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Windows 10 – Taking Tricks from Malware

Windows 10

 

Microsoft has been long pushing its users to jump aboard the Windows 10 train. But have they crossed the line?

Tech writer for Computer World, Preston Gralla, explains how Windows 10 took over his wife’s computer, installing the Windows 10 update without her permission. Gralla was understandably skeptical when his wife came into his office frustrated with Microsoft and complaining about the new update. How could the largest software platform, installed on PCs and Laptops alike, just blatantly ignore a users preferences and install new software without permission?

Microsoft has been aggressive in it’s attempts to get users to upgrade to Windows 10 before July 29th. Pop-ups began to appear on user computers urging them to update, but the action could be easily blocked with a quick click of the X in the pop-up window. Sounds just like any other pop-up, easy enough to understand. It started when Microsoft began quietly downloading the bits needed for the Windows 10 upgrade without telling users. Then this spring, Microsoft took it one step further. Changing everything we users know to be true about the X button in the upper right corner of any pop-up, Microsoft flipped the script. When the upgrade app appeared on user screens, and a user decided to click the X in the top right corner to avoid the installation, Microsoft did the exact opposite of what the user intended, taking a NO for a YES and installing Windows 10 on the user’s PC. Extremely frustrating to anyone thinking they had just avoided that action.

As Computer World’s Gregg Keizer points out, Microsoft violated it’s own recommended policy by changing this action on their upgrade app. Microsoft advises developers to maintain the action of clicking the X to close a dialog box to halt any action the box might take. Microsoft writes on it’s website for design guidelines, “The Close button on the title bar should have the same effect as the Cancel or Close button within the dialog box. Never give it the same effect as OK.”. Well, What the bleep Microsoft. You did exactly what you advise others not to do, giving the action of clicking X the same effect as OK.

Preston Gralla points out the painful resemblance of Microsoft’s shady acts to that of malware. Microsoft’s document  “How to prevent and remove viruses and other malware.” warns, to never click agree or OK to close a window suspected to be spyware. Instead Microsoft advises to click the red X in the corner of the window or press Alt+F4 to close the window. Hm. Even more ironic, Microsoft defines Spyware, “Spyware can install on your computer without your knowledge. These programs can change your computer’s configuration or collect advertising data and personal information.”

Well Microsoft, let’s make a list.

  • The Windows 10 upgrade downloads bits onto a user’s PC without permission or knowledge.
  • Changes a user’s computer configuration to meet the agenda of Microsoft.
  • By default, Windows 10 collects advertising data and personal information.
  • If a user tries to stop the Windows 10 upgrade, by doing exactly what Microsoft advises users to do with any other application, click the X in the right corner of the dialog box if you do not wish to receive the upgrade, the upgrade installs anyway!

If these tricks were tried by any other company, especially with malicious intent, I would be writing a blog post about a new form of Malware. It appears Microsoft has taken notice to the aggressive push of malware and tailored a few of these features to benefit the push of the latest Windows 10. Not even Microsoft can advise users and developers to do one thing and then employ the complete opposite when it is to their benefit, eventually one of us is going to realize something fishy is going on. Windows 10 is not malware, and upgrading isn’t going to crash your computer or hold your data hostage. However, being upgraded to a new operating system is a lengthy installation that can have significant consequences for the user. Some applications may no longer work with the new OS, the length installation means time taken away from the work day, and learning a new OS is not particularly thrilling to most of the population. Not to mention the violated feeling most will endure when they find out Microsoft ignored their preferences and installed the upgrade anyway.

Take your own advice Microsoft.

 


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit:How Windows 10 Became Malware