Published 2016-05-09 (Rev. 2016-05-11) -- Microsoft states Windows 10 operating system will remain free to people with accessibility issues.
Author: Ian Langtree - Contact: Disabled World
Quote: "Writing on its Accessibility Blog, Microsoft points out that the 29 July cut-off point does not apply to people with accessibility issues."
After announcing that 300 million devices are running Windows 10, Microsoft announced that the company will start charging Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 users if they want to upgrade to Windows 10 after July 29. Users who want to upgrade to Windows 10 will need to pay $119 if they want to get the Home SKU. This means that devices running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 can only be upgraded for free to Windows 10 before July 29th, 2016, and that the option to do so expires on the day of the anniversary. But that deadline will not apply to users of technologies designed for disabilities, Microsoft stated in a blog post.
Writing on its Accessibility Blog, Microsoft points out that the 29 July cut-off point does not apply to people with accessibility issues. The company has not yet revealed how such customers will be able to upgrade after the deadline.
The announcement says:
As you may have heard, the free Windows 10 upgrade offer for customers running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 is set to end on July 29, but we want to clarify that that deadline will not apply to customers who use assistive technologies. We are continuing to deliver on our previously-shared vision for accessibility for Windows 10 and we are committed to ensuring that users of assistive technologies have the opportunity to upgrade to Windows 10 for free as we do so.
Assistive products are specialty software and hardware products like voice recognition software or screen readers that provide accessibility.
Examples of assistive technologies in Windows 10 include:
- Narrator, a screen-reader app that vocalizes text;
- Magnifier, a digital magnifying glass for those with poor vision;
- Speech Recognition, which allows you to control your PC using your voice alone.
Microsoft also lists a number of certified third-party assistive accessories, including literacy software and Braille keyboards.
The Windows team has also brought its "Bug Bash" event to a close on Sunday, May 1, 2016. After bug searching and testing done by millions of Windows 10 Insiders, the Windows team can now begin the process of prioritizing the areas of Windows 10 it needs to focus on before the Anniversary Update later this summer.
If you don't have or don't want Windows 10, the Get Windows 10 notifications will eventually stop after July 29. Microsoft has stated the upgrade screens will be "disabled and eventually removed from PCs worldwide."