A month from now, Microsoft's offer of a free upgrade to Windows 10 will expire.
While 300 million users have made the switch — to what is deemed "the most secure version of Windows" — the software company continues to get a bad rap because of its automatic updates.
Users of Windows 7 and 8.1 have complained for months about the sneaky Windows 10 free upgrade prompt. The notifications suddenly pop up, urging users to install the latest OS, even if they have never heard of, or are not interested in, Windows 10. And, at times, the upgrade initializes automatically.
Microsoft Loses $10,000 Lawsuit Over Unauthorized Windows 10 Upgrade
One recent example, as Tech Times reported, is travel agent Teri Goldstein whose business lost $17,000 after an unauthorized Windows 10 upgrade crippled her computer. She was later awarded $10,000 in a small claims court in California.
Industry observers such as Paul Thurrott have criticized Microsoft for its "deception." When a dialog box appears, he claims, the red "X" button that is designed to "close" the prompt misleads users into agreeing to the update.
Clearer Wordings In Upcoming Update
All this bad press lately may have compelled Microsoft to rethink the wording in its new notification. The three options in the upcoming update will now be clearer: "Upgrade now," "Choose time" or "Decline free offer."
"This week, we'll launch a new upgrade experience for millions of PCs around the world," says Terry Myerson, Microsoft's EVP for Windows and Devices. "If the red X is selected on this new dialog, it will dismiss the dialog box and we will notify the device again in a few days."
The system will, however, keep prompting users to install the latest OS in the future.
Microsoft brands the Windows 10 upgrade as a "Recommended Update," and there is good reason for the company to push this iteration of the software to 1 billion users. Windows 10 adds extra layers of protection against identity theft, phishing, viruses and other malware.
Making The Switch To Windows 10
"Windows 10 is one of the smartest, most consistent and well-thought-out Windows updates in a decade," writes Lance Ulanoff of Mashable, "and it pains me to see people rejecting an operating system that would likely improve their digital lives."
"But there's also a thing called free will and people have a right to just say no," he adds.
Amid the flood of complaints, however, Windows 10 does offer some nifty features, from the return of the Start Menu and introduction of Continuum, thereby improving interface, to the addition of the personal digital assistant Cortana to the desktop.
The free upgrade to Windows 10 expires on July 29.