Woman Wins $10K for Windows 10 Upgrade

Unwanted upgrade left her computer unusable
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2016 7:42 AM CDT
Woman Wins $10K for Windows 10 Upgrade
A laptop running Windows 10.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

A California travel agent has won $10,000 from Microsoft after she says her computer attempted to download Windows 10, then became unusable. Teri Goldstein says she called Microsoft's technical support, read support forums, and visited a Microsoft store in August 2015 after her computer began to crash and require multistep workarounds just to log in. "For months I tried to work with them, but they kept blowing me off," she tells Computerworld. At times, her email was inaccessible and some customers chose to take their business elsewhere, she says. Goldstein, who says she never consented to the upgrade, filed a claim in Marin County's small-claims court in January, armed with evidence of $17,000 in lost wages and the expense of new computers. She was awarded the maximum of $10,000 last month, reports the Seattle Times.

Microsoft—which says users must approve the Windows 10 upgrade and agree to a license agreement—didn't admit wrongdoing, and a spokesperson said the company ditched its appeal to avoid an expensive court fight. Analysts say the company is getting increasingly aggressive as it pushes to have 1 billion devices running Windows 10 by 2018, with the goal of having fewer Windows versions to support. At ZDNet, Mary Jo Foley writes that Microsoft is making it "convoluted and difficult" for people, especially those who aren't tech savvy, to opt out of the upgrade. Microsoft says it's "continuing to listen to customer feedback and evolve the upgrade experience." (The company just made a massive, big-name purchase.)

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