Microsoft’s marketing chief admits Windows 10 upgrade was pushed too aggressively

Microsoft’s Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Chris Capossela, has admitted that Microsoft has been too aggressive in pushing the Windows 10 upgrade. He admits that in a video interview with Microsoft watchers Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley. The company received a lot of complaints and even got involved in several lawsuits thanks to its aggressive methods.

Microsoft's marketing chief admits Windows 10 upgrade was pushed too aggressively


The company angered a lot of users by making changes to the application that was responsible for the upgrade notifications, Get Windows 10 (GWX). Even when users disabled the application, it enabled itself again. This made that many users upgraded to Windows 10 by accident.

Capossela states it was extremely painful for him that Microsoft even ignored its own design guidelines to get users to upgrade. The upgrade dialog was changed in such a way that the red cross, normally used to close a dialog or to cancel something, now had the same effect as the OK button. This got hundreds of thousands of users to upgrade to Windows 10, because they thought they stopped the upgrade process by clicking the red cross.

“Trying not go over the line of not being too aggressive is something we tried, and for a lot of the year I think we got it right, but there was one particular moment, when the red X in the dialog box that typically means cancel didn’t mean cancel,” Capossela said.

“Within a couple of hours  of that hitting the world, with the listening systems we have, we knew that we’d gone too far.  And then of course it takes us some time to roll out the update that changed that behavior and those two weeks were pretty painful and clearly a lowlight for us, it learned us a lot obviously,” he added.

Microsoft received an enormous amount of complaints, but instead of giving in, the company tried to explain away its design choices in a knowledge base article. When that didn’t work, the company removed the red cross to get rid of the complaints. But that made users even more angry.

Meanwhile the free upgrade to Windows 10 offer is expired, although there are still some workarounds to get a free upgrade.