With just eight days to go before the official July 29 launch of Windows 10, Microsoft is receiving a battering from critics who say the software end-user licence agreement (EULA) that will accompany it includes a feature that many users will hate.
The EULA shows that, once Windows 10 is installed on a PC or other device, Microsoft will automatically check the user’s system and download any system or app updates. There is no way to prevent or stop the updates.
While that has advantages for many users, critics say Windows 10’s forced automatic updates won’t simply cover security patches – they cover anything Microsoft wants to put on users’ PCs. This can range from new software and services to changes to core features and functionality.
In Australia, David Richards notes for Channel News that Win10 is “a massive upgrade that will chew up bandwidth and force upgrades on consumers whether or not they want them.”
“The big US company which wants to become a cloud based services company, charging consumers billions every year for programs and services that sit on top of the new free Windows OS, is also going to know everything about you after you have been forced to give them details such as name and e-mail address.
“They will get your State and location from the ISP delivering broadband to your home by pinging the IP address that the new free upgrade is being delivered to .
“Windows 10 . will also suck up bandwidth, as it is downloaded to computers: the Windows Update system that will deliver big upgrades cannot be turned off.”
But he notes: “Professional and Enterprise versions of Windows 10 will be given more control over the installation of updates.”
In the USA, Microsoft has announced that some versions of Windows 10 will be available on USB flash drives. However the USB sticks won’t be available until the end of August.
Microsoft has yet to confirm how much the USB drives will cost, though it is taking pre-orders via Amazon.
Windows 10 will be a free update for existing Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users. Users of earlier versions and new users will have to pay, and will be able to choose between a digital download, DVD or USB delivery.
But everyone will be subject to the automatic updates.