back to article Microsoft vacates moral high ground for the data slurpers' cesspit

A funny thing happened while I was reinstalling Windows 8 over Windows 10 yesterday morning. There in front of me, halfway through the installation process, were two full, clear pages of privacy toggles. Every toggle was set to not send private information to Microsoft, or anyone else. In addition, Windows 8 created a local …

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Re: Correct, but money rules...

I'm pretty sure WIndows 10 will fail spectacularly.

Windows 7 users have no reason to "upgrade". There is nothing tempting about Windows 10 for them.

Only Windows 8 users have a real reason to "upgrade", but Windows 8 doesn't have a large market share. Windows 10 GUI changes should really have been a service pack for 8, as an apology for its clumsy GUI.

PC sales are down, and probably mostly bouyed by corporate sales. Corporations have only just transitioned to Windows 7, if that. No way will they transition to Windows 10 as it looks at the moment.

MS tries to charge you for an OS that is essentially a tool for MS to monetise you. Not a good plan.

The "free" version of Windows 10 is essentially a conversion of another OS (Windows 7 or 8) into an operating system where control of it has been transferred to MS (via the mandatory update path).

The new version you get is tied to the hardware. It is unclear what happens when the motherboard dies, or the harddisk needs upgrading, etc. If you previously had a fully payed for version of Windows,

with installation media, installable on the PC of your choice, you would be MAD to swap that with a Windows 10 version! (I can see lot's of back pedaling by MS in the future when angry hordes have finally discovered what they accidentally have agreed upon.)

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Instructions on how to increase privacy in Windows 10

https://fix10.isleaked.com/

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Re: Instructions on how to increase privacy in Windows 10

Also here (apart from Ubuntu)

distrowatch.org

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Re: Instructions on how to increase privacy in Windows 10

Thanks for this, I have sent this link to my clients.

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Re: Instructions on how to increase privacy in Windows 10

Nuke it from orbit - it's the only way to be sure.

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Big Brother

If you've done nothing wrong, you've nothing to worry about

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I'm sorry to say this

But that is such a euro thing to say. There are several reasons to be upset.

First: You are being studied like a zoo animal. Do you trust your overlords to do the right thing? or does absolute power corrupt absolutely?

They aren't just trying to find bad guys, they are making a fortune off you. Targeting your children even. Influencing everyday life and stagnating the creative mind. Should we all conform? Unfortunately, we have little choice at this point. Welcome to 1984, you were warned 30 years ago this was the danger of technology. Next up is google ai overlords making sure you do what is expected.

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Practicing for your NSA entrance exam ?

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Today, "worrying" IS doing something wrong. Be happy, keep shopping! ♪ ♪

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Holmes

1984

Really? What you have actually DONE may soon be irrelevant. I suggest you update your views by reading Orwell's 1984.

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Upvoted

I'm fine with any form of wit, even sarcasm. The downvoters will have a long wait for any other type around here.

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Re: I'm sorry to say this

...and I'm not even getting into the fact that you are out there now... everything about you. centralized and ready for the pickings. They WILL be hacked, only a matter of time before someone gets to the database they are creating.

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Two good answers to that

1. The Innocence Project https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Innocence_project shows otherwise

2. Khow any suspect, who happens to be a law enforcement officer, who tells all rather than shuts up and demands a lawyer?

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Meh

If you've done nothing wrong, you've nothing to worry about

Where wrong == Installed Windows 10.

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If you've done nothing wrong, you haven't lived.

-A.

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Anonymous Coward

"If you've done nothing wrong, you haven't lived."

I am certainly not going to die regretting the naughty things I did (that didn't harm other people). But in Cameron/May (and US corps.) new world of intrusive surveillance, I might be made to.

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Anonymous Coward

"Be happy, keep shopping! ♪ ♪"

I would.

Except they sent my job to India so there's little brass for shopping any more.

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"@J J Carter

Don't do that. The whoosh sound deafened me.

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Until "they" fit you up with something.

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This post has been deleted by its author

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IT Angle

Secure, or insecure?

I'm testing Windows 10 on an old machine, just for the fun of it really. Today, I noticed that Edge (the new browser) doesn't show the protocol tag (http or https) in the address bar. There may be a display option setting I'm missing, but it makes it harder to tell if you've logged in to a secure or insecure site.

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Re: Secure, or insecure?

Secure site? Is there anything anymore? Sure the site might be, but your doings about that site aren't private. Just ask Google, the 5-Eyes, and now MS.

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FAIL

Win 10 - no thanks!

From what I can see so far, Win 10 is basically a decent OS, UNTIL you take privacy and data collection into account. With some effort you can disable most of the objectionable settings, but in doing so you significantly cripple many of the "features" that make the OS attractive. I can see why it is "free", but not even I want to sign up to a free system only to have to cripple it in order to use it safely.

I'll keep a copy of Win 7 alive in VirtualBox on my work Linux machine, but that's about as close to MS as I am willing to get. Oh, and it has no internet access, ever, unless I decide to download some useful update.

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Thumb Down

To badly quote South Park...

Stage 1 - Collect all personal data...

Stage 2 - ?

Stage 3 - Profit!

