No More Free Windows 10 Upgrades After December, Microsoft Confirms

Windows 10 is starting to get more exclusive as each day goes by. There was a time when practically everyone, provided they had the hardware, was eligible to get it for free. But back in July 2016, Microsoft stopped offering free Windows 10 upgrades. Save for one exception: those who use accessibility features were still able to access the free upgrade. But that offer will soon go away.

Microsoft has — rather quietly — updated its website to reflect this change, revealing that those who are using accessibility features can no longer expect free Windows 10 upgrades after Dec. 31. Microsoft failed to explain why it's dropping the offer for such users.

Free Windows 10 Upgrade For Accessibility Users Ending December

The FAQ page now reads:

"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."

But still: Who in the heck doesn't have Windows 10 installed? Well, as it turns out — a lot. While latest PCs and laptops sold by retailers already have it preinstalled, 46.6 percent of PCs are still running Windows 7, according to NetMarketshare. It's possible these users either have lacking hardware to run the latest operating system or are intentionally standing their ground.

Many offices around the world still use Windows 7. Heck, some are still running older ones like Windows XP. So, what's with that? Well, as Engadget notes, some companies might be feeling a bit of inertia with regard to concerns over compatibility, or regular users maybe just aren't in a rush to upgrade.

It's tough to explain Microsoft's reasoning for this, but it marks an important inflection point for Windows 10, because if the company is now willing to let go of free upgrades, there must already be enough users who have upgraded for Microsoft not to care about the percentage of those who haven't. Perhaps Microsoft's plan to convince users to transition to Windows 10 by removing the price barrier worked.

Microsoft's Plans With Windows 10

It's even more important when one considers how Microsoft is approaching Windows 10: It's treating it not as iterative upgrade, but a definitive operating system that'll just get better as years go by. It already confirmed that there will be no "Windows 11," in fact, further proving Windows 10 is going to become the basis by which all future updates will be built upon.

Are you still not running Windows 10? Why? Tell us in the comments section below!

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