back to article Microsoft uses Windows Update to force Windows 10 ads onto older PCs

Microsoft is installing an update on Windows 7 and 8 machines which will push users to upgrade to Windows 10. The update – KB 3035583 – is vague about its purpose. The official description states: This update enables additional capabilities for Windows Update notifications when new updates are available to the user. It …

  1. Bob Vistakin
    Holmes

    "The scheme could backfire."

    Never has a Reg icon been more appropriate than the one assigned to this post.

    1. Fatman Silver badge

      Re: "The scheme could backfire."

      This carries the same stench that the (now roundly hated) WGA1 update had upon unsuspecting Windows XP users.

      It looks like Microsoft is back to its old tricks.

      1 The acronym 'WGA' is defined by me to mean: "We're Greedy Assholes", not "Windows Genuine Advantage".

  2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Old joke

    "this update requires WindowsZZ or better" - so I installed Linux

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Old joke

      Yep, no nagging to be found in Yast.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Old joke

        >Yep, no nagging to be found in Yast.

        nope only systemd. another reason to use pkg* instead.

    2. jonfr

      Re: Old joke

      You should have installed FreeBSD or some other variant of *BSD. Linux is a mess today and that is not going to change any time soon.

      Disclaimer: I am currently running Gentoo Linux, but I am working on moving to FreeBSD or PC-BSD as a desktop in the future. When that happens depends on the amount of money I have. At the moment that change is long distance away. I hope that is going to change.

      1. mr. deadlift

        Re: Old joke

        have an upvote and me too o'er here. Cannot believe i missed FreeBSD shoudl have got onto it sooner. Former CentOS fan now FreeBSD.

        just trying to get to run kemu but has been marked borked in 10.1 so looks like it's virtual box.

        native ZFS support, ports, gosh it's good.

        1. AMBxx Silver badge
          Joke

          Monty Python?

          All the Linux fans agree that Linux is better than Windows.

          Then they start squabbling about which distribution is best.

          1. Christian Berger Silver badge

            Re: Monty Python?

            "Then they start squabbling about which distribution is best."

            Yes, the German phrase is "Jammern auf einem hohen Niveau", "moaning at a high level". Essentially since your typical Linux distribution solves most of the problems a typical Windows user has (i.e. getting software without malware, getting updates, etc) there are few things your typical Linux/BSD user has to complain about.

            There's also another side to it. Since the Unix "philosophy" allows you to do a lot with very little code, and open source projects is now something quite a lot of developers want to do, there is a certain over supply of developer resources. The result of this are over complex projects like Systemd, Pulseaudio or Network Manager. Or on a grander scale, web standards becoming more and more complex, because it now seems as if we could afford it.

            1. asdf Silver badge

              Re: Monty Python?

              >"Then they start squabbling about which distribution is best.

              They all will have systemd (svchost.exe) in three years or less for the most part so they all suck. The BSD variants as you may know are not different distros. They are different OSs entirely that are actually based on Unix instead of a windows wannabe pretending to maybe kind be like Unix sometimes.

      2. MJI Silver badge

        My games machines run Free BSD

        Which is pretty good.

  3. WolfFan Silver badge

    Strange

    Doesn't everyone have updates set so that they can have a look at what they're about to download and install so that they can decide for themselves what goes on their machines? And so they can bank sh updates they don't want into the outer darkness?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Strange

      No they don't. Especially home users. The thing just runs on it's own and they either don't notice or don't care.

      1. dogged

        Re: Strange

        Nobody likes unwanted ads (if that's what this really is).

        However, sneaking Win10 onto home users' machines for free would probably be a benefit to everybody.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          You haven't used Windows 10 Build 10041 yet then.

          Build 10041, looks as though it was thrown together and compiled quickly after the Christmas Party and last updated on New Year's day with a severe hangover, given its regression over the previous build. Before this, it was looking good, now everyone wonders if October 2015 is even realistic as a release date.

          1. EvanPyle

            Re: You haven't used Windows 10 Build 10041 yet then.

            Move to a slower release channel.

          2. John P

            Re: You haven't used Windows 10 Build 10041 yet then.

            10049 is even worse, made my laptop completely unusable. On a positive front,a fresh install of 8.1 then upgrade to 10041 and finally 10049 is looking much more positive.

            Pre-10041 I was feeling quite confident about Windows 10 given the smoothness of the upgrade from 7 to 8, it looked like Microsoft were going to achieve the same success again. Now I'm a little worried and am preparing for a fresh install and possibly wait until the 364th day of the 1 year free upgrade.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Strange

          Yeah, especially for NSA

        4. Daniel B.

          Re: Strange

          However, sneaking Win10 onto home users' machines for free would probably be a benefit to everybody.

          No it isn't. Given that Windows 10 hasn't fully backed off from the Metro UI disgrace, it's going to cause unending headaches to those of us who have non-IT family members, who will proceed to nag us on "where did everything go?".

          1. Patrician

            Re: Strange

            Try the answer I give to "non-IT" literate family members in a similar situation; "stop being IT-illiterate and learn a few basics about the tool you're wanting to use".

            1. Steve 114

              Re: Strange

              With a dozen cousins the other end of splendid Teamviewer, with their mystic mix of XPs-various, Vista and 7, and tragic malware scans once a month, I'd like to know what 'basics' I could export to the over-60s who are online and hyperactive daily, preferably without 'learning' anything they didn't have to know before. Sure, tidy Linux, so that nothing they've ever bought (software/USB plugins) ever works again?

          2. Jess

            Re: "where did everything go?"

            Classic shell has a version for win 10 :)

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Strange

          How would that be of benefit?

        6. Steve 114

          Re: Strange

          Lots of old-faithful XP machines in this house, all properly registered. They can sneak Win10 on for free whenever they like. provided they can emulate the drivers that work. Oh, didn't think so.

    2. Andy Barker

      Re: Strange

      Maybe some of the readers of this site, but not most people. I don't want to be responsible for doing these checks on all my family's pcs every month!

    3. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Strange

      No, they are set by default to install automatically. I changed it to manual because I don't want my computer rebooting itself overnight when I've left it doing something.

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Re: Strange

        I always change them to install when shutting down, installing whilst I am doing something is outright annoying.

        Also due to the amount of updates I'm more of the just install and stop pestering me type of person.

        1. BongoJoe

          Re: Strange

          I've just nuked the update service. That's more reliable in the long term.

          1. ArtArnold

            Re: Strange

            Just be aware they will install it anyway. I've tried multiple times, like unchecking it, hiding it, etc etc

        2. Florida1920 Silver badge

          Re: Strange

          I always change them to install when shutting down

          Man, did that blow up on me when the power failed and the time to install updates > time I allotted for UPS system shutdown after power failure.

        3. Rimpel
          Coat

          Re: I always change them to install when shutting down

          Man I'm never doing that again - the last time I did that we had to forfeit our basketball game and got relegated from the Bundesliga.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Strange

        "No, they are set by default to install automatically. I changed it to manual because I don't want my computer rebooting itself overnight when I've left it doing something."

        http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/tr-dojo/stop-windows-from-rebooting-after-automatic-updates/

      3. david 12 Bronze badge

        Re: Strange

        In which case you would have got something more exactly meeting your requirements by turning off the "automatic reboot after update" setting.

        Run

        gpedit.msc

        Go to

        Computer configuration| Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Windows Update

        Enable

        "No auto-restart"

        Users who wish to leave auto-restart enabled may still find it useful to change the value of

        "Reprompt for restart".

        Unless you have users who you wish to force to restart, you might have found the default interval too short.

    4. tekHedd

      Re: Strange

      "Doesn't everyone have updates set so that they can have a look at what they're about to download..."

      Yes! Have you *read* the descriptions of these updates? (Obviously not!)

      "KB0012345: Fixes some things on computers running Windows." And you "click here for more info" which takes you to a web page containing EXACTLY THE SAME TEXT.

      No I don't find this frustrating or anything.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Strange

        I'll trump the "Exactly the same text".

        There are also the " more information " links that just go to a generic page (This is what drivers do....) and at the top of the list is the "Page not available" messages. ( Are they really too badly managed to realise that that they have to get the information pages out at the same time as the download link?)

        All of which with the subject of this thread just add to the evidence of Microsoft's strange deathwish-like ability to shoot itself in the foot even when it seems to be trying to get things right.

        Dammit, I like Microsoft. And if they piss me off like this what do they do to less positive users?

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Strange

          As a footnote to this;

          https://www.dropbox.com/s/655xn9u3hd3bk8x/Screen%20Shot%2004-11-15%20at%2007.26%20PM.JPG?dl=0

    5. ibchristian
      WTF?

      Re: Strange

      ... and watch out for the "Optional" KB2952664 update... it looks as though it preps your 'puter for Win10 by installing loads of tattleware as well as some system mods... nasty stuff I'd say!

      1. HelpfulJohn

        Re: Strange

        ".. and watch out for the "Optional" KB2952664 update... it looks as though it preps your 'puter for Win10 by installing loads of tattleware as well as some system mods... nasty stuff I'd say!"

        Thanks. I found that in the "optional updates" section and immediately told it to go hide itself.

    6. ArtArnold

      Re: Strange

      Strange, yes we do have the updates to indicate we don't want the update. However, you can uninstall the update, block it out as your would normally do, but, microsoft will install it anyway whether you want it or not. I have done that twice this morning alone just to check. I even put it in the hidden update and they still installed it. I'm going to report it to the FCC and see what they say. I absolutely do not want windows 10. I have installed it onto others computers and find windows 10 to be absolutely junk. It took a doped up nerd to come up with this setup. (programming).

      To be a little more plain in what I mean. I even turned off my automatic update and they still installed it.

  4. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Hmm.. another one...

    http://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/kb/2952664 Update sitting in my Updates to Install..... Looks very similar.

  5. FF22

    Confused author

    So if you're not required to install this update and can remove it at any time without losing any benefits, how can you say that the update or Microsoft "forces" anything? Do you even English, bro?

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Confused author

      You should go back and read the other half of the article.

      Specifically the part where it says that most users never look at the Windows Update screen, much less check stuff out. Some even have everything installing automatically.

      How's that for English ?

      1. FF22

        Re: Confused author

        "Specifically the part where it says that most users never look at the Windows Update screen, much less check stuff out. Some even have everything installing automatically."

        That's still not "forcing" them. Maybe you should look up what that word actually means: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/force#English

        1. Phil W

          Re: Confused author

          Also agree on the not forcing them thing. But given that Windows 10 is supposedly going to be a free upgrade for 7,8 and 8.1 users is forcing the less technically astute to upgrade to a more up to date and supported OS a bad thing necessarily?

          But more crucially from what I can tell the idea in the article that this is an update that's basically adware trying to get you to install Windows 10 is pure speculation. It may well simply be boot strapper for starting the Windows 10 install of you choose to do it, especially on Windows 7 where there isn't the option to present it through the store like they did for the 8 to 8.1 update.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge
            Holmes

            Re: Confused author

            From the app name (Get Windows 10) and the phase names (AnticipationUX, Reservation, Reserved, RTM, GA, various Upgrade phases, and, finally, UpgradeSetupFailed) it sounds like it could be the Windows 10 installer for Windows 7, not just an advert pusher... although AnticipationUX sounds like the advert pushing part.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. ArtArnold

      Re: Confused author

      Confused author, you can change all you want to, unchecking the update, hiding the update, etc, and they will go ahead and install anyway. I have tried it many times, even with turned off automatic updates on my machine.

      I agree, unchecking updates usually will keep them from installing. But not this time.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Naughty, naughty

    Found the bastard on my machine the other day, having read about it elsewhere. I could uninstall it, but I think I'll leave it go. It'll be interesting to compare what the come-on says vs my experiences trying out the preview.

    The way to get people on board is to develop a product good enough that the on-line reviews sell it for you. Deceitfully dumping commercial/marketing software on people's machines doesn't quite do it, I think.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Naughty, naughty

      Oh, I don't know, it worked for Google with Chrome.

      That only took off in such massive popularity when they started dumping on people's PCs who weren't unticking the right boxes when doing other stuff. Before that I didn't know a single non-geek who used it. After than 6 month period, it was on every friend's PC that I came to fix, even if they hadn't noticed. Now it's the most popular single browser.

      On the other hand, Apple did much the same thing with Safari. And I don't know anyone who uses it as their main browser on a PC, and even most of the Mac users I know don't. So maybe you need both software quality and sleazy marketing skills?

      1. caffeine addict Silver badge

        Re: Naughty, naughty

        When did Google push Chrome through dubious methods? I'm not saying they haven't, BTW, just that I'm unaware of ever seeing it. Not like the myriad toolbars, extensions, and taskbar helpers that seem to be attached to every bit of software these days.

        BTW, Safari hasn't existed on windows for a few years now...

        1. Irongut

          Re: Naughty, naughty @caffeine addict

          I had to untick installing Chrome while updating Avast last night. CCleaner also pushes it. That's just two current ones from my poor old memory.

        2. Conor Turton

          Re: Naughty, naughty

          When did Google push Chrome through dubious methods?

          Have you not experienced one of the many freeware installers which sticks it on if you don't select/deselect the appropriate checkbox in the installation?

        3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Naughty, naughty

          caffeine addict,

          It was a couple of years ago I noticed. Although I thought Google had stopped doing it. Unlike the poster above who said they saw it yesterday.

          Anyway, I had to un-tick Chrome when installing Adobe's bug-ware. Now they foist McAfee Smartscan on you instead. I think you got the Google browser bar with the same package. I don't remember what other times I saw it, but it was a few. But it turned up on my brother's PC without him asking, about 6 months after he'd got Safari via an iTunes "update".

          It was a successful campaign, because I fixed a few friends' pootas who didn't know what a browser is, and yet now had Chrome and Safari. I've not noticed an unwanted Chrome install in a while though.

        4. Not That Andrew

          Re: Naughty, naughty

          >When did Google push Chrome through dubious methods?

          Bundling it with all their other software and forcing you to untick checkboxes definately counts as dubious means.

        5. Sandtitz Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: Naughty, naughty @caffeine addict

          The download page for Adobe Reader and Flash Player has Chrome and Google Toolbar for IE both selected if you happen to visit them with Internet Explorer.

          Safari and Opera users are also offered the Chrome browser. Safari users should upgrade to *anything*, since most if not all Safari users on Windows had it automatically installed (along with Quicktime) when the ITunes was updated with the Apple Update malware.

          Firefox users don't get the Chrome offer, only the McAfee crapola.

          Chrome users are also getting the McAfee treatment.

          Google knows that Adobe Reader and Flash Player are some of the most downloaded applications on Windows so they struck a deal with Adobe and this is exactly the only reason why Chrome is the most popular browser on PC.

          1. earl grey Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: Naughty, naughty @caffeine addict

            I thought you said QuickLime, and i thought, that's a bit harsh.

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
              Happy

              Re: Naughty, naughty @caffeine addict

              earl grey,

              QuickLime as punishment for the developers of iTunes? Yeah, that seems fair enough to me.

              I know US labour laws are more lax than we're used to in Europe, but even so I wasn't aware that this was an approved method of management. I presume that means California is a 'Right to Work' state?

        6. Avatar of They
          FAIL

          Re: Naughty, naughty

          Google chrome is like a virulent cancer, everything seems to push it, install it or try. Java installs, Ccleaner from piriform and so on. It is one of those tick boxes no one ever reads on the "next" stage and when you get what you want, you find the Google Cancer on your desktop. not saying it is good or bad as a browser, but nefarious in the extreme. As I also never trust it is the Actual Chrome, lets face it a browser based on open source but installed by a back door is not really filling me confidence.

          Adobe flash also includes the "Macafee security checks" (ticked by default) Which is installing very intrusive security software that you neither know or should trust. (and as Macafee is pants anyway why use it?) And why have two AV's on, that just spells disaster.

          And you also have the "Ask Jeeves toolbar" which is one something I had to install recently on a home machine.

          Now MS is doing it but using there (usually trusted) method for updates. Worlds gone mad.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @IaS - Re: Naughty, naughty

        Good point about Chrome. Perhaps the difference will be that whereas Google seem to have found favour with the masses and so got away with such sleaze, Microsoft are in a position of having to undo/sweep under the carpet a serious amount of bad vibes that Windows 8 generated.

        1. Delbert

          Re: @IaS - Naughty, naughty

          Not really as soon as I started looking into the machinations of Chrome which slowed my single core machine to a crawl while loading. I decided that any browser that was running three hidden iterations for the purpose of reporting my web traffic to its masters was not worth having - removed never to return.

          1. elDog Silver badge

            Re: @IaS - Naughty, naughty

            Are you sure?

            Removed, never to be returned. Don't forget they've been watching your actions and your keystrokes. Special diligence will be performed to make you wish you hadn't said "never to return".

      3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: Naughty, naughty

        To whichever bastard gave me the second downvote,

        I hate you!

