Brad Sams (my boss at Petri.com) published a story last night about how Microsoft has started to push out Windows 10 upgrades to domain-joined PCs.
Note that the PC doesn’t upgrade via Windows Update; the user will be prompted if they want to update, and then a deliberately confusing screen “encourages” the user to upgrade.
Brad notes that the environment must meet certain requirements:
- The machine must be running and licensed for Windows 7 Pro or Windows 8.1 Pro (Enterprise doesn’t do this stuff).
- There is no WSUS, ConfigMgr, etc – the machine gets updates directly from MSFT – this means smaller businesses for the most part.
- The machine must be a domain member.
As you can see, this affects SMEs with a domain (no WSUS, etc). But I’d be surprised if larger businesses weren’t targeted at a later point in order to help MSFT hit their 1 billion PCs goal.
In my opinion, this decision to push upgrades to business is exactly the sort of action that gives Microsoft such a bad name with customers. Most SMEs won’t know this is coming. A lot of SMEs run systems that need to be tested, upgraded, or won’t support or work on newer operating systems. So Microsoft opting to force change and uncertainty on those businesses that are least ready is down right dumb. Brad reports that Microsoft claims that people asked for this upgrade. Right – fine – let those businesses opt into an upgrade via GPO instead of the other way around. Speaking of which …
There is a blocker process. I work in a small business and I’ve deployed the blocker. Windows Update added new GPO options to our domain controllers, and I enabled the GPO to block Windows upgrades via Windows Update:
As you can see – I’ve deployed this at work. We will upgrade to Windows 10 (it’s already started) but we will continue to do it at our own pace because we cannot afford people to be offline for 2 hours during the work day while Windows upgrades.