I keep seeing posts on Facebook and stories on websites about how Microsoft Windows 10 is getting installed on people’s system without their permission.

Nope. Wrong. Ain’t happening.

You may have heard that Microsoft lost a lawsuit about this, or that they were “fined” $10000 over it.

Nope. Wrong. Didn’t happen.

Yes, there was a lawsuit. Microsoft was sued by a California real estate agent in over this and settled out of court for $10k. They didn’t lose the suit in court, and there was no fine.

The bottom line is, if Windows 10 is getting installed on your system, then it’s absolutely because you gave permission. The problem is that people don’t pay attention and that granting that permission may have already happened long before the upgrade actually happened.

The Windows 10 “Update”

A lot of the controversy here is because before the upgrade actually takes place, Windows shows the user a message, like this:


If you actually bother to read it, the message is very clear. The Windows 10 upgrade is already scheduled to occur on the date shown. This update is scheduled automatically because of the Windows Update settings on that machine. Settings which you, at some point, had to say “yes” to.

But I Closed The Window Without Clicking Upgrade!

Some people are making the argument that clicking the red “X” at the top right corner should close the window without taking any action.

The problem with that argument is that’s EXACTLY what it does. The upgrade is ALREADY scheduled and simply closing the window doesn’t UNSCHEDULE it. In fact, the window clearly gives you an option to CANCEL the upgrade.

It’s not really Microsoft’s fault if you can’t be bothered to read the message and click the link to cancel if you don’t want to upgrade. The problem really boils down to the fact that some people are just too lazy to read a few lines of text.

The real estate agent who brought forth the lawsuit claimed to “had never heard of Windows 10” so it seems pretty obvious we’re not really dealing with a power user here. In fact, it’s rather hard to take such a claim seriously given the amount of media coverage each new version of Windows sees.

Her complaint was that the upgrade “rendered her computer unusable”. However, that’s as much detail as we get about her computer. There’s been nothing in any version of this story to indicate that there was actually any genuine problem after the upgrade. My guess is that the upgrade went perfectly fine, and that she was simply confused by the different colors and menu choices.

Not Microsoft’s Fault, But They Could Have Done Better

Arguably, Microsoft should have realized that people are lazy and that many wouldn’t read the message. And clearly, this real estate agent isn’t a particularly advanced user. When you combine these things, it’s practically guaranteed that there will be problems.

With that in mind, it’s probably a mistake for Microsoft to install the upgrade without any last-minute “Yes, please do it now” button, and in fact they’ve changed things so that the upgrade is not scheduled to happen automatically. Now the window comes up and gives you the option to upgrade, rather than giving you the chance to cancel an already-scheduled upgrade.