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As the Windows 10 adoption rate is slowing down, Microsoft ramps up its efforts to make users upgrade How to Upgrade to Windows 10 Now & Why You Should Wait How to Upgrade to Windows 10 Now & Why You Should Wait Have you been waiting patiently since July 29 for your Windows 10 upgrade? You should probably wait until you receive an official notification, but if you are determined, you can force the Windows 10 upgrade. Read More . Come 2016, many people will wake up to a new operating system, despite never having consciously consented to the upgrade How You Could Have Upgraded to Windows 10 by Accident & What to Do How You Could Have Upgraded to Windows 10 by Accident & What to Do Windows 10 was accidentally auto-installed on Windows 7 and 8.1 machines without user consent. Microsoft apologized for the mistake. We analyze the events and show you once more how to NOT get Windows 10. Read More . Even those of you who have previously removed updates and installed tools to block the Get Windows 10 app (GWX) could be affected.

We show you what’s going on and how to push back and hold on to Windows 7 or 8.

What’s Happening in Windows Land?

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, users of GWX Control Panel, a tool designed to remove the Get Windows 10 Get Windows 10: It's Not a Virus! Get Windows 10: It's Not a Virus! The Get Windows 10 icon in your system tray is not a virus. It's Microsoft's official upgrade note prior to the official release of Windows 10 on July 29th, 2015. Read More app, reported that the “AllowOSUpgrade” setting was being switched on automatically. “It keeps re-setting iself at least once a day if [users] switch it back off,” developer Josh Mayfield told Computerworld.

Apparently, Microsoft has been re-issuing the update that installs GWX with different binary files, which makes it look like a new update. Moreover, Microsoft has applied changes to Windows Update in Windows 7 and 8.1.

This update enables support for additional upgrade scenarios from Windows 7 to Windows 10, and provides a smoother experience when you have to retry an operating system upgrade because of certain failure conditions. This update also improves the ability of Microsoft to monitor the quality of the upgrade experience. —Microsoft Support

Mayfield suspects that Microsoft is laying the groundwork for its next move. And all the evidence suggests he’s right. Microsoft is pushing the Windows 10 upgrade through Windows Update How to Upgrade to Windows 10 via Windows Update How to Upgrade to Windows 10 via Windows Update Windows 10 is offered as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. When you're ready to upgrade, you can use Windows Update and keep all your installed programs and settings intact. Read More and it’s not being coy about it. In late October, Terry Myerson wrote:

We will soon be publishing Windows 10 as an “Optional Update” in Windows Update for all Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 customers. (…) Early next year, we expect to be re-categorizing Windows 10 as a “Recommended Update”. Depending upon your Windows Update settings, this may cause the upgrade process to automatically initiate on your device.

Such an update was erroneously published as a default update earlier this year. In September, reports surfaced that computers had been upgraded to Windows 10 over night.

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Meanwhile, the Get Windows 10 notification has lost a decline option. Instead, users can choose between “Upgrade now” or “Start download, upgrade later”. Reddit user EchoRadius reports that the “upgrade later” option caused his system to upgrade quicker than expected and automatically; other users confirm similar experiences.

The trick, of course, is to simply close the app without making a choice. It’s a clever way of fooling naive users into upgrading.

Why Is Microsoft Pushing So Hard?

The Windows 10 adoption rate is slowing down, as the latest numbers from NetMarketShare demonstrate. Windows 7 (56.11%) lost around 4% of its market share since the release of Windows 10, Windows 8.1 (11.15%) dropped by 2%. From October to November, however, both Windows versions gained back market share. Meanwhile, Windows 10 (9%) is struggling to overtake Windows XP Why Windows XP Won't Be Going Away Anytime Soon Why Windows XP Won't Be Going Away Anytime Soon People cannot let go of Windows XP. In businesses and homes the world over, it will stick around. We spoke with three Windows XP users from different generations and backgrounds to find out why. Read More (10.59%) as the third most common Windows version. This is a disaster that Christmas sales alone are unlikely to fix.

