Microsoft starts offering Windows 10 upgrade pop-ups to SMB customers

MICROSOFT HAS BEEN detailing plans to help small businesses (SMBs) upgrade to Windows 10.Matt Barlow,general manager of devices and studios marketing at Microsoft, announced in a Technet blog post that the 'Get Windows 10' notice, which has been the boon and bane of so many Windows 7 and 8.1 owners' lives, has been extended to enterprise machines."Hooray," said no-one. Ever."Because of ongoing customer requests from many small businesses and other small organisations to easily take advantage of the free upgrade, we will soon make the Get Windows 10 app available to them as well," he explained.The app will be made available to users of the Pro editions of applicable versions of Windows who get their updates direct from Microsoft (that is to say they're not managed by the IT department) and are joined to an Active Directory domain.The good news, however, is that Microsoft isn't daft enough to enforce this one on enterprise customers, and there are a lot of ways to avoid it.A specific Microsoft article (KB 3080351: How to manage Windows 10 notification and upgrade options) details how to stop individual machines running the Get Windows 10 app. These include changing a registry setting, putting a group policy on the Active Domain, and deactivating automatic updates.We're also assured: "The Get Windows 10 app will not be introduced to PCs in large corporations who run Enterprise edition or who prefer to manage their own updates with onsite tools (including WSUS or System Centre Configuration Manager)."Microsoft has been heavily criticised for its increasingly aggressive tactics in getting people to update to Windows 10 where it can keep a closer eye on them, most recently offering the option to update 'now' or 'tonight' without a clear path to reject it altogether.The company knows, however, that the enterprise is where the success or failure of Windows 10 will lie, especially as the free upgrade is not applicable to enterprise users. As such, we suspect that Microsoft is more likely to tippytoe around them, lest they vote with their mice.