        I was on a nice, round 1337 thumbs down until you did that. I am no longer leet at being disliked. Booooo!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Only 1337 downvotes?

          You must be new here :)

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
            Devil

            Re: Only 1337 downvotes?

            Only 1337 downvotes?

            You must be new here :)

            It could just be that I'm nice, and fluffy, and everyone likes me, and this is a generous and positive community of wonderful people.

            OK scratch that. It's obviously a sign of inexperience. I guess I'd better compose the perfect post, to get my score to a more acceptable level. So far, I'm thinking:

            It's got to be in praise of Piers Morgan. Going either way about Julian Assange or climate change will get too many upvotes, as well as the required downvotes. I think the same split is probably true when it comes to Tim Worstall's articles on markets.

            So how about a piece on how lucky we all are to be alive. And how great everything now is. We have the internet, and thus 24 hour access to the Wisdom and Insight of the great Piers Morgan. Hero of the age! Without the internet we might never have had the truly unbeatable Facebook and Twitter to here from Piers on. Plus it's allowed us access to the works of genius of the likes of Steven Sinofsky, with his brilliant Metro design, Only a truly forward-thinking and great CEO like Steve Ballmer could have allowing him the freedom to create such wonders for our delight. And what better way to worship at the feet of our great hero Piers could there be than a unified Metro app on our desktop, tablet and phone. Giving us his sagacity seemlessly across all devices!

            ...I feel a little sick now...

            1. Terry 6 Silver badge
              Trollface

              Re: Only 1337 downvotes?

              Have an upvote. I'm in a good mood tonight.

            2. 's water music Silver badge

              Re: Only 1337 downvotes?

              I guess I'd better compose the perfect post, to get my score to a more acceptable level

              Your heart's not in it. I couldn't see any refs to:

              Bad grammar

              Feminism (for)

              LGBT rights (against)

              Bad grammar

              Religion (for)

              Simple scientific, engineering or philosophical solecisms

              Bad grammar

        2. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: Naughty, naughty

          "I was on a nice, round 1337 thumbs down until you did that. I am no longer leet at being disliked. Booooo!"

          I downvoted you just to keep your counter ticking over.

  7. Howard Hanek Bronze badge

    Turn Off Windows Automatic Updates

    Lately when setting up a new machine with Windows 8.1 I've experienced unrecoverable system failures when permitting automatic updates. Only reimaging the machine and turning off automatic updates and selectively permitting only a few updates at a time gets me to a current, working version.

    1. Arctic fox
      Windows

      Re: Turn Off Windows Automatic Updates

      Really? How peculiar. Our home office machine (fresh install, Win 8.1) is on automatic updates and has never shown any signs of such behaviour. Are you sure that there cannot be another explanation than that the Demon Lords Of Redmond are out to get you?

    2. Irongut

      Re: Turn Off Windows Automatic Updates

      I had a similar problem with a new tablet and a new netbook, both running Win8.1. I think the issue was too many updates for the devices to process. My solution was to turn off auto updates and manually install them in batches with a reboot in between. IIRC I did all the Windows updates, then the .Net updates and finally the Office updates.

      Since then auto updates has worked fine.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Turn Off Windows Automatic Updates

        I had that problem on one machine. But not since. I think MS have set up update to only tick a smaller number of updates, so they now go in batches. Which is how I remeber it working from before Windows 8. So I wonder if that was a temporary cock-up?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Turn Off Windows Automatic Updates

      Only reimaging the machine and turning off automatic updates and selectively permitting only a few updates at a time gets me to a current, working version.

      I find it works better by avoiding Windows altogether, but that is alas not an option as so many idiots have been co-opted to keep the Office empire alive. Oh well, VMs to the rescue.

  8. James 51 Silver badge

    Pulling crap like this is going to cost MS good will with people who do know better.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Nonsense. People who know better already have no goodwill left for Microsoft, they just realize that they have to suffer it because workplace. Or gamer.

      Beyond that, people who know better and can do without it are either on Apple or some version of Linux.

      1. Conor Turton

        Beyond that, people who know better and can do without it are either on Apple or some version of Linux.

        Would that be Yosemite which upgraded itself to 10.10.3 last night without asking me if I wanted to or not only giving me the option of updating now or later and which also installed Photo as part of the update whether I wanted it or not?

        1. chivo243 Silver badge

          it's possible when clicking the app store notification away, you turned on update automatically instead of remind me later. It's a new option in Yosemite, bastards... I'll be sticking to Mavericks as long as possible as the UI of Yosemite has lost the depth previous OS's had, and the finder icon looks evil.

      2. James 51 Silver badge

        Having stuff like DNT enabled by default got them a small amount.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Zot

    When my Dad (81) clicks 'yes' to install it, not thinking it's a whole new OS, I'll be really angry.

  10. Michael Shelby

    Really?

    How is this any different from my Macbook asking me if I wanted to upgrade to Yosemite? I don't recall any "tut-tut" article from El Reg for that, so why now?

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Really?

      That was advertised on the App Store as a new free thing you could download and install, not in the update section.

      1. Martin Summers Silver badge

        Re: Really?

        But windows 7 doesn't have an app store and there will be plenty of win 7 users who won't even know about the 10 update let alone go look for it to download it. Hence I can understand the purpose of this 'update' but more so only for win 7.

        1. Someone Else Silver badge
          Facepalm

          @Martin Summers -- Re: Really?

          But windows 7 doesn't have an app store and there will be plenty of win 7 users who won't even know about the 10 update let alone go look for it to download it. Hence I can understand the purpose of this 'update' but more so only for win 7.

          So tell me,Martin, how the h-e-double hockey sticks did we ever survive before there was an "app store"? I mean, how did we ever know to update from Windows 286 or Windows 386 to Windows 3, then to 3.1, then to 3.1.1 then to... without the benevolent help of an "app store"?

