Microsoft's free upgrade offer for Windows 10 may have come to an end for the general public, but if you make use of assistive technologies, the upgrade is still available to you for the foreseeable future.
In addition to the Windows 10 upgrade, the computing giant recently announced that on 2 August, it would be launching the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, featuring new updates to the flagship Windows operating system, such as an improved Microsoft Edge web browser, the Cortana voice assistant and the Windows Ink digital pen experience.
At the same time, Microsoft has also spent time improving Windows 10 to make it more accessible to people with disabilities who make use of assistive technologies with their PCs, but since it has only just launched the assistive technologies features, it has decided to extend the deadline for getting the Windows 10 free upgrade.
However, you don't necessarily need to prove that you are actually using assistive technologies at all in order to download the upgrade files − all you have to do is go to this page and download the file.
Microsoft has not set out a specific deadline for how long the offer will be available either, so it is anyone's guess how long it might last. The firm says it will make a public announcement before the offer ends.
The offer is not restricted to any one type of assistive technology – anyone who makes use of it is applicable to download the free upgrade offer. Microsoft says that Windows 10 now comes with an improved version of the Narrator tool, which now offers a much faster top rate of speech, increasing from 400 to 800 words per minute, as well as a better keyboard navigation.
Narrator now comes in 13 languages, including Arabic and several Nordic languages, plus verbal AutoSuggest hints.
Microsoft also says it has improved accessibility in the Edge web browser when using the app and PDF reader, as well as improvements to the Mail app and making the Groove Music app easier for low-vision users to access. Improvements have also been made to the experience of using Cortana together with existing accessibility tools such as Windows Speech Recognition, Narrator and other screen readers.
While there is technically nothing to stop you from continuing to download the free Windows 10 upgrade, The Register points out that it is a kind of douche bag thing to do. But if you did genuinely intend to upgrade to Windows 10 but just forgot, take heart − computers don't last forever, and the next one you buy will come with the new operating system by default, so couldn't you just wait till then?