There have been several reports over the past month about Microsoft upgrading people’s computers to Windows 10 from Windows, 7, 8 and 8.1. This seems to be happening without the consent of the computer owner.
Windows 10 is a free upgrade, however it appears that in some cases including my own (because I checked) I was going to get it whether I wanted it or not.
MS Office Disappeared!
I helped out a colleague two weeks ago whose computer was upgraded without her permission. She just accepted it after it happened, and then could not find anything because the interface had changed. I think I am correct in saying that Microsoft also download a version of Office onto computers as well as the operating system. It is not activated, just sitting there as an install file. In this case the user clicked on it and started to use the latest version of MS Office. It stopped working 2 weeks later asking for a licence key.
In this case she had an older version (circa 2003) of MS Office on the computer that was licenced, however it appears the installation of the latest one removed the old one! So I could not roll it back. Needless to say nobody had retained the disks for the original version so in this case Microsoft had deleted Office because of operator error and Microsoft installing an operating system that was not required. It can happen to anyone.
An easy solution to this?
In this case I loaded Open Office on her computer and she was able to continue editing Office Documents without MS Office for free. Just bear that in mind if you find yourself in a similar position and don’t know what to do.
GWX in the system tray
I was aware of an application that sits in your tray in the bottom right hand corner of your screen which is called GWX.exe. It is installed by Microsoft during one of the many updates that you need to get as part of the maintenance of any Windows machine. See the image below.
Having checked my colleague’s computer and done some research, I thought I would check out my computer. Sure enough an upgrade was scheduled two days later! I turned it off.
Open and Check
If you go to your system tray and open the icons and click on the Windows 10 Upgrade icon you will see a screen that gives you some options. In my case I declined the upgrade so my screen may look different to yours.
Do you need it?
I prefer to consent to have my computer altered. I have experience of Windows 10 on a non-touch screen laptop. It is really an adaptation of their operating system for touch screens so it does not have any major benefits for me personally on a desktop machine.
If you have Windows 8 or 8.1 installed (which are also touch screen operating systems) then you will benefit from installing it. It looks similar and is an improved version.
If you have Windows 7 installed and you are happy with Windows 7 then I would recommend hanging on for a point in time when you have the opportunity to set some time aside to learn the new operating system rather than have it provided when Microsoft gets around to doing it for you automatically. There is nothing worse than waking up one morning with a huge list of things to get done and finding you have wasted several hours in relearning how to use your computer.