Microsoft to Nag Windows 7 Users to Upgrade

Posted on March 12, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Windows, Windows 10 with 34 Comments

With Windows 7 support ending in just 10 months, Microsoft revealed today that it will begin nagging users to upgrade to Windows 10. Or, as Microsoft calls it, a “courtesy reminder.”

“Beginning next month, if you are a Windows 7 customer, you can expect to see a notification appear on your Windows 7 PC,” Microsoft’s Steve Clark explains. “This is a courtesy reminder that you can expect to see a handful of times in 2019.”

One might naturally wonder how Microsoft could institute such a thing, given the effect that previous nag screens had on its customers and the ensuing bad PR. But Barlow says that the firm is doing this now to be proactive, so that its users can begin preparing for the migration away from Windows 7 early. And Microsoft has at least learned one lesson from the past: Let users decide what they see in Windows.

“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,” he notes.

One thing Clark doesn’t mention is any effort by Microsoft to ease the transition to Windows 10 by making the upgrade free again. There are probably pragmatic reasons for this, among them that most PCs out in the world today still running Windows 7 are probably older and can’t upgrade to Windows 10, or will provide a diminished experience.

And this warning is, of course, for individuals and small businesses only: Microsoft revealed back in January that it will allow its biggest commercial customers to continue paying for Windows 7 support for three years past that system’s January 2020 support expiration. It is not making that same offer to others.


Tagged with

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (34)

34 responses to “Microsoft to Nag Windows 7 Users to Upgrade”

  1. simont

    Is Microsoft looking at giving any discounts/free upgrades to Windows 10 to help move people off Windows 7?

  2. brettscoast

    Good points aging hardware and the fact that the windows 7 update experience is a nightmare

  3. Xatom

    And exactly why would anyone opt in to Win 10 spyware if Win 7 is satisfying their needs? To satisfy MS desire to illicitly stripmine your telematics. All the government backdoors. How about when Win 7 stops working. then and only then think about it. Maybe. Or maybe just move to another os.

    • Shel Dyck

      it's always been free, they just stopped distributing the upgrade wizard thingy. any 7 or 8.1 key can be used to install 10, that's never changed.

  4. hrlngrv

    If Windows Upgrade or Windows 7 proper could detect when an older PC can't be upgraded to Windows 10, would the user see a message saying 'Your PC is so old it can't be upgraded. Continue running Windows 7 at your own risk.' ? Would MSFT provide any info about PCs which could be upgraded to Windows 8.1 but not Windows 10?

  5. Detective Polarphant

    As long as they're not heavy handed with it I think it's fine, in fact it would be irresponsible and negligent to not inform users - many users will have no idea that Windows 7 will be insecure soon and not know what to do about it when it happens.

  6. 2ilent8cho

    O the irony. Microsoft are seriously out of touch, they keep doing this, they make amazing products that are successfully, then they don't understand why they are so popular then replace them with junk then wonder why people complain and don't upgrade..... You wrecked my amazing Xbox 360 by taking away the gorgeous coloured blades and replaced it with the nasty tiles, then you release a flop of a console the Xbox One with those stupid tiles. You take my favourite phone brand from last decade, Nokia and kill it by releasing it with an OS that has tiles instead of Android which was rejected by the market. Then we have Windows 8 with the GUI from hell with those stupid tiles again which people rejected. Then we have Windows 10 with a messy start menu again with those god dam tiles which caused one of the most popular downloads for Windows 10 to be Start8. It's just bad and inconsistent GUI design everywhere with Microsoft products this decade and they have still not fixed this issue.

  7. blackcomb

    They're dying to migrate people from the last groundbreaking WIndows version. Sad days.

  8. Daekar

    It's mind boggling to me that there are people still clinging to Windows 7. At one point I was using XP, 7, and 10 on different PCs - two for work, one personal. The 10 machine was more stable and offered more functionality. You couldn't pay me to go back to 7 now that I have gotten so used to the QoL and UI improvements of 10.

  9. VancouverNinja

    Apple's iOS upgrade prompts are way worse than anything Microsoft has done. Apple forces us to confirm putting off updates by making users enter their password. The reminders never stop either. Again Microsoft shines here compared to competitors.

