Microsoft's explanation for pushing Windows 10 upgrades raises questions

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 25, 2016
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

If you follow tech news sites you may have read pieces already on how Microsoft's Chief Marketing Officer, Chris Capossela explained on the Windows Weekly 497 videocast that the company is aware of that it went too far with pushing Windows 10 upgrades to customer systems.

The press, for the most part at least, saw Capossela's comments on the issue in positive light. You can check out the Softpedia article for instance to get a feel for the vibe Capossela's commenting on pushing Windows 10 upgrades caused.

Lets take a look first at what Capossela said (this begins at around 17:40):

And then the last one for me, purely from a marketing or branding perspective [..] was getting to aggressive in pushing out the free Windows 10 upgrade.

We know we want people to be running Windows 10 from a security perspective, but finding the right balance where you’re not stepping over the line of being too aggressive is something we tried and for a lot of the year I think we got it right, but there was one particular moment in particular where, you know, the red-X in the dialog box which typically means you cancel didn’t mean cancel.

And within a couple of hours of that hitting the world, with the listening systems we have we knew that we had gone too far and then, of course, it takes some time to roll out the update that changes that behavior. And those two weeks were pretty painful and clearly a low-light for us. We learned a lot from it obviously.

This explanation raises more questions than it gives answers. Yes, it is sort-of an apology if you look at it.

get windows 10 schedule

The question that Paul, Mary Jo or Leo Laporte should have asked right after Capossela finishing the last sentence is how on earth anyone at Microsoft could think it would be a good idea to change the functionality of the red-X function in the upgrade window.

Extreme Tech's Joel Hruska puts it quite well in stating that Microsoft at the time either thought that changing core Windows functionality would not go too far in pushing the Windows 10 upgrade, or that the company has a serious issue when it comes to -- internal -- criticism of issues (read complains were ignored by executives).

Anyone, with some experience on Windows, and I think Microsoft employees and executives working on Windows have that, should have realized immediately that changing the close functionality of the Get Windows 10 upgrade window to "ok" would be disingenuous and borderline malicious.

Microsoft only had to look at the company's own Windows Dev Center guide on dialog boxes to know that this is wrong:

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.

And that is not even taking into account the previous iterations of the Get Windows 10 Upgrade experience which Microsoft made harder and harder to refuse and ignore.

The second question that should have been asked is why it took Microsoft weeks to undo this particular update. Why did not Microsoft roll back the previous version of the Get Windows 10 upgrade tool instead? This could probably have been done in less than a day after noticing that user complaints skyrocketed.

It would also have been interesting to get Microsoft's reaction on the fallout on "pushing windows 10 too aggressive". Yes, the company got users to upgrade to Windows 10 in large numbers. Some did so willingly, others because they could not stop the upgrade from taking place.

But there is also a part of the company's customer base that Microsoft scared of with its tactics. Long-time Microsoft customers who don't want anything to do with Windows 10 because of how aggressive Microsoft was in pushing Windows 10 to customer devices. The whole privacy and update situation on Windows 10 adds to that.

Some of these customers will probably never upgrade to Windows 10 which means that Microsoft's campaign did lose the company customers as well.

Woody over on Ask Woody thinks this is a major factor that is affecting Windows 10 adaption:

The “Get Windows 10” campaign has done more to destroy Microsoft’s reputation than anything I’ve encountered – and I’ve been writing books about Microsoft products for almost 25 years. The current slump in Win10 adoption, in my opinion, can be traced directly to Microsoft’s heavy-handed jackboot GWX approach.

Closing Words

It is clear to everyone that Microsoft went too far with the Get Windows 10 upgrade campaign. I called Microsoft out for using malware-like tactics to spread Windows 10, and I was not the only one who did that.

Why did Microsoft do it this way? The question is, would not have the free offer been enough to get users to upgrade to Windows 10? Usage numbers would not be as high after the one-year free upgrade period of course, but playing it nice would have avoided burning bridges to existing customers who felt that Microsoft was getting too aggressive in its attempt to get them to upgrade to the new operating system.

Reception would probably have also been better from a marketing perspective, considering that tech sites would not have written piece after piece complaining about Microsoft's upgrade strategy.

Anyway, what is done is done. I'm not sure if Microsoft learned a thing from the whole debacle. Probably not.

Now You: What's your take on this?

Microsoft's explanation for pushing Windows 10 upgrades raises questions
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Microsoft's explanation for pushing Windows 10 upgrades raises questions
Microsoft's Chief Marketing Officer, Chris Capossela's explanation for getting too aggressive in pushing Get Windows 10 campaign raises questions.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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