Microsoft has quietly updated its website, announcing that the Windows 10 free upgrade with support features will expire on December 31, 2017. Microsoft claims that 500 million users use Windows 10
Microsoft says it will stop upgrading Windows 10 for free to all users on December 31, 2017. To recall, Redmond-based software major announced Windows 10 in 2015 and offered it as a free upgrade for existing Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users. The company stopped offering free upgrades to Windows 10 in July 2016, but the upgrade was available for free to those who used the accessibility features as a promotional extension.
Microsoft has now silently updated its site revealing that free upgrades will end accessibility features for users later this year. Microsoft did not explain the reason for ending the free upgrades, but the extended promotion was initially announced to give users more time to experience accessibility features, offered as part of an annual update that rolled out in July 2016. Since then, Microsoft has announced multiple updates to its operating system and last month released the Windows 10 Fall Creator update.
Microsoft claims that Windows 10 has an installed base of over 500 million users, and ZDNet reports that the completion of the free upgrade will have minimal impact on the user base. Most standalone users are already expected to switch to Windows 10 last year as part of a free upgrade program. However, Microsoft’s larger base is corporations running systems running Windows XP or Windows 7 that have not yet upgraded to the latest version of Windows, and their upgrade process will not be limited to the availability of free upgrades.
According to NetMarketShare, Windows 7 is the most used desktop operating system with a market share of 46.6 percent, followed by Windows 10 with 29.26 percent share. The data further indicates that Windows has increased its market share from 9 percent on November 10, 2015 to 29 percent in October 2017. Microsoft is pitching Windows 10 as the single most widely used operating system, including PCs, Xbox consoles and Windows Mobile devices. Although Microsoft has officially moved out of the smartphone segment, it continues to lead the PC segment despite the slowdown in sales.