Over the last few weeks, some Windows 10 users complained that Microsoft was forcing their PCs to restart to install an update that added Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) to the Start menu. Microsoft now claims the PWA update was at least partially a mistake.
The Redmond, Washington-based company told The Verge that it would ‘pause’ the update that added web apps to the Start menu, noting that the original plan was to make websites pinned to the Start menu launch in its new Edge browser. Further, Microsoft planned to make those web shortcuts more visible tiles.
That ultimately resulted in what Microsoft describes as a bug, which turned the company’s existing Microsoft Office web shortcuts into PWA apps as well. It’s worth noting that’s something users can normally do with the Edge browser, but typically wouldn’t happen by itself.
Additionally, Microsoft says it has been pinning Office web shortcuts to the Start menu since May 2019. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Microsoft has upset users with an update and likely won’t be the last.
Microsoft has a habit of pushing frustrating updates on Windows 10 users
Earlier this year, Microsoft officially started pushing out an update that brought its new Chromium-based Edge browser to Windows 10 users. The update sparked ire when it took over computer screens with essentially a big ad for the new browser. Plus, the update reset the default browser setting to be Microsoft Edge and pinned the browser to users’ taskbars. The Edge update sparked debate over how necessary the change was, with some arguing it made no sense for the company to hijack computers to push Edge and others saying it was the best way to make less tech-savvy users aware of the change and help switch them over from the old Edge browser.
While the new PWA update isn’t quite as bad, it’s yet another example of Microsoft leveraging its update system to push its products — something that likely won’t change despite outcry from users. The Windows 10 Start menu has long been a wasteland of advertising and junk between Microsoft’s products and bloat installed by PC manufacturers.
There’s also a question of why Microsoft decided to make web shortcuts in the Start menu open in Edge instead of respecting users’ choice of default browser.
As for the forced restart issue, I can’t really speak to it as I have never had a Windows PC shut itself down to apply updates without my permission. Perhaps this is because I regularly shut my computer off myself, but I’m not sure. Either way, most people seem to agree that Microsoft shouldn’t force their PC to restart and install updates without their permission.
Source: The Verge