Microsoft keeps pushing Windows 10 upgrades to PCs without users' permission

Microsoft says its most recent attempt to force older systems to upgrade to Windows 10 was caused by a bug in the Windows Update utility.

Microsoft pushing Windows 10 updates upgrades without users permission

Microsoft has been especially anxious to get people to upgrade from Windows 7/8, and for the third time since the release of Windows 10, it tried pushing out the new OS to old users without their approval.

Forbes contributor Gordon Kelly recounted the experiences of numerous readers who said Windows 10 has repeatedly tried to install itself on their computers without their OK. Some users reported they were suddenly prompted to reboot their PC and found the Window 10 installation was underway.

Others looked at their Windows Update history and found Windows 10 had repeatedly tried but failed to install itself without permission. One reader sent Kelly a screen shot of 31 failed attempts to install Windows 10.

Microsoft attributed the problem to a bug in an automatic update it began rolling out to Windows 7 and Windows 8 users in August, which triggered the attempted installations. Microsoft would not say which specific update it was. The upgrade was done silently in the background, so people affected would not know their system was attempting to install Windows 10 until they restarted their computer.

You can check your computer to see if it tried to pull this stunt by going into Windows Update and clicking on the "View update history" link. Microsoft claims the bug has been fixed and there should be no further background attempts to install Windows 10 on unsuspecting users.

Still, this is getting to be problematic. First, Microsoft was found to be surreptitiously downloading the install files onto people's computers without permission, a 6.4GB download. Then it got pinched for pushing a Windows 10 upgrade through Windows Update. Microsoft said it was an accident.

So this is the third incident of Microsoft pushing Windows 10. It's a total mystery as to why, because Microsoft has never been this insistent on pushing its OS, especially since it's a freebie. I can only surmise that they want everyone on the newest OS because of all the headaches with uprooting Windows XP. They did everything to get people off XP, short of sending some leg breakers to your house with baseball bats.

Sure enough, they've got a good reason. I can say anecdotally that there is a lot of resistance to Windows 10, and many folks I know or chat with won't budge. The spying element of Windows 10 that Microsoft can't and won't stop is very off-putting, as are the reports of instability and bugs. Others just see no value in it.

For those running Windows 7 who are annoyed with that little icon in the system tray, there is a nice little utility called GWX Control Panel that will remove the icon and Windows Update, so it no longer pesters you to upgrade.

Microsoft has come a long way in shedding its obnoxious image from the 1990s. It really needs to avoid sliding back.


Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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