The Windows 10 giveaway ended on July 29, but millions of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users still have the Get Windows 10 app and related software installed on their PCs. That started to change on Tuesday. Microsoft is currently rolling out an update—available via Windows Update—that will get rid of the Get Windows 10 app permanently.
Microsoft’s Get Windows 10 app, and its increasingly aggressive behavior, is one of the most controversial changes to Windows the company has made in years. At first, the app was nothing more than mildly annoying as its taskbar pop-ups encouraged users to upgrade to Windows 10 for free.
Towards the end of 2015, however, Microsoft changed its tactics to the point where we reported the company was using what we called “malware-like tactics.” Things only got worse in May when Microsoft changed the behavior of the “X” button in the upper right-hand corner of the now nearly full-screen upgrade prompt. Instead of using the “X” to close the window, Microsoft interpreted a click on the “X” as consent, and began the upgrade. That nasty trick didn’t last long, however, as Microsoft reverted the “X” back to its expected behavior in late June after significant pushback.
Still accepting upgrades
Soon after the free upgrade offer ended the Get Windows 10 app went dormant for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users.
However, it appears some people were still able to get Windows 10 for free by doing a clean install of the new operating system using Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 product keys. ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, who first reported on the end of the Get Windows 10 app, says that in some cases people were able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free using this method as recently as Tuesday, September 20.
The impact on you at home: Anyone who’s having second thoughts about not upgrading to Windows 10 might want to try and see if they can still get an upgrade for free. Just remember that if you do take the plunge and try a clean install there will be no way to return to your prior operating system unless you have the original system discs. For those who plan to stick with Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, you can use Windows Update to get the update that removes the Get Windows 10 app. You can also read more about the update on Microsoft’s site.