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Microsoft Backs Down On Aggressive Windows 10 Upgrade Techniques Following Backlash

The company is rolling out an easier upgrade process and providing free tech support for those having issues, which one Microsoft partner says speaks to the 'confusion' he has seen among his small-business customers.

Following widespread criticism over what many see as aggressive efforts to upgrade customers to Windows 10, Microsoft said it will make the upgrade process easier and more clear.

Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group, said in a statement that the company will roll out a new upgrade experience and provide free tech support for those having issues in upgrading ’in response to customer feedback.’

’Since we introduced a new upgrade experience for Windows 10, we've received feedback that some of our valued customers found it confusing,’ according to Myerson. ’We've been working hard to incorporate their feedback and this week, we'll roll out a new upgrade experience with clear options to upgrade now, schedule a time, or decline the free offer. The 'Red X' at the top corner of the dialogue box will now simply dismiss the reminder and will not initiate the upgrade.’

[Related: Decision Time: 10 Reasons To Upgrade To Windows 10]

Since the operating system’s release last July, the Redmond, Wash.-based company has been pushing customers to upgrade to Windows 10 by using techniques that one partner has called ’sneaky.’

For instance, if customers who have not yet upgraded click on a Red X at the bottom of the Windows 10 updates box, the computer would automatically begin upgrading, as opposed to click out of the window.

The issue with Windows 10 upgrades also has been taken to court. Last week, a woman unhappy with a failed upgrade, which she said she didn’t authorize and made her PC unstable, received a $10,000 judgment from the company, according to The Seattle Times.

As part of its new upgrade experience, Microsoft said it will revert to making the Red X option at the corner of the Windows 10 update box dismiss the updates, as opposed to initiate the process. The company also will offer more clear options for customers to upgrade now, schedule a time to upgrade, or decline the free offer for the new OS.

David Felton, founder of Microsoft partner Norwalk, Conn.-based Canaan Technology, said he has heard from several small businesses who had accidentally upgraded to Windows 10. He said Microsoft’s response in simplifying its Windows 10 upgrade process speaks to ’the confusion’ he has seen among small-business clients.

’If you run Windows updates, as many of our clients are proactive in doing, Microsoft in a very sneaky way frames one of its updates as installing Windows 10,’ he said. ’It’s very obscure. If nothing else, this raises awareness that there’s some seriousness in Microsoft pushing upgrades so much on the average customer.’

A few tweets illustrate some of the issues surrounding the upgrade:

we've now had two PCs upgrade to Windows 10 on their own. Not cool MS, that created lots of issues, lost productivity
/**/ /**/
Since the unrequested 10 upgrade that swept thru, heard so many issues, sleep modes, software, even Outlook! Poor form
/**/ /**/
having serious issues after a forced upgrade to Windows 10. How do I roll back please?
/**/ /**/

The free upgrade for Windows 10 from Windows 7 and Windows 8 ends July 29. According to Microsoft’s blog site, the Windows 10 anniversary update will also be released on Aug. 2 (the post was later removed from the site).

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