Microsoft has done so much to undo its negative image from years past that the "Get Windows 10" program seems like such an unusual aberration. It's beyond pushy, and I cannot recall Microsoft ever trying so hard to force a product on consumers, least of all an operating system.
But that's what's happening. In March it included a program called GWX as part of Patch Tuesday that nagged users to upgrade to Windows 10. You had constant nagging from a notification pop-up in the system tray, surreptitious downloading of up to 5GB of installation files, and even the launching of an installer without user input.
Well, they are doing it again. InfoWorld was the first to note that over the past weekend, Windows 7 and 8 users were getting a prompt in Windows Update that gave them two choices: update to Windows 10 now, or later. But there is no choice to not upgrade at all.
The way this is presented, it looks like you really have only two choices, and both of them are to upgrade. And I'm really amazed at this. The way out is to click the red X in the upper right corner. When in the world are they going to stop with the pushy behavior?
I never saw this banner or the pop up from the system tray thanks to a very nice utility called GWX Control Panel. It disables the systray popup and also the upgrade nagging in Windows Update. So I have never once been hounded to upgrade in recent months.
The developer has done a great job keeping up to date with this utility because Microsoft keeps finding workarounds. Earlier this month he said users were telling him that Windows 10 upgrade prompts had been mysteriously re-enabled. So he's working on an upgrade to his app that should disable it. But for me, it's working.
Microsoft provided me with a statement on the issue:
"Windows Update is the trusted, logical location for our most important updates, and adding Windows 10 here is another way we will make it easy for you to find your upgrade. Before the upgrade changes the OS of your device, you will be clearly prompted to choose to continue."
What they said was true, but it didn't answer a single thing. Yes, you are prompted to continue before the OS makes a change. But it doesn't tell you that changes would be made to the GWX, do a 5GB download without telling you, or circumvent third-party blocks to the nagging to upgrade.
This push has mostly affected consumers, but it's also starting to bug IT pros. When is this going to stop?