With Windows 10, Microsoft Blatantly Disregards User Choice and Privacy

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Wolf here: Microsoft has driven me nuts while it was trying to install its “free” Windows 10 on my two computers running Windows 7. The only thing it hasn’t done – not yet at least – is hold a gun to my head. I already know that if I get something for free, I’m the product.

This here is a “deep dive” by people who know and who deal with this sort thing, the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Read and gnash your teeth.

By Amul Kalia, Electronic Frontier Foundation:

Microsoft had an ambitious goal with the launch of Windows 10: a billion devices running the software by the end of 2018. In its quest to reach that goal, the company aggressively pushed Windows 10 on its users and went so far as to offer free upgrades for a whole year. However, the company’s strategy for user adoption has trampled on essential aspects of modern computing: user choice and privacy. We think that’s wrong.

You don’t need to search long to come across stories of people who are horrified and amazed at just how far Microsoft has gone in order to increase Windows 10’s install base. Sure, there is some misinformation and hyperbole, but there are also some real concerns that current and future users of Windows 10 should be aware of. As the company is currently rolling out its “Anniversary Update” to Windows 10, we think it’s an appropriate time to focus on and examine the company’s strategy behind deploying Windows 10.

Disregarding User Choice

The tactics Microsoft employed to get users of earlier versions of Windows to upgrade to Windows 10 went from annoying to downright malicious. Some highlights: Microsoft installed an app in users’ system trays advertising the free upgrade to Windows 10. The app couldn’t be easily hidden or removed, but some enterprising users figured out a way. Then, the company kept changing the app and bundling it into various security patches, creating a cat-and-mouse game to uninstall it.

Eventually, Microsoft started pushing Windows 10 via its Windows Update system. It started off by pre-selecting the download for users and downloading it on their machines. Not satisfied, the company eventually made Windows 10 a recommended update so users receiving critical security updates were now also downloading an entirely new operating system onto their machines without their knowledge. Microsoft even rolled in the Windows 10 ad as part of an Internet Explorer security patch. Suffice to say, this is not the standard when it comes to security updates, and isn’t how most users expect them to work. When installing security updates, users expect to patch their existing operating system, and not see an advertisement or find out that they have downloaded an entirely new operating system in the process.

In May 2016, in an action designed in a way we think was highly deceptive, Microsoft actually changed the expected behavior of a dialog window, a user interface element that’s been around and acted the same way since the birth of the modern desktop. Specifically, when prompted with a Windows 10 update, if the user chose to decline it by hitting the ‘X’ in the upper right hand corner, Microsoft interpreted that as consent to download Windows 10.

Time after time, with each update, Microsoft chose to employ questionable tactics to cause users to download a piece of software that many didn’t want. What users actually wanted didn’t seem to matter. In an extreme case, members of a wildlife conservation group in the African jungle felt that the automatic download of Windows 10 on a limited bandwidth connection could have endangered their lives if a forced upgrade had begun during a mission.

Disregarding User Privacy

The trouble with Windows 10 doesn’t end with forcing users to download the operating system. By default, Windows 10 sends an unprecedented amount of usage data back to Microsoft, and the company claims most of it is to “personalize” the software by feeding it to the OS assistant called Cortana. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of data sent back: location data, text input, voice input, touch input, webpages you visit, and telemetry data regarding your general usage of your computer, including which programs you run and for how long.

While we understand that many users find features like Cortana useful, and that such features would be difficult (though not necessarily impossible) to implement in a way that doesn’t send data back to the cloud, the fact remains that many users would much prefer to opt out of these features in exchange for maintaining their privacy.

And while users can opt-out of some of these settings, it is not a guarantee that your computer will stop talking to Microsoft’s servers. A significant issue is the telemetry data the company receives. While Microsoft insists that it aggregates and anonymizes this data, it hasn’t explained just how it does so. Microsoft also won’t say how long this data is retained, instead providing only general timeframes. Worse yet, unless you’re an enterprise user, no matter what, you have to share at least some of this telemetry data with Microsoft and there’s no way to opt-out of it.

Microsoft has tried to explain this lack of choice by saying that Windows Update won’t function properly on copies of the operating system with telemetry reporting turned to its lowest level. In other words, Microsoft is claiming that giving ordinary users more privacy by letting them turn telemetry reporting down to its lowest level would risk their security since they would no longer get security updates. (Notably, this is not something many articles about Windows 10 have touched on.)

Confusingly, Microsoft calls the lowest level of telemetry reporting (which is not available on Home or Professional editions of Windows 10) the “security” level – even though it prevents security patches from being delivered via Windows Update.

But this is a false choice that is entirely of Microsoft’s own creation. There’s no good reason why the types of data Microsoft collects at each telemetry level couldn’t be adjusted so that even at the lowest level of telemetry collection, users could still benefit from Windows Update and secure their machines from vulnerabilities, without having to send back things like app usage data or unique IDs like an IMEI number.

And if this wasn’t bad enough, Microsoft’s questionable upgrade tactics of bundling Windows 10 into various levels of security updates have also managed to lower users’ trust in the necessity of security updates. Sadly, this has led some people to forego security updates entirely, meaning that there are users whose machines are at risk of being attacked.

There’s no doubt that Windows 10 has some great security improvements over previous versions of the operating system. But it’s a shame that Microsoft made users choose between having privacy and security.

The Way Forward

Microsoft should come clean with its user community. The company needs to acknowledge its missteps and offer real, meaningful opt-outs to the users who want them, preferably in a single unified screen. It also needs to be straightforward in separating security updates from operating system upgrades going forward, and not try to bypass user choice and privacy expectations.

Otherwise it will face backlash in the form of individual lawsuits, state attorney general investigations, and government investigations.

We at EFF have heard from many users who have asked us to take action, and we urge Microsoft to listen to these concerns and incorporate this feedback into the next release of its operating system. Otherwise, Microsoft may find that it has inadvertently discovered just how far it can push its users before they abandon a once-trusted company for a better, more privacy-protective solution. By Amul Kalia, Electronic Frontier Foundation

Microsoft shows the way in other areas too. Read… Here’s What’s so Crazy about this Stock Market

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  58 comments for “With Windows 10, Microsoft Blatantly Disregards User Choice and Privacy

  1. Martin
    August 17, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Dear Wolfi must say your vigilance on these issues are highly profecional and full of up to date accurate information it’s a pleasure to be able to recieve updates on issues so important to the lives of millions , your the true press without the manipulation of the mega groups
    Sending rubbish lies and distorted messages and information as as to leave the multitudes in caous keep up the good Work . You represent justice at a normal human honest level ,

  2. marty
    August 17, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Microsoft: “a once trusted company??” You must be joking. They have always been terrible. Sadly, I’ve been using pc machines since the beginning with desktop pub software. I learned to skip the windows updates for at least a year, sometimes more, because of all the bugs. And Gates is new world order trash.

    Wolf, i have one word for you: Ubuntu.

    • August 17, 2016 at 4:54 pm

      I’ve heard that word before, many times, sort of like a siren song, and I’m tempted.

      • Choice
        August 18, 2016 at 5:26 am

        Aside from Ubuntu and Mint, work is being done on a Windows alternative that looks promising but not yet ready for “prime time”: ReactOS. You may want to check it out: https://www.reactos.org/

        • August 18, 2016 at 5:47 pm

          ReactOS will never go anywhere. I’ve been following it for a decade and it stays stuck right where it is.

      • Keith
        August 21, 2016 at 10:58 am

        Try it. Umbu tu is very user friendly and you can run it from a DVD to try it out. Oddly, ms10 makes it easy to switch, sort of like explorer is the gateway to a better browser.

    • Islander
      August 18, 2016 at 6:05 pm

      I second that. Ubuntu is a wonderful system, even though hardware makers still make it difficult to connect printers or Android devices, for example. That said, i hired a local pc repair guy who fixed everything up great and explained the sys to me. Money well spent! Haven’t had a virus or ad on any of my setups since the last 4 years.

    • KFritz
      August 18, 2016 at 10:37 pm

      Ubuntu beats Microsoft in most ways…but…its image saving and moving software (as of 14.04 LTS) was klunky and time consuming compared to Microsoft. (I save lots of images (-:) Many printers aren’t compatible with Linux OSs, including Ubuntu. If anyone does streaming ripping with Audacity, you’re all too aware that it’s impossible with a14/04 LTS.

