Microsoft wants you using Windows 10, like it or not

February 3, 2016 byAnick Jesdanun
Microsoft wants you using Windows 10, like it or not
In this Jan. 21, 2015, file photo, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at an event demonstrating the new features of Windows 10 at the company's headquarters in Redmond, Wash. If you're running an older version of Windows, you might suddenly find Microsoft's Windows 10 upgrade already downloaded on your machine. The automatic download, beginning the first week of February 2016, is part of Microsoft's aggressive push to get Windows 10 on as many devices as possible. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

If you're running an older version of Windows, you might suddenly find Microsoft's Windows 10 upgrade already downloaded on your machine.

You never requested it, so why are you getting it?

The automatic download is part of Microsoft's aggressive push to get Windows 10 on as many devices as possible. Since last July, Microsoft has distributed the on request. But starting this week, it's also pushing it out to those who haven't requested it—and who might not want it.

Microsoft isn't actually installing Windows 10 automatically, but installation is just a click or two away. If you're not careful, you might suddenly find the new system on your old machine.

Is this good for you?

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THE BENEFITS OF WINDOWS 10

Windows 10 has many improvements over its predecessors—especially Windows 8. It's much easier to use than Windows 8, and it offers more modern controls—akin to mobile devices—than Windows 7. (There is no Windows 9.) Windows 10 also paves the way for multiple devices to work together. You might be able to buy an once to run on your PC, phone and Xbox game machine, for instance. The app's layout would automatically reconfigure to the given screen size.

New apps are being designed for Windows 10, so if you have an older system, you might find yourself shut out.

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BENEFITS FOR MICROSOFT

Microsoft is reducing reliance on software sales in favor of services such as the Bing search engine, OneDrive storage and Skype for communications. Windows 10 was designed to steer users to those services. Microsoft makes money from ads and premium features that cost money—such as additional OneDrive storage.

Microsoft can also encourage app makers to write more software for Windows 10 if a lot of people are using it. It's similar to how Apple pushes its users to upgrade to the latest iPhone and Mac systems. App developers know they can enable the latest features without worrying about abandoning too many users of older devices.

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WHY HOLD OUT?

System upgrades aren't always smooth, especially on older machines with slower processors, less memory and less storage space available. Microsoft's Get Windows 10 app will verify that you meet minimum system requirements—but minimum doesn't mean speedy.

Older machines also might have software that won't work on Windows 10, so you'd have to spend money upgrading those programs, if upgrades are available at all. Printers, scanners and other accessories also might need new controlling software, called drivers. If a driver update isn't available, you might find yourself with a dead accessory.

And once you upgrade to Windows 10, you might be ceding control over future upgrades to Microsoft. The company is offering incremental updates to Windows 10 on a regular basis, and it won't always give you a choice on whether to accept.

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HOW TO KEEP THE OLDER WINDOWS

Microsoft is treating Windows 10 as a type of security update it regularly pushes to users. Microsoft is now reclassifying Windows 10 as "recommended" rather than "optional." In doing so, those who have set their machine to automatically get important updates will get Windows 10, too. You can avoid this by turning off automatic updates in the settings under Windows Update. That's not recommended, though, because you might miss important security fixes.

If you work for a large company, your system administrators are likely monitoring these updates, so Windows 10 won't automatically download without their OK. Plus, Microsoft isn't offering Windows 10 for free to larger companies.

Microsoft will support Windows 7 until 2020 and Windows 8 until 2023, after which time it will stop fixing any security problems. By then, it might be time for a new computer anyway.

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IF YOU'RE READY

To install Windows 10, all you need to do is accept it when prompted. Getting Windows 10 shouldn't affect your photos and other documents, though there's always a risk of a meltdown with any major upgrade. Back up your files first. You can use an online storage service such as OneDrive or DropBox to keep a backup online.

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WHAT IF YOU DON'T LIKE WINDOWS 10?

Microsoft keeps a backup of your system for a month. In the settings, go to "Update & security" and then "Recovery." You'll find the option to return to Windows 7 or 8. Your files should be OK, but you'll lose any apps installed after upgrading to Windows 10. Remember, you have only 31 days to change your mind.

Explore further: Windows 10 keeps growing, now running on 200M devices

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12 comments

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Eikka
5 / 5 (4) Feb 03, 2016
Reasons not to use Windows 10:

-Extensive surveillance features that cannot be turned off
-Forced updates for software and hardware

Recently there's been a case of FTDI making a driver update that physically breaks/disables cloned versions of their USB-serial converter chips that are used internally in many popular devices, by re-writing the chips' USB vendor identity strings to zero, so the device is no longer recognized and won't work.

Problem is, the counterfeit chips found their way through legitimate suppliers, so there's no knowing what device may be using them and may simply break down. That caused a big row, so FTDI pulled the update, but now they're back with another update that deliberately causes the cloned chips to output garbage data into the device's internal data bus, which is even worse because now the victim's device may do something completely random.

And Windows 10 is force-delivering that driver as an update.

