Microsoft Has To Pay Woman $10,000 For Sneaky Windows 10 Upgrade


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Microsoft has been giving out free upgrades to Windows 10 for Windows 7 and 8 users, and the upgrades will remain free until July 29th (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 with tricky 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.

Even though there may be some good reasons to upgrade (unless you like to pirate 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:

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