MICROSOFT IS CONTINUING to aggressively promote Windows 10 on PCs that are running Windows 7 or 8, according to an analysis by InfoWorld.
A pop-up, pushed to Windows 7 users, gave users the option to either “Upgrade now” or “Upgrade tonight” with only a small “x” in the top right corner to navigate away. Windows has also been found to download bulky files - sometimes up to 6GB – in preparation for Windows 10, even if the user has not expressed an interest in the update.
Microsoft has made it clear that the promotion of Windows 10 will continue indefinitely. “We do feel a responsibility to get people to a much better place,” said Microsoft’s marketing chief, Chris Capossela.
Windows 10 is a free update, making it easier for Microsoft to push the new operating system. The company has said it plans to charge for the operating system in the future but has not given a specific date.
Windows 10 is so persistent because KB3035583 (a version of the operating system) was updated in December last year, making the “Upgrade now” or “Upgrade tonight” options commonplace.
Since then, the software has been updated to reset registry keys (a tactic that was used to stall Windows 10), re-download the Windows 10 preparation files, and restore update prompts which run multiple times a day.
All of this results in the pushy updates for Windows 10, with users seeing multiple pop-ups a week.
From Microsoft’s perspective, pushing Windows 10 makes sense: the software is the most important thing Microsoft makes and getting everyone onto the newest version – which is also the most secure and fastest – is a key goal for the company.
However, having multiple pop-ups for an operating system that the user doesn’t want could also be annoying.
The end for Windows 8
The other problem for certain users is Windows 8 will no longer receive security updates after today. Usually, Windows supports all versions of Windows for up to ten years after it was launched, but ZDNet explains that in the case of Windows 8, it stops receiving updates despite launching in 2012.
The reason for this is Microsoft is treating Windows 8.1 as a service pack for Windows 8 instead of entirely new software. That means Windows 8 is only covered for two years and it will no longer receive security updates after today.
On the other hand, Windows 7 users are covered until 2020 while Vista users will see security updates until 2017. Those who are using Windows 8.1 will be covered until 2023 while Windows 10 is covered until 2025.
The end of security updates also coincides with Internet Explorer, which is also ending support for older browsers. Only Internet Explorer 11, the final version, will continue to receive security updates after today with those using older versions encouraged to upgrade or change browsers.
(Additional reporting by Quinton O’Reilly)