just that Microsoft has left the door open because they promised to keep it open longer for people who actually need assistive technology.

      You just need to go to Microsoft's site and download Win 10. Details here [extremetech.com]

    • Yes. As I understand even right now the only way you can get it for free is to turn it on with assistance. I could be wrong, but I have not heard about the free offers in awhile.

      It is wise to do it then revert back to 7 at least so your motherboard keys are saved in Microsoft's servers. This is what I did and I gradually switched to Windows 10 pro when it was ready and stable enough and I had a reason to do so. You just use the free download media creation tool and select "I don't have a key" and it will ph

      • by kriston ( 7886 )

        You don't need to turn anything on. You just download the installer from the web site.

      • It is wise to do it then revert back to 7 at least so your motherboard keys are saved in Microsoft's servers.

        This is wise advise, do this. Just get your machine 'registered' so Win10 license is stuck to it forever, then install whatever, can always go back, no cd keys ever needed.

      • Nothing's needed really. A few week ago, I updated a Windows 7 system to Windows 10. The initial "free" offer was never accepted (at the time, everything available to disable the upgrade from even installing were used). Just got to the page to download the installer, it ran some checks and proceeded with installing and activating Windows 10.
        I'm not sure there's even a reason for microsoft to disable this path. Upgrading older systems to Windows 10 means more computer with it installed, and most people tha
    • If I turn on assistive tech in my win 7 install, and go to DL win 10, I'll be able to install it and it will work?

      Na, it's an 'on your honor' type offer. Just go to the correct webpage to get it. You're supposed to be a person needing assistive technologies, but there's no verification.

  • Watch their sales numbers plummet. :-)
    Where is your 'adoption rate' now, Miscreant-o-soft?
    • Watch their sales numbers plummet. :-)

      Where is your 'adoption rate' now, Miscreant-o-soft?

      Come on, how many end-users actually buy a copy of Windows? Microsoft has never made money off end-users. It's the big OEMs that buy bulk licenses to distribute Windows with new PC, that's where M$'s cash comes from. Probably other places too, but definitely not end-user sales of Windows licenses.

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Friday November 03, 2017 @01:18PM (#55484583)
    I've been popping unopened copies of Windows 7 into machines and upgrading them seamlessly to Windows 10 (usually within 24 hours of original install) for the last year without needing any "assistive technology" tricks. Has anyone actually run into any "you must pay to upgrade" or other barriers since the "free for all" Windows 7 allegedly ended?
    • You can use a windows 7 key to install Windows 10. Now this is something they may disable after this 'free upgrade' period ends, but I've found it very convenient when reinstalling on client machines.
      • just save the old installer ISO and at very least it will still install same thing for systems with windows 8 bios keys

    • I've been popping unopened copies of Windows 7 into machines and upgrading them seamlessly to Windows 10 (usually within 24 hours of original install) for the last year without needing any "assistive technology" tricks. Has anyone actually run into any "you must pay to upgrade" or other barriers since the "free for all" Windows 7 allegedly ended?

      It's true, for a good long while after their free upgrade officially ended, Win7 keys were still activating Win10 without issue. But that's stopped, a few months ago, now you get a message that you no longer qualify for a free upgrade. That ship sailed, I'm afraid.

  • by PPH ( 736903 )

    ... I suffer from a disability which causes me to miss deadlines.

  • I actually wish I could upgrade my wife's laptop to Windows 10 (as weird as that sounds). For over a year now, she's had a problem where her computer says it needs to reboot to finish installing a Windows update. If we reboot, it reports that it needs to reboot to finish installing a Windows update. Nowhere does it say which update this is and no amount of reboots clear this up. I can't even manually run Windows Update because that - surprise, surprise - tells me to reboot to finish an installation before i

    • You can try making a Windows 10 recovery disk on another system that should be able to finish things up.
    • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
      I've had machines locked in this process where they don't actually seem to be installing updates. I fixed it by using an offline updater, this one to be exact; http://www.wsusoffline.net/ [wsusoffline.net]
    • Have you tried a third party Windows Update program? I have used wsusoffline a few times for machines that don't like to do the regular Windows Update for some reason. At least once, it fixed a situation similar to yours.

      It's up to you to trust it, but it works for me. http://www.wsusoffline.net/ [wsusoffline.net]

      • Thanks. I'll give it a try.

      • I had problems with WSUSOffline creating bSOD on systems. If update is erroring out he likely has corruption that needs to be repaired and cleaned out by running the Windows Update troubleshooter and maybe doing a SFC /Scannow for a repair

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Friday November 03, 2017 @01:50PM (#55484819)

      I don't want to wipe her system, but a year of searching hasn't uncovered any way to fix this issue. If I could upgrade her to Windows 10, maybe it would break her computer out of the endless reboot cycle.

      Sounds like the problem is your own stubbornness. After an entire year of searching for a solution you have expended many, many times more effort than if you had just backed up the documents and reformatted the machine -- which I suspect is what you will have to do in the end anyway.

