Surprise! You May Have Windows 10 on Your PC Even if You Don’t Want It

User choice? How quaint.

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Sep 11 2015, 2:26pm

Image: Microsoft

Microsoft is facing criticism this morning after it emerged that the company forced Windows 7 and Windows 8 users to automatically download, though not automatically install, Windows 10 even if these users said they didn't want the upgrade.

While Windows 10 was generally well-received by critics (I use it on a PC I built, and it's fine!), the storage space (to say nothing of the potential bandwidth cost) required to download the update is not insignificant, generally weighing between 3.5GB and 6GB. What's Microsoft's justification for directly flouting the express wishes of these users who declined to upgrade to Windows 10? It's trying to be helpful, of course.

"For individuals who have chosen to receive automatic updates through Windows Update," Microsoft said in a statement, "we help upgradable devices get ready for Windows 10 by downloading the files they'll need if they decide to upgrade."

Windows Update typically pushes out security patches and the like, not multi-gigabyte operating system upgrades.

Microsoft was keen to stress that while the Windows 10 update file may be automatically downloaded, actually upgrading to the new operating system is still entirely the choice of the user.

This isn't the first time Microsoft has run into criticism regarding Windows 10, with privacy activists taking issue with certain aspects of the operating system, including the amount of data required to use Cortana, the company's Siri-like digital assistant, and how it stores encryption keys.