Microsoft is stepping up its strategy to move users to Windows 10 while the rollout of Apple’s renamed operating system isn’t far behind.
If you’re using Windows 7 or Windows 8 and haven’t upgraded to Windows 10 yet, Microsoft is making a final push to get you to upgrade. And if you don’t do so by July 29, the free upgrade offer will expire and you’ll have to pay $119 for the full installation.
Getting holdouts to upgrade isn’t easy. Microsoft has been aggressive with its regular notifications that target users of older Windows operating systems. For instance, even if you're a diehard Windows 7 user and not interested in the upgrade and hit the “X” to remove the notification, it can have the opposite effect: the system may schedule the upgrade to Windows 10 automatically.
But Microsoft will change that with a new “upgrade experience,” according to a statement by Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s executive vice president for Windows and Devices, which was first reported at Zdnet.
“Towards this goal, this week we'll launch a new upgrade experience for millions of PCs around the world,” Myerson said in a statement. The new notification gives you a choice of “upgrade now” or “choose time” or “decline free offer.” If you click on the red x, “it will dismiss the dialog box and we will notify the device again in a few days,” according to the statement.
Translation: You’ll still get notifications but a little less persistently -- and clicking on the "x" won't trigger an automatic update.
“We continue to recommend all of our customers upgrade to Windows 10 before the free upgrade offer expires on July 29,” Myerson added in the statement.
But Microsoft has to be a bit pushy because consumers are not buying their phones, according to Stephen Baker, an analyst at the NPD Group. “Microsoft really has no choice but to push hard on Windows 10. [They are] facing a future with very little mobile penetration for Windows,” Baker told Foxnews.com in an email.
And Microsoft wants very much to push its base of Windows 10 users to 1 billion. “They realize that while they have impressively hit a 350 [million] installed base in a year, the next couple of years getting to 1 [billion] are going to be much tougher,” he said.
There’s another reason for the push too. On August 2, Microsoft will offer an Anniversary Update free to Windows 10 users. That update will include Windows Ink for expanding the use of pen input on Windows 10. Some of those Ink apps include Sticky Notes, Sketchpad, the Edge browser (with improved pen input), and Screen Sketch. Other extras in the Windows 10 Anniversary update will allow Windows Hello to unlock -- via biometric authentication such as a fingerprint reader -- devices, apps, and password-protected sites on the Edge browser. Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant, will also get an upgrade. For instance, it will proactively make suggestions to arrange transportation.
Apple is working on a big operating system update too. This time it’s for the Mac, and due in the fall. The most significant change so far is the name – OS X is out, and macOS is in – and the addition of Siri on the Mac, Apple’s digital voice-activated assistant that’s been a mainstay app on the iPhone and iPad for years and more recently on the Apple Watch.
This is Apple playing catch up, as PCs have had Cortana since Windows 8.1. And like Cortana, with Siri you’ll be able to search via voice commands for documents on your Mac.
Also coming to the Mac via Sierra is the wider use of tabs in both Apple apps and third-party apps, and easier Apple Pay verification.
Note that Apple doesn’t impose any time limits or payment penalties if you don’t upgrade.