As the great Raymond Chen once wrote:
I often find myself saying, “I bet somebody got a really nice bonus for that feature.”
“That feature” is something aggressively user-hostile, like forcing a shortcut into the Quick Launch bar or the Favorites menu, like automatically turning on a taskbar toolbar, like adding an icon to the notification area that conveys no useful information but merely adds to the clutter, or (my favorite) like adding an extra item to the desktop context menu that takes several seconds to initialize and gives the user the ability to change some obscure feature of their video card.
The ‘Get Windows 10’ application that Microsoft deployed to Windows 7 and 8.1 machines earlier this year as a recommended – not even optional – update (KB3035583) sure fits this bill.
In short, every eligible Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 user ends up with this icon in their notification area:
Apart from looking fairly ugly (that top edge in particular is a blurry mess), there’s no way to close it even temporarily, short of killing GWX.exe in the Task Manager – note also that no-one thought to give it a descriptive name; it’s just ‘GWX’.
I understand Microsoft’s desire to have users promptly upgrade to Windows 10 (even if I wish they would delay its release by a year or so), but this kind of approach just destroys goodwill.