The Register has noted an unnoticeable at first, but rather important point in The Licensing Agreement for Windows 10 Build 10240. The new OS will force Windows 10 Home users to download and install updates to its operating system without any options to turn them off.
This essentially means, that unless you are an enterprise edition owner (which is obviously not the case with majority of users), you’ll have to forcefully update Windows 10, even if you don’t want to.
While Microsoft’s intentions of keeping us up-to-date to avoid security threats are pretty much valid, a section of users, and a large section rather, might not go along well with this forced update feature.
Because it’s obviously not just security fixes that Microsoft will be rolling out and automatically installing, it’s also going to be a steady stream of feature updates, as Microsoft adds new capabilities and features to its operating system. And we all know, there are a lot of feature updates which users don’t really want.
In previous editions of Windows, users were able to pick and choose which individual updates to download and install, but the scenario isn’t the same for Windows 10. That means, each update is a whole, and cannot be split apart and updates must eventually be accepted, or Microsoft will shut off the security patch faucet. The only options you have are to download update, install, and choose when to reboot.
A final version of the OS, distributed to testers this week, contains a clause in the end user license agreement that says-
The Software periodically checks for system and app updates, and downloads and installs them for you.
You may obtain updates only from Microsoft or authorised sources, and Microsoft may need to update your system to provide you with those updates.
By accepting this agreement, you agree to receive these types of automatic updates without any additional notice.
This is definitely a notable change in any version of Windows. The automatic updates will help better protect users, but are unlikely to be popular. Many of Microsoft’s core audience are much cautious about updates, particularly those who do not use a computer regularly and would not like updates prompt to pop up every now and then. Moreover, users who are already set on stable versions on their systems and adore them, might despise these forceful updates.
And while Windows 10 does allow choice, it is only for businesses running the Enterprise Edition of Windows. These customers can opt for the Long Term Service Branch (LTSB), which is updated only every 2-3 years (just like traditional Windows releases).
These LTSB releases are supported for up to 10 years.
And then, since Microsoft is targeting the ‘next Billion’, a lot of those next Billion don’t really have unlimited supply of data, and are restricted by data usage limits, even on Broadbands or WiFis.
This turn of events would be interesting to see.