Microsoft has been accused of dirty tricks after apparently fooling users into upgrading to Windows 10 by changing a setting on a pop up so people who click on a red cross in the corner — which usually closes a window - are instead deemed to have accepted an upgrade. The controversy is the latest to affect the tech giant as it struggles to adapt to new developments in technology and ways in which people access the internet.

The change came about because the upgrade to Windows 10 has been classed as a recommended upgrade for Windows users, many of whom have agreed to a setting that recommended updates are automatically updated for security reasons. Previously Microsoft advised people not wishing to upgrade to click the red cross. Microsoft says anyone who inadvertently agrees to the upgrade — being dubbed "updategate" — can reverse the process if they wish. "If you click on OK or on the red "X", you're all set for the upgrade and there is nothing further to do," says Microsoft on its website.

"When you close this pop up, your PC will upgrade at the scheduled time. Based on customer feedback, in the most recent version of the Get Windows 10 (GWX) app, we confirm the time of your scheduled upgrade and provide you an additional opportunity for cancelling or rescheduling the upgrade."

However some technology experts said the latest change was a dirty trick. PC World editor Brad Chacos wrote: "I personally use and love Windows 10, but deploying these dirty tricks only frustrates long-time Windows users who have very valid reasons to stick with operating systems they already know and love."

Microsoft has already come under fire for pushing the Windows 10 upgrade on consumers, and for a number of glitches in the supposedly simplified Windows 10. These have included computers being unable to upgrade with SD cards in SD slots and apps being deleted without warning. One man who left his PC to upgrade overnight woke up to find his private collection of pornography being used as a slideshow which was spotted by his wife.

Microsoft expert Paul Thurrott says the increasing capabilities of smart phones and tablets — now able to do most of the jobs previously done by Microsoft software — could mean the end for the tech giant. "This is a potential extinction moment," said Thurrott, according to The Express."With Android and iOS playing the role of the asteroid that is hurtling to earth to kill off the Windows dinosaurs."