          Geez, Martin...Really?!?

          1. keith_w

            Re: @Martin Summers -- Really?

            Our computers got really really slow, so we went out and bought new ones with a new OS on it (for certain definitions of "OS")

            1. Martin Summers Silver badge

              Re: @Martin Summers -- Really?

              @keith_w

              Thing is Keith, machines running Windows 7 are not likely to slow down are they. As we have seen the PC market has slowed down as they just don't need to get any faster than they already are. A new OS stopped being the reason to get a new machine with the release of Windows 7.

          2. Martin Summers Silver badge

            Re: @Martin Summers -- Really?

            @Someone Else

            Wow, so you assume I was aiming that at people on here? No not at all. I stand by what I said. There are people who will not know there is an upgrade and that's just a fact. I don't like or use the win 8 app store as it's crap and I think their decision to release OS updates using it is pathetic. Using Windows Update on the other hand would be fine by me and I really cannot see the harm in letting people know there is an upgrade via that method so long as they can kill it when that job is done. Lots of hate for stating facts, geez, really?!

          3. Patrician

            Re: @Martin Summers -- Really?

            Don't forget that all those other "upgrades" were chargeable products that, if wanted to carry out an upgrade, you had to purchase at quite a cost. Windows 10 will be a free upgrade so, in a way, a completely different type of upgrade.

      2. Pascal

        Re: Really?

        But unless I read this wrong, the update being pushed is not Windows 10, it's a promo thing that will invite users to upgrade to Windows 10. So in that sense it's not really any more offensive than said app store upgrade.

        I'm really looking forward to the shitstorm this is going to cause, ranging from the thousands of PCs that will be messed up by the update all the way to the unavoidable "Microsoft abuses monopoly again by not offering to install Linux the same way" articles :)

        1. PNGuinn
          Trollface

          Re: Really? @Pascal

          Ok - here's the answer then.

          Instead of offering Windows Go!Nads they offer systemd instead....

      3. regadpellagru

        Re: Really?

        "That was advertised on the App Store as a new free thing you could download and install, not in the update section."

        Exactly. And if, like me, you ignored it, it will NEVER come back again unless you request it.

        The problem with Windows is all of the fear is here with the "update NOW or you're screwed". MS is taking this as a lever for selling their shit.

        But anyway, MS fans will go the MS way ...

        Good riddance to them !

    2. Leeroy Bronze badge

      Re: Really?

      The 'upgrade' to Yosemite borked the print system for one on my customers using Vectorworks :/ Their IT deny responsibility and it took the install of another copier for a week to prove it wasn't the bloody machine that was at fault. Ducking Apple Grrrrr !

    3. John Bailey

      Re: Really?

      "How is this any different from my Macbook asking me if I wanted to upgrade to Yosemite? I don't recall any "tut-tut" article from El Reg for that, so why now?"

      1) Mac users are already so far into the brown core of Apple, that any suggestion that every update is not met with street parties and coffee shops full of glee is pretty much met with whines of indignation..

      2) Too small a user base to bother reporting on.

  11. Vinyl-Junkie
    FAIL

    Resource nasties....

    There's also a whole load of upgrade compatibility scheduled tasks which typically take about 20% CPU time; enough to be really noticeable when running Prepar3d, for example. I had to go into task scheduler and remove them. Apparently consent for these was given by agreeing to be part of the continuous improvement program[me]. I won't be doing that again a hurry, and I'm a Windows supporter, so I think they've shot themselves in the foot here.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Resource nasties....

      Suspect MS are following a strategy similar to the one they adopted over the Win 8.0 to 8.1 desktop upgrade, namely: send out a bunch of 'updates' via WUP a year or so in advance that do a whole bunch of preparatory tasks ready for when they release Win 10 via WUP, your system will be 'hijacked' and automatically updated at a date and time convenient to MS.

      I wonder whether part of this is that MS are moving towards an Apple iOS style of update - I note that my iPad has automatically downloaded iOS 8.3. However, at least Apple allow me to simply let it sit on my device until such time as I decide to install it...

      1. Steve 114

        Re: Resource nasties....

        Couldn't object to any of this provided 1/ They have an option to preserve (exactly) the UI I have chosen 2/ that they have background-checked that my hardware is compatible with the new proposition and 3/ that they can guarantee my installed software, and peripheral drivers, including compatibility, will continue to work. Fat chance.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    End state is Failure

    How appropriate that the final state of the 'upgrade' process is formally encoded in its inevitable "Failed" state.

    At least they're finally building their business cycle directly into the software data model now.

  13. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Windows

    I maybe a bit

    paranoid, but does this mean m$ is angling to install windows 10 via update?

    Because they've already said windows 10 will be free for the first year.. so I can see a lt of unhappy people if they update to win10 then say "pay us £20/yr to use your own computer" after 1 year

    And folks like me even more upset because we have applications built to windows 7 and not even tested/approved to be used with windows 10(and win8 fr that matter)

  14. JaitcH
    Meh

    The only 'advertising' I see ...

    on some screens is: "This copy of Windows is not genuine".

    We advise people to run a handy fix that removes it.

    1. DiViDeD Silver badge

      Re: The only 'advertising' I see ...

      O don't get me started on WGA. I'm on my FOURTH (count em) Win7 right now, all because Microsoft seem to have an understanding gap in the way desktop PCs work.

      1. Easy enough, had a free year on the RC before I bought my first Win7 disc

      2. HDD died. Reinstalled, 'You may be the victim of software counterfeiting'. Long story short, new licence, kerching!

      3. Upgraded the graphics card (the graohics card, FFS). Online tech says significant hardware change', new boxed software. Kerching!

      4. Was running 32 bit, decided to swap to 64 bit. After all, they both came in the same box, you can run one or the other, right? Wrong! Kerching again!

