Microsoft may already have over 110 million devices running its latest Windows 10 OS, but the Redmond-based software titan is not willing to stop there. Starting next year, Microsoft plans on making its Windows 10 upgrade part of the "Recommended Update," shoving the new OS down to all PCs.
Microsoft's decision to offer free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users was welcomed with open hearts, and unsurprisingly hitched a majority of the users. But some remained adamant and continued to use their current OS. While Microsoft has left the choice to users so far, things will change next year.
"Early next year, we expect to be re-categorising Windows 10 as a 'Recommended Update'. Depending upon your Windows Update settings, this may cause the upgrade process to automatically initiate on your device. Before the upgrade changes the OS of your device, you will be clearly prompted to choose whether or not to continue," Terry Myerson, Microsoft's head of Windows and devices, explained in an official Windows blog on Thursday.
Currently, Windows 10 is a part of Microsoft's "Optional" update in Windows 7 and Windows 8 computers. When that changes, all Windows PCs have the default setting of automatically installing "Recommended" updates, which means there will be a sudden spike in the number of PCs running Windows 10 next year.
'You are still in control'
Even though Microsoft is performing an automatic update on all its Windows 7 and Windows 8 PCs, you are still in control. If you are automatically updated to Windows 10, Microsoft is giving you 31 days to revert to the original OS.
"And of course, if you choose to upgrade (our recommendation!), then you will have 31 days to roll back to your previous Windows version if you don't love it," Myerson further explained.
But Myerson missed the main part here.
When Windows 10 becomes a part of "Recommended" update in 2016, it is unclear if downgrading will remove the mandatory tag from the latest OS.
In fact, users can stop the update from processing by granting permission to automatically upgrade. But that way, users must stop the Windows 10 upgrade every time a new "Recommended" update arrives.
What about pirated copies of Windows?
The decision to automatically update your current OS to Windows 10 must have raised the question of whether a pirated Windows version would be upgraded too. Microsoft is currently conducting an experiment limited to the US audience, where it will update the pirated Windows 7 and Windows 8 PCs to Windows 10 and put it on a limited-period trial.
"If this turns into a path for most customers to get Genuine, we will expand the experiment," Myerson said.
But when the trial ends, pirates will have to pay to use Windows 10.