Consumer Group Attacks Windows 10 Failings

John Lister's picture

A British consumer group charity has slammed Microsoft over Windows 10. It says it's received more than a thousand complaint from users disappointed with the upgrade. The report comes from "Which?" (also known as the Consumers Association) - an organization similar in concept and operation to Consumer Reports in the United States.

In many cases, the complainants said they either felt nagged to get the upgrade, or had it installed against their will. The organization said that for many of its members, "Windows 10 has been foisted on them like an unwelcome house guest." (Source:

Non-Microsoft Software 'Disappears'

It also reported what it called a "laundry list" of complaints from people using the new system. These included compatibility problems with both internal components such as wireless network cards and speakers, and external peripherals, such as printers.

Other complaints included files and data disappearing and email accounts no longer syncing. Some users said non-Microsoft software such as rival antivirus packages had been forcibly uninstalled. Others said Office 2010 had disappeared, meaning they had to search for their original packaging and license to reinstall it again.

Most significantly, some users reported their computers were slowed down so significantly or stopped working completely that they had to get them repaired.

Group Has A Million Members

To put the 1,000 complaints into context, "Which?" reports that it has 680,000 members who subscribe to its print publication and 335,000 who subscribe online. Following the complaints, it carried out a survey of 5,500 members and found 2,500 had upgraded to Windows 10, of which 12 percent have since gone back to an earlier version. (Source:

The organization is calling on Microsoft to follow local law in offering compensation to those users who've been "adversely affected" by the update. It also wants Microsoft to do more to highlight the fact that it offers free official support online and on the telephone, with "Which?" noting that many users are wary about not being sure if such support services are genuine or a scam.

What's Your Opinion?

Does a thousand complaints sound like a serious issue, or is it only a drop in the ocean among around a million members? Have you suffered any adverse effects from upgrading to Windows 10? Should Microsoft have done better with the system, or is it simply impossible to make software that works as designed on every single PC?

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Dennis Faas's picture

Speaking from experience, any major operating system upgrade performed from within the desktop environment (as opposed to a clean install) needs to have the antivirus uninstalled or disabled in order for the upgrade to go smoothly. Also, many of the antivirus products simply were not ready for Windows 10, so to have Microsoft disable these programs was the right move to make in my opinion, with the user being able to reinstall their antivirus at a later time. That said, a lot of folks simply won't see it that way.

Navy vet's picture

I'm still waiting for a fix for Cortana and my webcam. Both worked fine before the Anniversary Update, but not anymore.

jamies's picture

I have a working/development 64bitwin10-pro system that I was trying to keep at the pre-anniversary level - with policy set to ask about updates so I could take backups before they were applied - rather than a backup of them installed and awaiting a restart to fully implement the changes.

I started to get a banner panel across the middle of the screen, and access to all other activities stopped until I selected the 'do-it' button on the panel.
The first time I used the wallswitch, the second time - after the wallswitch getout, I contacted MS chat line support, where the 'Technician' told me - It's not from MS - and I should select the [Dismiss] action -
YES I really wanted whatever would be installed by activating a link on a pop-up.

My later investigation indicated it was from Microsoft, and was taking over the system whenever there were fixes to be applied -

So - I have a choice - accept the changes, or not use the system for more than about 10 minutes from power-up.

I have accepted the fixes and the 'feature update' that turned out to be a 5 hour update to the anniversary edition, (there's a lot of apps on the system) in the hope that would stop it happening.
(Can't say fix the problem - because it's a 'feature', not a 'problem')

And - it's still happening - So, when it does happen - and at that time, I'm usually having 'Defender' update definitions, so the 'accepted' update fails as there is already a Windows-Update' session running - and I get interrupted again - about 30 minutes to an hour later.

Basically, I am being forced to accept the updates in order to be able to use my PC.

Now - I admit I have NOT contacted the Which Consumer support organisation -
OK - I did not consider it would have any effect on the Microsoft organisation that seems to be ignoring the wishes of it's customers (clients?) and not bothering with maintaining any 'appropriate for users' quality assurance.

Seems to be that user views and reports are being filed away, rather than considered by any level of management with the authority to change the way Microsoft is doing things -

I'm just waiting for the day when the fixes shipped and installed on user systems stops such a large number using their systems that the US courts get a class action requiring compensation to all effected users for the inconvenience stress and loss of business use they suffer -
100 million? users at a minimum of $1000 each should - perhaps cause someone in the management to consider a change in policy.

Or maybe another 500M fine from the EU for their 'restrictive practices'

doliceco's picture

People who purchase computers should have absolutely no problems installing anything they have currently -- hardware and software -- on their new systems. If MS (and the other big personal computer system) can't deliver operating systems that install without any problems they should hire more professional and knowledgeable people like yourself, Dennis, to work out all of these bugs before they offer and certainly before they FORCE this or any other defective and incompatible O/S on the public.

