Developers from Microsoft in 2016 made their users a surprise - the free distribution of Windows 10. Everyone could download a full-fledged OS or upgrade to it from previous versions for free. However, in the summer the action was closed. But the company left Windows 10 for people with disabilities, which can be used for its intended purpose, or as an ordinary operating system, since they are practically no different. In this article, we will look at the special Windows 10, where to download it and what features it has.
Where to download?
All actions are performed on the official Microsoft website. You can also download the upgrade program from the corresponding page. On it, you must click the "Update Now" button and wait for the download to complete.
Users have two options for installing Windows 10 for people with disabilities - download the distribution and burn it to a USB flash drive, or download an update to the current version using a special wizard. Consider both options.
Microsoft removed the ability to download the regular version for free, but added an OS with special features and promise that this version will always be available for free download on the official website. Download MediaCreationTool.exe and run it. Wait while the wizard prepares the program for work. Follow these steps:
- On the first screen, confirm the license agreement with the "Accept" button.
- Next, select "Create Installation Media".
- Set the required options (operating system language, edition and architecture).
- Select the type of device to record to (flash drive or disk).
- Connect the media to your computer. Select it from the list in the wizard.
- Next, the program will start downloading system files and copying to external media.
Now you need to remove the flash drive and restart your computer. In the BIOS menu, set the boot priority to a USB flash drive, or boot from it manually. Next, the installation of Windows 10 for people with disabilities will begin. Then follow the instructions. Installation will begin after all options have been selected. Installation will not take more than half an hour:
- On the first screen, select"Installation".
- Next, you need to decide on the hard disk partition. If necessary, you can "split" the media into sections and format them.
- Next, the version and architecture of the future version of the OS is selected. All presented in the installer are Windows with accessibility.
- Next, the program will start copying system files to your hard drive. The computer may restart several times during the operation.
- After installation is complete, you need to choose a name for the PC, set a password, set up a protector, and so on.
Remember that you are installing a licensed version of Windows. Activation occurs only if you have upgraded from a license of a previous version of the operating system. If you are using a pirated copy, then for the "tens" you will have to look for an activator.
To upgrade to Windows 10 for people with disabilities, you will need a program that is downloaded from the official website. Run the upgrade wizard and wait while it scans for an upgrade. The program will then download the files and install them. Finally, restart your computer and complete the initial system settings. As you can see, the second option is more convenient if you are using Windows 7 or 8, or an earlier version of Windows 10.
With each method you install the latest buildcurrently - 1703. Further updates are already being installed through the update center in the operating system settings.
Differences from the regular version
At first glance, you won't notice the difference between the standard and special editions. Therefore, Windows 10 for people with disabilities can be used instead of a regular OS. In the latest build, the developers tried to improve the set of accessibility features, fix bugs related to their stable operation, and expand the functionality. All of them are listed below:
- On-screen keyboard.
- Sub titles.
Also, the special functions include the voice assistant Cortana. Unfortunately, it cannot be used in the Russian version of the operating system, so Cortana is only useful for people who know at least basic English. After upgrading to Windows 10 for people with disabilities, go to "Settings", open the "Time and language" section, then "Region and language", and then change the language settings to English. Click on "Use as the main language", after which the system will download the necessary language files. Restart your computer. You should now be able to launch and use Cortana from the Start menu.
Now you know the difference between Windows 10 for people with disabilities and the usual one, and you can decide whether to install one or another version on your computer. Let's consider the special functionality in more detail -how to enable, configure and use.
The first feature from Windows 10 for people with disabilities is the screen assistants. They can be launched from the "Start" menu in the "Accessibility" section. After launching Magnifier, a small window with settings will appear in which you can:
- Change zoom scale.
- Change zoom type (window or full screen).
When you move the cursor away from the application window, it becomes an almost imperceptible magnifying glass on the screen. Thus, the running program does not interfere with the work with the computer from a visual point of view.
This assistant comments on everything that happens on the screen and pronounces your actions. It has many settings and hotkey combinations that can be configured through "Settings" and found in Windows Help.
In addition to the screen reader, you can now connect a Braille display. For correct operation, you need to download the drivers and connect the device in "Settings" - "Narrator" - "Enable Braille". Select the display manufacturer and the type of connection to the computer.
A feature carried over to Windows 10 for people with disabilities from previous OS generations. When turned on, a large window appears on the screen that copies the keyboard layout. The window can be resized. Detailed settings are also in the "Parameters".
A separate item in the parameters is the mouse settings. In them, you can change the color of the pointer, enable the ability to move the cursor using the numeric keypad, and configure related settings.
Here you can set up sub titles that duplicate the soundtrack from the videos. They can be customized by language, letter size, color, and so on. The contrast applies to the entire interface of the operating system, including the cursor. There is a contrast theme preview window.
Also, if necessary, you can enable/disable the display of standard operating system interface animations, switch stereo/mono sound, configure Windows notifications, and more.
Migration to Windows 10 for people with disabilities won't take you more than an hour. If you need special OS features, then use our installation instructions. In the event that you need a licensed version of the OS, this option is the only way to obtain it. Without enabling these features, Windows 10 for people with disabilities is no different from the usual version, so you will not notice a difference in daily use.
In future versions of the OS, developers promise to develop functionality and add new features that allow users with disabilities to comfortablywork with a computer or laptop.