Those who still haven't managed to update their gear with Microsoft's latest OS, Windows 10, are in luck, since the company hasn't completely barricaded access to the free software update yet-users may still be eligible to get it for free, but under certain conditions.
Following the lukewarm reception of Windows 8, Microsoft has heavily pushed its users to upgrade to Windows 10, offering it to everyone without shelling any cash out. That offer has since ended, although users can still upgrade their system to Windows 10 but for a steep fee: $119 for the Home edition and $199 for the Pro edition.
But as always, there's a way to get it at no additional cost.
How To Update To Windows 10 For Free
Windows 10 had been a free upgrade for Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 users up until late July, when the offer closed for everyone, save for a select few. Luckily, users can be part of that select few if they use Microsoft's assistive technologies built into the software. It's a feature-added toolkit that includes a magnifier to enlarge parts of the screen, a roster of keyboard shortcuts, a Voice over-ish narrator to read text aloud, and an on-screen keyboard.
Microsoft says that assistive technologies are "designed to provide additional accessibility to individuals who have physical or cognitive difficulties, impairments, and disabilities."
To get the update sans any charges, navigate to Microsoft's special webpage for assistive technologies. Click on the "Upgrade Now" button and an executable file will begin downloading. After the file has been downloaded, run it to install the software update.
Microsoft will then display a series of instruction guiding the user throughout the software update process. Follow the instructions until Windows 10 is successfully installed on the system.
What If I Don't Use Assistive Technologies?
During the software update, Microsoft won't ask for proof if a user is indeed using assistive technologies, according to CNET, thereby making the upgrade for all Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 user free, even if assistive technologies isn't enabled.
Microsoft hasn't announced an expiration date for the free software update, but it will make a public announcement when the offer ends. Those who still haven't installed the latest software update should best do so now, lest Microsoft inexplicably yanks the offer off the table. The company is not delimiting specific assistive technologies, for the record. Use any assistive technology and Microsoft will still hand out Windows 10 for free.
In related Windows 10 news, several reports allude to Microsoft's forthcoming "game mode" when the next software update rolls around. If the reports prove to be accurate, the said mode will adjust the system's CPU and GPU resources when playing games, so that background apps won't needlessly wring processing power that's meant to be routed to games, to output a gaming experience with nary a hiccup.