Windows 10 Adoption Rate

At the current rate, Microsoft is unlikely to make its 1 Billion Windows 10 devices goal anytime soon. But that’s not its biggest problem. Windows 10 was designed to reduce costs by streamlinging updates Windows 10 Upgrade - Free Doesn't Mean It Won't Cost Anything Windows 10 Upgrade - Free Doesn't Mean It Won't Cost Anything There's a catch to the free Windows 10 upgrade. Microsoft understands its audience all too well; they are more likely to pay for the freedom of control, rather than for extra features. Read More and bring in extra money through new services. The more existing users upgrade, the more profitable Microsoft will be This Is How Microsoft Can Monetize Windows 10 This Is How Microsoft Can Monetize Windows 10 Nothing in life is free, not even Windows 10. Many millions of users will indeed have a free Windows 10 upgrade. But how are we going to pay for Windows 10 in the long run? Read More ; it’s all about business.

5 Ways to Block the Windows 10 Upgrade

We have previously shown you how to get rid of the Windows 10 upgrade notification How to Get Rid of Windows 10 Upgrade Notification in Windows 7 & 8 How to Get Rid of Windows 10 Upgrade Notification in Windows 7 & 8 Windows 10 is coming and Microsoft wants everyone to upgrade. The Windows 7 & 8 popup reminder ensures that even the last person will be aware of this option. Here's how you can remove it. Read More and how to stop the automatic Windows 10 download and installation Stop the Windows 10 Download & Installation on Your Windows 7 or 8 Device Stop the Windows 10 Download & Installation on Your Windows 7 or 8 Device If your Internet has been slower than usual or if you noticed less disk space, you can probably blame Microsoft. Windows Update may have downloaded the Windows 10 installation files behind your back. Stop it! Read More . In the meantime, additional strategies have emerged. Here we’ll briefly summarize all of them.

1. Install Third Party Software

The previously mentioned GWX Control Panel (fka GWX Stopper) can permanently remove the Get Windows 10 icon and disable the respective app. Frequent updates and a newly added “Monitor Mode” ensure that the tool will quickly catch any changes made to Windows upgrade settings and alert users. You can download GWX Control Panel here (direct download).

GWX Control Panel

Likewise, I Don’t Want Windows 10 blocks GWX, however, this tool hasn’t been updated in a while.

2. Take Control Over GWX Folder in System 32

This sounds more intimidating than it is. You could rename the GWX folder to remove the irritating system tray icon. At least this would prevent anyone from accidentally upgrading now or later — until an update restores the folder. Instead, change write permissions.

Briefly, open File Explorer, head to C:\Windows\System32, find the GWX folder, take ownership, delete everything in it, and Deny any users all of the security settings. Restart your computer Why Does Rebooting Your Computer Fix So Many Issues? Why Does Rebooting Your Computer Fix So Many Issues? "Have you tried rebooting?" It's technical advice that gets thrown around a lot, but there's a reason: it works. Not just for PCs, but a wide range of devices. We explain why. Read More and be done.

3. Set a Registry Key to Disable GWX

Open the registry and head to the following string:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows

Right-click Windows to create a new Key and call it GWX. Now right-click GWX and create a new DWORD Value called DisableGWX. Set its value to 1, close the registry editor, and reboot to activate the changes.

4. Disable Recommended Updates

Microsoft announced that Windows 10 will become a recommended update in 2016. Time to disable these updates, they are not essential anyway. Briefly, head to Windows Update Windows Update: Everything You Need To Know Windows Update: Everything You Need To Know Is Windows Update enabled on your PC? Windows Update protects you from security vulnerabilities by keeping Windows, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Office up-to-date with the latest security patches and bug fixes. Read More , select Change Settings from the menu on the left, under Important updates, select Install updates automatically, and then remove the check mark under Recommended updates.

Windows Update Settings

If you’re on a metered connection, you might want to disable automatic updates altogether. Note that this could make your system vulnerable to malware and malicious attacks.

5. Give Up and Install Linux

We don’t know how far Microsoft will go to make Windows 7 and 8.1 users adopt Windows 10 before the free upgrade offer expires. And while Windows 10 has many benefits and this writer enjoys working with it very much, the aggressiveness with which Microsoft is pushing the upgrade is disconcerting. If you can’t see yourself using Windows 10, maybe it’s time to move on.

