Hey Microsoft. C’mere. Yeah, come over here, we need to have a little chat. Listen, buddy, you know I’ve got your back. We’ve been teaming up on Windows since 3.1. Remember that time we got sixteen people and four TVs together to play Halo on the original Xbox? Classic. But listen, as your fri…as your long-time customer, I gotta tell you something. You have got to chill. Especially when someone tells you they don’t want to use one of your applications.
Over the last few years Microsoft has been laying a heavy hand down on Windows users who don’t want to use other Microsoft programs for absolutely everything. A particularly egregious example came up last month, when the Edge browser started giving people a breakup quiz if they use it to download Google Chrome (which literally hundreds of millions of people do). It looks like the same customer retention specialist who cooked up that move has gotten their hands on OneDrive, because it’s starting to exhibit the same behavior.
NeoWin reports that users who manually close the OneDrive file-syncing app, which is set to run at Windows startup by default, are given another quiz. It’s got the desperate and angry feeling of someone demanding to know why you won’t date them. Among the pre-filled answers are “I do not want OneDrive running all the time,” “I do not use OneDrive,” “I am trying to speed up my computer,” and “I get too many notifications.”
The message isn’t appearing for everyone who closes the program; two PCWorld staff were unable to replicate the screenshots when closing the program. Either the question UI has been added to a brand-new version of OneDrive that still propagating across the Windows world, or Microsoft is using A-B testing that only shows it to some users.
Presumably Microsoft is trying to gather customer data to improve its product. That sort of thing has been commonplace for years — part of the uninstallation process for many apps is opening a browser window to give feedback on why you’re no longer using it. But OneDrive doing the same thing just for closing the app is grating at best. To add even more creepiness to the process, NeoWin says that users who see this pop quiz are physically blocked from closing OneDrive until they answer.
If Microsoft wants to anger and alienate a considerable portion of its userbase, particularly the portion that’s highly technical and prefers to make their own choices for things like browsers, file backups, and general PC performance, then it’s doing a fantastic job.