Squirrel
5 / 5 (2) Feb 04, 2016
So to avoid getting Windows 10 I turn off automatic updates and get infected with malware because I missed an important security fix. Thank you Microsoft.
viko_mx
not rated yet Feb 04, 2016
Windows 10 is spying software, like older versions, but improved. Maybe this explains this aggressive strategy.
baudrunner
not rated yet Feb 06, 2016
I never have resident anti-malware or anti-virus software running on my machine, except for MalwareBytes anti-exploit which loads automatically when I start Firefox. Plugins include Super Ad-Block Plus, of course. I run the uninstall for all software like Norton or AVG or any other virus scanner that comes with a new computer, and I delete all references to them from my registry using Regedit, then I run another free download - Wise Registry Cleaner. Then..

Do this, click on "run" in your Windows start-up menu and type "msconfig" then Enter. In the Startup tab, uncheck absolutely everything, then reboot. You now have a fresh, clean machine.

Download MalwareBytes Anti-Malware free edition and Super Anti-Spyware free edition. Periodically upgrade their databases and then run a scan. You will get rid of all your cookies, no big deal anybody can do that anyway, but also any trojans, viruses, and P.U.P.'s - Potentially Unwanted Programs.
baudrunner
not rated yet Feb 06, 2016
Oh, and I have turned "Automatic Updates" off. It is extremely(!) annoying when MS Update takes over my machine when I am working on it and when it just reboots on its own to install updates I don't need. It is a pain in the ass.

If you do everything I did to my machine (I never have any problems because I don't access porn or other questionable sites that load trackers and P.U.P.'s or rootkits) you will have a better, faster, cleaner running computer, guaranteed.

Windows is just an O.S. The computer is the thing.
NMvoiceofreason
not rated yet Feb 06, 2016
My father has poor eyesight. He clicked on the Windows 10 Update popup. Problem was, it crashed (or he shut down the machine because it was taking too long to shut down) leaving the machine where you had to purchase a new copy of windows 10, or wipe the machine. We chose to backup his files and wipe the machine, reloaded from the HP recovery partition. We lost a lot of purchased software, Microsoft Office and Access developer tools which we will NEVER replace. Tried to contact "Windows 10 support", left playing phone tag for days.

Don't do it.
eric_in_chicago
not rated yet Feb 06, 2016
I am done with WIndoze for any regular personal computing.

I might build a win10 box for Doom4 or some other critical app but browsing and personal correspondence and banking....no way!!!

Kubuntu !
antigoracle
not rated yet Feb 06, 2016
Windows is a virus. The desperation of Microsoft leaves me weary of what they would do with all your personal information just to make a buck.
dustywells
not rated yet Feb 07, 2016
This article should raise red flags that go far beyond Microsoft, FTDI and privacy issues. It reaches into our rights of ownership of any material goods that were bought in good faith. Intellectual Property rights are being abused with the disabling of software and destruction of unrelated data, user interfaces are replaced at the whim of corporate executives and peripherals are made inoperable by tweaks in drivers; all without our consent or even our knowledge.

Certainly, IP rights should be respected. But that is a a battle to be fought in the courts not on the backs of consumers with potentially life threatening consequences.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Feb 07, 2016
Thankfully there's a registry key entry that will (currently) prevent windows 10 from installing (copy and paste following text into a textfile with .reg extension and double click. Source: http://www.heise....805.html )

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Gwx]
"DisableGwx"=dword:00000001

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate]
"DisableOSUpgrade"=dword:00000001
Osiris1
not rated yet Feb 07, 2016
All of those policy settings that you do to stop W$10 from taking over your '7' or '8' box are just so much twaddle. Windows back doors you through them all. I have two consecutive routers and software to stop virusus...Micro$$ bought them ALL off and installed over 8 gigabytes of its hive file crap on the directory "Windows Volume Information" on the C:\ drive. Not even an admin can access that directory, so windows IS, WAS, and ALWAYS will be property of Micro$$, not you that only thought you bought something in good faith. Poor fool you..and me too. Luckily for me I am a longtime Linux user and use linux to format and take care of my whole machine, so got into linux and used wipe to TOTALLY DESTROY all the crap Win$$ put in. I now know that registry settings, policy settings, update de-installers and the rest of Wndo$$ 'settings' are just balm for the foolish. Do not bother with them. Use linux to find the big files and DESTROY DESTROY DESTROY. NEVER STOP FIGHTING MICRO$$
Osiris1
not rated yet Feb 07, 2016
EVERYBODY PUT LINUX ON YOUR SYSTEMS EVEN IF YOU USE IT ONLY TO KILL WIN10 DOWNLOADS TO THE 'System Volume Information' directory. That one has a hidden attribute that says only the sole 'superuser' of ALL micro$$ systems, micro$$ itself, can put stuff into it. So while Windo$$ backdoors you, without vaseline, with win$$10 into that hidden directory unreachable by any windo$$ prog or outside utility.....YOU backdoor windo$$ the same way and take their 8 gigabytes out by using linux. Do this every day, first thing in the morning using the linux package 'wipe'. That takes out the windo$ secret downloads that are usually done to you at night while you sleep. Bet micro$$ can even secretly turn your machine on and off and listen using your CPU audio and watch using your web cams while you and your wife/husband/other have sex, smoke dope, or whatever.

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