Microsoft has today started rolling out the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, the largest update yet of the latest iteration of the operating system.
There are lots of things people like about Windows 10 and the Anniversary Update includes a few more features. There is Windows Ink for easier note-taking with a stylus and a greater focus on the virtual assistant Cortana being just some of them.
See also: How to fix Windows 10: Blue Screen of Death
But there’s also little that’s quite as divisive as Microsoft in tech and Windows 10 itself has not been without controversy. For starters, many consumers have complained that Windows 10 was installed without their permission – with pushy prompts on Windows 8 bullying users into downloading the operating system, sometimes with disastrous results.
See also: Windows 10 for business: Pros and cons for enterprise users
To celebrate the rollout of the Anniversary Update, here are six of the worst Windows 10 gaffes to date.
1. Windows 10 fails: Windows 10 interrupts anti-poaching operation in the Central African bush
Image: Flickr/Jared Goralnick
Reddit user Zambuka42
took to the /r/technology subreddit to complain Windows 10 began downloading itself without express permission – which could have scuppered the tracking and coordination of anti-poaching rangers in the field. The organisation pays for its satellite internet by the megabyte, but the user complained just one of its computers had “secretly” downloaded 6GB for Windows 10. “I am absolutely livid,” the poster concluded.
And consumer groups
reported users in other remote territories like the Cook Islands and parts of Australia were having their bandwidth crippled by forced updates, while some were hit with enormous excess data bills.
2. Windows 10 fails: Microsoft blocks Google integration with Cortana, makes Cortana mandatory
Image: Flickr/Martin Deutsch
Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana is supposed to be a big draw for Windows 10. But in April this year, the company made it so Cortana would only conduct searches through Microsoft Edge and Bing. And now with the Windows Anniversary Update, you can’t turn Cortana off at all in Windows 10 Home and Pro (but you can log out of the service).
3. Windows 10 fails: IT staff prefer Windows 7
It’s a typical challenge for any rollout, but workers at businesses are far less keen on Windows 10 than their bosses, according to a
survey from Spiceworks. The study found that while most businesses that had picked up Windows 10 were generally quite happy with it, IT professionals surveyed way preferred Windows 7 – with 69 percent of those workers plumping for the ancient OS over Microsoft’s newest.
4. Windows 10 fails: French privacy watchdog barks at MS for dodgy data collection
Image: Flickr/Sunny Ripert
France’s Chair of the National Data Protection Commission, similar to Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office, issued a formal notice to Microsoft that it must stop collecting so much data on its Windows 10 users without their consent.
In the notice, issued 20 July, the CNIL accused Microsoft of collecting irrelevant or excessive data on the user. She also said that data was being transferred outside of the EU improperly and complained of poor security for authenticating online services with a PIN, the enabling of targeted advertising without consent, and no option to block cookies. The
CNIL gave Microsoft three months to fix the problems.
5. Windows 10 fails: Microsoft pays out $10k settlement in forced update case
Image: Flickr/Randal Cooper
Microsoft settled to the tune of $10,000 when travel agent Teri Goldstein took the Redmond company to court over lost wages. Goldstein claimed her PC began upgrading to Windows 10 without her consent, and when the update failed, it ruined her computer, which would sometimes take days to start up. She claimed customer support were unable to fix the problem, and although Microsoft denies that it did any wrong, the
Seattle Times reports the firm halted an appeal to avoid the expense of further litigation.
6. Windows 10 fails: mandatory auto-updates cause computers to crawl, break apps
In April, two
automatic updates to Windows 10 – KB3147461 and KB3147458 – caused grief for hundreds of users who took to Microsoft’s Community forums to complain. Some said that the updates simply wouldn’t install, while others claimed they prevented programs and apps from working. Users reported that basic third party software like Google Chrome would no longer run at all and others said that their systems had almost crawled to a standstill.