Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) was hit with a class action lawsuit last week led by three residents of Illinois who claim a Windows 10 update destroyed their data and damaged their computers.
According to a report in ZDNet, citing the lawsuit, the claim centers on Microsoft’s offer that ended in July in which Windows 7 OS users could upgrade to Windows 10 for free. The Windows 10 upgrade program, which went on for a year, has resulted in a slew of complaints from competitors and another lawsuit in which a small businesswomen in California was awarded $10,000 by a judge this past summer.
Microsoft Facing Class Action
The class action lawsuit contends Microsoft cost users their time and money because they had to deal with Microsoft tech support, replace hardware and fix software that no longer worked after upgrading to Windows 10. The class action suit has more than 100 plaintiffs and is seeking $5 million or more in damages. That figure, noted the report, excludes costs and interest. Stephane Watson, a lead complainant in the lawsuit, told ZDNet that she didn’t choose to upgrade to Windows 10 and when it happened all of her data was gone. She hired a company to fix the machine, but when they weren’t successful she was forced to buy a replacement computer. Two other plaintiffs, Robert Saiger and Howard Goldberg, accepted the Windows 10 upgrade offer and as a result both lost data, time and money fixing the systems or replacing them after the OS upgrade. The lawsuit alleges Microsoft was aware of the problems with the upgrade and that it could result in lost data and damage to hardware. (See more: Microsoft Confirms Update Is Coming To Windows 10.)
This isn’t the first time Microsoft has gotten hit with a lawsuit over its Windows 10 upgrade program. Ever since the software giant started forcing Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users to automatically upgrade to Windows 10, complaints have been swirling. Early on in its Windows 10 upgrade efforts, Microsoft wasn’t aggressively forcing customers to switch, but according to media reports, it eventually forced users to upgrade by making it automatic. Users complained they would get Windows 10 upgrade notifications that didn’t give them the option to dismiss the prompt.
Giving Users More Control
In the case of the California woman ,who in June was awarded the $10,000, her small-business computer was damaged after an unauthorized Windows 10 upgrade. Her problems happened during the early days of the upgrade program, not when Microsoft released automatic updates later on in its efforts to get people to switch. Microsoft didn’t appeal the California case and hasn’t commented on the class action lawsuit. It did say earlier this month that while it designed Windows 10 to automatically keep devices up to date with its upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update, it is giving more control to the users.
“Downloads will have less impact on device performance while they are in progress. You should experience fewer reboots, which will reduce the likelihood that an update will be installed at an inopportune time,” said Michael Fortin, CVP of Windows and Devices Group Core Quality, and John Cable, Director of Program Management, Windows Servicing and Delivery at Microsoft, said in a recent blog. “You will have considerably more flexibility when specifying the best time to install updates on your devices.”