'Which?' is one of the UK's largest and best-known consumer advocacy groups, an independent organization that informs the public on consumer rights and issues, and offers impartial advice on buying new products. Today, the group has criticized Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system, as well as the support the company provides to its users, after receiving complaints from many of its customers.
Some of those complaints related to Microsoft's aggressive approach in encouraging Windows 7 and 8.1 users to get a free upgrade to its OS. Many were frustrated at being repeatedly "nagged" by the upgrade prompts, and some said that the upgrade installed despite their attempts to decline the offer. The free Windows 10 upgrade offer ended on July 29, and Microsoft finally began removing the 'Get Windows 10' app from devices this week.
But while that offer is no longer available, other issues were also highlighted by the group:
Once [Windows 10 was] installed, people reported various problems, including printers, wi-fi cards and speakers no longer working with their PC; instances of lost files and email accounts no longer syncing; and, most significantly, their computer encountering such problems that they had to pay someone to repair it.
Some similar issues have been reported since Microsoft released its Windows 10 Anniversary Update last month. Shortly after its rollout began, there were widespread reports of PCs freezing up - an issue that was only fixed earlier this month - and millions of webcams were also incapacitated by the update.
Which? noted that many users have been less than satisfied with the support offered by Microsoft when their PCs have encountered difficulties: "There have also been complaints about poor customer service from Microsoft when users contacted the company about the problems they are having."
Microsoft told BBC News that it offers a range of solutions to customers needing assistance: "Customers have distinct options. Should a customer need help with the upgrade experience, we have numerous options including free customer support."
But Which? director of campaigns and policy Alex Neill said that Microsoft isn't doing enough to provide the level of support that users expect and need:
We rely heavily on our computers to carry out daily activities, so, when they stop working, it is frustrating and stressful.
Many people are having issues with Windows 10, and we believe Microsoft should be doing more to fix the problem.
The complaints published by Which? today relate to a survey of 5,500 of its members back in June, so some concerns - like those relating to the free upgrade offer - are less relevant than they once were.
But some of those complaints remain more immediate. In recent days, it emerged that some owners of Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 have been experiencing battery issues, which in some cases are preventing the device from being used unless plugged in. Those affected say that the problems began after installing either a Surface firmware update or the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, and claim that Microsoft support has told them that they have no option but to pay up to $450 for an out-of-warranty replacement.
Source: BBC News