Windows 10 users locked out of devices by unskippable Microsoft 365 advert
Entering payment information was the only way for some to enter their own PCs
Windows 10 users have reported a broken Microsoft 365 trial offer which prevents access to the desktop until credit card details are entered.
On booting up, some Windows 10 devices have shown a full-screen offer for a trial version of Microsoft 365, the tech giant’s suite of productivity apps.
Buttons at the bottom of the screen read ‘Use for free’ and ‘No thanks’, but each leads to a screen prompting users to enter credit card details.
One Reddit user posted an example of the issue on the platform's Windows 10 community, noting that they had to put in their credit card details to gain access to their desktop and cancel afterwards to prevent being charged recurring payments.
No other buttons on the window enabled the user to skip entering payment details.
Microsoft 365 costs between £4.50 and £16.60 per month for businesses. It is unclear whether the nature of this bug enables it to appear on devices that are already subscribed to a plan with the suite, which could decide the likelihood of it being recreated on business laptops.
Another user posted a similar bug on a subreddit designed to highlight bad user interface (UI) design. Their full-screen offer advertised 50% off Microsoft 365 Family, and identically to the other post pressing ‘No thanks’ took them to the payment details screen.
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The offer is meant to be shown in the Windows out of box experience (OOBE), which users see when a device is first turned on after purchase or immediately following a Windows 10 factory reset.
As the bug has not been addressed by Microsoft, it is not clear if it is the result of an erroneous update or a flaw with the individual users' machines.
One Reddit user asked for the name of the device's original equipment manufacturer (OEM).
"Looks like a bug in their OOBE - e.g. strings got swapped in their translations," wrote one individual.
"Not a [Microsoft] problem - though I'm sure if it gets into the right channels could mean a big fine for the OEM."
IT Pro has approached Microsoft for more information.
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