Microsoft's aggressive tactics to push Windows 10 on consumer PCs are infamous by now. If you are running Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 and want to stay with your current OS, you will have a hard time fending off the upgrade prompts and continuous nags to move to Windows 10, an OS that doesn't offer much in the way of any new groundbreaking or significant improvements, new technology or extra value to existing Windows customers. In fact it reduces your control over many settings, eliminates features and a great deal of customization and choice, and slows down performance due to the use of managed code in the OS. If you are still on Windows 7 or Windows 8, you probably have already learned of all the ways to avoid Windows 10. However, you should not relax.
If you are not familiar with the whole saga of aggressive upgrades, here are a few links for you to see how desperate Microsoft is to force Windows 10 on you:
- Windows 10 upgrade offer now has no Cancel option.
- Windows 10 might be silently downloaded on your computer.
- It might directly show you the prompt to install it as it is being aggressively pushed via deceptively described updates.
- Windows 10 will become a recommended update.
- Microsoft continues to push Windows 10 aggressively.
Now, here is an official statement from the Windows camp on these rather shameless methods to force Windows 10 on you. During a recent Windows Weekly episode (Windows Weekly is the podcast where Paul Thurrot and Mary Jo Foley are speakers), Microsoft's Chris Capossela, who is their marketing head, explained that Microsoft sees nothing wrong with the current promotion of Windows 10. Capossela claimed that the company is trying to avoid fragmentation in the Windows segment by moving everyone to Windows 10 as soon as possible. Since Windows 10 follows Microsoft's new "Windows as a Service" paradigm, they are interested in migrating every user to the new Store ecosystem of paid apps, free apps with advertisements and overall reduced control over your PC. Here's what Caposella had to say:
Look, we made Windows 10 for free for anybody who has a Windows 7 or 8 machine. You can call that freemium if you want, but that was a decision, you know we did not take that decision lightly.
For us, it was just so incredibly important to try to end the fragmentation of the Windows install base, and so we think that every machine that is capable of running Windows 10, we should be doing everything we possibly can to get people to move to Windows 10.
We always want to give them the choice, and we are trying to find the right UI constructs, we are trying to find the right upgrade constructs that we think are going to please as many people as possible.
The only problem with his assertions is that firstly, Windows 7 is no less secure than Windows 10. Second, the fragmentation only means less revenue for Microsoft from paid and ad-supported Store apps. If you are on Windows 7 and enjoying quality desktop apps that have a lot more features and trouble-free performance, this fact is immaterial to Microsoft. In short, they want to replace the Windows 7 experience with one that isn't as good enough yet they want to monetize it through their App Store model with ad-supported apps and paid apps, and revenue from Bing/Cortana.
Keeping this in mind, you should be extremely wary of what Microsoft tries to force on you. You should expect more dirty tricks which try to coax you into installing Windows 10. They can release any number of "recommended updates", or a dialog which has no button to refuse the upgrade. They have infinite tricks up their sleeve to force you eventually to a closed Store ecosystem with minimal control over the functioning of the OS where powerful, desktop apps that can modify the OS user experience cannot run, only limited function Metro apps can run. This model worked out very well for Apple, so Microsoft wants to clone that success.
Personally, I have disabled Windows Update completely in my Windows operating system, as I use Windows very rarely and for a limited number of tasks. I took this decision because not only I was not happy with new versions of Windows after XP, but also, because I have no time to monitor each and every update and approve the ones I can install safely. I decided to use Arch Linux as my primary operating system some time ago and have been very happy with it ever since. It certainly looks like it that running Linux will become the only guaranteed way to avoid the Windows 10 upgrade offer for consumers. Enterprise PCs on the other hand, those running Windows 7 Enterprise or Windows 8.1 Enterprise are so far not being presented any updates to move to Windows 10.