Is Microsoft’s bullying about to end?
A Californian travel agent has been awarded $10,000 compensation by a court after successfully arguing that an unauthorised upgrade to Windows 10 damaged her business by rendering her machine almost unusable.
Teri Goldstein said that she hadn’t deliberately installed the operating system. Indeed, she hadn’t even heard of it. The upgrade failed several times, but when it did eventually complete, it left the machine limping and crashing.
Ms Goldstein didn’t simply go straight for Microsoft’s throat by taking legal action. She tried to resolve the issue with Microsoft’s support but didn’t get anywhere. Eventually she took them to court claiming for lost wages and for the cost of a new computer. She runs her own business and claimed that she had to buy the new computer because the mess that her old one was in was costing her business.
Surprisingly, and maybe even rather insultingly, Microsoft didn’t send a single one of their legal bods to argue the case in court. Instead, they apparently just sent someone from a local Microsoft store. This strikes me as extraordinary. Or maybe the legal idea of a “precedent” doesn’t carry the same weight in the USA as it does over here. I would have thought that this case could potentially clear the way for any number of upset Windows users to get some retribution after falling for Microsoft’s tricks and bullying in upgrading their machines to Windows 10 against their will. It surprises me that Microsoft seem not to be at all bothered by this possibility.
While thinking about writing this blog post, I have been musing on all those ads we see everywhere from the ambulance chasers – “Are you entitled to compensation for the mis-selling of PPI?” Just imagine the irony if a whole new industry were to spring up based around suing Microsoft for forcing Windows 10 onto us all. The irony that I am thinking of is that it is now becoming an accepted fact that Microsoft will be introducing more and more advertising into Windows 10 itself. What if a sizable chunk of that advertising market turned out to be from legal firms punting for business from dis-satisfied Windows 10 customers? I suppose that Microsoft would just refuse to carry the ads.
On the subject of Microsoft tricking us into installing Windows 10, what do you know? Just weeks before the free update to Windows 10 expires (at the end of July), Microsoft have finally agreed to include a button in their upgrade offer that says “No, I do not want Windows 10. Please go away and boil your head. If I want Windows 10 I will ask for it, but, in the meantime, stop trying to trick or force me into having it”.
OK, it doesn’t quite say that. According to Terry Myerson (Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group Executive VP), “The new experience has clearer options to upgrade now, choose a time, or decline the free offer”. I think that the cynicism of this move, just weeks before their “free offer” closes anyway, is absolutely breathtaking.
I can’t think of anything else to say.
My previous blogs on Microsoft’s tactics over the introduction of Windows 10 can be found at:
Sources for this blog post include: