FINNISH AUTHORITIES have slammed Microsoft's 'Get Windows 10' (GWX) app that aggressively pushes the updated OS to Windows 7 and 8 users.
The Finnish Consumer Authority has criticised the app, which was silently installed as part of a Patch Tuesday release and became the enabler of what became known in these parts as ‘Updategate'.
The watchdog said that, as we've always maintained, 'you should have read our blogs' is not sufficient defence for downloading an operating system without the user's consent. Microsoft had argued that the GWX app was a "recommended update". Our experience showed that not only was it almost impossible to avoid, but if you removed it, it kept coming back like an unflushable turd.
As reported by Betanews, the Finnish authority also criticised the underhand way in which the ‘X' box, which in every other instance in every other version of Windows means 'Close', was repurposed to mean 'alright, start downloading anyway, I'll install later'. This made it almost impossible to avoid the download, which crippled devices with smaller storage space and cost users on metered connections significant amounts of money.
The Finns also labelled GWX a 'direct marketing tool', which is a polite way of saying that it was adware, something else that we've also said all along.
At the time, we tried repeatedly to get Microsoft to come up with a rationale for its actions, but generally got a lot of 'our users tell us' marketing guff back.
The GWX app was the start of Satya Nadella's new approach to ‘Windows-as-a-Service'. Today, we're all getting used to the idea that Windows will try and push the Edge browser on us at every opportunity, and keeps checking out satisfaction scores.
We're not saying it's right, we're just saying that it is a thing now.
At the time, people weren't geared up for these new marketing techniques, Microsoft hadn't established people's boundaries and went far too far. They are now a lot better about letting people opt out of settings - if you can find them.
What's surprising is that the rest of the EU and the US authorities haven't made more of the techniques like GWX used in Microsoft's ultimately failed attempt to get everyone defragmented as quickly as possible. µ
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