Windows 10 Update

Regular customers will already know my current thoughts on the free Windows 10 upgrade. I’m putting together an update to that post but thought I should pass on details of Microsoft’s latest stunt promotional activity – forewarned is forearmed, etc.

I recently visited a customer to resolve a problem and in the course of the fix I had to restart the PC. Up popped a nice big ‘Update to Windows 10 NOW’ box with no obvious way of saying, ‘I’d rather not for the moment, thanks’.

On closer inspection, I found a tiny ‘View other updates’ link. Clicking it took me to the standard Windows Update screen, showing all the remaining Important Updates, ready to be ticked and installed. Most of my customers probably rarely see this screen but, just to let you know, updates are divided into two types: Important (sometimes known as Critical) and Optional (or Recommended). Usually, Important Updates install automatically whereas Optional ones have to be selected by the user.

I ticked the important updates but before clicking ‘Install’ I thought I’d have a quick look at the Optional updates. Surprise! Microsoft had pre-ticked the ‘Update to Windows 10’ box so that, even without the customer being aware of it, the machine would have upgraded to Windows 10.

In my view, this is devious, underhand, dishonest and not what I would expect from a reputable company so, if you find yourself in the same position, BE CAREFUL to check the Optional/Recommended updates and make sure they are not ticked.

I’m beginning to be worried about some aspects of Windows 10, particularly privacy and updates, but also Microsoft’s determination to force it onto your computers without your being aware. More on that in a few days but, in the meantime, I have recruited a few (definitely non-geek!) customers to try out an alternative that is a) free, b) more secure, c) more private and d) not even Windows. So far, it seems it’s also e) not frightening. For almost all my customers, it might well be a viable alternative. More about that to follow.

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