Microsoft has kept a loophole open for a very long time, but that window is soon closing on a free Windows 10 upgrade. As of January 1, 2018, the free upgrade option for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users will no longer be available.
To get your free Windows 10 upgrade you will need a licensed copy of previous Windows versions that still have their support periods active.
Mainstream support for Windows 8.1 ends on January 9, 2018, so it’s just about a month away.
This is probably the last chance to get a free license upgrade for Windows 10. There aren’t going to be any further Windows number upgrades. From here on out it’s all going to be Windows 10, with two major updates every year.
If you have an older machine on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, we recommend you upgrade by or before December 31, 2017.
How does the free upgrade to Windows 10 work?
Essentially, it’s a loophole that Microsoft has left open so people who use accessibility tools can take advantage of the free upgrade.
However, Microsoft has deliberately used a very broad definition to qualify users. In short, even if you use keyboard shortcuts like Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V, you’re legally considered by Microsoft to be eligible.
All you need to do is head over to the page linked below and follow the instructions. You can also create media to get Windows 10 onto another machine using a USB drive (pen drive), but you’ll need to have your old Windows 7/Windows 8.1 activation key handy in order to activate Windows 10 on that machine.
But even if you don’t activate it, the worst that can happen is that you’ll get periodic reminders that your version of Windows 10 has not been activated. Ideally it shouldn’t interfere with how Windows 10 works.
The reason why you need to get the free Windows 10 upgrade now is that all subsequent Windows 10 updates will be free. If not, after December 31, 2017, you’ll need to pay the full license fee to upgrade to Windows 10, the basic version of which is about $119.
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