​Windows 10 upgrades: Microsoft sued for millions over lost data and damaged PCs

A group of Windows 10 users have brought a new lawsuit alleging Microsoft's upgrade destroyed data and damaged hardware.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

The class-action suit aims to prove a number of points about the impact of Microsoft's Windows 10 upgrade.

Image: Microsoft

Three Illinois residents are leading a class-action suit against Microsoft over data loss and damage to their computers, which they blame on the Windows 10 upgrade.

It's been two years since Microsoft began pushing its Windows 10 upgrade to consumers, and complaints about the company herding users towards its latest OS have been thoroughly documented. These reports occurred during Microsoft's year-long offer for users of Windows 7 and newer OSes to upgrade to Windows 10 at no charge, which ended in July.

The latest chapter in the saga is a class-action suit that accuses Microsoft of costing users time, money, and pain, by obliging them to deal with tech support, broken software, and replacement hardware following the Windows 10 upgrade.

The 100-plus members of the suit are seeking more than $5m in damages, excluding costs and interest.

The lead complainant, Stephanie Watson, says she never chose the Windows 10 upgrade and that when it happened she lost data related to her job. She then hired Geek Squad to repair her machine, but they couldn't resolve the issue with "complete success", so she bought a replacement.

Robert Saiger says he did accept the upgrade but claims to have lost data, as well as "time and money, and incurred aggravation attempting to reconstruct and replace the data".

Howard Goldberg also approved the upgrade and claims his "computer was damaged" after Windows 10 didn't install properly. Goldberg paid someone to repair the computer since the hardware was out of warranty and is claiming lost data, lost time and money, and loss of the use of his computer.

The complaint contends that Windows 10 is a consumer product under US law, and accuses Microsoft of being aware that the upgrade could cause data to be lost and hardware to be damaged.

The complainants aim to prove a number of points through the case, including that the upgrade could cause loss of data and hardware damage, and that Microsoft knew about potential software incompatibility issues. They also want to show that the upgrade, allegedly without warnings, resulted in a breach of warranties.

Microsoft told ZDNet that the Windows 10 free upgrade program offered customers the option of not upgrading to Windows 10.

"If a customer who upgraded during the one-year program needed help with the upgrade experience, we had numerous options including free customer support and 31 days to roll back to their old operating system. We believe the plaintiffs' claims are without merit," Microsoft said.

Not surprisingly, given the volume of complaints about the Windows 10 upgrade, Microsoft has been keeping tabs on what annoyed consumers most and has promised to offer users more choice with its upcoming Creators Update.

In a recent blogpost, the company said it will offer a way for users to "specify exactly when you want an update to occur, including the ability to reschedule an update if your original choice ends up being less convenient than expected, or 'hit the snooze button'."

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