Home Home Tech User defeats Microsoft's latest bid to force W10 upgrade

A Windows user has got around Microsoft's latest effort to force users of older Windows versions to upgrade to Windows 10.

Microsoft's method was to prevent those who use these older versions on newer hardware from receiving monthly security updates.

The user, known as Zeffy, uploaded patches to GitHub that would enable Windows 7 and 8/8.1 users who are running on Intel seventh generation processors (Kaby Lake), AMD Bristol Ridge (Zen/Ryzen) and Qualcomm 8996 to install the security updates.

The GitHub patches allow these users to install the security updates that Microsoft released in March with a list being provided by Zeffy.

Last month Microsoft announced, in part, on its support forum: "Windows 10 is the only Windows version that is supported on the following processor generations: Intel seventh (7th)-generation processors, AMD 'Bristol Ridge' and Qualcomm '8996'."

And it added: "Because of how this support policy is implemented, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 devices that have a seventh generation or a later generation processor may no longer be able to scan or download updates through Windows Update or Microsoft Update."

Zeffy said he had noticed that, in the changelog for the March updates, Microsoft had noted, "Enabled detection of processor generation and hardware support when PC tries to scan or download updates through Windows Update."

His interpretation of it was, "Which is just Microsoft's nice way of telling everyone who'd rather keep using Windows 7 or 8.1 on their Intel Kaby Lake or AMD Ryzen systems to f*** themselves."

Zeffy wrote that he narrowed down the way Microsoft was implementing this to one library file, wuaueng.dll, which was doing the CPU checks.

He outlined two methods of editing out these functions, with the only caveat being that users would have to apply a new patch whenever wuaueng.dll was updated.

His scripts are open sourced so they can be inspected by anyone who fears that he may be trying to plant malware on their PCs.

Last year, Microsoft used methods that can only be described as tricky, to force Windows users to upgrade to Windows 10 ahead of its own 29 July 2016 deadline.

The company was forced to pay damages to two users who went to court after they were forced into upgrades which they did not want.

Reports say that take-up of Windows 10 has stalled after the 29 July 2016 deadline, with only about 400 million of an estimated 1.5 billion Windows users having upgraded.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

 

 

 

 

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