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Thread: Petitioners want Microsoft investigated over Windows 10-based business practices

  1. #1

    Default Petitioners want Microsoft investigated over Windows 10-based business practices
    Petitioners want Microsoft investigated over Windows 10-based business practices

    June 7, 2016

    Well, this is interesting. A concerned consumer has jumped onto to create a petition asking the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to investigate Microsoft. Why? Because of the way the Redmond company has handled Windows 10, including the nagging free upgrade process which will finally end on July 29, exactly one year after Windows 10 hit the market.

    “Microsoft’s practices with their newest operating system, named Windows 10, has been ignorantly unethical at best and malicious at worst,” states Todd Kleinpaste in his petition. “The problems begin with the upgrades. Reports everywhere state that people are being tricked or forced into upgrading to Windows 10 from their current, preferred version of Windows.”

    The petition calls out one specific incident where the 6GB Windows 10 update was automatically downloaded to a computer used by a man who fights militarized poachers in the African bush. This heavy update downloaded on a costly per-megabyte connection, and thankfully didn’t take place during a combat operation, which would have cut off vital communication as the new operating system downloaded.

    In addition to the forced install fiasco, the petition also points to the tracking mechanisms in Windows 10. When customers use “Express Settings” during the Windows 10 installation process, they’re allowing Microsoft to keep track of text and touch input, location data, contacts, calendar information, and more. These can be turned off after the fact, but some of the information gathering tricks can’t be halted unless the consumer digs into the registry and group policy editor.

    If that wasn’t enough to make Windows 10 users nervous, the petition even points at the operating system’s ability to uninstall software without the user’s consent. The petition links to a specific article that says Windows 10 began uninstalling software after the Threshold 2 update rolled out in November 2015. The reporter even provides a personal accounting of Windows 10 uninstalling a hardware information program called Speccy during the upgrade process.

    Finally, the petition claims that Microsoft intends to stop the installation of software that’s sold outside the Windows Store. We’re pretty sure that’s not correct, but rather Microsoft is holding on to specific Windows 10 features for developers who create applications and games based on the Universal Windows Platform (UWP). That means all apps and games based on this platform are sold only through Microsoft’s storefront, and won’t be made available on Steam or other digital distribution platforms.

    “Despite outcries in forums, articles, and every other venue, Microsoft has not issued an apology, a retraction, or mentioned in any way that they are going to cease these practices,” Kleinpaste adds. “The only mention of them ceasing any of it is that the upgrade to Windows 10 will no longer be free after this coming July.”

    As of this article, the petition has rounded up 760 supporters out of the needed 1,000 individuals. The attached (brief) letter doesn’t state anything else other than asking the EFF to conduct a formal investigation into Microsoft for unethical business practices. The petition was created on just three days ago, so the amount of support has averaged to around 253 backing individuals per day. That means the petition should be on its way to the EFF in no time.

    Update: 42 more people signed the petition in just an hour. Can someone play the theme to The Jeffersons, please!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Petitioners want Microsoft investigated over Windows 10-based business practices
    Microsoft U-turn on 'nasty trick' pop-up

    By Jane Wakefield
    Technology reporter

    Microsoft has u-turned over changes it made to a pop-up encouraging users to upgrade to Windows 10.

    Users were angry that clicking the cross to dismiss the box meant that they had agreed to the upgrade.

    Based on "customer feedback", Microsoft said that it had added another notification that provided customers with "an additional opportunity for cancelling the upgrade".

    The pop-up design had been described as a "nasty trick".

    Microsoft told the BBC it had modified the pop-up two weeks ago as a result of criticism: "We've added another notification that confirms the time of the scheduled upgrade and provides the customer an additional opportunity for cancelling or rescheduling the upgrade.

    "If the customer wishes to continue with their upgrade at the designated time, they can click 'OK' or close the notifications with no further action needed."

    Senior editor at PC World magazine Brad Chacos, who describes himself as a fan of the Windows 10 operating system, had previously described the use of the cross to mean people had agreed to the upgrade as "a nasty trick".

    He said: "I don't think that adding more pestering pop-ups improves the situation. At the very least they should add a large, obvious 'No, I don't want this' button."

    Mr Chacos has been a vocal critic of what he described as the "heavy-handed tactics that Microsoft's been using to force people into the upgrade".

    Previously, users had to press the cross to cancel the suggested upgrade, he pointed out, so the latest move is counter-intuitive - "akin to swapping out the brake and the accelerator in your car".

    Users have been sharing with the BBC their own experience of unwanted upgrades, suggesting that the process is difficult to cancel once it has begun.

    Havard Hughes' experience was typical of many.

    "Windows 10 update ran on my PC despite all my efforts to stop it, including dismissing the update several times and frantically trying to abort the installation as it started when I was halfway through writing an important e-mail.

    "My attempt to roll it back to Windows 7 resulted in the blue screen of death and a dead PC. I now have to reinstall my home computer from scratch because of this so-called 'free' upgrade.

    "As someone who paid for my software and was perfectly happy with my fully functional Windows 7 machine, this has been an absolute disaster."

  3. #3

    Default Re: Petitioners want Microsoft investigated over Windows 10-based business practices

    Last edited by Shaka_Khan; 06-07-2016 at 18:33.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Petitioners want Microsoft investigated over Windows 10-based business practices

    I really want to side against Microsoft on this one but it does come across as a bunch of whining.

  5. #5
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003

    Default Re: Petitioners want Microsoft investigated over Windows 10-based business practices

    Why is this even in the Frontroom?

    If we want to talk about how someone almost died fighting poachers or questionable business tactics and what politics should do about it, it should be in the Backroom. Windows 10 topics belong in the Tech forum, as do folders that don't open.

    Written on my Windows 10 desktop where all folders open, of which I have no video proof unfortunately.
    Last edited by Husar; 06-10-2016 at 10:51.

    "Topic is tired and needs a nap." - Tosa Inu

  6. #6
    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    in the cloud.

    Default Re: Petitioners want Microsoft investigated over Windows 10-based business practices

    The upgrade notice was definitely sleazy.
    'Too many people closing the notice instead of agreeing to the update? I know, we can just make clicking X the same as accepting it and have it install anyway!'
    If you have to trick people into installing your software, you've got problems.

    If you're sick of the annoying notices and don't intend to upgrade, just download Never10. It edits the registry to have the same effect if your PC was managed by group policy and prevents the upgrade. Or better still, install Linux Mint
    "Don't believe everything you read online."
    -Abraham Lincoln

  7. #7
    Mr Self Important Senior Member Beskar's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
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    Default Re: Petitioners want Microsoft investigated over Windows 10-based business practices

    On one hand, I like Windows 10. But on the other, I really dislike the practice they have done to force it.

    I know on a technical perspective, it is in Microsoft's interest for people to use the same OS so they don't have to keep supporting the older ones.. but yes.
    "We are living in space-age times but there's too many of us thinking with stone-age minds" - Daryl Davis
    "What makes something right or wrong?" | How to spot a Humanist
    "Men of Quality do not fear Equality." # | "Belief doesn't change facts. Facts, if you are reasonable, should change your beliefs." RG

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