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November 20, 2017

Microsoft Announces (Quietly) the End of Free Windows 10 Updates

Microsoft originally ended its free upgrade offer in July of 2016, more than a year ago. However, if you are a Windows 10 user and are planning to upgrade using the assistive exceptions, this may not be possible. Microsoft is keeping the official shutting down of the last official platform to upgrade under wraps.

This news probably hasn’t reached you because Microsoft hasn’t done anything to make it known. The announcement was rather quiet and states that the free upgrading option will end by December of this year.

A spokesperson from Microsoft made it clear that no one will be able to get upgrades after the deadline even using assistive technologies. Windows mentioned this news in its upgrade FAQs.

After the official end of free upgrades last year, an extension for the users of assistive technology was left in place. That ends this year. The idea is to provide the same service to both users of assistive technologies and regular users.

Microsoft claims that the original offer was ended a year ago, but the assistive technology users were still able to upgrade for free because it was working on the accessibility options for Windows 10. There have been two Windows updates since then, and the latest version is the anniversary update that has been in place until now.

The impact of this is not likely anticipated to affect huge corporations that use Windows 10 for their operations. However, customers who are using this for their personal computers are likely to have some problems and might even shift to other newer versions.

Customers using assistive tools can make use of the free upgrades unti December. This marks the end of Microsoft’s idea to unify the user base by eliminating price barriers.

Market share indicates that, due to free upgrades, the usage of Windows 10 rose from nine percent to 29.3 percent with Windows 7 still dominating the market. Windows 10 hosted the return of the start menu, which was eliminated in the Windows 8 version — a fact that irked many users. The search option in Windows 10 is also a great feature because you can find anything you want as soon as you log on.

The inclusion of Cortana made Windows 10 an easier, more user-friendly version of Windows. Despite Windows 7 being the most popular, there is undeniably a large user base for Windows 10. Most users of Windows 10 have been using assistive technologies as a loophole to get upgrades, with the last upgrade being the anniversary upgrade last year.

The GWX tool stopped popping up on Windows 10 users about a year ago, and many were happy with it because they were satisfied with their current versions. Like other windows versions, Windows 10 also has its pros and cons and ending the free updates is going to be a con.

In matters such as interface, compatibility, speed, security and other software tools, Windows 10 has been an improvement over previous versions. There are two upgrade versions available for Windows 10, the home edition and the business pro edition. Most businesses using Windows 10 will now have to budget separately for their upgrades, and home-based users will also have to pay for any updates they want after December 2017. The home version will cost more than $100, and the business pro version is likely to cost more than $200.

Bottom Line

Windows 10 has been a vast improvement over its forbearers. The many new features also made it one of the best versions of tablets. Assistive tools for the users also made life easier even after the end of free feature updates last year.

Any Windows 10 users wanting to upgrade for free should do so before December.


David Molnar is CEO of Dave’s Computers, a leader in computer repair and data recovery in New Jersey. LIKE Dave’s Computers’ Facebook page to stay current on computer issues and trends - you might even find some “computer humor” there! Subscribe to Dave’s blog for additional computer tips and tricks.