Newsletter Archives

  • Brinkmann, Horowitz: Are remnants of the despised “GWX” Get Windows 10 campaign still on your Win7 computer?

    This is… disturbing.

    Yesterday, Michael Horowitz published a detailed rundown of GWX remnants still on a Win7 PC.

    … today, I took a glance at the Event Logs of a Windows 7 PC and found it was still trying to upgrade to Windows 10. I kid you not. The machine in question last had  bug fixes installed on December 3, 2018. In other words, it had all the November 2018 patches. The Event Log indicated the GWX (Get Windows 10) tasks were scheduled

    Ab-so-lute-ly mind boggling.

    This morning, Martin Brinkmann at provided additional background:

    What is puzzling about all this is that GWX should not be running anymore on the system. Microsoft ended the Get Windows 10 campaign in 2016 and there is no reason to keep scheduled tasks or files associated with it on the system.

    Is Microsoft preparing for another Get Windows 10 campaign? Is it a bug? Leftover files on a system that were never removed completely?

    It is unclear but it is probably a good idea to check the tasks and folders on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 devices to make sure that these tasks and files don’t exist.

    Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the GWX cesspool….

    UPDATE: Günter Born has additional background.

  • A legitimate-looking lawsuit claiming damages for the Win10 coerced upgrade

    Many of you have posted here, and written to me privately, threatening to sue Microsoft for the pushy nature of the “Get Windows 10” campaign.

    It looks like one firm, the Chicago firm of Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin LLC, has taken up the challenge. As reported in The Register (yes, in the UK) yesterday, reports on a filing in Chicago US District Court on Thursday, claiming MS

    failed to exercise reasonable care in designing, formulating, and manufacturing the Windows 10 upgrade and placing it into the stream of commerce… As a result of its failure to exercise reasonable care, [the company] distributed an operating system that was liable to cause loss of data or damage to hardware.

    You can read the complaint here.

    The attorneys are seeking class action status.

    Based on reports on the Edelman Combs web site (which I haven’t independently confirmed), the firm has experience in the field. Edelman declares:

    Areas of Practice:
    25% Consumer Law
    75% Class Actions
    Deceptive Trade Practices

    You might want to take advantage of the firm’s “Contact Us” box on any of its web pages to see if you qualify for joining the class.

  • Two thumbs down: Capossela’s explanation of the Get Windows 10 debacle

    The blogosphere is abuzz with reflections on Chris Capossela’s explanation of what happened with the “Get Windows 10” debacle. An anonymous poster here pointed me to an ExtremeTech post by Joel Hruska which has several pertinent comments.

    If you haven’t seen the video yet, the edited version of Windows Weekly 497 is here. In the first hour or so, Leo Laporte, Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley talk with Microsoft Chief Marketing Officer, Chris Caposella. As usual, I saw it live on Wednesday. (The Windows Weekly live taping is always worth watching: Wednesdays 2:00 pm East Coast.)

    I didn’t write about Capossela’s comments about the “Get Windows 10” campaign in InfoWorld because it seems to me to be… I dunno… revisionist. Perhaps Capossela’s view represents the way Microsoft officially sees things. If so, it’s sad. Capossela says, in part (quoted by Hruska):

    We know we want people to be running Windows 10 from a security perspective, but finding the right balance where you’re not stepping over the line of being too aggressive is something we tried and for a lot of the year I think we got it right, but there was one particular moment in particular where, you know, the red X in the dialog box which typically means you cancel didn’t mean cancel.

    And within a couple of hours of that hitting the world, with the listening systems we have we knew that we had gone too far and then, of course, it takes some time to roll out the update that changes that behavior. And those two weeks were pretty painful and clearly a lowlight for us. We learned a lot from it obviously.

    Which is either patently absurd or confirmation that this part of Microsoft is completely out of touch with its customers.

    Hruska goes on to state, quite rightly:

    The larger question is why Microsoft ever thought it would be ok to switch how the application functioned after 10 months. Either Capossela is lying about Microsoft’s internal discussion of the topic or Microsoft doesn’t allow criticism of its decisions to percolate high enough in the company to inform its executive teams. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that changing how the “Do not install Windows 10 on my computer” process would inevitably result in a great many unwanted upgrades. The claim that it takes weeks to test an update to Windows Update is disingenuous as well. First, Microsoft could’ve fallen back to the old, previously-approved update and pulled the malware-style version of Windows 10 immediately. The company allowed the situation to go on for several weeks because it wanted to push as many people as possible on to Windows 10.

    I really didn’t think Caposella’s confession was newsworthy, but there are reports springing up all over, so I’ll toss in my two cents. This from somebody who fought about “Get Windows 10” tooth and nail. Those of you who read AskWoody know all about it, already – you lived it out in real time.

    From my point of view, the whole episode with the Get Windows 10 campaign and the horse it rode in on, KB 3035583, was “malware-style,” from the beginning. My first report about the malware nature was twenty months ago, on Apr. 6, 2015:

    If Microsoft had anything like a “listening system” in effect, they would’ve heard the screams starting Apr. 7. I sure did.

