back to article Microsoft nicks one more Apple idea: An ad-supported OS

Microsoft's Department of Annoying The Users has been quiet since the end of the GWX scheme. The Department's Greatest Hit so far has been the "Get Windows 10" promotion, which involved a pervasive popup reminding Windows 8 and 7 users to upgrade. This co-opted a number of sophisticated malware techniques to get the message …

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My solution is that I don't use OneDrive so disabling notifications from it is not a problem for me. I never registered an account so it can't even guess where to upload stuff. Not that I wouldn't put it past them to sync stuff to the cloud with a unique ID that can later be assigned if I ever did register.

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Devil

My solution is that I don't use OneDrive

My solution is that I don't use WIN-10-NIC .

(your solution is still a good start, though)

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DJV

OneDrive

I tried it for a short while. It failed several times so now the only thing I do with OneDrive on any machine, is to remove or disable it.

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My solution

I just handed back another laptop, unwanted Win10 from Win7.

I fixed it by putting on Linux Mint + Mate with customised "Redmond Theme", Noscript + Classic Theme restorer in Firefox (disabled PDF view in browser), and I took pity and changed most of the sillier defaults in Libre Office (though they arn't as silly as Windows defaults for last 25 years).

Added Skype and Wine and Mono.

The PDF viewer works better than Foxit or Adobe (the save page as image is nice).

How many ordinary folk use more than browser, email, basic "office" features, PDF viewer, image viewer etc?

(I also made Caps Lock be both shift keys and Caps Lock Key be "compose").

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Re: My solution

More or less did the EXACT same about 6 months ago.

No regrets so far.

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Re: My solution

"More or less did the EXACT same about 6 months ago. No regrets so far."

No indeed.

But what about in 2 years, when Chrome stops supporting Windows 7 and you can no longer visit certain websites? Sounds far-fetched but I've seen it happen with XP and then Vista. Some work in Firefox but others just don't.

You have a choice now, but some day down the track you won't and it's not going to be any better then. And yes, you can use another OS, but what if you actually can't? (For whatever reason?)

Technically-savvy people can almost always get around things like this and set up virtualisation and dual booting to compartmentalise their tasks but the vast, vast majority don't have the knowledge and/or resources to do so.

Like it or not, this is the road down which post of the population is being directed.

Sorry - I am not feeling well today and the trajectory I see the IT industry taking fills me with depression and cynicism.

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Unhappy

Re: My solution

"Sorry - I am not feeling well today and the trajectory I see the IT industry taking fills me with depression and cynicism."

That's why I want out.

Once we made things, now we let others make them, while we support them. Soon we won't make or support them.

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MCG

Re: My solution

I can't honestly say I've run across any websites that work in Chrome but not in Firefox. URL, please?

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Re: My solution

@dan1980

"But what about in 2 years, when Chrome stops supporting Windows 7 and you can no longer visit certain websites? Sounds far-fetched but I've seen it happen with XP and then Vista. Some work in Firefox but others just don't."

The only websites I've ever seen that didn't work in Firefox used ActiveX or Javascript, hence I didn't want to use them anyway.

Would be happy to be proved wrong on that.

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Re: My solution

Often, they are sites offering SaaS - 'cloud' applications. It's not always that they won't work in Firefox so much as the vendor insisting that they only support usage via Chrome and any bug that occurs will not be investigated unless it occurs using Chrome as they develop and test for Chrome.

I have clients that use Chrome, IE and Firefox all together, depending on the site. IE for a SaaS platform using Silverlight, Chrome for another SaaS platform (because that is what is supported) and Firefox for some government sites which require plugins that aren't usable on Chrome.

The fact that you, as an IT-savvy person doesn't want to use that site is irrelevant (no offence) to the rank-and-file employees who have to.

Sure, in a sysadmin's perfect world, we could dictact which browsers and add-ins can be used and everyone else in the company would seek our nod of consent if they wanted to use a site. But that's just not reality for the overwhelming majority of companies.

If you work somewhere where you can overrule a SaaS purchasing decision because you don't approve of the browser requirement then congratulations. But I have never worked anywhere like that.

