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'Windows 10 destroyed our data!' Microsoft hauled into US court

Anonymous Coward

As with previous versions, win 10 update stores old user profiles and windoze folders in windows.old with an option to rollback so i really don't think they have a leg to stand on. The fact that neither the customer nor Geek Squid could manage the world's simplest data recovery is hardly grounds for a lawsuit.

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Except that doesn't work

I personally know of at least two systems where the Win 7 > 10 in-place upgrade failed and would not roll back successfully. In the end the only apparent possibility was a full nuke'n'pave. Fortunately there wasn't much data lost, but there was some.

I am certain that there are thousands of similar cases.

I am also equally certain that there are tens of thousands of people who tried to reject the upgrade but were forced into it, eg by the complete lack of a "Cancel" button in later stages.

Many of those will have wanted to return to Win 7, many of those will not have been able to find out how, and many will have been unable to because the "downgrade" process was not 100% reliable

Even a 1% failure rate would be many thousands of failures.

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Re: Except that doesn't work

Rollback didn't work on my main desktop machine. Had to reinstall because w10 didn't work. Still, I must say I'm grateful to MS for the opportunity to install and enjoy Cinnamon Mint :-)

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win 10 update stores old user profiles and windoze folders in windows.old with an option to rollback
So I take it you've never seen:

"...refers to a location that is unavailable. It could be on a hard drive on this computer, on a network, or on a different computer on your home network. Check to make sure that the disk is properly inserted, or that you are connected to the Internet or home network, and then try again. If it still cannot be located, the information might have been moved to a different location."

Oddly, Linux can see and copy the files, but not Windows. Nor can you delete the folder in Windows. When Windows fucks up, it does so big-time. BTW, none of the suggested fixes on the interwebs worked for me.

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Yes I agree that I've seen that message, I've seen upgrades fail, I've seen clean Win 10 installs fail and I've seen rollbacks fail.

BUT

I've done hundreds of windows upgrades and have NEVER lost access to the old data. It stores it in windows.old. .Whilst I wouldn't expect Joe Average to be able to recover it, ANY even semi-capable IT outfit who CHARGES should be able to reinstall previous Windows version, the old user profiles and if necessary pertinent registry data.

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I've done hundreds of windows upgrades and have NEVER lost access to the old data. It stores it in windows.old.
While what you say is undoubtedly veridical, it marks you out as a bit of an amateur. I've been using Windows since Win 286 and there's one thing I learnt very early on. Upgrading Windows is vastly inferior to a clean install.

You can't reinstall the previous Windows version if you lack install media and the Product Key. The PK is on the power adapter for my Zenbook and it's not beyond the realms of possibility to leave such plugged into an hotel wall on the opposite end of the planet. Or for wear and tear to obliterate the PK (overzealous office cleaners).

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I've done hundreds of windows upgrades and have NEVER lost access to the old data.

Sorry, but with Win10 in order to fix a failed mandatory (Win10) update I have often had to resort to the option: restore to factory defaults... After one of these without the use of disk recovery tools, I've never been able to access the old data...

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>While what you say is undoubtedly veridical, it marks you out as a bit of an amateur.

Probably and that's the main reason I got out of that area of IT. Kept getting told how to do a better job by experts..

>Upgrading Windows is vastly inferior to a clean install.

I'd agree, upgrading Windows IS vastly inferior. But I never said it was my first choice and I never said I never do clean installs. But did customers always pay me to do backup their data (I did anyway), perform a clean install, migrate their user data and reinstall their applications? Beside, they've often lost the install media and didn't have the savvy to photograph the product key that was fading away on the bottom of their notebook or power supply. So economic reality won. I'd also like to point out that most of the time I'd receive the laptop/workstation AFTER windows 10 (or previous versions) had updated and borked.

>You can't reinstall the previous Windows version if you lack install media and the Product Key.

That's for that Captain Obvious, but exactly what has that got to do with my original post?

Yes, sometimes I had to use install/recovery media, bootable linux, mount a hard drive on another PC or whatever it took. Points I was trying to make was

a) Doing an upgrade, Windows stores data in windows.old

b) That anybody CHARGING folks to fix borked Windows 10 updates should be competent enough to have the means of accessing that data.

c) I never lost anybody's data from a Windows update..

I probably should have stated that yes, the windows update rollback is often a dog and I probably just got lucky with point c. However its amazing how many laptops are out there with perfectly good customer data in a windows.old folder that end users have no idea exists because some muppet has charged them an arm and a leg to fix their failed windows upgrade, not bothered (or known) how to transfer their data and just told them that it's gone and it's all Microsoft's fault.

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Re: Except that doesn't work

Count me in with knowing of at least two systems that the rollback itself killed everything as well.

As a punishment, MS should be forced to maintain W7 for another 10 years.

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Re: Except that doesn't work

Why not compel them to open the source?

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exactly what has that got to do with my original post?
FWIW that was aimed at several other posters here rather than your good self. Reinstalling w7 is not necessarily all that easy.

And yes, I think you've been lucky. Clients can be maddeningly obtuse. One I had set up to backup her data automatically decided to purchase a new machine. To "make the transfer quicker", she deleted all the backed up data. There must have been maybe 100 MB of data on the several gigabyte hdd! Unfortunately the outlook.pst file was unrecoverable.

I'm just so glad I'm retired.

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"I'm just so glad I'm retired."

That's the prime requirement for being expected to support friends and family.

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Re: Except that doesn't work

>As a punishment, MS should be forced to maintain W7 for another 10 years.

Not particularly onerous, suggest you include new hardware. But to make MS really pay I suggest adding XP support until 2029...

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That excuse is working for me. I do usually add that "my knowledge is current and this could be a major disaster for you". They usually go bother someone else.

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Linux

I'm just so glad I'm retired

That's the prime requirement for being expected to support friends and family.
Actually, demand for my support has declined since retirement. First, I only provided support for WinXP and Win7. Then following the GWX fiasco, I demonstrated Cinnamon Mint on various friends' PCs. All were more than happy with Mint and none have needed support since.

Also made a habit of lending my Mac Mini to people considering upgrading their hardware. Most changed from Win to OSX and needed no subsequent support from me. I'm a lazy fucker at heart :-)

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Windows

"I'm just so glad I'm retired."

That's the prime requirement for being expected to support friends and family.

I'm excused - I tell them a truth, "I retired before Windows 10 came out, and I don't use it."

As I have posted before, I was horrified and started to plan retirement when I looked at beta versions of Vista.

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I just checked my metrics... 781 7->10 upgrades, 1655 clean 10 installs since Aug 1, 2015. Of those, 3 upgrades failed and had to be rolled back, 1 unsuccessfully and was determined to have a daily hard drive, 22 clean installations failed and had to be started over, and if those, 19 were due to driver updates, 3 due to bios firmware that needed updating. Numbers don't lie; the process is too easy.

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Except when it deletes the windows.old file

When my internet connection had an issue, (following a new modem the day before), I found on my main PC that a troubleshoot followed by a reboot fixed it. So I did the same on my laptop ... too late I realised it may have been "Restart and Update" .. spinning dots scenario from the Win 10 Anniversary update ... system restore "couldn't find save point" (another known bug) and though I could get into safe mode and back up that day's work the update completely screwed up this time to the point where even the distro created at the time of the Win10AU wouldn't install either. I tried a second time and the Windows.old folder has now also disappeared.

I sympathise that unlike Apple they have 15m+ combinations of hardware to be compatible with. However I'm not the only one faced with either (another) 2 days on the 'phone to Microsoft or paying for tech help (when I've finished moving home).

Not a happy customer. (Case law in the UK, dating back to the mid-90s also states that software must be "fit for purpose").

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Re: Except that doesn't work

I also have found that Win 10 rejects many third party programs. At the moment you try to install it win 10 inserts another file called DATA and the installation is stopped. Having had these problems I tried to Dual boot by installing the Win 7, that too was rejected. At a guess its liken to downgrading which is often refused.

I bought a new laptop with win 10 in stalled but upon switching it on the windows update was busy updating. After the install was completed I could now continue. However I closed the computer and when I opened it I had problems which ended up with BLACK SCREEN OF DEATH. The machine was sent for repair and I finally got it back 5 months later. on 6/8/2016. Switched it on and yet again windows 10 update was forced onto the machine. Now I tried to reinstall my programs and found them rejected, simple programs like Spy hunter, AVG, ASC9, if it was not from MS then you can't have it. Anyway during these attempts the machine came up with a blue screen that prevented any kind of repair. It refused the MS reinstall programs which was downloaded using my old faithful Win 7 laptop. Then the machine had to be returned for the exploding battery problems and now for the BLUE SCREEN now outside any warranty.

Windows 10 was given out to the public as a Beta and the public now tested it. Windows 10 is full of unwanted advertising and a program to report all your personal data back to MS. NO! windows 10 is not secure.

