Last week, Microsoft sent out a notification to Windows 10 machines that confused users into believing their PC was infected. The company has now explained the notifications were a test and that the notifications were meant for internal testing and not production machines.
It seems a “configuration error” at the Microsoft News team and the Microsoft Movies section of the app. Users reported seeing weird notifications that pointed to a possible virus.
The messages included “Test notification,” “this test notification,” and “this is test notification” among others. Windows 10 was saving these messages into the Action Center. When clocked on the notifications would launch Microsoft News.
However, once launched the app would fail with a “an error occurred” messages. The app could then not be relaunched.
Needless to say, this weird turn of events left users rightly confused and many believed their machines had been compromised by malware. Certainly, the notifications and their behavior did suggest some kind of virus.
On reddit, users noted the bizarre nature of the notifications, especially their misspelling. Many people considered wiping their machines to protect them.
Microsoft has now explained the issue, putting down to an accidental publishing of internal tests:
“Due to a configuration error in the Windows 10 News app notifications (English edition), some customers reported seeing test notifications. This issue was resolved on March 29th via a configuration update for existing versions. We have also released a new version of the app that addresses the issue. The notification does not affect the application or use, and this issue should now be resolved.”
It seems that whatever caused the problem has been solved as no more messages of this kind have been reported.