Microsoft's Windows 10 upgrade program was discontinued for the general public last July, but you can still get your hands on a free upgrade to Windows 10 if you're a user of the company's assistive technology features. Luckily, Microsoft's definition of the term is pretty broad, which means if you rely on features like closed captioning (or even keyboard shortcuts), you still qualify for a free upgrade. The offer ends December 31.
Image credit: Andrew Burton/Getty
How to Upgrade
Upgrading is a pretty straightforward process. Visit Microsoft's Windows 10 Upgrade page and hit the Upgrade Now button, which downloads the upgrade assistant to your device. Run the program, follow the on-screen prompts, and you'll have a working version of Windows 10 on your machine.
You may have been wary of upgrading your Windows PC to Windows 10 in the past, but the OS has received its fair share of media-oriented updates and bug fixes since its 2015 release. The latest major update, the Windows 10 Fall Creator's Update, adding both mixed reality support and the Mixed Reality Viewer app to the operating system's list of features. That means you can pair a compatible PC with a mixed reality headset and take advantage of the immersive environment to enjoy some interactive entertainment (or get a little work done).
You're Probably Using 'Assistive Technologies' Already
You may not be vision or hearing impaired, but if you use assistive features such as the Magnifier tool, dictate writing in documents using speech recognition, or even Windows' digital assistant, Cortana, you're eligible for an upgrade. Hell, even keyboard shortcuts fall under the umbrella of "assistive technology", meaning everyone who's used CTRL-C and CTRL-V is technically eligible for a free upgrade.
Microsoft suggests you check with your assistive tech manufacturer to ensure their hardware and software is compatible with Windows 10, and provides a list of the most popular companies offering assistive technology products.
If you remain unconvinced (or hate keyboard shortcuts), the frequently asked questions section of the upgrade program implies that, while the upgrade is intended for use by users relying on assistive technology to navigate their PC, it isn't going to really stop anyone from upgrading if they don't use assistive tech. So… get on it.