The point is that browser compatibility is an annoyingly shifting landscape of vendors and versions and add-ins and compatibility and support can be fickle and equally annoying. If you've never been in the situation I described then, again, congratulations, but I have and I am sure I am not alone.

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Re: My solution

Excellent. As a life long MS developer, I did the same thing. Cannot stand the decisions MS has made since Bill left and the os is degenerating into crap ware run by the marketing department.

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Big Brother

But will Apple file suit against MS?

I expect the Cupertino spaceship is not amused at MS implementing something they clearly invented (not).

Either way, Ads like this are the lowest of the low.

As has been said in BetaNews, Windows 10 is just an ad carrying vehicle and spyware combined.

https://betanews.com/2017/03/12/disgustingly-sneaky-windows-10-ads/

The sooner it is consigned to history the better.

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Re: But will Apple file suit against MS?

Apple has NEVER sued anyone for violating a patent that they don't use themselves. If you disbelieve that, instead of voting me down, how about providing proof? I've been asking for an example of this here for years and no one has come up with any, because they don't do it. They will sue the hell out of you if you violate a patent they are using, but they could care less about stuff they don't use in their own products.

But it may be irrelevant, as their implementation would probably be different than what is covered in the patent, and Apple and Microsoft have patent cross licensing agreements which might cover this.

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Re: But will Apple file suit against MS?

It's not a real patent. It should be chucked out.

Though it's USPTO and USA, so probably it won't. :(

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Headmaster

Re: But will Apple file suit against MS?

"They will sue the hell out of you if you violate a patent they are using, but they could care less about stuff they don't use in their own products."

I'm just going to leave this here.

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FAIL

Re: But will Apple file suit against MS?

Careful. Windows 10 may be consigned but MS is on a roll (downhill very fast) so windows 11 will only have more.

You meant to say hope MS is consigned to history so lessons learned will include no spying and no ads.

Then again we live in a post truth trump, snoopers charter era. So spying, malware pumping ads and you renting your OS are here to stay.

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Re: But will Apple file suit against MS?

From that article: "Does Microsoft think we're stupid?"

No. It doesn't think we're stupid. It *knows* enough of us are stupid enough to put up with this. The others, who aren't stupid enough, can get lost for all it cares. We're not the target audience anymore. We never were. They don't care if we rant and rave and switch to Linux. We were never profitable. We expected improvements, stability, security. None of those things make Microsoft money.

The sheep, those are where the money is. They put up with ads, shovelware, and blatant scams. They're the ones who "upgrade" to a "pro" version when faced with a nag screen. The ones who accept all the optional programs with an install. The ones who never check the privacy settings.

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Re: But will Apple file suit against MS?

@Steve Davies 3

Be careful what you wish for.

Microsoft will not release another version of Windows.

The next OS they release will be "Microsoft Ads 1"

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Ads...ads...ads....

How long before someone figures out how to infect a machine with malware using these ads ?

Looks like adding another attack-vector to me...

If you can infect a browser... why not an OS ?

Maybe it's time for an AdBlocker...

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Re: Ads...ads...ads....

Windows already is malware.

So malware on malware?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ads...ads...ads....

In this case, the OS *is* the infection

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Re: Ads...ads...ads....

> "Windows already is malware."

Incorrect. Malware tends to be fast, efficient, well coded, and supported by its developer. Windows cannot claim any of these.

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There used to be a joke...

... that on Windows 97 error messages will have ads.

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Facepalm

Wait...

So you get the ads even if you already have the service they are selling?

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Wait...

Yes.

C.

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Re: Wait...

Works for cable TV, right?

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Anonymous Coward

See MS *does* love Linux

And is doing everything it can to push everyone towards it.

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Re: See MS *does* love Linux

Seems so; it was the GWX fiasco that prompted me to push W10 into a dual-boot option that's only (rarely) used if there's no other way of doing something. Which means that "Unfortunately the only way to disable the promo blaster is as follows:" isn't really the case for me any more. :-)

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Devil

Re: See MS *does* love Linux

*sigh* I so wish it were true, but I fear the alternative [that "ads in the OS" become "the new normal"]

/me thinks of the TV screen from 'Idiocracy' that has 3/4 of its area COVERED in moving advertisements, while the middle 25% of the screen has the actual content in it...

