IT LOOKS LIKE we spoke too soon. We reported yesterday that Microsoft had crossed the line into actually bundling nagware with security updates, and said that the fix was aimed at consumers, sparing the big bucks customers. This was by degrees an admission that the company knew that what it was doing was, to say the least, a bit off.
It now turns out that enterprise customers have their own piece of nagware to contend with. In another tip-off to InfoWorld's Woody Leonhard, it now appears that corporate users are being shown nag screens shaming their bosses for not upgrading them to Windows 10.
There are a number of problems here. Firstly, this is as pointless as telling the cow that the milk in your tea has curdled. What exactly is Microsoft expecting? Thousands of workers to complain to HR that they don't have the latest update to Windows?
Seriously, it actually says (and we're quoting a screen grab): 'Your system administrator has blocked upgrades on this PC [the scoundrel!]. Check with your system administrator about upgrading this PC to Windows 10. Are you a system administrator? You can customise this app to get your organisation upgraded to Windows 10. Find out how.'
Holy moly. If we were running the system administrators' trade union we'd be straight on the phone to Redmond to tell them to cut the hate speech. These guys have enough on their plates dealing with people who infect their terminals with Cat who Haz Cheezeburger without getting hundreds of phone calls asking why they haven't got Live Tiles on their Start Menu.
Secondly, upgrading to Windows 10 in a corporate environment needs time, care, planning and viability checking. If a company deems it appropriate to upgrade, it needs to do it at its own pace, not one set by nagware because it suits Nadella's proud boasts about adoption.
Thirdly, and this is the really big one, Microsoft promised that it wouldn't do this. Some users reported that the GWX (Get Windows 10) app was downloaded onto their teams' machines months ago and has only just been deployed.
Others have said that it's just appeared, but either way it's just plain wrong, especially as it goes against Microsoft's assurances that it would not pester people whose machines were on a domain and using the WSUS update server that gives system admins supposedly granular control over what gets seen and what doesn't.
It seems, according to one Redditor, that the rule has been changed for those running Windows Professional. Those on Windows Enterprise aren't affected so far, although we'll need to get that corroborated. Either way, it's another classic example of Microsoft moving the goalposts. First it was downloading, then the nag screens, then the end-of-life for chips, now this.
If it does turn out to be true, it's a calculated move to ensure that companies are using what Microsoft deems to be the 'right' version.
This is no accident. The wording makes that very clear. This is Microsoft out and out caught in the act not only of infecting paying users' computers with a form of malware, but actually proving that the firm doesn't care about scruples, even for the people who will have to pay for Windows 10.
Arrogant? Definitely. Malicious? Certainly. A worrying precedent for a company that still has the lion's share of the worldwide computer market? To quote Alan Partridge, Abso-bloody-exactly.
Microsoft will doubtless tell us that it's for our own good. But what this, and yesterday's payloads, reek of is a systematic, contemptible megalomania by a company that is dangerously close to getting a class action law suit fired up its 'learn to love Windows' jacksie.
If you've woken up this morning to hundreds of emails chastising you for not doing the right thing by your employees, we'd love to hear from you. µ
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