There will always be somebody asking how to get Windows for "free". Free "upgrade" or not.
I wanted to make my post short. Ok I say within three days someone will complain either here or another Windows forum that MS should have given them more time to do the free upgrade because they weren't ready or didn't know about the free upgrade and is there any way to still upgrade for free.
I liked the short version better. Not complaining of course!
Typically, I'd argue the benefit of the doubt for most people buuuuut....
The GWX applet has been there since July 29, 2015. There have been NUMEROUS attempts to make users aware of it. There have been NUMEROUS updates to it to make it work smoother. It's literally not something that has taken the world by surprise. In essence, I think in my opinion, a lack of user awareness of what's going on with their PC. This opinion of thinking "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" mentality ONLY seems to affect Windows users.
Step into the realm of iOS, OSX, android and Ubuntu/Unix distros when there are platform updates, guess what probably 9 out of 10 people do? Upgrade. You may think, "Well, a Windows workstation isn't a little measly iPhone!" True, but in many cases a person's smartphone is their lifeline for their business and for their contact to the outside world. An OS upgrade can get botch, brick the device, you can no longer phone 911 or text anyone or access emails. You are effectively offline. Yet this is totally acceptable for apple in this case, to push out iOS updates that are getting buggier each year to the point where they can legitimately brick the iDevice. On the android side of things, well, lol, like you can get the latest OS version! But in all seriousness, the same applies to that. For OSX, especially El Capitan, some former native programs were removed and if you depended on them, tough. Yet this is ok.
But for most people who use a Windows PC regularly, let's say Windows 7 is the OS in this example, you are approached by the software manufacturer of the OS who says, "Hey, we have a major upgrade that gives you more digital security, built-in anti-malware protection that is updated and scans regularly without you thinking about anything, built-in cloud service (iffy), has nicer multitasking features to get more done, tons of new features, and can make your PC run quicker (through custom, ideally clean install, upgrade installs are a joke), and it's for FREE too along with using a Microsoft Account that gives you more free things like some OneDrive storage and easy content synchronization across all devices, Windows or not!" For whatever reason, the average Windows user will actually want to say no to this. In legitimate cases, there are hardware/software compatibility issues and the question of merit for others, but overall there is not a lot of reasons to say no to this. One may argue privacy concerns, ok, but if you've been using Google's services in recent years, they probably have a digital archive of your life on one of their servers that they'll gladly sell to advertisers who pay them to advertise effectively based on what you do on the internet. But this again, is ok.
What a tipsy turvy world we live in.
Users hate GUI changes.
They don't care about code streamlining, the Cloud, improved security, and so on.
MS has also "shot themselves in the foot" with all of the contradictory statements they've made and the sleazy malware-style tactics they are using to trick people into updating.
There are all of the stories about W10 installing itself.
The endless update to W10 nagging hasn't helped their cause either.
People (on EightForums) were claiming that no one would buy W8 if it looked like W7 but included all the actual code improvements and none of the GUI changes.
IT guys would have been clamouring to install it.
"It's better and none of our users will even know that they are using a new OS? Where do we sign up?"
Well it tried to upgrade my Windows 8.1 to 10. Just had a look.
The first screen was a welcome to Windows 10 screen with a Next button on it. There was I am not Kerry button to do what I assume is a more custom install in the lower left corner.
Clicking Next gets you this, lol, the "Here's the legal stuff" screen.
I clicked decline and got this screen.
I clicked decline on that second screen and got "attempting to recover your previous install", restoring your OS etc. I've heard the reboot beep a couple of times but haven't looked to see if it did it yet. I only just got up and haven't had my first cup of java yet.
Anyway, you have every opportunity to refuse the upgrade. The decline button isn't hidden and is right next to the accept button. Even on the second are you really really sure screen. Accept is highlighted but you still have to actually click it for anything to happen. My scheduled upgrade happened at 11 PM last night. I didn't have a look see until about 6 AM this morning. It was waiting for user intervention.