OW MY BALLS!

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Re: See MS *does* love Linux

The only ads I see are in a browser, do not see with the OS but then I use Arch Linux.

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Re: See MS *does* love Linux

Idiocracy wasn't a comedy - it was a prophesy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: See MS *does* love Linux

"Idiocracy wasn't a comedy - it was a prophesy"

Nope. It was a documentary. From the Future!

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Re: See MS *does* love Linux

"/me thinks of the TV screen from 'Idiocracy' that has 3/4 of its area COVERED in moving advertisements, while the middle 25% of the screen has the actual content in it..."

I offer you this.

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Don't forget the "suggested apps" that crop up in the Start abomination. Thankfully easier to turn off.

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Unfortunately the only way to disable the promo blaster is as follows:

Trust me there are other ways.......

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Ublock Origin for Windows OS?

Hopefully someone is developing a good "Ublock Origin" for this kind of OS AdwareMalware.

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TRT
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I came across this today...

https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2014/03/salt-found-to-improve-red-wine-flavour/ about Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft’s former chief technology officer.

So they have a history of "improving the consumer experience" through radical departures from received wisdom, it seems.

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This post has been deleted by its author

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"https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2014/03/salt-found-to-improve-red-wine-flavour/ about Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft’s former chief technology officer.

So they have a history of "improving the consumer experience" through radical departures from received wisdom, it seems."

So he's addicted to Cooking Sherry then?

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Don't laugh.

A little bit of salt (not enough to taste it directly!) will improve the flavo(u)r of all kinds of things. I put it into homemade ice cream, just as one example.

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Devil

SpamOS?

If Microsoft really wants to give this idea a try, they should start with Windows Mobile and Lumia phones. It would be an Extinction Level Event for Windows Mobile.

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Facepalm

Re: SpamOS?

This *Windows Mobile" you speak of. Now 99%+ of smartphones run either iOS or Android, would it be helpful to ask Nokia to piss on this burning platform to finally put it out of its misery? It wouldn't take long.

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I presume

That as I'm being forced to watch adverts, the cost of all their services will be drastically reduced?

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Re: I presume

Like making the OS free at point of use?

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Flame

Re: I presume

Oh, absolutely, and Microsoft are super keen to ensure that you get value in return for all the ads.

Windows 10 Pro, for example, is a $2700 value - but because of the ads, and the telemetry, and the fact that you have so generously agreed to volunteer for the mandatory beta testing, they can bring it to you for the low, low price of only $100.

Over a $2600 saving! Just for watching a few¹ adverts!

¹ -dozen²

² - well, hundred³

³ plus a few zeroes, ish

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I presume

anything, repeat ANYTHING that gets past my Ad screening and blocking goes on my blacklist and is never ever bought.

I hate all Adverts with a vengance and would love to nuke all Ad agencies and ad slingers.

Yours,

Grumpy Old Man.

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Re: I presume

Same here... I script block any site that slings ads and then block the entire domain in 2 blockers... If some nasty site does manage to slip through a pop over/under/tab all I tend to see is a blank page.

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Re: the cost of all their services will be drastically reduced?

I thought that in fact most of the running copies of Win10 where given away free.

I wonder what the % piracy of Win 10 is compared to Win98 and WinXP?

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Re: I presume

>That as I'm being forced to watch adverts, the cost of all their services will be drastically reduced?

Haha! No.

It just pays for more advertising.

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Re: the cost of all their services will be drastically reduced?

> I thought that in fact most of the running copies of Win10 where given away free.

No. Not even close.

About 250million PCs and laptops are sold every year with the majority being forced by Microsoft to have Windows 10 on them. These are not free, the price of W10 is part of the computer price and this is passed to MS. These new PCs and laptops are the bulk of the 'running copies of Win10'.

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