back to article Windows 10 a failure by Microsoft's own metric – it won't hit one billion devices by mid-2018

When Windows 10 launched, Microsoft claimed it would have the new operating system on a billion devices by mid-2018. That isn't going to happen, however, Redmond has now admitted. For the past year, Microsoft has offered the new OS as a free upgrade for both desktop and mobile users (provided the phone can handle it in the …

Re: Perhaps ....

Haven't had one cousin's 'upgrade' fail. Each had Teamviewer on already, and it came back on-line to me before the Win10 user-choices screen, which let me do that, and then Anti-beacon, and ClassicShell. 14 other things to fix swiftly for each of them and they hardly know it isn't 7. Real snag is that some older working programs disappear for some reason, but they work again if you reinstall them.

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Re: Perhaps ....

""Whats also interesting is how many college types I talk to who are just using a penguin now."

Me, me, me ... do I count? I went to college, err 20*mumble* something years ago."

Same here (and with the 'shonky'), only Archlinux (with Ubuntu on a netbook) - I have thought about Gentoo, but Archlinux is too convenient with the regular repo and the AUR.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Perhaps ....

No, last time I was at CERN in Geneva there was a large number of Macs. They can run most *nix software anyway, and you get a well supported and optimize sw/hw combo, which lets you concentrate on you job, which is not taking care of your PC.

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Re: The penguin struggles to reach 4% market share with a free product

"I guarantee more units were shipped last quarter with the Linux kernel in Android than all Windows OS derivatives put together.2

- True, but Android with it's Linux kernel buried under Googles slightly shady front-end is not really the same as GNU/Linux. Most users are not even aware Linux is involved in their product at all. Same with other devices and platforms utilising the Linux Kernel, it's like the Golem buried at the bottom of a mineshaft pumping water for years unregarded.

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Re: Perhaps ....

"Talking up the benefits of the same UI everywhere with Win8, same OS for 10 convinced no one."

Microsoft are not the only ones with this idea. Ubuntu are progressing with their take on the concept, with a scalable and convergent UI for all form factors. Even if you deride Canonical, Gnome certainly has been redesigned with tablets in mind, and KDE also have plans for a different plasma shell for other form factors on top of Frameworks5.

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Re: The penguin struggles to reach 4% market share with a free product

"Googles slightly shady front-end is not really the same as GNU/Linux."

OTOH after Microsoft's UI adventures of the last few years if you were to take a Win 7 user and show them KDE, W8 & W910 they might be hard pushed to say which was & wasn't Windows.

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Re: Perhaps .... slipstick

Re: "Still have my old slip stick."

Moi aussi. I have gone through a lot of equipment since then and it is the only thing that still has some value. Why? It will still work after everything else here is obsolete.

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Re: Perhaps ....

Re: "Apple has about 50% of the market with college kids."

@a_yank_lurker:

I believe it.

My household was MS-centric for a long time with Linux only being used for server stuff. Then, my kids *had* to have iPods like all the other kids ... then, they *had* to have iPhones rather than Crackberries like their parents. I gave in reluctantly to keep the peace and we all ended up on iPhones. The iPhones turned out to be way, way more useful than the crackberries and iOS, while not perfect, was significantly more reliable than anything Windows based.

Cracks, and then holes, in the dike, then it nearly burst when my daughter insisted on a MacBook Air as her new machine for university.

Every new CPU here in the past couple of years has had a non-MS operating system. MS has been a terrible partner over the years and it seems as though their formula for responding to alienated customers is to alienate them further.

MS: I have made myself a promise that every machine you disable because I had to swap out equipment gets re-enabled permanently with Linux.

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Re: The penguin struggles to reach 4% market share with a free product

Theme it to look like W7 and you'll get faster buy in from the average consumer.

"Having a rude, abusive and harassing pseudo-hipster CEO is not a commercial advantage."

Seems to have worked for Steve Jobs, he was known to be abusive at times, as well as harassing, and a bit of a hipster (when the hippie movement was winding down). Ballmer, OTOH, was not hip, not even pseudo hip, nor was Mr. Gates.

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Re: Perhaps ....

"They might not have been able to compete on free-as-in-beer but if they'd cut prices to be affordable they could have competed on quality."

What's Red Hat and Suse's model? they seem to be doing fine. SCO could have done *THAT*. Then they'd be on par with RH, Suse, and any other commercial Linux distro. RH even competes AGAINST ITSELF by offering Fedora for free. Yet, there they are, still in business.