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it's all Microsoft's fault.

It is, they upgrade your PC without crystal clear instructions how to avoid the upgrade ... whatever happens next due to the upgrade process is MS' fault - equivalent to unauthorized changes to a computer.

They are liable, and they will pay ... this is gonna be dear, expect license & Azure prices to increase

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Andthereinliestherub

Whilst I wouldn't expect Joe Average to be able to recover it, ANY even semi-capable IT outfit who CHARGES should be able to reinstall previous Windows version, the old user profiles and if necessary pertinent registry data.

PC are basically commodity consumer products. The fact that keeping them functioning demands the services of a paid professional IT staff IS the problem. Moreover, getting a professional fix is not guarantee that the system will stay fixed--as anyone who has tried to find answers from the Microsoft Community has probably observed. (One of the prime examples is the 100% Disc Usage issue, One of the more amusing aspects of that is that so-called "experts" routinely blame Skype and Chrome for the problem, with splendid disregard for the fact that Skype and Chrome are not installed on a given user system.)

It appears that this particular problem can be generated in a number of different ways. With continual updates (not necessarily MS's) fixes fail.

IT providers and users alike have lost sight of something fundamental. The network--INCLUDING THE USERS' DEVICES--is the system. Its configuration and state at any given instant is effectively indeterminate and indeterminable. Such a system in intrinsically un-secure and un-securable.

As witness El Reg Article Dishwasher has directory traversal bug.

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Anonymous Coward

I have a dog, it's a good dog and I can tell it what to do and it does it. I sometimes have to tell that damn dog to shut up but it still does it's job.

I was forced to get a new dog that wouldn't do as it's told, I tried the new dog but I found it was shitting in my garden so I got rid of the dog and got my original dog back who still I like a lot but one day I may have to put it down.

So here we are at an impasse, I wasn't forced to take the new dog as others were but they didn't know how to say no or check there wouldn't be other problems if they said yes.

I hope this lawsuit succeeds and I'll keep my dog for a while until it gets lame and then I'll completely move to a different type of dog.

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Anonymous Coward

Good analogy, in that Windows has been going to the dogs for years..

:)

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About time too

I'm still wondering what happened to government agencies worldwide that were supposed to protect us from the kind of BS like GWX? Surely they couldn't all have been asleep at the wheel seeing as a lot of them were probably affected by this as well as the average user?

Now I'm waiting for the fertilizer to really hit the fan regarding this (already started by the looks of it):

http://www.infoworld.com/article/3183583/microsoft-windows/microsoft-will-kill-some-windows-7-and-81-support-in-april.html

Especially seeing as MS is actually including code in the latest monthly preview to detect new processors and deny access to Windows Update - trouble is, the code is apparently detecting older processors as well. Oops... another "sorry, we made another mistake" excuse coming up, I'm sure. Yeah, right.

Will someone please sue these f***ers out of existence? PLEASE!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: About time too

A few months ago, after the Win10 "update or die" fiasco was over, I TRIED turning Win Update back on.

M$ promptly decided two of my four PCs (all running legit copies of Win7 64Bit Pro, were fake, and did their best to cripple them.

Same happened to my sisters PC, also running Win 7 64bit Pro.

ON THE OTHER HAND

My wife has a copy of Win7 64Bit Pro CHINESE edition - 99% certain it is a pirate copy, as I never found anywhere selling genuine disks in my time there.

Not only did she never suffer the forced Win10 attempts, but M$ still havent messed her system up by saying it is fake.

From now on, if it is M$, I get a pirate copy.

Anon, obviously.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: About time too

An anonymous friend's pet rabbit had a questionable version of Win 7 installed on one of it's computers for about 5 or 6 years. As long as KB971033 was hidden the OS ran perfectly for all that time including installing all other updates. I was informed that it never saw a single GWX notification, until......

The rabbit then bought a $15 key from Amazon because it wanted to go through the upgrade process to validate it for installation at a later date. Almost as soon as it validatd the licence key, the reminders began.

It's insane that the pop-up ridden spyware laden version was the legit copy, and the one he could trust not to start downloading nd installing crap was the dodgy copy.

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Re: About time too

Pirate versions are better, always have been...

License enforcement code is *DESIGNED* to cause a denial of service condition, the sole purpose of such code is to act against the interests of the user. Pirate versions have this junk removed and work much better.

