Microsoft ending last free Windows 10 upgrade offer in December

Myerson Windows 10
Myerson Windows 10 (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Alongside the launch of Windows 10 in 2015, Microsoft also ran a promotion offering free upgrades to the new OS for a year. That program officially ended in July of 2016, but free upgrades have remained available through an exception for Windows 10 users who take advantage of "assistive technologies." Microsoft is now gearing up to end this exception by the end of the year.

In a quiet update to the upgrade page (opens in new tab) for assistive technology users, Microsoft clarified that the offer will now expire on December 31, 2017 (via ZDNet).

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.

The upgrade offer doesn't require a verification that you use assistive technologies of any sort, so it also serves as a sort of loophole for anyone to still secure a free upgrade. That said, Microsoft probably isn't turning its nose up at securing more market share for Windows 10. After the end of the year, you'll have to shell out $119.99 (opens in new tab) to get your hands on a copy of Windows 10 Home, with other editions running even higher.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • I have utilized this opportunity many, many times. It will be sorely missed.
  • There are genuine cases of handicapable people using this route to upgrade, the reason why Microsoft doesn't have any verification steps it is because they would need to verify so many things and at a certain point it will become a gross invasion of privacy. Impossing such stress to upgrade is a no go and can you imagine the headlines in the technosphere if Microsoft did go down that route?
  • Currently you can fresh install Windows 10 and activate it with a Windows 7 product key. I wonder if this method will be affected.
  • i think that one will be safe
  • If MSFT knows about a workaround like still being able to use Windows 7 keys, they will stop it on Dec. 31st.  I don't think MSFT objects to folks doing this as OEMs do.  OEMs continue to pressure them into discontinuing the opportunity.  OEMs always objected to the free upgrades, even during the year of the GWX program, because they believed people were "refreshing" their old computers for free who otherwise would have bought new ones without that opportunity instead.  What made them really upset was that MSFT continued to charge them royalties for the Windows they were shipping on new devices while giving W10 upgrades away to the public.  I suspect that MSFT is OK with anyone who switches to Windows 10.  However, it has become a thing to build your own computer, use a Windows 7  or 8.1 retail license you already own to install Windows and then upgrade to Windows 10 for free.  That is an abuse that should be stopped.  MSFT can come up with other ways to provide Windows 10 to the needy.
  • I've been able to install and activate four PCs using the same Windows 7 product key
  • Really? 😊
  • Yes, it worked every time using a retail disc key
  • I've not tried it before. I really don't need it. Anyways thanks!
  • At least let them get Windows 10 S
  • when was the deadline to upgrade Win 10 S to Win 10 Pro?
  • it was extended to March 31, 2018.
  • They should leave it opened for home users.
  • The Assistive Tech upgrade stopped working for me well over six months ago. Never mattered what computer type or laptop setup, never activated at all.
  • Does a pc desktop qualify as an assistive device?
  • Why MS don't make their win10s free?
    that will boost the windows store significantly, and for those who need full feature can just upgrade to window 10 pro by paying some extra money.
    why they don't consider this?
  • I am still using windows 8.1 Not going to upgrade to satya nadella crap system
  • Er, are you actually saying Windows 8.1 isn't total and utter crap? It's a mobile phone interface for desktop PCs FFS. Well I guess that just proves that for every inexplicable point of view there's always someone out there somewhere who believes it.
  • And Insiders?
  • Is the Windows 10 S > non-S upgrade path still free till the end of the year?
  • Nice...