Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Microsoft’s Upgrade Deceptions Are Undermining Windows 10

Paul Thurrott:

Last week, Microsoft silently changed Get Windows 10 yet again. And this time, it has gone beyond the social engineering scheme that has been fooling people into inadvertently upgrading to Windows 10 for months. This time, it actually changed the behavior of the window that appears so that if you click the ‘Close’ window box, you are actually agreeing to the upgrade. Without you knowing what just happened.

Previously, closing this window would correctly signal that you do not want the upgrade. So Microsoft didn’t change the wording in the window. It didn’t make an ‘Upgrade now’ button bigger, or a non-existent ‘don’t ever upgrade’ button smaller. It pulled a switcheroonie. It’s like going out to your car in the morning and discovering that the gas pedal now applies the brakes, while the brake pedal washes the windshield. Have a fun commute!

Despite becoming fairly commonplace, automatic updates can feel confusing and invasive to lots of users, particularly when they’re more substantial and obvious. But remapping the “close” button on a dialog box to trigger the update is deceitful to the point of feeling malicious. It’s a method that nefarious popups on the web typically engage in, not a legitimate operating system from a major company, and it reflects poorly on the system itself.