Ed Bott's Weekly Wrap: Forced Windows 10 upgrades? Plus: Chrome OS farewell, unboxing Apple TV, startling Start screens

Microsoft really, really wants you to upgrade to Windows 10, as they explained this week. Elsewhere, new rumors have Chrome OS getting folded into Android, I learn that people still blog about unboxing Apple products, and Microsoft releases two OS previews in one day.
Written by Ed Bott, Senior Contributing Editor

Here's a look at the stuff that happened this week while we were all busy watching baseball or avoiding political debates.

The Windows 10 upgrade train picks up speed

With the imminent release of its big November Windows 10 update (code-named Threshold 2), Microsoft shared details of what's next in its drive to get its new OS on a billion devices. Mary-Jo Foley summarizes the details .

The "reservation" phase of upgrading to Windows 10 is over. Microsoft is now getting ready to push the operating system out to even more users. Microsoft will "soon" be publishing Windows 10 as an "Optional Update" in Windows Update for all Windows 7 and 8 customers. Then, "early next year," Microsoft will re-categorize Windows 10 as a "Recommended Update."

This isn't Microsoft's version of the Folger's Challenge. You're not going to fire up your PC one morning in January and discover that your Windows 7 has secretly been replaced. You still have to agree to run the setup program, and you have to say yes to a license agreement. That means two chances to back out, as well as a rollback option.

For IT pros, there will soon be a new option in the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool to create bootable media (a USB drive or DVD) with a single image capable of upgrading any device-32- or 64-bit, Home or Pro.

One interesting detail I'll be keeping an eye on: what Myerson calls an "experiment" (in the United States only, at least for now) that will give anyone running "non-Genuine Windows" a one-click option to buy a new license in the Windows 10 Store.

Goodbye Chrome OS, hello Android

Based on what I've read over the past couple years, I thought Chromebooks were a shining success. Turns out that maybe Chrome OS is going to join Windows RT on the Island of Discarded Operating Systems. I'll let Mr. Vaughan-Nichols explain :

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday , citing sources with knowledge of the matter, that Google plans to fold its Chrome operating system into Android.

It follows on from reports two years ago when Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt refused to rule out merging the two Linux based operating systems.

Meanwhile, in a completely unrelated development, Microsoft this week released a Chrome browser extension for Office:

If you use Chrome, there is a new extension that lets you create and open Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Sway documents using Office Online right from the Chrome browser. You can also use the extension to open and view existing Office documents stored on OneDrive, on OneDrive for Business and on your computer right from Chrome. Click here using the Chrome browser to get the new Office Online extension.

Two Windows 10 preview builds in one day

This week, members of the Windows Insider program got a new desktop preview (build 10576) and a new Windows 10 Mobile release (build 10581) on the same day. Windows 10 Mobile is still available only as a preview, months after the desktop version was officially released.

If you plan to install either version, I recommend you read the blog post that calls out known issues ( 10576 desktop, 10581 mobile).

Apple TV

Apparently Apple released a new version of its Apple TV this week, with a voice-powered remote.

Here's David Gewirtz's full unboxing report . (I had no idea people still did those.)

Apple TV 2015 edition: Unboxing the 4th generation box

Spoiler: I won't be getting one.

Tweet of the Week

It's too late for me (I've dumped my Windows Phone and gone over to Android ), but if you use Windows 10 Mobile, you can have a lot of fun with your Start screen. Matt Akers, who works on the Start experience for the Windows 10 team, demonstrates:

Be sure to look at the follow-up screenshots from Windows Phone owners who created their own variations.

Any stories catch your attention this week?

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