• Are Win7 and 8.1 users protected from KB 2952664 and KB 2976978 by GWX Control Panel?

    Here’s a question I’ve heard in various versions over the past six months. From a tweet by @Ladyfirst:

    Just wondering if 8.1 users are protected from KB2976978 by still having GWX Control Panel installed?

    There’s an analogous question for 7 users and KB 2952664. Like two bad pennies, they both re-appeared in Windows Update earlier this week.

    Short answer: No.

    Longer answer: You don’t need to worry about the “Get Windows 10” campaign any more. Microsoft discontinued it on July 29, 2016. Although the upgrade from Win7 to Win10 and Win8.1 to Win10 is still free, Microsoft isn’t pushing the upgrade down your throat. You won’t see any “Get Windows 10” icons or dubious dialogs about installing it.

    If you have GWX Control Panel installed, you can uninstall it. Josh Mayfield’s excellent utility flips some bits in the registry that block Microsoft’s intrusive “Get Windows 10” push. GWX Control Panel doesn’t do anything to block snooping associated with KB 2952664, KB 2976978.

    Microsoft may restart the “Get Windows 10” campaign at some point, although it’s highly unlikely we’ll see a rematch of the 2015-2016 year-long debacle. I fully expect Microsoft to publicly acknowledge that the upgrade’s still free – the nod-nod-wink-wink thing is a bit beneath them. But if there’s a renewed push to get Win7 users to Win10, it’ll likely come with much more carrot, and much less stick. Cooler heads now prevail in Redmond. Right, Joe?

    If you need to protect your Win7 or 8.1 system from some future upgrade shenanigans, I’ll be screaming from the rooftops, right here and in InfoWorld – much as we did with the original GWX campaign.

    In the meantime, though, GWX Control Panel doesn’t do anything.