I wonder what the Microsoft gnomes are cooking up for stage 2. The only thing we can rely on is that today's Microsoft is too crap to every get it right. But I'm still not going to touch Windows 10.

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Microsoft? High morl ground?!

ISTR from my readingof Groklaw over the years that MS was behind the SCO farce.

I agree thought tht El Reg has been slow at criticising Google for its failings, too.

And I pointed out 5 ays ago somehwere in the commentard stream that MS likely now see its users as the product. They're probably seeing if they can head Facebook and Google off at the pass.

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Re: Microsoft? High morl ground?!

ISTR from my readingof Groklaw over the years that MS was behind the SCO farce.

Only tangentially. That guy from SCO (Daryl McBride I presume) wrecked the company all by himself.

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Re: Microsoft? High morl ground?!

The farce I was referring to was the attempt to throttle Linux, using SCO as a front, on entirely spurious grounds. That SCO itself was a farce wass, as you correctly say, down to Mr McBride.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft? High morl ground?!

I'm glad to be reminded of that wonderful saga. Especially the guy who worked in an office opposite McBride's and used to report on his comings and goings, and how he appeared to be enjoying his day.

Sadly since then PR has become much more professional, and we probably won't see his like again.

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Re: Microsoft? High moral ground?!

One part was quite clear - MS (and Sun) felt a sudden urge to buy 20M$ 'Unix licenses' from The SCO Group. Who didn't even have a proper right to sell them.

But ties between MS and other TSCOG investors were elusive at best.

techrights.org/wiki/index.php/SCO

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Anonymous Coward

The last Windows Version?

I think the model is now to continuously upgrade Windows 10 (as a paid-for service of course) so it could be seen as the last Microsoft Desktop OS.

I would suggest that as far as Microsoft is concerned, the last Desktop Windows OS was Windows 7.

In future, the desktop will merely be there to provide support to the App layer and any other uses people have (maybe not even gaming, since they seem to have got XBOX-PC streaming working) at the moment don't seem to figure in their plans.

This privacy bullshit has, for me, totally and contemptuously discarded decades of trust people have had in Microsoft.

Next year - Linux On The Desktop, by default.

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Big Brother

The thing that I find the most disturbing is the lack of both awareness and, once that's sorted, concern about this among my technically literate, otherwise intelligent colleagues. We've been discussing Win10 today and I've been dismissed as paranoid when describing the defaults.

The only machine of mine that's getting Win10 is a cheapo crappy laptop that currently has 8.1, on the basis that it will rid me of 8.1, and that machine hardly ever sees the internet anyway. For my work and gaming machines it's stick with 7 for the foreseeable future.

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Unhappy

Yup, I'm getting the same vibes...

The tech-unsavy love the XboxOne integration, the tech-savy are happier with the ui, and even the IT workers like the new ui, and are recommending it left right and centre.

I think prolonged exposure to google has resulted in numbness to privacy concerns, and prolonged exposure to MS marketing has resulted in a numbness and softening between the ears.

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The problem with your approach has already been demonstrated. Microsoft is more than willing, definitely able, to insert anything they want into the Windows Update stream. Keeping your machines on Windows 7 isn't going to amount to any kind of protection. Simply rolling a telemetry tool into a security patch (the telemetry being, just sayin', monitoring the patch) is enough. I have no idea if this will ever happen though.

I'm taking a different tack. Android tablet and Windows 8.1 laptop are going to be the internet facing machines, my serious hardware completely off the grid. Even ignoring the the privacy threats (my privacy is long gone), the internet is getting much more crazy than even the Wild West reputation to date. We've seen limited forms of blow-back already. Won't prevent everything but I'd like my archives to have a reasonable chance to survive intact at least until I'm gone.

I might even update the Asus laptop to Windows 10. Google at least seems to have a clue about me, I check regularly. Microsoft given past performance on the advertising and data collection end, well they aren't so good.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yup, I'm getting the same vibes...

Huh? Nobody owns Xbox one, just like windows phone, back storerooms and shipping containers around the globe are stuffed with unsold ones.

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Holmes

and again

Yup, me too!

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Terminator

Where's Dr. Theopolis?

Seems strange to see Twiki without him!

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Windows EOL?

Windows 10 looks a lot like Windows Vista with a new shell and a warm, fuzzy, Mark Zuckerberg sugar coating. We're evaluating it at work but it's not looking good at this point.

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Anonymous Coward

Cortana

...Hit the nail on the head right there.

Microsoft have in recent years got caught up in some stupid race with Apple to provide the best 'digital assistant'.

Such a service does require deep integration with the entire operating system and application environment combined with a high degree of connectivity with supporting cloud processing and storage to make it all work.

It really hasn't occurred to them that a lot of people like myself really DON'T WANT a digital assistant.

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Re: Cortana

"a lot of people like myself really DON'T WANT a digital assistant."

Indeed. It's a lousy substitute for the butler.

