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Microsoft faces new lawsuits over aggressive Windows 10 free upgrade push

On Friday, Microsoft will end its year-long Windows 10 free upgrade offer for Windows 7 and 8.1 users. The company has faced widespread criticism over its approach to encouraging users to upgrade to its latest operating system, with many accusing the firm of making the process of declining that offer needlessly difficult and confusing.

That criticism has spread around the world, including China, where there have been murmurs of possible legal action over Microsoft's upgrade efforts. Last month, a woman successfully sued Microsoft in California, winning $10,000 from the company after an automatic Windows 10 installation failed, causing issues for her PC. Microsoft did not admit any wrongdoing in that case, saying that it chose not to appeal to avoid further legal costs.

Now, Microsoft is facing further legal action over the handling of its free upgrade offer, both at home and abroad. As The Seattle Times reports, three men filed a lawsuit against Microsoft in the US District Court in Florida last week, claiming that the frequent 'Get Windows 10' upgrade prompts were in violation of laws regarding unsolicited electronic advertising, and potentially in breach of Federal Trade Commission regulations on 'deceptive and unfair practices'.

Microsoft is also being sued in Haifa, Israel, over allegations that Windows 10 was installed on PCs without their owners' consent, which the lawsuit argues is contrary to Israeli law.

Both of these lawsuits are seeking class action status, which - if awarded - would open up the company to considerably wider, and costlier, litigation than dealing with a handful of individual cases.

In a statement, Microsoft said: "We believe the plaintiffs’ claims are without merit and we are confident we’ll be successful in court.” It also emphasized that Windows 10 upgrades are optional, not mandatory, and that users can roll back to their previous OS version within a month of upgrading to Windows 10 if they wish.

Source: The Seattle Times

Timeline: Windows 10 free upgrades

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