I'm a Debian fan, myself. I think the package system is better than RPM but that's just me, and use both Ubu (semi-commercial) and Mint when the occasion requires it. But my main desktop is FreeBSD. Designing everything for "build from source" (even it if would take 4 days to re-build everything from source) makes it a DEVELOPER'S platform. And that just makes the point that it's individual CHOICE on the POSIX side, with lots of available "flavors" to suit your needs.

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Re: Perhaps ....

My slipstick is a nice "British Thornton" wooden one from the late 50s. I still use it most days.

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Re: The penguin struggles to reach 4% market share with a free product

I don't know where you get your numbers (remember - 87% of statistics are made up on the spot). You have to remember that the entire Internet runs on Linux - making Windows a poor proprietary client for a Unix world.

Windows will become ever more irrelevant and as Microsoft fail to meet the universal standards set by the web - or, worse yet, try to set their own - and governments and businesses are starting to see this.

The UK actually has rules in place to ensure that all government departments will use fully open standards and open sourced software in the next two years. This will be the beginning of the end for MS as other countries will also do the same.

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Re: The penguin struggles to reach 4% market share with a free product

> Most users are not even aware Linux is involved in their product at all.

And that is exactly how it should be. Most MacOS and iOS users are not even aware that BSD is underlying their systems.

People buy computers to solve problems, not to follow a particular cult.

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Re: The penguin struggles to reach 4% market share with a free product

I don't think it's just marketing that keeps 'nix off the desktop and Wiindows on it.I think people ignore a whole list of showstopper can't-run-X-on-'nix issues. That list of showstoppers includes things like Photoshop and Lightroom, popular accounting packages, and so on. It used to include a zillion games and the Microsoft Office package, but the games situation has improved a lot, and Microsoft's Office is gradually becoming a bit irrelevant because the alternatives are often just as good if not better. Nevertheless, until we have key applications like Photoshop on Linux, Windows is fairly safe.

Does Microsoft know this? Is there any concerted push by MS to ensure (for example) that Adobe doesn't port its applications to Nix?

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Re: The penguin struggles to reach 4% market share with a free product

Is there any concerted push by MS to ensure (for example) that Adobe doesn't port its applications to Nix?

No idea, but Adobe ported FrameMaker to Linux many years ago. I was a beta tester. It was a very decent word processor and page layout tool. When the beta timed out, I went back to PageMaker on Windows. Adobe certainly have the expertise.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Perhaps ....

Well said BobChip.

I started using computers in 1972 and microprocessors in '74/'75.

Dos was always booted with a prayer that all those horrid drivers would load

Windows before 95 was even worse

Post Windows 95 and despite ME it got better and better upto and including Windows 7.

Then MS decided that Touch on Everything was the order of the day. Risky at the extreme. We may look back in 10 years and wonder what all the problems was but for me Metro/Modern/TIFKAM was the straw that broke my will to stay on the MS directed path to Nirvana.

Now that I'm about to retire there are NO, repeat NO Microsoft products in use in my home.

I won't pay a monthly subscription (viz Photoshop) so the prospects of having to do the same with Windows was the final nail in the MS coffin as far as I am concerned.

I know that I am not alone in this.

Many of my age group are moving to Apple. Yes they cost a packet but for many of them, they work OOTB and do so each and every day. One reason is that many of them already have iPhones. Some tried Windows Mobiles but soon went to Android or Apple. (the majority is with Apple).

That in itself is a very good case study in how to make your company irrelevant to a good proportion of the population.

{Can I have my MBA please?}

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Re: The penguin struggles to reach 4% market share with a free product

"Having a rude, abusive and harassing pseudo-hipster CEO is not a commercial advantage."

CEO? I suppose some of the distros are from businesses with CEOs. Others just have project leaders.

Oh, did you mean Linus? He's not a CEO. If you're going to criticise you'd do much better if you got your facts right first.

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Re: Perhaps ....

"I suspect your sampling is likely 90% liberal arts and fine arts students."

Not necessarily. Macs run Unix S/W so some of the scientists & engineers could be using them but most of the rest will be on Linux.

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Re: Perhaps ....

"That users object to having to relearn to use a PC because some idiot has changed the interface but don't object to having to learn something new to use a new type of device should not be surprising, except to those who've really lost the plot." - Users also do not like changing a perfectly functional interface because some clueless PHB says there must be one for all devices.

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Pint

Re: The penguin struggles to reach 4% market share with a free product

4%, are you sure?

Last time I checked it was around 1 or 2% ... for desktops I mean, because if you count all devices including Android, the Linux Kernel is now the first one for end users.

But we have now moved for 1 to 2% to 4%... doubled!

Anyway between 5 to 10% will be enough for the vendors to care, beyond that it will attract bad guys (as smartphones did), and we prefer those bad guys to stay "working" on W$.

So, thanks for the news. ;-)

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Re: The penguin struggles to reach 4% market share with a free product

Unfortunately the shift to open source won't happen immediately for other countries.

I admire your government for having done that. Here in France they are too corrupted and paid by M$ to dare such a clever move.

They prepared a law about school, and said: "we are going to let the people express itself, about what it thinks is right for education", so they did a poll on the internet. First suggestion was something around educational games, second suggestion was "promote open standards and open source software".

And so, guess what they did 2 months after having "consulted the people": they signed a contract with M$...

Conclusion: I always tell it as a joke (but it is not), Open Source does not invite you to a restaurant!

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Re: Perhaps ....

Use the best tool for the job. Mac for seamless user experience, Linux for IT. For gaming, use a gaming console. For phone, use iOS or Android or both. Windows is best at none of them.

Like in the old days where people tend to own multiple TVs, now they own multiple computers. Having mixture of Mac and Linux is not as rare if you count Chromebooks and Android as Linux kernel-based.

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Re: The penguin struggles to reach 4% market share with a free product

But look at the growth potential! 4% to 5%, a 1% increase in market share is a 25% of the penguin sector!

I see a high growth market opportunity waiting to happen, it is only a matter of time before someone throws the dice and gets a winning score...

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Anonymous Coward

M$ showed us their Poker hand...

~ But they could have kicked out Win-10 minus slurping & force updates and waiting for more lemmings to sign up.

~ Then bait and switch and add nasty aggressive slurping and forced updates, in a urgent security patch over a holiday weekend etc.

~ But this way, we get to see the kinds of cunts operating out of Redmond upfront, and how much they desire to be more like big brothers Google and Facebook.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: M$ showed us their Poker hand...

Upvote for gratuitous use of the cunt word. Bravo.

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Re: M$ showed us their Poker hand...

... and a DV for both anons because anon

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Re: M$ showed us their Poker hand...

The smart thing to do would have been to have only the positives in now and save all of the negative changes for after people are already dependent on 10, as you said-- and maybe, compared to what they have planned, they think this is what they did. What kind of diabolical plans can they have to make what they're doing now seem like sweetness and light to them?

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Well if they haven't got that many users giving it away, they certainly aren't going to get them by charging for it after July... and I still hate the start menu.

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Bet they assumed Windows Phone contributing a few hundred million

Because they know the mobile market so well - after all they were so quick to recognize how the smartphone world was going to completely change the minute the iPhone was first shown.

Oh wait, that was Google's Android team that realized that; Microsoft continued to putting out the same tired stuff that looked and acted like it was designed in 2001 and thinking Blackberry was their competition.

The only thing that will let them EVER get to a billion devices is quitting selling Windows 7 and stopping updates for it in early 2020. Until that end date for Windows 7 forces enterprises to get serious about upgrading to Windows 10 in 2019, they won't reach a billion.

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Re: Bet they assumed Windows Phone contributing a few hundred million

"The only thing that will let them EVER get to a billion devices is quitting selling Windows 7 and stopping updates for it in early 2020. Until that end date for Windows 7 forces enterprises to get serious about upgrading to Windows 10 in 2019, they won't reach a billion."

Shhhhhhhh... don't give them ANY ideas, K? someone with windows 10 might read it, and the spyware could tip off someone in the Halls of Redmond. I know they don't listen to GOOD ideas, but BAD ones seem to make it through... I once joked about "what's next, ads in the Start Menu?" on a Microsoft forum. Next thing you know... [sorry sorry sorry]

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Re: Bet they assumed Windows Phone contributing a few hundred million

"Microsoft continued to putting out the same tired stuff that looked and acted like it was designed in 2001"

and _THEN_ they release Windows "Ape", and it looks like it was designed in 1985...

http://www.guidebookgallery.org/screenshots/win101

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Re: Bet they assumed Windows Phone contributing a few hundred million

I don't know how many times I'm gonna have to repeat this...

