Microsoft says it won’t force Windows 10 upgrades on users any more

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A German consumer agency has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft regarding forcing upgrades on users for Windows 10 but the tech giant has promised not to use the same techniques again.

Microsoft was heavily criticised in a number of different quarters about its handling of the initial roll-out of the “next-generation operating system”.

The move was in relation to 6GB of preinstalled data that was included on the upgrades for Windows 10 during the promotional year between mid-2015 and mid-2016.

The data dump was intended to make installing Windows 10 faster, but, there was no was no way of opting out of the preinstall if users preferred to decline it.

The company was also criticised for its use of pop-ups which pestered users about the new software.

There were a number of lawsuits filed in the US at the time with some complaining that the unwanted upgrade had resulted in the loss of data. The forceful approach also received plenty of criticism from disgruntled users.

In Germany, regional consumer protection agency Verbraucherzentrale Baden-Württemberg sued Microsoft. This resulted in Microsoft voluntarily agreeing to stop the offending practices.

Consumer watchdog Verbraucherzentrale Baden-Württemberg said that thanks to Microsoft’s pledge the company is “obliged to avoid placing installation data for new operating systems on Windows users’ hard drives without their permission”.

“We would have wished for an earlier backing-down, but [Microsoft’s statement] is a success for consumer rights in the digital world,” said Cornelia Tausch, the head of the regional consumer authority.

Microsoft are no longer pushing free upgrades for the operating system. Instead the company now uses a new delivery system for its software, dubbed Unified Update Platform (UUP). 

This Microsoft system allows for more lightweight releases – unlike the 6GB installer – by only pushing out new bits that have been added since the last update.

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