After spending the better part of a year aggressively pushing consumers to upgrade to Windows 10, Microsoft is finally taking a step back with the acknowledgment it went too far.
Customers have endured unwanted downloading of the software onto their PC without being told, then unwanted upgrades. And finally, the Get Windows 10 (GWX) application was changed so if you clicked the red “X” at the corner of the window thinking it would opt out, Microsoft treated this click as a confirmation of a scheduled update.
The outcry has been very loud, and it recently cost Microsoft $10,000 in the form of a court loss over one small business user's forced upgrade that left her work PC unusable.
That lawsuit may be what broke the camel's back. Microsoft’s executive vice president in charge of the Windows group, Terry Myerson, issued the following statement to the media:
"We started our journey with Windows 10 with a clear goal to move people from needing Windows to choosing Windows to loving Windows. Towards this goal, this week we’ll launch a new upgrade experience for millions of PCs around the world. The new experience has clearer options to upgrade now, choose a time, or decline the free offer. If the red-x is selected on this new dialog, it will dismiss the dialog box, and we will notify the device again in a few days… We’d like our customers to upgrade and improve their experience with Windows and Microsoft."
Microsoft's media relations also provided a new dialog box that shows the option "decline free offer."
While it's good that Microsoft finally admitted its mistake, it's ridiculous that things went this far. These were not actions of individuals acting out of turn. The GWX modifications had to be approved from on high and made by the dev team. It was done up and down the chain of command. Did no one at any point say "this is wrong?"
I can understand Microsoft's desire to avoid another Windows XP situation. And because of the way it acted, coupled with people's concerns over Windows 10 spying, they pretty much insured it will. I get around message boards. There are now a lot of Windows 7 users chanting "hell no we won't go" after the events of the past year. They may not be in large numbers, but they pretty much guarantee that Windows 7 will be around for a while—long after its 2020 expiration date.