Microsoft may have released a file that will issue a notification for when the final version of Windows 10 will be available for download for owners of PCs with Windows 7 and 8.1.
The file was discovered after Microsoft released an optional, but recommended, update for both Windows 7 and 8.1 in late March under the support file number KB3035583. The official description states:
"This update enables additional capabilities for Windows Update notifications when new updates are available to the user. It applies to a computer that is running Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1)."
However, Myce reports that the update placed some new files in the OS, along with a new config XML file. It states:
"Once the update is downloaded it adds a folder to System32 called "GWX" which contains 9 files and a folder called "Download". One of the four .EXE files reveals what the update really is, the description of GWXUXWorker.EXE states, 'Download Windows 10″."
"Initially, during phase "None", all features are disabled, then during phase "AnticipationUX" advertising banners will be shown, presumably on a homescreen tile and additionally a tray icon will appear. The next phase is called "Reservation" which according to the config file will show the advertisement tile, the tray icon but also a reservation page. Further phases are the first publication of the final RTM (release to manufacturing), version the general availability (GA) as well as various phases of the upgrade process such as UpgradeDownloadInProgress, UpgradeDownloaded, UpgradeReadyToInstall, UpgradeSetupCompatBlock, UpgradeSetupRolledBack and UpgradeSetupComplete."
Microsoft has already announced that Windows 10 will be free to download for consumers who own PCs with Windows 7 and 8.1 for the first year of the OS's launch. It's likely that this new notification file will alert those users when Windows 10 is available. Of course, any Windows 7 and 8.1 user can sign up for the Windows Insider program right now to get a preview version of Windows 10 installed.