Win7 and 8.1 patch KB 3173040 throws full-screen Win10 upgrade warning

Sorry to interrupt, but this is important ... or so says Microsoft

warning sign
Credit: Zoran Zeremski/Thinkstock

Microsoft just released yet another Win10 upgrade nag system, disguised as a "Recommended" patch for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 systems.

According to the KB 3173040 article, if you have Windows set to automatically install updates, and have the Windows Update "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them" box checked, your machine will suddenly sprout a full-screen purple message that says:

Sorry to interrupt, but this is important.

Windows 10 free upgrade offer ends July 29.

Microsoft recommends upgrading to Windows 10 -- the most secure Windows ever built. The upgrade is free and you can easily roll-back to your current operating system within 31 days if you decide Windows 10 is not right for you. We'll check for compatibility before starting the upgrade. Over 300 million people have upgraded. Upgrade your PC before the offer ends!

Windows 7 and 8.1 customers are offered four choices:

  • Upgrade now
  • Remind me later
  • Notify me three more times
  • Do not notify me again

Notably, there is no "X" in the upper right corner. There's also no indication if any other combination of keys, clicks or swipes might simply tell the full-screen ad to buzz off.

For all two of you who didn't know that Microsoft wants you to upgrade to Windows 10, this should serve as a welcome reminder.

The KB article says the full-page ad won't appear if you have a "recent version" of the Get Windows 10 app installed, if your machine is known to be incompatible with Win10, or if you have previously rolled back from Win10 to your earlier operating system. Also, we're promised that those of you who have run GWX Control Panel, Never10, or manually set the appropriate registry keys won't see the ad.

The download weighs in at a hefty 5.5 MB.

No, I don't make this stuff up. You have to wonder how many TV weather announcers, how many broadcasting game players, and how many unattended kiosks will suddenly find themselves festooned in Microsoft upgrade purple. I predict a field day in the mainstream press by tomorrow.

There was a second patch released an hour ago, as well, KB 3163589. It's for Win7 customers who aren't using Win7 SP1, and for Win8 users who aren't running Win 8.1. There's no information about Windows 8.1 users who haven't installed the Win 8.1 Update 1.

Sorry to interrupt, but this is important.

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