As Windows 10 approaches its first anniversary, our anonymous PC retailer is not happy with the operating system and its attempts to get Windows 7 and 8 users to upgrade…
Last year I wrote a piece on why I thought Microsoft was taking a big gamble with its free upgrade offer.
It’s almost been a year and this follow up article should have been about the OS, what progress has been made, to explore if a uniformed Microsoft platform was still hocus-pocus, and if I was going to have to eat my own hat, of course. However, all this has been over shadowed by ‘updategate’.
Microsoft’s ‘free’ upgrade offer further fuels the fire of distrust in our already untrusted industry. Worse yet – this can be misconstrued as the new way of doing business. Have we really lost the plot?
Microsoft, there is a cloud over your Windows 10 head, regardless of its successes! Never could I imagine that the upgrade was going to be in my opinion so borked, so flawed and so broken. What a bloody nightmare. Calling it a gamble would be an understatement.
"The real problem is not even with Windows 10 and adopting it. Windows 10 has its positives and Microsoft has clearly made changes in the right direction. The problem is with continually being nagged to upgrade and Microsoft seemingly changing the rules on how to cancel the upgrade."
The experience should be an eye opener to the rest of the world, this is what happens when a huge organisation puts all its eggs into one big cloud basket that can’t fail. This is not business, this is a desperation to colonise. We joked about these Orwellian times, but this is no joke – it’s an unpalatable reality. Microsoft has truly become the dark overlord Sauron.
It makes me think – maybe the orcs (employees) at Microsoft had been watching too much Lord of the Rings, saw it as a business lecture and took the ring verse to heart:
'One OS to rule them all, One OS to find them, One OS to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them, in the Land of Microsoft where the shadows lie!'
The true reality for us indies is that we have seen our loyal customers come to us regarding this matter, which is leaving a bitter taste in the mouth. We have had customers horrified that their computer, which was working the night before, has automatically been possessed by some tech poltergeist.
At best, the upgrade is just buggy and the attempts to go back are just inconvenient. However when it fails, its fails miserably, from links to the recovery drive being corrupt to the point your system (with an NVIDIA-based GPU) fails to boot and is left in such a way that it resemble being bricked. This is all caused by the negligence of not having the right drivers, a focus on pushing the dammed OS and profits over customers. What a schoolboy error, Microsoft.
Why should I have to explain to my customer why this has happened and why this is nothing to do with us?
Some customers are furious: they never wanted or asked for Windows 10 to be installed. One customer was so fuming that they wanted to know if they could take action against Microsoft and the retailer that sold/endorsed the product, in this case a major UK High Street chain.
They want compensation, not only for the cost of repair but for all associated losses and expenses that have incurred. Imagine the true cost to our economy if this is happening to most Windows systems, especially in critical sectors such as healthcare and government. This intrusion has gone a step too far for the customer, some have lost all trust in Microsoft.
But Microsoft will have you believe that this is all above board, as you agreed to the T&Cs, that you have agreed to receive updates to its operating system automatically, especially given that many of them relate to keeping the system safe. But in my opinion this is wrong and a copout. It is not an update, but a whole new operating system.
After all, can Microsoft legally challenge and say that you agreed to something when you didn't know what you were agreeing to? I say no.
Without trust, our industry is nothing and if we don’t stand up, we are the problem and our customers will walk away. All organisations big and small need to respect the power of the crowd and one tainted brush will mark us all. We complain about cowboy computer shops and service companies, but what about vendors who do the same. Surely can I not question them in the same way I would an indie, or is this just double standards?
We need to regulate this industry ourselves, before it’s too late. We cannot allow 'too big to fail' tech firms to walk all over us. Turning to another brand is not a solution, but further cementing the problem. Technology companies play a big role in our lives, some would say more than government.
What has disturbed me more is that Microsoft does not encrypt your files, but to the layperson, when their computer does not turn on (as it’s effectively bricked), the effect is the same. They don’t even know if their data is gone or not, it’s just dead. Furthermore, it’s difficult for Microsoft to even know for sure if the upgrade does not damage or tamper with the customer’s data, as there are too many variants of systems and hardware, as they are sadly finding out.
"The true reality for us indies is that we have seen our loyal customers come to us regarding this matter, which is leaving a bitter taste in the mouth. We have had customers horrified that their computer, which was working the night before, has automatically been possessed by some tech poltergeist."
Does this now prove a case for the closed architecture model, like Apple, where updating an OS is a piece of cake and you are instantly gratified with a new OS which is sleek, cool and more importantly, relevant to your needs? Of course not. Going back to the stone age of proprietary hardware and software is not only crazy and undemocratic, but will totally destroy our industry!
The real problem is not even with Windows 10 and adopting it. Windows 10 has its positives and Microsoft has clearly made changes in the right direction.
The problem is with continually being nagged to upgrade and Microsoft seemingly changing the rules on how to cancel the upgrade. From extreme removal and blocking the update to how specific buttons behave, such as the ‘X’ on the pop-up. Microsoft seems to be constantly changing the rules, causing confusion (akin to the misdirection of a magician) and increasing the chance for the wrong option to be picked, but the right one for Microsoft.
The whole thing has become a game of cat and mouse and it is really hurting some of our customers. If this is how Microsoft wants to prove to its critics and competition that they will get to a billion users by 2018, it really does show how much of an impact we are having on them and at what cost they are willing to go to achieve their goals.
If these are the signs of things to come, then surely in my opinion Microsoft is doomed!