Microsoft has some explaining to do. It’s not “just” Chinese consumers who are up in arms about what some are calling forced updates to Windows 10, but a noisy group of U.S. users are also steamed about a change to the update process that they say tried to dupe them into upgrading their older version of Windows.
The issue? Microsoft (MSFT) quietly changed how the upgrade process worked, according to reports on Reddit, PC World, software support forums, and elsewhere. The pop-up window offering a chance to upgrade or not was changed so that the one action a user could take to prevent an auto-update—checking an X in a box—was changed so that checking that box initiated that update. Worse, according to PC World‘s Brad Chacos, “the upgrade installation can automatically begin even if you take no action whatsoever.”
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Some irate users just turned off auto updates altogether. Of course, that means they won’t get security updates, which could lead to a whole other set of problems. HowtoGeek has a handy guide to stop the unwanted upgrade without going nuclear.
For more, read: Coming in Next Windows Release: More Ads!
Microsoft has not yet responded to Fortune’s requests for comment, but in a Windows 10 blog post last fall, executive vice president Terry Myerson wrote that while Microsoft wants users to take advantage of the thus-far free update, they have the option not to do so. He noted:
“We understand you care deeply about what happens with your device. This is why—regardless of your upgrade path—you can choose to upgrade or decline the offer.”
The free upgrade offer to users of older Windows versions ends July 29, so it’s unlikely the pop-up windows will stop popping up any time soon but I would bet, given the reaction, Microsoft will back down on this latest update tactic.
Earlier this month, Microsoft claimed 300 million devices run Windows 10, but as Fortune noted then, Windows 7 remained the most popular version of the operating system with nearly 48% of the desktop operating system market compared to 15.34% for the less-than-a-year-old Windows 10, according to Netmarketshare,
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While this Windows 10 experience is not the one Microsoft public relations wants the world to talk about, the endless-update-cycle is not unique to Microsoft. Some people (raising hand here) find the seemingly endless updates to Apple (AAPL) iTunes and OSX to be frustrating.