Windows on a phone is a really nice system. I, and many other users (as of last year, it had a double-digit market share in my country) greatly prefer it to either iOS or Android.

What Microsoft did that I don't understand was, stop making Nokias. The Nokia brand was by far its best ticket into the phone market. Whey they stopped shipping those, their sales went from "very low" to "virtually nonexistent". And how that can have come as a surprise to anyone, has me fair betwattled.

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Re: Bet they assumed Windows Phone contributing a few hundred million

> The Nokia brand was by far its best ticket into the phone market.

It may have been 'the best ticket' but Nokia phone division made a loss in every quarter it made WP in spite of getting a $billion a year from Microsoft. The agreement with MS was running out and Nokia was going to dump WP. In fact they had already released an Android phone the Nokia-X.

Microsoft bought Nokia's phone division to prevent 90+% of the WP manufacturing being dumped and replaced by Android. The only reason that some countries went into double digits was because the phones were being sold below cost and leveraged into Microsoft centric businesses.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_X

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Re: Bet they assumed Windows Phone contributing a few hundred million

The thing is, and often said, that people who actually use a WinPhone do actually like them, a lot.

Microsoft haters will never accept that, so saying it on El reg is probably just wasting the wear on my keyboard.

BUT, Microsoft seemed to have done their level best to undermine their own brand; delayed launches, strange ranges, with no phone that isn't either too cheap and nasty or too big and expensive for an ordinary user, negligible marketing, trying to use it as a gateway to the Xbox rather than providing fun stuff that a phone user might want, failure to engage with developers or develop their own fun stuff ( aka "apps") and of course a seriously ham-handed attempt to bring out a "universal" OS without making it fit for platforms that people used, that just made everyone angry with them

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Facepalm

Google says thanks

The extra time polishing Android Desktop will be really handy.

Oh, and good luck with that 2020 date once its out.

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Anonymous Coward

Shame on me

When I see this picture I just thought M$ fanboi

I will go to church tomorrow, and pray for my soul.

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Childcatcher

One beeeeellion

I've only ever had to manage a few thousand desktops in one go, worrying about billions is a bit more exciting. Mind you if I had access to the source and the devs, oh and an armlock on the hardware side and distribution etc perhaps my job would be easier.

Instead, like many, many other sysadmins I have to use the force in many cases to divine what the fuck is going on with the bloody things.

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due to the focusing of our phone hardware business

> due to the fscking of our phone hardware business

FTFY

Damn the autofix spell checker.

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Facepalm

Re: due to the focusing of our phone hardware business

but due to the focusing of our phone hardware business? MS makes phones? Fair enough, they should have enough employees to focus on two things? NO?

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Creative solutions

1, Cloud solution. Fire up a million instances of Windows7 on Azure and upgrade to Windows10. Restore them and repeat 1000 times

2, RIAA solution. Download a pirate copy. Claim that this represents a million potential violations who would have purchased a copy. And they had a 48x CD drive so that counts 48x as much. Repeat 20 times

3, Oracle solution. Install on a machine with an 8 core CPU. Claim that this represents 2^8 licenses in use.

4, Google/Apple solution. Claim that you have a billion installs but they all happened in Ireland and so you don't count them when reporting to the IRS.

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Re: Creative solutions

I recently upgraded a Win7 on a spare HDD to Win10 (twice), just to see what would happen, and then blew them away. On three occasions the Win10 update app stalled at 99% and started back at 0% when it was reloaded.

So they probably counted that as five.

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Really?

*insert nick cage "you don't say?" meme pic here*

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Apple Upgrades...

Whether love or hate Apple, one thing that they get right is how upgrades are presented and pushed out for both iOS and OSX/macOS. Just enougfh visual persuasion, but leaving the option to stay where you are.

On the whole, they don't (yet) piss you off, the way they go about it.

But it's easier for Apple, because of their limited hardware platforms.

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Re: Apple Upgrades...

Apple also is a hardware vendor so they have the option to tailor their OS and applications to the hardware and much easier time testing for hardware compatibility. But still, informing users and letting the user decide when to update/upgrade is a better policy.

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WTF?

"and increasing customer delight with Windows."

"and increasing customer delight with Windows."

WTF - can I have whatever their smoking please.

