Microsoft is reportedly preparing for a more aggressive upgrade strategy for its latest PC operating system, Windows 10.
The strategy will be aimed at PCs that are still running on previous versions such as Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.
Josh Mayfield, a software engineer and developer for GWX Control Panel, said that he has been getting several reports from users that the upgrade option keeps popping up on their Win 7 and 8.1 PCs several times a day.
“Over Thanksgiving weekend I started getting reports that the Windows Update “AllowOSUpgrade” setting was getting flipped back on a number of peoples’ PCs,” he said.
In addition, he mentioned that the setting resets itself at least once a day if the user switches his PC off.
GWX Control Panel is a tool that blocks automatic operating system upgrades from Win 7 or Win 8.1 to Win 10. Mayfield developed it earlier this year to block the “Get Windows 10” applet, which was included in a March update to prepare PCs for the latest Microsoft OS version.
— MajorGeeks (@majorgeeks) September 25, 2015
Mayfield said that because this is a new behavior that he and his company are encountering for the first time, leaving PCs running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 “vulnerable” to automatic Windows 10 upgrade functions.
The software engineer has been keeping tabs on Microsoft’s updates and campaigns to push updates that would automatically upgrade Windows PCs. That way, he can update his Control Panel and have the ability to block such upgrades.
The latest version of his program is 1.6, and was released on Nov. 24. The tool is free to download.
However, it was around the time the latest Control Panel update was released that problems began to appear.
Mayfield said in an interview that Microsoft has continued to send new prompts that would automatically update and install Windows 10 to PCs running on older versions of the operating system.
He also speculates that Microsoft is preparing for something big. He attributes this theory to the recent updates on the Windows Update tool for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.
— Gadgets 360 (@Gadgets_360) December 3, 2015
The Window Update tool, Mayfield said, checks the system a few times every hour, and the GWX gives information that a particular PC can be upgraded to Windows 10.
According to Mayfield, the continuous updates for “Get Windows 10” and the Windows Update for Win7 and 8.1 may have something to do with one another.
“They’re working together,” he said. “They’re laying the groundwork for something.”
Back in together, Microsoft executive Terry Myerson, who is in charge of Windows, described how the company plans to encourage PC users to upgrade to Windows 10.
The option to upgrade will initially be seen as an “optional” update on Windows Update this year, and later become promoted to the “recommended” status in 2016.
Windows 10 will be made an automatic “recommended” update early next year, reports @ArsTechnica: https://t.co/n0x9oI3vYT
— Silver Peak (@SilverPeak) November 1, 2015
However, despite Microsoft’s efforts to push Win10 on to its users, most people prefer their older version PCs and devices.
Windows 10 was offered as a limited time free upgrade back in July for Windows 7, but most users are still not willing to make the plunge.
According to analytics company NET Applications, only 3.3 percent of all Windows 7 users have decided to upgrade to Windows 10. From the previous market share of 61 percent in July, the percentage of Windows 7 users just dipped to 57.7 percent a month later.
Microsoft can’t even give Windows 10 away: Windows 7 users are refusing to make the free upgrade. https://t.co/hGSBSDON1X
— Investors.com (@IBDinvestors) December 1, 2015
While there is a steady, albeit low decline of Windows 7 users, Microsoft is not satisfied with how things are going with their upgrade campaign. In November, 56.1 percent of Windows devices still run on Windows 7.
Windows 10 PCs and devices, on the other hand, only account for 9 percent.
[Image via Wikipedia Commons]