Microsoft have finally released Windows 10 and are rolling out preparatory automatic installs on Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines. Microsoft announced that Windows 10 will be free for life for specific Windows 7 and 8 users and Windows 10 Beta Testers as long as they upgrade within a year of the release (until 29 July 2016). The minimum system requirements for this are 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM with 20GB of free space needed. The Windows 10 download is between 4 and 5GB.
Features of Windows 10 include:
- Cortana- ‘your own personal assistant to help you get things done’
- Gaming- ‘better PC gaming than ever before’
- Apps- ‘great built-in apps and access to a huge catalogue of apps on the Windows Store’
- Microsoft Edge- ‘a better web experience for sharing, reading, discovery and getting things done online’
- Cloud storage- ‘access to your files and photos on the cloud from any device’
- Multi-doing- ‘the best experience for doing what you do’
- Windows Hello- ‘a truly personal and secure experience where your device recognises you’
- Familiar and better than ever- ‘the Windows you already know plus great improvements’
One negligible negative feature from some early converters to Windows 10 is that adverts have appeared in the Windows 10 edition of Solitaire. Users of the card game have complained that they have been experiencing adverts including video clips unless they pay for an upgrade to not view them.
However, at Signal Networks, our main concern is with the latest ‘recommended’ Windows 7 and Windows 8 update (KB3035583). This optional update ‘enables additional capabilities for Windows 10 update notifications when new updates are available to the user’ and automatically installs a very large upgrade preparatory package called ‘Get Windows 10 app’ during the update. To explain it simply, this update is ‘actually a downloader for Windows 10’ which will notify the user when they can upgrade to Windows 10.
Through this update it will create a new directory in C:\Windows\System32\GWX and install some executables and files that serve as a notification tool enabling the PC to ‘display banners and other ads for Windows 10 as the launch date approaches’. Whilst this is happening, the GWXUXWorker.exe file acts as the Windows 10 downloader.
At Signal Networks, we feel this update is an unwanted advertising intrusion that’s not necessarily required for users to continue as usual with Windows 7 or Windows 8 and have instantly disabled the install on most of our machines.
For those that don’t have any desire to install this ‘upgrade preparatory package’ they can halt the upgrade by disabling the ‘Get Windows 10’ icon and notification window, and uninstalling the KB3035583 update. However, they’ll also want to ensure that the application is not automatically being pushed out by their patch management and service pack systems.