Microsoft revealed this week that the free ride to grab an upgrade to the company's new operating system Windows 10 will indeed be over at the one year launch mark.
This means that devices running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 can only be upgraded for free to Windows 10 before July 29th, 2016, and that the option to do so expires on the day of the anniversary.
Users who want to upgrade their PCs to Windows 10 after July 29 will have to pay for a license. It is unclear right now whether special upgrade options will be made available, or if users interested in Windows 10 need to buy retail copies.
If that is the case, users who want to upgrade their devices after the first anniversary would have to pay the same amount of money -- $119 for Windows 10 Home or $199 for Windows 10 Pro -- that users pay to install the operating system directly on a system without previous version of Windows installed on it.
It turns out however that Windows 10 will remain free for some users. A new blog post on the Microsoft Accessibility Blog confirms that Microsoft will continue to offer the operating system as a free upgrade for users who use assistive technologies.
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.
Assistive products are specialty software and hardware products like voice recognition software or screen readers that provide accessibility.
Microsoft has yet to reveal how customers who use assistive technology products can take advantage of the offer. The company plans to reveal details on the Microsoft Accessibility Blog in the future however. One way to stay informed is to subscribe to the blog using RSS.
It seems highly unlikely that Microsoft will grant free upgrades to Windows 10 for anyone who is turning on accessibility features on Windows 10 after July 29. This would leave only a couple of options including detection of installed hardware or software products for accessibility, or to require some other form of proof before the free upgrade is granted.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.