Teri Goldstein’s computer started trying to download and install the new operating system when she didn’t want it and it crashed. She said it caused her travel-agency business to slow to a crawl. It would crash, she says, and be unusable for days at a time.
When outreach to Microsoft’s customer support didn’t fix the issue, Goldstein took the software giant to court, seeking compensation for lost wages and the cost of a new computer.
She won. Last month, Microsoft dropped an appeal and Goldstein collected a $10,000 judgment from the company.
Vole denies wrongdoing, and a spokeswoman said Microsoft halted its appeal to avoid the expense of further litigation. However, the case shows the level of anger users have about the forced update programme.
Forced update screens were seen on bill-boards and television news, driving users to despair and making Microsoft appear like an autocratic paternalist father who insists on getting his own way.
“We’re continuing to listen to customer feedback and evolve the upgrade experience based on their feedback,” Microsoft said in a statement. But clearly it didn’t.
The outfit was slammed for not offering users a transparent or easy choice in the matter. Absent from Microsoft’s series of upgrade prompts was a basic “no thanks” or “never update” button.
It is pretty clear that Microsoft’s game plan was to centralise users onto one operating system so it did not have to waste time patching old versions systems. Vole wanted to have a billion devices running the software by mid-2018. There were 300 million at last count. All that Microsoft seems to have done with its campaign is hack off the other 700 million.