Upgrading to Windows 10 seemed to be a matter of choice, until an Inquirer reader noticed that Microsoft had downloaded the staging files necessary for the upgrade without even asking for permission.
The procedure typically implied the users reserving the upgrade from Windows 7 or 8.1 to Windows 10, upon which Microsoft would proceed to pushing the files necessary for the transition. Said files are located in the ~BT folder on the partition hosting the Windows installation. The Inquirer reader who prompted the publication about the incident claimed that the folder had been created and the files had been downloading without him even reserving the upgrade, which raises a few questions. While I don’t see any reasons why anyone would refuse a free upgrade to this OS version, I still think that the Redmond giant should respect its users’ decision to stay on whichever version they prefer. Why is Microsoft doing this, in the first place? And on the other hand, is it aware that some users have metered Internet connection and a multi-gigabyte download such as the staging files for Win10 could mean the doom of their wallets? The company has come forward to answer at least the first question, and to clear the fog, but it remains to be seen how users will react.
The Inquirer reader stated that “The symptoms are repeated failed ‘Upgrade to Windows 10’ in the WU update history and a huge 3.5GB to 6GB hidden folder labeled ‘$Windows.~BT’. I thought Microsoft [said] this ‘upgrade’ was optional. If so, why is it being pushed out to so many computers where it wasn’t reserved, and why does it try to install over and over again? I know of two instances where people on metered connections went over their data cap for August because of this unwanted download. My own internet (slow DSL) was crawling for a week or so until I discovered this problem. In fact, that’s what led me to it. Not only does it download, it tries to install every time the computer is booted.”
A Microsoft spokesperson told Inquirer that “For individuals who have chosen to receive automatic updates through Windows Update, we help upgradable devices get ready for Windows 10 by downloading the files they’ll need if they decide to upgrade. When the upgrade is ready, the customer will be prompted to install Windows 10 on the device.”
This whole “courtesy” can be held under control, as Redditor /u/facestabber (cool username, btw) has written a guide on /r/technology on how to prevent the forced upgrade to Win10.
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