PC Users Caught Unprepared for Automatic Windows 10 Upgrades

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2016-03-14 Print this article Print
Automatic Windows 10

It also appears that you do, in fact, get the option of whether to accept the upgrade to Windows 10, but you have to be watching your computer when it happens and then know where to look. In this case there’s a “More Information” link on the screen that appears if you’re watching. If you click on that link you’ll get the option to decline the upgrade.

You also have the ability to uninstall the Windows 10 upgrade if you don’t want it. As the Windows 10 installation runs, it saves your earlier Windows version along with the settings you were using. This allows you to run an uninstaller to remove the new version and reinstall your old Windows version.

The downside to reverting is that it doesn’t happen very fast, so you can easily waste a couple of hours while your computer churns away. After you have done all that, you’ll still have to go change Windows Update or you’re going to have to go through it all again.

Microsoft’s motivation for doing this sort of forced upgrade is understandable. The company has had to deal with people hanging on to obsolete versions of Windows for years and continuing to demand support long after they could have moved to a version of Windows that was more stable and more secure. When you have an installed base the size of the one for Windows, it’s certainly a burden.

But the question is whether it’s enough of a burden to have previously loyal customers say things like, “I think it’s time to get a Mac,” or to express other comments, most of which can’t be repeated here.

In this case, wouldn’t it have been a better course to at least be more transparent to users, especially those in small- and medium-sized businesses who probably haven’t read Terry Myerson’s blog from last fall?

You have to remember that not everyone is enough of a geek to read Microsoft pronouncements on a daily basis. After all, that's why you have me. But instead most Windows users are busy running their businesses or doing their jobs and to some extent depending on the reliability and stability of Microsoft.

Those are the same users who are likely to be using obscure drivers, perhaps for devices they bought a long time ago, but which worked fine with Windows 7.

Such a thing happened to me when I moved to Windows 10 – a very high-quality but old Minolta slide scanner would no longer work. More recently, a package of control drivers for a VHF radio I have generated error messages, and then simply wouldn’t run. That radio is now probably beyond help as well.

But this isn’t about me. After all, I have some fairly obscure uses for Windows. But Microsoft’s customer base is made up of millions of small- and medium- sized businesses, many of which have specialized needs. Those specialized needs are part of the reason for the slow move away from Windows XP. By trying to force an upgrade, Microsoft may be ultimately giving voice to those who find an alternative to Windows altogether.


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