Win­dows 10 law­suit

‘Claims are with­out merit,’ Mi­crosoft coun­ters.

PC Advisor - - CONTENTS - Gregg Keizer re­ports

Three peo­ple from Illi­nois are tak­ing Mi­crosoft to court, claim­ing that the free Win­dows 10 up­grade they had in­stalled on their PCs caused “data loss and dam­age to their com­put­ers”.

Lawyers for the trio asked a Chicago fed­eral court re­cently to grant the case class-ac­tion sta­tus, which would al­low other Amer­i­cans to join the lit­i­ga­tion.

“Many con­sumers have had their hard drives fail be­cause of the Win­dows 10 in­stal­la­tion,” al­leged the com­plaint. “Many con­sumers have had their ex­ist­ing soft­ware and data ren­dered in­op­er­a­ble by the Win­dows 10 in­stal­la­tion.”

All three of the plain­tiffs as­serted that af­ter ac­cept­ing the free Win­dows 10 up­grade – a one-year deal that ran from 2015 to 2016 – some data on their Win­dows PCs had been de­stroyed. One said that she had had to pur­chase a new per­sonal com­puter af­ter the one up­graded to Win­dows 10 was crip­pled.

Howard Gold­berg of Chicago had a par­tic­u­larly tough time with the Win­dows 10 up­grade. “Af­ter three at­tempts to down­load Win­dows 10, each of which tied up his com­puter for ex­tended pe­ri­ods of time, Gold­berg’s com­puter was dam­aged, and Win­dows 10 was not ac­tu­ally down­loaded and func­tional,” the com­plaint read. “Gold­berg con­tacted Mi­crosoft about the prob­lems, and was told his com­puter was out of war­ranty, and that he would have to pay them for any as­sis­tance with the prob­lems. Gold­berg there­fore had to have some­body re­pair the com­puter to make it func­tional.”

Many of the plain­tiffs’ com­plaints re­sem­bled the gen­eral malaise widely re­ported dur­ing the one-year up­grade plan. For ex­am­ple, the law­suit cited the in­sis­tent on-screen up­grade nag no­tices Mi­crosoft placed on con­sumers’ Win­dows 7 and 8.1 desk­tops, the lim­ited-time win­dow when the PC could be rolled back to its pre­vi­ous op­er­at­ing sys­tem, and the shifty re­ver­sal of the close-win­dow op­er­a­tion in a crit­i­cal di­a­log box.

“We be­lieve the plain­tiffs’ claims are with­out merit,” a Mi­crosoft spokesper­son said in a state­ment. It also pointed out that “cus­tomers had the op­tion not to up­grade to Win­dows 10” and added that users also could con­tact the com­pany’s free tech­ni­cal sup­port.

Oth­ers have taken Mi­crosoft to court over Win­dows 10. In July 2016, three Florida men al­leged that the com­pany “co­erced” them into up­grad­ing to Win­dows 10 and that the “un­in­ten­tional” up­grades dam­aged their PCs. That case was dis­missed ear­lier this year.

Also in 2016, a Cal­i­for­nia woman took Mi­crosoft to small claims court, where she was awarded $10,000 af­ter she con­vinced a judge that an unau­tho­rised up­grade to Win­dows 10 had crip­pled her work com­puter.

The law­suit asked that Mi­crosoft pay both ac­tual and puni­tive dam­ages.

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