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Windows 10: The 10 biggest controversies and surprises in 2016

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Windows 10: The 10 biggest controversies and surprises in 2016

From unwanted upgrades to snooping on users, the biggest storms that whipped up around Microsoft's flagship OS this year.


Microsoft revised Get Windows 10 prompt.

Image: ZDNet / Microsoft


Windows 10 has been dogged by various controversies since soon after its release.

Anger about Windows 10 rarely dies down for long, and this year Microsoft has faced backlashes about the OS's approach to privacy, upgrades and user control.

Here are the biggest storms that whipped up around the OS in 2016, and one example of how Microsoft sometimes does listen to its users.

'Tricking' users into switching to Windows 10

Early in the year, Microsoft faced a fierce backlash over changes it made to get Windows 7 and 8 users to upgrade to Windows 10.

The company was accused of effectively tricking people into upgrading to Windows 10, by changing the design of the user prompt for its Get Windows 10 app, the software which scheduled upgrades from Windows 7 and 8.

Microsoft altered prompt so that clicking X to close it caused the user to effectively agree to a scheduled upgrade to Windows 10, rather than dismissing the upgrade as had previously been the case. The change put Microsoft in violation of its own user experience guidelines for developers on how to design dialog boxes.

Following widespread criticism, Microsoft reversed the decision and changed the pop-up so clicking X once again dismissed the upgrade.

It wasn't the only unpopular decision Microsoft made this year, during the company's aggressive campaign to grow Windows 10's userbase. The firm also made Windows 10 a recommended update for Windows 7 and 8.x users, which resulted in the upgrade process automatically initiating on most home machines. 


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