Microsoft announced a new edition of Windows 10 at an education-focused event earlier this month. Windows 10 S is limited to only running apps downloaded from the Windows Store, and while it's primarily aimed at the education sector, it will come pre-installed on some devices sold to consumers too, including Microsoft's new Surface Laptop.
Until the end of the year, Surface Laptop buyers are being offered a free upgrade to Windows 10 Pro if they need it, which will enable them to run other software not downloaded from the Store. However, after that date, the cost to make that switch will rise to $49, and that price will also apply to other Windows 10 S devices that go on sale before then.
Of course, there are plenty of apps not yet available in the Store, including many that provide assistive technologies for those with disabilities and accessibility issues. While Windows 10 already includes many accessibility features, the unique needs of some users may not be fully covered by the tools built into the OS, or the apps currently available to download from the Store - and some users may simply prefer to use the software that they're already familiar and comfortable with.
Rather than require these users to pay $49 to upgrade their new Windows 10 S devices to Windows 10 Pro, Microsoft announced today that it will allow all those who use assistive technologies on their PCs to make the switch from Windows 10 S to Pro free of charge. "Microsoft is committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities and providing choices for devices and modes for operating Windows," the company said today.
Microsoft already offers free upgrades to Windows 10 for Windows 7 and 8.1 users who require assistive technologies to enable them to use their devices.