Microsoft will never again sneakily force Windows downloads on users

There have been various controversies with Windows 10, from issues with privacy and telemetry, to ads and forced upgrades. Following a court case, Microsoft has vowed to never force upgrade files onto users again.

Windows users in Germany were particularly unimpressed when Microsoft forcibly downloaded many gigabytes of files to upgrade from Windows 7 and 8 to Windows 10. Having held out for 18 months, and losing its case twice, Microsoft has finally agreed to stop its nefarious tactics.

After a lengthy battle with Germany's Baden-Würtenberg consumer rights center, Microsoft made the announcement to avoid the continuation of legal action. A press release on the Baden-Würtenberg website reveals that Microsoft has announced it will no longer download operating system files to users' computers without their permission:

Microsoft will not download install files for new operating systems to a user system’s hard disk without a user's consent.

The consumer rights center hoped for this resolution to be reached much sooner, but Microsoft's decision will please the courts and could have a bearing on how the company acts in other countries.

The announcement is described as "a success for consumer rights in the digital world," and it brings to a close one of Windows' darker periods. But some people are already asking whether feature updates to Windows 10 fall under the same banner, and wondering whether these will have to be treated in the same way.

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