Grandmothers of the World Unite!

The Computer Corner

Just for the record, I am proud to be a Windows fan boy. I am among the 90 percent plus of computer users who have voted with their pocketbooks to make Microsoft Windows the overwhelming favorite computer operating system on the planet. While I really love the Windows product, over the last few months I have come to a point when I have started to hate the company that makes it. This is a love-hate relationship I have shared with Apple for years. Apple’s products are the definition of elegance, but the practices of the company that makes those products leaves a lot to be desired.

What has transpired over the last year to change my opinion of Microsoft is Windows 10. I like the newest version of the Windows operating system. It is what an overwhelming majority of computer users will have in the years to come. It is an improvement in many ways over previous versions. What I do not like is having it aggressively crammed down my throat by Microsoft Corporation before I am ready.

Starting last August, Microsoft began encouraging users of Windows 7 and 8.1 to upgrade to 10 for free. This urging became more aggressive over the following months, as Microsoft employed pop-ups advertising the free upgrade. Then it stepped over a line by hiding their pop-up ads in recommended Security Updates. Windows 10 is not just an unobtrusive Security Update; it is a complete change of the user experience.

Knowing that Microsoft promised in writing on their website that Windows versions will be supported for a decade (specifically until January 10, 2023 for v8.1), some users elected to postpone getting Windows 10 until later. Microsoft responded with the heavy-handed tactic of introducing a nonstoppable, non-hideable advertisement trying to trick customers into upgrading now. Then in May, Microsoft silently changed the ad so that if the user clicks on the [X], attempting to close the ad box, they were actually agreeing to install Windows 10—and the update begins! This deceit and dishonesty on the part of Microsoft Corporation is absolutely indefensible.

Microsoft has basically declared war on all the grandmothers of the world. Readers will know to whom I refer; these are the non-techie users who are flummoxed by change and do not want a new Windows version just so they can struggle over another learning curve. They just want to use the computer for the few things they know how to do, and for the computer to work the same today as it did yesterday.

Not wanting to endure the frustrations of having to learn how to use the computer all over again, grandmothers could take some comfort in knowing that Microsoft promised they could use their computer as-is for years. Microsoft is actively working to renege on that promise. Some users are pushing back against Microsoft’s tactics. Next week I will explain “grc.com/never10.”

Charles Miller is a freelance computer consultant, a frequent visitor to San Miguel since 1981 and now practically a full-time resident. He may be contacted at 044 415 101 8528 or email FAQ8 (at) SMAguru.com.

 

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