back to article Microsoft's done a terrible job with its Windows 10 nagware

When Microsoft let slip that it had snuck some new Windows 10 upgrade nagware into a security patch, we asked Redmond to explain just what the offending patch was about. The company's response leaves us with a simple conclusion: all the nagware that's been irritating people for months was a botched effort. In fact, Microsoft's …

Re: The Terrible...

The sooner they realise that the old way worked and the new way doesn't

I suspect that the old way isn't working the way it used to. Microsoft has been heavily reliant on OEM Windows sold with new PCs, which produced healthy revenue as long as there was a fairly high churn rate in the PC market. This was driven by (i) people buying a PC for the first time and (ii) people replacing PCs because of poor performance running new applications. Both these drivers have lost a lot of their power over the past 10 years, and will probably continue to do so.

I don't dispute that Microsoft has made mistakes with its new versions and its update process, but that doesn't alter the fact that they have to change their business model.

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Re: Outlook is like democracy:

I have to agree with that. Our agency adopted Google Apps (or at least significant parts of it) as the standard for our organization. And while it is true that 90%+ of our users are happy with the web interface, the power users all want Thunderbird or even better Outlook as their mail client. The searches in GMail might be obvious to an SQL guru, but their not to your mean or mode user. Thunderbird and Outlook both do a much better job for the non-guru types. Thunderbird has a problem (which I expect is all on the Google side). When you move messages to the local folders it leaves them on GMail. The Inbox label has been removed so you won't normally see it, but it's still there in the All Mail folder and counts against your quota (yes I've tried changing the various settings for what to do when you delete a message. None of them work). I suspect the only reason Outlook doesn't have this issue is we install GASMO with it so Google handles the entire process.

And don't get me started on the Calendar. Only people who don't have organizing large meetings like anything other than Outlook for their calendaring tool.

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Mushroom

Re: The Terrible...

The irony of the whole situation is that overall, Windows 10 isn't a bad OS. Maybe not quite as good as Windows 7, but not too bad overall. However, I absolutely 100% will not be installing it onto any of my machines because MS have done everything in their power over the last 6 months to destroy every last morsel of trust they might have had.

MS are going on about "making the process easier", but I'm sorry, that's absolute BS. Instead, they've done the following

Hiding nagware behind cryptic update names.

Not making it possible conventionally to turn off installed nagware.

Re-enabling updates that users have intentionally uninstalled and blocked.

Re-publishing nagware against new KB names to also try to get around blocks.

Hide malware inside security updates and deploying it to corporate customers.

Download gigabytes of data onto users PCs over potentially metered connections without their approval.

This is before we get onto the murky mess that is Windows 10's data slurping and the fact that even when you turn the telemetry supposedly off it still phones home like ET on steroids.

Sorry MS, your actions here aren't "helping the user", and you bloody well know it. Face it, you stopped giving two craps about the customer a long time ago, and your behaviour blatantly shows this. With this kind of shocking attitude towards your customers, no way am I ever touching Windows 10.

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Re: What users want ...

"If you have a problem with LibreOffice, then fix it - you have the source code and a license to use it."

The year of "Linux on the desktop" is clearly imminent. Any day now, I tell you...

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Holmes

Re: What users want ...

"Google works giving things away for free"

Giving things away for free that people want, because people find them useful.

That's the difference.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The Terrible...

I don't understand the comments against Outlook. It's one of the most under-rated pieces of software MS have IMO, and nothing else I have tried comes anywhere close for usability and functionality. Gmail? Thunderbird? Don't make me laugh. It's frustrating because surely it can't be that hard...

I'm talking Outlook 2010 and earlier for the avoidance of doubt - can't speak for the latest incarnations. Word and Excel similarly very good, but their libreoffice equivalents do a perfectly adequate job. Unfortunately I don't see that MS have made any serious improvement in anything since W7, they have gone down so many blind alleys they are only in business because of the inertia of existing investments. I don't see much rosy in their future.

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WTF?

Re: What users want ...

""The idea everybody should "fix" FOSS code to use""

Those who can should fix it, and indeed it is what happens.

""it is utterly stupid""

Lots of people in many industries disagrees with you.

""An idea born into the minds of people who believe the world turns around IT and coding. People needing a reality check.""

The truth is that it does. Try to run anything but the simplest task without computers and telecoms, you are in for a surprise. So sad we won't be there to see your face.

The fact that the public at large is unaware of the fact doesn't make it less real.

Just an example; try to get your local architect to draw the plans by hand, engineers to run complex calculations with a casio calculator, the printing industry to work without DTP, the finance department without accountancy software, the phone infrastructure without computers or complex switching equipment (computers), complex irrigation systems, emergency services, etc.

Do a little experiment, each time you enter a room count the number of computers present in the room, and count the number of these running software, you'll be shocked.

Almost 4/5 of the entire economy in the western world (yes, the one that invents nice things) depends completely around computing and software, and growing!.

The more of it running on open standards/free software the less barriers to economic development, and the better for everybody.

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Mushroom

Re: The Terrible...

@ bazza

I'm completely with you on this; but Microsoft have played this game of giving people what they don't want with the Ribbon interface, chucking away 20 years of UI investment/research in the process.

I've also bought Windows 7 retail licenses (2*Ultimate), one for my main desktop at home and one on the Parents' computer (yes it's overkill but it makes telephone support so much easier with us on exactly the same version). Both copies cost about £150 but Win 7 has been pretty reliable in the 5+ years I've been running it (touches wood).

This whole thing with stealth Win 10 updates is seriously frustrating. I've now got my parents looking up KB articles to check for Win 10 - a technical advance for them but it's something they shouldn't have to do as they're non-techies. Once people say "no, thanks" to Windows 10 that should be the end of the matter. The fact MS have gone to such lengths to force this "Optional" upgrade on all users (including the most technically able that can delve into the registry and remove Win 10 update stuff that keep reappearing Zombie like) shows a pathological obsession that isn't healthy.

I'm not sure what the alternative is. I have a MBP and I really like OSX but it's an old school machine (it can be fixed/upgraded) and I don't like the newer disposable "Its-all-soldered-to-the-MB" Macs Apple sell now. Linux is cute and all, but for me the hobby is the stuff I do on the computer, not the computer itself. I just hope Linux Mint is as good as other Commentards have said as I think that will be my first port of call for Win 10 alternatives. I certainly won't be paying for Windows 10, whether through money, telemetry data, or App store purchases &c.

Icon -> Fuck you Microsoft. Patch Tuesday is now hell.

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Holmes

Re: "By the way, professional and OSS are not mutually exclusive."

You do not get it, this open source thing is too confusing, isn't it?

The whole idea of open source is not that every single user programs or contribute.

The idea is that everybody is free to use the software, and those who can and are willing to do so, contribute if so they choose, contribute, change or learn of it, it doesn't matter, it also prevents any party including these same people from stopping others to do the same.

It doesn't matter if there is thousands of contributors or a single contributor.

I find strange that people fail to understand these basic principles, my mom is not expected to contribute to Firefox, now my friend in the other hand has contributed two small fixes to X.org related to reading monitor EDIDs so his old HP laptop can use the correct resolution of his screen.

Now you could argue that this model does not produce the same timely releases as a commercial schedule, or that you prefer the closed model of development because it is "professional", but please do not mix your poor understanding of how's and why's of FOSS development models with its politics or long term aims.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What users want ...

Yes, try to run your PC without power and tell me how you feel. That doesn't mean that everybody should be able to fix power lines or a power generator, or install solar cells.

Or that everybody should be able to build the table you put your computer on. Or the floor under the table, and the roof above. Or try to feed yourself using your computer alone... the world was working even before computers, and it did for many thousands years before computers.

Is IT important today? Sure. That's why there are professional paid to make it work. Expecting that every user has to become an IT professional and being able to read, fix and compile code is utterly stupid, auto-referential, and nerdy.

Open standards are orthogonal to free software. Probably there would be no IT at all if people didn't see a way to make money, while open standards predates free software.

And you can still build huge monopolies like Google on free software... and I don't believe it is better for everybody.

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Re: The Terrible...

"Open Office is just not very good"

I think most of the OO devs went to LO. So (a) if your view of the .ods/.odt world is OO it's slightly out-of-date and (b) what are your issues?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The Terrible...

