Q. I downloaded the Windows 10 upgrade to an external drive last spring but didnât install it. Will it still work even though the free offer ended in July?
A. No, Microsoft says. According to the companyâs website, all free upgrades to Windows 10 must have finished and reached the âWelcomeâ screen by 11:59 p.m. Hawaii-Aleutian Time two months ago, on July 29.
Credit The New York Times
However, for the time being, some people can still get the software free: those who use assistive technologies with Windows â like screen magnifiers, text-to-speech narration tools or special hardware designed to make it physically easier to use the system. Information about downloading Windows 10 for this purpose is available on the companyâs site. (Microsoft said last May that the July 29 deadline would not apply to customers who use assistive technology on their computers. The company has since said that the extension is not intended to be a workaround for other users who missed the original download deadline.)
Microsoft, which made the Windows 10 update available free to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users for a year beginning in July 2015, is not offering a discounted upgrade now to customers with those systems. Users who declined to upgrade during the yearlong free period can buy the full Windows 10 Home edition for $ 120 from Microsoftâs site or other retailers. Windows 10 also comes preinstalled on most new PCs and compatible tablets for sale now.
The original Windows 10 upgrade was itself upgraded in August when Microsoft released the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. In addition to the usual system tweaks, bug fixes and security improvements that come with system updates, the software tuned up the Microsoft Edge browser, added the Windows Ink utility for easier input by pen and added new features to the Cortana virtual assistant, like making the service available on the Windows lock screen.