Windows 10 upgrades are no longer free as of July 30, 2016. Windows 7 and 8.1 users will no longer receive the insistent pop-ups and entreaties to change to Windows 10, Microsoft’s latest operating system. The good news? Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 will continue to be safe to use online until 2020 and 2023, respectively.
Visit Microsoft’s Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet for End of Support for the Windows OS family. Please note that while Windows 8 is no longer supported, its updated version, Windows 8.1, is. If you have been running Windows Updates regularly, you will have had this upgrade installed by now. To check your Windows version, visit this Microsoft Support article.
There are only 2 ways to upgrade to Windows 10 for free at this time:
- Computer users who use assistive technologies are not affected by this deadline, as part of Microsoft’s effort to continue improving Windows 10 for these customers.
- Computer users who previously upgraded to Windows 10, only to downgrade back to Windows 7 or 8.1, may still go online to create installation software and upgrade for free using the previously issued”digital license” on their computers from the trial upgrade.
The majority of the software you have been using in the Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 environments is expected to still work. However, for Microsoft programs, some advanced and gaming features may be available only on the Windows 10 platform. Suites like Microsoft Office are expected to remain backward compatible for some time.
For those who have not made the move, the cost of the Windows 10 upgrade is $120 (Home Edition) or $200 (Professional). (read more at HowToGeek.com)