Late last year, Microsoft announced that they would, in early 2016, set the Windows 10 update files to ‘recommended’ instead of optional which means that the bits for the install process will automatically be downloaded for most users. While the OS will still require a user to start the process, the files will be pre-loaded on to any machine to already running the OS.
For corporate users, this likely should not be an issue as you can block the update using the various tools that Microsoft provides for managing your network, but for those small businesses who do not have these tools, they will need to pay close attention to the updates as the company will be pushing the files to machines that are domain joined but are still using Windows Update.
But that’s not the worst of it, if you are a consumer on a metered connection using Windows 7 or 8.1, there is no automated work-round for not getting the update. Microsoft says that you have the option of turning off automatic updates and then manually checking for patches but this process is cumbersome for the average user and requires them to keep checking for updates on a regimented basis if they want their machine fully protected.
Mary Jo Foley, of ZDnet, was able to confirm with Microsoft that the switch to ‘recommended’ has officially gone live and Microsoft pitches this move as a way to make it easy to upgrade to the new OS.
“As we shared in late October on the Windows Blog, we are committed to making it easy for our Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 customers to upgrade to Windows 10. We updated the upgrade experience today to help our customers, who previously reserved their upgrade, schedule a time for their upgrade to take place,”.
This change, which will surely speed up the install rate of the OS, will help Microsoft meet its target of having one billion installs of the OS in three years. The company has never been this aggressive with pushing out a new OS and it will be interesting to see how consumers who have not updated to the OS react to the change.