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They're back: Windows 7 popup warnings to update to Windows 10 will soon reappear


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What language will Microsoft use to warn Windows 7 Pro users that the end of the world (or at least support) is nigh?

 

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Windows 7 support expires on January 14, 2020. And if you’re a Windows 7 Pro user, Microsoft is going to tell you that right on your PC screen via a popup notification.

 

In March, Microsoft warned that it would begin using popup reminders to let Windows 7 users know that it was time to upgrade, and began pushing some to Windows 7 users. In an update to Microsoft’s original blog post, Microsoft is now saying that it’s begun specifically extending notifications to non-domain-joined Windows 7 Pro users—consumers, in everyday language. (ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley reported this earlier today.)

 

And it won’t happen just once, either, unless you choose to opt out. In its original blog post, Microsoft said that the notifications won’t happen just once, but a “a handful of times in 2019.” “By starting the reminders now, our hope is that you have time to plan and prepare for this transition,” the company said.

 

You will have the opportunity to stop the notifications entirely, though it’s very possible that Microsoft will warn you very strongly not to. “These notifications are designed to help provide information only and if you would prefer not to receive them again, you’ll be able to select an option for ‘do not notify me again,’ and we will not send you any further reminders,” Microsoft added. 

 

By now, Microsoft’s position should be obvious: When Windows 7 officially exits support on Jan. 14, 2020, that PC will be at risk of attacks from malware that Microsoft simply won’t patch. (Enterprises will have the option of paying for extended support on a per-PC basis, but those options haven’t been made available to consumers.) Microsoft’s attitude toward the transition has ranged from gentle reminders to starker, more fearsome warnings, and it’s not clear what language Microsoft will use to remind users that it’s time to upgrade.

 

Microsoft’s point is pretty clear, though: If you own Windows 7, however, your deadline’s approaching.

 

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Microsoft to start nagging Windows 7 Pro users about January 2020 end of support deadline

 

By Mary Jo Foley for All About Microsoft

 

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In April this year, Microsoft began proactively notifying Windows 7 Home users about the approaching end of support deadline for Windows 7. Starting this week and rolling out over time, Microsoft will add certain Windows 7 Pro device users to its nag list.

As of this week, users of Windows 7 Pro devices that are not domain-joined will begin receiving notifications about the January 14, 2020 end-of-free-support deadline for Windows 7. Microsoft updated its March 2019 blog post about the next wave of Windows 7 notifications today, October 15, to let Windows 7 Pro users know what's coming.

The original end-of-life notification began appearing April 18. The notification took the form of a patch (KB4493132).

 

The notification let users know that "After 10 years, support for Windows 7 is nearing an end." It continues: 

"January 14, 2020 is the last day Microsoft will offer security updates and technical support for computers running Windows 7. We know change can be difficult, that's why we're reaching out early to help you back up your files and prepare for what's next."

There is a checkbox for users who prefer that Microsoft not notify them again about the support deadline. And the notification page includes a "Learn more" link to Microsoft's Windows 7 page, which focuses on moving to Windows 10 (preferably on a new device).

 

On January 14, 2020 -- Microsoft's support for Windows 7 will cease. That means no more updates or fixes, including security fixes after that date, which is the first Patch Tuesday of 2020, unless a customer pays. Microsoft officials have announced two ways that Windows 7 users can continue to get security updates beyond the January 14, 2020 date. But both of these ways -- purchasing paid Extended Support Updates and buying Windows Virtual Desktop (which includes Extended Support Updates for no additional fee) are designed for business customers, not consumers. 

 

Earlier this week, Microsoft also started cranking up its campaign to let Office 2010 users know that end of free support for them is a year away

 

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so far the "nags" have not appeared to Win7 Pro users yet - I did a windows update scan on a relative's Dell computer running Windows 7 Professional edition yesterday Oct. 16 and windows update does not offer the KB4493132 "nagware" update.

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Windows 7 Pro gets nag patch KB 4524752 with a couple of eerily familiar registry keys

Last night, as promised, Microsoft started rolling out the patch to Windows 7 Pro that implements 'Support for Windows 7 is coming to an end' nag screens. While all indications at this point say that the nagging is tame, there’s an ominously familiar Registry key lurking.

Sharp-eyed AskWoody reader @Zathras sounded the alarm last night: The Win7 Pro "support notification" urging you to upgrade to Win10 has arrived.

win7 to win10 nag Woody Leonhard/IDG

It's KB 4524752 and the Knowledge Base article says:

After 10 years of servicing, January 14, 2020 is the last day Microsoft will offer security updates for computers that run Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1). This update enables reminders about Windows 7 end of support.

This update is available through Windows Update. If automatic updates are enabled, this update will be downloaded and installed automatically on devices running Windows 7 Professional. 

Remember how we never really figured out back in May which Win10 [Win7] Home machines were getting the nag and why it appeared as Optional on some machines, Important on others, and not at all occasionally? Same thing's happening here. Zathras says it appears on his machine as Recommended. But an anonymous poster right after him says it's marked Important.

 

On my Seven Semper Fi machine, it's Optional but italicized.

 

A quick primer for those of you who forgot. In Win7 Update, you have two categories — Important and Optional. The ones marked Important are installed when you run an update. The ones marked Optional have to be checked before they'll be included in the update run. Optional updates have two flavors — italicized (which means they're Recommended but Optional) and straight-faced (which means they're optional Optional, I guess). But they won't get installed unless you check them.

 

The Knowledge Base article goes on to say:

Devices in managed organizations will not receive notifications. After it is installed, this update will run additional checks and will not show a notification on domain-joined devices, devices in kiosk mode, or devices that previously turned-off free upgrade notifications through registry settings.

 

Devices that do not meet this criteria will see a notification but can disable future reminders by selecting Do not notify me again in the lower-left corner of the notification, and then close the window. 

That’s in line with what we’ve been told. The next bit, though, sounds eerily familiar:

If you are an IT professional, you can set the following registry keys to disable notifications:

 

Registry location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Gwx

 

DWORD name: DisableGwx

 

Value data: 1

 

Registry location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate

 

DWORD name: DisableOSUpgrade

 

Value data: 1

That “IT professional” admonition is a bit trite, but the registry keys themselves will seem very familiar to those of you who lived through the “Get Windows X” campaign in early 2016. Surely you remember GWX — the sad and lengthy episode where, at one point, clicking an “X” on a dialog box installed Win10 on a Win7 machine, without your review or permission. Yeah, that GWX.

In this case, the registry keys are precisely the same ones that blocked the GWX campaign. I’ve written about them extensively. 

 

The patch appears to be on the up-and-up. That “Do not remind me again” checkbox actually does take away the nag. For now at least. 

 

Do you see KB 4524752 listed in Windows Update? Is it Important or Optional, italicized or not? Let us know.

 

Seven Semper Fi Spidey sense in AskWoody.com.

 

 

Source: Windows 7 Pro gets nag patch KB 4524752 with a couple of eerily familiar registry keys (Computerworld - Woody Leonhard)

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