It's been the same for years, even back in the Amiga days the pirate versions didn't require you to hunt down the manual and read a tiny code, and let you make backup copies of the disks so you didn't lose them to corruption.

Same thing applies to movies, the pirate versions don't have unskippable warnings or commercials, and don't have arbitrary restrictions on where, when or on what you can play them.

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Re: About time too

Pirate versions are better, always have been...
Not so. Many prate versions of software contain code you definitely don't want running on your system. Conversely, until WinXP MS software wasn't copy-protected. Heck, you could purchase an upgrade version of Word 6 for example, and so long as you had a file called word.exe on your system, run the upgrade. Word.exe could just be a text file renamed to word.exe.

As for movies, I just "pirate" my legitimate version with DVD Fab to remove the unwanted crap :-)

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Re: About time too

Microsoft did that on purpose - this way, they at least (a) got the upgrade fee, (b) put another nail in the coffin of WordPerfect, and (c) got you hooked on using their file formats for documents.

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Anonymous Coward

Where do we join ?

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"Where do we join ?"

Small claims court.

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This post has been deleted by its author

How the hell do I get in on this action? I'm still pissed about all of 10's nuances.

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Aw, Bless

I don't know if this one is limited to Win10, but it is jaw dropping:

http://blog.robertelder.org/zipping-corrupts-eclipse-workspace/

Seems "Windows 'Send to Compressed (zipped) folder' utility has a mandatory optional feature to automatically not include certain folders in the archive without telling you."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Aw, Bless

The one that caught me out recently is the default 4GB size limit on the recycle bin in Windows 10 AU1607.

This option is hidden away in the recycle bin properties (right click on on icon). So if you accidently delete multiple items whose total size is greater than 4GB, they aren't recoverable even if you had the disk space to store such files in the recycle bin.

Now that is fcuking madness, as a policy choice by Microsoft. MS need to switch this default option off. If there is disk space store the recycle bin files, they should be stored.

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Pirate

Re: Aw, Bless

Sane defaults!? Pfffffft then it wouldn't be Windows(TM)(R)(LORF)

My advice is to Shift+Del all the time, even if it ultimately means you Del less often, and never look back. Also you could pick up /bin/rm and wield it in the same manner: carefully

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Re: Aw, Bless

That is uniquely dreadful and seems a strong candidate for Worst Offender regarding the 'law of least astonishment'. Back in XP, it would choke on their half-baked idea of symlinks in NTFS (made with NTFSlink-- 3rd party thing for making/deleting/etc), but they sorta fixed that in Vista (maybe not only so they could make \Documents and Settings also link to \Users, a name that finally made any sense)-- so now it chokes on dot folders, realnice. OTOH I never needed that particular Send To nonsense-- in the Win95 days I would put shortcuts in that folder to use as an "Open With..." substitute before Open With existed, but the Windows compressed folders are Somebody Else's Problem. It was always easiest to just do it with WinRAR or 7zip or anything that would add itself via "Add to archive..." to all folders' context menus. That 3rd party things do infinitely better than Windows' official internal functionality is just the opposite: no surprise.

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Re: Aw, Bless

Hmm, I just tried some test folders and it put them in the zip with no problems.

Maybe this has changed.

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Uh what?

"...a class action that includes every person in the US who upgraded to Windows 10 from Windows 7 and suffered data loss or damage to software or hardware within 30 days of installation"

I can understand if the upgrade procedure somehow caused data loss or 'damage to software' but I haven't heard of Windows 10 either damaging hardware or causing data loss.

If the class action succeeds, can every Joe Sixpack out there claim compensation if e.g. their hard drive broke within 30 days or if they were infected with Locky or other data encrypting malware? That's what the class action claim states...

Also, the fact that the Geek Squad couldn't fix her computer, and she had to buy a new one means that either the "Geeks" don't know how to install an OS or that her computer just died during the upgrade procedure - case of bad luck?

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Re: Uh what?

Lawyer: "Your hard drive could have failed at any point, whether or not you were running Windows 10. Did you routinely make backups of your valuable data?"

Plaintiff: "What's a 'backup'?"

Lawyer: "No further questions, your Honour."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Uh what?

A couple of recent examples of a software update nearly causing hardware damage - sadly though, neither is M$

The latest AMD gfx driver update bjorked both AOD and the MSI programs for controlling my RX470 gfx card; changing the fan speed settings so the card was running VERY hot. With both of the programs that can alter the fans speeds broken, I had an anxious few hours until I could find a fix.

Acronis update failed, leaving a background process using 70% of the total cpu time across 6 cores; once again temps went through the roof, as 4 of the cores were running nearly 100% JUST on this one process.

I was also muttered BS at the claim consumers had a choice; Micro$hit even went so far as setting a wake-up call to install WinFail a few hours after you had finished with the PC for the day.

I actually caught my mums PC waking up and starting the install; I managed to stop it, but now it constantly claims it has an update that requires a reboot, and wont allow any other GENUINE Win7 updates to install.

BTW, for people thinking of getting the Chinese version; the main issue with it is that you can ONLY set the location and time zone to China.

If only the Tiny7 project had been continued.

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Re: Uh what?

"...a class action that includes every person in the US who upgraded to Windows 10 from Windows 7 and suffered data loss or damage to software or hardware within 30 days of installation"

I can understand if the upgrade procedure somehow caused data loss or 'damage to software' but I haven't heard of Windows 10 either damaging hardware or causing data loss.

It's the sort of thing any lawyer would put in without even having to set the brain in motion for two reasons: firstly it saves having to investigate whether any hardware failures did happen so if someone does turn up with such a corner case they've already got it in there and secondly it cuts Microsoft off at the pass if they try "it was a hardware issue" as a defence.

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Re: Uh what?

PLAINTIFF: (to Microsoft lawyer) Please show us YOUR backup ... oh, you don't either. Someone else does it for you. And at home? Pay, you SOB.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Uh what?

There are other alternatives which a chinese windows 7 is just one of the many.

Although the main focus is, are you willing to get dirty?

There too many wooden legs and arrghs on this ship... better to keep as AC and start feeding laser sharks.

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Re: Uh what?

Also, the fact that the Geek Squad couldn't fix her computer, and she had to buy a new one means that either the "Geeks" don't know how to install an OS or that her computer just died during the upgrade procedure - case of bad luck?

Had a HP AIO machine with something off. When the Win 10 update happened there was also an attempt at a BIOS update soon after (that's what I suspect was happening anyway). The result was that the machine would ONLY boot with a couple of specific RAM modules. It originally presented with HP beep codes suggesting a RAM problem. It was a fluke that I had the appropriate RAM module in stock. If I didn't have that module, I'd have tried a few modules and a few combinations, checked the HP site for specs on what RAM the machine could take (in hopes that while it must have been a motherboard fault maybe a different combination could've worked), and given up and told the customer that their machine was dead and they should try for a warranty or CGA replacement.

You can see my original post at https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/2681764 if you wish.

As to "lost data" and "everything is in windows.old" crapola... I learnt very quickly that when you create a set of backup disks just after doing the 10 update, it would wipe out windows.old (or wherever the recovery data was kept) as a part of the process.

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Re: Uh what?

"I learnt very quickly that when you create a set of backup disks just after doing the 10 update, it would wipe out windows.old (or wherever the recovery data was kept) as a part of the process."
Aaaah, so that's why my rollback to w7 didn't succeed then.

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I am surprised any lawyer would take this case. It is in the US, and in the US, the EULA is a binding contract. This case cannot go anywhere. Have you read that abomination? You basically give up all your legal rights except arbitration.

This is why I don't have to address any of the abhorrent behaviors in Win10-- I refuse to use it based on its EULA alone.

Perhaps they can successfully sue tech sites who recommended Win10 or suggested it wasn't nefarious. I hope so-- maybe it would put an end to shills who parrot the MS propaganda regarding this malware.

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Even if that were true (it isn't), those who were upgraded to Win10 automatically did not agree to the Win10 EULA as they were not guven the opportunity to reject it.

MS (and others) will never go to court to enforce the EULA on a consumer because they might lose, and if they did it would quite possibly be the end of the company.

You don't bet the farm unless you really have to.

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Anonymous Coward

Irony

had a machine running legit Win8.1 Tried update to Win10 several times. Always failed leaving a functional (Classic Desktop) Win8.1 and destroying my download allocation for month. Had to blow disk away after extracting license keys and install Win10 from scratch. Even M$ failures fail...

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Mushroom

Options

a Microsoft spokesperson said [...] "Customers had the option not to upgrade to Windows 10."

Oh yeah, I had that option. I said "No thank you" but you kept asking me every day anyways.

I disabled the start-up items but you kept restoring them.

I deleted the GWX folder but you kept putting it back.

I removed and blocked the updates but you kept putting out new ones.

FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR

ON EVERY COMPUTER I OWN

50 No's and a Yes means Yes.

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