It's about time someone started a class action suit against MS for the trouble and time it has taken the plaintiffs to deal with the problems WIN 10 has caused, time to work, hardware & software to have to replace, and everything else about this dog of an operating system. Or let the governments, who are mandating "certain kinds" of security in all new O/Ss pay the all the bills for all of the fixes that have to be made.

I've disabled all automatic updating and only install security patches I get from MS after examining them; because I have no intention of allowing them to let this Win 10 attack dog of theirs into my own personal dog house. I have also decided and am saving up to be able to trash my existing computers and upgrade in the future to non-MS systems.

You, Dennis, really should advise anyone who is not a person who has your expertise in working with computers and software, to do the same thing I am doing.

martian's picture

you said: "I have also decided and am saving up to be able to trash my existing computers and upgrade in the future to non-MS systems."

seems like Linux would work for you, with free distros.
you could do it today

Troika's picture

1000 reported problems is not insignificant, as there will be many more cases where folk have either given up and reverted to an earlier version, or are still struggling, or have implemented work-arounds, and have considered it useless to comment as Microsoft has a reputation of never listening.

I now have more computers NOT running Windows than those which are, and the balance is likely to swing further. Microsoft are making Apple salesmen's jobs even easier, and encouraging the more adventurous to sample the delights of Linux, where the user has so much more control.

Doccus's picture

HArdly a "drop in the bucket", as they only queried 5500 members , only half of which were using Windows 10. 1000 complaints out of 2500 users is HUGE, and a serious issue. Taken as a representative ratio, that would make it 200,000 members with serious complaints.
I call this a complete failure of a software release. And to think , when Win 7 first came out, I was going to switch from Apple because of their smothering approach to users.
Since Windows 7 is likely to be completely deprecated soon, and 10 will be the only installable option, I might try installing 7 as a second OS on the mac, but switch completely?
No way, now.

matt_2058's picture

While 1000 complaints is a large number, it's not all that much.

Unsolicited complaints?
.001 or .1% (1K out of 1.15M). A 0.1% complaint rate would be incorrect since not all members voiced opinion one way or the other. And there's probably overlap with some members subscribed to both publications. Did they receive complaints from non-members? By reversing the numbers to a 99.9% satisfaction rate takes things out of context and is eyewash.

Survey results of 5500 members:
2500 upgraded for a 45.45%
300 (12%) of the 2500 upgraders reverted to older version. But they didn't say why. Complaints about new version or familiarity with older version?

I doubt there is any consumer software that has a 0% complaint rate. Would requests for features in a next revision be considered a complaint since it is lacking a feature?

And on top of that, there is just too many variables for the software to work with, whether it is hardware or other software. Apple's control of apps almost guarantees compatibility with the OS and hardware. Windows, and Android, do not exert that kind of control (and censorship) over software.

Anybody remember having to manually alter configsys and autoexec files just to get your new software to run? Having multiple configsys and autoexec setups because some software required resources normally used by other items? Having to reboot to use a software package and then reboot again for 'normal' use? I'm sure if a person did that kind of fiddling and driver manipulation, they could get an obscure device to work with Windows 10.

It would be nice to see a MS approved "Windows xx" compatible label on devices and software. That would make things really easy.

jamies's picture

First thing to consider is that a large number of PC users are not using windows-10.
Then that many of the windows-10 users are very basic users - tablet or phone mode
Then that many windows-10 users do not actually run programs on the system- but use the system as a means to access the web - browser and - so they do not do anything with the PC itself - it' a black-box maintained by Microsoft, and they, never having used any other system than their phone are not aware of how much control microsoft has of their device.

And - then consider that - while there may be many millions of people who are members of the organisation it is a consumer support organisation not a pc user support organisation -
It deals with the viability usability appropriate construction and chemical content and safety of things like:
childrens soft toys,
garden tools
hand tools
power tools
kitchen white goods
household appliances
mattress stuffing and chemical treatment inserts
bank and savings accounts

Basically everything you may consider purchasing, using, or that may be provided for your use or effect your life and living conditions.

So - of those millions of users - you really need to consider the number of complaint reports as a factor of how many will be windows-savy users - even to the extent of knowing the difference between a windows 10 and a windows 7 or 8 system, just by using the device it's running on.
And how many will complain to such a general service organisation as opposed to a computer support group.

ecash's picture

The more little things you notice..
as of win 7..they removed MANY features that were before..
There is a strange one..
the notice bar on the bottom...CANT CHANGE COLORS..
some are white, some are black and they dont change.

There are a TON of features that are on CELLPHONES...which MOST desktops Dont need/want/require..

This all supports what iv said to many friends..MS is trying to make everything compatible..With Xbox/cellphones/desktops..
Which Could be a good things, EXCEPT this is an interface for a Tablet/cellphone..
Apps store REALLY sucks mostly..little progs designed for Callphones and Tablets..
No matter what you do, MOST updates and changes would need Changes for EACH hardware environment..
I want my Gadgets from Win7 back.. Why should I wait for SOMEONE to remake the apps.

