How Microsoft copied malware techniques to make Get Windows 10 the world’s PC pest • The Register

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  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Windows 10 interrupts a live TV broadcast with an unwanted upgrade

    Ever since Microsoft made Windows 10 a recommended update there have been numerous reports of the new operating system installing itself without user consent, and without much warning.

    Microsoft has always played down this behavior, but an example of how the OS pushes upgrades on unsuspecting users was earlier today shown live on TV during a weather forecast.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Microsoft has been conning Windows users for two months

    It’s interpreted closing a Windows 10 offer’s window as authorizing an upgrade since at least late March

    Microsoft has been using a deceptive tactic to dupe Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users into upgrading to Windows 10 for at least the last two months, according to the company’s website.
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    An oft-revised support document that Computerworld cited in a May 16 story about Microsoft’s aggressive upgrade practices spelled out the workings of a pop-up notification that Windows 7 and 8.1 users had been seeing. The notification told those customers — primarily consumers, but also many small-to-mid-sized businesses — that the free Windows 10 upgrade had been pre-scheduled by Microsoft.

    The same document also acknowledged that those who clicked the red “X” in the upper-right corner of the pop-up were approving the scheduled upgrade.

    “If you click on OK or on the red ‘X’, you’re all set for the upgrade and there is nothing further to do,” the document stated.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Opinion by Preston Gralla
    How Windows 10 became malware

    Any software — even a premier operating system — that gets onto computers through stealth means has crossed over to the dark side

    “Windows 10 just hijacked my computer,” she complained. “Without asking, Microsoft upgraded me from Windows 7, even though I didn’t want Windows 10, and I had to wait for the installation to finish before I could get any work done.”

    I asked her whether she had accidentally clicked “OK” on any upgrade notifications, ignored any warnings that she had received or gotten any other notices about the upgrade. No on all counts, she answered before leaving to wrestle with her new operating system.

    Turns out, she was right. And I wasn’t the only tech writer whose spouse had this experience

    All this made me wonder: If software from any other company behaved the way the Windows 10 upgrade does, would it be considered malware?

    Last year Microsoft installed its Get Windows 10 app on millions of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs. It alerted people that they could “reserve” the free upgrade if they wanted. When the app popped up on people’s PCs, they could close its window and block any action it might take in the time-honored way of clicking on the X in the upper right of the dialog box.

    Since then Microsoft has gotten increasingly aggressive in getting people to upgrade to Windows 10. It began stealthily downloading the bits required for the upgrade to PCs automatically without telling people. And then this spring Microsoft sprung a trap. When the upgrade app appeared, if someone clicked the X in its dialog box in order to close it and cancel an upgrade, Windows did the exact opposite of what the person intended to do: It upgraded that person’s PC to Windows 10. Microsoft did that even though the app always behaved in the opposite way before then, which is pretty much the way any legitimate app behaves — closing a dialog box and canceling any actions.

    When Microsoft made that change, it violated its own recommended design guidelines, notes Computerworld’s Gregg Keizer.

    The company writes on a website devoted to design guidelines, “The Close button on the title bar should have the same effect as the Cancel or Close button within the dialog box. Never give it the same effect as OK.”

    In this case, that’s exactly what clicking X did: gave it the same effect as OK.

    So is the Windows 10 upgrade malware? One place to look for clues is in Microsoft’s document, “How to prevent and remove viruses and other malware.” That document warns, “Never click ‘Agree’ or ‘OK’ to close a window that you suspect might be spyware. Instead, click the red ‘x’ in the corner of the window or press Alt + F4 on your keyboard to close a window.” And it defines spyware, in part, this way: “Spyware can install on your computer without your knowledge. These programs can change your computer’s configuration or collect advertising data and personal information.”

    So let’s see: The Windows 10 upgrade downloads its bits to your PC without your knowledge. It changes your computer’s configuration. By default, Windows 10 collects advertising data and personal information. And if you try to stop the upgrade by doing what Microsoft tells you to do with every other application — click the X on its dialog box — it installs anyway.

    Sounds like malware to me, malware that forces a Windows 10 upgrade.


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