back to article Windows 10 Pro goes Home as Microsoft fires up downgrade server

Microsoft's activation servers appear to be on the blink this morning – some Windows 10 users woke up to find their Pro systems have, er, gone Home. Twitter user Matt Wadley was one of the first out of the gate, complaining that following an update to the freshly released Insider build of next year's Windows, his machine …

  1. msknight Silver badge
    Joke

    Just go Linux

    You know it makes sense.

  2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Re: Just go Linux

    The best way to upgrade Windows!

  3. el kabong

    The joke is on you!

    You get screwed over and over by microshaft and yet seem to believe this all a laughing matter.

    Respect yourself, or no one else will respect you.

  4. msknight Silver badge

    Re: The joke is on you!

    You've got to laugh El Kabong... or else you cry. The choice is yours.

    (ps. The joke isn't on me... but I'm not going to rub my home set up into other people's wounds.)

  5. tony2heads

    Re: The joke is on you!

    Cue the Staple Singers

  6. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Re: el kabong

    "You get screwed over and over by microshaft and yet seem to believe this all a laughing matter"

    Yeah, it's bloody hilarious. You keep getting screwed over and still stick with Microsoft. There are other operating systems out there. Are we all supposed to ignore this and not point out the obvious to spare your feelings?

  7. msknight Silver badge

    Re: The joke is on you!

    Good call @Tony2Heads

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: The joke is on you!

    "Respect yourself, or no one else will respect you."

    I don't need to respect myself, i have alcohol and a cat...

  9. Fizzle
    Angel

    Re: The joke is on you!

    Plus 1 million for the kat!

  10. IsJustabloke Silver badge
    Trollface

    Re: The joke is on you!

    "i have alcohol and a cat..."

    I very much doubt the cat has any respect for you.

  11. FIA

    Re: el kabong

    "You get screwed over and over by microshaft and yet seem to believe this all a laughing matter"

    Yeah, it's bloody hilarious. You keep getting screwed over and still stick with Microsoft.

    What do you mean by 'keep getting screwed over'? In 30 days he'll have some slightly irritating nagging telling him to activate windows. That's pretty much it. How is that being 'screwed over', doesn't sound like he's lost any data, or anything has ceased working??

    There are other operating systems out there. Are we all supposed to ignore this and not point out the obvious to spare your feelings?

    So, you're suggesting, rather than simply ignoring the little red text for a few days the user should completely change their operating system, then spend time finding decent alternatives for all the software they use (which may or may not exist), then learn a completely different workflow and set of system admin skills because of a small transient issue? It does seem a little overkill.

    Linux is a great operating system, and there are those that choose to use it, but there are other people who choose Windows, it's fine, both are good at what they do these days; not everyone makes their choices based on the same set of criteria. You're not sparing anyones feeilngs by not going on about Linux, but sometimes the single minded evangalism of a system (one that is founded on the basis of choice) can come across as a little miopic.

  12. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Re: That's pretty much it. How is that being 'screwed over'[?]

    So if you're going to put up with having the reduced functionality of Home for 30 days then you might as well have gone for Home in the first place.

    If it doesn't do what it says on the tin then you should be rightly annoyed. Have a downvote (not often I dish those out).

  13. LeeE Silver badge

    Re: Just go Linux

    This seems to apply to the 'Insider' program only, and it seems to me that some people who sign up to the 'Insider' program simply don't understand that what they're getting is pre-production code, for testing and evaluation purposes only. Linux isn't going to fix that level of ignorance.

  14. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Re: el kabong

    "So, you're suggesting, rather than simply ignoring the little red text for a few days the user should completely change their operating system, then spend time finding decent alternatives for all the software they use (which may or may not exist), then learn a completely different workflow and set of system admin skills because of a small transient issue? It does seem a little overkill."

    I'm suggesting anything except Windows at this point (heck, even use Mac if you prefer). Windows is becoming so unstable and untrustable with your personal files that the alternatives are all much better. Every week few days there's another report of a massive bug (usually because of Microsoft not quality testing anymore) deleting people's files or fucking something up drastically.

  15. Tigra 07 Silver badge

    RE: Lee

    Bugs in the Insider program are still finding their way into the actual wider public release, instead of being fixed. There's been like weekly reports of it on this very site.

  16. WatAWorld

    Re: Just go Linux "Take my Linux ... please!"

    I dunno, so many people pay over $100 for MS Windows, and pay hundreds of dollars in premium hardware costs to run MacOS, Linux fanbois can't give their pet OS away for free, and those same fanbois are convinced their pet OS is the best for the wider public.

