back to article Next year's Windows 10 auto-upgrade is MSFT's worst idea since Vista

Microsoft's decision to push out Windows 10 upgrades as automatic Windows Update downloads is one of those ideas that sounded great in a Redmond meeting room, but will cause more problems than it solves. Right from the get-go Microsoft has made it clear that it is looking for a very fast rollout of Windows 10. The new …

Apart from the Orwellian level of surveillance, and the lack of basic features*, and the general instability of certain drivers**, I quite like 10. In a "oh god is this really the final push I need to switch to Linux full time" kind of way.

*auto switching between headphones and speakers when I plug/unplug headphones. How on earth did they fuck that up?!

**I'm looking at you, WHQL certified nvidia driver!

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"Apart from the..."

Heh! I couldn't help visualising the analogy of, a person content, watching the cliff hanger to their favourite tv show, while unknowingly the chip pan has set their kitchen on fire.

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@koswix

"In a "oh god is this really the final push I need to switch to Linux full time" kind of way."

I just heard from an old colleague, who is on the admin team of a science outfit that still has approx. 800 virtualised Windows machines; most on W7. He told me that this thing finally convinced their board to switch to Linux.

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Linux

Re: @koswix

Good idea but unfortunately doesn't hit Microsoft in the wallet, unless you were about to get another 800 virt W7's.

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Re: Re: @koswix

You didn't read what I wrote. I was not about to buy anything, nor was my former colleague's company. But Microsoft putting the pressure on for everybody to downgrade to W10 lost them a mid-sized customer with good standing in the scientific community and a certain amount of representativeness. Others will most likely follow. Extrapolate from there, if you will.

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Re: @koswix

Actually it does. When I was a Linux system administrator for a government department I was constantly trying to get apps onto my boxes. I could have multiple applications on a box without a problem while the Windows group had to create a new virtual server for each application which had a support cost to Microsoft of a couple of hundred dollars per year.

So once they are able to transfer their machines over to Linus then Microsoft will lose the support contract of 800 licenses. Small stuff to Microsoft but snowflakes can turn into an avalanche.

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Unhappy

Fuck, do I hate Apple

But I need a new laptop, so I've no choice now but get my first Apple product ever - a "macbook".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fuck, do I hate Apple

"But I need a new laptop, so I've no choice now but get my first Apple product ever - a "macbook"."

Why ? Just get a OS free one and put a Linux on it. Have you a special requirement ?

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Re: Fuck, do I hate Apple

No, it's just Bob 'I hate Microsoft' Vistakin telling us all, once again, that he hates Microsoft.

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Re: Fuck, do I hate Apple

Poor mans Eadon...

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Re: @koswix

My suspicion is the migration away from Windows will mostly be driven by W10 stupidities and EOL of W7. W10 is being excessively irritating and the Slurp is pouring gasoline on the fire. Most probably will sit on the sidelines until they absolutely need to replace W7. The migration of the technically literate away from Windows sets up a situation in 2 or 3 years were they are recommending migration to X. The literate would already have some experience with X and can give very good support from first hand knowledge.

Many have suggested Linux Mint as a good alternative, which it is. As many who not used a Linux distro before gain comfort with a Linux distro they will be more confident in recommending any distro to their family and friends. I am hardcore Linux only for my kit - Arch/Antergos/Manjaro. A couple of family members dual boot between Linux Mint and Windows (mostly Linux Mint). They are sometimes more aggressive at suggesting Linux than me.

The first defections will be relatively small numbers which probably would be overlooked by market research. Linux instead being at 2% is no running nearer 3% let say next year. But the 1% bump is primarily ex Windows users. In a few years that number could grow because they are actively switching many to Linux and suddenly there is an "unexplained and inexplicable" growth in Linux usage.

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Re: @koswix

Linux mint for the folks cause I'll be damned supporting an auto installing w10 on their aged Dell machine. I can bet their scanner wont work and probably not their printer either. So i might aswell play getting it installed in linux.

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Re: @koswix

Yes, for me the push to using Mint is coming from the irritations of 10.

And while the autoupdates themselves wouldn't worry me, the behaviour does.

For a start, it seems to replace the "All apps " list that I've tidied up with the ghastly mess that Microsoft have created. I like a nice ordered (all apps) start menu, with my programmes grouped according to function in folders I created. They've made that really difficult, if not impossible. So it takes a lot of effort to make the all apps list tidy and usable.

BUT, after some of the automatic updates I've found that the sodding things have been replaced. Even ones I've removed have reappeared.

Also, it's my PC and if they are updating things I want to know what has been changed. But they don't f***ing tell us anymore.

And there was at least one update that wouldn't install because the start menu had been changed. FFS, that is madness.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fuck, do I hate Apple

If your old computer has a Windows serial number on it, you should be able to use that on any new computer. (Assuming you delete the copy on your old computer.)

No need to install Windows 10. Just download whatever version of Windows was on your old computer, and install it on your new one.

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Re: @koswix

Strangely enough, working with scanners and printers is usually much easier in Linux than Windows - Linux just gets the driver and uses it, there's no need for hunting for CDs or looking for malware-free driver downloads.

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Re: @koswix

To be fair, that's a manufacturer side decision not to install basic drivers from WU which then offer optional advanced functionality/cruft (depending on POV) from installers (glares in HP printing/scanning's direction)

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Transferring Windows Key Codes?

@AC Says: "If your old computer has a Windows serial number on it, you should be able to use that on any new computer. (Assuming you delete the copy on your old computer.)

No need to install Windows 10. Just download whatever version of Windows was on your old computer, and install it on your new one."

First, it is probably illegal to move your XP, Vista or Win 7 to a new computer by using the key code from the sticker on the old one. Here's a hint, it is why the sticker is stuck on the computer, that key code belongs to that computer.

Second, with Win 8 and later, you don't get a key code.

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Happy

Re: Transferring Windows Key Codes?

It's certainly against the terms of the EULA. OTOH since the sticker is on the wall wart that came with my Zenbook, then I assume I can plug it into another computer and no-one would be the wiser. You won't tell on me will you?

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Re: @koswix

Maybe for older printers, but earlier this year I bought a new Canon Pixma iP7260 and Magiea couldn't find a driver to suit, and neither could I in the list of drivers. My old Canon i865 had a driver that worked because it was 10 years old and maybe someone had written one. I know sometimes they are on the Japanese site but no luck there either.

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"Microsoft should be trying to sell the operating system on its merits, not trying to force it down people's throats. Its tactics in doing so will lose it a lot of goodwill, a fair few customers, and will probably increase the returns for computer criminals."

I dunno, that regime seems to have done well for them since the 1980s.

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Get Stuffed!

Windows 10 "Foie gras" Service Pack 2.

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Pint

Re: Get Stuffed!

You can always glue your bill shut.. that'll stop the bastards! This chap is even supplying free bill glue:

https://github.com/WindowsLies/BlockWindows

There is a highly concerted effort by M$ to harass websites that link to this. I'm tired of constantly trying to convince website admins it's not spam.

Please repost these URLs many places on social media, blogs, etc. I'm in it for the long haul.

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Re: Get Stuffed!

erm that seems to be for win10... and other paranoid widows users... :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Get Stuffed!

"Stop Windows 10 Nagging and Spying. Works with Win7-10"

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Re: Get Stuffed!

"and other paranoid widows users"

I'm a bit concerned about your use of paranoid widows.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Get Stuffed!

I just use the Microsoft ip list on iblocklist

During the course of the day using Pfsense firewall using pfBlockerNG plugin reports hundreds of packets blocked from Microsoft.

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I wonder how many

People will wake up one day to find their media centre pc has essentially been bricked......

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Devil

Re: I wonder how many

I wonder how many people will wake up one day to find their media centre pc has essentially been bricked

Or worse. They finally get it working again and find there's a free U2 album on it.

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Re: I wonder how many

There's media center installer for 8 and 10 floating on the Internet. I've "secured" my copy and it works really well (besides EPG that MS given up on, this requires extra work) and seems mallware-free. One has to install missing codecs on 10 (and 8) but on 10 (test box, broken already while cutting down on telemetry and tile eyesores) WMC window looks better than native one on 8 - no more retarded/gaudy wide window frames.

Still, all my system run with updates set to manual, disabled "install recommended updates the same way..." and other precautions. Needless to say, MS made 10 desktop virtually unusable by shifting some system management files into the Metroland (that breaks while you attempt to restrain this gossiper of OSs).

In general I could care less for Metrocrap (easy to keep it out of sight), hate telemetry (but I can manage or even block it). What I'm really afraid is digital servitude. There's no way I'm going to be singing in to my PC with MS/internet account linked to some services I don't care for and can't control or getting my "approved" software only through the Store. While we may still be able to use local account today it's clear that with next "security" update MS will convert our local account to cloud. I'm not buying into this and games (DXn is the only reason to keeps Windows box outside business settings) is too little to keep me inside MS' walled garden.

