You’re minding your own business, happily using your Windows 7 or 8 computer with your favorite peripherals such as your scanner, printer, and color label printer. Everything is just fine when you leave the office. The next morning, not so much.
What happened? A Windows 10 automatic upgrade. Suddenly, your computer has a shiny new operating system whether you wanted it or not — and your favorite peripherals won’t necessarily work without upgrading their drivers (if available).
Why Microsoft Wants to Upgrade Your Operating System
We believe that Microsoft wants to have all of its Windows 7 and 8 users upgrade to Windows 10 because many of Windows 10’s features provide Bing with a wealth of personal information that enables it to serve you more targeted ads. This has the potential to generate billions of dollars for Microsoft. No wonder the upgrade is being offered for free.
According to an article on InfoWorld, there are at least 30 different ways that Windows 10 gathers information and sends it to Microsoft. Meanwhile, Windows 8 and 7 have fewer, if any, objectionable data collection features.
While you can opt out of some (but not all) of these data collection processes, you need to be aware of them before you can do so. Even then, Microsoft will still collect the information and tie it to your unique “Advertising ID.”
Why You Might Not Want to Upgrade Your Operating System
Aside from the privacy concerns discussed above, why wouldn’t you want the newest operating system on your computer, especially if it’s free? Your hardware, such as your label printer, may not be compatible with Windows 10. The same is true of some of your software. While hardware and software manufacturers eventually update their drivers, you’re at their mercy. Until they do, you have two choices: live without or buy new. If they have issued updated drivers, you will need to uninstall the old drivers and reinstall the new Windows 10 software and drivers.
Can You Stop the Upgrade? Microsoft isn’t Making it Easy
With potentially billions of dollars at stake, Microsoft has been especially aggressive with its Windows 10 upgrade program. First, the free upgrade was optional, but it was free which is tempting in its own right. However, Microsoft soon changed the Windows 10 upgrade from optional to “recommended.” This move meant that many users automatically had their operating systems upgraded because of their Windows Update settings.
After users complained, Microsoft included a prompt, but without the standard OK and Cancel options. Instead, users were given a choice of essentially now or later. The only way to stop the Windows 10 Upgrade was to X out by clicking the red X box to exit the dialog box. This, too, has been modified.
According to PC World, this action “…now counts as consent for the upgrade, and worse, the upgrade installation can automatically begin even if you take no action whatsoever.”
If the Windows 10 upgrade hasn’t happened to you yet, there’s still time to stop it.
How to Stop the Windows 10 Upgrade
Here’s the problem though: Windows Update will continue to prompt you to upgrade. Not only is this annoying, Microsoft’s tactics so far have been sneaky. X-ing out of a dialog prompt should NOT count as consent. Thus, we suggest using a free utility called Never 10 to disable the Windows 10 upgrade on Windows 7 and 8 computers.
According to Gibson Research Corporation, Never 10 “…does not install ANY software of its own. It simply and quickly performs the required system editing for its user.” BetaNews.com explains further that the utility acts as a simple front end that allows you to edit the registry setting that affects upgrading the computer. According to Business Insider, Never 10 will block any attempt by the operating system to download Windows 10, yet, if you change your mind, you can use the utility to reverse this setting.
What Does All of This Mean to You?
If you are currently using Windows 7 and a color label printer such as the Primera LX400, Primera LX900, Primera LX2000, Afinia L801, Epson TM-C3400, Epson TM-C3500, Epson TM-C7500, Epson GP-C831, iSys Label Edge 850, iSys Label Apex 1290, UniNet iColor 700, UniNet iColor 900, or the DPR Scorpio digital label cutter and finishing system, we highly recommend that you decline the Windows 10 upgrade and continue to use Windows 7.
It’s not just color label printers to consider. Love your scanner? Barcode reader? Office laser printer? You could find out that these devices will no longer work with Windows 10. Therefore, if your current Windows 7 machine is meeting your business needs and you do not need to upgrade, we recommend using the Never 10 utility to stop it.