    Some kind of disconnect there.

    Maybe you Linuxees need a new marketing slogan:

    Paraphrasing Henny Youngman, "Take my Linux ... please!"

    www youtube com/watch?v=qUil6T5dN6Y

    Better than the current slogan, "Linux, so good we can't give it away for free."

  17. doublelayer

    Re: Just go Linux

    For the record:

    1. This applies to non-insiders. It is not beta code that broke, but instead Microsoft's production servers.

    2. There are things that you can do in windows pro that you cannot do in windows home. People doing those things selected pro for that reason. If they are affected by this bug, it is more than a minor annoyance or some grumpy license notification.

  18. Updraft102 Silver badge

    Re: Just go Linux "Take my Linux ... please!"

    I dunno, so many people pay over $100 for MS Windows, and pay hundreds of dollars in premium hardware costs to run MacOS, Linux fanbois can't give their pet OS away for free, and those same fanbois are convinced their pet OS is the best for the wider public.

    Not that many people pay over $100 for Windows relative to the total number who use Windows. That's one reason MS was in such a hurry to try to get every home/SOHO user of Windows 7/8/8.1 to take the free upgrade. They weren't losing out on tons of money from upgrades by giving them away... the actual number who would have taken it upon themselves to buy and install a different version of Windows than the PC came with was never anything but a drop in the bucket.

    Most PCs come with Windows and are never used with any other OS than the one it came with. Replacing the OS on a computer they bought as a unit would be like buying a car and replacing the engine with a completely different one. They don't think of the OS as mere software that is running on the hardware, but a part of the whole. This inertia is one of the big things that gets in the way of people taking an affirmative step towards freedom from Microsoft's abuse. People have such an ingrained Stockholm syndrome that they just take the abuse and take the abuse and never think there are any alternatives, even when one is staring them in the face. Maybe it's not suitable for all of them, but it could work for some.

  19. Updraft102 Silver badge

    Re: el kabong

    So, you're suggesting, rather than simply ignoring the little red text for a few days the user should completely change their operating system, then spend time finding decent alternatives for all the software they use (which may or may not exist), then learn a completely different workflow and set of system admin skills because of a small transient issue?

    It's not simply one small transient issue. It's a never-ending stream of issues, some more transient than others. The extreme bugginess of their code is a function of an unnecessary rapid release schedule that's driven by the marketing department and their decision to fire their QA team and conscript consumer-level Windows users as beta testers in order to save money.

    This is just one bug among a never-ending sea of bugs that can reasonably be expected to last as long as Microsoft thinks that what they're doing is a viable business practice (which in turn is based on how much abuse their customers will tolerate). Windows 10 has been out for more than three years, and it's still a bug-infested piece of crap. As long as MS keeps "Windows as a Service," it will always be that way. Three years is enough time for them to realize it does not work, and if they were interested in fixing it, they would have done so by now. Why should they? They are putting out pure garbage, and the market share of that garbage continues to increase each month. As long as people tolerate the abuse, they're silently endorsing Microsoft's practices. Thank you sir, may I have another?

  20. bombastic bob Silver badge
    FAIL

    Re: el kabong

    "In 30 days he'll have some slightly irritating nagging telling him to activate windows."

    Implications:

    a) Micro-shaft Win-10-nic needs to access their "activation servers" on a REGULAR BASIS?

    b) WHY was it turned into a 'Home' system because THEY broke something?

    c) No PREVIOUS version of windows (to the best of my knowledge) needed any kind of continuous on-line RE-ACTIVATION process to "stay valid"

    d) what if you leave your computer OFF for MORE THAN A MONTH? Or, how about OFFLINE for MORE THAN A MONTH?

    e) what if it's a VM that you only run when you HAVE to? [I should test this after I back it up]

    f) Micro-shaft has JUST broken their 'contract' with the users by letting this happen

    In short, this whole thing *STINKS* like MICRO-SHAT <-- not a spelling error

  21. vtcodger Silver badge

    Re: Just go Linux "Take my Linux ... please!"

    "Linux, so good we can't give it away for free."

    As opposed to :

    "Windows, the OS for those whose life includes insufficient aggravation?"

    Personally, I concluded decades ago that I'm not smart enough to use either OS properly. But unix turned out to be easier to tame. At least for me.

  22. nematoad Silver badge

    Re: el kabong

    "There are other operating systems out there."

    Yes, that's right, you could always use Apple's offering. Oh, wait.

  23. Richard Plinston Silver badge

    Re: Just go Linux "Take my Linux ... please!"

    > Not that many people pay over $100 for Windows

    > Most PCs come with Windows

    When you buy a PC from an OEM or retailer and it 'comes with Windows' the manufacturer has sent money to Microsoft. This is part of the BOM cost and wholesale and retail margins are added to the total cost.

    The PC doesn't just 'come with Windows', you are paying for it. With markup it may well be 'over $100'.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Just go Linux "Take my Linux ... please!"

    "Linux, so good we can't give it away for free."

    ROFL !

    I have used Linux for over a decade, but it's on a spare PC. Tried to use it many times as the main OS, but it's not suitable for users who have to use the MS Office workflow, acounting, etc. Good for some basic tools and domestic use, and some non-profits, but the rest of us MUST work in the MS world and have to suffer its occasional foibles.

    I may consider a Mac one day, but theprice premium is ridiculous, expecially for kit with too few ports and no SD card slots, all heading in the direction of the iPad.

  25. John Sanders
    Linux

    Re: Just go Linux

    Spot on.

  26. redwine

    Re: Just go Linux

    I updated my laptop to from Windows 7 Windows 10 a couple of weeks back (you can still do it for free) and since then it hangs within 24 hours. It's an older gen i7 with 4GB RAM - should be fine. I tried contacting M$ Support but gave up, going to install Linux this weekend, prolly Fedora as I manage RHEL clone instances for work.

    I used to prefer KDE years back, what desktop do people go for these days - Gnome? KDE? Other?

  27. Unixman39

    Re: Just go Linux

    Running Opensuse here as my primary OS. Still dealing with Win 10 for some graphics programs. They borked my machine last night as well. Can't wait till get a real photographic editing under Linux so I can be done with Billy Gates for good!

  28. Unixman39

    Re: Just go Linux

    Not on insider program and I run Opensuse with WinCrap 10 for some graphics. I use Linux far more but this stupid crap bit me last night. Once a good graphics packages comes for Linux, I will nuke that NTFS partition and and make it all ext4!

  29. Unixman39

    Re: Just go Linux

    Using KDE Plasma desktop on Opensuse Leap 15 here. Love it!

  30. John Sanders
    Linux

    Re: The joke is on you!

    I've said it multiple times, If MS wants to do you in the rear, they ask and people just assume the position.

    Anything to avoid having to think.

  31. Danny 14 Silver badge

    Re: The joke is on you!

    one of the biggest things to go in home edition is VPN. That should put a bit of a sting on those people with VPN users at home (assuming MS client of course)

  32. doublelayer

    Re: el kabong

    Previous post asks:

    "b) WHY was it turned into a 'Home' system because THEY broke something?"

    That is just how their system broke. There isn't a good explanation possible, and I'm sure when they get around to having an explanation it won't be good.

    "c) No PREVIOUS version of windows (to the best of my knowledge) needed any kind of continuous on-line RE-ACTIVATION process to "stay valid" d) what if you leave your computer OFF for MORE THAN A MONTH? Or, how about OFFLINE for MORE THAN A MONTH? e) what if it's a VM that you only run when you HAVE to? [I should test this after I back it up]"

    As far as I know, having run an airgapped windows machine for a while (yes, windows 10, don't ask why), windows doesn't need to contact the servers for it to stay valid. It will continue to work. It is just that when updating, it does contact the servers and then assumes that anything they say is correct. So VMs or computers not used in some time should be fine. Computers that updated something in the past week probably aren't.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Just go Linux

    I have 1 Win10 laptop. I honestly cannot even be bothered to boot it to 10.

    I'm gonna have to VM 7 for legacy, and possibly even buy 8.1 for some more recent builds... but 10... I might use it for skunkworks. XD

  34. The_Idiot

    Re: The joke is on you!

    My cat likes windows. She sits and stares out of the at the traffic twenty-five floors below and smiles ot herself. She watches the rain on them and, I'm sure, snuggles inside, remembering when she was a street cat out in the cold and rain before she was rescued - _before_ she had windows. On the other hand she was sort of unix-ed after her first litter (is a neutered female a eunixed one?), so I guess she has the best of both ways of operating... :-).

  35. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Re: Just go Linux "Take my Linux ... please!"

    "Replacing the OS on a computer they bought as a unit would be like buying a car and replacing the engine with a completely different one."

    More like remapping the ECU so the engine works like a better one.

  36. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Re: Just go Linux

    "I used to prefer KDE years back, what desktop do people go for these days"

    KDE but it's not as good as it was. The UX flat GUI infestation gets everywhere.

  37. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Re: The joke is on you!

    "If MS wants to do you in the rear, they ask"

    Ask?

  38. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
    Linux

    Re: Just go Linux "Take my Linux ... please!"

    My suggested tagline for Linux:

    Linux: it's free, and it doesn't suck any worse than Windows.

    // I will admit, it is an acquired taste, but I have been using it at home for almost 20 years, no complaints

    // Currently using Mint MATE

  39. RAMChYLD

    Re: Just go Linux

    Well, if your intention of keeping windows around is because of games (especially those from asshole Linux-hating companies like Blizzard and Ubisoft), going Linux doesn’t really make sense.

  40. RAMChYLD

    Re: Just go Linux

    It not only those on Insider. It affects those who bought a machine with the Home version of Windows then upgraded to Pro via an upgrade pack key.

  41. GerryMC

    Re: Just go Linux

    OK, I will get Embarcadero to create a Linux version of the Delphi IDE, rewrite a large ERP type system to run on Linux, and get all of the thousands of users to change to Linux as well.

    Oh, and move to LibreOffice or whatever it is called now.

    Should only take a few years and millions of dollars.

  42. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Re: Just go Linux

    Did you even bother to read the Article?

    1) I wasn't aware of there being something greater then Win X*

    2) This is something that is THANKFULLY ONLY AFFECTING those with Windows X

    So....

    A) Upgrade to what exactly?

    B) What if you cant, because M$ are becoming to shite at keeping their Software aflot?

    * With the execption of possibly Windows 7 SP1

  43. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Re: Just go Linux

    Using Windows X Slurp Edition for your Skunkworks Division... What could possibly ever go wrong?

  44. hplasm Silver badge
    Devil

    Re: Just go Linux "Take my Linux ... please!"

    "Replacing the OS on a computer they bought as a unit would be like buying a car and replacing the engine with a completely different one."

    Replacing Windows on a computer they bought as a unit would be like buying a carriage and replacing the horse in front with an engine.

    FTFY

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Just go Linux

    I used to prefer KDE years back, what desktop do people go for these days - Gnome? KDE? Other?

    KDE for me with KDE Neon distro for the most recent updates to everything KDE. Been using it for years and love it more now than ever.

    Ive just done a little coding on Win 10 which happened to have excel 2010. Compared to Linux it really is like using a toy OS. And whats with the ribbon. What an untity mess it looks compared to Libreoffice!

    Each to their own I guess.

    One thing is more sure anybody using windows in a mission critical situation needs to look at the alternatives, alternatives where you're in control not Redmond.

  46. phr0g

    Re: Just go Linux "Take my Linux ... please!"

    I always find this attitude slightly bemusing.

    I am a long-time developer (originally on Unix mini-computers, and recently in the Windows and Linux environments for different parts of our workflow). I have used Unix, Linux, Windows, MacOS throughout the years and whilst I have zero choice at work, I do at home.

    I have tried to live with Linux. I had YellowDog on the original PS3 as well as Ubuntu, Mint etc on my desktop.

    However, when it comes down to it, I do prefer Windows. I know how to script, and I know how to use command line tools, but in the end, Windows is easier.

    Not to mention that I am a gamer, I have a subscription to Photoshop and Lightroom and use Office365 (mainly for the 5 Terrabytes/5 users I get for the yearly subscription (which makes it by far the cheapest cloud-storage option).

    I also use a Lenovo Yoga 2 pro as my home laptop, which plays very nicely with Win 10, especially when I use it in tablet mode. I have tried to find a decent Linux distro that comes close for tablet useage, but they are miles away...

    As for the general, non-IT public, Windows (or MacOS) makes for a far better experience than Linux for simple ease-of-use reasons.

    My PC has "Please activate windows" this morning. Hopefully they will sort out the problem soon, but it doesn't seem to be stopping me from doing anything.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: el kabong

    Linux Mint bricked my brand new Win 10 Pro laptop. Had to send it back to the manufacturer have it fixed.

  48. Steve 114
    Thumb Down

    Re: Just go Linux

    Of course I can, it's on dual-boot. But that doesn't solve the problem with all the irreplaceable (and often legacy) things that depend on Windows.

  49. Thunderpants

    Re: Just go Linux "Take my Linux ... please!"

    "I dunno, so many people pay over $100 for MS Windows, and pay hundreds of dollars in premium hardware costs to run MacOS, Linux fanbois can't give their pet OS away for free, and those same fanbois are convinced their pet OS is the best for the wider public."

    Gaming unfortunately. The only reason I don't run Linux. The stuff I play only works on Windows and experimentation into emulation with Wine or alternatives hasn't been a great success :(

  50. Usermane

    Re: Just go Linux

    LXDE, is light and fast.

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