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Re: Cortana

My problem with a digital assistant has nothing to do with being an expert system, that's nearly ideal, especially for those times I am out of contact for whatever reason. My problem has everything to do with the system (potentially) being under the control of others be they corporate or government. I've circled the problem many times as I'm very predictable so having some autonomous software that lives immersed in the internet wouldn't be at all difficult to engineer. Securely by design, given. I'd go so far as formal verification being as if it screwed up, well identity theft would be mild by comparison. None of the pieces are hard given how many different fields I've done predictive analytics in. More applying the right model for each dataset.

Cortana, Siri, Google Now, none of them in any way, shape or form resemble how I'd do things. All have been DOA here, will always remain so.

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Re: Cortana

>>"It really hasn't occurred to them that a lot of people like myself really DON'T WANT a digital assistant."

I would be fine with it if I could choose the aspects that I want. It would be nice to use it for appointment's management. But MS want consent to scan my txts and emails. I'm perfectly happy to accept a compromise and not have it auto adding things because it found an email from an airline in my inbox. But compromises don't seem to be on offer. There might be a setting to turn it off but as far as I can see you can't even get to that part without first going through the consent agreement part.

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So... you set everything to 'OFF' Then what?

Have you checked that is is keeping quiet about what you are doing on your device?

Or is it still phoning home every nano second.

It would be nice to know if these settings actually mean what they say or are they just window dressing?

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Why even patch when privacy invasion itself has become the feature.

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Anonymous Coward

8.1 starting to look more atractive

when i have to upgrade the win7 in 2020 its looking like i will upgrade to 8.1 (with classic shell) until it is EOL in 2023 unless something privacy focused and decent from microsoft comes out between now and then.

my compliance officer would have a heart attack if i allow windows 10 on the corporate network in its current state even with all switches turned to "Do NOT send Data" as with updates who is to know what will be slipped in or turned back on. even reading the description of each update before putting on WSUS is risky as Microsoft's recent from shows that the description is rather vague or downright misleading.

Personally and at work I would pay a premium to have a privacy based version of windows with no tracking tools. "I know sod all chance of that" but without it work will NOT deploy windows 10

Has any one turned everything off to make windows 10 less key logger esque and set up network logging to see if data is still transmitted?

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Re: 8.1 starting to look more atractive

I never expected anyone to refer to 8.1 as an 'upgrade'.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 8.1 starting to look more atractive

nor did I until last month.

I have avoided 8 & 8.1 like the plague until i had to help a friend out and my usual protests about not working on it failed. (owed them a favour so couldn't just say "NO") and was pestilently surprised how usable it was (after classic shell had been installed!!!)

i still prefer win7 but when its EOL need to change to something supported and win8.1 with classic shell or start8. as compliance wont allow me to run an unsupported OS at work and at home i want a secure os with as small a footprint as possible but looks like what im used to.

I do now run 8.1 with classic shell as a test OS on some machines at home and work.but not ready to move over totally yet.

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Re: 8.1 starting to look more atractive

Given MS is really an enterprise oriented company, W10 may be a bigger disaster than W8 or Vista. Many organizations have legal obligations to protect much of their internal data. Any OS that consistently phones home by default jeopardizes data security. If I were asked what to do in the future my likely recommendations would be a Linux distro (probably Linux Mint) or Apple. Linux would be attractive because no new hardware would be needed.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 8.1 starting to look more atractive

Thats the problem we have the compliance officer would not allow Windows 10 on the network due to statutory legal obligations over security. so unless they bring out a "NO !!!" spyware Enterprise edition,

Linux may be the only option after 2023, "I" would need to retrain to admin it :-( i run a linux box as a user as a test box but i have no admin experience where as I have been using windows since 3.1 and being admin since NT4.

the company may also not want to move to Linux due to user training costs but with more and more of the tools they use becoming web based (running on web servers on the company network) I hope the base OS will become irrelevant, as long as the users can log in, get the rights they need to access the relevant files they need and can fire up a browser they can get their mail (OWA) and their office tools etc that they need. finance would be the main sticking point as their main tool is windows only.

here is hoping someone at Microsoft has an epiphany moment and realises they have a problem and bring out a paid for secure version, and hope users dont keep sleepwalking in to the data belongs to the corporations mindset, be it Google, Apple or Microsoft. - but unfortunately i dont see either of these things happening. - EU investigation?, doubt it :-(

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Anonymous Coward

To the mass-media & bloggers / reviewers who only see a bright side to always-on slurping...

Rest assured, you'll be the first ones into the gas-chambers when the privacy holocaust arrives...

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Mediocrity and poor secutiy are Windows middle names

There are no Windows 7,8 or Windows 10 users who have a legitimate reason to complain about computer and Internet user privacy - at all.

It has become tiresome to an extreme to hear constant moaning and complaining from Windows users, who all the while are kissing Microsoft's anus for crap software they are receiving as simple-minded, slavish minions.

The article author's reverting to Apple Mac Pro was wise although late, or he could have moved some time ago to one of the world class GNU/Linux distributions, even for running some Windows specific applications via VMWare Virtuaualization. Fortunately companies like Valve with their Steam game engine have moved to porting more than 1300 "games" to Linux environment as of July, 2015. Others are apparently following suit.

There should be no sympathy for the Windows supporters mired in everlasting whining, mental confusion and mediocre technology.

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