Knowing that many of you manage the networks of your SMB customers here are some important updates for controlling the advertisement, and obviously the roll out, of Windows 10 to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices.

FIrst up is a post on the Windows for IT Pros blog – Making it Easier for Small Businesses to Upgrade To Windows 10. Customers in the US are initially targetting US customers later in January, with other geos, including Australia, to follow. It’s important to note that if your customers are currently using WSUS or Configuration Manager for update management the Get Windows 10 App won’t be received, instead they need to be updating directly from Windows Update. The big change is that domain joined PCs will start receiving notifications.

The second piece to check is the KB How to manage Windows 10 notification and upgrade options This article has more details on the requirements that need to be met, as well as operating systems that are excluded from being offered the notification, such as Embedded and Enterprise editions of WIndows 7 and 8.1.

Some of the important pieces from the KB article are how to obtain the necessary updates to prevent the download, required registry changes, and a script to check if your devices meet the necessary prerequisites for the updates.

Hopefully you’ve already had the chance to start working with your customers who qualify for the free upgrade offer as to how they can leverage it and working through any potential hardware or software compatibility issues well in advance of the expiration of the upgrade offer. Don’t forget that you have a month to roll back if you do find issues post roll out, but over time I’ve seen upgrade blockers eliminated as I’ve revisited older machines that weren’t allowing upgrades to occur, so hopefully if you’ve had issues early on they may already be addressed.