The high-tech company Microsoft ran two simultaneous experiments from mid-2015 to 2016. It aggressively pushed users to upgrade and it made Windows 10 free and available to anyone running the previous Windows 7 or Windows 8 versions of the operating system.
Microsoft's Trick To Push Windows 10 Upgrade
At first, instead of being just an optional download install, Windows 10 became a "Recommended" one. But what's even worse, as time passed, more and more reports of users being upgraded "accidentally" to the new OS came in. Microsoft made various changes to the "Get Windows 10" app that downplayed the idea that customers had a choice and emphasized instead the need to upgrade.
According to Extreme Tech, when Microsoft issued a "Get Windows 10 update" that completely changed how the program worked, the issue came to a head. Declining an upgrade required just clicking on the red X in the message box's upper right-hand corner, for the previous 10 months. However, clicking the red X did nothing, after Microsoft's update. Users tried to dismiss the upgrade option later found that their systems running the Windows 10 operating system they hadn't intended to install.
Within a month, Microsoft was forced to change course, but the company was heavily criticized for its forced Windows 10 upgrade campaign and its attempt to trick the users into installing its new operating system. Even Microsoft executives are agreeing now that the OS upgrading campaign went too far.
Microsoft Recognizes Its Upgrade Campaign Went Too Far
According to PC World, in an interview with Windows Weekly, Microsoft Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela did admit that Microsoft stepped out of line, confusing and dismaying a number of users when the red "x" in the dialog box didn't mean "cancel" anymore. Capossela called "very painful" the weeks between Microsoft's initial patch update and the eventual decision to reverse course on the malware-like installer.
Considering that the update dialog appeared in late May, this admission comes a bit late. Microsoft didn't say anything about the issue at the time, while it has been working on an update to change the behavior.
Another question is why the high-tech company ever thought it would be fine to switch after 10 months how the upgrading application functioned. It's obvious that changing how the "Do not install Windows 10 on my computer" process works would result inevitably in many unwanted upgrades.
The claim that it takes weeks to change back the way Windows Update works is a bit weird as well. It's more likely that the true reason the company allowed the situation to go on for several weeks is because it wanted to push as many users as possible to upgrade to Windows 10.
With its trick to force the Windows 10 upgrade on users who didn't intent to upgrade, Microsoft has crossed the line of business ethics. The mistake in question, if it was indeed a mistake and not a deliberate strategy, violate basic principles of customer service and software design.
No software developing company that attempts changing how a program works without fully informing the end users could deserve its customers' trust. Any such company should realize that such policy can only lead users to be unhappy with its product.