The company, responding to criticism from users that the process was confusing, adds a “decline free offer” option.
Microsoft is giving people a clearer way to say “no” to Windows 10 after the company was criticized for placing the operating system onto people’s computers without their knowing consent.
In a statement emailed to reporters late Monday, the Redmond company said it would add a “decline free offer” option to prompts asking Windows users whether they would like to update.
The announcement follows the news that a California woman won a $10,000 court judgment after she said Windows 10 started loading onto her computer without her consent. The payout is among the most visible examples of customer complaints that Microsoft was too aggressive in its push to get people to use the new software.
Windows 10 was released last year to generally positive reviews and was offered to most users of prior Windows versions as a free update for its first year on the market.
Microsoft’s effort to get people to take them up on that offer began with repeated, hard-to-dismiss prompts, and ramped up this year when Microsoft placed Windows 10 among Microsoft’s slate of security updates that many computers are set to download and install automatically.
Microsoft says users have a choice of whether to get Windows 10 and must OK the update, but many Windows users say the company’s confusing prompts offered no apparent way to decline the software.
Those complaints grew louder last month after Microsoft changed the behavior of the red “X” that appears at the top right corner of an update prompt. The “X,” long used to close a program or abort a process, was interpreted by the Windows 10 update tool as a user’s consent to go ahead with the installation.
Terry Myerson, the chief of Microsoft’s Windows unit, said in a statement that the company had heard feedback that the update process was confusing. A new set of update prompts rolling out this week will change the red X back to dismissing the upgrade prompt for a few days, he said, and will offer users the options to update now, choose a time, or decline the offer.