read more @ Seattle Times
A few days after Microsoft released Windows 10 to the public last year, Teri Goldstein’s computer started trying to download and install the new operating system.
The update, which she says she didn’t authorize, failed. Instead, the computer she uses to run her Sausalito, Calif., travel-agency business slowed to a crawl. It would crash, she says, and be unusable for days at a time.
“I had never heard of Windows 10,” Goldstein said. “Nobody ever asked me if I wanted to update.”
When outreach to Microsoft’s customer support didn’t fix the issue, Goldstein took the software giant to court, seeking compensation for lost wages and the cost of a new computer.
She won. Last month, Microsoft dropped an appeal and Goldstein collected a $10,000 judgment from the company.
The company denies wrongdoing, and a spokeswoman said Microsoft halted its appeal to avoid the expense of further litigation.
Goldstein’s experience is an extreme example of the consequences of Microsoft’s aggressive campaign to get people to use Windows 10, the newest version of the ubiquitous personal-computer operating system.
Released in July 2015, Windows 10 is free to most users of older Microsoft operating systems. That offer expires July 29.
Generally well reviewed by technology critics, the new operating system has nevertheless come under fire from people who say Microsoft is pushing too hard to get users of older editions to update. Some people say Windows 10 is loading onto their computers without their consent.
Microsoft says it offers users a choice to update, not a requirement. People have to acknowledge a dialogue box before the installation, and agree to a license agreement afterward, to receive Windows 10, the company says.
Those who don’t like the new software have 31 days afterward to roll back to their previous version, the company says, and free customer support is available to those who run into trouble.
“We’re continuing to listen to customer feedback and evolve the upgrade experience based on their feedback,” Microsoft said in a statement.
Microsoft says most users would be better served by Windows 10, which is more secure than its predecessors, including the 6-year-old Windows 7. Security experts tend to agree.
But some Microsoft watchers say the company isn’t offering users a transparent or easy choice in the matter. 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.
quick rossnibe! get your lawyer and sue m$ for a new computer with win7!