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Microsoft pays woman $10,000 over forced Windows 10 upgrade

"I had never heard of Windows 10," travel agent Teri Goldstein tells The Seattle Times.

Sarah Tew/CNET
Now playing: Watch this: Microsoft pays $10,000 for a Windows 10 update gone wrong

Windows Updates aren't always a good thing. Sometimes, an unwanted automatic update can ruin your day...or livelihood. Just ask Teri Goldstein, the California travel agent whose computer allegedly kept crashing after an unwanted upgrade to Windows 10 -- right in the middle of her busiest season.

Goldstein's victory over Microsoft in small claims court.

Screenshot by Sean Hollister/CNET

But Goldstein struck back. Last month, she won $10,000 from Microsoft for the business she says she lost, and the new computers she says she had to buy to replace her crippled PC.

Goldstein spoke to both Computerworld and The Seattle Times at length about the problems, which began back in August 2015. That's actually months before Microsoft's recent extra-sneaky push to trick Windows 7 and 8 users into upgrading to the new operating system, but Goldstein says she was fooled none the same.

"I had never heard of Windows 10," Goldstein told The Seattle Times. "Nobody ever asked me if I wanted to update."

Goldstein won her judgment in small-claims court, where $10,000 is the maximum she could claim. Microsoft appealed the decision at first but later thought better of the idea. "The company dropped its appeal to avoid the expense of further litigation," a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement.

I actually rather like the Windows 10 operating system, and if you think your computer can handle it, you've got only one month left to get it for free. But there are plenty of reasons you might not want to upgrade, and unwanted automatic updates are one of them. In Windows 10, you'll need to jump through an awful lot of hoops to make those go away.