      Ergo, Ubuntu has its own issues.

      And if you’re used to downloading whatever freeware you like with Microsloth, fuhgeddabodit with Ubuntu. Unless you’re a programming whiz, you get what they offer.

  3. John Galt
    August 17, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    Ubuntu for desktop, Debian for the server. Debian is rock solid platform

  4. Shawn
    August 17, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Unfortunately I need Win10 for my work; i use the same box and same OS I bought 10 years ago. I refuse to give Microsoft any money. One alternative is to use a free Linux vm, virtual machine; but I imagine that keystrokes and other ‘telemetry’ stuff can still be recorded.

    I have a Mac as well, I think it is only a matter of time when Apple does the same; in some respects they are already there. The only alternative to all this is to get a Linux box. Computers are cheap and Linux is free, so it’s a no brainer.

    • Shawn
      August 17, 2016 at 6:08 pm

      Well, I suppose you can get Linux and install/use a Win vm for all your windows stuff. I hate to dual boot.

    • Intosh
      August 18, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      “It is only a matter of time when Apple does the same”

      I don’t know about that. I hope not. The situation is quite different with Apple though. See, its OS itself has never been one of its money makers. Their hardware business is, and to a lesser extend their content and services business. So, Apple has much much less pressure than MS has to find ways to monetize their free OS.

      Obviously, Windows is MS’ cash cow. But this cash cow has slowly been descending into the irrelevance abyss in the consumer market. With the advent of the Internet, the web browser is the “OS”. Who still feel the need to upgrade their PC OS? No one. SO PC sales stagnate and combined with the free OS trend on smartphones, not to mention Linux, Chrome OS and Mac OS, MS had no choice but to offer its own for free. And by doing so, they feel the desperate need to find something of value to extract out of the consumers, i.e. if not eventually their hard-earned cash, then their data of course.

      • roddy6667
        August 18, 2016 at 6:35 pm

        Apple’s OS is FreeBSD that has been reskinned with a new GUI and a few tweaks. They saved a lot of money there. They market it to the Apple fanboys who pay at least double for a computer just to have that Apple logo.
        You’re just not a hipster if you don’t have that logo.

        • Intosh
          August 19, 2016 at 11:25 am

          Mac OS was based on NeXT’ OS, which used part of BSD code.

          That rest of the comment is just a rehash of a popular stereotype.

        • Graham
          August 19, 2016 at 2:49 pm

          In fact – as Intosh says – the beauty of OS X was that it used the NextStep idea – combining the best OS with the best display technology, so on Apple you had Unix + Display Postscript which allowed all sort of cool graphics and efficient programming (and Unix, which was secure multi-user and multi tasking before Microsoft even had write caching or TCP/IP). Apple did this in Sept 2000.

          Windows Vista was the day Microsoft caught up with OS X graphics technology – but by then they’d accumulated a considerable amount of baggage and an OS with more holes than a sieve. And 5 years later than Apple. Remember Vista? Wasn’t ready was it… Windows 7 was the first version that actually worked in 2009 – almost a decade behind Apple.

          Linux is a good OS, but has been held back by X windows which frankly, is hopeless. On top of this there is Gnome and KDE as the major desktop environments, so it’s all a bit messy, or lean if you ditch both.

          Sun Microsystems should have been a competitor to Apple, but at their peak they completely failed to created a desktop environment and ended up becoming obsolete. Of course the created Java, but failed to capitalise on it by burdening it with a string of bizarrely incompatible libraries that really helped kill its potential. The idea however lives on in Android phone apps…

          BEOS had potential, but was killed by the Microsoft monopoly, which IMO set back computing by about 20 years and it took a change of platform (to mobile) to escape their low imagination.

  5. JerryBear
    August 17, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    Debian can be tricky even for experienced Linux users and is NOT recommended for beginners. Ubuntu is just kind of strange. If you want to play with Linux, I highly recommend you get Mint Linux. It is an Ubuntu derivative that is MUCH more user friendly! They have also excellent support. You can get one of their geeks in a chat window to help you through rough spots.

    • Shawn
      August 17, 2016 at 6:41 pm

      I’ve used Ubuntu, but heard a lot of good things about Mint, will check it out. I can’t fault Microsoft to much, every other software company, SAAS, PAAS is doing the same kind of shit more or less.

