KB patch that checks Windows 7/8.x machines for Windows 10 readiness reappears

Microsoft got in some hot water with a number of Windows users last year when they were trying to give away their latest operating system for free. The problems arose because perfectly content Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users felt Microsoft was too pushy with their free offer. Namely the often vilified Get Windows 10 app.

Probably almost every Windows user is familiar with the Get Windows 10 app at this point. It sat in the notification tray to help Windows 7 and 8.1 users reserve their free upgrade. But problems arose as the app persistently reminded users to upgrade with a notoriously hard to spot button for opting out. There was so much customer ire over upgrading there are now even lawsuits springing up against Microsoft because of their tactics for promoting the free offer.

As the Microsoft’s free upgrade offer came to a close, the company confirmed the Get Windows 10 app would be making an exit. And as of just two weeks ago, we finally saw the Get Windows 10 app being removed from Windows 7 and 8.1 PCs.

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So it was a surprise to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users when they saw KB 2952664 and KB 2976978, respectively, show up in Windows Update yesterday. Some fear these updates are heralding the return of the dreaded Get Windows 10 app. This is because these updates were prerequisites for the main update which ushered the Get Windows 10 app into Windows 7 and 8.1 notification trays.

As Microsoft says in the bulletins for KB 2952664 and KB 2976978:

This update performs diagnostics on the Windows systems that participate in the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program. These diagnostics help determine whether compatibility issues may be encountered when the latest Windows operating system is installed. This update will help Microsoft and its partners ensure compatibility for customers who want to install the latest Windows operating system.

To be clear, the return of these updates is not the return of the Get Windows 10 app. But at this point there is no definitive word from Microsoft for why these specific updates that check upgrade compatibility are returning. Recently at Ignite, Microsoft announced Windows 10 is on 400 million active devices, and that the adoption of Windows 10 has been one of the fastest in company history.

However, while this number sounds impressive, other reports say that Windows 10 market share ever so slightly slipped in last month’s data. Microsoft previously announced that it would miss its self-stated goal of getting 1 billion Windows 10¬†powered devices¬†in three years.

So could some new special offer to upgrade be in the mix to reignite Windows 10’s adoption? Maybe. Anything could be possible with the holiday season just around the corner. But is the Get Windows 10 app making a return? Most likely not. Microsoft issued very firm statements the free upgrade offer would end in July and the Get Windows 10 app with it. But until Microsoft clarifies why they reintroduced prerequisites for an app that was one of their largest PR problems over last year, imaginations will be left to run wild.

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Why do you think Microsoft is reintroducing these Windows 10 readiness checks?