Earlier today (June 1, 2015), Microsoft announced the released date for Windows 10, their latest and greatest OS for the end of July. If MS sticks to form (where every other operating OS is great) than Windows 10 looks like it might break some new ground for Microsoft. What’s both intriguing and annoying is how they’ve handled this announcement.
You may have noticed a new icon in your system tray (down by the time in the bottom right). It looks like a Windows logo and if you click it, it pops up a new window to tell you about the new version of Windows, it’s release date and how you can upgrade to it for free for a year after the release. All well and good, and we’ve discussed this before. The upgrade is something many users should consider, especially if they are running Windows 8. Windows 7 users might not be in such a rush, given their Windows still runs very well and this is going to be another big change to what they are used to.
Still, the free upgrade is hard to resist and it will be applied using the Windows Update feature, no DVD’s required. That being said, MS has chosen a very…adware like method of promoting this. The Windows icon you click offers a chance to reserve your copy early. Ok but why? If it’s available digitally to anyone with a legitimate version of Windows 7 or 8, what is there to reserve? I don’t need to pick it up at a store, they’ve made it quite clear how it is to be delivered. So what is my “reservation” actually doing? I assume it is logging that it will autostart the upgrade once it’s released, but this is about as clear as user license agreement.
More annoying, even after you’ve performed the reservation, that icon doesn’t seem to disappear. At all. It just sits there, constantly offering you information of what is to come…in about two months time. Why keep this running in the background after a user has already been informed? It’s an odd choice and I suspect we’ll be getting a lot of questions about this.
In the meantime, keep in mind there is no rush to do this upgrade. For many of our larger clients, we’ll be doing staged rollouts of this once we know that the upgrade goes smoothly. For smaller clients, we’ll be taking it one at a time as to whether it is truly worth it for them or not.
So if you see a mysterious new icon down by your time, don’t panic. It’s not malware…just MS providing a new kind of annoyware.