back to article Microsoft will explain only 'significant' Windows 10 updates

Microsoft has explained its policy about how much information it will offer on the content of Cumulative Updates to Windows 10. In a statement sent by a spokesperson to us, Microsoft said: “As we have done in the past, we post KB articles relevant to most updates which we’ll deliver with Windows as a service. Depending on the …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

    and I wonder if they'll push something similar on those of us with Win7. I guess it's time to go have a look at the various flavors of Linux.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

      I think they already are doing this with Windows 7.

      The last four updates offered to me all had the same uninformative descriptions. Going to the KB articles revealed that two were concerned with potential problems and two were purely concerned with adding tracking and telemetry functions.

      I think Windows 10 is a lost cause but it is well worth taking responsibility for researching every update offered for Windows 7 ( and 8.1, for that matter).

      And furthermore, knowing that 'little insignificant person vs Microsoft' can only end one way, plan now on what non-Windows OS you would like to move to.

      1. Mike Dimmick

        Re: The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

        "The last four updates offered to me all had the same uninformative descriptions. Going to the KB articles revealed that two were concerned with potential problems and two were purely concerned with adding tracking and telemetry functions."

        Windows 7 updates have *always*, in my experience, had completely unhelpful titles and descriptions shown in Windows Update. You always had to click on the KB article link to find out what it actually does. This is also true in WSUS. The differences with Windows 10 are:

        - There is no link to the KB article from within the 'More Details' popup in Windows Update

        - The KB article, once you type the 7-digit number in (can't copy from the popup either), has no details in it. It lists a huge list of files, because the updates are cumulative - there is no Limited Distribution Release servicing channel for Windows 10.

        Windows Update has the ability to only download the changed files, indeed only the changed parts of the changed files, so it doesn't have to download gigabytes every time. You could probably work out what's changed by checking the version number of the files (it seems they don't rebuild every component every time despite describing it as a cumulative update).

        I suppose there's a question of whether to list every change since the previous cumulative update, or whether to list every change since the original 10.0.10240.16384 build, but not showing anything is particularly unhelpful.

        The same is true of the built-in apps, the other side of the story. In Windows 8.1, the Store app gained the ability to show a change log. Third-party developers often use it properly, but most Microsoft apps, especially those bundled with the system, tend to just say 'performance and stability improvements'.

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

          there is no Limited Distribution Release servicing channel for Windows 10.

          I thought that, this was where Win10 Professional stepped in? Granted you needed to come of either 7 Ultimate, or 8.x Professional?! To get it. But as I under stand it these are are on the CBB (Current Business Branch), which should be getting the Updates ~ca Four months after the appear. If your able to use WSUS as well you can then delay such updates for an additional Four Months, Eight in total. However you still can NOT refuse such updates indefinitely as we were able to in say XP, Vista, 7 or 8.x

          As far as I know.. The only version of Win10 that in theory would allow you to do this will be Win10 Enterprise (LTSB - Long Term Service Branch). Which I gather would be the "Limited Distribution" version you're looking for. Sadly it seems that MicroSoft are only planing on selling this likely though it partners though a Volume License contract.

        2. John Sanders
          Holmes

          Re: The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

          I completely agree with you, it has been years since a windows patch came with anything more descriptive than: "This patch resolves a stability issue in windows"

          This is not a new fact.

          Compare this with any linux distribution changelog of any package:

          -----------8<-----------------

          firefox (40.0+build4-0ubuntu0.14.04.4) trusty-security; urgency=medium

          * Disable geo-specific search defaults, and clean up profiles that have

          been inadvertently switched to the wrong search default (LP: #1485741)

          - add debian/patches/disable-geo-specific-search-defaults-for-us.patch

          - add debian/patches/cleanup-geo-specific-search-defaults.patch

          - update debian/patches/series

          -- Chris Coulson <chris.coulson@canonical.com> Tue, 18 Aug 2015 15:08:02 +0100

          -----------8<-----------------

          Quite telling.

    2. Turtle

      @Mark 85 Re: The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

      "I guess it's time to go have a look at the various flavors of Linux."

