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Back in 2015 when Microsoft has pushed out the Windows 10 upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8 users, part of the process was pre-downloading between 6-8 GB of installation files, which famously nearly bankrupted a nature conservation service in Africa and which was blamed for causing issues to the PCs of many Windows users.
It appears German Windows users were similarly unimpressed by the move and complained to their local consumer protection council (Verbraucherschutz). After 18 months and many legal manoeuvres by Microsoft, they finally agreed to a cease and desist and promised:
Microsoft will not download install files for new operating systems to a user system’s hard disk without a user’s consent.
While it may be a case of closing the barn door long after the horse has bolted Cornelia Tausch, CEO of the Consumer Center in Baden-Württemberg noted: “We assume that Microsoft and other software manufacturers will pay more attention to the procedure which is not negligible.”
Forced upgrades are of course part and parcel of Windows 10 and we are not alone in wondering if this ruling would set a precedent for updates and not just OS upgrades.