Microsoft is pushing Windows 10 on a group of previously off-limits users as its new operating system nears the six month anniversary of its release. The company revealed Wednesday that users who are running Windows 7 Pro or Windows 8.1 Pro can expect to start seeing the Get Windows 10 app in their taskbar, suggesting that they upgrade to the new OS.
The change in policy will only affect devices that are joined to an Active Directory domain and set up to receive updates directly from the Windows Update service. Business users with that setup will start seeing pop-ups from the Get Windows 10 app urging them to update their computers for free.
Those people who have Windows PCs at home that are configured as normal likely won't be that put off by the message, since it's the same one that popped up on their desktop at home. The change is part of Microsoft's ongoing work to push Windows 10 upgrades in front of more people to try and get them to move over to the new OS before the offer of a free upgrade expires in July.
Small business IT departments and people who are just tired of seeing upgrade messages can follow these instructions from Microsoft to disable the Get Windows 10 app.
Big businesses don't need to worry -- since the Enterprise editions of Windows 7 and 8.1 aren't eligible for the free upgrade, users of that OS won't see upgrade suggestions through the Get Windows 10 app.
This is just one component of Microsoft's overall strategy to push Windows 10 during the second half of its first year of availability. The company has already said that it plans to push Windows 10 as a recommended update through Windows Update later this year, which means that many computers will automatically download the installer and prompt people to use it. (Microsoft will leave it up to users whether or not they want to switch, and they can always go back to their old OS within the first month of using Windows 10.)
At this point, Microsoft seems confident in its new operating system's reliability and ability to woo new users, so long as they install it. What remains to be seen is how the public at large will react to the company's increasingly aggressive pushes to get on the Windows 10 bandwagon.
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