2015 12 14 Fix to Avoid Forced Upgrade to Windows 10

An unfortunate reality of today’s computing world is we must protect ourselves even from major, world-wide software vendors such as Microsoft, Sun, Adobe, etc. I’m picking on these three just now, but they only represent the overall problem. A problem that is wide spread and the bane of all computer technicians and system administrators.

A case in point is the push by Microsoft to force people to upgrade from Windows versions 7 and 8.x to Windows 10. Microsoft is doing everything physically possible to force people to upgrade to Windows 10. I get it. They don’t want to continue to support the older Windows versions like they did – for twelve years – with Windows XP. That’s expensive and generally a lost cause. Operating systems age. A useful metaphor might be to compare operating systems to vehicles. The first five years is generally a pleasure. The next five years things start to break, more repairs are required. After the ten year mark you are often faced with a choice – continue to sink a growing bundle of dollars into an obviously dying vehicle or use that same money to buy a new one.

Well, Windows is kind of like that; only you can reasonably expect only five years out of an operating system. If that.

Along comes Microsoft’s Windows 10, and they want to avoid the pain of long-term support. In my opinion, that is no excuse for Microsoft to force people to upgrade their computers. Some computers are special use, and run applications that cannot handle a different, newer version of Windows. Some older computers may not have the resources to run the new Windows well. Some people just plain like their current version of Windows and don’t want the learning curve pain that inevitably comes with the new version. Perhaps people have a slower connection to the Internet and multiple computers. Two gigabytes of download for each and every computer uses up a considerable chunk of their bandwidth. There are multiple reasons NOT to upgrade to Windows 10. I’ve only listed a few possibilities.

Microsoft is not dissuaded from their single-minded drive to push the upgrade. Until recently, trying to turn off the upgrade has been a pain. Attempts to turn off the upgrade often don’t work, or are defeated by Microsoft when they secretly re-enable the upgrade; in the background, without notifying users. Not cool, Microsoft.

Now there is help. The programmer behind the UltimateOutsider website has developed a tool named GWX Control Panel. You can get it here: http://ultimateoutsider.com/downloads/

One of the great things about the GWX Control Panel is that you can run it continuously in the background, which detects and defeats Microsoft’s attempts to re-enable the Windows 10 upgrade. This software is free but you can make a donation, which I heartily recommend. Good programming of useful software tools should be rewarded!

I strongly recommend people download and run the GWX Control Panel if they do NOT want to upgrade to Windows 10.

As I mentioned earlier, this is only one case in point. Other vendors perform actions not in the interest of the end users – you and me, that is. I’ll dig up more examples and their cures in future posts.

Dennis Strain
Enclave Managed Networks
Box 365, Smithers, BC, Canada V0J 2N0

1-877-877-8793 toll-free phone & fax

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