Linux is a great alternative to Windows Should I Use Linux Or Windows? 3 Deal-Breaker Questions You MUST Answer Should I Use Linux Or Windows? 3 Deal-Breaker Questions You MUST Answer Linux. Windows. We aren't here to tell you which one is better; rather, we're here to help you decide which one is better for you. Read More not only because it’s free. It also comes in many different flavors, some of which are very similar to Windows. Last but not least, it’s less of a target for hackers and malware. First time users upgrading from Windows might want to try Ubuntu Linux 4 Ways to Install Ubuntu Linux on a Windows Computer 4 Ways to Install Ubuntu Linux on a Windows Computer You want to install Ubuntu on your Windows computer, don't you? The thing is, you're not 100% certain, yet. Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can try Ubuntu before committing. Read More .

win8_ubuntu_design

When Will You Give Into Windows 10?

Maybe, if Microsoft nags users long enough, they will eventually give in. The numbers indicate that this hasn’t worked so well, yet. What if Microsoft focused on making Windows 10 really great and let it speak for itself. A free upgrade alone isn’t enough.

What is making you stick with Windows 7 or 8? And which feature would make you upgrade to Windows 10?

  1. Anon
    June 21, 2016 at 5:21 am

    I have word from MS that their engineers are working on a plan to break Josh Mayfield's program presumably before July 29th.

    • Tina Sieber
      June 21, 2016 at 9:47 pm

      Can't wait for the shit storm when that happens. *sigh* Why does Microsoft want to be evil?

  2. Anon
    May 1, 2016 at 5:47 am

    I hacked the hell out of my wife's Windows 7 system. Turned off every possible update setting, ripped out folders, crippled update programs, changed anything I could find that points to an MS website throughout, blocked remote networking & crippled that too, changed the hosts settings to nullify any MS sites to 127.0.0.1, and about 50 other things I can't remember, etc...
    And MS still has access to her computer. It's been hardcoded since 7+, and it's annoying, not to mention illegal.
    My own Windows XP system has been successfully cutoff forever, so when I can't find drivers for any XP motherboards (for myself), I'm either quitting Windose or switching O.S.'s

  3. Anthony
    April 21, 2016 at 12:19 am

    Thanks for this. I was running Windows 10 for months. Throughout it, I started receiving DPC Watchdog Violations. I tried every solution from updating drivers, deselecting Fast Startup, doing a repair, and refreshing the PC, killing all the apps, etc. If anything I noticed more frequent blue screens of death with the forced restarts. Went back to Windows 7. No problem. Windows 7 does everything I need it. It's reliable. Don't see any reason to upgrade if there's obvious compatibility problems with my PC hardware...

  4. Martim
    December 23, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    I tried Win 10 on my newer Dell Latittude and it created problems, as I have two different video cards. There was an update that crashed the entire system, reverted the screen to the high graphics NVida card. From that point on it was downhill. Dell Pro Support was at a loss as well. I am back to Win 7 and now very apprehensive of updating for a while.

    Being over a metered connection via satellite in woods, I needed to spend some time at the local library doing continual Win 7 updates. Microsoft surreptitiously attempting to reinstall on my system annoying. They are stealing my monthly data allotment. Perhaps this would be a good basis for class action against MS.

  5. Big Ugg
    December 23, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Not only is Microslop *STILL* using dirty, sneaky ways to force users to do what Microslop wants (and still you don't own the OS you paid for, suckers! Read your EULA.), with the folks who *are* on metered internet (like myself and my mom who can only afford 15GB/mo and that's for *both* of us, not individually) this backdoor crap could possibly screw me over by automatically downloading their crapware and using 3GB+ of the 15 I have for the whole month. When that's used up, we're dropped to dial-up speeds.

