Microsoft Agrees To End Brazen Windows 10 Forced Upgrades That Incited Class Action Suit

Windows 10

Operating under the premise that it is better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission, Microsoft for a long time bullied Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 users into upgrading to Windows 10 through the use the nag screens and other means. Microsoft was even so brazen as to download Windows 10 upgrade files on PCs without the owner's permission, which led to a class action lawsuit. The good news is Microsoft has agreed to stop doing that.

Microsoft's response is to a cease-and-desist complaint filed by Munich's Baden-Würtenberg consumer rights center (Verbraucherschutz). After having lost in Munich courts on two previous occasions, it then submitted a vow before the third (and presumably final found) to stop forcibly downloading Windows 10 upgrade files onto customers' PCs without obtaining their consent.

Windows 10 Upgrade Screen
Microsoft delivered pop-ups that made it seem as though users had no choice but to upgrade to Windows 10

The practice of downloading upgrade files without first getting permission was one that did not sit well with consumers. Many felt it could not possibly be legal to sneakily grab 6GB-8GB worth of files from the internet and dump them on a user's hard drive. It turns out it was not legal, at least in Munich, where Microsoft was taken to task over its aggressive upgrade behavior.

Whether or not there will be any further repercussions remains to be seen. Even if there are, Microsoft may feel as though its approach was worth it in the end. According to Net Market Share, Windows 10 is installed more than a quarter of all PCs (27.63 percent), making it the second most popular OS behind Windows 7 (48.91 percent). And back in May of this year, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 installs had topped 500 million devices en route to its goal of reaching 1 billion devices by the summer of next year.

Windows 10 is intended to be the last monolithic version of Windows ever. Going forward, Microsoft plans to dole out two major updates per year. For 2017, those include the Creators Update (already available) and the Fall Creators Update (due out later this year). As such, it was willing to offer free upgrades to Windows 10 for the first year, as the bigger play is to charge for related services such as Office 365 and OneDrive.