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Is Microsoft being too pushy with Windows 10?

Windows 10 hard sell

Microsoft is keen for you to upgrade to Windows 10, but at what point does this cross the line into pressuring its customers?

I’d challenge you to name which version of iOS or Android your phone is running without checking the specs. When Apple or Google release a software update, it just happens. You tap ‘Yes’, you install it, and you may not notice much change.

Upgrading to Windows 10

Now, take a look at the effect Windows 10 has had. Microsoft is supposedly fighting for relevance in a world that loves touchscreens more than spreadsheets. But when it drops an update like Windows 10, this crusty old brand shows it can still make an impact.

We’ve had thousands of queries from our readers about whether to update their PCs or not. That’s because when Microsoft gets it wrong (which it can – see Vista or 8!), it affects millions of us. We stay in touch via our PCs; we work, we shop, we bank with them. A poor software update can make these everyday things harder to do.

The Windows 10 hard sell

Microsoft is ramping up the pressure on its customers to install Windows 10. One tactic sees Windows 10 being automatically downloaded on to people’s PCs due to a simple change of wording. Microsoft changed the Windows 10 update from ‘optional’ to ‘recommended’, which means it’ll download automatically if you have Windows Update enabled (which most users do).

We’ve explored a number of other tactics in the latest issue of Which? Computing, including locking newer processors to Windows 10 and setting a time limit for the free upgrade (it’s 29 July 2016 in case you’re interested).

There’s lots to like about the new OS, but you should still have a choice over upgrading or not. Windows still matters in the age of tablets, but it will matter to you even more if you end up with a version you don’t like.

Have you felt pressured into upgrading your computer to Windows 10?


From my experience, Microsoft is being excessively pushy with Windows 10. I look after several PCs. In each case, the manufacturer has made clear that the PC is not compatible with Windows 10, usually because suitable graphics drivers are not available. Microsoft has pushed Windows 10 to the extent that it has downloaded onto three of the PCs, and has actually installed on one, For the one, not surprisingly, there were serious graphics problems and I had to waste time downgrading to Windows 8.1.

This push has wasted hours of my time and cost money because download caps have been exceeded. There are no Microsoft approved options to reject this upgrade unless you turn off the security updates, risking putting PC security at risk.

I would be happy to use Windows 10 on any PC which supports that operating system, but it is not acceptable to push in such a way that perfectly good computers are messed up. I know that I could search and possibly find new drivers for some of the graphics devices (not all), but I have much better uses for my time!

Microsoft has gone a step too far this time and needs to be pulled back.

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I agree we down loaded windows twice and it didn’t work rite. The big problem is they don’t service what they sell or just giveaway. in any case try to ask them a question on the internet and all you get is some one from India or Mexico wanting moneyWINDOWS & microsoft THIS IS YOUR RESPOSIBILITY !Now help before you lose all people trying to use your program!!!!

Unfortunately got me it upgraded me automatically it’s a nightmare lost my printer and scanner cannot find f drive to carry out backup

Peter says:
24 March 2016

Me too – had to scrap a perfectly good Canon printer! Naughty Microsoft.

Every other time I switch on my laptop I get this damn upgrade message . My partner upgraded to Windows 10 by mistake . He hates it but isn’t computer savvy enough to go back . It is too pushy , I want to stop seeing this ad .

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I am incandescent with rage ! Microsoft have just done this to me 2 days ago. I am not that computer savvy and now I find I cannot do things I desperately need to do ( business wise) and my IT guy cannot come out to me till prob end of next week. I cannot afford a bill from my IT guy at present let alone getting new printers etc. I shall be reverting to Windows 8 but I cannot do it myself. I want to know where to send a bill to Microsoft because I shall definitely be needing reimbursement. I cannot possibly see how this can be legal.

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Exactly the same problem. I still cannot use the USB ports on my PC that I purchased last year after they said that they were no longer supporting XP. New PC had Windows 7, which was subsequently stolen by Microsoft when they installed Windows 10. So, unnecessary cost of new PC, and then sabotaged USB ports that still do not work. Can’t backup, or connect kindle, tablet, or phone.

