A CALIFORNIA woman has set a precedent after a court ruled that she was entitled to damages over the installation of Windows 10 on her machine.
Teri Goldstein, a travel agent, testified that the new operating system had auto-downloaded, started to install, failed, and left her Windows 7 computer running painfully slowly and often unusable for days.
"I had never heard of Windows 10," Goldstein told reporters. "Nobody ever asked me if I wanted to update."
Microsoft's support staff couldn't identify the problem, so she sued for lost wages and the cost of a new computer.
Goldstein won, and has become the first Updategate victim as far as we know to get some cash out of the company.
Microsoft originally appealed, but later dropped any objection and paved the way for a $10,000 payout.
Microsoft denies any wrongdoing, of course, as it has throughout, and claimed that paying Goldstein off was cheaper than further litigation.
It's therefore safe to say that there hasn't been any remorse on Microsoft's side, that it stands by its aggressive policies, and that, if there were to be any class action, it would probably fight more aggressively.
However, Goldstein has successfully set a precedent. Even without a culpability admission, Microsoft has made a payment to someone who claimed to be unaware of Windows 10 and to not understand the upgrade process.
It also shows that the people who claim that upgrading has borked their machine are most likely telling the truth.
All of which means that a clever lawyer with enough incentive could make life very difficult for Microsoft, which has come in for repeated criticism for its handling of the Windows 10 upgrade process.
The news comes a month and two days before the free upgrade process ends and users will be required to pay £99 for the latest operating system. But at least Microsoft has assured us that this will also mean an end to the nagging. µ
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