Boca Lawyer Takes on Microsoft, Compares Windows 10 Upgrades to Terminator

If you’re unlucky enough to work for a company that still insists on giving everyone PCs even though it’s 2016 (hi!), you know Windows sucks. And Windows 10 really sucks — so much so that people have been flat out refusing to upgrade.

Microsoft has had to come up with creative ways to get people to install the update. First, they had these annoying pop-up boxes that kept asking you to schedule an upgrade. Then, even if you said no, they went ahead and installed it anyway, according to a class-action lawsuit filed by attorney Richard Chosid of Boca Raton.

Chosid seems deeply troubled by this. He describes the auto-download of Windows 10 as “disconcerting and somewhat harrowing,” and adds, “The Plaintiff’s Windows 10 marketing technique is reminiscent of the storyline in science fiction films like Terminator, which have a scenario where the computers start functioning autonomously.”

In fact, parts of the lawsuit read like they were written by your cranky, paranoid grandfather. “Plaintiffs do not accept that Microsoft is giving away a new operating system out of altruism or good fellowship. Instead, it appears that the ‘gift’ of the Windows 10 is somewhat self-aggrandizing on the part of Defendant. A consumer might well be suspicious of Defendant’s motives,” it says. “The majority of PC users are not highly skilled in computer arts and want their computers to function simply and without complication.”

Chosid then goes on to argue that Microsoft is violating the CAN-SPAM Act, the Junk Fax Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, and the Clayton Antitrust Act by aggressively pushing Windows 10 and estimates that “the damages will be in tens of millions of dollars.”

It might sound like a joke, but the Seattle Times seems to be taking the lawsuit awfully seriously. So is the tech industry publication InfoWorld, which notes that “whether the upgrades were ‘forced’ is largely a matter of semantics” but also points out that a travel agent in California was able to win a $10,000 settlement from Microsoft because Windows 10 was installed on her machine.

Oddly, Chosid seems to specialize in mortgage foreclosures and real estate law, raising the question of why he chose to take on Microsoft. He seems like an interesting guy: In 1987, he pled guilty to importing and distributing marijuana and filing false income tax returns, and he was sentenced to two years in prison and disbarred for three years. More recently, in 2004, he was reprimanded by the Florida Bar Association because he failed to provide competent representation to a client. Sadly, he did not return New Times’ phone calls and emails.

Whether or not the class-action lawsuit actually goes anywhere will depend on how many people join. While the Florida Bar Association says there’s no “magic number,” 25 seems to be the de facto minimum. So far, Chosid’s suit has just three plaintiffs listed. 

You can read the full complaint here: 

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