Microsoft Pays $10K to Settle Forced Windows 10 Upgrade Suit

Today's topics include Microsoft’s $10,000 payout to settle a lawsuit involving an unwanted Windows 10 upgrade, the integration of Microsoft Outlook with the Saleforce.com CRM platform, how YouTube and Facebook use automated software to remove extremist content from their platforms and a report that Google is preparing to launch its own smartphone models.

Not everyone is thrilled with the free Windows 10 upgrade, as Microsoft discovered after paying $10,000 in a lawsuit. Teri Goldstein, a travel agent in Sausalito, Calif., suffered some negative and unintended effects of an unwanted operating system upgrade. She sued Microsoft seeking compensation for damages.

Last month Goldstein won her case, and Microsoft dropped an appeal of the verdict and paid her $10,000. Goldstein claims that she did not authorize the upgrade to Windows 10. After the upgrade, the computer she used to run her travel business would slow down and crash. Contacting Microsoft's customer support failed to resolve the issue. To avoid further litigation, the software giant paid her $10,000 for the cost of a new computer and the loss of wages caused by the unwanted automatic OS upgrade.

A joint agreement by rivals Microsoft and Salesforce shows the two companies clearly believe in the old adage, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." Two years ago the software giants agreed to a strategic partnership to develop compatibility and integration features between their respective platforms, and Microsoft Office in particular. The latest announcement on June 28 relates specifically to Microsoft Outlook.

With the new Salesforce Lightning for Outlook add-in, users of the popular Microsoft email program will have access to customer and prospect records from within the email client without having to switch to the Salesforce platform. This could prove especially useful to sales reps who communicate with customers from within Outlook.

YouTube and Facebook have begun using automated processes to block and quickly remove terrorist propaganda videos, Reuters reported June 25, citing two people familiar with the situation. Until now, human editors have reviewed flagged content and removed it as they deemed necessary, but the automated process can react far more quickly and effectively, according to the Reuters report.

The companies aren't commenting on the change, which the report said was encouraged by an April group phone call that included Monika Bickert, Facebook's head of global policy management. She proposed a number of options for discussion, including one developed by the Counter Extremism Project, a nonprofit group that years ago developed software with the initial aim of identifying and removing online child pornography.

Smartphones designed by Google itself could hit the world market by the end of 2016, giving the company more control and oversight of its hugely popular Android mobile operating system and helping it more directly compete with Apple in the smartphone wars. That's Google's plan for the near future, according to unnamed sources who are familiar with the discussions.

Google has marketed Android handsets in the past through arrangements with such handset makers as HTC, Huawei and others. But those handsets were also designed by those manufacturers and carried Google Nexus nameplates without Google taking a strong hand in the designs. Now Google is in talks with mobile carriers about releasing a Google-branded phone directly to the market, according to a story in The (London) Telegraph.

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