A California woman has set court precedent after a jury ruled that she was entitled to damages after Windows 10 automatically installed itself to her computer.
Teri Goldstein, a travel agent, testified that the new Windows operating system had automatically downloaded, started to install, failed, and left her Windows 7 computer running very slowly and often unusable for many days.
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“I had never heard of Windows 10,” Goldstein told reporters. “Nobody ever asked me if I wanted to update.”
Windows 10 – An unwanted upgrade
Goldstein said that her computer was unusable “for days at a time.” She apparently reached out to Microsoft support for help, but they weren’t able to solve her problem. In light of this, she filed a lawsuit against the company, seeking damages to help cover lost wages and for the cost of a new computer.
Since Windows 10 was first released last year, numerous users have complained that the new operating system has automatically updated itself from older versions without permission. Many times the update led to corrupt files and slower processing speeds, according to many users.
Microsoft had initially appealed the judgment, but decided to drop the appeal last month. A spokesperson for the company said that it denied any wrongdoing and had dropped the appeal to avoid the additional expense of further litigation.
Goldstein received $10,000 in damages, although Microsoft pointed out that her win is not necessarily an admission of guilt. Apparently, the company decided to settle to avoid a lengthy legal process and is continuing to investigate the particulars of the unwanted upgrade.
Microsoft’s losing strategy
This single judgment against Microsoft won’t make much difference as far as the company’s financial earnings or the overall trajectory of Windows 10. However, it is the culmination of nearly a year of self-inflicted damage regarding the operating system and its free upgrade. Repeated changes to Windows 10’s upgrade policy, mandatory telemetry collection, and decisions to end patch notes and make all updates mandatory have collectively left a bad taste in many users’ mouths.
While none of these issues are fundamental reasons to stop using the operating system, they certainly speak to the company’s profound trouble communicating what should have been a winning strategy.