Microsoft is again addressing the Windows 10 upgrade problems that users have reported. This time the company is attempting to smooth the process of upgrading with small updates to the operating systems that the upgrade process officially supports, Windows 7 and Windows 8.
This week Microsoft released updates to address the problems that users have reported when trying to take advantage of the free Windows 10 upgrade since launch. Microsoft released Windows 10 over the summer for free to devices running Windows 7 and Windows 8. The company says that it plans to stop allowing completely free upgrades sometime in 2016, but that could just be a ploy to lend the situation a sense of urgency.
What Microsoft is calling Windows Update Client for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2: December 2015 was the first of the two updates for the upgrade process to arrive this week. According to Microsoft, the update, “enables support for additional upgrade scenarios from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, and provides a smoother experience when you have to try an operating system upgrade because of certain failure conditions.” The support page for the update doesn’t specifically say what these failure conditions are.
Joining this update is the Windows Update Client for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R3: December 2015. As its name suggests, it’s the same update, but for notebooks and desktops running Microsoft’s oldest supported operating system.
Microsoft offers manual downloads for both updates on their respective information pages. To get the updates, users should make sure that Windows Update is turned on and force it to check for updates from the Control Panel in Windows 7 and the Settings app in Windows 8.1.
Windows 10 launched this past July to great reviews and an enthusiastic user-base. That enthusiasm probably has more to do with Windows 8 and Windows 7 than it did Windows 10. Windows 10 aims to fix most of the shortcomings of Windows 10. A new store lets users download apps that are great with either a mouse or a keyboard. Apps for doing most popular tasks are included in Windows 10. The Start Screen from Windows 8 becomes a Start Menu when there’s a keyboard attached to a device running Windows 10. Users can turn Tablet Mode On and Off whenever they’re ready or have their device do so automatically.
Windows 7 wasn’t ridiculed as much as Windows 8, but some users did complain about having to go to Microsoft’s website to download essential apps for everyday tasks. Windows 10 includes Mail, Calendar, Music, Video, Contacts, Store and a note-taking app without an extra downloads.
A month ago, Microsoft revealed the Windows 10 November Update this upgrade for devices already running Windows 10 added a Skype video calling app, messages app, a way to find lost notebooks and tablets, and upgrades to the Cortana personal assistant that is included in the operating system. Now she can send text messages when paired with a Windows Phone and order an Uber to make sure you get to a movie on-time. Devices with Windows 10 installed will get free software upgrades and new features for years, Microsoft has said.
With more Windows 10 upgrade problems potentially solved, attention turns now to what some say will be the next major update to Windows 10. Codenamed Redstone, allegedly, this update will arrive in 2016 and include big changes for users that have more than one device running Windows 10. Microsoft hasn’t publicly commented on any software updates beyond the Windows 10 November Update.