Woman Wins $10,000 Suit Against Microsoft For Upgrading Her To Windows 10 Without Her Permission

Woman Wins $10,000 Suit Against Microsoft For Upgrading Her To Windows 10 Without Her Permission

If you run Windows 7 or 8, you’ve likely seen the relentless badgering by Microsoft to upgrade to Windows 10. Like a horror movie villain that seems un-killable, the pop-ups to upgrade are relentless. One woman never consented to upgrading, but Microsoft went ahead and upgraded her anyway. Because of their overstepping, however, the tech giant was forced to breakout the check book to pay for compensation.

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From UpRoxx:

Microsoft has been giving out free upgrades to Windows 10 for Windows 7 and 8 users, and the upgrades will remain free until July 29 (and cost $119 thereafter). How good is a free upgrade if it bricks your system, though? Some of Microsoft’s tactics to encourage people to install the newest OS have raised ire, including adding an icon to the task bar and barraging users withtricky pop-ups that are sometimes difficult to close. In some cases, the update has even gone through automatically without the user’s consent, leading to problems if the update is incompatible with the user’s software or hardware.

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Even though there may be some good reasons to upgrade (unless you like topirate games), at least one user whose system updated without her direct consent is getting redress via the court system. As Seattle Times reports, California resident Teri Goldstein sued Microsoft when their tech support would not fix issues with her travel agency business computer, which became unusable for days after automatically installing Windows 10.

She was suing for lost wages and the cost of a new computer, and she won $10,000. Microsoft has dropped their appeal of the case, to — in their words — “avoid the expense of further litigation,” although they haven’t admitted any wrongdoing. Yep, no wrongdoing at all. Because rendering a workplace computer inoperable with a software update somebody didn’t request, then sending them into a phone tree hell of incompetent, cut-rate tech support is definitely the right thing to do.

Although Microsoft says updating is a choice, the pop-ups can be confusing and don’t even have an obvious opt-out, or the action that should be the opt-out is a trap. Seattle Times writes:

Absent from Microsoft’s series of upgrade prompts is an obvious “no thanks” or “never update” button. Mary Jo Foley, a journalist who has closely followed Microsoft for decades, wrote recently that the company has made saying no to Windows 10, particularly for nontech-savvy people, “nearly impossible to implement.”

Paul Thurrott, another longtime Microsoft follower, criticized a recent pop-up asking users if they were ready to get Windows 10. In the prompt, the X in the upper-right corner — long known to Windows users as a way to exit a software program or abort a process — is interpreted by the update tool as an agreement to go ahead with Windows 10. “The violation of trust here is almost indescribable,” Thurrott wrote.

Over 300 million systems currently run Windows 10, but Microsoft is hoping to raise that number to 1 billion by mid-2018. In the meantime, some users have been fighting against the change by installing Never10 on their system. That free application might help delay the inevitable, but Windows 10 will find us all, someday. There is nowhere you can run.

I ended up getting a new laptop and I’ll admit that Windows 10 is pretty great.

However, upgrading to the new system should be everybody’s choice.

Demanding that people use their software and limiting customers’ ability to choose for themselves? That sounds more like Apple than Microsoft.

Aaaannnnnndddd here comes the hate mail…

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