back to article Windows 10 backlash: Which? demands compo for forced upgrades

Microsoft has been given a roasting by consumer group Which? over Windows 10 woes reported by users, with the organisation calling for compensation for those who found their PCs bricked after auto-updates. Which? said that it had surveyed its members for their experiences with the latest version of Windows, which was released …

Re: Damage is done

They have been at it for years and I think it will take years more, Vulkan has only just been released this year, Linux support will need to be added into some of the new engines that support Vulkan, then games will have to start using the Vulkan APIs, and even after that then people will need a catalyst to make them switch. Things are changing but it does take a long time. Windows is over 30 years old, SteamOS is 3 and Vulkan which will make things a lot easier not even 1. I think Valve has also been a bit distracted by Vive, they're not that big a company and can only do so much.

Most games are Windows only but the figure is decreasing, from almost 100% to about 60% now. Nearly half of games now support Linux and I have way more games than I can ever hope to complete already and plenty of new ones to keep me and my kids interested. I prefer RTS, sim and indie titles to FPS (I have a PS4 for those) so don't ever miss whats available on Windows, the only game I used to boot up Windows for was Witcher 3, I haven't needed Windows for anything else.

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Mushroom

Re: Damage is done

In which case they are living on borrowed time - one update to Windows may clobber their application and, if it's so important, their business.

That's always assuming that W10 hasn't killed it already or is threatening to.

The problem here is that we, the people that comment here on El Reg, probably have a degree of knowledge about the thing that we work with. We are, however, not necessarily in control of our own destiny, often caught between companies that sometimes do outrageous and occasionally unethical things to maintain their hold over it customers and those in charge of company purses who aren't always technically literate. They don't know IT but they know what they like.

Add that to the millions of home users who aren't necessarily savvy enough to allow for situations like this and have no recourse to legal representation against someone as big as Microsoft and there we have it. It's the reason why Microsoft and others get away with this sort of thing every time and those of us that are technically savvy enough to see what is going on get caught in the middle trying to make the best of a bad job.

EVERY F*CKING TIME.

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Windows

Well of course.

"...platitudes from the Beast of Redmond about the new platform being the greatest version of Windows ever..."

So it might well be, but you have to realise is that it started from a very low base.

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wrong pic

Isn't that a Mac that's being smashed in the pic?

PRO TIP: using better stock photos will stop silly whinges like this

-ss

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if my primary school maths serves me correctly...

12% reverting back, and half of those because they had post-upgrade issues = 6% of users reported upgrade issues.

6% - not the "overwhelming majority" you would believe from reading El Reg. I always wondered how I managed to dodge a bullet with every single upgrade I did, as I never experienced any real hassles.

And then I remembered that a lot of El Reg readers are whiny OSS fanboys on a religious crusade to rid the world of microsoft (hows that working out for you?).

I agree - the "forced upgrades" thing is unpalatable and I understand why people are pissed off, but the alternative (as seen from XP) is them supporting a lot of old versions till the end of time (and certainly not something any other vendor can claim they do).

Given the infinite software combinations and hardware of varying quality, I am actually surprised that the failure rate isn't higher than 6%

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Re: if my primary school maths serves me correctly...

Not till the end of time, just till the support period they advertised when they sold you that @$*^% version.

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Re: if my primary school maths serves me correctly...

your right - everyone upgraded when they finally pulled support for XP. oh hang on a sec...

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Silver badge

Re: if my primary school maths serves me correctly...

"but the alternative (as seen from XP) is them supporting a lot of old versions till the end of time"

They're still supporting XP? Someone didn't get the memo. Is it you or me?

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Silver badge

Re: if my primary school maths serves me correctly...

> ... 12% reverting ... not the "overwhelming majority" ...

I wonder what proportion of Windows users are actually capable of reverting the OS "upgrade"? Could it perhaps also be 12%, I wonder?

PS "reverting" already implies "back", the latter word being superfluous or worse in this instance.

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Don't use windoze myself - had too much hassle with it in the past - but my daughter was having issues with win 8. something or other, so accepted the upgrade. All went well for a short while, then following an auto update, the screen went blank and stayed that way. Call in dad! Well, I tried everything I knew, and couldn't coax it back to life. It would only work at all in "safe" mode, so I suspected the graphics driver (its a simple Intel gfx set, for heaven's sake!).

