Microsoft Pushes Windows 10 To Business PCs - InformationWeek

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Microsoft Pushes Windows 10 To Business PCs

Microsoft expands its Windows 10 upgrade campaign beyond consumers by sending update notifications to business PCs.

Windows 10 Laptops, Hybrids Grab The Spotlight At CES 2016
Windows 10 Laptops, Hybrids Grab The Spotlight At CES 2016
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Microsoft has announced plans to further expand its aggressive Windows 10 distribution strategy. Its "Get Windows 10" alerts will begin to arrive on business PCs, the company reported in a Jan. 13 blog post.

Those running a home edition of Windows are already familiar with these notifications, which prompt users to download their free Windows 10 update. The pop-ups began appearing before Windows 10 officially launched in July 2015.

Windows Pro devices had previously been off-limits to the OS upgrade push. Users running Windows 7 Pro and Windows 8.1 Pro will begin to see the Get Windows 10 app on their taskbar and receive notifications urging them to get their free update.

[Microsoft releases Outlook and Skype updates for iOS and Android.]

Get Windows 10 is part of Microsoft's plan to push Windows users to adopt its new OS. The app checks users' PCs for Windows 10 compatibility and sends a notification when the device is ready to upgrade.

This week's news only affects PCs connected to an Active Directory domain and set up to receive updates from the Windows Update service. PCs configured to receive updates from System Center Configuration Manager, Windows Server Update Services, or other outlets will not be affected.

It's important to note this update does not affect larger businesses. Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 8.1 Enterprise are not eligible for the free Windows 10 upgrade and will not receive the upgrade alerts.

Microsoft will start to roll out the Get Windows 10 app to eligible PCs later in January within the US. Global markets will follow shortly.

Redmond acknowledges not all businesses will be thrilled to receive these updates and that many will prefer to individually upgrade their devices. As part of Wednesday's blog post, Microsoft has also shared instructions detailing how businesses can disable notifications.

Microsoft's decision to push Windows 10 alerts to business PCs is the latest move in an upgrade campaign that started when the OS was formally announced in January 2015.

At that time, officials announced Windows 10 would be available for free, a new move for the tech giant. Users running PCs with Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 would be eligible for a free upgrade and receive updates throughout the lifetime of their device.

(Image: Microsoft)

(Image: Microsoft)

The free upgrade was a necessary move after Microsoft failed to meet expectations in Windows 8, but it also drummed up a lot of publicity in the OS. The initial numbers for Windows 10 were impressive, with 75 million downloads within one month of its release.

Eventually the hype died down, which was a problem for Microsoft. The company wants Windows 10 on 1 billion devices by July 2018. The company consequently upped the aggression on its upgrade strategy, pushing Windows 10 upgrades to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs -- even if users did not request them.

Users still have the option to decide whether they actually want to switch to Windows 10. If they download the OS and dislike it, they have one month to go back to their previous system.

This is the second time this week Microsoft has shared news that directly affects the business user community. Tuesday, Jan. 12, was the final day of support for Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10. The end-of-support gives a headache to organizations relying on business apps built for older browsers.

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Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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User Rank: Apprentice
1/15/2016 | 3:57:20 PM
The reason for the "free" upgrade
I do not believe the "free" upgrade has anything to do with failings of the 8/8.1 series products and them feeling bad about it.

It has more to do with the desire to get their newest technology into your hardware for the benefit of quickly needed profits, and future profits via cloud service usage fees--they are in a big hurry to collect $$. It is far more beneficial for them than the users who are installing it thinking they are getting a free OS for life of their hardware--it is not free in any way and it is the vendor who defines what "life of the device" means.
User Rank: Apprentice
1/15/2016 | 1:36:30 PM
Windows 10 is problematic
I upgraded W 7 to W 10 and had nothing but issues and had to recover the system several times before reverting to W 7.  The issue was with a flashing screen and the solution provided was not sufficient.  Before I will agree to another upgrade from MS I want to know that it is completely compatible with all products and hardware.
User Rank: Ninja
1/15/2016 | 1:17:37 PM
Good Timing on this article
I just had a user tell me a couple of days ago this happened to him. I wondered how that can be since we control what Win updates are pushed out.

MS made a stupid decision. It could be a disaster if some user thought he should do this. We have no idea if our stuff will run on Win 10 and don't really care right now.

MS needs to get their act together first before worrying about Win 10. I upgraded our Sharepoint to 2013 version over summer. I recently moved most browsers to IE11 on our Win 7 machines. I found out this week SP 2013 won't even run on IE11 without Compat Mode, much less Edge on Win 10. Even worse, they use HTML tags to force IE10 emulation in IE11 browser. But you can't even edit a SP page unless you put site in Compat View settings, their tags don't do the job.

But SP 2013 works fine in Chrome. Just how stupid is MS, subverting their own browsers?
User Rank: Ninja
1/15/2016 | 10:29:24 AM
Marketing by nuisance, the Microsoft way of business
At least make it so the darn thing can be turned off easily instead of reverting to registry changes.
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