    Piss on Microslop. I started using computers in '93, Win3.1, and it only took me until the year 2000 to hate Windows/Microslop with such a passion not only for the shabby OS but for their shifty, downright dirty habits, that I started searching for other OS's. I knew about Mac's, but they were way too expensive and the newest one Iplayed with at a mall display store just didn't do it for me. Never heard of anything else until I did the search and found Linux. I literally quit using M$ overnight. I started downloading a distro and using it to see if I liked it or not and eventually settled on one that I used for maybe 5 or 6 years and then went to Slackware where I've been since.

    Like I tell people, if Bill Gates came to my home and offered me a million dollar check or even cash if I'd start using Windows again, I'd tear up the check or throw the money back at him, punch his nose and sic my dogs on him.

  6. Sarangan
    December 23, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Come on silly people, why the heck you wanna stay with old OS. Welcome to Windows 10!! m f :D You will never go back again ;)

    • woodust
      January 5, 2016 at 4:31 pm

      Let me tell you what happened to me when I had Microsoft download win 10. I used it for a month. I tried to download a Texas holdem card game and I completely lost all control. Called dell since it is still under warranty. they Had me shut down win and start up clicking f-12. This diagnosed the hardware which was ok. then I had to reinstall the completely operating system back to win 7 twice. Talked to seven different people ,finally one found 665 viruses including the Trojan horse. Now my system can't use a recovery point. Advice was to go into the registry which is dangerous unless you are a computer tech. This was a lot of work to reinstall win 7 since only pictures and documents an etc. are backed up and not any security antivirus or malware or Adobe or Java and other important things and had to make contact with each to install. I won't dare install win 10 again. It's too bad that Microsoft will force people into something that is less secure than they say it is.

    • fadfafdf
      April 22, 2016 at 9:22 pm

      I'll never go back because I'll never upgrade. 10 crashes constantly and is just crap.

  7. Nicky K.D Chaleunphone
    December 23, 2015 at 5:48 am

    I was gona upgrade to Windows 10 but my College is still using Window's 7 & 8.1. So that means if your in College and brought a new Tablet or Laptop. It may be an issue using Window's 10 on College campus's

  8. Ken
    December 22, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    What I've found problematic is that the Windows 10 Update begins with absolutely no warning or prompts - no suggestion of backing up your present system, establishing a restore point or anything. I was using my browser when the PC froze. When I rebooted, my PC screen was black and would not startup. My repair technician ( in more technical terms) informed my that my entire hard drive had been wiped and could not be accessed. At that time the repair technician had 4 other machines with similar problems caused by the aggressive update. He informed me that in other cases, real hardware problems had been caused. How is Microsoft responding to this problem and related complaints?

    • Tina Sieber
      December 23, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      A disaster like that should never happen. I wonder how the Windows 10 upgrade would cause the hard drive to be wiped. It doesn't format the drive, that's not how it works. Did your repair technician have any idea how this could have happened?

  9. michael_dowling
    December 22, 2015 at 12:11 am

    I went the 3rd party route today,and installed GWX Control Panel. Haven't had any drive by attempts from MS to shove 10 down my throat lately,but I am determined not to be buffaloed into it.

  10. senior116
    December 20, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    I have updated my PC and Surface Pro 3 to Windows 10. Also, my sons have upgraded their PC's and Laptops to Windows 10. The only computer not running Windows 10 is our home server. All of our computer are running extremely well without any interruptions and absolutely now BSOD's. Two of our desktops are more than 7 years old and even close to 10 years old. One of our laptops is a Mac Book Pro. My concern is the constant negative articles regarding Microsoft's efforts and methods of moving everyone from older versions of Windows to Windows 10. First let's recognize that Window 10 is a free upgrade from Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and really Windows 8 as well because the upgrade from 8 to 8.1 is also free. Looking at the upgrade issue from Microsoft's perspective, the speed at which Microsoft can deploy Windows 10 updates can be much faster if they do not have to commit resources to Windows 8.1 and earlier versions of Windows. All Windows 10 users will benefit from Microsoft's ability to put all their resources into supporting and updating the Windows 10 OS for all computing devices. I am asking this site and all sites to support Microsoft in this effort by not writing reports that vilify Microsoft's efforts to bring everyone to windows 10. All Windows users will greatly benefit from Microsoft's ability to commit all its resources to Windows 10.

