Microsoft tries to ease Windows 10 upgrade process

New updates promise to smooth over glitches that users of Windows 7 and 8.1 may have experienced when trying to jump to Microsoft's latest operating system.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

New updates from Microsoft may help correct certain problems upgrading to Windows 10.

screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Have you bumped into any trouble attempting to upgrade to Windows 10? A pair of updates from Microsoft may offer some help.

Released Tuesday, the updates contain improvements to the software that handles the transition from your current version of Windows to Windows 10.

Making the upgrade to Windows 10 as simple as possible is critical to Microsoft, which is eager to move on from its misfortunes with Windows 8. The company is offering the new operating system as a free upgrade to users of Windows 7 and 8.1, but some people have run into installation problems.

With Windows 10, Microsoft has brought back the Start menu, added its Cortana voice assistant and made improvements to the entire layout and design in an effort to bring people on board. Ensuring that users can easily upgrade is vital, especially since the adoption rate of Windows 10 appears to have slowed since its debut on July 29, according to the latest Web traffic stats of Web tracker NetMarketShare.

Microsoft has been pushing the Windows 10 upgrade through frequent pop-up reminders for Windows 7 and 8.1 users. For now it has classified the upgrade as "optional" and early next year expects to change that to "recommended."

Tuesday's updates (known as KB3112343 for Windows 7 and KB3112336 for Windows 8.1) are designed to help users as well as Microsoft, according to the description:

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

The updates are optional, which means you need to open the Windows Update feature on your PC and then select and install the appropriate update for your version of Windows. After the update has been installed, you can then try upgrading to Windows 10, either through one of the frequent pop-up messages or via its listing as an optional update.

For tech folks in the business world, the new updates also support Windows Server 2012 R2 (Release 2) and Windows Server 2008. The server versions aren't designed for the general public but rather for large organizations.

Beyond the two KB pages, a Microsoft spokeswoman said the company had nothing further to share about the updates.