Windows Update in Windows 7, with the optional Widnows 10 update on by default - Image Credit Ars Technica
Windows 10, Microsoft's latest operating system, is a free update for most current Windows 7 and 8 users. It is supposed to be an optional update as well, but Microsoft has been increasingly pushing for more and more users to install it.
Updates in Windows are delivered through Windows Update. In Windows Update, there is a section for optional updates, such as Windows 10. The issue is that recently, even though Windows 10 is supposed to be optional, Microsoft has been checking the install box next to "Upgrade to Windows 10" by default, as seen in the above image.
What this means is that a user can be fooled into installing Windows 10 on their computer without their knowledge, simply by choosing to install other updates on their computer and not noticing that the Windows 10 update is already checked.
Thankfully for those who remain loyal to Windows 7 or 8, you can avoid automatically installing Windows 10 on your system by simply unchecking the Windows 10 box before you install your other system updates. So, before installing any updates to your computer, make sure you read what you're updating.
The question of whether or not the option to install Windows 10 being enabled by default was an accident remains unanswered, although Microsoft claims it was. But, just how could Microsoft accidently enable a way to slyly trick users into upgrading their computers?
The likelihood of this being an accident is extremely slim. Since Microsoft wants as many people as possible to upgrade to Windows 10 . This "mistake" actually sounds like a legitimate strategic plan that Microsoft would have to get more people to adopt its latest operating system, since it has already been forcing users to at least download the Windows 10 installer.
Ars Technica contacted Microsoft inquiring about the default checking of the Windows 10 update, and Microsoft responded with the following statement:
As part of our effort to bring Windows 10 to existing genuine Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 customers, the Windows 10 upgrade may appear as an optional update in the Windows Update (WU) control panel. This is an intuitive and trusted place people go to find Recommended and Optional updates to Windows. In the recent Windows update, this option was checked as default; this was a mistake and we are removing the check.
According to InfoWorld, Microsoft's above statement is a blatant lie. This is because InfoWorld claims to be in possession of a screenshot taken on October 9 with the upgrade to Windows 10 box checked. As pointed out by InfoWorld, since Microsoft's recent Window's update came out on October 13 and the screenshot was taken on October 9, Microsoft must be lying about accidentally checking the Windows 10 installation box by default.
Based on the aforementioned evidence, it is highly probable that Microsoft purposefully tricked its users into getting Windows 10. You may think that this is not necessarily a bad thing, but forcing an operating system on users can have many negative repercussions.
For instance, certain software that is optimized for older operating systems may not work properly on newer operating systems such as Windows 10, which would cause many issues for the user. The impact of the software not being compatible with the operating system would be even greater if the software is critical to the user's professional, school, or personal life.
Although Windows 10 may be a great operating system, it is not ethical for Microsoft to force it on its users. Hopefully this will be the last time Microsoft will trick its users, by accident or not, to install its latest operating system.