      • roddy6667
        August 18, 2016 at 6:36 pm

        I have been using Linux exclusively for about 8 years now. I have settled on LinuxMint. No need for Windows or Mac.

  6. Vespa P200E
    August 17, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    I used to work at MSFT as Program Manager and did my share of “dogfooding” (work out the bugs before software release) Win XP, Office 2000 & 2003 and very early release of Vista then called Longhorn.

    Lesson I learned is that 1st release of MSFT softwares are rushed to market due to marketing push (those goons had lot of clout at MSFT and missing ship date was big SIN) and ships with known low priority bugs and often unstable fixed by slew of patches and next release.

    That said I viewed MSFT as honest people if not full of very smart Type A out to eat their competing teams. What MSFT is doing with Win 10 is about as intrusive as controls exerted by GOOG on Android and worst offender of all Mac & iPhone OS.

    • polecat
      August 17, 2016 at 9:02 pm

      Just maybe Humanity should reconsider it’s infatuation with all things ‘computer’ and regress gracefully …….

      Efficiency and speed should not be the end all of human existence IMNHO, and the computing & internet ‘revolution’, with all it’s ever increasing ‘bells and whistles’, are going to drive society right into the ditch !!

      • marty
        August 17, 2016 at 9:21 pm


      • ERG
        August 18, 2016 at 8:23 am

        It has now morphed into a constant battle to prevent or react properly to hacking. This gradually increases the cost of doing business and (at least) partially nullifies any operating cost benefits due to improvements in efficiency.

      • JerryBear
        August 19, 2016 at 3:25 pm

        I have to sympathize with your point of view Polecat. Efficiency is not the name of my God.

        • Graham
          August 19, 2016 at 3:41 pm

          Computing is used for many bad things, but it’s also required for space exploration and other most interesting things.

          I.e. I don’t consider the problem is technology, it’s application.
          If we weren’t so busy with finance and war we’d be an unimaginably better place in the galaxy.

  7. 1
    August 17, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Left the OSX world about 3 years ago for Linux due to
    1. user interface changes made the old intuitive schemes ‘inoperative’
    2. bugs in new versions and particularly what should be updates weren’t

    I’m happy running Debian Linux on my Apple hardware.

  8. Sgt Milstar
    August 17, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    Less then 60 days USA is giving up control of internet to the world. World will in the future ban USA off the internet. Data will be useless to whoever……

  9. david
    August 17, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    Guess I’m lucky, upgraded to 10 then uninstalled back to 7 and never heard back from them.

  10. Jungle Jim
    August 17, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Luddite that I am, I continue to use Win 7. For those who fear Win 10, there is a blocker called “Never 10”. I used it and have had none of the problems described here.

    By the time the Mr. Softy discontinues support for Win &, I expect to be using Ubuntu.

  11. David Hayward
    August 18, 2016 at 2:12 am

    I have moved my 80+ year old parents to Linux Mint without issue. My wife, who hates everything I do and the air that I breathe loves Linux Mint and hasn’t moaned once since I installed it on her laptop. Slam dunk shot in the foot by Microsoft with their arrogance. Linux Mint is free, super fast and a doddle to use for Windows converts. It even runs Photoshop. I have a VM of XP for any eventualities.

    • Jack
      August 18, 2016 at 11:47 am

      David H,
      You need to write up a ‘blog or something similar providing some details for what you did to get to your Mint installation (what H/W did you have, where to get drivers, etc). I’ve been pondering the same thing for a little while now.

      • David Hayward
        August 18, 2016 at 1:53 pm

        Ever so simple. Just put the live DVD/USB in and boot it up. That way you can see if anything isn’t happy without deleting anything. Never had a problem yet. I do this professionally and like others have intimated, Centos for servers and Linux Mint for newbies. I have totally replaced Microsoft product at a small client (2 servers, 26 users) and almost put myself out of a job in the process. I love Windows 10, an unexpected revenue stream for IT professionals making things better.

      • roddy6667
        August 18, 2016 at 6:51 pm

        You don’t need to do anything special. Just get the software at Linuxmint.com and burn it to a DVD or Flash drive. Install it. Don’t worry about drivers, it takes care of all that. New software is in a “library”. Click where Windows has a Start button. Go to Administration>Synaptic Package Manager. Software downloads and installs itself. For printers, the manufacturer often has Linux drivers available on their website.
        You will wonder why you didn’t change sooner.