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Duncan / Kath – both Windows7 (and even XP !!!) are still supported for business uses.

If Kath bought a new PC that came with a licensed copy of Windows7, and if it does not work properly with Windows10, then re-installing Windows7 should allow it to be safely used for some while yet.

In theory, Microsoft were supposed to make sure that Windows7 machines too old to support Windows10 would not be automatically upgraded. That having been said, to cite just one example, according to Dell, my Inspirion 545 is not supported for Windows10, but actually my particular one seems to run just fine with it. (It also works fine with XP, and Dell don’t officially support if for that either.)

Without knowing what Kath bought, it is hard to advise her how to go about that. My elderly cousin gets help from her local computer shop for tasks like this, although that is not a zero cost option.

Zero cost options are usually limited to doing it yourself (e.g. if you have a set of recovery media or if the machine has a built in recovery option) or getting friends and family to help with that. As Duncan mentioned, there is also the option of installing Linux, though that can also be notoriously finicky when it comes to whether or not working device drivers are available for less common hardware configurations. For example, getting built-in web cams and/or wifi cards working can be particularly problematic.

I have tried Windows 10 twice and did not like the unsolvable problems I kept finding so twice I went back to Windows 8 and I will not even think of trying 10 again When I asked cortina it put me on Bing sites that had nothing to do with the simple question I had asked. But All new P Cs not have Windows 10 I have fallen out with Microsoft

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As I see it, moving between successive recent versions of Windows is not really “upgrading”.

For me, XP defines what a good PC needs to be able to do. As far as I can see, with regard to the key W.I.I.F.M? (what’s in it for me?) question, none of the more recent versions of Windows offers anything more.

I’d be interested to hear what tangible benefits Which? and others think are actually offered by later versions. I can see that touchscreen support might interest some, but what else is there?

Like Duncan, I now mostly just use Linux. It allows me to enjoy an XP style experience but without all the hassle that is part and parcel of the Windows user experience.

I have used Microsoft operating systems since early 1980’s (MS DOS). I have given Windows 10 a ten week trial. I didn’t like to start with, and by the end of the ten weeks, I hated it. I simply believe that an operating system should do what you instruct it to do, not perform operations that change things in the back ground without the users express instruction to do so.
My opinion is, if you prefer the Windows 10 then use it. But please Microsoft, stop trying not only to convince, and in some cases force users to adopt an operating system that we don’t like and don’t want!

I run Win 7. Microsoft tell me Win 10 will NOT support my legacy software for example my licensed copy of Word. Their response BUY A NEW COPY OF OFFICE! So its a nice revenue earner for Micro$oft….

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I managed to install a test case of Office 2000 in W10 – so I thought it was actually not bad at supporting so-called “legacy” s/w.

But if the idea of continually paying for new versions of M$Office does not appeal, then just go for as many free copies of LibreOffice as you like. I am a big fan of Excel, but I am learning to get by in Calc.

Malcolm B says:
24 March 2016

I am getting extremely fed up of a several-times-a-day popup appearing on my desktop, exhorting me to install W10.
I really have to wonder what the real reason is. One wonders, is there something wrong with W7 that they’re not telling us about, or is there something in Win10 that they want that they’re not telling us? Because they are putting an awful lot of effort into giving something away.

I probably will update on my main PC, but will leave it until the early adopters have beta tested it as far as possible.
I have installed it on an infrequently used laptop, with only limited software, and nearly everything eventually worked without too much hassle. The HP power monitor was dumped, that seems to be the only thing so far.
I dislike the interface, but that’s another matter.

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Malcolm, if your Windows 7 system is the Professional or Ultimate Edition then you can uninstall and then hide the update that gives you Windows 10. There are instructions on the internet if you do a search. That’s what I’ve done on my laptop, which is still running Windows 7 and which I still much prefer to the Windows 10 that I’ve been using on my desktop PC for the past 8 months and which I still hate.

Jeremy says:
24 March 2016

There is a “known issue” with Windows 10 that involves the program changing back to default Microsoft programs after updates. It keeps telling me that there is a problem with Adobe Acrobat Reader and resets to the default PDF program – MS Edge. I got so fed up with this that I found and downloaded a program called EdgeBlock, but TrojanHunter then told me this contained a trojan . . .

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Microsoft have gone too far this time.

We have two PCs with Win7 and one with XP. They all have their uses and I want to keep them that way for now. I do not want Win10 at the moment.

I have stopped doing updates because I can’t be bothered to check them all out first and I don’t want any more MSware installed on my computers or Win10 self installing.

Officeclicktorun is an MSware that really annoys me. MS office and Outlook will not run unless officeclicktorun is enabled. Officeclicktorun is automatic updates and I want to update my machine at a time of my choosing not when Microsoft want to do it. I often run my pc for days on end and like to do updates on a freshly booted machine to avoid problems.

If Microsoft don’t back off, Linux or similar will have the opportunity to be the new favoured operating system as there is a limit to what people will put up with.

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I was able to stop them installing secret files through updates then foisting windows 10 on me. It all stinks. They are pursuing the apple model, in the hope we will end up with no choice but windows apps in the future – or so it looks to me. I do not want windows 10 on my computer, and I think it’s plain wrong for a software company to install it behind my back. They should ask for permission – and be prepared to take no for an answer. Windows 7 actually works just fine – unlike windows 10 which has many glitches. Does anyone use the tiles? I have yet to meet one person who does!

GWX Control Panel – google it – it will solve the windows 10 by the backdoor problem – if it isn’t too late. If you complain to Microsoft, it’s what they advise you use. They talk you through it.

updates are to blame, one for Win7 and one for Win8 … personally I’m sticking with Win7, like many friends I know and help, who don’t want and certainly don’t like Win10 .. It is a ploy by MS to get everyone on it, whether they want to or not, it XP all over again … how many place do you still see using XP??????, I’ll bet it still many!!!

BTW if you help friends with their pc problems and find that travelling sometimes takes longer than the fix, as long as they can use the internet, use Teamviewer to help them (it’s like Log Me In ) but for personal use, it’s FREE as long as you don’t abuse it… Hope this helps .. Let’s keep WIN7 alive and kicking….

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Hey Duncan, no offence taken, but to say ” but I would not tell anybody in their right mind to install Team viewer ” is a bit over the top….. As I said I use it to help friends so if an Indian desk scammer asked me to download it I would say know, so how do you help friends??? And you should only get it from Teamviewer ..It’s a Swiss company so if any suspect helpdesk person asked me to download it I would be nervous as most firms use Log Me In.. The way you have worded it gives the company a bad name, and yes I did work in a computer shop and I’ve seen a few hick ups and still do… Also I’ve been hit buy the ransom lock out, and I sorted it out without delete/format AND reinstall, so that person was taken in buy a bad guy ……

Been using 10 for a while (both on PC and laptop). Pain to set up initially. MS Cortana terrible. Patronising and highly irritating. Soon shut that down! No real problems using it (more based on XP than how MS want you use it). I agree with others, MS are being far too pushy. Why? Bill Gates does not normally provide free software, particularly costly operating systems. There must be some future agenda that is probably going to clobber the unsuspecting user. Just in passing, check your MS PRIVACY SETTINGS (just type this and you are in – GET RID OF CORTANA FIRST. Check all the various settings carefully. Do not misinterpret MS help notes. Some of the default settings may well cause you concern. Switch off any you do not like. Of course we are confident that when they are switched off, it means just that. Are we not?

