Microsoft really, really wants users on Windows 10, even if it has to slyly and aggressively sneak its latest operating system onto user's devices — and it turns out it might actually will.
According to the software engineer who created an app that blocks Microsoft from always notifying users to upgrade to Windows 10, the Redmond-based software company is flipping the switch on user's settings to get them to upgrade.
"Over Thanksgiving weekend I started getting reports that the Windows Update 'AllowOSUpgrade' setting was getting flipped back on on a number of peoples' PCs, and it keeps resetting itself at least once a day if they switch it back off," says Josh Mayfield, the creator of the GWX Control Panel app.
"GWX" stands for the "Get Windows 10" applet that Microsoft has installed on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs back in March which was activated months later last June. Since then, it looks like Microsoft has been getting busy. In order to keep his app updated, Mayfield has been keeping a close eye on Microsoft's moves.
On its download page, the app is described as "a free tool that can remove and disable the 'Get Windows 10' notification area icon on Windows 7 and Windows 8. Newer versions can also disable 'Upgrade to Windows 10' behavior in the Windows Update control panel." Since last summer, Mayfield has had to push update after update to users who have downloaded his software to keep up with Microsoft.
Now on Version 22.214.171.124 released just last Nov. 24, the app now performs background monitoring so that users won't have to keep relaunching the app to watch for changes in Microsoft's sneaky upgrade strategies.
But one developer can only do so much against Microsoft's legion of engineers. In fact, Mayfield says users are reporting that their PCs are being switched from a Do Not Upgrade to Windows 10 status to Do Upgrade state, even several times in a day. Moreover, Microsoft's very own "More Personal Computing" group led by Terry Myerson has outlined how they'll get Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users to move over to Windows 10.
It will be two-step process: the first step kicks off this year and the final step early next year. In Step One, Microsoft will add the Windows 10 upgrade to Windows 7 and 8.1 machines as an "optional" action. In Step Two, Microsoft will then make that Windows 10 upgrade "recommended" instead of just "optional."
Such a move will make a Windows 10 update automatically start (though a user can still cancel the process in the beginning). Nonetheless, Microsoft hopes that users will just let the update slide and allow it to proceed.