Microsoft extended the free upgrade to Windows 10 offer for people that use assistive technologies. This was a generous offer by Microsoft but poorly executed due to the fact that the upgrade failed to work.
This is an account of my experience with this upgrade.
A friend has been holding off on upgrading his trusty PC with Windows 7 because he does not like change and why change something that works? He uses an old version of Office, Ultimate 2007 from his college days. He works from home with his PC and Office software Word and Excel.
As the free offer was expiring soon he asked me to “assist” upgrading his Windows. (small joke)
I agreed and told him to set aside some hours for the project. I hoped that it would go smoothly and take only a few hours, but in reality I knew it was more likely going to be painful and a time suck. I guess I cursed the project.
He made a backup of his data.
His system was current with Windows 7 updates and running well. First we ran Error Checking on his hard disk. Then we went to the Microsoft Upgrade web site and clicked the Upgrade Now button.
The upgrade soon failed with an ugly missing file error.
Searching the internet revealed that numerous people had encountered this error and some offered solutions. This one worked –
Except for the ugly fail, the upgrade to Windows 10 went smoothly, took about 2 hours, with numerous screens, downloads and reboots.
But another problem occurred. When starting Word or Excel (from the old Office 2007 Ultimate suite) a mysterious window popped up, then Office showed a configuration screen.
“No! I can’t go through this every time I open Word or Excel” my friend said as the progress bar crawled across the window.
Searching the internet revealed that numerous people had encountered this error and some offered solutions. This one worked – uninstall and reinstall Office 2007. Fortunately my friend had his original media and Product Key!
Now my friend just had to adjust to a new looking windows.
But it is done, he will adjust.
And he will avoid the nasty shock of Microsoft no longer supporting Windows 7 on January 14, 2020.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Microsoft is good for extending the offer of a free Windows 10 upgrade for users of assistive technologies.
Microsoft is bad for forcing the upgrade eventually by ending support (ie security updates), forcing us to learn to use a new interface with each Windows version and loading Windows 10 with user tracking.
Microsoft is ugly for giving out a broken upgrade, not fixing it in a timely manner, an upgrade that only a technical person could research and make work leaving typical users frustrated.