  10. BoItmanLives

    Give us a telemetry off switch, control over updates - including ability to receive security-updates-only and skip all the bloatware - and never, ever reboot customers PCs in the middle of working with programs open.

    Then maybe they wouldnt have to beg Win7 users so hard. Make the product attractive, because their force-install trojan tactics will only work on the clueless.

  11. MacLiam

    I would have moved my old VAIO laptop from Win 7 to Win 10 at the outset if Microsoft had felt strongly enough about my migration to provide a graphics driver that would permit the upgrade to take place.

    • wright_is

      In reply to MacLiam:

      Microsoft don't provide graphic drivers, that is up to the hardware manufacturers.

      What sort of VAIO was it? I updated 2 2010 models when Windows 10 came out, a Core i7 with nVidia mobile graphics and a Core i3 with Intel graphics. Both have worked flawlessly ever since.

  12. Kevin Costa

    Windows 10 is still free, just use your 7, 8 or 8.1 key and you are set. Or, if you don't have the key, install 10 over 7/8.x, and will activate forever.

    Most of Windows 7 hardware runs Windows 10 fine, just respect the 32/64 bit version and the minimum requirements.

    Oh, and a dual core or higher CPU is important too. Single core? Stay on 7.

  13. A_lurker

    They never learn. Annoying users is not good customer relations.

  14. Brazbit

    *Bap* Stop Hitting Yourself!

    *Bap* Stop Hitting Yourself!

    *Bap* Stop Hitting Yourself!

  15. MikeGalos

    Seems pretty reasonable.

    Windows 7 was released almost a decade ago.

    Windows 7 was replaced by Windows 8 almost six years ago.

    Windows 7 hasn't been fully supported for over three years.

    What other operating system has anywhere near that length of support?

    You think Apple's support for Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) is still going on?

    Or do people think that the OS should just stop working or maybe silently stop getting security patches without the user knowing they're becoming more vulnerable to attack every day?

    • BoItmanLives

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      Found the MS employee.

      Nobody cares about age of OS. They care about what works best with the least compromises.

      Windows 10 is nearly 4 years old too. They're all old. MS hasn't really innovated anything since 7.

      • skane2600

        In reply to BoItmanLives:

        Well, he's a former employee. But other OS's policies aren't relevant to Windows 7 users.

      • lvthunder

        In reply to BoItmanLives:

        The company supporting it cares about the age of the OS. Everyone else will too when their new hardware doesn't work with it. Do you think USB4 is ever going to work on Windows 7?

        • Winner

          In reply to lvthunder:

          Do you think USB4 is ever going to work on Windows 7?

          That's an artificial issue. There's no reason Win 7 couldn't have been updated to work with newer technologies.

          I'm sure my new Linux desktop will work with USB4 just fine.

          • skane2600

            In reply to Winner:

            Of course the other question about USB4 is "who cares?". It will be a long time before the average person feels limited by its absence particularly if they are in a more legacy environment.

      • blackcomb

        In reply to BoItmanLives:

        People don't even know what version they run if it runs with no problems. When Microsoft messes up people start wondering "why the fuck this OS is doing this? Let me search on web about it" then they discover it's the piece of shit OS Windows Frankenstein 10.

    • MikeFromMarkham

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      Actually, Windows 8/8.1 never replaced Windows 7 except in the minds of the Microsoft marketing team. The marketplace certainly never saw it that way.
      • blackcomb

        In reply to MikeFromMarkham:

        Windows 7 replaced Vista and XP. Windows 10 didn't replace anything. It's just the OS that comes with new hardware. No one (but Microsoft fanboys) are going out of their way to get Windows 10. I would be on Windows 7 right now if my laptop had the drivers. Since I can't make it work with Windows 7 I'm on LTSC which is best case scenario.

    • dontbe evil

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      and funny that's always been like this since windows 95 at least... but haters gonna hate

  16. Winner

    Of course they will.

    "Since you didn't fall for our deceptive auto-update three years ago, we are going to nag you now to upgrade as Windows 7 is DANGEROUS and Windows 10 with it's automatic reboots is WONDERFUL".

  17. dontbe evil

    sorry if they "nag" you, explaining there will be no more security updates ... this people deserve wannacry