      Guess again., If none of Microsoft's Win 10 shenanigans up to this point haven't gotten you to actually move to Linux then there's no reason why this particular shenanigan should be the deciding factor.

      If Win10's "updates are installed without your consent or even knowledge" feature hasn't put you off, then why should *this*? Because you want full information about updates that you have no choice about having installed? And because you need detailed knowledge about updates that you won't know about at all?

      Or, to put it another way: If you swallowed everything up to now, you will have no trouble swallowing this too.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: @Mark 85 The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

        >>"Guess again., If none of Microsoft's Win 10 shenanigans up to this point haven't gotten you to actually move to Linux then there's no reason why this particular shenanigan should be the deciding factor."

        Incorrect. Things accumulate and eventually people get pissed off enough to do something. I have a lot of GNU/Linux skills - it's where I started out. I moved over to Windows mid-cycle of Windows 7 because I found it was a good OS and I liked a lot of what they were doing. It was a new era for MS, it seemed. I'm on Windows 8 currently and MS's recent change in direction (and constant ads for Windows 10 they inserted against my wishes into my Windows 8 installation), have recently made me re-evaluate switching my primary back of to GNU/Linux. Haven't yet - am still considering. But right now they're losing my trust so back to GNU/Linux is looking more and more probable with every story like this I read.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: @Mark 85 The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

          @h4rm0ny - I agree things accumulate.

          Remember many enterprises have only recently upgraded from XP to 7, along with an associated server upgrade. So Win10 coming hot on the heels of Win8 and 8.1, will being giving these people cause for concern; because it is clear, MS has no intention of giving us the stability we enjoyed with XP/2003.

          So, as I observed a few years back, the refresh of Win7 et al in circa 2020 is for MS to loose; something they currently seem determined to do. So it seems we need to follow the other part of my observation and invest in creating enterprise grade non-MS solutions for this developing market...

      2. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: @Mark 85 The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

        Or, to put it another way: If you swallowed everything up to now, you will have no trouble swallowing this too.

        That might well be true for someone that just discovered Windows 8.x, and honestly thinks its the greatest thing since ever... (i.e. 'cause they're to ignorant to know any better!), Then your argument holds water. The only place WHERE your argument has any viability is with lazy home users that either never turn Auto updates off. As they should... Or they do in fact have that option installed for them, But then sooner or latter you realize what a flusrcluck that is as they've never heard of Patch Tuesday, and you have +Six months of Updates to chew though. At which point you say fork it all and then set Windows to auto install, and be done with it.

        This more or less works with Windows 10 client base. But, there are plenty of power users out here, that take a very dim view on this practice, and though I find it hard to imagine MicroSoft thinking it can pull this kinda crap on Windows 10 Enterprise Ed. ~ Server 2016... Nobody really can say that with any confidence at this time. Least of all MicroSoft themselves. Even though it should be obvious, even to the most terminally dim. Why MicroSofts current EULA, on such subjects as Privacy, and Security, just simply can not fly in that world. A World by definition where MicroSoft are just about the last guy you'd trust.

        Christ I can only imagine what could / would happen to a Nuke Plant that needed Windows 10 (or its equivalent), to maintain said plants stability.. When we've already seen an update break as many a Machine, just after a week of going live. If this is supposed to instill some greater confidence in Microsofts newest baby... Then they're failing badly.

        Come back Vista all is now forgiven! Hell forget Vista... I'd settle for 8.x at this point. Crappy interface aside... At least it doesn't (As far as we know!), sell your soul to the lowest bidder, like 10 does!

        1. Stevie Silver badge

          4 Michael Habel: At least it doesn't (As far as we know!),

          Aye, there's the rub.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Mark 85 The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

        "If you swallowed everything up to now, you will have no trouble swallowing this too."

        Even the talented Mr. Almond allegedly had a limit to how much he could swallow without feeling a little queasy. For us less talented folk, the limit must surely be less.

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          Re: @Mark 85 The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

          It is a bit tasteless to remind us of the many talents of Mr Almond.

          Still, if win10 is a taste of things to come from MS I will sit among the penguins (where no man is an island, unless he is called Madagascar) and laugh. That is, unless me and my brother Kyle lose the rock-off, in which case I might be gargling mayonnaise till the end of time and the pros and cons of hitch-hiking operating systems will be of little concern.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Mark 85 The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

            It is a bit tasteless...

            Not the best choice of words when mentioning Mr Almond, perhaps?

      4. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: @Mark 85 The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

        > Or, to put it another way: If you swallowed everything up to now, you will have no trouble swallowing this too.

        I moved over to Linux 15 years ago. It's the *rest* of the family I've got to move. We *were* a MSWin-free house until the wife started playing fecking World of Warcraft

        1. Greggles

          Re: @Mark 85 The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

          So basically, Linux would be way better if it weren't for all those damned users wanting to... use their computers for anything remotely popular. Have you tried explaining to her that Linux allows her to do a bunch of stuff the average user has absolutely no interest in while losing highly desired abilities? I'm not defending MS and their absolute shit new policy, but touting Linux as the fix to their corporate evil has been done to death and gets no further than it ever does, which is that even those with your expertise have windows machines running in their homes.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Mark 85 The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

            "use their computers for anything remotely popular."

            Generally meaning gaming, as the commenter you're replying to mentioned. It is also the reason I still run Windows. But lack of games isn't Linux's fault - it is perfectly capable of running games. It's a result of Windows dominance over the past 2 decades (however achieved) - simply most PCs run Windows, it's most economical to develop games for Windows and ignore the other platforms - OSX suffers from this too.

            That won't change until Linux gains market share - which is slowly happening, as we've seen Valve bring Steam to Linux, release their own Linux based console and a lot of early access games being released for both platforms.

            Based on the complaints against Windows 10 and if people are this upset and serious about trying Linux, that influx of users could be the tipping point for bringing major league games to the platform.

            And once that happens, who's going to pay ~£100 for Windows to play their games and browse the net when they can do it for free on Linux?

            1. bobgameon

              Re: @Mark 85 The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

              People seem only to be upset with windows 10 on tech sites and blog. While according to brandwatch 90% of the people online love it so i dont expect things to change soon.

              I'm one of the 90% BTW but i love reading about updates and whats changing. It's why disable automatic app updates on my phone and PC. This just doesnt make sense. its not like normal consumers actually read the update details. its only the enthusiast. i wonder if the they fired the people who wrote these update details during the last layoffs and now there is no one to write them.

              1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

                Re: @Mark 85 The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

                Swambo has heard Facebook chatter about HooverSoft and various W10 issues and has emphatically stated no W10 EVER!!! She is slightly more advanced than the average user - I work in IT - but she finds Linux Mint easy to use and with the exception of one package covers all her needs. Many have her skill level and what holds them back from using Linux is finding it preinstalled or finding someone to install it plus a lack of awareness about how easy many distros are to use.

              2. Kiwi Silver badge
                Linux

                Re: @Mark 85 The seem to be going in an unsavory direction... @bobgameon

                People seem only to be upset with windows 10 on tech sites and blog. While according to brandwatch 90% of the people online love it so i dont expect things to change soon.

                90%? Really? Considering so few people even have it yet? Where does "brandwatch" or whoever they are get their figures from?

                In our small shop we've had more Win10 machines in for reverting to former version (mainly due to an inability to use the machine) since the end of July than we saw Win8 machines in the first year of 8 being out, by a significant number. No, that's not praise of h8 - but in the first year we got 4 or 5 machines in for work (including damage from dropping/kids etc) with 8 on them. I think we're at 15 or 16 W10 machines in now, all for reverting to 7 or 8, at least 6 of them due to not booting.

                So far our users rate it as 100% fuckup, mixed with at least 90% shit. Our view? Well, I'm kinda loving it.. I've done a few more Linux conversions this week. Which my customers also love.

                Mint.. The ultimate windows update!

          2. John Sanders

            Re: @Mark 85 The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

            """So basically, Linux would be way better if it weren't for all those damned users wanting to..."""

            Why are you damning people?

            """use their computers for anything remotely popular."""

            Yes we're all fully aware that if you need to run an application or game that it is only available for windows you have to run windows. So? run windows, Linux or Mac or anything else is not for you.

            """Have you tried explaining to her that Linux allows her to do a bunch of stuff the average user has absolutely no interest in while losing highly desired abilities?"""

            Please enlighten us as to what are those desired abilities that you speak about.

            """I'm not defending MS and their absolute shit new policy, but touting Linux as the fix to their corporate evil has been done to death and gets no further than it ever does, which is that even those with your expertise have windows machines running in their homes."""

            Listen if you want to put Linux in front of the humongous Windows ecosystem of applications clearly you're doing it wrong, but once again this resumes on: Linux is not for you.

            I will speak of my case, mostly because it is the one I know best. I'm willing to sacrifice convenience in exchange of "Knowing what the FCUK my computer is doing" because that for me is important, what I have found is that I'm not sacrificing that much, and in those occasions in which my employer demands that I run a Windows application I either use Wine or run a Windows VM in virtualbox.

          3. TCook1943

            Re: @Mark 85 The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

            Have you never heard of virtual machines?

            For example XP Pro sans direct net access is not only, (By windows standards) reasonably fast but carries no fleas, midges or ticks.

            Or are you so committed to the MS dream as to keep paying more for less solid value with a fixed grimace on your features until either death or senility strikes your box down?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Mark 85 The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

          @jelabarre59

          World of Warcraft is what is keeping me on Windows (XP) right now. I've tried to get it running decently in WINE or VirtualBox with no luck. Got it to run in WINE once, but performance was soooo horrible it was unplayable (flashing screen, 1-2fps). Granted, it's on an old (ca. 2008) laptop, but it has enough oomph to run under XP okay.

          Once I can get the wife and some friends onto a game that runs on Linux as well, I'll make the move. Dual booting just for game play sucks.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Mark 85 The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

        "Or, to put it another way: If you swallowed everything up to now, you will have no trouble swallowing this too."

        FYI: Got the Right 'Alimentary Canal' ...... just the wrong end & bodily function :)

        BTW: I have read relaxing & not holding your breath helps.

      6. Manni

        Re: @Mark 85 The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

        I still work with XP classic with many extensions, but have two Laptops with W7 and 8.1 unused as yet, which are extremely slow compared to XP. XP will remain on my desktop with no access for Microsoft or Internet as long as possible.

        7 and 8.1 I find the worst ever Windows, 10 with it's spying even worse.

        So, I'm switching to Linux. I didn't before because it takes time to get used to a new OS, but having seen the Win 7,8,10 - and finding nothing I look for, continually being faced with this stupidity: you have no right to access this file, getting totally lost, worst ever systems, Linux now definitely looks like a dream and I prefer applying my effort to Linux rather than waisting it on Microsoft.

        Just wonder how many people will switch OS away from Microsoft. Starting new with Win 8/10 in the end isn't much different to familarizing oneself with Linux...

    3. Patrician

      Re: The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

      "and I wonder if they'll push something similar on those of us with Win7. I guess it's time to go have a look at the various flavors of Linux."

      And reduce the functionality of your PC as soon as you go to Linux.....

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

        And reduce the functionality of your PC as soon as you go to Linux.....

        If anything... The reverse of this statement is in fact correct.

        1. TCook1943

          Re: The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

          I not only agree with the pro Linux camp but am loading PCLinux pro as I write.

      2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

        And reduce the functionality of your PC as soon as you go to Linux^h^h^h^h^hMSWindows.....

        There, fixed that for ya.

      3. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

        "And reduce the functionality of your PC as soon as you go to Linux....."

        If you value your games, and want to be involved in all the latest trends and fashions with ease, or have proprietary software needs that really can't be done using any other OS, perhaps.

        Linux however has functionality Windows doesn't. Yes, it often requires thought, just from the conscious decision to try it over the OS you got when you bought the machine.

        I switched in 1999, when there were significant functionality gaps between then Windows 98/ME and Linux. The only real gap turned out to be not that things were not achievable, but that they took a little more effort to achieve, like DVD playback. I remember having to compile Xine from source and spent ages optimising to get a tolerable experience.

        Fast forward 15 years, Linux has closed the gap, and moved into functionality you can't get with Windows even if you pay for the Professional version.

        I've been curious about Windows10, I like shiny new OS's and have been kinda tempted to try it, almost every news item since it's launch has damped that. I might move onto BSD or something even more obscure one day, but i doubt I'd go back to Windows, given a preference.

      4. Captain DaFt

        Re: The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

        "And reduce the functionality of your PC as soon as you go to Linux....."

        Well, yes, If by "reduce the functionality of your PC", you mean "severely hamper others from using your PC to monitor you."

      5. Kiwi Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: The seem to be going in an unsavory direction... @Patrician

        And reduce the functionality of your PC as soon as you go to Linux.....

        I just finished up spending the day cleaning up some crap pics a cunstomer insists on using on his site. After completing the work I looked forward to some gamaing. Lots of explosions and shooting to de-stress after dealing with this crap all day. The Linux machine I use for graphics of course worked fine all day, as it has done for the last few years.

        My windows desktop is currently "reverting changes" after a bad update. Next reboot hopefully I'll hopefuly be there to catch it before it starts trying to install those same updates yet again, before crashing out and reverting.... Might just yank the power and risk a few hours restoring from backup.

        That's OK though, have my trusty fairly decent laptop. Not as good but can still play some fun games on it.

        Only...... It's currently in a state of startup repair. Was fine when I shut it down last.

        So the only functional computers in the house right now all run mint. All the windows machines are broken. This is why I prefer Linux. When I want to use my machine I want to use it, not waste time repairing the bloody thing!

        It's almost enough to make someone head outside for some fresh air and exercise!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

      "I guess it's time to go have a look at the various flavours of Linux."

      Yes, it's always good for a laugh before remembering that most of us want to be able to play the latest games and / or run business applications.

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Gimp

        Re: The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

        "... most of us want to be able to play the latest games and / or run business applications."

        Toybox or Shop. Always a difficult executive decision. Why not ask Teddy?

    5. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

      > I guess it's time to go have a look at the various flavors of Linux.

      Mint is pretty flavourful. Especially with a side of Cinnamon....

      Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week...

    6. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Nothing new here...

      Updates for Win 7 have been devoid of significant info for years.

      Even the associated KB is often an info vacuum.

      1. keithpeter
        Coat

        Re: Nothing new here...

        @JeffyPoooh and all.

        Just a thought.

        Is it just possible, invoking Hanlon's Razor, that the people releasing the fixes can't explain exactly what the issue is because of layers of complexity and cruft?

        (In the open | libre software world the source code is available so people sometimes just provide the text of the actual patch with very little supporting info. MS can't do that of course).

        Coat: I'm off out now.

    7. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
      Windows

      Re: The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

      Where is the "don't install inexplicable updates" button? Why is Redmond wasting time on software alterations that have no apperant reaon or purpose?

  2. Phil W

    Please don't use our updates

    This will prove interesting in enterprise environments using WSUS and/or SCCM to manage updates. Particularly if those organisations only publish updates if they know what they do and that they need them.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and there was me thinking it was "my" computer I paid for and I should have control and choice over the software put on it when using Windows O/S. Silly me...

    I think Microsoft really need to think this through because all the I.T. people you're going to piss off with this are going to install Linux at home especially if you apply this to Windows 7. What do you think will happen next? They will see it's a stable usable decent operating system and then wonder why they don't use it at work (bespoke programs aside though where there's a will there's a way).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think you're confused

      It's "your" computer, but it's "their" O/S

      1. Esme
        Linux

        Re: I think you're confused

        And I'm happy for it to stay that way. I'm using a different OS on MY computer.

    2. Andy Non
      Go

      "all the I.T. people you're going to piss off with this are going to install Linux at home"

      I'm one of them; I've been a Microsoft application developer right since the days of DOS and relatively happy with Redmond. I tried Ubuntu several years ago but had hardware compatibility issues and problems with lack of drivers, so never really got into Linux; but a year or so ago after one of my laptops went titsup and windows failed to reinstall, I tried Linux Mint on it and haven't looked back since. It is a pleasure to use. Linux Mint worked without any hardware or other problems, I've not had to go in search of drivers nor mess around downloading any source code to compile myself. I've now stopped writing applications for Windows and switched to writing them for Linux instead. Windows 10 and Microsoft's attitude towards privacy have just reinforced my decision to abandon the Windows platform completely. In my opinion Linux (Mint) is a mature and stable platform with a large range of application software available and I won't hesitate to recommend it to my clients (individuals and other businesses).

      1. t20racerman

        Mint is the way?

        I moved my elderly parents from XP to Mint over a year ago. The number of IT support phone calls I have received from them has dropped massively and they are very happy with their 'new' computer. If you don't need PhotoShop and other Win specific programs, Linux Mint is a superb choice.

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: Mint is the way?

          Isn't Photoshoop nothing more then a glorified HTML5 Webapp these days, kinda like Office365? I wasn't aware that One still needed Windows to actually access it. Otherwise I find that GIMP is, or at least has been enough of a match for most of what PhotoShop did, or does. About the only thing I'd actually miss about Photoshop over Gimp is likely all the third-party Plug-in / Filters.

          1. David Nash Silver badge

            Re: Mint is the way?

            Last time I updated it, GIMP doesn't do 16-bit colour. I use Gimp a lot for post-processing astro images but rely on Windows-specific applications for primary processing.

            1. Chemist

              Re: Mint is the way?

              "Last time I updated it, GIMP doesn't do 16-bit colour"

              I don't use GIMP much but I do use Linux for photography as well as everything else. There are other programs - in particular Darktable is a truly excellent RAW processor and general photo manipulation tool. In almost all cases it's the only tool I use to process photos from my 6D & 550D Canons. It's quite heavy on memory as it manipulates images at very high precision. It will if required output TIFFs at 32 bit or 16/8 bit. It also supports tethered shooting which might be quite useful for astro.(what do I know )

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

              1. Stork Bronze badge

                Photography

                Photography is the main thing that has kept me on OS X so far. I rarely venture out of Lightroom and would have to find a replacement for that, but how is colour calibration coming on in Linux?

          2. Stevie Silver badge

            GIMP is, or at least has been enough of a match for most of what PhotoShop did

            Yes, if you can figure out how to get it to do anything.

            Photoshop is difficult to get to do anything clever for a newcomer, but GIMP makes even relatively straightforward tasks opaque and the help is a programmer's idea of what is needed rather than a proper user guide.

            Much better than it was. A long way yet to go in the UI and workflow/tool presentation fronts before beginners can pick it up and run with it easily.

            And yes, I use both GIMP and Photoshop.

            1. Michael Habel Silver badge

              Re: GIMP is, or at least has been enough of a match for most of what PhotoShop did

              I really couldn't disagree with this sentiment Photoshop having been 'round a bit longer has enjoyed many a howto book, where as Gimp, manages to just get on. But, the Manual such as it is. Is really at the end of the day virtually useless. As good as Gimp is, and in my opinion it is!, Photoshop 6 CS it'ain't. Again when you are nearly as dependent on external Plugins / Filters to get your work done. Perhaps its more fair to compare Gimp to Paintshop Pro. One thing is clear to me though, for the "tangibles" like your Photoshop, or MicroSoft Office, there is WINE at the One end, and Virtualbox at the other end. Where such Programs can still happily live in.

              The only real sticky point is that the like of Adobe, or Autodesk will never move to Linux / BSD, Mac until such a time as their user base lays down the smack, on them to do so.... Windows 8.x irregardless of your personal view of its success, or failure. Hasn't done jackall to shift new PC into the market. And Windows 10, will likely have a short term boom, before eventually crashing harder, then Win 8 had.

