Microsoft’s 29 July deadline for its free Windows 10 upgrade offer for customers running Windows 7 or 8.1 will not apply to those using assistive technologies (AT), the company has said
Announcing the decision via his Microsoft Accessibility Blog, Daniel Hubbell said,
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.
Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Microsoft’s Chief Accessibility Officer had previously outlined four priorities designed to make Windows 10 ‘a great experience for all users’ in her Microsoft On the Issues blog. They included improving its built-in assistive technology ‘by increasing its performance, reliability, compatibility and usability.’
The news of the exemption was welcomed by some AT users who have been holding off on upgrading because of actual or perceived compatibility issues. Others have expressed frustration that the decision signals a protracted wait while problems they have experienced with Windows 10 are resolved.
Windows 10 upgrades have been free for all but corporate users since its launch in July 2015. The company says there have been 300 million Windows 10 activations in the 10-month period.
Meanwhile Hubbell advised customers using AT to keep an eye on his blog for more information about how to take advantage of the free upgrade offer as the July cut-off date approaches.