Two suits — one in Florida, another in Israel — are seeking class-action status.
Microsoft is facing two lawsuits seeking class-action status related to the company’s campaign to get people to use Windows 10.
Three Florida men sued Microsoft in U.S. District Court in Florida on Friday, saying Microsoft’s Windows 10 update prompts violated laws governing unsolicited electronic advertisements, as well as Federal Trade Commission prohibitions on deceptive and unfair practices.
Microsoft was also sued last month in district court in Haifa, Israel. That suit, which is also seeking class-action status, alleges Windows 10 installed on Windows users’ computers without their consent. That, the suit alleges, violates Israeli computer law.
In a statement, Microsoft said “we believe the plaintiffs’ claims are without merit and we are confident we’ll be successful in court.”
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The company said updates to Windows 10 are a choice, not a requirement, and that Microsoft offers free customer support for those who run into trouble. People who update to Windows 10 can roll back to their prior system for 31 days afterward, Microsoft says.
The lawsuits follow complaints from Windows users and longtime Microsoft watchers for what some said were pushy or deceptive prompts to update to Windows 10, the version of the Redmond company’s dominant personal computer operating system released in July 2015.
Microsoft offered most users of prior Windows versions a free update for the first year after the software’s release (the offer expires Friday), and encouraged users to say yes to the offer with hard-to-dismiss update prompts, some which didn’t feature an obvious “no thanks” option. The company this year placed Windows 10 among the automatic slate of security updates that, for many users, are set to download and begin installing automatically.
Earlier this year, a California woman won $10,000 from Microsoft in small claims court after alleging Windows 10 tried to install without her consent, damaging the computer she used to run her business.
Microsoft has said it denies wrongdoing in that case, and dropped its appeal to avoid the expense of further litigation.
After complaints, Microsoft last month changed its update prompts to include a “decline free offer” button.
Richard Chosid, the lawyer who filed the Florida lawsuit for plaintiffs Ahmad Al Khafaji, Ahmad Abdulreda, and Robert Stahl, said in an interview that each man had Windows 10 appear on his computer without their consent.
“Microsoft’s marketing scheme falls short of certain protections which must be afforded,” the complaint said, claiming that the damages owed to consumers who have struggled with the new software may total tens of millions of dollars.