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Duncan, thanks – just confirms my fears. MS can bypass any security. How do I know – they may (probably) have my bank details. I have a youtube download of Gates inside the original game of DOOM (remember it?). He was force-selling Windows ’95 even then. His visions. MS have a carte blanche attitude; as long as $$$$$$$$ flow inwards. I can see your logic for the future. Spying – I note sometimes that my router flickers when I use the keyboard. Why? You are correct – MS are suspect (I doubt that Gates is even aware of what may be going on (or even cares)). Are CIA and FBI involved – probably. MS is like a cancer, spreading everywhere. The malignancy may KILL; it may spontaneously cure itself; it may respond to aggressive therapy; it may be cured; it may remit, then relapse; it may be surgically removed and disposed of. Where are MS on this scenario? I favour the last!

Quite amazingly, the companies who provide various versions of Linux (etc.) DO provide free software. Nonetheless, their staff still get paid and can afford to live.

How do they managed to achieve this?

Some customers, not least businesses, choose to pay to have their free software supported.

Others contribute by donating money, often via charitable foundation, or by working for free, in their spare time, to help test and develop the software.

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In my experience, a lot of hackers live for the thrill of a successful hack. Where these folk have chosen the dark side, they won’t care much about who they are hacking. In their eyes, penetrating (and then messing up) any website they can is just good sport.

Hence, my speculation is that the attack on Mint may well have just have been a random success for the hackers involved, as opposed to an attack directed for the benefit of M$ and its friends (it if has any).

Dennis says:
25 March 2016

The other day friend of mine switched on his computer, and without asking windows 10 began the upgrade.
Not knowing what to do he let it continue.

Nic says:
25 March 2016

I went to my desk to discover that Windows 10 had been loaded without my doing anything and it asked me to agree. I didn’t but I now have a permanent window open asking me to reschedule and I can’t close it down. I do not want to upgrade just now because I have a couple of pieces of work on and I don’t want to risk any problems and don’t have the time to have to learn a new OS. I will upgrade in a couple of months when I have time but it appears that’s not good enough for MS. I feel very pressured and I don’t think it is acceptable.

These are alarming accounts of people having Windows ten thrust upon them. Which themselves highlight the intrusions that Microsoft can make and it seems that their suggestions about turning off these spy features are useless, since they can be turned back on again. I have avoided upgrading simply because I have quite a lot of valuable software on my laptop and I have no guarantee that any of it will work under Windows ten. Unlike most of you, I have no issues with Windows eight point one and my Vista desk top functions very well too. Both computers do everything I ask of them, so why fix something that ain’t broke?
I hope Which can tell me how to stop Windows ten automatically loading, without giving up the security fixes that download automatically. I hope that my security software will help here, since it asks permission to start a programme, before it opens. Like others I’m fed up with the Windows ten pop ups, but so long as they can do no more then I’ll wait until Microsoft charges for Ten and then I can safely forget about it. No pay, no ten, hurrah.

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I upgraded my laptop last autumn and had to pay £75 to get my laptop to work again. The repair shop said ‘I was one of dozens of customers that the same problem and it was proving to be a right money-spinner’ for the owner. He effectively said that Microsoft was using people as guinea-pigs, as Windows 10 was no where near perfect enough to be on general release back in September last year. This has infuriated me no end and Microsoft should pay redress to everyone affected.

