Microsoft Facing Law Suits over Windows 10 Upgrade Practices


gavelThe Windows 10 free upgrade period may have expired but legal repercussions from Microsoft’s heavy-handed upgrade practices are set to continue on for some time yet. In separate class action law suits: three Florida men have sued the company alleging that its Windows 10 upgrade notifications and offers constitute unsolicited electronic advertisements as well as violating FTC law on deceptive and unfair business practices. A second suit, filed in Haifa, Israel, alleges that Microsoft installed Windows 10 on users’ computers without their consent.

Microsoft has denied any wrongdoing and is quoted as saying: “We believe the plaintiffs’ claims are without merit and we are confident we’ll be successful in court.” Microsoft also claims that upgrading to Windows 10 was a choice, not a requirement. <source>

Choice or Requirement?

I’ve said all along that, although I do like Windows 10 and see no problem with the so-called telemetry and privacy issues, the tactics employed by Microsoft to relentlessly push the upgrade onto customers have been dubious to say the least, perhaps at times even crossing the line to unethical and deceptive.

upgrade-to-windows-10

One never knows how these things might play out in court, the law is an ass after all, but there is no doubt that Microsoft’s tactics have blurred the line between the definitions of “choice” and “requirement”. I personally know a number of users whose machines have been upgraded to Windows 10 without their consent and, considering the successful law suit by a California woman earlier this year who was awarded $10,000 on the basis that an unsolicited Windows 10 upgrade damaged her business computer, it would seem that, in this regard anyway, a precedent has already been set.

Regardless of the outcome, Microsoft has alienated a lot of customers with its aggressive, intrusive, and at times sneaky upgrade practices. Personally, I believe the company can only do further harm by defending its actions and would be much better off just admitting its been overzealous. This is a time for Microsoft to be mending, not defending.


What do you think?

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About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

10 Comments

  1. Well said, Jim. And compounding the issue/problem is the fact that users have little to no say regarding the installation of Windows 10 updates and upgrades.

  2. MS has lost what good faith it had before it instigated these tactics.

    The main reason that Windows might remain dominant is that Apple is too full of itself to take full advantage of it to position itself to recruit all those who are disaffected by MS and Linux is not there yet.

    • Right. My next computer would be a Mac if only they’d offer decent prices and more software. I guess I’ll have to go the Linux route. I’m hoping that programmers will see the growing advantage of writing more software for Linux and start producing more applications. What I’ve always loved about MS is the plethora of applications that are available, but Windows 10 has ruined that for me.

  3. Windows 10 was is a new product given for a limited time to everyone who accepted and took the gift.
    When something is given by a company to all those who take what is on offer, there should not be a right for the giver to force the recipients to accept what has been attached to the gift without the consent of the recipients.
    No-one would be pleased to accept a candle as a gift and then have it lit automatically at both ends without their approval.

  4. Microsoft do provide a restore option that only takes about15 minutes to revert back to Win 7 or Win 8/8.1
    I did revert a seniors’ club computer back to Win 7 after I found out that Australian Telstra G3 & G4 mobile broadband USB dongles do not work with Win 10.
    I phone Telstra about 1 month ago and they confirmed this was the case and advised they are working to find a solution.

  5. Why doesn’t MS allow those of us who are satisfied with the windows they are using, myself I am using windows 7, and include them in their updates. I am getting tired of updating every few years.

  6. This is just the beginning of what MS are likely to face,( same applies to other large entities) the current spate of lawsuits are merely a forerunner of what could follow. the big one for Microsoft will be a massive test case on the validity of aspects of their EULA.the data collection methodology and strategy, and similar.The only thing that is holding back litigants is the sheer size of the company and their very deep pockets not to mention their ability to use verbal obfuscation cleverly to drain the resources of any potential litigant both intellectually and financially.

  7. I was particularly concerned around the beginning of the year as I could no longer get patches for 7 and my limited data was being gobbled. I phoned claiming to be a business account on a few occasions and had support people access my computer claiming to stop the 10 download. Then with a source of free hard drives I cloned 7 and let 10 go but also got Linux. Now I have triple boot with 3 drives but have found PCLinuxOS my new home-sweet-home. It took much learning on configuration and management but I have now customized a basic distro to a unique personal setup. I leave 7 offline but let 10 update the other day with spare data at my cycle finish. Now the lies no longer matter.

  8. Sorry, I just don’t get why the upgrade to Windows 10 and potential dropping of support on Windows 7, et al is a problem. Every software package I have eventually goes out of support. I always have choices, even if they are not the choices I might wish for. Microsoft cannot be expected to continue supporting old operating systems forever. Not while the rest of the SW world is moving on to better platforms and features.