Windows 10 free until July 29, longer for special needs customers

Microsoft's Windows 7 and 8.1 customers with special needs will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free even after July 29 when Microsoft's free upgrade programme will end for all other users.

After July 29, existing users of Windows 7 and 8.1 devices will either need to purchase Windows 10 Home OS or new devices with Windows 10 pre-installed to continue to use the new operating system.

Windows 10 was launched on July 29 of last year in over 190 countries and aims to become Microsoft's most inclusive operating system. It is currently available in a range of Windows PCs, laptops, tablets and mobile phones and will also feature in HoloLens and Xbox gaming consoles unlike previous versions of the operating system.

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'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. We are continuing to deliver on our previously-shared vision for accessibility for Windows 10 and we are committed to ensuring that users of assistive technologies have the opportunity to upgrade to Windows 10 for free as we do so,' said Microsoft in a blog post.

However, Microsoft has not mentioned if it will make Windows 10 a paid software for all users. The company will reportedly release a Windows 10 Anniversary Update this summer and the launch might take place on July 29 when Windows 10 turns one. As per Microsoft, over 300 million devices across the world have upgraded to Windows 10 and the number is set to grow until it ceases to be a free software for existing Windows users.

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As per Microsoft, Windows 10 will also be the last operating system version from Microsoft and will feature periodic upgrades from time to time which will be available for free to all users. The upcoming Windows Anniversary will be one such upgrade and will be followed by others as and when Microsoft so desires.

'We sort of think about Windows 10 as the beginning of this long-term service that we’re providing for Windows customers, and we will continue to keep people current and up-to-date, and we’ll keep adding new functionality over time, so the Insider programme as part of that just makes sense.

We’re going to continue this capability that we have to listen, hear feedback as part of that service, because it really is so crucial to us to be able to deliver the right features and capabilities for customers,' said Gabe Aul, head of the Windows Insider programme.

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