Windows 7/8.1 patches KB 2952664, 2976978, and 2977759 return like bad pennies

If you hid these 'compatibility updates' last week, they're baaaaaack, whether CEIP is enabled or not

We haven't seen the three headless horsemen -- aka "compatibility updates" KB 2952664, 2976978, and 2977759 -- for a little more than a week now. As I wrote on March 31, these three Windows 10-related patches keep reappearing, like bad pennies. If you hid them last week, Microsoft has unhidden them again. They appear in Windows Update as optional and unchecked.

  • KB 2952664 is a "compatibility update" that eases upgrading from Win7 SP1 to Win10. It now sits at version 20, up from 19 last week.
  • KB 2976978 does the same, but for Windows 8 and 8.1. It's at version 24, up from 22. There's no indication why Microsoft gave it an additional version number bump.
  • KB 2977759 covers the same bases, but for Windows 7 without SP1. It, too, has been given an extra bump, from version 18 last week to version 20 this week. We need a Drew Carey meme: "Welcome to Win10 patching, where everything's made up and the points don't matter."

Something has always bugged me about these three patches. All of them say this:

This update performs diagnostics on the Windows systems that participate in the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program. These diagnostics help determine whether compatibility issues may be encountered when the latest Windows operating system is installed. This update will help Microsoft and its partners ensure compatibility for customers who want to install the latest Windows operating system.

As best I can tell, the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program is a ruse. People seem to get these patches whether they have CEIP enabled or not. When Microsoft announced the program, back in Vista days, it said:

The Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program in Windows Vista is a completely voluntary program designed to help Microsoft improve its operating systems over time.

I know lots of people who disable CEIP -- I've recommended disabling it from the outset. But everybody still seems to get these patches, whether CEIP is enabled or not.

For the life of me, I still don't understand why Microsoft keeps spitting out these "compatibility updates" to people who have no intention of installing Win10. Why not wait until the user expresses some interest in getting Windows X?

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