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Is Windows 10 already Hiding on your Clients' Computers?

Posted March 3, 2016by Joseph Tavano

Imagine for a moment that you went to a build-your-own-burrito place for lunch. You build a killer, delicious burrito. You’re not afraid to pay for what you want, and even spring for a few pricier items to be included. Lunch is going to be delicious. Then, the burrito-maker asks you if you’d like to upgrade your burrito with a brand-new flavor sauce you’ve never tasted. Because you have little to no info or desire for this new special sauce, you decline the upgrade.

Now, imagine if the burrito maker just upgraded you to the mystery sauce anyway. And didn’t tell you. For free!

That’s the situation with Windows 10 right now.


So, Windows 10 is very real (as opposed to Windows 9), and Microsoft is intent to make it stick. It has been dubbed “the last version of Windows,” with the plan being to make incremental updates, a la Apple’s OS X.

However, in order for it to be the last version, it first needs to be the only version, and Microsoft is trying to usher in its brave new world of Windows 10 as expeditiously as possible. It started in 2015 with optional updates appearing for most versions of Windows 7 and 8.1. Many users can attest to the icon that appeared in their taskbar, urging them to click to upgrade for free to Windows 10. However, this time is now over.

As of the beginning of February, Windows has changed its policy in an effort to speed up the transition to Windows 10. Updates are no longer considered “optional;” they are now “recommended,” which for many means that they are installed if the user has Automatic Updates turned on.

In short, many users are discovering that multiple parts of the OS are being installed in the background to help facilitate the final upgrade at a later date, or they are waking up with completely upgraded Windows 10 on their machine although they did nothing.

However, it’s important to note that these updates are not “required.” They are merely “recommended” by Automatic Updates, and it is possible to shut them off, decline them, and/or roll them back.

Interestingly enough, my non-work Windows 7 laptop was not able to install these files due to an incompatible BIOS—who would have known?

With updates installing and operating systems changing at unawares, it’s likely that MSPs nationwide have already received a call or two about this issue. It can develop into a major pain point if some users are running on a new operating system that may or may not be compatible with the day-to-day apps the user needs, leading to more tickets as an end result.

Many managed IT services providers have opted to ensure these automatic updates are entirely suppressed at a user level, and will deploy Windows 10 at a later date in a more planned and orderly process that works for the SMB client and the MSP. Incidentally, if there are any machines out still running Windows XP, they will not receive the recommended Windows 10 update automatically...but that is more like taking two steps back instead of one forward.

Have you migrated clients to Windows 10?


Joseph Tavano is Senior Content Marketing Manager at Continuum, with more than 14 years of experience in content creation, content marketing, event marketing, marketing communications, demand generation and editorial across a range of industries. He is the author of several eBooks, blog posts, thought-leadership articles and other marketing and product collateral that enable Continuum partners and IT service providers in the channel to make their businesses stronger and grow their profits. In 2016, he launched the Continuum Podcast Network, which publishes multiple shows every week and reaches tens of thousands of IT professionals every year. A native of Boston, he holds bachelors in English and History from Suffolk University and resides in Salem, Massachusetts.

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