      Valve now has a Linux version of Steam. Just need a few other game houses to follow suit and MS can kiss my arse bye bye.

      1. Christian Berger Silver badge

        Re: The only 'advertising' I see ...

        "O don't get me started on WGA. I'm on my FOURTH (count em) Win7 right now, all because Microsoft seem to have an understanding gap in the way desktop PCs work."

        That's why you typically install Windows in a virtual machine on top of some normal operating system. That's _much_ less hassle.

      2. NinjasFTW

        Re: The only 'advertising' I see ...

        I'm not a big fan on Windows but i've re-installed several times and never had that problem.

        Have replaced HDD and graphics card as well as updating to 64 bit. The HDD rebuild accepted the same key without a fuss, the graphics card change didn't actually require anything and the 64 bit upgrade required me to call a number and deal with an IVR system.

        Are you running an OEM version of Windows? I'm using a boxed Win 7 Professional version.

        1. DiViDeD Silver badge

          Re: Are you running an OEM version of Windows?

          Nope. All were boxed software sent out by MS Oz after selling me a new licence over the phone. None ever reinstalled, I just had to put the disc in and type the Key when prompted. The only 'real install I did was the ill fated 64 bit upgrade.

          And I'd happily run in a VM if it wasn't for my 'last possible ounce of power with everything set to 11' gaming habit.

          Ah well, at least I've helped pay for some exec's helicopter.

      3. Grifter

        Re: The only 'advertising' I see ...

        >>Valve now has a Linux version of Steam. Just need a few other

        >>game houses to follow suit and MS can kiss my arse bye bye.1

        I hate to be 'that guy', but you will never switch to Linux. Anyone who claims they'd switch "if only x and y..." never mean it. If you were truly serious you'd have switched already consequences be damned, then you'd have shaped the world around you and used what you had available, not sat around feeling defeated as if someone held you at gunpoint. Sorry to break your dreams, but stop thinking about this nonsense and just settle in to your reality instead, you'll enjoy it a lot better =)

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    KB 3035583

    So that's what it was, this update's been sitting nagging for installation for a while now. Whenever I tried the support information link it just came up with OOOPs this page may not be available. As a result as far as I'm concerned it could just wait till hell freezes over before I'd install something they obviously DON'T WANT to tell me about. (Looks like the same thing with KB2952664)

    So, no thanks Microsoft, fuck you very much.

  16. Mage Silver badge
    Trollface

    XP users

    XP users then won't get spammed

  17. hplasm Silver badge
    Happy

    There may be-

    trouble ahead...

    la la la

    Do sing along!

  18. John G Imrie Silver badge
    FAIL

    So let me get this right

    Once this has installed there is a config file that any virus writer can tweak to get the machine to point to their own add slinging server.

    I must have got that wrong, surly.

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: So let me get this right

      Editing the config file requires administrative rights.

      I don't understand why the virus write would target that particular file since if the malware was executed with admin rights it can already do any kind of havoc on the system, including showing its own ads.

      Just like malware with superuser rights can edit /etc/apt/sources.list

  19. Heathroi

    same, mine would update the bios which stops the dvd drive from reading or writing to discs.

  20. Phredd

    KB 3035583 CLONE

    KB2952664 looks to be the same thing. How many variations are we going to see?

    1. Bruce Ordway

      Re: KB 3035583 CLONE

      >>KB3035583, KB2952664

      I noticed both of the updates since "More Information" was so vague.

      Recently had a display driver update go bad recently too.

      My first new glitches with Windows Updates in several years.

      Hoping this isn't a new trend starting.

  21. Dwarf Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    If only they had an OS that people wanted

    Then they would not have to give it away.

    I've been a dos and windows user for decades (along with other os's), but, I've looked at the preview of 10 and it won't be going anywhere near my hardware. I want an OS whose only purpose is to do what I want and in the way that I want it, recognising that others may want to do the same job differently. For example, how many ways are there to make a perfect cup of tea ? None are wrong, just different approaches.

    For me, windows is at the end of the road. I'll stick with Windows 7 for a bit, then into something new if 10 hits the street similar to the preview.

    I don't like all the flat graphics; the broken start menu (I want it in my order, not alphabetical). I also don't want this tile tripe - even if it were on a phone, nor a 4k screen blurred with lots of fingerprint smudges. Think what people want to do MS, listen to them.

    If they just force an update, then I'll be off earlier. Linux works well for me, even with the big pile of odd apps I have, I've already got parallel running systems up.

    I know of a lot of people putting off an upgrade as they don't want 8, or 10 either. Will be interesting to see how the market reacts on a larger scale.

    1. Tom Maddox Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: If only they had an OS that people wanted

      "Then they would not have to give it away."

      You mean, like Linux? You may want to reconsider the thrust of that argument.

      1. Dwarf Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: If only they had an OS that people wanted

        Fair point. Perhaps I should have expressed this differently;

        What I meant is that something that starts paid for and then goes free has clearly lost its initial value, which is what I see happening with Windows. My expectation is that its an attempt to kick-start adoption and move to subscription charging (something else I won't entertain - new money and old rope springs to mind).

        Linux has always been free, so its not quite an apples for apples comparison.

    2. Steve 114

      Re: If only they had an OS that people wanted

      We're happy with Win7 and 8.1, with all the free extras that make it look mostly like XP. Win10 Preview seemed progressively to improve (on a spare HDD) but now declines to install new builds. Presumably once it issues there will be freebies that make it look like XP too, so we'll have time to decide whether our kit can handle it. Meanwhile, boot priorities are XP (because all the old stuff works), 7 (because it's there), and Linux Mint (because).

  22. martinusher Silver badge

    Class it as malware?

