Oh, Forbes contributors. Is there any opinion too silly for you to have? Forbes contributor Gordon Kelly has written a piece in which he explicitly argues that “you shouldn’t upgrade” to Windows 10 because he’s worried that Microsoft is trying to pull a sneaky trick over on its user base.
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Why is Kelly so suspicious of Microsoft’s intentions? He gives us two major reasons.
First, he’s concerned that even though Microsoft says Windows 10 will be free “over the lifetime of the device,” he notes that “Microsoft’s own internal slides reference ‘two to four years’ and that these numbers are determined by ‘customer type’ (another undefined phrase).”
Microsoft tells us that the phrase “two to four years” used in relation to the lifetime of a device was part of a statement that was “shared on the investor relations website” and was “not related to servicing policies for Windows in any way. Rather, it provides accounting details for how we’ll recognize revenue.” Microsoft also says that it will share more details on its Windows 10 servicing policy soon.
While it’s never good to take any company at its word, we 100% believe Microsoft is being straight with us here, for one simple reason: It would make no sense whatsoever for the company to pull a bait and switch like that.
Microsoft no longer has a monopoly on software platforms and it wants to win users’ hearts and minds with Windows 10. If it starts charging you for Windows 10 all of a sudden just two years after you install it, it’s going to lose a lot of customers. Why would it even think of doing such a thing with Apple and Google lurking around to pounce on disaffected Windows users?
Kelly’s second major gripe is that Windows 10 is going to install software updates automatically. As someone who’s used Android for years, this seems like a strange criticism — speaking personally, I actually want to have the latest software as soon as I can. iOS users feel much the same way, which is why so many of them rush out to get the latest version of iOS as soon as it releases.
Kelly, however, is not convinced.
“Why would anyone reject Windows updates?” he asks rhetorically. “Because some launch with bugs, others create incompatibilities with existing software and recently updates even installed adware (like the Windows 10 upgrade adverts Windows 7 and Windows 8 users are receiving). With no way to stop any update, Windows 10 Home users become guinea pigs for business users.”
Bugs, of course, are part of every new piece of software — just ask iOS and Android users. And as any Android developer will tell you, it’s best to have as many machines upgraded to the newest version of a platform as possible to avoid fragmentation. In fact, assuming Microsoft maintains even minimal relationships with developers, we’re going to imagine that developers will be ready to have their apps good to go for new versions of Windows 10 on the day that it launches.
“Delivering Windows 10 as a service means we can offer ongoing security updates, new features and capabilities,” Microsoft explains. “We’d like to make sure people can get access to the latest Windows 10 updates as soon as they are available.”
Or, of course, this could be all part of a grand plot on Microsoft’s part to lure people in with free Windows 10 and then shaft them over so completely that it will send them running off to Macs and Chromebooks. Anything’s possible, of course, but we give Microsoft a little bit more credit than that.
Editor’s note: Forbes contributor Gordon Kelly has supplied the following comments in response to this article:
I’m happy for anyone disagree with me, no matter how strongly, but I’m writing this comment because what I do not accept is sensationalist journalism which deliberately ignores the facts.
With BGR and Brad Reed refusing to edit this article I have at least been granted the right to reply. So here are the facts:
- My article was called ”Free’ Windows 10 Has 3 Massive Unanswered Questions’. It was not about telling you to never upgrade to Windows 10 but instead asking Microsoft to be accountable for – yes – unanswered questions and waiting to upgrade until they came.
- I asked THREE questions not the two claimed here
- BOTH questions BGR’s does list are made up.
The three questions I actually asked all came after speaking to Microsoft and the company specifically saying it would not answer them. They were:
1. (BGR claimed I said Windows 10 will last 2-4 years). I actually asked: “Define ‘lifetime of the device’ ” – this is based around component upgrades. At what point does a desktop PC with upgraded motherboard, RAM and graphics card become a “new PC” in the eyes of Windows 10 and what is the process for customers to re-register Windows 10 when this happens? They should not be put in a situation where they risk having to buy Windows 10 again. Microsoft still refuses to answer this question.
2. (Which was left out of the BGR post) Reveal the Windows 10 lifecycle. At the time of writing Microsoft had not revealed how long Windows 10 would be supported. I referenced leaked internal slides stating 2-4 years, I did not say Microsoft would only support Windows 10 for 2-4 years, I said the company needed to step forward and clear up confusion. It has since done that, but had not at the time of writing.
3. (The question BGR invented). I asked “So the big unanswered question is what happens to Windows 10 owners who try to stop updates installing?” This is in response to the fact Windows 10 updates will be automatic and mandatory. I posed the question what would be Microsoft’s enforcement policy for this? BGR instead wrote: “Kelly’s second major gripe is that Windows 10 is going to install software updates automatically” – which is untrue. Microsoft still refuses to answer this question.
Note: I wrote all three questions in bold text so they were clear. To ignore this equates to deliberate misrepresentation by BGR.
Finally tone. At no point did I say you should NEVER upgrade to Windows 10. I said I believe you should wait for these answers before doing so. BGR instead took a single line from my third paragraph which said “But you shouldn’t upgrade” and ignored the context which followed and made its article out of this line in isolation.
My actual conclusion was: “I desperately want to believe Microsoft’s vague promises surrounding Windows 10 are every bit as good as Windows 10 itself, but for that to happen this potentially exciting new Microsoft has to come clean. It makes all rules, it is long overdue it shared them…”
Again I stress: I have no issue with any reader and journalist disagreeing with my opinion (even very strongly!) but being deliberately misrepresented is weak, unprofessional and parasitic journalism.