    • Tina Sieber
      December 20, 2015 at 10:50 pm

      I think you're missing the point of these articles. The point is not that Windows 10 is bad; that's a different discussion. The point is that people have a right to use the operating system they bought.

      Microsoft does not own the hardware and can not legally force users to upgrade from a perfectly secure and (until 2020) supported operating system like Windows 7. Microsoft is playing on people's tech illiteracy to get them to upgrade and that's not OK.

    • Gen Aris
      December 22, 2015 at 7:11 am

      To Senior116: your assertion that "all Windows users will benefit" from updating to Windows 10 is, in my case and that of at least one other commenter here, not valid. Microsoft stripped Windows Media Center out of Windows 10; since my living room computer exists to feed my library of media to my projector and stereo through Windows Media Center, updating beyond 8.1 is not beneficial in any form to me. Ditto my other computer which I also use Windows media center on.

      The sad thing is, I have updated a 3rd PC and like Windows 10; had Microsoft learned how to grow the media center experience and user base (which seems like a good place to be given the cable-cutting trends) instead of pulling the plug, if they'd left media center in Windows, I'd have been eager to update. Even if it was unchanged from the Windows 7 & 8/8.1 version that would have been okay by me, and how much money & effort would that have taken? They have the right to say they're done with Windows media center, and I (and other wmc users) have the right to say Windows 10 won't meet our needs and can refuse to update.

  11. lott11
    December 20, 2015 at 7:59 am

    Just today I did a fresh reinstall of windows 7 ult, and just got the you have no other choice option.
    But update windows 10?,
    Yes I do have a choice.
    In the past few years I down graded the size of windows hard drive from 1TB to 500GB.
    Well it has finally come down to this, I am going to put windows 7 in it's final resting place.
    Windows it going to its last place under Linux inside Qemu to stay there for long time.
    Since I only use it for gaming now days.
    well all that I will loose is some FPS and resolution.
    At least till AMD get the open Gl project that will make Steam run great under Linux.
    Till that time it is going to a VR box so it never gets updated.
    My only worry now is under witch Linux partition is it going to be installed.
    I got a few days before it is Xmas.
    Well have to go I have 3 hard drives to zero out.
    To reinstall on 2 PC's with Linux and a sealed windows 7 like a mad dog.

  12. Holger Govertz
    December 19, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    I have a lot of expensive software, how can I be sure it will run on Win 10. And when I'm satisfied with Win 7, why upgrade.
    And the way MS is pushing Win 10, makes me want to push back, it's my computer and I decide what OS it's running.

    • Tina Sieber
      December 20, 2015 at 3:20 pm

      While the upgrade to Windows 10 is free, you could download and install Windows 10 in a dual boot to test the software. You could also install Windows 10 in a virtual machine on Windows 7 and test the software there. Or you could simply search for people who've already upgraded to Windows 10 and are using the same software you do.

      Of course, while Windows 7 is still supported and if you're perfectly satisfied with it, why would you change a running system? I totally agree and Microsoft is making a huge mistake, trying to trick people into upgrading.

  13. john
    December 18, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    I haven't had my fifteen years worth of use out of Win 7 yet. Maybe i'll check out Win 10 around 2020

  14. Del
    December 18, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    I suspect that the reason I've never seen the icon from Microsoft urging me to upgrade to w10 is because my 120 gb ssd stays nearly full on purpose.I have a 1Tb drive to hold data.Hopefully,they won't load that with their upgrade.I use media center in W7. Tina Seiber is an excellent writer and a well informed tech. I enjoy all her articles.

  15. Dave Brumley
    December 18, 2015 at 11:05 am

    My biggest issue with Win10 is the fact that Media Center is gone. I think that was a bad move. Here in this ever increasing environment of video content, Microsoft had a golden opportunity to redo Media Center, bringing it up to date with today's more powerful hardware and media savvy users. But no, Microsoft decides no one is using Media Center and consigns it to the bit bucket. Such a near sighted corporate decision baffles me, but falls in line with all the other garbage that has been strewn by the shoveling of Win10 down everyone's throat. It's a shame, really. Come on! Wake up, Microsoft! You keep insisting that you listen to the users and have their best interests at heart, and then you shoot yourselves in the foot. Well, good luck with that. I'm sticking with Win7 Pro hoping someone there at Redmond will come around and smell the coffee (not Java).

    • fadfafdf
      April 22, 2016 at 9:26 pm

      Not saying you should upgrade from 7, but VLC media player is a lot better and you can get it for WIndows 10 and 7.

  16. Jeff C
    December 18, 2015 at 8:20 am

    Putting Important updates on automatic is a bad idea.

    At some point Microsoft will make Windows 10 an Important update.

    After all, it's important to their bottom line, and that's what is really Important to them.

  17. Gen
    December 18, 2015 at 5:34 am

    I have a PC with Windows 10 and a big Dell multi-touch monitor and love it, I'd LOVE to upgrade my MediaCenter computer running Win 8.1 and another PC running Windows 7 as I do like Win 10, but since Microsoft gave WINDOWS MEDIA CENTER the middle finger, and that's important to me on those 2 machines with my 24tbs of media representing lots of $ and time, I'm not going to be updating those 2 machines. The "prompting" from ms to "get Windows 10" or get it at point of gun when we force it on you--- it's a real sore point for me. They could easily have just repackaged the feature-gutted corpse of win media center it's been reduced to in the win 7 & 8 era for Windows 10, and that would have been enough for me (other users, perhaps not) and wouldn't have been that costly. But they made their choice; I wish they'd let me make mine in peace. Every time I check updates, the CHECKMARK has been checked again for the "optional" Windows 10 update!

  18. memo
    December 18, 2015 at 4:39 am

    My experience wasn't one of being aggressed upon, but rather mildly distracted.

    I read the pros and cons. I'm happy to upgrade to Win10, so I said /go ahead/, and it went through the process and stopped before the final step, saying that it couldn't finish. Okay, go back, then. And later I got messages saying everything's fine, all ready now, the system is fully compatible, so I said /go ahead/ again. I tried a third time. A lot of wasted time, and no good result. I cast about for a solution. Apparently the Microsoft-approved fix, in my case, is to download and install and learn to use a third party partition manager, change the size of partitions on my boot drive and move them around (!), then try /again/.

    Um, no. My goodwill has been used up in this regard. Win7 will have to do.

    In the past I've tried a few flavors of Linux and even experimented with WINE to use the Windows programs I'm familiar and proficient with, but always something creeps in and spoils the experience like, for example, you're working along and you go away and come back and the audio editing and/or composing program that was working fine this afternoon won't work at all tonight when you need it. I've never had that problem with any version of Windows, going all the way back to Win3.1. And I've never had to pay for Windows; it always just comes in a new or used computer I buy, and the latest two used computers came loaded with Win7, and everything just works.

    In a couple of years I'll buy a refurb computer for coffee money and it'll have Win10 in it. I can wait that long.

  19. Gilbert J.
    December 18, 2015 at 12:00 am

    For first-timers looking to switch from Windows 7 to Linux, I would strongly recommend trying Mint rather than Ubuntu.
    First of all, Mint is laid out in a manner that is similar to Windows 7, so it is very easy for Windows 7 users to adjust to. Ubuntu is laid out entirely differently, such that people accustomed to Window 7 will find it confusing and non-intuitive. I don't mean this as a criticism of Ubuntu, merely an observation that Ubuntu is not at all like Windows.
    Secondly, my own experience has been that Mint seems to work out of the box almost every time. About the only issue I've ever had is that it is sometimes necessary to go into settings to enable a Wi-Fi driver that wasn't enabled by default. Other than that, it just works. It doesn't crash. It doesn't freeze. It just works. My experience with Ubuntu has been that it doesn't come with all the drivers you need, particularly for WiFi, so you have to connect to ethernet to download what you need, and then, after you get it running, it is inclined to freeze up. I've tried 12.04 and 14.04 and had problems with both. Ubuntu is very popular, so other users must have had more success with it than I have, but it's not the one I would recommend to new users.
    I have two computers I use at present. One has dual-boot Windows 7 and Linux Mint, both of which work fine. The other came with Windows 8.1 and now has Windows 10 and Linux Mint. I didn't like 8.1 that much, but it worked. Windows 10 has got rid of some of the weird stuff in 8.1 like clicking on the corners and so on. Unfortunately, it seems to have introduced annoying glitches. Sometimes programs/browsers take forever to load. Sandboxie doesn't work any more. Left-clicking on a tab on the taskbar to bring up that window sometimes brings up a jump list as though I had right-clicked. Sometimes using the CTRL key makes things go haywire. Linux Mint on the same machine works perfectly. If I need Windows (as I did today to update a Tom-Tom for someone) I use the Windows 7 machine, and I don't plan to switch it to Windows 10 any time soon. I might switch right before the free upgrade period ends, but I probably won't. If I don't switch and that computer is still in use when Windows 7 support ends, I'll just use Linux on it thereafter.

