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Microsoft takes Windows 10 upgrade near nuclear line

Gregg Keizer | June 13, 2016
Pushy, aggressive, deceptive: Yes. But stops short of installing upgrade without any user action.

"I'm seeing reports all over the place that the installation has gone through without clicking 'Accept' on the EULA. But I don't believe it. I think people are clicking on Accept, not realizing what they're accepting," said Woody Leonard, a contributor and columnist with Infoworld, which like Computerworld, is owned and operated by IDG. Leonard has been extensively examining Windows 10's upgrade antics, including setting up numerous virtual machines with Windows 7 to track how the upgrade offer has been implemented.

"I've been able to recreate a couple of scenarios using virtual machines, but none of them end with an install," Leonard said in an email reply to questions. "If the EULA sits there long enough [without a click on 'Accept'], it [the upgrade] finally fails."

Nuclear or not, the damage is done

In some ways, it does not matter that Microsoft stepped up to, but not across the line: The company has succeeded in alienating, antagonizing and angering portions of its customer base. Twitter hashtags like #upgradegate and #stopwindows10 have appeared, for example; discussion threads fill with accusations of unauthorized upgrades completing; and some make the dangerous recommendation to turn off Windows Update.

In a post-truth world, perception and repetition reign. But Microsoft has only itself to blame.

win10 fail 
This is the screen that appears when a Windows 10 pre-scheduled upgrade has not received approval of the software's end-user license agreement (EULA). Credit: Woody Leonard

 

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