There’s a thread on Slashdot.org today about an issue with Windows operating systems in which people have deliberately disabled Windows 10 upgrade nags in which Microsoft is now re-enabling the nags without users’ permission. It is basically trying to force the Windows 10 upgrade on people in an aggressive manner. It also downloads an enormous 6 GB of data needed for the upgrade even though the user never chose to nor wanted to do such an upgrade.
Needless to say, the posts in the discussion thread on this topic do not paint a pleasant picture of Microsoft. To be fair, I have published my own page about how to disable the Windows 10 update along with a bunch of telemetry updates and, following my instructions and simply uninstalling all the updates in question responsible for this stuff, I have not been nagged to upgrade to Windows 10 again. However, I have noticed that even after choosing to hide the updates, that many of them have kept reappearing in the listing for available updates.
After a couple months of this it seems to have diminished and finally I am no longer even seeing the updates appearing as available. They are hidden.
Regardless of this, what I’m reading in the thread paints a pretty horrible picture of the state of consumer rights and the future of what personal computing may look like. Here are some notable posts from the thread:
Re:Why would anyone tolerate this bullshit!? (Score:2)
by ourlovecanlastforeve (795111) Alter Relationship on 2016.01.11 9:49 (#51279091)
Forcing upgrade to Windows 10 is preparation for micropayments.
Microsoft’s next step after they get everyone onto Windows 10 is to start charging a little it for everything.
Want to use a third party browser? $5.
Want to save files that are open? 10 cents per file.
Want to change your theme color? 99 cents.
Want Windows updates? Those will be $2 each, and if you don’t install them your operating system will cease to function.
Pretty soon after that Microsoft will start force installing updates and debiting your bank account without permission, and you’ll allow it because Microsoft spends more on lawyers in a year than your government spends on health care.
Re:Why would anyone tolerate this bullshit!? (Score:2)
by Hognoxious (631665) Alter Relationship on 2016.01.11 10:32 (#51279665) Homepage Journal
Embrace, extend, extort.
source: slashdot.org ‘Get Windows 10’ Turns Itself On and Nags Win 7 and 8.1 Users Twice a Day
Here is a post in favor of Microsoft’s actions:
Re:ARGH (Score:1, Interesting)
by Anonymous Coward on 2016.01.11 9:42 (#51278985)
Microsoft is tired of supporting old ass insecure software. They can’t rely on people who won’t run patches, so they are going the Apple route. They know what you need, just submit and deal with it.
I like Windows 10, using it on my surface 4 right now. Edge isn’t awful, but I still use FF and Chrome.
I would say that let the upgrade happen, and while it’s happening, adjust the onion on your belt and go outside and yell at some clouds.
This commenter has a valid point. Botnets for one are a real serious issue. There are literally millions of non-updated Windows computers around the world which have major security issues through not having been regularly updated, and which are infected with worms and other malware. These machines are then remote-controlled by malicious entities which can use them to send out vast amounts of spam e-mails, scams, hacking attempts, and large-scale attacks against websites. So it is a problem and one can understand Microsoft taking an aggressive approach with getting all computers running their operating systems to update to the latest version, which will go a very long way and preventing such security problems in the future.
But the issue is that Microsoft might not be doing this with the best of intentions. And, based on their past conduct, their intentions are probably sleazy. “Embrace. Extend. Extort.” as the commenter above said!
Forgetting the dark side a minute and just considering the upgrade itself, here are some of my thoughts:
If Microsoft had been less aggressive, it it were easier for users to simply turn off or disable the Windows 10 upgrade notifications, then the upshot is that the same problems would continue with people not updating their systems and having massive security problems.
For me one problems is that Windows 10 is just so unappealing. I did upgrade very soon after the upgrade became available on my computer. I was one of the people who initially anticipated the upgrade. But then, long before the upgrade actually become available on my computers, the upgrade notification nagging became way too much and I had to disable it. That I think was mistake number one on Microsoft’s part. The nags put people off, even people who were looking forward to upgrading. As a company dedicated to making user interfaces and understanding things like ergonomics and user psychology, they should have known this and done a much better job.
But second, when I did actually upgrade, Windows 10 just looked like such a step backwards in terms of the user interface. I think people naturally expect that with a newer version of software that it actually gets better, that it looks better, that it has more features and ability to customize the way you want, not less.
But less is what it was. The upgrade felt distinctly like a major downgrade. The interface was ugly and had less ability to be customized than I think even Windows 95. It appeared to me that perhaps Microsoft just got really cheap and simply didn’t care about even providing a decent looking interface to customers. Perhaps the simpler it is, without features, the less cost it is to them in terms of support.
After the Windows 8 debacle, everyone expected Microsoft to finally come around with Windows 10 and for the interface to get better again, after having gotten so crappy after Windows 7. But no, it didn’t get better. It actually got worse. The bottom line is that Windows 7 or even Vista seem to represent the height of a feature rich, customizable, and decent-looking user interface which has since been significantly degraded. Again, from a company charged with designing user interfaces and studying ergonomics and user psychology, you would think that they would have known better than this.
But then beyond this there is the dark side, the embrace, extend, extort side of it all. This is definitely something to be worried about and things are definitely moving in the wrong direction in terms of information technology as of the year 2016.
Here is one final post from the thread which offers solutions:
Try GWX Control Panel & Spybot Anti-Beacon (Score:5, Informative)
by kosmosik (654958) Alter Relationship <`ten.kisomsok' `ta' `sok'> on 2016.01.11 9:38 (#51278935) Homepage
Try GWX Control Panel to disable GWX and OS updates entirely:
Also Spybot Anti-Beacon which disables telemetry:
It works perfectly for me on Windows 7. And yes I know that all of what it does can be done manualy but these tools do their job and work well so why bother…