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Microsoft this week released an update for Windows 7 (KB3112343) and Windows 8.1 (KB3112336) that aims to make the Windows 10 upgrade process “a smoother experience.” As first spotted by WinBeta, the update improves Windows Update in Microsoft’s latest client and server operating systems, though the description hints that the real motive is to get more users onto Windows 10.

“This update enables support for additional upgrade scenarios from Windows 7/8.1 to Windows 10, and provides a smoother experience when you have to retry an operating system upgrade because of certain failure conditions,” the update’s description reads. “This update also improves the ability of Microsoft to monitor the quality of the upgrade experience.”

We have contacted Microsoft for more information about the “additional upgrade scenarios” that have apparently been added. As for making it easier to retry the upgrade, it’s clear Microsoft wants to avoid turning users off from getting Windows 10 just because of technical reasons.

After four months of availability, Windows 10 has only managed to grab 9 percent market share. To be clear, this number is nothing to scoff at, but adoption has slowed much more after the first month than Microsoft probably expected.


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In October, Windows 10 passed 110 million devices. While we don’t have a more recent figure yet, Microsoft is aiming to have 1 billion devices running Windows 10 “in two to three years” — though that includes not just PCs, but smartphones, consoles, and other devices as well.

In the hopes of countering the upgrade slowdown, Microsoft has announced a Baidu partnership to push Windows 10 in China, though the results from that effort have yet to trickle in. At the same time, Microsoft plans to make Windows 10 a “recommended update” next year, which would make Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users more likely to install it.

It makes sense that Microsoft is trying to improve the actual Windows 10 upgrade process before the company starts pushing the upgrade even harder in 2016.


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