Microsoft once again had to pay out compensation for upgrading a PC to Windows 10 against the intention of the user.
The latest victim of the unintended upgrade was grandfather with Alzheimer’s disease, whose Windows 7 PC had been set up to look like Windows XP, as this was the only environment he was familiar with.
Following Microsoft’s change to make the X button agree rather than cancel the Windows 10 install the PC was updated, leaving it unusable to the gentleman involved, and forcing his grandson, Jesse Worley , who works in IT, to spend hours restoring it to its earlier configuration.
Worley wrote to Microsoft about the upgrade using the company’s recommended Notice of Dispute procedure, demanding compensation for his time and also a donation to an Alzheimer’s charity. Microsoft agreed to the former, and paid him $650, which Worley then donated to a charity Alz.org.
“Surely I’m not the only one to face surprise updates, or to spend time and money fixing them,” Worley noted. “Microsoft’s culpability most certainly isn’t limited to those suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease or their families either. I’m not a litigious person, and one of the things I dislike most are people taking a sort of perverse profit from the suffering of others.”
“I’m an IT tech whose grandfather’s computer was updated through subterfuge, which made life harder for him and his caretakers until it was fixed.”
Digital Trends reports that Microsoft has admitted that the upgrade pop-up window was misleading and that customers who were misled can seek redress.
In June Microsoft lost a civil case worth $10,000 placed by an estate agent from costs incurred by an unexpected Windows 10 upgrade gone wrong, causing loss of productivity and the need to buy a new PC.
Microsoft has been accused of using “dark patterns” which are designed to make it appear that the update to the software was unavoidable and later made changes to their Windows 10 upgrade prompts to make it easier for Windows 7 users to decline the upgrade permanently.
After the free upgrade push ended in the middle of this year the rate of increase in Windows 10 installations decreased significantly, and currently stands at around 25% of the PC installed base, and at around 400 million well short of Microsoft’s 1 billion goal.