    • Tina Sieber
      December 18, 2015 at 10:41 am

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Gilbert. Like Marty below, you're making good points about Mint. In fact, Mint is the Linux version I have most experience with. It really is very intuitive because it's a lot like Windows 7 in terms of the user interface.

  20. Arun
    December 17, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    I agree, I sense a very strong urge for MS to move all to the "new" platform. Part of the reason could be the "Universal Windows Platform" push that sits on top of Windows 10, Windows phone, XBox(?) and anything that MS wants to "confine" dealing with going forward.

    I went to a MS Event hosted a few days back and that is the feel that I got from that event. Never before have I seen them so rigorously pushing this agenda.

    While I like the "universalization" of platform, I didn't get the complete confidence that the word "universe" means the same for Microsoft as for the users (of different OS and platforms). To me, it felt like the attempt is "One ring to rule the world" approach!

  21. Erin
    December 17, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    I have 2 computers to theoretically update BUT I live in a rural area & have a horribly slow internet connection. Even if I left a computer on all night to try & update, these too often fail due to a lost connection & has to start over. I can't afford to babysit such huge updates & then the updates to the updates. MS if they want me to update, then I need to conveniently be able to get a free installation DVD to be able to get updates to W8.1 & then W10, if that's the way they insist. Otherwise, I'm quite happy with W8 & see no need to update & simply can't. Oh, & I live off grid, so I can't on a whim just keep drawing power to a satellite dish, a modem & a computer, & while none of this is MS's fault, the updates are just TOO BIG for my slow connection. I also use my computers a lot, just not so much with the internet.

    • Marty Friedman
      December 18, 2015 at 2:08 am

      Erin

      There are several versions of Linux that you can buy very cheap [or just give a small donation] given your download speed. Here http://distrowatch.com/ you can read about all the each. If you're looking for a something lightning fast, 'complete' with nearly everything you might need, etc., there's plenty to choose from. I've started to use Linux as my main system; use of Windows is for only a few things, If you like Win. 7, Zorin has a very similar interface; Mint is excellent, Xubuntu and Lubuntu are lightning fast and stable (once you 'master' the package manager and updates, you'll never go back.)

      • Tina Sieber
        December 18, 2015 at 10:39 am

        Good points, Marty. Thank you for the recommendation and the links!

  22. l_mckeon
    December 17, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    Thank you for this article. The astonishingly aggressive nature of Microsoft's attempts to make us upgrade (coupled with the outrageous privacy violations) are unprecedented and make me wonder what's behind them.

    While it's probably too paranoid to suggest they're doing it on behalf of the Government, you have to wonder.

    Windows 10 seemingly provides an excellent marketing opportunity for any anti-virus company that promised protection from Microsoft.

  23. TT
    December 17, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    What is making you stick with Windows 7 or 8? And which feature would make you upgrade to Windows 10?

    Sticking with 7, W10 has nothing I want or need, period. Its that simple for me. I call it the "Perspective Principle" its all how each person sees it, I may upgrade one of my laptops next spring only to learn W10, and more than likely all i ll do is reverse everything in it to go back to how 7 is, again it offers me nothing at all of any use, and i am a professional graphic designer running custom quad monitor workstations, i do hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in production on them. I always look for anything out there in the world to do anything faster, better, simpler, easier etc, if i find it i ll go for it, but W10 aint got it.

