Microsoft has finally pulled the plug on a loophole that allowed any Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 user to upgrade to Windows 10 free of charge.

Specifically aimed at users of assistive technologies in Windows 10, the promo launched shortly after Microsoft ended the 12-month free upgrade offer for Windows 7 and 8.1 users following the launch of the OS on July 29, 2015.

But since the upgrade method didn’t run any checks on the accessibility features running on a computer, it could be used by anyone to get Windows 10 free of charge, even though technically, the free upgrade campaign ended in July 2016.

Last year, Microsoft announced that this loophole would be closed on December 31, with an extension to January 16 revealed earlier this month.

Free upgrades no longer available

Now it seems like the company has finally ended the free upgrade trick, though on the official website of the promo it states that the offer expired on December 31 – yesterday morning, for example, upgrading from Windows 7 and 8.1 still worked.

“Thank you for your interest in Windows 10. The free upgrade offer extension for Windows 7 and Windows 8 customers who use assistive technologies expired on December 31, 2017. As an alternative, Windows 10 software and devices are available for purchase from retail and online stores. In case you have other questions, we are providing some references to resources and frequently asked questions regarding assistive technologies and Windows 10 that might be of interest,” Microsoft now says on the page.

Right now, Windows 7 and 8.1 customers who want to upgrade to Windows 10 have no other option than to purchase a license. In the United States, Windows 10 Home costs $119.99, while the Pro version is being sold for $199.99.

According to the most recent statistics offered by NetMarketShare, Windows 7 is the number one desktop operating system with a 43.08% market share, followed by Windows 10 with 32.93%.