Microsoft came in for some criticism last month, being accused of using underhand tactics to prompt late adopters to finally make the switch to Windows 10.
Since it first offered a free upgrade to users of Windows 7 and Windows 8, it has been very apparent that Microsoft is keen to encourage users to take up its latest operating system. Of course, there are many benefits both to Microsoft and its clients in encouraging this upgrade path. But a coerced user is never a happy user and many felt their hand was forced when the settings of the upgrade prompts were changed. Microsoft has since moved to address these concerns.
Changes to the Windows 10 upgrade prompt
Previously (and as users would expect), the cross on update prompts could be clicked to dismiss the pop-up and cancel any planned upgrades. However, Microsoft changed its settings so that clicking on the cross meant users agreed to the update, often resulting in the Windows 10 download taking place immediately.
By changing the cross from ‘dismiss’ to ‘accept’, Microsoft has been accused of implementing a “nasty trick”. Among the critics was PC World Magazine senior editor Brad Chacos, who previously announced he was a fan of the OS. He noted that users uniformly associate the cross with ‘no’, so switching its meaning was tantamount to “swapping out the brake and the accelerator in your car.”
Chacos added that Microsoft’s tactics were “heavy-handed” and forced people into performing upgrades they would not have otherwise chosen to make.
New option for ‘no further action’
Now, following much criticism, Microsoft has changed the pop-up to be much clearer to those users who haven’t yet upgraded. A spokesperson told bbc.co.uk: “We’ve added another notification that confirms the time of the scheduled upgrade and provides the customer an additional opportunity for cancelling or rescheduling the upgrade. 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.”
One individual tricked by Microsoft’s tactics was Havard Hughes. He told the BBC how he dismissed update prompts then tried to abort the installation mid-way through when it started. He then tried to roll back to Windows 7 but all he got in return was the “blue screen of death” and a dead PC. Now, following his failed attempts to rescue an email he was mid-way through sending, Hughes has had to reinstall the entire computer from scratch.
“As someone who paid for my software and was perfectly happy with my fully functioning Windows 7 machine,” he said, “this has been an absolute disaster.”