Microsoft hit with $5 million lawsuit over Windows 10 upgrades

A group of Windows 10 users in Illinois are now suing Microsoft over claims that the move to Microsoft's latest OS caused data loss and other damages to their PCs after forced upgrades. According to the filing (via Courthouse News), the 3 plaintiffs bringing the case against Microsoft are also attempting to gain class status, covering anyone who experienced data loss or damage within 30 days of updating to Windows 10.

Referring to Microsoft, the complaint reads:

It failed to contain adequate warnings or instructions, warning the consumer that installation of the upgrade may result in loss of data or damage to hardware.Absent a warning or instruction, a reasonable consumer would not be aware that the upgrade could result in loss of data or damage to hardware. Furthermore, warnings would permit consumers to take action to mitigate the potential harm, such as making a backup before installing the upgrade.

For its part, Microsoft dismissed the complaint in a statement to Courthouse News:

The Windows 10 free upgrade program was a choice designed to help people take advantage of the most secure, and most productive Windows. Customers had the option not to upgrade 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.

Though it's been several months since Microsoft ceased offering its free upgrade to Windows 10 for anyone running Windows 7 or 8.1, this isn't the first bit of backlash that the company has faced over what was seen as an aggressive push to get users to upgrade. As is claimed by the plaintiffs in this case, the frequent upgrade offer popups frustrated some, and the dialog box itself didn't make it clear that the upgrade was optional.

Claims of forced upgrades have already led to a few lawsuits, with one even leading to a $10,000 settlement just last year. In that particular case, the complaints were similar, with the plaintiff claiming her PC downloaded and installed Windows 10 without her permission, leading to frequent crashes.

There's no telling if this case will see the same success, or even how far it will go. The plaintiffs are seeking a total of $5 million in damages.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl