GWX, otherwise known as the "Get Windows 10" popup, acts suspiciously similar to malware, except that it is made by Microsoft.
Like malware, GWX:
- installs itself without the user's consent as an "important" update
- downloads and "preloads" 6 GB worth of Windows 10 installation files without the user's consent
- constantly nags the user about downloading Windows 10
- actively prevents the user from disabling it permanently
- changes its behavior through the addition of undocumented features to further prevent its disabling
- requires a special, third-party tool to be removed completely from a system
- advertises another product, even if Windows 7 users get it for free
- is a potentially unwanted program (PUP).
Even TechRadar refers to GWX Control Panel's constant development as an "uphill battle" as random updates seem to push new versions of GWX (with new tricks) to Windows 7 computers.
So, can GWX be considered malware?