The Windows 10 free upgrade program has so far concentrated on those Windows 7 and 8 users who reserved their copy in the weeks leading up to the operating system’s release. Over the coming months, Microsoft will start to spread the operating system to a wider audience. The Windows 10 upgrade will soon be posted as an “Optional Update” in Windows Update, advertising it to anyone who examines that list of updates.
Then, early next year, it will be categorized as a “Recommended Update.” This is significant, because it means that systems that are configured to download and install recommended updates—which for most people is the safest option—will automatically fetch the upgrade and start its installer. The installer will still require human intervention to actually complete—you won’t wake up to find your PC with a different operating system—but Windows users will no longer need to actively seek the upgrade.
This mirrors an accidental change that Microsoft did earlier this month. The Windows 10 upgrade was showing up for some people as a recommended update and the installer started automatically.