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Microsoft Sued For Forced Windows 10 Upgrade

Microsoft successfully sued for forcing users into downloading Windows 10 upgrade

Microsoft has been sued by a user in California who says her computer was forced to upgrade to Windows 10, causing her machine to perform badly.

Terri Goldstein sued Microsoft for $10,000 for damaging her machine after the operating system attempted an upgrade that she says caused her computer to crash regularly. 

Extremetech.com reports:

Given the general issues associated with performing in-place upgrades, even successful ones, it’s not surprising that some users would run into problems. Goldstein reached out to Microsoft customer service to attempt to resolve her issues, but filed suit against the company once it failed to resolve her problems. Her $10,000 figure reflected estimated lost compensation as well as the cost of a new system.

Microsoft had appealed the initial judgment but dropped that appeal last month. A spokesperson for the company told the Seattle Times that it denied any wrongdoing and had dropped the appeal to avoid the additional expense of further litigation.

One $10,000 judgment against Microsoft isn’t going to make a blip in the company’s financial earnings or its overall Windows 10 trajectory. But it neatly caps a year of self-inflicted damage regarding Windows 10 and Microsoft’s free upgrade. The repeated changes to Windows 10’s upgrade policy, mandatory telemetry collection, and decisions to kill off patch notes and make all updates mandatory (plus the issues with UWP and gaming) have collectively left a bad taste in many users’ mouths. None of these are fundamental reasons to stop using Windows 10, but they speak to the company’s profound trouble communicating what ought to be a winning strategy. The Windows 10 giveaway was a great concept, and the entire process could’ve been handled in a way that made people want to switch. Instead, Microsoft has been dragging people into upgrading in much the same way you might grab a cat and drag it off for a bath.

With just over a month to go until it officially stops offering free upgrades to Windows 10, Microsoft has yet to budge from its stance that once the one-year mark is done, the company will no longer offer a free upgrade to consumers. Currently, Windows 10 Home is $119, while Windows 10 Pro is $199. Prices are identical between the downloadable and USB versions of the operating system.

Microsoft hasn’t specified how it will price upgrades after the free offer has expired. In the past, upgrade-only versions of the OS typically sold for $50-$70 less than full versions, though this has varied depending on the OS in question. As for whether Microsoft’s recent actions have damaged the company’s long-term relationship with customers, it’s too soon to tell. At least some users claim to have sworn off Microsoft products or to have disabled Windows Update altogether to avoid the Windows 10 upgrade, but such remarks probably don’t reflect average user behavior (and we can’t recommend turning off all OS updates to avoid Windows 10 in any case). The bigger issue for Microsoft isn’t necessarily the loss of Windows users, but its failure to establish trust and a cooperative relationship at a time when the company is still trying to make major changes to its software distribution model. Microsoft needs enthusiastic buy-in for its various plans from both developers and customers — not a grudging acceptance of the new status quo.

  • Inu no Taisho

    Oh it DOES reflect the opinion of most of the technogeeks in my circle. All of my homebuilts have update turned off, and I just heard last night from a friend that an older woman who was comfortable with Win8 accidentally hit the update notice and it forcibly upgraded her. She was VERY upset because she felt it was too different from what she was used to and she called a friend for help. This has gotten so bad that many of the stores around here offer to help roll customers back to previous versions when they get hijacked like this. As for me, I KNOW the day will come when I have to make the transition over to Linux, but if MS keeps kicking me in the teeth, I’ll just make that move sooner. And NO, I will not allow telemetry, since that alters or adds a function to my hardware that I do not want it to have in any shape or form.