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I’m on 8.1 and am actually liking it!! My MS experience has been of using Win3.1, Win 95, WinME (which really didn’t like my hardware very much. I went through 6 HHD’s and 2 processors), WinXP (Which was probably my favourite OS to date), then after MS stopped supporting XP; and I got to see big red messages on my screen saying things were no longer supported, I moved to Win8 and got that nice free update to 8.1. The one thing I don’t like about getting Win10 (apart from the pushy pop-up to d/load it), is the fact that we cannot choose when to install updates, apparently they’re automatically downloaded! Not every update currently offered for my version of OS works, most aren’t even relevant (updates designed for Windows Server/RT, not 8.1)! At present, I check the info that comes with every update and decide there and then if I need to d/load and install it. I’ve seen a crafty update worded in the brief description as an “Important or Critical Security Update” but on actually visiting MS, it’s to get my PC ready to receive Win10! I have found an ex-MS employee on youtube, that has taken his time to tell you how to block/switch off the security updates in Win10 called “Barnacules Nerdgasm.” Well worth looking up, as he makes you very aware that MS do a lot more than make you have unwanted updates, they also monitor everything you do (including what you type), it can also monitor your camera/microphone too, what for I do not know, but surely that’s a privacy invasion on its own?!! For that reason, I’m trying everything I can not to upgrade to win10, as quite frankly, I think my PC will be hijacked by MS for whatever purposes they want to use it for, without my knowledge or permission, just for agreeing to the terms in the EULA. Lastly, has anyone got an xBox1? I have to unplug it from my router, each time I switch it off. For some strange reason, even though the console appears to be powered down, the power pack isn’t; and I faint noise can be heard from the console itself, with the router light flashing away as if data is being shared. Are MS freely using the XB in the same way they can take over someone PC for their own (MS) uses with Win10, I have no idea, but it does certainly concern me if they are doing so, again without permission. People with capped Bband would probably be unaware that their data usage was being used.

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I’ve used Microsoft products all my working life starting with MSDOS!! I’ve also wasted whole months of my life fighting various bugs, issues, crashes and other MS inspired grief. Win 3.11 was OK but Win XP was the first OS that worked properly once you tamed how to hack the registry! Having been forced to abandon XP, I reflected on all this grief, took the plunge and transferred the whole business onto Linux. It was a huge decision and took a few weeks to sort out but the differences are simply tremendous. We use Fedora 23 Workstation with the Xfce spin. It is fast, fantastically reliable, simple, boots up in seconds, adapts to our VPN connection well and updates seamlessly without stopping us working (at all).

Even better, it supports Virtualbox which allows us to run any OS including XP within a container. So all our software and databases continue to work fine and the whole thing can run either connected or isolated from the web. Each container can be backed up and becomes completely ‘bomb proof’. We have Win 8.1 and 10 loaded up as well, so we could have all three OSs running at the same time if we wanted. The really great thing about this setup is that files that Windows locks you out of can be deleted or worked on in Linux – a lifesaver and stuff you MS!

I will NEVER buy another Microsoft product ever – promise.

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ian thompson says:
2 April 2016

my experience was not good. They said nothing changes or will be lost, not true.
They disabled my Norton security and replaced with Mac Affee which offered to sell me services.
Lost my e mail service.
Lost my Microsoft office suite, but hey they offered to sell me a new one?
Lost photos.
Just a mess.
No contact details for Microsoft.
I had to take laptop back to retail store who said £50.00 to sort.
After three weeks of running around I managed to restore my own 8.1 system .
Really annoyed at Microsoft, my advice is stay away from 10 unless you are buying it fresh.

I was quite enthusiastic about installing W10 on my Dell XPS One 2710 aio. It had downloaded automatically and accompanying information gave me to understand it would be OK for my computer. After installation, I had no sound or video, ironic, as the new system introduces itself via videos! I eventually allowed Microsoft to ‘take over’ my computer to see if they could identify the problem. They couldn’t, but as I followed what they were doing on my screen, I noticed a message about updating video drivers: also that Dell had not tested my machine for W10 compatibility. I am not readily conversant with updating firmware, but had the time to fathom it out. Eventually I must have done something right, as my computer is now working normally (as far as I know!).
Searching through Dell’s website I found confirmation that my machine has not been tested for W10 and they have no plans to do so. Why not, it’s a relatively new machine? More interestingly I went on to Dell forums and found there have been several instances of my model machine having been updated to W10, only to have the motherboard fail, even more than once on the same machine. Dell have repaired when under guarantee, but not otherwise, I believe. It begs the issue, whose problem is it when new software causes catastrophic damage to a host machine? I have seen no response from Microsoft to this question, but neither have Dell pointed the finger at Microsoft, it seems.

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Julian Alington says:
4 April 2016

I wish I had stayed with windows7 that I found simpler and more convenient.