If enough of us ask nicely, or not so nicely, the FTC might sue them.
Send your complaints about Microsoft's unfair and unethical behavior to: email@example.com
This is the official address for reporting antitrust violations. I think trying to leverage the near universal presence of old versions of Windows on PCs worldwide to force acceptance of the new version qualifies as abuse of market position. The FTC might agree with enough public comment/complaint. People who have experienced the "involuntary upgrade" problem are likely to be especially influential. If you know anyone who has experienced this, pass that address along to them.
^^^ This. They should have thought to include an option like that because voting "roughly the same" implies that you watch tv at least some. I stopped watching all but news in the mid-90s, and pretty much gave up even on news by the turn of the millennium.
Steven Spielberg claimed to have done something similar. He claimed to have occupied an unused office on the Universal Studios lot by simply dressing in a suit, carrying a brief case, and bluffing his way past the security guards. But his story kept growing and growing. A clear sign of fabrication. So it was finally debunked by snopes. But even his tallest tale didn't claim to have lived on the lot full time. And now this kid has gone one better than the tall tale, actually living inside the corporate complex of a major tech company.
Gates also admitted he himself was in the habit of "gaining the benefits of software authors' time, effort, and capital without paying them"...
Bricklin sent waves of laughter through the auditorium by reading a passage from Lammers' interview with Bill Gates in which the young Microsoft founder explained that his work on different versions of Microsoft's BASIC compiler was shaped by looking at how other programmers had gone about the same task. Gates went on to say that young programmers don't need computer science degrees: "The best way to prepare is to write programs, and to study great programs that other people have written. In my case, I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of their operating systems."
Bricklin finished reading Gates' words and announced, with an impish smile, "This is where Gates and [Richard] Stallman agree!"
Source: Programmers at Work by Susan Lammers (1986), ISBN 0914845713
"...the best way to prepare [to be a programmer] is to write programs, and to study great programs that other people have written. In my case, I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and fished out listings of their operating system."
-- Bill Gates.
"In the face of entropy and nothingness, you kind of have to pretend it's not there if you want to keep writing good code." -- Karl Lehenbauer