Windows 10: Microsoft launches intrusive full-screen upgrade reminder

Windows 10 device example 1

Microsoft’s aggressive push to get users to upgrade to Windows 10 has been turned up a notch as the company begins pushing full-screen upgrade pop-up notifications to Windows 7 and 8.1.

The “Sorry to interrupt” notification will take over the whole screen and force users to select either to upgrade at once or to be reminded later, which will cause the pop up to reappear every three days.

Two more less prominent options, accessed via smaller links to the left, will allow the user to select to be notified three more times in total or never to be notified again.

The screen takeover warns users that the free Windows 10 upgrade period will end on 29 July, after which Microsoft will charge a fee to install Windows 10, and forms the latest step in the company’s campaign to get users switching from the six-year-old Windows 7 and two-year-old Windows 8.1.

At times Microsoft has been rather overzealous in its drive to get users to upgrade, recently facing a $10,000 (£7,500) bill for a botched, unwanted Windows 10 upgrade. The company recently announced that it would modify its last pop-up notification that committed to installing Windows 10 when users tried to cancel it with the red “X” in the top right-hand corner.

This new full-screen pop up is the result, but whether users will find it less irritating or more informative and useful remains to be seen. Depending on the dialogue box response Microsoft chooses, there’s a possibility users will accidentally hit “Upgrade now” without realising it.

Microsoft says the notification will not be shown to users who have a recent version of the “Get Windows 10” app installed, those whose computers have been detected as incompatible with Windows 10, who have previously attempted to install Windows 10 or have rolled back to Windows 7 or 8.1.

The support document for the notification also says that anyone who has disabled the Windows 10 upgrade or disabled Microsoft’s previous offer screens by altering registry key settings will not be shown the new notification.

But that users have selected to modify the registry – a vulnerable, key component of Windows that users should never need to manually edit and by doing so could cripple the operating system – to stop Microsoft’s nags, and that Microsoft has seen such activity in numbers worth mentioning, says a lot about how irritated users have been by the company’s pushing of Windows 10.

Its previous, smaller notifications have already disrupted weather forecasts and pro-gamer streams. Full-screen takeovers could be the next big thing to drive Windows users over the edge.

Powered by article was written by Samuel Gibbs, for on Monday 4th July 2016 10.58 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010