Latest Windows Update Sneaks in Windows 10 Installer

An optional update that “enables additional capabilities for Windows Update notifications when new updates are available to the user,” has been recently released by Microsoft.  IT insiders however subsequently discovered that the update is actually a downloader for Windows 10 which notifies the user that the much awaited operating system is ready for download.

Windows Update KB3035583 has been available for download and recommended since March 28, however since it is a recommended update only, users would have to manually tick the box beside the update in order for them to receive it.  Not a lot is known about the new update except that it adds further capabilities to Windows Update and that it only applies to computers running on either the Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 Service Pack 1.

As soon as the update is downloaded, you will find an additional folder in System32 labeled GWX.  This new folder contains 9 files and another folder labeled “Download”.  There will be four executable files, one of them called GWXUXWorker.EXE actually reveals what the update really is – “Download Windows 10” with the X in the filename representing 10 which is X in Roman Numerals.

The newly added folder also contains a file labeled config.xml which contains links to URLS which as of this writing isn’t working yet.  The files are as follows:

Some other things worth mentioning are:

The Phases section describes the behavior of the downloader as the release date for Windows 10 grows nearer.  The initial phase, NONE, all features are disabled.  The next phase, called AnticipationUX, ushers in the advertising banners, presumably on both a homescreen tile and a tray icon.  Reservation, the third phase, comes next.  According to the config file, on top of the advertisement tile and the tray icon, a reservation page will also be available to access.  The succeeding release phases are as follows:

  • First publication of the final release to manufacturing (RTM) version
  • General availability (GA)

Also included are the various phases of the upgrade:

  • UpgradeDownloadInProgress
  • UpgradeDownloaded
  • UpgradeReadyToInstall
  • UpgradeSetupCompatBlock
  • UpgradeSetupRolledBack

This just goes to show that Microsoft is really serious in upgrading Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users to Windows 10.  Those who wish to opt out of the upgrade advertisements should skip the recommended update.  Should Microsoft however decided to make KB3035583 an important update, the option to forego it will not be available as it will automatically install along with other important Windows updates.