Which is another REMOVE backwards compatibility..get rid of all the excess.
Would make this an optimized OS...FOR A TABLET..

I would really love it, that MS would stick to OS..and leave the rest alone..we can get our OWN environments, or MAKE them..

ecash's picture

Windows defender, finds a program and Quarantines it..
Look what this says..

"TrojanDownloader:Win32/Zlob.gen!BL is a generic detection for a trojan downloader member of the Zlob family. It installs a BHO (Browser Helper Object) in the system. It may also modify the default browser search engine to redirect searches to a certain web site."

It found a Data on my system to recover computers..Which removes this type of virus..
It even says so...WHy is it TRYING to quarantine it??

jamies's picture

The process ( well it did, and possibly will still ) allow you to specify the action to take when suspect entries are found -
Quarantine is probably the better option as it allows you to decide if you believe the assessment (it ain't always right) and want that deleted, or if you know it is wrong and you do not want the thing deleted.
You have the option of leaving it 'quarantined' or restored to it's original location.
And - until YOU specify what your assessment and wish is, the file is made inaccessible and un-runable.

Now, I have recently had a check of my system report that I have malware -
A trojan access and other malware:
One is an old system recovery facility for getting files back from deleted partitions)

Another is a registry scanning and data extraction facilities - creates a txt type file of entries in the registry - note how many helpful people include .reg files to do for you what they describe as ways to get windows working better.
Well - it could, I suppose, be extracting encrypted and id data rather than letting you view data from the registry without the immediate possibilities of inadvertently updating the data with a misplaced finger.

Another is a countdown clock - yes a self-contained one rather than you using an online web facility and having to be logged onto the web with the possible access openings to your system.

and some others are some test files to see if the malware checker actually finds them - many do not! Note - these are files with program (machine) code in them - but the files are actually not running on the system - they just exist on my system as a facility to check malware-finders very basic capability.

So - for those files I do not want them deleted - and I do not want them hidden (by quarantine).

The thing is I know they exist and that they are not active malware
So - I'd be unhappy if they got deleted for me - some are useful utilities and the others I know about.

What I do want is all the actual malware ones to be reported and the not malware ones to not be reported.
And I'd sooner see alerts about not malware, than not see alerts about malware.

ecash's picture

But its fun to watch..
Little notices as Defender goes over the system and finds Progs, data Iv used over the years to clean peoples computers..
I like to run 2 Lite AV programs, rather then 1 BIG hog of well as spybot and 1-2 others..
Iv learned my lessons over 30 years of computer use and recovery..
ALL programs work abit different from each other, and looking at things in MANY ways can find things other may not..

No other AV prog I run see's these files as defender is..

MS is running out of ideas..
releasing To many OS, over a short period is NOT going to help them. Its the same with the Saturation point of consoles.. After awhile you JUST cant afford anymore..
Consolidating ALL their OS, is a bad way to they could loose control over the consoles..What works on 1, will Work on ALL, also follows the path in reverse...Virus can spread Very easily..

Valachi's picture

I have to send kudos out to Dennis for what he is doing.
Dennis is at least trying to make life a lot easier for people that use Microsoft
in any version over the last number of years...and that's more than I can say
for the greedy, uncaring folks at Microsoft.

Win 7 was okay, Win 8 gave a lot of people grief and Win 10 is simply put,
a train wreck.

Regardless, whether you're a corporation or single user, this latest Microsoft
release is a disaster and keeps proving itself to be so.

For what it's worth, I try and keep up with what Dennis is doing, because I still have friends that use this poor excuse for an operating system, along with the fact that I still run Win 8 on one of my units simply because I have a ton of files that I need to access on a free version of Adobe Illustrator CS2 from time to time.

Other than that, along with a number of friends that I have converted, I use Linux and will never go back to Windows. Never!
In fact, I have 2 more units that I have been requested to convert over to Linux "Rosa" at this point because the users simply can't handle the problems and issues that they have faced with recent and continual updates that Windows 10 insists on shoving down their throats. They simply want to enjoy the simple pleasures of computing life without all of the frustrating trappings that comes with a Windows based OS.

Get a Mac, try Linux but for goodness sake's, cut the cord to being a slave to Microsoft and hassle laden products that it seems intent on spewing forth.

It's just not worth it and is more frustrating in the long run, compared to taking a small amount of time to make the switch to something as wonderful as Linux.
The learning curve is not as steep as one would think.

Once on board, it's amazing how surprised new users are to this robust and user friendly software actually is.

Again, my hat goes off to Dennis for his efforts in offering up solutions for those still using Microsoft.

daniel k_8060's picture

I am starting to agree with you on MS & the turmoil they have inflicted on their users.
I use W7 & refused to upgrade to W10. I have an older laptop that used Windows XP & would like to try Linux but am totally unsure how to go about it.

Is there a Very easy way with information,and details how to do this, which version to use, keep XP on the laptop?

Anuy suggestions would be helpful