Microsoft Accused of Troublesome Tactics To Push Windows 10

In its zeal to get PC owners to upgrade to Windows 10, Microsoft is resorting to some pretty underhanded tactics.

Customers report that they're getting badgered with alerts prompting them to upgrade. The messages typically aren't clear about how users can decline the update. And in some cases, consumers' PCs are being upgraded to Windows 10 against their wishes.

Colin Seymour's computer was one of them. When the freelance writer and editor turned on his eMachines PC a few weeks he ago, he found, to his astonishment, that it was running Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system instead of Windows 7.

Seymour, a 64-year-old San Jose resident, had previously seen numerous alert messages in Windows urging him to upgrade, but he'd repeatedly declined them. His computer was six years old and already having problems, and he worried Windows 10 would make them worse. That turned out not to be the case, but he's still upset that Microsoft ignored his choice.

"It's just the idea -- they can do what they want and you can't stop them," he said.

Since Microsoft introduced Windows 10 last year, it has been pushing customers running older versions of the operating system to upgrade. Last summer it sneaked into Windows 7 and Windows 8 an update whose main purpose is to repeatedly generate pop-up notifications urging users to install Windows 10.

Since then, Microsoft has become ever more aggressive about pushing the new Windows version. It designated the upgrade to Windows 10 as a "recommended update," rather than an optional one, which meant that many computers would download and attempt to install it automatically. It also changed the notifications boxes urging people to upgrade so that there was no readily apparent way to decline the upgrade; users could choose between "upgrade now" or "start download, upgrade later." More recently, the company started...

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