back to article Even in remotest Africa, Windows 10 nagware ruins your day: Update burns satellite link cash

When you're stuck in the middle of the Central African Republic (CAR) trying to protect the wildlife from armed poachers and the Lord's Resistance Army, then life's pretty tough. And now Microsoft has made it tougher with Windows 10 upgrades. The Chinko Project manages roughly 17,600 square kilometres (6,795 square miles) of …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: If you use Microsoft products...

    @Charles 9 so what you mean is that it's not fair that people might have to choose between playing computer games and doing the right thing? That the right to consume always must come first?

    It's a computer game - not playing it won't kill anyone. But one day Microsoft 10 might do.

  2. Charles 9 Silver badge

    Re: If you use Microsoft products...

    I'm just saying that for many people the application comes before the OS, regardless of what anyone else may say or do. If you wish to make people change their OS, you have to solve the application problem first, and while things like WINE and VMs provide some outs, it's not a 100% solution or even a 50% solution. Hardware can have Windows-only drivers and are too custom to be supported elsewhere (like industrial C&C interfaces--very custom stuff probably running on antiquated hardware: two strikes against virtualization). It's basically the Network Effect.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just get rid of all the different versions of Windows on those computers and install a robust, tested and friendly OS such as Xubuntu or Mint

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And if there's a piece of software they need that is Windows only and doesn't play nice with WINE or VMs?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "and install a robust, tested and friendly OS such as Xubuntu or Mint"

    But Linux OSs usually have many times more security patches than Windows - how does that help with the original issue of patch bandwidth use??

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Having used MS Windows from 3.1 up to 7 which is now currently installed in the machines that I am responsible for, I've taken the liberty of installing Linux Mint as a dual-boot option in two of them. A third machine finally had its 7yo OCZ Vertex OS SSD die suddenly just over a week ago and now has a HDD in its place... one with a large unpartitioned area ready for whatever Linux distribution I see fit.

    Since I tinker with hardware, I was adamantly vocal against XP's product activation crap back in the day, and was fortunately able to secure a legitimate copy without that nonsense. It had no real effect on actual piracy that I could tell.

    I also didn't care much for x64 versions requiring signed drivers and upsetting the hardware ecosystem here. The only thing it did for system security was make it harder for the rightful owner to regain control of things.

    I'm fed up. I no longer see MS as a way forward and more of a hindrance, and the sooner they carelessly f*ck it all up for the wrong crowd of people and get burnt to a crisp the better.

  7. whoseyourdaddy

    As much as the CAD tools I depend on rely on Windoze (the same software used by Apple, Dell, Google, Oracle, Microsoft), Microsoft needs to clean up the worldwide malware crisis they have profited handsomely from.

    As long as I can get my work done, upgrade ahoy!

  8. PaulVD

    Maybe I missed it...

    But I didn't notice anyone saying they had sent a few bucks to help this outfit with their bandwidth needs in protecting wildlife in one of the most godforsaken parts of the world. (And the various people with guns are variously Muslims, Christians, and Animists; poaching and murdering game wardens is an all-faiths activity there.)

    So, for the record, they have $50 from me. Any other takers? Just follow the link in the story.

  9. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    I went there as well

    And donated.

    And noticed that Generosity creams $7.50 for the privilege of you handing money over in an Internet transaction.

    That's more than my bank does.

    Generosity : generously helping themselves on other people's misery.

  10. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Windows 10?

    Thats not a 10 its IO - shit loads of it.

  11. bjr

    Should be running CentOS or some other LTS Linux

    They have no business running WIndows in circumstances like that, they should be running a long term supported Linux like CentOS which will never do things behind their backs like Windows. Updates could be handled entirely with DVDs or USB sticks.

  12. Charles 9 Silver badge

    Re: Should be running CentOS or some other LTS Linux

    Have you ever given thought to the possibility their key software may be Windows-ONLY? Meaning they CAN'T jump?

  13. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Re: Should be running CentOS or some other LTS Linux

    Black men can't jump?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The problem is that psycho-MS don't give a f***.

  15. Charles 9 Silver badge

    Probably because lots of people are locked into Windows-only software with no viable substitutes.

  16. Sean Timarco Baggaley

    Oh for...

    From the original article:

    "I just came here recently to act as their pilot but have IT skills as well. The guy who set these PCs up didn't know how to prevent it, or set a metered connection. I am completely livid."

    What heir to the throne to the Kingdom of Idiot chose to deploy a CONSUMER version of Windows to people operating in what is effectively a fucking war zone?

    And why should an operating system primarily aimed at people who run solitaire, some version of Office, and/or Call of War: Shooty Shooty Bang Bang 7 should arrive out of the box by default with settings to make it suitable for mission-critical situations such as the one described in the article?

    It's behaving exactly as it bloody should be! What the hell else do you expect? Mind-reading features? Microsoft certainly haven't produced an ad where some suspiciously handsome chap with a large gun asks Cortana to "Activate Going For A Ride In an old Toyota Hi-Ace with a BFG in the Back Mode".

    Do you (and the article's alleged "writer") seriously expect a simple, one-button setting during the installation process asking if your PC is in a glorified hut prone to intrusions of gunfire and shrapnel?

    How many extreme edge cases like these are Microsoft supposed to allow for out of the box?

    Is this PC being used to control a surgical robot? [ ]

    Is this PC being used to manage sensitive patient records in a hospital? [ ]

    Is this PC being used to operate ICBMs in a nuclear submarine? [ ]

    Seriously people, how hard is it to use the right damned tool for the job? Stop blaming others for your own mistakes.

  17. Richard Plinston Silver badge

    Re: Oh for...

    > Seriously people, how hard is it to use the right damned tool for the job?

    People buy computers to run applications, not operating systems. This particular system was chosen because the applications were the 'right tool for the job'. The fact that it ran on Windows, and possibly only on Windows, was neutral _at_the_time_it_was_chosen_.

    Microsoft _changed_ the behaviour of Windows 7 and 8 into being an aggressive and disruptive network capacity consumer. Once it has updated itself to 10 it will continue to use more network capacity as it reports telemetry back to base, sucks in updates (which can't be disabled) and spews ads.

    Windows is no longer the 'right tool for the job' for _anything_ and this is entirely the fault of Microsoft.

  18. LDS Silver badge

    Re: Oh for...

    Yeah, we're in the middle of an African forest, with some guerrilla - Islamic or not - around, and also other armed people killing animals for profit, and bipeds also if they try to interfere, please, send your enterprise licensing rep here so we can discuss how to buy some "non consumer" licenses (we believed "Pro" meant Professional, but it looks it means Problems...), next flight of our just repaired plane - nothing big, just a rough landing - is scheduled for next Wednesday... ah, don't forget your own satellite link, ours is a bit overused, after your update...

  19. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Re: Oh for...

    When you put it like that, I suppose it's clear that Windows is basically useless, except for gaming.

    I guess you, and MS, has missed the part where computing has been commoditised and no-one really cares what law-wrangling bull is in the EULA.

    Now when MS has made it clear that the EULA is the high and mighty's commandments, we shall all just bugger off to Linux land and leave MS to kneel at their own altar, all alone.

  20. Cameron Colley

    Simple answer: Don't use Windows.

    Oh, but, but I can't do x, y or z on Linux. Well, then, you can't do x y or z, can you?

    If you bought Windows you have absolutely no right to moan about Microsoft's behaviour. Well, I suppose if you've been locked in a basement for the past two decades you may have an excuse.

    Seriously, we've known for ever that Microsoft is a criminal organisation.

    Also, in regards to this particular story, the EULA is pretty damned specific that the OS should not be used where lives are at steak. So, unless a specific agreement was in place with Microsoft then the fault lies with the person using Windows for this task. It could not be any more clear that Microsoft do not want Windows used in these situations because they realise it's not suitable.

    Please, everyone, actually stop and think about why you're using Windows and the crimes you're helping fund.

    And, again, "but, but I can't run this game on anything but Windows" just means you can't run that game. The price for running Windows has always been that one gives up freedom and sponsors crime.

    Every single time Microsoft does something wrong people like myself point out that they're up to no good and every single time the use of Microsoft software is defended and, in the past, people have even been accused of wearing tinfoil hats for criticism of Microsoft.

    So, nothing will change here and people will continue to buy Microsoft products because they need to. So why the hell are so many people moaning again?

  21. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Re: Simple answer: Don't use Windows.

    "If you bought Windows you have absolutely no right to moan about Microsoft's behaviour."

    Yes, you do!

    If MS is altering what I payed for into something very different, I have every right to complain.

    When they do his against people's will, pushing changes down their throats using trickery, people have cause to fight back using legal action.

    They are doing this to old products -not to improve the old product to help their users, but to burn the old products to the ground while forcing users into something they didn't ask for.

    Despicable behaviour.

  22. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Re: Simple answer: Don't use Windows.

    An upvote for your obvious point they are changing the deal.

    But, no you don't have any right to complain as its all covered by the EULA you agreed to by using Windows. You know, all those nasty little details you either did not read or though no company in its right mind would exploit...

  23. Cameron Colley

    Re: Simple answer: Don't use Windows.

    Indeed, it's all in the EULA, has always been in the EULA and only morons don't realise that.

    Really, stop paying MS to cause people issues. It's frightening how many people think they can "buy a copy of Windows" or "Buy Windows Server" in this day and age. It has been at least 5 years since MS told their licensees to kindly go fuck themselves but, it seems, nobody paid any attention.

    You have no right to moan when you pay a criminal organisation money to help it threaten fellow customers and random software developers and you know you're doing it.

  24. Charles 9 Silver badge

    Re: Simple answer: Don't use Windows.

    "And, again, "but, but I can't run this game on anything but Windows" just means you can't run that game. The price for running Windows has always been that one gives up freedom and sponsors crime."

    Well, then, if you expect people to stop sponsoring "a criminal organization" as you put it, you need to put forth some alternative options. Telling people to stop committing crime is a waste of breath if there are no honest options available.

  25. Cameron Colley

    Re: Simple answer: Don't use Windows.

    Alternatives? As I said -- if you can't do it without Microsoft you can't do it. Unless, of course, you're happy with their EULA and their right to change the terms every time they feel like it.

    If you're an IT purchasing manager than makes your job almost untenable but, then, I doubt you attained that role over 15 years ago so you're already happy with Microsoft's behaviour.

  26. Charles 9 Silver badge

    Re: Simple answer: Don't use Windows.

    So you're basically saying, "Live with it." As evidenced by the dominance of Windows, especially in the consumer sphere, lots of people apparently already do, thank you very much. If that means people are stupid, then people are stupid. After all, the people most likely to call cigarettes "cancer sticks" are the smokers, so that means you can't win.

    We'll live with it. You can live with it, too. After all, You Can't Fix Stupid.

  27. W.O.Frobozz

    I repeat: why the hell is this legal? Why is Microsoft allowed to get away with this? The disasters of the Win10 virus are just super-high-tech dentist has his advanced dentist chair running off Windows. I saw the "upgrade" icon on the screen. Wanna bet Win10 won't work with his highly-specific equipment? Same deal at my vet's. I don't want to see what's on-screen in my local hospital.

  28. ronplatt


    This could be prevented by replacing the operating systems of donated computers with suitable open source alternatives that allow greater user control. For example, Ubuntu is freely available, regularly maintained, and was conceived based on African values. Why not?

    In addition to the great consumption of data during the update, Windows 10 will continue to consume precious data bandwidth with the constant information logging that has been built into the operating system.

  29. Charles 9 Silver badge

    Re: Preventable.

    "This could be prevented by replacing the operating systems of donated computers with suitable open source alternatives that allow greater user control. For example, Ubuntu is freely available, regularly maintained, and was conceived based on African values. Why not?"

    Probably because they need specific applications to work...Windows-ONLY applications. Unless you can deliver the total package (OS AND Applications), you won't be able to get people to jump ship.

  30. Ramon Zarat

    head roll

    Someone's head must roll over this at M$.

  31. evlncrn8

    "I just came here recently to act as their pilot but have IT skills as well."


    Sadly, an unexpectedly rough landing has put the aircraft out of action and the group is now trying to raise the funds to get a new one.


    i fking hope his IT skills are better tha his pilot skills

  32. This post has been deleted by its author

  33. LDS Silver badge

    Maybe he came to replace the rough-landed pilot...

  34. blokedownthepub

    I've lost important data

    I've lost financial data* due to the crappy power management drivers with Windows 10. My laptop just dies instead of sleeping when I close the lid, corrupting open documents or databases.

    Lenovo haven't developed Windows 10 drivers for my model (and there's no reason why they should), the upgrade is forced, and I'm stuck with the MS buggy drivers which kill the power, trashing documents.

    My expensive high-spec laptop is now less reliable and useful than it was with Win8.

    * (I got it back, thanks to Carbonite).

  35. King Jack Silver badge

    Re: I've lost important data

    Just ask M$ for a copy, I'm sure they have already slurped it.

  36. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Re: I've lost important data

    The above is accompanied by cackling laughter from The Beast.

  37. Merlinski

    Stop auto updates and kill updates KB2952664, KB2976978 and KB3035583. Keep checking and keep killing.

    Never let microsoft auto anything on your machine or you will just get nagged.

  38. NanoMeter

    Got a Postit-note hanging on my monitor:

    Do not install:



  39. Dave 15 Silver badge

    I would say that this is a VIRUS

    Installing itself on your machine without you wanting it? Nagging and demanding from you all over the screen effectively blackmailing you?

    Yup, it is a virus... a nasty corpulent virus. I have one laptop at home where it keeps coming up and I can't get shot of it. Fortunately all others have the update function off by default.

    Hate MS? Yup, the only problem is who else... Apple are just plain too expensive and the last time I tried Linux it claimed my graphics monitor was a text one and the support from the Linux community was to tell me what an idiot I was and obviously the monitor (that had been displaying graphics for over 5 years) was a text monitor and I knew so little they were surprised I knew how to operate the on switch.


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