        • Jack
          August 18, 2016 at 7:21 pm

          David H and roddy667,

          Thanks, I was looking through YouTube and found a bunch of helpful vids. I ran a Linux about 12 years ago called Lindows on a spare 486 w/2GB RAM I believe. At that time Lindows was the closest UI to Windows and worked great but I had to revert back to Mr. Softy’s WinME for business-related work.

        • August 18, 2016 at 7:57 pm

          Thanks. Will check it out.

  12. Lex Lutheran
    August 18, 2016 at 3:37 am

    A tech friend tells me that support for Win7 runs out in 2020 and suggests I have till then to learn Linux. :) He says that the intel transmitted back to Mr. Softy is easily non-anonymized and includes what wireless networks are available in your locale, what USB sticks you stick into your machine, what was transferred, how much is space is left, what personalization of your computer you carry out (which options you switch on/off), what programs are run, for how long, what docs are opened/closed and when, and so on.

    While I can understand that some of this information is useful should your machine freeze or stop working, I can see no reason for sending all this (and more, he tells me. he got bored looking at all the logs) back to Microsoft.

    Linux Mint comes recommended!

  13. Petunia
    August 18, 2016 at 8:47 am


    Upgrading to Windows 10 is a process not a single event. Even after you install it, you have to keep using the Windows up grader, in a repetitive fashion, to finish the process. This could go on for a high number of times and is very time consuming.

    Then you have to go to the web sites for every single device you have connected to your computer and check for Windows 10 upgrades as well. This should only be a one time process, do allow the device drivers to be upgraded automatically, it makes life easier.

    This should give you a usable computer at minimum.

  14. Gunther
    August 18, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Hi Wolf,

    for Win 7 there is a script called “Aegis-voat” around that claims to remove snooping in win 7 and 8 possibly even in w10. The developer stopped supporting it but it is still on github.
    As far as I know that script does what it claims to do but I did not check in depth myself.

    With changing the registry it is possible to stop cortana from sending everything to M$ but that is not for everybody either.

    I encourage to try Linux mint, installation on an empty harddisk or even usb stick should be smooth sailing. Partitioning a disk may take some trial and error to work, a separate disk is easier and safer.

    Mint has the regular internet and office programs availlable, the only thing that is not working in Netflix; at least not without the nosy google chrome.

    For a try it can be installed on an usb stick to see if it fits your needs.
    For peace of mind unplug the original harddisk for the install, then boot via BIOS what you want.


    • August 18, 2016 at 9:40 am

      Thanks. Once my Windows 7 machines give up their ghost, I’ll definitely check into Linux mint.

      • richard
        August 18, 2016 at 11:30 am

        I’m posting just to mention that the WINE project may be worth following up. The problem with it is that to run Windows applications under Linux and WINE, you have to get pretty close to the bleeding edge if things go wrong.
        Hence if you are providing support to someone, eg a wife, who is unprepared to learn non-windows ways of doing things, WINE is probably not for you.
        If you are doing routine office things and surfing, Linux Mint is probably your best option. BTW, some apps, eg Firefox, may need some tweaking to avoid leaking data to the world.
        Debian has lost its way a little IMHO, just judging by the amount of support provided to Debian stable (currently jessie) but there seems to be no alternative, again ?IMHO.
        And thanks for the insights on the site. Huge thanks!

      • Jack
        August 18, 2016 at 10:14 pm


        I go to a local library where they have SELinux installed (Security Enhanced Linux, developed by the NSA). The have no Windowz anywhere and everyone seems to use this Linux without much trouble. I love it, it’s very responsive, never hangs (I mean NEVER!), and it is secure. The only thing I noticed once was that it would not recognize an exFAT-formatted flash drive. No big deal.

        • Graham
          August 19, 2016 at 3:34 am

          exfat capability should be able to be added to SELinux (or any other) as it’s just a regular package for Linux, like any other.

    • Alan F.
      August 24, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      Aegis-voat does exactly what it claims to do. I have it deployed across dozens of Windows 7 Pro laptops with proprietary apps that 10 doesn’t play well with at all.

  15. DDearborn
    August 18, 2016 at 10:25 am


    “Telemetry” the overused euphemism for spyware can effectively by shut off in Windows 7-8 by using software from legitimate sources like Spybot’s Anti-beacon. Simple, unobtrusive, set and forget.

  16. August 18, 2016 at 11:28 am

    I only use Linux and while I have never used a chromebook, from articles I’ve seen on the net it appears to me that chromebooks will eventually replace Windows for most home users.

  17. Meme Imfurst
    August 18, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    When I first saw the icon on my machine, I though another year of new bugs. Going on line, this was when 10 came out, I found a discussion by Cornell University, which bluntly warned students and facility NOT to down load 10 and gave the KB numbers to stop the telemetry.

    I have 7 pro, and now I find than updates are ‘optional’ and most will fail using the other buggy product “explorer 11”. I finally got the KB numbers for the updates, went to Foxfire and downloaded the update on a stick and then loaded it to my desktop. Taking water to the well.

    Microsoft should be very proud to be so consistently sadistic to it’s customers in making life miserable for them.

    Three years or so and no one will need Microsoft except the masochist. And, you can count me out on that one.

  18. Petunia
    August 18, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    I am extremely amused by all the comments about how to achieve privacy on your computer and the internet. Those of you who think that privacy on your computer is achievable, while still using the internet are seriously deluded. Your ISP is the government’s best friend and all traffic coming and going is captured. Encryption is only good enough to keep out people who are not really interested. The people who are interested can break it.

    • Gunther
      August 18, 2016 at 6:36 pm


      absolute privacy online may be difficult to impossible to achieve. I am not an expert on kryptography so I can not tell you this or that encryption works reliably or not.
      There are a lot of things you can do to enhance pivacy.
      To start, get a bunch of extension for firefox:
      remove cookies and LSO’s (flash cookies) with
      “better privacy”
      “self destructing cookies”
      Set FF to clear history when closing the program

      get “noscript” to disable javascript by default and allow only where necessary
      This is a bit of trial and error but has the nice side effects of reducing data usage and keeping some advertising out.
      With this settings a lot of tracking disappears.

      To go further, get a VPN to hide your activity from your ISP. That costs anything from 3 to 12 $/month but enhances privacy further.
      Then it makes sense to get “random agent spoofer” from github. The github version contains a feature blocking “HTML5 canvas support” AKA browser fingerprinting.

      If that is not enough privacy or you do not trust the VPN operator, you can use TOR with maximum privacy settings and javascript disabled.
      Then check your settings with various privacy testing websites like “ip-check.info” for example.

      A setting like that may hide you from the spooks but it takes a while to configure and it will nott play youtube and flash in general.
      If your ISP blocks TOR you can run TOR through a VPN…
      That with Linux or maximum win 7 that has been treated for privacy you can get good privacy. If a lot of people do it the spooks will have trouble to track everybody what makes the TOR network more private.

      All of this is written from an advanced user’s perspective; as far as I know the mentioned programs do what they are supposed to do but i have nothing verified myself.

      To keep your windows-computer somewhat private, you can clean traces of usage with ccleaner and “shellbag analyzer cleaner”
      Moreover, with different user accounts on the same computer you can have one browswer with maximum privacy settings and another one for general surfing or just for a backup when too strict privacy settings make a certain website un-usable.

      I hope that answers your comment.

  19. Mark
    August 18, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    Win10 crushed my laptop beyond repair. Can I do something about it however this might be stupid to

  20. Intosh
    August 18, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    “If I get something for free, I’m the product.”

    This is gold. If that wasn’t enough, then the draconian tactics used to force Win10 down users’ throat should be a dead give-away that this OS is a Trojan horse.

    But sadly, there are too many naive unsuspecting users out there. Perhaps surprisingly, many of those are actually gadget/tech enthusiasts who visit tech sites such as Engadget, The Verge, etc. I suspect many of these people are too young to know or remember the young history of computing…

  21. Chicken
    August 18, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    WIN10 – Install this SO AS LONG AS you have a lot of time to waste and don’t aspire to accomplish much.

  22. WorldBLee
    August 18, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Contrary to others here, I have been running Windows 10 on 2 machines for a year now with no issues. It is more stable than 8.1 and performance-wise is the best Windows I’ve ever experienced. I’m no fan of MS and also run a Linux netbook but on the performance side Win 10 is the best they’ve achieved.

    I agree the privacy issues are real and should be addressed. I have everything turned off/down as much as possible but that mitigates rather than solves the issue. Of course, I also use Google Docs for collaboration with clients so there are many, many other ways the data and habits of myself and others can be gleaned by NSA and corporate snoopers. But if you want/need to run Windows apps Windows 10 is the superior choice unless you have an old Win 7 machine that is already running perfectly for you. If what you have works for you, far be it from me to tell you to switch.

  23. raoul
    August 18, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    thanks Mr. Richter, for another eye opening article. You are becoming my go-to site for relevant news and information.

    This article is all I needed to place an order for a new laptop, running ANY version of Linux recommended by my vendor.

  24. Graham
    August 18, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Some time ago (Win XP) I gave up with Windows, especially when Microsoft were trying to kill Linux via SCO (check out Groklaw).

    Linux I found ideal for the desktop and server, but impractical for the laptop.

    So I use an Airbook with Parallels VM for Linux and Windows, which works VERY well. I want to upgrade to a Macbook 12, but Apple stopped me buying it by playing childish games with a single USB-C, so I guess one day it will be another Airbook for me.

    • sinbad
      August 19, 2016 at 7:40 pm

      SCO was called Xenix, when Microsoft owned it. SCO, AIX, HPUX, Solaris are all versions of Unix. Linux was developed on Minix, or mini Unix, which later became BSD. So when Linus wrote Linux he used the Minix file system. Although similar in many ways, Linux is very different to SCO(Unix).

      Actually SCO was the Mercedes of Unix distros, which went freeware, for a while, you can still get it, but the company that owns it is now run by marketers, and they change the name every other week, and make most of their money suing other companies.

      • Graham
        August 20, 2016 at 3:27 am

        “Linux was developed on Minix, or mini Unix, which later became BSD”

        IIRC BSD was a fork of Unix, and has no connection to Minix or Linux.
        Linux was inspired by Minix but was a separate, ground up project IIRC, as Linus wanted more than Minix, Minix was an educational example only.

        So the engine of OS X, Darwin (publicly available code), is a pure UNIX from the BSD fork, similar in it’s posix compliance and architecture to Linux – but there is no code shared.

        Incidentally Linux is really GNU-Linux, Linux is only the name of the underlying OS, what people actually meet at the top level is GNU code from the FSF public licensing (who wrote this article) – which is the key for Linux, not being owned by anyone makes it free for ever, despite Microsoft’s attempts to torpedo it with patent claims etc via SCO.

        However the big fight is ODF, not the OS you run it on. With LibreOffice or OpenOffice (and lots of others), it is Open Document Format that has Microsoft panicking – for the same reason that Netscape had them panicking – it divorces Microsoft from people’s document formats. Once you switch to the ISO ODF formats, you are free to switch between Apple, Linux, Windows, Chromebook etc – so ODF is the way to break free of Microsoft – not Linux or OS/X.

  25. Kevin Beck
    August 19, 2016 at 7:22 am

    To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin: “With security, you never have privacy.”

    What places do we refer to as “security”? We no longer call our homes “places of security”; instead, they are places of privacy. Which is being disrespected more on a daily basis by governments.

    Places of security are also called “prisons.” And that’s how we should look at the issue going forward, as Microsoft has created a digital prison for us.

  26. sinbad
    August 19, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    Wow, didn’t read all the comments, just too many.

    Turn OFF, updates in control panel, use Windows 7 the last stable MS OS.
    Debian, love it, it’s the only Linux distro that has all the dependencies worked out.
    The problem is, some software is only available on the windows platform.

    I am writing this on a PC running Windows 7, no nasty get Windows10 free BS, because I won’t allow MS to meddle with my machine.
    Just turn off updates, the sky won’t fall.

    • d
      August 21, 2016 at 5:44 am

      I have to use 10, to run a certain financial software and get my free support..

      You turn off updates in 10, as a service, and again, the sky does not fall.

      Dealing with Micro$oft is cheaper than dealing with crossover mac.

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