IN THE last few years, the INQUIRER has been on something of a crusade over the way Microsoft conducts itself over Windows.
Sure, we accept that for many people, Windows 10 was a free upgrade, and that ‘Windows-as-a-Service' (shudder) comes at a price. But we've felt for a long time that Microsoft is taking a crapload of liberties with that position, and thus, Updategate as a term was born.
You might recall, we told story after story about people who had either had their computers go tits-up or been charged for gigabytes of excess data because Windows 10 had downloaded itself in the background.
Since then, we've had a regular stream of complaints about the compulsory nature of Windows Updates in Windows 10 for the same reason. But Microsoft's answer up to now has been the Metered Connections toggle, buried deep in the settings, which by triggering, you put a stop to background downloads until you're somewhere you can safely do them for free.
Well, stand by for another sh*tstorm, Microsoft, because it looks like you're about to make people very angry all over again. And thus, like the steely-eyed parent who looks at his child, sent home from school for not playing nicely for the umpteenth time, it's the INQ that will once again say "You never learn, do you?"
According to Supersite for Windows, the latest Insider build of Windows 10, which is more or less the release candidate for the Creators Update assuming all is running to plan, contains a rewording of the rules about updates, that thankfully, the eagle-eyed Insiders have noticed.
"We'll automatically download and install updates, except on metered connection (where charges may apply). In that case, we'll only download those updates required to keep Windows running smoothly."
Woah, nelly. Not this old chestnut. The fact is, what Microsoft thinks is "running smoothly" and what a user might think is "running smoothly" are two very different things. Add to this that if it takes a 6GB of download to keep "running smoothly" then Microsoft have just given themselves permission to do it.
One of the big features of Windows 10 is the bone of contention that most users have lost granular control over their updates, and it looks like Microsoft is taking advantage of this again.
Now, to be clear, this is the Insider build. It's not a public build and therefore they may be planning to remove this from the Creators Update final. But we suspect not, and once again, we face the prospect of Microsoft screwing customers by acting arbitrarily and claiming it's in our best interest.
Come on, Microsoft. We thought you were over this and it now seems you were just getting started.
Microsoft has responded to the story, saying in a statement: "We don't plan to send large updates over metered connections, but could use this for critical fixes if needed in the future." µ
It's like someone just gave you a millionaire's shortbread, and added extra caramel
A promise that should never have been needed.
Suddenly your security device is the most nickable thing in the house