    For what other people do in their lives, then it very well may have a lot of what they want, but until my needs change its not for me. In fact i find that more and more things as they "improve" are getting less useful to me and what i do, I use Quark all the time for print jobs, I cant upgrade it, they added some nice stuff, but in the process killed stuff i use every day, they say to do it differently, i say i dont want to add lots of extra work to my day when it works fine already, so be it i guess.

  24. pmac
    December 17, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    My biggest problem is the sneaky updates. I like to view before I click install.

  25. Ray
    December 17, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    I will not upgrade as I insist I am keeping Windows Media Centre.

  26. Ian H.
    December 17, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    I'm sticking with Windows 7 until my mission-critical projects are done. I'll probably upgrade before the end of the free offer, but on the off chance that everything doesn't go swimmingly, I don't want to be stuck with a system I can't use the week before a big project is due.

  27. Paul
    December 17, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    My solution was to delete the 2 folders C:\$Windows.~BT and C:\$Windows.~WS. I then created 2 empty files named $Windows.~BT and $Windows.~WS. This blocks the recreation of the folders and any attempts to download and install.

    This may not be a best case solution but it is simple and works.

    • Tina Sieber
      December 18, 2015 at 10:36 am

      Thank you for the tip, Paul!

  28. Peter Buyze
    December 17, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Under 4: why do you recommend to install updates automatically, when MS is getting so tricky with its surreptitious changes to the user's system?
    Why not recommend to "check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them"? That way the users is always in control & MS cannot install anything on the quiet.

    • Richard Allen
      December 17, 2015 at 9:43 pm

      It's funny that you ask that because yesterday I saw on Woody Leonhard's site askwoody dot com where he mentions: I’ve heard from several people, in several different contexts, that Microsoft had switched their machines from “Download updates but let me choose whether to install them” to “Install updates automatically.” I've been following Woody's advice for years on when to do the Windows Updates, probably since before W7. I usually end up updating every 4-5 weeks and I never use the 'Recommended' updates. It's been many years since I've used auto updates and I can't remember the last time I saw a virus or malware object. Let's not forget... W10 allows Pro and Enterprise users to defer updates for up to 4 weeks and defer upgrades for months.

      • Peter Buyze
        December 18, 2015 at 6:07 am

        Richard, I don't know if you wrote this article, my comment was meant for the author (Tina Sieber?). If you did write the article (for Tina?) then I don't understand your answer.
        You say you never use auto updates, and yet in this article you tell people to do so. That does not make sense.
        By the way, I have mine set to "Let me choose .... " on my Win 8.1 PC, and so far this setting has not been changed by the MS update process; I do check it after installing each update.

    • Jeff C
      December 17, 2015 at 11:23 pm

      Exactly,
      Their sneaky process of changing the Get Windows 10 app/update from 'recommended' to 'important' and then reissuing it constantly so that even those who have hidden or uninstalled and hidden it keep getting it shows how they could do this.

      How long until they decide that W 10 is an 'Important' upgrade instead of just 'recommended'?
      Which would automatically install if that is the setting chosen.

      Since people upgrading to it is important to Micro$oft's bottom line, and that is their main criteria, it should be expected at some point.

    • Tina Sieber
      December 18, 2015 at 10:31 am

      Peter, I recommend to install important updates automatically because at this point, it's still riskier to be vulnerable to known bugs, than any damage an update could cause. Users who are diligent about manually installing important updates can take the route you suggest of course.

      Right now, Windows 10 is not an important update and all hell will break loose if Microsoft decides to go that route before support for Windows 7 and 8.1 expires. They know that and I hope that will make them think twice about it. European consumer protection agencies already consider taking Microsoft to court for the aggressive Windows 10 download practices.

      By the way, I think Richard was just commenting because he could relate to your comment, not because he felt like you addressed him. And after all, I do write my own articles, thank you. :)

      • Richard Allen
        December 18, 2015 at 11:46 am

        Correct! Nice article by the way! ;)

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