    Since its just advertising nagware then it could be called malware and automatically flagged for removal. Knowing Microsoft, though, I'd guess that they would put some hooks in it to compromise system stability and/or performance if anyone was to touch it.

    I thought this update might be benign. Now I'm not so sure.

  23. Number6

    Subverting the Programme

    It's installed on my PC here so I just renamed the GWX directory to something else, that might make it a bi harder for something to run one of the programmes in there. Any other directories it uses?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile..

    .. I have installed both OSX 10.10.3 and iOS 8.3. Nothing borked there, but Apple did ram Photos down my throat in Microsoft-esque move to replace iPhoto - no, you were not really given an option.

    As far as I can tell, it has left my Win XP VM unaffected :).

  25. Nolveys Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Once a week they should lock Satya Nadella in a small room for about 10 hours with a 150dB loudspeaker system that repeats "NOBODY WANTS THIS RUBBISH" again and again.

    1. Captain DaFt

      "Once a week they should lock Satya Nadella in a small room for about 10 hours with a 150dB loudspeaker system that repeats "NOBODY WANTS THIS RUBBISH" again and again."

      Nah, that'd be pointless.

      Better to lock him in a room with a blank computer, Win 7 Install DVD, and AT&T internet connection, then not let him out until he had a fully updated Windows 8.1 installed.

      But then, we'd probably never see him again.

      1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge
        Happy

        "Better to lock him in a room with a blank computer, Win 7 Install DVD, and AT&T internet connection, then not let him out until he had a fully updated Windows 8.1 installed."

        That was my idea many years ago but with Win98, Gates and a dial-up modem.

        Seems some things never change.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Same thing needs to be done for the person at Apple responsible for the iWatch. :D

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 10 UNINSTALLS/TURNS OFF Firewall and anti virus first. Deletes all your programs. Loads Windows, creates a cloud account unique with your signatures, SCANS harddrive for illegal activity (swat here), logs into cloud account, creates profile in cloud/onedrive (regardless if you wanted it or not), identifies your uniqueness, loads preinstalled Modern Apps turned on and logging data to cloud ALWAYS ON. Computer reboots and welcomes you to Windows 10.

    New Windows 10 Computer install, login screen, login to os and see modern apps running, no firewall or av, and the modern apps displaying LIVE advertisements, news, and more crap running. I wake in the morning log in to find hate news broadcasting on my desktop about war, death and the latest crime to hit America.

    Disgusting.

  27. chivo243 Silver badge
    Windows

    glad I read this

    I have a small group of Win7 users that wiill be getting updates next week. I will be sure to untick the box that installs this crap.

    Thanks again El Reg for providing me with info in an entertaining way.

  28. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    "Maybe some of the readers of this site, but not most people. I don't want to be responsible for doing these checks on all my family's pcs every month!"

    So don't take responsibility. I quit going through the "relatives treadmill" of running something that needs as much handholding as Windows, and being expected to handhold their computers, years and years ago. My sister uses a Mac, my parents run Windows. When I go to Wisconsin, other relatives, when they complain about "computer problems" I point out they are not computer problems, they are Windows problems, and I don't get those problems since I'm running Ubuntu Linux and not Windows. If they want something fixed they pay up.

    "So if you're not required to install this update and can remove it at any time without losing any benefits, how can you say that the update or Microsoft "forces" anything?"

    Yeah yeah, no software vendor can force anything, you can always pull the plug and reformat the hard drive. Don't be a smartass.... placing an update (which is apparently a useless advertisement and nothing resembling a useful update) into a category where it auto-installs by default is forcing the update.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ransomware

    I have a client with Winows 7 Ultimate who paid retail price for that thing, and now all of the sudden it has decided that it is not a Genuine copy and bringing up a dialog box to 'resolve' the problem and clicking it takes you to some sort of store where they want $200.

    This is no different than the cryptoware that is going around, seems there's a class action lawsuit in the making here because I don't think these kinds of business practices should be allowed.. no different than buying a car and after a few months start getting bill collectors and bounty hunters coming around because the dealer 'forgot' that you paid and gave you title.

    Microsoft has become a mafia, and not even a competent one, at least the real Mafia could follow through on their promises of 'protection'.

    1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

      Re: Ransomware

      Windows 7 Ultimate did that to me as well so I installed Linux Mint instead.

      Who wants to run a system which can suddenly crap out without warning?

      I finally got around to reinstalling Ultimate in a virtual machine without problems but by then I'd successfully migrated everything away from Windows, so toodle-pip Microsoft.

    2. ArtArnold

      Re: Ransomware

      I like the idea of class action suit. This action by Microsoft should never have happened.

  30. Len Goddard

    Not for me.

    I finally managed to get the tech preview to run under VirtualBox a few days ago. Mind, that wasn't the fault of Win10 - for some reason more recent VB versions will not run on some Win 7 machines. Eventually I installed VB under linux and Win10 came up fine. Or at least as fine as it can be. God, it is ugly. Nasty blocks of solid colour. Active tiles on the start menu doing things I don't want. I don't need constant news feeds, sports reports, share prices. So I deleted them all and was left with a large blank start menu. It doesn't shrink when there are no active tiles. OK. thinks I, so far my objections are basically cosmetic lets see if we can tame this with Classic Shell. Won't install. Compatibility issue, it says. But if you rename the Classic Shell installer (I called mine fred) it installs and works fine. Deliberately blocked with a misleading error message. That's just plain nasty. Ahh, well, it has encouraged me back to linux. I made the system dual boot to try VBox so now I'm slowly migrating data and apps across. So far there is nothing except games I cannot run under linux or replace with something equally capable.

    And as for the Win10 upgrade prep that was recently installed, my firewall warned me something new was calling home but that it was allowed. Which means that it was something which could manipulate the firewall rules. So I've set it to block and we'll see where it goes from there (it is identified as "GWX Config Manager").

