Microsoft’s pushy approach to getting existing users on to Windows 10 may land them in further legal trouble, as two lawsuits (one in the US, one in Israel) have been filed against the company. According to the Seattle Times, both suits are seeking class-action status.
The US lawsuit, filed in Florida last Friday, claims Microsoft’s persistent prompts to upgrade a Windows machine to Windows 10 “violated laws governing unsolicited electronic advertisements, as well as Federal Trade Commission prohibitions on deceptive and unfair practices”. In Israel, meanwhile, is alleging that Windows 10 could install on people’s machines without their consent, in violation of Israeli law.
There is some precedent here. Earlier in the year, Teri Goldstein was awarded $10,000 USD in compensation from Microsoft after taking them to court over an unwanted Windows 10 ‘upgrade’. Goldstein stated that she never authorised the process, and that her computer (which she used for her travel agency business) subsequently became unusable.
Microsoft has received substantial criticism for the nature of its Windows 10 prompts, which, as the deadline for a free upgrade approached, became more and more persistent. Many lacked an obvious way to refuse, and users have reportedly found Windows 10 added as an automatic ‘security update’.
A ‘decline free offer’ button was added to prompts following complaints. Microsoft feels confident it will prevail in the suits, stating “we believe the plaintiffs’ claims are without merit”. It maintains that Windows 10 upgrades are a free choice, and that it’s possible to roll back to prior versions of Windows within 31 days of installing Windows 10.