Microsoft Corporation has claimed victory with the launch of Windows 10, but the firm’s struggle to recover from the disaster that was Windows 8 is not over yet. Microsoft thinks security and consistency should be the key elements of its latest OS, and it’s willing to let consumers pay for the damage that policy causes.
Microsoft may have allowed Windows 7 users to upgrade to Windows 10 for free, but that’s not where the story ends. Microsoft forces Windows 10 users to accept many updates. The core updates will force themselves onto your machine even if you don’t want them. In a world of data caps, that’s just not acceptable behavior.
Microsoft charges users for updates
A flat policy on updates was thought, it seems, to be a good solution to the issues that Microsoft has faced many times over the last twenty years. Many users aren’t updating frequently enough, and they’re leaving themselves open to both attack and software issues as a result.
Making software for Windows costs more because of the plethora of versions of Windows that exist in the wild. By forcing users to update, and doing it even if they don’t like the look of the software Microsoft wants to install, Satya Nadella’s firm is able to get around that problem.
Consumer groups have already brought this problem to the world’s attention. EFA executive officer Jon Lawrence said that the policy was harmful in many cases.
“In this context, where internet access is both painfully slow and seriously expensive, these forced updates are almost literally forcing people off the internet and are resulting in massive excess data charges,” he said earlier this week.
In Australia a 4G plan with a 4GB cap on downloads costs $35 per month. Each additional megabyte costs the user one cent. The groups were concerned that users would not take into account the 3GB upgrade to Windows 10 when counting their data usage, and may not realize they’ve already used their allowance for the month on the update.
Australia is of particular concern because of the cost and distribution of internet access. many users rely on slower connections, or connections delivered over satellite or wireless.
Microsoft takes control
The Microsoft push to make Windows 10 the same as itself is all about control. Windows 10 is Satya Nadella’s instrument of control, and without a flat update structure the OS may be worse than useless to the Microsoft he wants to build.
Analysts like Heather Bellini of Goldman Sachs and Walter Pritchard of Citigroup have warned that Windows 10 is nothing but a weight around Microsoft’s neck. Now that free updates risk hurting the way that users see Microsoft, their fears may turn out to have been based in solid reasoning.
For those with good web connections and no problem following Microsoft orders on updates, the Windows 10 plan is great. For those who like to keep their machines in their own control, or have problems finding an ISP that treats them fairly, Windows 7 still gets free updates, but users can decide when they want to install them.