You wouldn’t want to work in the PR part of Microsoft’s Windows 10 team right now.
That’s curious, because you might think it would be their Golden Era at the moment.
After all, what’s not to like about Windows 10?
Windows 10 is more secure than all previous versions of Windows – it is, it really is! – and it gets security updates more frequently, and with shorter delays, too.
For years, Microsoft was as good as blamed for the problem of malware, thanks to the ease with which malware could be written and distributed for Windows.
(Whether you like to hear it or not, Windows was never significantly less secure than most other desktop operating systems, but it was very, very much more widespread, so it attracted the lion’s share of attention from hackers and cybercriminals.)
Worse still, the detractors said, every time Microsoft produced a newer, shinier, more secure version to make our world a safer place…
…the company went and demanded that we pay for it, despite all the security bugs it was supposed to fix from the previous releases.
This one’s free
Well, Microsoft changed that attitude when Windows 10 came out, offering the upgrade for free.
Indeed, it’s still free, at least until 29 July 2016, after which you’ll be paying about £100 for the privilege.
But instead of earning praise, Microsoft ran into trouble almost immediately.
Firstly, a rather vocal minority wanted to stick to the now-discontinued Windows XP, and saw the drive to Windows 10 as an attempt to push their old-school favourite even further into the background.
Secondly, Microsoft decided to “pre-download” Windows 10 onto many people’s computers to make it easier to upgrade later on, because the 3GB of needed data would already be there, ready to install with a simple click.
Anyway, just when you thought it was safe to go back in the Windows update water…
…and along comes a widely-derided popup that not only sells you on the idea of Windows 10, but also tells you when it will be installed, and thanks for listening:
Image from Microsoft via the BBC
Most of the media articles we’ve seen about this have been deeply uncomplimentary: a quick search reveals headlines calling this dialog by names such as a nasty trick, a dirty little trick, a devious new trick, and deceitful.
Heav’n has no rage like love to hatred turn’d / Nor Hell a fury, like an XP user scorn’d.
What’s wrong with the popup dialog above?
If you actually read it, it pretty much tells it like it is, even though you might not like what you see if you take the time to understand it.
Note, however, that if you click the [X] button at top right, all you do is to dismiss the notification, rather than declining the update: the [X] means “close the window” and not “reconfigure what you just saw.”
The only button-sized option, [OK], is the no-need-to-click default; to decline or to reschedule the update, you need to click on the highlighted word “here”.
Have your say
What do you think?
Is this a positive step for security or a trap for the unwary?