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Re: I wonder how many

"I wonder how many people will wake up one day to find their media centre pc has essentially been bricked"

Is MS Media Centre better than OSMC running on a Raspberry Pi?

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Re: I wonder how many

I wonder how many people will wake up one day to find their media centre pc has essentially been bricked

Or worse. They finally get it working again and find there's a free U2 album on it.

Or worserer still, Bono is in your front room listening to it...

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Joke

Re: I wonder how many

"Or worserer still, Bono is in your front room listening to it..."

... slowly clapping his hands and saying: "Every time I clap my hands a child in Africa dies...."

So you have to hit him up the backside of the head with a cricket bat to save the children.

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Bah!

I don't understand why people are getting this, especially IT bods. I followed the advice of someone here about three months ago, added a key to my registery and away went the annoying tray icon. I've yet to see a demand that I upgrade too. It seems that simple change thwarted Microsoft's insidious plan.

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Re: Bah!

I infer that you don't believe that Microsoft reads the tech press.

Well, they do, and as soon as they read about the latest trick to thwart the “encouraged upgrade” to Windows 10, then they engineer a new way to thwart the thwart!

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Re: Bah!

And they'll issue a new, not-necessarily-related KB with a new number and equally vague description.

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Re: Bah!

Those of us we read and understand the tech press probably can handle the curve balls MicroSlurp is tossing. But most will not. Mucking about in the registry is not something I like doing and it scares the bejeesus out of me when some of my friends and family have to do. It means a full reinstall after attempting to salvage their data. Good way to destroy a weekend.

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Thwarting the thwart is a cybercrime.

Surely that's cybercrime!

People who have deliberately set up a way to prevent the auto upgrade from happening have clearly stated that they do not want MS to fuck around with their PC.

If MS then engineers a way to circumvent that to enable them to do things the computer owner has not permitted, then that is "hacking" - a deliberate illegal attack on a computer - about as black hat as it gets. Doing that would make MS cybercriminals liable to punishments of up to $10k or so per PC that they attack.

I don't think even MS's war-chest could stand up to that sort of fines.

Bring it on baby!

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@theodore

"And they'll issue a new, not-necessarily-related KB with a new number and equally vague description."

That is why since GWX, I read every recommended update description, on the MS website, and toss it out of the window (read hide the update) if it contains the word "telemetry" or "Win X" anywhere in the text.

Kind of sad though that you can no longer instal any update without going to the MS website, sometimes it's a whole list of updates depending on how long I didn't boot to Windows.

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Coat

Re: Bah!

"Mucking about in the registry is not something I like doing and it scares the bejeesus out of me when some of my friends and family have to do. It means a full reinstall after attempting to salvage their data. Good way to destroy a weekend."

@ a_yank_lurker

How about taking a clonezilla image of each of the relatives' hard drive as a precaution? Just leave the external hard drive with them for data security? Then you have a point of return given eventual upgrade Armageddon.

Coat: I'm not actually a windows user at home usually. I leave it to the techs at work to keep the wheels turning.

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Re: Bah!

Ask the friend or family member to go out to their local electronics megastore & purchase an external, portable, USB powered hard drive "of the largest capacity you can comfortably afford".

Use that drive to make a clone image of their machine to, then set up an auto backup schedule to save their files to the drive.

If something goes titsup on the machine then you'll have a System Image you can use to Restore to, plus their data files to recover.

If you also make a directory on the drive with all the drivers the machine needs to apply from a complete clean install, then they'll be available OffLine should the need ever arise.

Teach them what the Emergency Boot Disk is for, show them how to use it, & tell them to call you if they ever feel the need to use it so you can walk them through it & make sure they do it right.

If you give them basic tools to help themselves & the knowledge of how to use them, then they may (*may*) develop the confidence to USE them when it hits the fan.

I used to make a "Nuke & Pave CD/DVD" for just such occasions, updating it to include the appropriate drivers the specific machine required, various tools to use (from either a DOS prompt, Windows in Safe Mode, or as a LiveCD), and then make the clone to a hard drive for my customers. Tape the CD/DVD into the inside panel of the case, wrap the drive with the restore image on it in bubble wrap & an antistatic sleeve, & leave it in the bottom of the case with a note letting them know what it was for. If any other tech opened the case they'd find the CD/DVD with the latest drivers, antivirus, anti malware, tools, et al & a HDD with a restore image + clone of the original drive, ready & waiting to help. If *I* was that tech then I could have the system restored toot sweet & reloading all the security updates from the image's date of creation. Friends, family, & clients loved the fact that I could get them back up & running so quickly, and the fact that I told them how to do it themselves helped give them the confidence to know they COULD do it if needed.

