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article imageWindows 10 upgrade adverts to be shown to Windows 7, 8.1 users

By James Walker     Apr 6, 2015 in Technology
Microsoft has posted a Windows Update for 7 and 8.1 users that prepares their systems for the Windows 10 upgrade. The files of the patch reveal that the company intends to show upgrade advertisements and alerts to users to persuade them to get Windows 10.
Update KB3035583 has recently been delivered as a "recommended" update to systems running Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 SP1. Because of this, it will have been installed automatically based on the default Windows Update settings.
Its description is "enabling additional capabilities for Windows Update" but it is pretty obvious that this actually means "enabling the ability to download Windows 10."
A Windows Update for Windows 7 and 8.1 created a  GWX  folder in System32. This contains files for t...
A Windows Update for Windows 7 and 8.1 created a "GWX" folder in System32. This contains files for the download and advertisement of Windows 10.
Currently dormant, it places a series of files into a "GWX" folder in the Windows root directory, System32. One of the files, "GWXUXWorker.exe," has a description of "Get Windows 10," clearly showing what its purpose is.
Of more interest is the "config.xml" file in the directory. Its contents reveal that Microsoft intends to pressure users of Windows 7 and 8.1 to upgrade to Windows 10 in the summer. They will be exposed to a number of different advertisements and notifications about the new modern operating system. Some have speculated that the acronym "GWX" stands for "Get Windows X."
The XML file shows that Microsoft is going to go through a series of "phases" in marketing Windows 10 before the launch. The phases dictate what alerts the user is exposed to and include a tray icon, advertisement and reservation page.
A Windows Update for Windows 7 and 8.1 created a  GWX  folder in System32. This contains files for t...
A Windows Update for Windows 7 and 8.1 created a "GWX" folder in System32. This contains files for the download and advertisement of Windows 10.
It is assumed that we are currently in the "None" phase. Microsoft will be activating the "AnticipationUX" period next which will display a tray icon and advertisement. It is possible that a Live Tile will be added to the start screen of Windows 8.1 users with a shortcut to information on Windows 10 and the option to upgrade.
Later phases include "RTM" for when the operating system is released to manufacturers for install on new products and a series of states for use while the update is actually being installed on a machine, including "UpgradeDetected," "UpgradeDownloadInProgress" and "UpgradeReadyToInstall."
Some users may consider this intrusive of Microsoft but the behaviour is to be expected really. We have known for some time that the company will be heavily marketing Windows 10 and encouraging as many users as possible to upgrade, leaving the past behind.
It remains to be seen what form the advertisements for the OS will take or how frequently they appear. If they become annoying to users of Windows 7 and 8.1, that could actually deter people from upgrading so Microsoft will have to tread carefully when pursuing this new policy of publicizing Windows 10.
You can explore the files yourself by navigating to C:\Windows\System32\GWX on Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 once update KB3035583 has been installed.
More about Microsoft, Windows, windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 81
 
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