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Updating *for free* to a system that is more modern, has better performance, is more secure.... why wouldn't one "recommend" it ?

    If you really want to see a problem in that, let's see if MS will allow to opt-out from those adverts.

    1. Jagged

      "Updating *for free* to a system ..."

      - free for the first year is not free. I have no intention of paying an annual subscription thankyouverymuch.

  32. earl grey Silver badge
    Flame

    dang

    found that a couple of GWX object had been installed via that second update and "auto-ok'ed" themselves through my firewall. Fixed that. just wonder how many more abuses they have installed with it. i may have to simply uninstall that whole freaking thing.

  33. Steve Graham
    Trollface

    oops

    "continuing through AnticipationUX, Reservation, Reserved, RTM, GA, various Upgrade phases, and, finally, UpgradeSetupFailed"

    Why not save time and jump straight to UpgradeSetupFailed?

  34. TheTallGuy

    Seriously?

    So MS are making a way of telling users that an upgrade will be available. That's it. Are they forcing it, no, they will say get it if you want it.

    But making it more obvious than just putting a note in the trade press. Whoopy bloody do, that they dare to waste a few of your blessed bytes creating a notification of the new version, give you the option of it for nowt.

    At least they aren't forcing a new U2 album on us all.

  35. TheTallGuy

    Subscriptions?

    Seriously nowhere has MS ever said anything about payments other than if you want v10 you get it free in the first year yet so many idiots still say OMG MS will cut me of if I don't pay yearly, where the F*** do you get off on this crap? Where have MS ever said they are intent on a rental only scheme. The Tin foil hatters are really going to town here.

  36. Isendel Steel

    Looks like KB2952664 might be related ?

  37. Conundrum1885

    Re. subscriptions

    Wasnt behavior like this what got Microsoft in trouble with the regulators in the EU last time with the whole "Internuke exploiter or bust" fiasco?

  38. atlatl265

    Just an Update, haha

    I have found that there are three Windows Updates shilling for an upgrade to either 8.1 or 10.

    KB3035583, just released as Important, eSet called it an AdWare PUP for Win 10.

    KB2990214, now listed as Optional, originally released as Important in 10/14, another push for Win 10.

    KB2952664, now listed as Optional, originally released in 04/14, pushing for both 8.1 and 10.

    Well, as the man says, just right click and select Hide.

    1. ArtArnold

      Re: Just an Update, haha

      Check it out, it doesn't work like that anymore. It'll install anyway

  39. Anonymous314159265358979323

    Who wants Windows garbage anyway?

    With all the great Windows releases (who can forget wonderful releases like "Millennium Edition, Vista, Win 8.X), or Microsoft's abuse of their monopoly market position to strong arm manufacturers and abuse customers. After the way Microsoft tried to dump the Win 8.X interface on user's that didn't want or need. Why should anyone be surprised if Microsoft once again abuses their customers any way it can.

    The early reviews of Microsoft 10 have said it's stable, but not spectacular and introduces little in the way of new innovation; it just fixes what was broken with the later Windows release. Given that so many companies and users won't give up Win XP, the non-innovation with Win 7 (and the crippled Windows Desktop manager), the truly ridiculous Win 8.X interface disaster, the reek of desperation is getting pretty strong around Microsoft.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How to undo Microsoft's Crap.

    Want this invasion of privacy gone from your PC?

    Want to prevent Microsoft from re-downloading this "update" again and again to your computer?

    Follow these steps:

    1.) Open Control Panel.

    2.) Go to Programs.

    3.) View Installed Updates.

    4.) Search for KB 3035583

    5.) Uninstall.

    Yet even doing this will not end it, because Microsoft is a pushy shill like that.

    Before you restart, go to Windows Update.

    Uncheck "Give me the recommended updates the same way I receive important updates" .

    Please note Microsoft considers this a "Important" Update, and not a "Recommended update"

    So you'll also want to change your settings to:

    "Check for Updates, but let me choose whether to download or install them."

    Then you'll be able to avoid having that stupid Window Icon in the corner of your clock screen. Your not being hacked, don't worry. Just Bill Gates and Company being greedy and trying to force-feed a product that cuts several old features from windows, (like the Media Player and several other functions) down ignorant consumers throats. It's the old WGA trick again.

    You didn't REALLY think everything was free.. did you? There is always a catch.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: How to undo Microsoft's Crap.

      >Want this invasion of privacy gone from your PC?

      Not seen it yet on XP ! :O

      Aside: Interestingly, whilst MS aren't providing updates for the XP OS, they are still providing updates to Office 2007 on XP...

    2. ArtArnold

      Re: How to undo Microsoft's Crap.

      You really haven't kept a check on this have you? I've done all you say and they still install it all.

  41. ArtArnold

    naughty naughty, I put them in the category of hackers. Once I removed it, took the check off the install option, they have no right to install it anyway. Which they do. Give it a try.

  42. bubbabubinskyjr

    Microsoft is the new IBM

    Microsoft's aggressive Window 10 update fiasco proves that they have no respect for their customers.

    I am an IT consultant. One of my clients had their store closed for almost an entire day because Windows 10 installed itself one night after we tried to block it - their Point of Sale software broke and no cash registers worked. Loss - $10,000+.

    Similar problem at a dental office - their dental practice software doesn't work with Windows 10. Patients couldn't get x-rays and the whole billing system was shut down. Loss - $15,000.

    Microsoft has become the inflexible, rigid, customer-hating organization similar to the IBM of the 70s and 80s.

    Maybe Windows 10 is a good program, but I have a long list of clients that hate the company so much that we are now evaluating POS and dental software that runs on Apple.

    If only we could give Microsoft a taste of its own medicine.

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