Despite promising never to do so again, Microsoft is reverting to old habits by introducing a full-screen notification message for Windows 10 users, urging them to accept the offer of a free upgrade to Windows 11.
Put on the chopping block by Microsoft, Windows 10 is now in the same predicament that its predecessor Windows 7 once found itself in, serving as a promotional platform for its successor Windows 11. And to leave no loophole for users who have turned off automatic installation of Windows 10 updates, the change is being made at the server level, “convincing” PCs equipped with this version of Windows to display a message reminiscent of misleading ads practiced by less reputable retailers. And if the response received is not what Microsoft expects, no problem. The message will reappear in 3 days and so on, until users are persuaded to accept the unrefusable offer:
“Now unlocked: You’re eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 11”
While the offer is as real as it gets, Microsoft seems to be ignoring the fact that users and companies who have paid for Windows 10 licenses have opted for the experience of this OS and not any reinterpretation that has appeared in the meantime. Thus, the aggressive promotion of the Windows 11 successor could be seen as an abuse of users who paid to experience Windows 10 as such.
In reality, the “free upgrade” offer may mean lost time for company employees who have to wait hours for the new version of Windows to be installed on PCs that barely meet the minimum system specifications, not to mention potential problems getting used to the new interface design or compatibility with applications used for business purposes.
According to Microsoft’s offering, users have a choice of two buttons: Get It (install now) and Schedule It (schedule installation for a later date). Admittedly, there is also a “Keep Windows” option that allows this offer to be permanently ignored, but this is not a button but a simple link inserted at the bottom of the screen among generic information that users are more likely to ignore.
Without immediately accepting the indicated choice, even when using the “Keep Windows 10” option Microsoft redirects users to an “Introducing Windows 11” page, detailing in text form the most important features and benefits of Windows 11. It’s only when you use the “Back” button that you’re taken to a page titled “You’ll stay on Windows 10”, and using the “Continue to Windows 10” button brings the familiar desktop right back.