      • Honestly, it wasn't a full year of actively trying to fix the issue. It was a few days of actual work followed by a year of her pressing "remind me in 4 hours" to delay reboots and me occasionally searching Google for additional options that I hadn't tried yet.

      • It probably did try to upgrade and failed. I just ran into this today. Open the registry and delete the 'Rollback' key from HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\OSUpgrade, reboot, and try getting an update. That actually worked for me, after rebooting, WU worked normally.

    • Hit the Windows Key and type in "Troubleshoot". The Troubleshooting utility can fix problems with Windows Update. Give that a try?

    • There is a directory and registry key that tracks the update install process. They need blown away. Just google around. It isn't that difficult to fix.

  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Friday November 03, 2017 @01:31PM (#55484697)
    Windows 10 is still looking like a "has run" in the OS landscape. It is beginning to look as if the only way the marketshare will be increasing is through the forced bundling with new PC and corporate upgrades due to support issues with older versions, and not because Windows 10 is actually wanted.
    • I run windows 7 in a VM for things that require it. Have Windows 10 in a bootable partition I upgraded to test it...it's more resource pig and UI sucks. Microsoft should just go back to the UI that has 25+ years of maturity behind it.

      • I run windows 7 in a VM for things that require it. Have Windows 10 in a bootable partition I upgraded to test it...it's more resource pig and UI sucks. Microsoft should just go back to the UI that has 25+ years of maturity behind it.

        Funny both Windows 8 and 10 are lightning fast and boot within seconds on my home built computer vs 7. I did turn off CSM (bios emulation) and use pure EFI for fastboot. On an SSD Windows 10 is lighter and uses less battery power.

        MS removed millions of line of code starting with 7 and continued to do so until 8.1 to make things faster and more power efficient. How, does the UI suck other than it looks funny?

        • you're confused, fast boot time means nothing when it ends with an OS running a bogged down machine. my ol' Dell Optiplex 980 notices bloat.

          A UI with nondiscoverable controls is garbage, which is what windows 8 and up have. My PC isn't a giant cell phone (and we know how well a cell phone UI microsoft made, the market doesn't lie)

        • by Anonymous Coward

          The only improvements in the UI over Win 7 are for HiDPI and touchscreens. The taskbar for multiple displays is a slight improvement too. Edge is arguably a good browser. The Linux subsystem is interesting.

          Windows Consumer Experience, anti-privacy features, the lack of contrast in raised vs lowered windows, the lack of corners to grab for window resizing, the explorer window is a mash of different UI concepts, the configuration menus are decades of not-invented-here half-assed redesigns abandoned with

          • The only improvements in the UI over Win 7 are for HiDPI and touchscreens. The taskbar for multiple displays is a slight improvement too. Edge is arguably a good browser. The Linux subsystem is interesting.

            Windows Consumer Experience, anti-privacy features, the lack of contrast in raised vs lowered windows, the lack of corners to grab for window resizing, the explorer window is a mash of different UI concepts, the configuration menus are decades of not-invented-here half-assed redesigns abandoned with intermediate versions of Windows.

            There are lots of other features... but they're not improvements. It's mostly awkward decay from what was a pretty good UI years ago.

            Win7 modernized XP, which was desparately needed (64 bit, proper access controls, security features). 10 does similar to 7, but only for HiDPI, touch, but comes at a price. Hopefully whatever follows 10 will be a bit less crap.

            You can turn some of the consumer experience off now when you do a fresh install and I always enable "add colors to title bars and start menu" I HATE the white, but you can turn it off very easily. I have dark blue title and start menu on my system.

            Windows 10 offers Hyper-V which is a godsend for IT professionals which no one really talks about as I have Ubuntu and FreeBSD vms for real work besides the WSL Linux subsystem. I have a love hate relationship with VMWare Workstaiton which is on life support afte

    • Aren't PC sales pretty flat now that they're just commodities? Windows 7 worked well enough, and the newer OSs don't really allow you to do anything you couldn't before, so no reason to pay money to upgrade.
      • EOL is just 2 1/2 years away.

        If you have an UEFI firmware it supportes extra partitions for recovery. If I were you I would do the free upgrade this weekend and then when it is done go into device settings -> (gear icon in start menu) -> recovery back to Windows 7.

        Now you are back on 7 but have your keys saved at Microsoft so if you DO need to upgrade 2 years from now you have a free license. :-)

        That is what I did as 10 was unstable in 2015. I upgraded last year with the free media creation download t

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        Windows 7 worked well enough

        Past tense. What do you plan on doing in January 2020 (2 years and 2 months from now) once security updates for Windows 7 cease to be produced?

    • Agreed. One of those methods being to ensure that Windows 7 won't be supported with new processors. I have a strong suspicion that Neverware and chrome devices are going to become much more popular, or at least, as far as I'm concerned.
      • Agreed. One of those methods being to ensure that Windows 7 won't be supported with new processors. I have a strong suspicion that Neverware and chrome devices are going to become much more popular, or at least, as far as I'm concerned.

        Google drops devices after 2 years. Microsoft gives you 10 years. That would be illogical unless they are very cheap disposable devices.

      • ...One of those methods being to ensure that Windows 7 won't be supported with new processors. ...

        And that is just the opening salvo with Windows. You have to know that Microsoft is not going to be getting more lax in that area. imo, the Windows subscription model is coming, and coming sooner than later.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Windows 10 is still looking like a "has run" in the OS landscape. It is beginning to look as if the only way the marketshare will be increasing is through the forced bundling with new PC and corporate upgrades due to support issues with older versions, and not because Windows 10 is actually wanted.

      It could have been a Vista "has run" if there would be a Win11, but since almost nobody is actually migrating away from Windows I think the Microsoft term is "success". StatCounter has Windows at a quite stable 83% desktop OS share, it's about to pass Win7 (43% vs 41% at the moment) and on Steam it's 96% Windows with Win10 on top. The enterprise market and other conservative organizations will eventually switch as the EOL date approaches, even if they lose marginally to Apple and Linux or see a bit of post-

      • Microsoft has essentially seized all control over updates, upgrades, settings, telemetry, advertisements and will reset your preferences at will without losing any significant portion of their customers, how's that not a smashing success for Microsoft?

        In my opinion there is a danger in simply thinking in terms of market share.

        What percentage of customers jumping ship is sufficient to fund development of competitive alternatives standing an ever increasing likelihood of at eating away at Microsoft's default position? We are in an era of maturing technology and diminishing returns with respect to value gained per input unit of human labor.

        I expect that once the Win7 EOL is over the frog will begin to boil for real, it's almost so I want to buy Microsoft stock because I think they'll make bank gouging their captive audience. No more passive resistance by not upgrading, it's now one Windows and you're along for the ride whether you want to or not.

        Perhaps. Perhaps they end up creating a vacuum in the market that gets filled with something that leads to their undo

    • Outside of slashdot it is not a bust. Steam says so otherwise as corporate markets react slower. Corporate upgrades are starting as you read this with new images and deployments and testing. Not everyone wants a repeat of 2014 when their XP machines suddenly became ghosted.

    • and not because Windows 10 is actually wanted

      What version of an OS was actually wanted? These aren't iPhones, or Androids where new version brings some fundamental functionality. Windows ultimately even with major version jumps are incredibly minor feature improvements over their predecessor on a platform open enough that any problem you have was likely already resolved by a 3rd party program you installed.

      People don't get excited about basic UI, or some incremental changes unless there's something fundamentally missing in the previous system. Mobile

  • by Anonymous Coward

    By getting rid of free upgrades, there will be a large amount of people stuck on 7 and XP. since Microsoft refuses to support past 2020 and 2014.Microsoft should do the right thing on January 14, 2020 and give anyone still on 7 and XP a free upgrade to 10 otherwise the internet will have more wannacrys, petyas and code reds.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm running Linux Mint now... Will never install windows 10. Linux does everything I want it to and is quiet fast. Goodbye Microsoft.

    -Full time C# .net developer used to love windows before the current CEO....

  • You had years to upgrade and plan and unlike XP MS gave you a free way out for over 2 years. You can easily revert back to 7 if you do not like 10 with the recovery tools on an EFI system.

    You can do it this weekend and then in 2019 you can upgrade without a key as MS will have your motherboard ID registered so it is 100% free to upgrade.

    I do not see Apple or Google offering free support and upgrades for 10 years on devices.

    • "I do not see Apple or Google offering free support and upgrades for 10 years on devices."

      Just because some frickin' felon doesn't charge money for hanging up his bag of dogshit on the tree in my front yard every so often, that doesn't mean I'm getting a bargain.

  • windows 10 is a terrible operating system it is basically spamware, i wiped it off and put the only operating system on that matters to me, Linux!!!

    so what does microsoft expect, people to buy their operating system and be spammed to buy more services, microsoft does not want customers they want cash cows
    • i think i must have answered "no" to the "do you want spamware?" question when i installed it, because i never see any ads. the only thing i get notified about is when security updates are ready to be installed.

      • the Home or Pro version???

        its not that i hate windows, i just find win_10 personal to be annoying, i heard the Pro version gives the user more control over what the OS and i could tolerate that.
  • I have a real issue with Microsoft calling this an "upgrade". Truth in advertising?

  • The decision was taken after it came to light that only the single-celled organisms and some species of house-cat have managed to avoid forced update/not chosen to upgrade for free.

  • I couldn't care less. When I saw the abomination of an OS called W8 I said to myself "It's over with Microsoft for me." Since then I've been running Debian and being a really happy camper watching the game they play with masses of people from the side. It's funny once you get away from it and watch from the side. You should all try that. I also have a Debian 9 live DVD with me at all times to demonstrate to people how a real OS works. What Windows 10?! It's a ridiculous garbage of an OS made to annoy users
  • Here is the link to download the installer:

    Customers who use assistive technologies can upgrade to Windows 10 at no cost: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/accessibility/windows10upgrade [microsoft.com]

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