Good. How many products has native support for Sieve out of the box? AFAIK even TB itself needs an add-on. What about IMAP and SMTP servers?

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LDS
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Re: "By the way, professional and OSS are not mutually exclusive."

I do get it, but you should better explain it to the OP who stated that if LibreOffice doesn't suit your needs you should fix it yourself, especially because he's not alone in this believing.

You should also read better my post, because I never said only the closed source model is "professional" - I exactly talked about the Red Hat model as a professional model based on open source, and there are others. I really have nothing against FOSS, but because I like freedom, I don't believe it is also the ONLY model that should be allowed.

It looks you have a very poor understanding not only of the software development business, but of general written language as well. But you're probably one of those FOSS activists who mix software development and politics, so you first write, then, maybe, read and think.

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Re: The Terrible...

"Ah, but you are assuming Windows is developed for you, which is not the case. Useful updates were Win95/98, Win XP and Win 7, but everything in between was just step changes to generate revenue."

In the long run the two are not incompatible. Fail to design the product for the customer and in the long run the customer isn't. And without customers you can't sell product.

MS had its long run of success because, for a long time, their direct customers were the H/W manufacturers. Now there's no particular need to upgrade H/W so H/W sales are now linked to replacement of failed kit or the limited growth of a mature market. If they want to sell upgrades direct to the end-user they have to make it more attractive and, as W7 was generally rated good enough, that would be fairly difficult.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What users want ...

@Grumpenkraut: Donating to an OSS project is a fine and socially useful thing, but what that user WANTS is to get functional tools THIS MONTH, and directly paying for a commercial package is the only effective way to get that. Donating to an OSS project has no causal relationship with getting the specific functionality you need within a reasonable time frame; the project folks will do whatever scratches their itch, or whatever the most users demand (if they are responsive to requests from folks who aren't paying them for their work).

For the non-programming professional, the only way to get specific desired functionality out of an OSS product that doesn't already provide it is to hire a programmer to add it. That's cost-prohibitive without a large user base to share the expense, so it won't happen. If no OSS tool does the job, said professional will perforce buy a commercial product.

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Re: The Terrible...

"Pretending the majority of worldwide MS users share the sentiment of the Register readership is just absurd."

That self-evidently applies to the majority of W10 users. However, they're not the majority of MS users so your point is moot.

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Re: What users want ...

"When you're a paying customer, you do expect a very different level of support."

A while ago I had a problem with LO calc crashing when performing a particular operation. I reported the bug, it was verified, fixed and in the next update but one (there wasn't time to get in into the earlier release). You, I expect a different level of support as a paying customer, but not necessarily in a good way.

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Re: "By the way, professional and OSS are not mutually exclusive."

"Delivering a product users need, and supporting it properly, is professional, regardless if the code is proprietary or not."

This is true. But remember the fix-it-yourself response came from a commentard here, not from the LibreOffice devs.

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Re: The Terrible...

The VAST number of upvotes you've earned here tells me that I need tread carefully but I do feel it is important to counter some of the points you've made here.

Let me preface the following with an admission that Windows 8 through 10 are not perfect and no contained version is my primary OS.

With that said, let us begin...

"is to not recognise what their users wanted, namely Windows 7 with modest technical improvements."

Desktop mode in Win8 was a more stable and faster booting/shutting down version of Win7. Start menu was obviously changed but you hit the start button and you could start typing for what you wanted (same as Win7) or you were presented with a very different view that happened to be SIGNIFICANTLY more confirgurable than the old start thing and this ongoing complaint is 100% resistance to change. This is for a bag-standard user. I accept that an enterprise BOFH may have valid compaints. These complaints rarely show up in these threads.

'Instead they've got off on the idea that we'd want to put our data in their cloud, be profiled in our usage and turned into lumps of meat for sale in the advertising market to the highest bidder"

Even Ubuntu beat them to this. This is Microsoft being last to the party again (think how late Bing was). This isn't proof that they are ding the wrong thing. This is proof that they can't even see where the market is LEADING THEM. Yes, the majority of the market WANTS these rubbish "features".

"The PC market is dead-ish because of Windows 8/8.1"

This does not gel with observable history. The Win8.x UI and store was a response to mobile computing having long taken over in the consumer space.

"14% share and it's free? If anyone wanted it, craved it it'd be closer to 90%."

Pretty sure you're not factoring business into this calculation here.

"Open Office is just not very good"

Nether is Office Office. Jump ship. You'll get used to it.

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Re: The Terrible...

"I never meant TB and projects like it are clumsy and slow ...I just meant they are not very actively developed and improved, i.e. the Mozilla Foundation is letting TB go because it no longer fits its business"

TB is still being developed. You're right in that it no longer fits well within the Mozilla world. There seem to be moves to incorporate it into LibreOffice.

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Re: Outlook is like democracy:

"Thunderbird has a problem (which I expect is all on the Google side). When you move messages to the local folders it leaves them on GMail. "

Have you got the Leave messages on server box ticked? (Server settings in the account settings, not general preferences). If you have then it's definitely a GMail issue because I've never seen this happen on any other server.

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Re: What users want ...

LibreOffice, of course, is in no way bound by the attitudes of its supporters here any more than Microsoft, Apple or Google are.

If you have a problem with LibreOffice log it with them. Does Microsoft Office have a Bugzilla account?

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Re: What users want ...

"Donating to an OSS project is a fine and socially useful thing, but what that user WANTS is to get functional tools THIS MONTH, and directly paying for a commercial package is the only effective way to get that."

No, installing a package that has the functions is the only effective way, irrespective of whether that package is commercial or OSS.

The question arises as to what happens if there's no such package. For a start "this month" is unlikely.

If a mass-market commercial package doesn't do what you want you're probably not going to see that change unless you pay humungous amounts to the vendor because only the vendor can fix it and they have their roadmap for development so aren't going to be diverted for anything less.

Specialised commercial packages might be more responsive. I've worked with such vendors. Features could be requested but, of course, such packages tend to be at least semi-bespoke so they're probably nothing like as cheap as the mass-market package in the first place.

If the OSS package doesn't have it one approach would be to use its bug/feature requesting page to make a request. This might or might not work as some projects are more responsive than others. If the need is worth it you could pay a sufficiently experienced developer to add them. The cost is likely to be similar to that of the feature request for the semi-bespoke package but you don't have the up-front cost in the first place.

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Re: The Terrible...

"Even Ubuntu beat them to this."

And got their arse in a sling for their efforts. The difference between them and MS is that they backed off PDQ.

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Facepalm

Re: "By the way, professional and OSS are not mutually exclusive."

@LDS,

You're right.

Sorry mate, it seems I wasn't paying attention to what I was replying to, I think I mixed your post with another in my head.

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Coat

@ GrumpenKraut -- Re: What users want ...

By the way, professional and OSS are not mutually exclusive.

Sehr geehrter Herr: You are, of course, correct. However, OSS and professionally documented sure seem to be mutually exclusive....

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LDS
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Re: "By the way, professional and OSS are not mutually exclusive."

Ok, understood - thank you. With all these comments may be easy to be carried away and answer the wrong one :)

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LDS
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"the fix-it-yourself response came from a commentard here, not from the LibreOffice devs."

True, but that's an assertion you often hear in this context: "You complain something is missing? You should add it yourself". It may be valid in a relatively small circle of people being able to actually code proficiently in the target language (and product aims) - the same circles were most FOSS projects were born - but not for the broader circle of users. IMHO there's a lack of understanding that in the XXI century (and even before), most users are no longer developers, as it could have been in the early years, and in some specific sectors like comp-sci courses and the like.

In the early days of photography, photographers had to prepare their plates just before use, and develop them almost immediately. Then came the commercial ready-to-use plates and films, and commercial development - many photographers no longer needed to learn the skills to prepare and develop photos (which became quite difficult when color emulsions were introduced). These looked at the camera just as a device to create images, not a complex (and sometimes dangerous) chemical process too. In turn film companies had to understand what user needed, and deliver it. If people needed, say, higher dynamic range, or finer grain, the answer couldn't be, "hey, you can make your own plate!", even if someone - with the proper skills and experience - actually did, and maybe shared the "recipe" among a community of fellows who could take advantage of it. Others had to wait for some commercial product.

LibreOffice, because of its "foundation" model, offers a different model of support than, say, Red Hat. It's mostly something good for IT people and developers, less of the average user. In another post someone asks if MS has Bugzilla - well, Bugzilla is a tool with which most developers and IT people will feel comfortable with, but most "common" users will feel intimidated by it. Same for mailing lists and forums, good for people deeply involved, not for the others. To support those users, you need a different model of support - maybe with someone paid to listen and understand what the user really need.

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Outlook?!

I may go Linux, and if they ever do Office / Outlook for Linux then I'm outahere. (Open Office is just not very good).

In my book Outlook is the definition of an utterly trash mail client.

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Re: The Terrible...

Why, exactly is Outlook horrible?

What are some things that Outlook still gets wrong?

Well, let's see. It's astoundingly slow at searching "folders" - far slower than grepping through a bunch of mbox-format files would be (and mbox is a lousy idea created to fix the problem of poor allocation policies in old BSD filesystems). There's still no regular-expression search, or even decent Boolean queries. Searching a tree of folders requires toggling multiple UI controls, because that's never a thing that a user will want to do. Though it hardly matters, because nine times out of ten Outlook shows hits from outside the specified search scope anyway.

It still - still - renders some non-text media by default in the preview and reading views. That's been a whopping security hole since the late '90s. (Just respecting the sender's choice of fonts is suspect, given the number of font-rendering bugs in Windows - not all of them Microsoft's fault.)

The "attachment safety" mechanism is idiotic. It's trivially defeated by an attacker, but users who know what they're doing can't override it if they're in a domain and the admin has gotten clever. So people waste time working around it.

No PGP/GPG support. Yes, S/MIME does the same things; but it's much, much less widely used. (And the PGP/GPG PKI, while an unfriendly mess, is not as eye-wateringly stupid as the X.509 PKI used by S/MIME.)

Splitting large message stores apart, for example to improve backup time, is a pain in the ass.

Too many aspects of Outlook are a black box, and too many others are only apparent to the cognoscenti. Yes, you can delete an unsent message receipt using MFCMapi and suitable magical incantations - how many people know how to do that? Why not just put the outbound receipts in the outbox like everything else? Because Outlook was designed by people who Know Better Than You, so fuck you, user.

That's just off the top of my head.

I've used many, many MUAs, on PCs and workstations and minis and mainframes. Most of them have been pretty much crap. The real distinguishing characteristic: those that weren't impenetrable black boxes were consistently less of a pain in the ass. Outlook sucks because the developers have decided they know what users need to do, and that's what they're going to support. If other stuff doesn't work well, too bad.

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Re: The Terrible...

Michael, you forgot the biggest nuisance with Outlook, (IMHO) Which is contacts. So that if you have more than one email address it stores the contacts for them in several different lists.

It doesn't seem to understand that we might just want one central list, with a choice of email addresses to use.

Nor does it understand that we might want different kinds of category sub-lists, such as friends, work, retailers etc. rather than just according to which email account we use for them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Outlook is like democracy:

Our agency adopted Google Apps (or at least significant parts of it) as the standard for our organization

Judging by your spelling you're US based. Google Apps may well become a problem soon for EU users, and that shakeout is not going to be pretty. If you thought Google had problems, it hasn't seen real problems yet..

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Devil

Re: The Terrible...

"Alas there's no equivalent of Outlook."

The same could be said for a number of other diseases like Lotus Notes...

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Re: The Terrible...

I remember Outlook 97.. and it was pretty good. Besides being p0wned by macro viruses which everything back then was, it was OK. Everything since Outlook 2003 as been downhill.

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Re: The Terrible...

See https://xkcd.com/927/

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Re: The Terrible...

"It's astoundingly slow at searching "folders" - far slower than grepping through a bunch of mbox-format files would be "

I suspect you haven't used Outlook in a long while. Searching my local Outlook 2010 mailbox on Windows 7 with well over 100,000 messages and many folders gives an instant response to any keyword - including in messages themselves.

"renders some non-text media by default in the preview and reading views. That's been a whopping security hole since the late '90s."

Outlook stopped rendering active content in preview about 15 years ago. I am not aware of any publically attacked exploits since then that automatically exploit Outlook with no user interaction.

"Splitting large message stores apart, for example to improve backup time, is a pain in the ass."

You don't normally backup Outlook locally - the data is on the server. But VSS can take a near instant snapshot if you want to backup locally regardless of the store size.

"Outlook sucks"

I have yet to use a mail client that even comes close, so would be interested to know what you recommend instead that could practically be used in SMEs?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The Terrible...

Have you ever tried to explain regular expression to the regular Outlook user? Of course searching through a database is slower than grepping, yet a structured search is more useful than a grep. Anyway today you can simply type in the search box and then select where to search in the box to the right.

PGP may be widely used among the security and nerd circles, but it's utterly unused in the broader world where the standard is actually S/MIME and X.509 certificates, sorry. While most mail clients support S/MIME natively, not many supports PGP. There are even countries like Italy where legally certified email is built upon S/MIME, sorry...

And, yes, Outlook is more complex than your average mail client. It does a lot more. It is designed to be a groupware client, not just a mail one. If you're using it for mail alone, you're wasting your money and your time.

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Re: Outlook is like democracy:

"Our agency adopted Google Apps"

Google got quite a head start on Microsoft and got this out the door while Microsoft were napping, and had a lot of initial success while Microsoft were behind the curve. However it now seems to me that Microsoft have leapt ahead and have left Google Apps behind in the dust with the latest releases of Office 365. I don't often hear of Google Apps wining any significant paying business these days.

Google Apps certainty does work OK for small companies, and for start-ups - but I'm not convinced as to it's readiness for enterprise.. It's very sucky in many respects in when you compare it to Office 365 - especially when you want advanced enterprise type features and capabilities. The rental cost difference in the two products isn't very great versus the TCO, so I can't see many situtations these days in which I would recommend using Google Apps.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The Terrible...

What? You can have up to three different emails for a contact. What Outlook lacks is a better understanding of duplicate contacts - it could ask if you want to merge information or not if a contact add request looks to be a duplicate. And it lacks a merge contact feature (which exists, strangely, in WP8).

You can categorize contacts and create contacts folders, anyway. You can also mark contacts as private.

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LDS
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"Searching my local Outlook 2010 mailbox on Windows 7"

Actually Outlook can be integrated with Windows Search so you can also look for mails even from outside Outlook - and that with advanced full text search capabilities. The indexer engine needs to be active, of course, and the index itself will take disk space. But queries are very fast.

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Re: The Terrible...

"The PC market is dead-ish because of Windows 8/8.1, and 10 is demonstrably not the thing to revive it."

exactly!

Microsoft _COMPLETELY_ mis-read the market, thinking that people were 'moving to slabs'. not even close. Now, people are HANGING ONTO WHAT THEY HAVE, because "new" doesn't not APPEAR to be "better".

Moore's law no longer makes next year's model 30% to 50% 'better/faster', so Microsoft can't use the speed/power growth to prop up their more-inefficient code (like "the METRO" sewage) in the "new windows" (yeah like 'new coke'). "Ape" and Win-10-nic are OBVIOUSLY SLOWER than the native code of 7, especially when you try to PLAY A GAME written for "the METRO". Solitaire comes to mind [you know, the thing that SOLD MORE COPIES OF WINDOWS 3.0 THAN ANYTHING ELSE, back in the day..].

Nobody wants their NEW CAR to be SLUGGISH compared to the OLD car. That happened in the 70's, and nearly KILLED certain car companies. So why does Microsoft *FEEL* (not think) that people want SLUGGISH COMPUTERS running INEFFICIENT "the Metro" apps(sic)?

People don't want this, especially if the appearance is FLUGLY (flat-ugly), like "Ape" (8) and Win-10-nic.

New computer makers should be getting together to BREAK THE MICROSOFT OS NEAR-MONOPOLY, and do things like shipping a wide range of computers with pre-installed Mint Linux (for example), discounted by the cost of putting OEM Windows on it. Intel should be investing in "other operating systems" *LIKE* Linux, so they can sell more chips. And if not Linux, then SOMETHING. Chip and computer vendors need to stop relying on Microsoft and hitching their wagon to Microsoft's success, or THEY TOO will fail.

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Re: The Terrible...

...thing they've done is to not recognise what their users wanted, namely Windows 7 with modest technical improvements.

I think most users wanted XP with modest technical and security improvements and would of most probably quite happily paid for such a version of XP wrapped up as an XP R2 product.

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Re: What users want ...

If you have a problem with LibreOffice, then fix it - you have the source code and a license to use it. Personally, I use reportlab+python, but each to his own.

So where's this Outlook equivalent you've written then, smart-arse?

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Re: The Terrible...

Why? Why, exactly is Outlook horrible? Or, like many often do on here, are you remembering back to the likes of Outlook 97 which was pretty grim?

I'm with you on this TonyJ. One thing I miss using Linux is the ability to have my contacts and calendar sync automagically with my Android phone. Of course I can by giving all that information to Google, but why would I want to do that FFS? If it's simple to write your own software to do this, why has nobody in the Linux community done so?

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Re: What users want ...

Just an example; try to get your local architect to draw the plans by hand,

ROFL! That's precisely what Real Architects do! The working drawings that builders use are executed by their lowly minions: draughtsmen. One once admiited that when he went owner-builder on his own home, he discovered that the design drawings for foundations he insisted upon were in fact impossible to execute. Builders of course are utterly aware of the failings of architects and the need to improvise. They have a term of art: k'narchitects. Architects are useful for pretty drawings, but not much beyond that.

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Re: The Terrible...

Yes, the majority of the market WANTS these rubbish "features".

Like MS pushing redundant copies of w10 onto their machines when only one copy is needed. Using up all of users' mobile data to do this requiring the purchase of more bandwidth. W10 destabilising/bricking users' machines. Etc.

Whatever it is you're smoking, don't Bogart that joint my friend. Pass it around.

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Re: The Terrible...

I don't know the answer but I assume you have total confidence that Apple is not collecting similar data from their operating systems. I would be very surprised if any of the 3 key operating systems were not doing it. With Microsoft it is something that has been introduced with Windows 10 and everyone is having a paddy about it.

As soon as you sign in on your Android or Apple device you are permitting the sharing form the OS or applications.

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Re: The Terrible...

"Instead they've got off on the idea that we'd want to put our data in their cloud..."

They've gotten the idea that _they_ want us to put our data in their cloud, that _they_ want us to be profiled in our usage, that _they_ want us to buy Metro apps from their store (or at least to be able to do so, so we can be used to try to convince app devs to write Windows phone apps that also run on our PCs, so those devs don't have to worry about the complete absence of Windows 10 phones in the market). It's never been about what we want or need.

At this point, vetting every Windows Update for 7 and 8 individually is mandatory. I still get updates, but I check each one before installation, and I keep plenty of backups "just in case."

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Yada yada yada

They won't stop until all their remaining users are absorved into the Redmond Borg.

As has already been said, users wanted an update Windows 7 and it would have been business as usual. People would have paid for updates. Instead we get Metro/Tifkam/Modern and the upgrate machine has siezed up. Like trying to mix Mineral Oil and Castrol R and expecting an engine to run.

Businesses are strapped for cash. so they made it free. Even then it should have been far more than 10-15% penetration after 6 months.

This is IMHO makes Windows 10 an even bigger lemon than Vista and that makes it really bad.

What's next?

Obviously the 'get your free upgrade today. After then it will be $50/month'. (or something like that)

The IT Literate who hang around here will have more than likely voted with their feet and left the MS Arena for good. The MS Fanbois will be increasingly preaching to an empty building. The Tumbleweed will start blowing down Main St Redmond.

Yes I know that this is wishful thinking but stranger things have happened.

{Posted from a Windows 10 free Environment}

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Re: Yada yada yada

I think they could make their revenue goals at $30/quarter or $120/year. Maybe even less. Frankly they probably would have had less trouble if they posted that model up front. But they didn't.

They're trying to compete with Google using the same marketing techniques. It worked for Google only because they weren't obvious about it. Now that Google is getting obnoxious about it, even they're getting pushback.

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