Even though the Windows 10 upgrade scheme expired in 2016, Microsoft is still giving people on older versions a free pass.
Back when Microsoft offered Windows 7 users a free upgrade to Windows 10, the company was adamant that the upgrade window was a limited-time deal. Some testing, however, has revealed that the software giant is still holding the door open and allowing people to upgrade for free.
Microsoft’s Not-So-Strict Windows 10 Upgrade Service
The testing comes to us from Windows Latest, which investigated how easy it is to upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10 without paying a cent.
As it turns out, Microsoft’s previously-stern demands to upgrade or get left behind weren’t as strict as we were lead to believe. If you’re running a genuine copy of Windows 7, you can still perform the steps to upgrade to Windows 10 for free.
Best of all, these steps don’t require doing anything shady or trying to fool Microsoft’s systems. If your copy of Windows 7 is legitimate, you can still bring it up to date—simple as that.
Why Is Microsoft Still Honoring Legitimate Windows 10 Upgrades?
So why is this upgrade still possible years later? It’s easy to assume that the software giant simply forgot to shut down the upgrade service after the campaign. As it turns out, however, the limited-time upgrade window was simply a marketing push to get people onto Windows 10.
Reddit user CokeRobot makes this claim on the SysAdmin subreddit, claiming to be a worker from Microsoft. They claim that Microsoft initially wanted to keep the offer open to those who held a paid Windows license.
However, the company learned that computer stores were rolling back the clock on user’s computers to trick the operating system into thinking it was still within the upgrade period. This would allow someone to move up to Windows 10, whether their copy of Windows 7 was licensed or not.
It became evident that if people wanted to get the free upgrade, they would get it no matter what Microsoft did. As such, the company left the door open for people to upgrade their computers to Windows 10, years after they had supposedly shut it.
CokeRobot goes on to mention that Microsoft doesn’t really care about free upgrades at this point. The software giant has since moved away from using Windows 10 as its main revenue source and finds other methods to rake in a profit.
So, the next time you find yourself with a Windows 7 machine and want to upgrade it, don’t be afraid to try the free route. Even though the upgrade campaign ended years ago, it’s still silently allowing people to update their PCs at no additional cost.
Late to the Party, but There Nonetheless
If you have an old machine sitting around and you regret not upgrading it during the Windows 10 push, you can still bring it up to speed for free. As it turns out, Microsoft’s upgrade scheme wasn’t as limited as the company claimed it was.
However, don’t forget that you need to perform some essential tasks if you upgrade to Windows 10. This includes running Windows Update and grabbing new drivers for your hardware.
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Honor can now ship laptops to US consumers with Windows 10.
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