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Microsoft promises never to force upgrades on customers ever again

Published Aug 24th, 2017 11:07PM EDT
windows updates
Image: JeepersMedia

Microsoft’s Windows 10 rollout was something of a disaster. It’s not that the operating system is bad — in fact, it’s widely considered to be quite a bit better than its predecessors Windows 8 and (ugh) 8.1 — but the manner in which the company attempted to motivate customers to upgrade left a sour taste in just about everyone’s mouth. Now, Microsoft is promising to never, ever make that horrible mistake again, and it’s making that promise in court.

If you’re not familiar with Microsoft’s Windows 10 upgrade tactics, allow me to get you up to speed: Shortly after Windows 10 rolled out, Windows users began noticing that their computers were automatically downloading the huge Windows 10 update file without even asking. The issue was compounded by vague and confusing update alerts that led many users to initiate the upgrade to Windows 10 without realizing it.

Microsoft has since apologized for going “too far” with the upgrade strategy, and says that it has “learned a lot” from the drama that followed, but a new statement in response to German lawsuit goes even further. Microsoft Germany, in response to a lawsuit from a consumer protection group, has pledged to never again engage in background downloading of installation files for operating system upgrades. The statement is being hailed as “a success for consumer rights.”

It’s hard to imagine that Microsoft thought such aggressive upgrade tactics would work in the first place, but the fact that the company has been good about acknowledging its colossal misstep is at least somewhat encouraging.