    Turning the “X” in the upper right corner into a “please upgrade my machine” symbol was just another in a long, long line of overbearing efforts. The fact that Terry Myerson promised in Oct. 2015 that

    You can specify that you no longer want to receive notifications of the Windows 10 upgrade through the Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 settings pages.

    rates, in my opinion, as one of the great lies of the whole campaign. The promise never came true, of course.

    The “Get Windows 10” campaign has done more to destroy Microsoft’s reputation than anything I’ve encountered – and I’ve been writing books about Microsoft products for almost 25 years. The current slump in Win10 adoption, in my opinion, can be traced directly to Microsoft’s heavy-handed jackboot GWX approach.

    I doubt that there’s a person on earth who doesn’t “know” that Windows 10 is “bad” because Microsoft forced it down their throats – and those of their Great Aunt Mabel, and their hairdresser’s pediatrician’s favorite radio commentator.

    You just can’t buy publicity that bad.

    Many of you, this holiday season, will be suffering the fallout.

  • Win 7, 8.1 customers getting hit by the old KB 2952664 ‘Get Windows 10’ telemetry patch

    It’s back, tho its purpose isn’t clear.

    Why does Microsoft keep digging itself into the same hole?

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

    UPDATE: I just got a nudge from SB and have appended this to the comments at the end of that InfoWorld patch:

    I’ve just been told of a significant reason why some folks may want to install this new version of 2952664. It looks like the patch is used by the Windows Update Analytics service – and this is their telemetry hook.

    I stand corrected: If you expect to use the Windows Update Analytics service, you need this patch.

    SECOND UPDATE: Microsoft reached out to me with a statement that

    There is no Get Windows 10 or upgrade functionality contained in this update. This KB article is related to the Windows Update and the appraiser systems that enables us to continue to deliver servicing updates to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices, as well as ensure device and application compatibility.

    The InfoWorld page has been updated, and the update should be propagating even as we speak.

  • Massive batch of optional non-security Windows patches precede October changes

    Say goodbye to the “Get Windows 10” campaign – and hello to the nascent new Win 7 / 8.1 patching method.

    And get a preview of the post-October patchopalypse. Coming soon to a Win7 or 8.1 machine near you.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • GWX is dead: What’s next?

    I don’t have any idea how Microsoft is going to unthread the needle on the Get Windows 10 campaign.

    ch100 reports “KB3123862 and KB3173040 are now expired/retired/pulled. KB2952664 is still available.”

    Early this morning (3:00 am Nashville time) I still had the GWX icon in my system tray. Clicking on it produced the screenshot you can see in the “Thank heaven for Josh” article below. Later this morning (sometime before 6:30 am Nashville time), the icon was gone.

    There’s nothing new on the official Windows Update site.

    Nothing available through Windows Update.

    KB 3035583 is still listed as installed, as are KB3123862, KB3173040 and KB2952664. This is on my “honeypot” machine which had all patches installed without interference.

    On Twitter, @falcios reports: ” I remove GWX from the Task Manager and it keeps returning. It’s after July 29, how can I get rid of it?”

    I haven’t a clue.

    What’s next? I dunno. Observations appreciated.

    (Over on Twitter, @tfwboredom says “Now that GWX on 7 and 8.1 closed down, it’s time for GWX on TH2. I wish I was kidding.”) I think he meant RS2, but it’s a chilling thought.

    Also on Twitter, @WZorNET notes that the free upgrade for Win7 and 8.1 customers who use assistive technologies is still open.  Apparently, Windows built-in Narrator is considered to be an assistive technology. (Which, indeed, it is.) Here’s the upgrade link.

  • The ‘Get Windows 10’ campaign will see its day in court

    A class is forming in Florida, suing Microsoft for “Get Windows 10.” But the attorney involved lists his company on Facebook as a Real Estate Lawyer.

    The plot thickens.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • Get Windows 10 nagware is in for a makeover

    Yep, once again.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • Computerworld’s Gregg Keizer and the Get Windows 10 “nuclear option”

    Second hard-hitting editorial about Get Windows 10 today. Gregg Keizer at Computerworld unloads a beltfull.


  • Peter Bright/Ars Technica takes on “Get Windows 10”

    Well worth reading.

    “This is the kind of stunt that you would expect of a spyware installer, not an operating system from a company that should know better. Windows 10, or at least its installer, has become little better than malware, and that’s something that Microsoft needs to very publicly apologize for and fix.”

    Check it out on Ars Technica.


  • Gregg Keizer gets it exactly right: MS hasn’t backtracked on GWX updates

    When I have time (in short supply at this point), I’ll elaborate a bit with some new observations, but the bottom line is that Gregg Keizer’s article in Computerworld, No, Microsoft hasn’t backtracked from zealous Windows 10 upgrade tactics, is quite correct.

    There’s been no change in the published mechanics of the coerced Win10 upgrade since March. I still have yet to see one instance where a Win7 or 8.1 user can absolutely prove Win10 was installed without acquiescing to the Win10 EULA (which is highly obfuscatory, IMHO, but that’s another story).

    People are seeing many different forms of the “Get Windows 10” dialog. We aren’t all being tarred with the same brush.

  • Confirmed: Win10 free upgrade ends July 29, as does the much-maligned “Get Windows 10” campaign

    Then again, we’re talking about Microsoft marketing here.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows