Credit The New York Times
Q. Is it true that Windows 10 will be a mandatory upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users this year? I have been getting the âinvitationâ to upgrade my Windows 7 computer for months, but have been avoiding it because I like my current system.
A. Since last summer, Microsoft has been enthusiastically pushing its Windows 10 operating system for any computers that meet the upgrade requirements, and the company recently announced the software was now active on more than 200 million devices worldwide. If you are seeing the âGet Windows 10â icon in your Windows 7 notification area, the company believes your computer can run Windows 10 and is offering the update free until July 29 this year. Depending on your Windows 7 Automatic Update settings, however, it is possible that your computer will download and try to install the Windows 10 software at some point, because of the way Microsoft has said it plans to reclassify the software through the computerâs Windows Update tool.
In another blog post last October, a Microsoft executive said the company planned to switch Windows 10 from being an âoptional updateâ to a ârecommended updateâ for Windows users. If you have your Windows Update preferences set to install recommended updates automatically, your computer might find itself contemplating a major system upgrade. But, as the Microsoft blog post goes on to explain, âBefore the upgrade changes the OS of your device, you will be clearly prompted to choose whether or not to continue. And of course, if you choose to upgrade (our recommendation!), then you will have 31 days to roll back to your previous Windows version if you donât love it.â
If you prefer to have a pre-emptive say in the matter, adjusting your Windows 7 Automatic Update settings so that new software does not get automatically downloaded and installed is one way to keep control over the situation â especially if you have a cap on your monthly Internet data allowance. Just keep in mind that fiddling with your update settings could increase the risk of your computer becoming vulnerable to newly discovered bugs and malicious code if you do not install new security updates and other fixes yourself in a timely manner.