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Microsoft Lawsuit Claims Windows 10 Upgrade Wiped Data & Damaged PCs

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

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The Redmond company is under fire for the way it drove Windows 10 upgrades

Microsoft has come under fire from a trio of Illinois, US citizens who have filed a lawsuit against the company claiming a Windows 10 upgrade wiped their data and damaged the their computers.

In a filing made to the US District Court for The Northern District of Illinois Easter Division, the plaintiffs, Stephanie Watson, Robert Saiger and Howard Goldberg, alleged that Windows 10 is a defective product and that Microsoft failed to provide an adequate warning of the risk involved in applying an upgrade it pushed out.

Windows 10 update woes

Windows 10 Microsoft Wallet 3The complaint levied at Microsoft accused the company of failing ot exercise reasonable care in the design, creation and distribution of Windows 10.

“As a result of its failure to exercise reasonable care, [Microsoft] distributed an operating system that was liable to cause loss of data or damage to hardware,” the complaint said.

The complaint specifically blames the free upgrade to Windows 10 that Microsoft pushed out to encourage people to adopt its latest operating system. It blames the lack of a button to dismiss the dialogue box that prompted Windows users to upgrade as a catalyst for users inadvertently installing Windows 10 on their computers.

The filing details each how the Illinois trio either inadvertently or after being nagged elected to install Windows 10 on their computers only to have the update to wipe their data and case system damage.

It noted that the Windows 10 installer does not check if software on the machine is compatible with Windows 10 or if a hard drive can “withstand the stress of the Windows 10 installation”. According to the filing many consumers have suffered from hard drive failures, data loss and software inoperability from upgrading to Windows 10.

While the Windows 10 launch may not have been plain sailing, with questionable tactic on prompting users to upgrade from older operating systems, it did give away a core part of its software portfolio for free, and Windows 10 is now seen as a solid operating system.

With this in mind, Microsoft does not appear to be too fussed about the case being levied against it.

“The Windows 10 free upgrade program was a choice designed to help people take advantage of the most secure, and most productive Windows,” a Microsoft spokesperson told The Register.

“Customers had the option not to upgrade to Windows 10. If a customer who upgraded during the one year program needed help with the upgrade experience, we had numerous options including free customer support and 31-days to roll back to their old operating system. We believe the plaintiffs’ claims are without merit.” 

Time will tell if Microsoft can brush this filing aside or if it will end up feeling the force of an Illinois district court.

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