As part of its annual tech support showdown, Laptop has uncovered that tech support agents for Dell and HP are actively discouraging customers from upgrading to Windows 10, even going as far as recommending that customers roll back their PCs to older versions in order to solve even simple issues.
When quizzed as to why customers were being given this advice, the companies stated that while they were committed to Windows 10 - what choice do they really have other than to say that? - the job of tech support is to get people's PCs up and running again, even if that means rolling the system back to an older version of Windows.
And that's exactly as it should be.
PC OEMs already operate on razor-thin margins, and asking them to take on the job of supporting upgrades is unreasonable, unless the PC was sold with that upgrade in mind, as some were in the run up to the launch of Windows 10. The support calls are an additional cost that the OEMs haven't accounted for.
And remember, PC OEMs get nothing from the fact that you've upgraded operating systems. Sure, they might be able to upsell you something, but the bulk of their money comes from selling new PCs, not by extending the useful life of your existing one.
As Microsoft moves to a "Windows-as-a-Service" model, the support model for PCs we buy will surely have to change, but there's no such thing as a free lunch and someone is going to have to pick up the tab. Either the consumers are going to be asked to pay more for extended support, or Microsoft is going to have to start paying OEMs to offer support for migrations.