So, I did a full, clean, re-install. All went well until it got to the "automatic updates", which I couldn't stop. Once again the screen blanked! After three attempts, I gave up and put Mandriva Linux on it.

It has run perfectly ever since!

Clearly, there's nothing wrong with the hardware. If the "auto update" doesn't qualify under the computer misuse act, I don't know what else would. It rendered the device completely inoperable....

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HAD Win 10, Now I don't

A Win 10 auto update borked my homebuilt AMD/NVidia/SDD desktop. Also rendered my SDD incapable of accepting a Win 10 install (even though Win 10 had been installed on it just prior). Reformatted, repartitioned and installed Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. Someday, I might get around to fixing the SDD format issue, but for now, I can't be bovvered with the headache of all the steps involved...just to get Win 10 back on the machine. Win 10's only function here is to run the player for my Blu-ray drive.

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Silver badge

No fuss, no muss...

I just did an update of this nice computer in front of me. Went to the App store and clocked on upgrade, it nicely downloaded, and then asked me if I wanted to upgrade. I said yes, and although it did take about 30 minutes, everything I use works quite nicely.

Oh, it was the macOS Sierra update, and it didn't yell and scream at me to update. I did it my self quite easily on my terms.

Me? Windows? Not on your life! The other machines I have are nicely working with Linux. They update quite easily as well.

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reverted 3 times

Installed on my desktop system, couldn't get my work's vpn connection to work, so reverted. Installed on laptop, ran poorly even after tweeks so reverted. Tried again after AU came out. Still had performance issues, but they cut revert time to 10 days, which didn't leave me enough time to fiddle with it to try to get to run as well as win 7, so reverted again. The good thing is that the revert process worked great every time.

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Silver badge

I'd like to add to the above, hiding Windows' System Restore, the trusty old fallback when updates go wrong, and the fact that it seems to be unreliable if you do find it. (Maybe that's why they hid it?!)

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Conspiracy theory?

One thing not mentioned is the large number of software apps that will now NOT work with Windows 10 but worked flawlessly with W7 and W8/8.1. It's almost as tho' Redmond cut a shady deal with those companies to help force people to upgrade.

And let's not forget Intel's intentional decision to bork older software by claiming its newest chips will not run Win 7 / Win 8/8.1.

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Yes, installs without permission

As usual, we get Microsoft propaganda rather than true and accurate facts. For a time, Windows 10 DID install itself without the permission. (I have bailed out people who came into the office in the morning to find Windows 10 staring at them from their computer screen. And, no, they did not authorize either the download or the install.) Once it is installed, it gives you the option to accept or decline the license agreement. If you decline and you are so lucky that everything goes swimmingly, the software rolls back to the previous release: 7, 8 or 8.1.

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Somebody please make Linux user friendly so that those of us with an IQ lower than our body temperature can install it, use it, browse the web, print things out and generally make life simpler again. I don't need no fancy graphics and photo or video manipulation.

I'm variously pissed off at Apple, Android and MS. Perfectly good devices rendered unusable by upgrades, data slurping and a general increase in aggro rather than diminishing of it.

Has anybody got a solution for a simple system?

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I'd say that Linux Mint is already very user friendly, and is perfectly fine for all the general computing tasks that you have described. There is undoubtedly a learning curve, although Mint 18 looks visually quite similar to Windows many of the built in tools have different names, in different locations, etc and the settings and preferences, etc are of course different to where they are in Windows, but that said it only took me a few days to get used to the change. Its not difficult, its just different. My young kids took to it like ducks to water.

The simplest way to see if you like it is to download a USB/CD image from the Mint website and copy it on to a USB stick or CD/DVD, boot from the device and see how you get on. Unlike Windows you don't have to install the operating system to try it out, it can run from a bootable media (although it will be much slower). If you do like it you can then choose to install it, there is an option to dual boot to keep Windows in place so you can go back to it if needed. There are lots of different distributions/flavours of Linux, Mint is generally regarded as the simplest to use.

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Silver badge

> ...many of the built in tools have different names ...

That's well-known Microsoft policy, they routinely avoid established terminology for standard items and features, and instead employ their own choice of names (often names that are already used for quite different things in the IT/computing domain).

And then people complain everyone else is out of step.

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Anyone can sit in front of a Linux desktop distro, browse the web, view their media etc. Just as most people could use a new tablet, phone, smart tv etc. without any help.

The problem is when things go wrong, or you want to venture off the reservation (install new devices, new software, change config etc.)

All of the Linux GUI tools I have seen are a thin veneer on top of an alien world that is completely incomprehensible to a non-experienced user. So while you crow that nan is rocking her bingo numbers on Mint with that wicked gleam in her eye, she is really just a web user that happens to be using a Linux device that you set up and maintain for her :-)

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>> they routinely avoid established terminology for standard items and features, and instead employ their own choice of names

perhaps just 1 example might be useful to illustrate your point?

(and I think they chose "notepad" because they couldn't decide which of the really intuitive "established" names like vi, vim, emacs, joe, nano etc. to choose from)

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Ok, thanks for the reply. I'll give it a try on an old laptop.

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Anonymous Coward

"All of the Linux GUI tools I have seen are a thin veneer on top of an alien world that is completely incomprehensible to a non-experienced user."

"All of the Microsoft GUI tools I have seen are an alien world ( on top of thin ice ) that is completely incomprehensible to a non-experienced user."

On the whole a non-experienced user is just that whatever the OS BTW

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Silver badge

Has anybody got a solution for a simple system?

IFF your needs are simple, as others on this forum will tell you, Linux Mint will satisfy your needs. After more than a year running Mint on my computers, I have not needed any of the "leet" skills I picked up playing with Lunix 10 and 15 years ago. Updating is fast and simple; installing and uninstalling applications with the Synaptic Package Manager is way easier and faster than Windows.

If you need to do anything more than the basics, you'll either have to boot into Windows, or work with some frankly terrible software. Example:

I needed to make a video DVD for a friend from some video files he had been sent by a musician who wants him to write lyrics for his compositions. The files he sent were variously AVI, WMV and MOV. My friend doesn't possess a computer (frankly I wouldn't let him near one) and of course his DVD player didn't know how to play the computer videos.

Usually, I use Nero 9 for this, but on this occasion, the software informed me that since I had pirated the software, I needed to pay for it. Again? WTF! Nero allows you to create a video DVD by dragging the files onto a window and clicking a button to burn the compilation to DVD. The title menu takes its labels from the filenames.

The first FOSS application I used crashed when clicking the button to burn the compilation. Twice! The second FOSS application required selecting each individual file through a dialog box, then using a separate dialog box to rename the default Menu 1, Menu 2... to the required titles. At the end of the process, which took several minutes rather than the several seconds that Nero requires, it refused to create the DVD image file. It only managed to do this after rebooting the computer. Fortunately, Brasero managed the burning of the DVD image though unlike Nero, it doesn't include a file comparison after finishing the burn.

So, I find that from time to time it's easier to boot into Windows to do things that FOSS makes excessively complicated. And I find myself angrified by businesses like Ahead and Microsoft that I supported for many years treating me like a piece of shit. Of course when they call one a pirate, then it makes sense to become a pirate so that you are no longer called a pirate and/or denied the ability to use something you paid for. Go figure...

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Bronze badge
Windows

Linux Mint

Replaced vista on an old laptop with mint. Owner is delighted, mint is much faster and she can do updates etc. easily. So far, so good. There's no doubt she would not have been able to do it on her own, but then, given a linux box would she have been able to put windoze on it?

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Linux

Re: Linux Mint

I've been mucking about with Sarah for the last few days and it seems like a fairly solid system. Installation is pretty easy given a reasonable net connection - you can leave it using default settings if you don't have the goods to muck about yourself and as with so many Mints over the last few years, you can try before you install anyway.

My biggest gripes would be the imposition of systemd (which probably won't matter if you are using it as a desktop/laptop home user system) and where I've installed KDE, I've got the rather dreary looking Plasma 5 over which I intend to attempt to load Trinity as soon as I can. I find many users seem to prefer either Cinnamon or MATE though.

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Windows 10 sucks big time and ia nothing but a Microsoft scam.

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Trollface

Windows 10 sucks big time and ia nothing but a Microsoft scam.

That's nice, and you won't find a shortage of people here that would agree with that sentiment.

Perhaps you could expand on how you reached that opinion? The installation nagware? The forced installation itself? The compulsory updates? The many different driver problems? The lost data? The lost or disabled applications? The spyware? Anything I missed?

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