Wednesday18 May 2022

Microsoft to push even harder to get users to upgrade to Windows 10...

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Just when you thought it could not get more annoying, Microsoft has turned up the Windows 10 update notifications. The little nudges for Windows 8.x users pop up in the corner (systray) and also when you boot up your PC or do something as crazy as open Internet Explorer. This last one has many looking to alternate browsers just so they do not get bothered with the pop-up.

The service that pushes these little bits of Joy “AllowOSUpgrade” cannot even be shut off for long. It is like a zombie that keeps coming back from the dead no matter what you do to it. Even software designed to stop the notifications are no longer working. This means that Microsoft has changed the way the service works or could be re-activating it remotely. The fact that Microsoft is pushing this app/service out over and over again just adds another reason for many to avoid it.

Making things a little worse if the fact that the upgrades to the app are not publicly documented and are being pushed without any opt-out function. The Windows 10 upgrade app is also reaching out several times per hour to see if the system is compatible with Windows 10 and then notifying the user. We have also seen that the service pre-downloads are part of the upgrade without user interaction. Both of these behaviors are not what you want in an OS and could be used as vectors for attack.

Microsoft has previously stated that Windows 10 would eventually not be an option, but something that would be pushed out regardless of the users’ wishes. They have been bugging us to tears with their notifications prior to this new change and things are looking to get worse. It is expected that the Upgrade has moved from the pop-ups to Windows Update next year (some systems might already see it as an optional update). This will be followed by moving it to a recommended update in 2016. Once that happens users will get the chance to restore their system back to the old OS inside 31 days (still giving Microsoft a chance to capture data about what you have installed). However, we are also hearing that this grace period might not last. This will be the path for the Home and Professional versions. Microsoft is going to leave their Enterprise customers alone for now at least.

We are sure that someone will find a way to hack this out of the system, but you will have to avoid Windows Updates to ensure that you will not suddenly end up with Windows 10. The sad part is that Windows 10 is not a bad or slow OS. There are many features to like about it. That being said, Microsoft should not have features that scan the software installed on a system, capture keystrokes (regardless of the reason) or monitor anything a user does on their computer. This is why many people are avoiding the Windows 10 upgrade and if you force the issue they might just move to something else. This latter option will be the most impactful to Microsoft in the long run and will also have an impact on the sales of new systems.

We said early on in the Windows deployment cycle that Microsoft looked like they really wanted Windows 10 to fail and the more they push for everyone to have it (wanted or not) the more they will alienate consumers.

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