Microsoft starts downloading Windows 10 automatically through Windows Update

Microsoft Sign

Microsoft has followed through with its plans to push adoption of Windows 10 by downloading it in the background to user machines running Windows 7 and 8 set to accept automatic updates.

The company changed the designation of the Windows 10 download from “optional” to “recommended” within Windows Update, which means anyone with Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 that has automatic updates activated – the default and the best way to keep a computer protected against security bugs – with recommended updates automatically selected will have Windows 10 downloaded without asking.

Once downloaded it can also automatically start the install process, presenting users with the option to proceed to stop the installation. But the propensity of users to simply hit “OK” or accept when faced with a prompt in the middle of doing something else, will likely see users just blindly hit OK and unknowingly installing Windows 10, preventing access to the computer while the instalment completes.

Users will then have 31 days to roll back their version of Windows. Users will also be able to manually block the update from downloading, but will have to actively do so within Windows Update, and soon.

Most Windows updates are relatively small, but the complete download of Windows 10 will take up between 3.5GB and 6GB of storage space on user hard drives and could be particularly troublesome for users with limited internet download allowance or metered connections.

Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Windows and Devices group, said: “If you are on a metered connection on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, then you have the option of turning off automatic updates. We strongly discourage this in today’s connected world because of the constant risk of internet threats.”

Windows 10 has seen good reviews and one of the best launches for a Windows version since Windows 98 in terms of compatibility with existing devices and software. It is free when upgrading from older versions and had been installed on 200m computers by the end of 2015, accounting for 13.7% of desktop internet users according to data from web analytics firm StatCounter. Windows 7 still held a 46.7% share of global internet users.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Samuel Gibbs, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 2nd February 2016 12.11 Europe/London

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