MICROSOFT HAS GIVEN The INQUIRER some 'useful' information about how to avoid an unwanted image of the new Windows 10 operating system on your computer.
So far, despite our requests, Microsoft has declined an interview to clear up users' concerns, but has offered this handy advice to help you prevent it. This is despite the fact that most people have had it already happen, making the advice a bit post-horse stampede door.
But just in case your computer has been off, or you've escaped so far, here's Microsoft's advice: "... customers can control how Windows Update downloads and installs updates, including the ability to receive notifications before downloading updates. These capabilities can prevent customers downloading updates which may cause them to exceed their data capacity allocation."
Many complaints came from people who had gone over their data allowance as a result of the download. Here Microsoft advises Windows users (at least in Windows 8.1) to tell the OS that they are on a metered connection.
"Windows 8.1 customers can manually specify a network as metered by: 1. Select Start > Settings > Network & Internet. 2. Select Wi-Fi > Advanced options > Set as metered connection," the firm said.
As far as we know, that isn't an option in Windows 7, but if anyone knows a way we'll update.
"Windows Update checks that a user has sufficient free disk space before downloading this or any other update. Windows 8.1 does not automatically download updates or apps if it detects that your PC uses a metered connection," Microsoft said.
Interesting. But who defines 'enough'? It would make more sense not to have downloaded it. However, we haven't had what we would call a satisfactory answer to that discourse yet.
If you've already got the files and you have no intention of updating yet, Microsoft has got your back here too.
"Customers can also remove the Windows 10 upgrade files if they need to. Users who want to free up disk space on their device can use the Disk Cleanup utility. Those who remove the Windows 10 upgrade files can upgrade later," is the advice.
Let's give Microsoft its due here. Windows 10 is a great operating system and we really like it. But the advice given above should have been transparently given in a way that made it clear before downloading.
The INQUIRER is many things, but it shouldn't need to be an instruction manual for Windows, and the fact that we are having to be further legitimises our doggedness in covering the story.
We've had some comments that this is 'old news' and that the information can be found if you look for it. We're speaking up for the vast majority of people who don't read every Knowledge Base article.
Perhaps the most ironic part of all is that many people are crying out for more information about the updates being installed in Windows 10, which are now silent. So to say 'you should have read up on it' to Windows 7 and 8 users is massively hypocritical.
The silent upgrade, Windows-as-a-service model relies on trust, and it's in short supply at the moment. Stunts like this are only going to make matters worse.
We've gone back to Microsoft again with a list of your questions and hope that pester power will produce a statement.
Meanwhile, Mike Wallace of Sleeping Bear Computer Care in Maple City Michigan, who originally flagged up the story to The INQUIRER, has been back in touch with a collaboratively compiled fix for the problem that includes an assurance that it won't come back, and we're happy to share it over the page. Act on it at your own risk. µ
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Tens of people inconvenienced