Only 3 months into the Windows 10 release and Microsoft is changing the process for upgrading users. Windows Update will soon be showing Windows 10 as an “optional update” for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users. However, Microsoft plans to bump it up to a “recommended update” sometime “early next year,” according to the announcement.
The operating system could automatically install as a recommended update, depending on an organization’s Windows Update settings, Microsoft warned. However, it will be possible to roll back these Windows 10 upgrades within 31 days if wanted.
Media Creation Tool
Another change is that Microsoft plans to enhance its free Media Creation Tool to facilitate upgrades to Windows 10 Home and Pro editions. It’s not clear exactly what will be enhanced, though, based on Microsoft’s announcement. The tool can be downloaded and used to create 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 10 ISOs, either for upgrades or clean installs across multiple machines. The ISOs get created using DVDs or USB drives.
Reservations Going Away
It seems that this scenario is changing. Microsoft explained today that it is now dispensing with the reservation system for Windows 10 upgrades. That system let people sign up to get Windows 10, but they’d still have to wait months for the installation to actually happen. Now, if the upgrade invite is accepted, Microsoft’s Windows Update service will install Windows 10 right away.
Upgraders will get a notice when the downloaded files are available to install Windows 10. Once installed, users will have 31 days to roll back to the old Windows, if they want to. The rollback is possible because Microsoft now keeps “a full copy of your previous operating system on your device — including apps and settings,” over that 31 day time period.
Those Windows users who are eligible for the free upgrade but who just don’t want Windows 10 have a new option. They can use the Settings control in Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to decline getting future Windows 10 upgrade notices, Microsoft’s announcement indicated.
Microsoft’s corporate goal is to get Windows 10 on 1 billion devices by its fiscal-year 2018. Its free upgrade offer bumped Windows 10 use to 75 million devices back in August. This month, Microsoft is claiming there are “more than 110 million devices” running Windows 10. To prod more upgrades, Microsoft is planning an experiment in the U.S. market for so-called “non-Genuine” Windows users.
Non-Genuine Windows users will get a “one-click” Windows 10 upgrade opportunity. It will allow them to change the device’s product key on the fly via a link to the Windows Store allowing them to buy a legitimate Windows 10 product key. If the experiment proves successful in the U.S. market, Microsoft could expand it to other markets.