Microsoft adjusts Windows 10 upgrade after users complained they were duped

A computer screen shows features of the Windows 10 operating system at the Microsoft store at Roosevelt Field in Garden City, New York July 29, 2015.

Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

The users complained they were duped -- and Microsoft listened. The company is making changes to the way it offers its new Windows 10 software after confusing pop-ups prompted users to upgrade, sometimes when they didn't intend to.

People with the old Windows 7 or Windows 8 operating systems received pop-ups on their screen offering them free upgrade to Windows 10 -- which will no longer be free after July 29, when it will be priced at $119. For many users, the free update is a good deal. But for some with older machines or incompatible software, it may cause problems.

The pop-ups themselves caused all kinds of confusion. When users clicked the red "X" in the upper-right-hand corner, thinking they had declined the offer, Windows 10 would instead begin to download automatically. Closing the window apparently was an "agreement" to upgrade to the newer software, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Now that has been changed. This week, Microsoft altered the pop-ups to include different, clearly labeled download options -- "upgrade now," "choose time," and "decline free offer."

"The new experience has clearer options," Terry Myerson, Microsoft's executive vice president for Windows and Devices, said in a statement. "If the red-x is selected on this new dialog, it will dismiss the dialog box and we will notify the device again in a few days."

The deceptive pop-ups led to some serious problems. Earlier this year, a California woman won $10,000 in damages from Microsoft in small claims court after her Windows 7 desktop downloaded Windows 10 without her knowledge. The woman, Terri Goldstein, runs her own travel business and found that her computer slowed down and ultimately crashed, leaving her unable to recover files crucial to her work, the Associated Press reports.

Getting as many people as possible to download the new software is a major priority for Microsoft. Last year, the company announced that it set a goal of hitting 1 billion Windows 10 devices by June 2018. Microsoft said it hit the 300 million threshold of devices with Windows 10 back in May.

The new software promises to be more secure, pushes Siri competitor Cortana more in the spotlight, and also emphasizes Microsoft Edge as the go-to Web browser, CNET reports.

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