Mandatory Windows 10 updates aren’t new, but the latest example is raising a few hackles. Windows Latest, ZDNet, The Verge and users are reporting that Windows 10 is force-restarting PCs to install links to Office web apps that launch in Edge, including in the Start menu. And despite initial reports, this isn’t limited to Insider members — people using standard Windows 10 releases have seen the change as well.
The apps take up no storage or other resources. Until now, though, installing Office web apps was optional. Windows isn’t asking for your permission, let alone informing you of what’s about to happen. Microsoft is potentially disrupting work or other important tasks to promote its online productivity suite.
We’ve asked Microsoft for comment.
While the lack of informed consent is clearly the main issue, The Verge noted that this also trivializes mandatory updates. Microsoft instituted them in no small part to ensure users had the latest security fixes and prevent widespread malware outbreaks. If your Windows PC reboots itself to pitch products, you might become wary of those updates or even veer away from Windows altogether. It also implies that you don’t have as much control over your system as you might have thought.