Roll on the end of the month and I might (just might) feel safe to boot into my win 7 partition (when I hope it will be safe to do so), but I doubt I will need to really, since installing Mint on mine and other family’s gear things have been just fine so far.

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Re: "and increasing customer delight with Windows."

"Delight." I do not think that word means what they think it means. (Disdain? Disgust maybe?)

Mint is really excellent, isn't it? I've only had it installed for a few weeks now, but already I hardly boot Windows anymore. I found that my favorite game works really well under WINE (not perfect, but close enough that it might soon get there, and it's playable now even in imperfect form), and that was the one "MUST have Windows" thing for me I thought I had up front. I've been finding Linux versions for everything else pretty well... I've used Firefox and Thunderbird exclusively since their respective initial releases, so that much was super simple.

My Win 7 install is fully updated, though, aside from the telemetry updates and those that have any kind of reference to "the latest version of Windows." Just keep it on manual installation ("Notify me of updates that are available, but let me decide whether to download and install them," or whatever the actual text is), keep the list of the bad updates handy & keep hiding the bad ones when they pop back up, and read the description text very carefully before allowing any non-critical update to be installed. And as always, keep backups of everything! Even if MS were to sneak a non-removable "security" update in that contained a Windows 10 trojan, you can always just restore from backup.

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"...earlier operating systems are still working well."

That's the whole point, isn't it? I really like my windows 7 computer and there's nothing in windows 8/8.1/10 to tempt me to upgrade. On the contrary, with all the well documented problems in win10. Offering a free upgrade simply isn't enough reason to bother. Back to the drawing board, Microsoft.

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The sad thing is that Windows 10 is great and adoption would have been higher if MS had been polite

Push something on a person, and they'll naturally resist, even if you're trying to give away bricks of gold.

The sad thing is that Windows 10 is great and adoption would have been far higher if MS had been polite and respectful in its upgrade offer.

A once-a-month explicit easy to opt-out-of offer of the free upgrade,each month, and nothing more.

Instead MS chose to make a total nuisance of itself by screwing up the daily, weekly and monthly work-flows of previously loyal customers, all the while incurring unplanned training and support costs on those same previously loyal customers.

Windows 10 is much better than Windows 8 and 8.1, and is much faster than Windows 7 on multi-core machines.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The sad thing is that Windows 10 is great and adoption would have .....

Microsoft doesn't have time to be polite, they're a little bit desperate. They're eager to get their continuous revenue stream in place (i.e. a suction pump attached to your wallet).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The sad thing is that Windows 10 is great...

The sad thing is that Windows 10 is great and adoption would have been far higher if MS had been polite and respectful in its upgrade offer.

Oh yes, it is truly wonderful. I especially like the consistency and clarity of the UI (after all, who wants to have dialogues following the same visual design as the panels they are created from? This is so 1990s! Who ever wants the back button to take them to the configuration screen they came from, rather than an exciting new set of option which let you explore a completely different corner of this wonderful WX universe? Who would ever want to have a computer without a touchscreen? Greasy fingerprints on the display are the clear sign of class!), the user-friendliness (these login-screen ads really make coming to the office in the morning a joy! and I love having those enforced patch installation-reboot cycles just as my train leaves without me in the evening: after all the late-night milk run is soo much more comfly!), and the meticulous attention it gives to my privacy.

A once-a-month explicit easy to opt-out-of offer of the free upgrade,each month, and nothing more.

Yes! Yes! But please, please, please make it full-screen, and give it a generous time before it can be closed! Two or three hours is ought to do it!

Windows 10 is much better than Windows 8 and 8.1, and is much faster than Windows 7 on multi-core machines.

Well, realistically a lobotomy is much better than W8.*, and for most people and use cases W7 is already plenty fast enough. The only exception for an end user is rebooting - and at least for me, the most common reason for rebooting is because the yet another patch cannot be installed without it. At which point all the time is spent applying the patch - and the extra 30 seconds saved/spent in loading the OS is immaterial.

Just face it: desktop OS has been a mature technology for a long time (in fact since well before Microsoft came up with their first usable version of Windows); there is no sound technical reason to keep tinkering with it. Desktop OSes exist to provide productivity (or perhaps the loss-of-productivity, if we are talking about SAP products) applications with a stable and consistent environment in which to perform their function. Desktop OSes should be neither sexy nor exciting; in fact, like all good infrastructure they should be mostly invisible.

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