Consumers are venting their anger at Microsoft for its new method of getting them to download Windows 10, calling it “insidious,” “malware” and “a new low” in the 24 hours since WND reported it.
The “X” on the Windows 10 promotion box being forced onto computers around the world no longer closes the window and gets rid of the offer.
Instead, it launches the download, forcing computer owners to sit and wait an hour or more for the installation of a software program that some people love but many don’t want, in part because it makes personal files and data available to Microsoft.
Some of the reactions:
- Patrick Klepek at Kotaku called it “insidious” and said: “With Windows 10, every writeup is another story of annoyance about how Microsoft has handled this process … for every person they drag through the upgrade process, they seem to piss off another 10. That’s not a good ratio.”
- The same site pointed out a software developer checking out of a hotel to return home was delayed because the hotel’s computer “decided to go for it & is currently in the middle of updating itself to Windows 10.”
- One computer user told WND: “I, too suffered at the hands of this MS b.s. Lost all files from 2011 to present and the machine won’t work with my printer, the drivers aren’t even compatible with windows 10. Going back to windows 7 so I can download my files from the back-up site I use. That means time and it may mean it will cost extra to get someone with the software to roll me back, plus 2 days without a pc. (There wasn’t a windows 7 rollback option on my machine.) I too am looking at a Mac as a result of this take-over!”
- From another: “Microsoft hijacked my desktop computer one morning this week and the Windows 10 upgrade was already in progress. I couldn’t even turn my computer off. Having no other alternative, I accepted the upgrade which I hate! My husband declined the upgrade a few days later, and it disabled his computer from getting online for almost an hour. We had to unplug our router twice before he was finally back online. We were appalled at Microsoft’s tactics for this invasion of our computers!”
- Another unleashed: “You haven’t even begun to see the hell that W10 can put you through. Wait until the update arrives (not sure which one it is, but you will know that it has ‘occurred’) that knocks out your internet access. Yup, you read that correctly. Apparently there is a update that somehow erases all of your internet protocols (and in some cases, IF you have a private network) ALL of your static IP addresses (alert your IT staff NOW, if they haven’t heard about this problem).”
- At BGR.com, Chris Smith wrote: “Microsoft just turned Windows 10 into malware.” He explained. “The company has come up with its most evil trick yet to get you to update your PC to Windows 10, and it’s based on the same methodology hackers use to trick people into installing malware.”
- TechRepublic said the company’s pop-up “that pushes people to upgrade to Windows 10 violates the company’s own guidelines on Windows app design.” Those guidelines state: “The Close button on the title bar should have the same effect as the Cancel or Close button within the dialog box. Never give it the same effect as ok.”
- ComputerWorld’s Gregg Keizer agreed, pointing out that the firm’s website design guidelines affirm that “close” should mean “close.” “Not only is (the company’s change) contrary to decades of convention and user expectations, but it’s a change from past behavior of the dialog.” He explains even Microsoft has advised customers, “Never slick ‘Agree’ or “ok’ to close a window that you suspect might be spyware. Instead, click the red ‘x’ in the corner of the window.”
- At Business Insider, Rob Price called Microsoft’s actions “malware tactics.” He quoted technology journalist Adam Turner saying: “Its tactics come straight from the malware playbook, using deceptive pop-ups to trick people into installing software they clearly don’t want. If any other business did this to you you’d walk away in disgust, but Microsoft knows it can treat people with contempt and generally get away with it.”
- In one case, Microsoft interrupted a live weathercast:
- Henry Casey at Laptop wrote, “This trickery is the kind of nonsense that obliterates consumer faith in Microsoft, and will push customers away to Macs or Chromebooks.”
The complaints went on for pages.
BBC News said it had been told by Microsoft that it had “u-turned” over the changes.
“Based on ‘customer feedback’, Microsoft said it would add another notification that provided customers with ‘an additional opportunity for cancelling the upgrade’,” BBC reported. “‘If the customer wishes to continue with their upgrade at the designated time, they can click ‘OK’ or close the notifications with no further action needed.'”
Wayne Williams at Betanews said: “This move generated a huge amount of negative press, and Microsoft says that it will be modifying the popup based on ‘customer feedback.’ The exact form of this change remains to be seen.”
But Microsoft, contacted again by WND, released only a statement promoting its products: “Windows 10 is our best and most secure operating system ever. With the upgrade offer ending on July 29th, we want to help people upgrade to the best version of Windows.”
Pressed for a response or comment on the negative feedback, the company said no statement was available.
WND’s report Tuesday explained how Microsoft changed the coding on the “X” so that clicking it now instructs MS to “upgrade” a computer to Windows 10.
The two options on the page, “OK” and “Upgrade Now,” do the same thing as the “X.”
To avoid the forced “upgrade,” a user has to go into the fine print.
Inside a logo box in the ad is a scheduled date for a mandatory upgrade. The user must look in the tiny type just below the line and find where it says “here” and click on that to avoid the upgrade.
Tech world reaction has been strongly negative to what one analyst called a “deceptive” action.
But is Microsoft concerned? Not really.
Multiple requests from WND on Tuesday for answers to pertinent questions were met with links to company promotions for Windows 10.
Then there was Microsoft’s offer several times to go “on background” to answer questions, an offer WND declined. It apparently would have been information a reporter is supposed to hear about Windows 10, but not the general public.
PC World originally addressed the issue under the headline “How Microsoft’s tricky new Windows 10 pop-up deceives you into upgrading.”
Senior editor Brad Chacos explained what ticked him off.
“This morning, the unthinkable happened: My wife, an avowed PC user who long ago swore to never touch an Apple device, started shopping around for a Mac Mini. And it’s all thanks to Windows 10. Or rather, the nasty new way that Microsoft’s tricking Windows 7 and 8 users into automatically updating to Windows 10.”
He said he already was no fan of Microsoft’s “strongarm” tactics, writing several months ago when Microsoft said buyers of Intel’s Skylake processors “have to upgrade to Windows 10 in the next 18 months, or forgo all but the most critical security patches – and those will be available to Windows 7 and 8.1 users only if said patches don’t ‘risk the reliability or compatibility’ on non-Skylake systems.”
Chacos called the news a “bombshell.”
“Making sure new hardware works with old operating systems no doubt consumes valuable time and resources, and hardware and software are intertwined now more than ever before, but aggressively forcing users (including businesses) to upgrade to Windows 10 before the end of the operating system’s initial stated support cycle ends is unprecedented in the Windows world,” he said.
“That nasty trick resulted in my wife’s beloved Windows 7 PC being sneakily upgraded to Windows 10 this morning. Sure, she has 30 days to roll it back to Windows 7, but she feels so betrayed – like Microsoft forcibly removed her control over her own PC – that she’s strongly considering embracing the Dark Side and buying a Mac, instead.”
Find the button that lets you decline the upgrade in this image from Microsoft: