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Holding off on upgrading operating system? Windows 10 upgrade still free

By Eric Geier (Our Founder & Owner)

Originally published by Cox Media Group on 11/5/18

Although Microsoft has stopped the big push for Windows 7 and 8 users to upgrade to Windows 10, it’s still possible. And best of all, it’s still free. Since we only have 14 more months left until Microsoft ends all support for Windows 7, this might be a good time to upgrade, depending upon your particular computer.

The initial free upgrade offers The first upgrade campaign by Microsoft was via the Get Windows 10 (GWX) app, which ended back in July 2016. The GWX app made its way onto Windows 7 and 8 computers via a Windows Update and then would pop-up the free upgrade offer and prompts. At first you could “reserve” your copy of Windows 10 and allow it to upgrade when it was available. However, there were some users complaining that they got the upgrade without notice, and the upgrade method Microsoft used caused issues with some computers.

Later on, Microsoft had another free upgrade campaign until the end of 2017. However, this one wasn’t pushed directly to users on the screen like the GWX app, so most of the public was unaware.

It was targeted towards Windows 7 and 8 customers using assistive technologies, but didn’t require any proof of using assistive technologies.

Upgrades still possible after all offers end: Even after the assistive technologies upgrade offer expired on Dec. 31, 2017, Microsoft still allows users to activate Windows 10 with their Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 product keys. It’s unknown if Microsoft will ever stop allowing old product keys to activate Windows 10.

Throughout 2018, rumors and opinions spread on the Internet about whether it’s still possible and/or legal to upgrade to Windows 10 for free, since it seems Microsoft won’t give a straight answer about what seems like a big loophole. After my recent research, I believe it’s still possible and still legal to do so if you activate Windows 10 with a genuine Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 product key.

Consider upgrading vs buying new computer: Sometimes it’s best to just buy a new computer rather than put time and money into an older computer, but that all depends upon the computer specs, health, and hardware compatibility, and of course, your budget. Other times it’s well worth the investment to upgrade from Windows 7 to 10. This is especially the case if you upgrade your hard drive at the same time to a newer type called a solid state drive (SSD), which noticeably increases the performance of the computer.

Contact a computer tech to help you weigh your options. Either way, for security reasons I suggest you make the move to Windows 10 within the next year.

Call a tech for help on upgrading: Although you (or a family-member/fiiend) may be able to figure out how to upgrade to Windows 10, I strongly suggest a computer tech do the job.

I’ve seen many problems with the default upgrade method pushed by Microsoft. I suggest having a local tech backup your data, wipe your drive, install a clean copy of Windows 10, and then restore the data.

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