So take a good sized USB FlashDrive, turn it into a LiveBoot device, load it with drivers & tools, and slap a clone image of the HDD on it for restoring. You can tell them to put the USB stick somewhere safe, and use it for the same purpose as my old N&P disks + clone image on HDD. Simply plug it in, reboot, pick the USB stick from the boot menu, & follow the prompts to restore the drive to a useable state. Bonus points if it automaticly backs up their User Space to the 'Stick first & then copies it back afterwards.

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Re: @theodore

And there's no way, as a home user,that you can make that choice once for all of the PCs in the house...

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Re: Mucking about in the registry is not something I like doing

Adding a key hardly qualifies as "Mucking about in the registry".

I reckon you downvoters should all hang your heads in shame for talking a good game but not actually manning-up when it comes to running a good defense.

I mean, one registry key that takes a value and it's over.

I hope you guys don't style yourselves "engineers". Because the term encompasses mucking about with engines ( in the full sense of the word) in its derivation.

Tsk! And more tsk!

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Re: a new, not-necessarily-related KB with a new number

Won't matter if they do. The fix I applied does not make reference to such ephemera as knowledge base index numbers.

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Re: Bah!

Microsoft is looking more and more like the malware slime that we in the trenches fight on a daily basis. I guess they couldn't build an OS that would stop 'em so they decided to joined 'em.

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Re: Bah!

@Shadow Systems - Some of my family and friends have very marginal computer skills. They are doing well to use Firefox or Chrome instead of IE. Fairly simple tasks such as making a DVD with pictures on them is beyond their abilities. I am worried more about them getting shafted by Slurp. Doing what you suggest is beyond their skills.

Remember users have skill levels ranging from minimal - barely able to turn on the computer and surf unaided - to expert knowledge of Windows registry and POSIX configuration files. Most on this site have advanced amateur to professional level skills in working with various OSes. Advanced amateur level is someone who knows how to research a problem and find the correct fix and can set up home systems without much difficulty and have a good idea how computers work.

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"perfectly legitimate advertising" bollox

I didn't buy copies of windows sold as subsidised by advertising and at no point have i willingly opted into receiving it (more accurately I've not knowingly failed to opt out of it). There is no possible interpretation of my deal with Microsoft where this is "legitimate advertising" even if they stuck to just letting me know the upgrade is available.

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Oooh! What a great movie that was...

Paul Shirley: There is no possible interpretation of my deal with Microsoft...

Darth Nadella: I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further.

Then just wait for your first not-a-service-pack-just-a-continuous-improvement

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Mushroom

Re: "perfectly legitimate advertising" bollox

Yeah I don't know why in this New Millenium "*advertising" is automatically labeled as "perfectly legitimate". It is not and the people who come up with this sort of crap should have their jaw rearranged by Boris the Russian Jail Warden.

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I sincerely love this move. Microsoft truly deserve recognition for being so amazing in their ability to continually find new ways to do something even more excessively moronic than everything that has gone before.

Please Keep it up Microsoft, your continued blatant abuse of your own customers is doing FAR more for popularizing Linux on the desktop than anything the open source community could have ever achieved on its own.

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Please Keep it up Microsoft, your continued blatant abuse of your own customers is doing FAR more for popularizing Linux on the desktop than anything the open source community could have ever achieved on its own.

Yeah, but then the open source devs do something ass-backwards and stupid, like removing fan control ability on certain models of motherboard well before all those boards are out of circulation/inoperable.

In my case, it's a board based on the IT8772F chip, and it's also my main gaming machine. The bios-based fan control does not do anywhere near an adequate job of not cooking the CPU, and being an off-the-shelf model, the crippleware bios that it ships with can't be flashed with a better one, because there isn't one.

Normally I wouldn't bitch, but I really want to try Kubuntu (and a few other distros) on this machine without having to virtualize it, plus I have enough linux games in my steam collection to make it worth my while. But I can't, without either : Suffering horribly form the sound of a 4000 RPM fan screaming beside my head, buying and installing an expensive fan controller module, or replacing my CPU cooler with something much beefier and praying it doesn't just bend/snap my motherboard.

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