After months of mounting criticism, and just one month from the end of the free Windows 10 upgrade, Microsoft has finally seen the light: It will stop deliberately confusing and deceiving customers with the Windows 10 upgrade offer.
“We started our journey with Windows 10 with a clear goal to move people from needing Windows to choosing Windows to loving Windows,” Microsoft executive vice president Terry Myerson explains in a prepared statement.. “Towards this goal, this week we’ll launch a new upgrade experience for millions of PCs around the world. The new experience has clearer options to upgrade now, choose a time, or decline the free offer. If the red-x is selected on this new dialog, it will dismiss the dialog box and we will notify the device again in a few days. We continue to recommend all of our customers upgrade to Windows 10 before the free upgrade offer expires on July 29. Thousands of engineers have been working on making Windows 10 the most secure version of Windows, helping to protect people from viruses, phishing, identity theft and more. We’d like our customers to upgrade and improve their experience with Windows and Microsoft.”
So this is good news, obviously. But you’ll have to excuse me for being a bit underwhelmed by this change, given the late timing and, sadly, Microsoft’s history of behavior so far. As you must know, I’ve been extremely vocal about the firm’s ongoing deceptive Windows 10 upgrade practices. Practices which reached an incredible and inexcusable apex in May when Microsoft silently changed the Windows 10 upgrade advertisement to trigger the upgrade if the user closed the window.
“The violation of trust here is almost indescribable,” I wrote in Upgradegate: Microsoft’s Upgrade Deceptions Are Undermining Windows 10. “It’s bad enough that Microsoft has been training Windows 7 and 8.1 users—i.e. most Windows users—to not trust Windows 10 because of this horrible, unstoppable advertisement. But now they will not trust their own sanity because all they’ll remember is that they dismissed the advertisement by clicking the Close windows box. Why on earth did Windows 10 just install on my PC?!?”
So Microsoft is finally, belatedly, fixing this issue. But then this was an issue of its own making, and I still feel that the software giant has irretrievably lost the trust and faith of many of its customers who were burned by its deceptive practices or, as bad, watched from the sidelines as story after story appeared about Windows 10 being forced on people against their will. How a class action lawsuit has not occurred is beyond comprehension.
Since it’s Tuesday, one might logically assume that the latest version of this unwanted Windows 10 upgrade advertisement will begin rolling out to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 today. Or, as I would put it, about 11 months too late.