              For myself I'm bitting my ass to see this months OS figures. Specifically how much if anything has Win 10 eaten into Win 7's stats. That Win 8.x will have taken a larger hit, seem for the moment to me as a logical forgone conclusion. But I'm doing my bit to try and alert People to how bad MicroSoft latest "Gift" really is, at the risk of coming off as some nuttey Tinfoiler. Some ~get it~ others have sadly dismissed it. The only ones that got something akin to a riot act being read out to 'em are the very small number of External PCs (Family Members), that see me as the IT Geek. Were told out front that we only have plans to support Windows 7 for as long as we can. Anyone feeling frisky enough to try 10 will therefore be on their own! END! /.

              1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

                Re: GIMP is, or at least has been enough of a match for most of what PhotoShop did

                There's nothing to keep Adobe, Autodesk and the rest on Windows but their customers. They just follow the money. And increasingly, the only argument for staying on windows is that you have applications that need it.

                This is an unstable situation. In many markets, the leaders have already moved to Linux (engineering) or Apple ("creatives"). It's only the risk-averse and the don't-cares that are left behind. Once the tipping point comes, they'll follow the herd, just like they always do.

                1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

                  Re: GIMP is, or at least has been enough of a match for most of what PhotoShop did

                  The problem with the "Photoshop vs Gimp" argument is that Gimp is likely adequate for what a large numbers of users need it for. If you're a professional illustrator, or perhaps even one of those clipart-wranglers that likes to pass themselves off as a graphic designer, then yes, you most likely need Photoshop. But if you're at that level of professional usage, you should probably be using a Macintosh anyway (which this precludes another MSWin/Photoshop user).

                  A large percentage of Photoshop users just don't need all that power. It's like those folks who have a Hummer (or Range Rover, I guess, for those of you in the UK) to drive 2 blocks to the local Starsucks for a foamy latte. Complete waste of money and horsepower.

              2. TheOtherHobbes

                Re: GIMP is, or at least has been enough of a match for most of what PhotoShop did

                Most Autodesk products run just fine on Linux. The standout exception is 3DS Max.

                The big winner from the Win 10 fiasco will be Apple. The Typical Windows User has no idea Linux exists, and Office/CS/Autodesk are all available on OS X.

                Linux basically does no advertising, so people only learn about it from people who already know about it.

                Win 10 will be left with a rump of exceptionally clueless users, and those who have to use it for business reasons.

            2. Kiwi Silver badge

              Re: GIMP is, or at least has been enough of a match for most of what PhotoShop did @Stevie

              [gimp] Yes, if you can figure out how to get it to do anything.

              I found it the other way. I've learned much of my graphic editing from watching a friend work with stuff in PS, and transferred much of what I saw her do to Gimp - layers and masks and so on for a start.

              Not long back someone gave me Photoshop Elements (an older version they'd never used). I found it installed nicely on Linux Mint and seemed to function. But getting work done was different. I spent over an hour on one task (unsuccessfully) which I can normally do in a few minutes with Gimp.

              The friend who I learned from - a couple of years ago I had a special bit of work I wanted done for a mutual friend. She started with the pic in PS (she has the full Creative Suite), I watched her, she saved her work to an external disk of mine which I took home, spent the rest of the night having fun with the stuff I'd learned watching her. She was impressed that Gimp could open PS files, and she was impressed with my work (for a beginner). The only area Gimp really lacks(ed) is handling CMYK stuff, at least when importing from PS.

              Anyway.. Point is I can do all I want to in Gimp, and have found the online support to be great. Even today needed a reminder on a task I haven't done for a while, had the answer within a couple of minutes of searching. Have not had such luck with Elements, but I have only used it for a few hours in one session compared to many weeks worth of experience with Gimp.

        2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          Re: Mint is the way?

          For a lot of folk they only have one or two Windows-only programs, and also a lot of them don't need internet access (and a few have it only for DRM reasons occasionally). In those cases you can often put them in a XP VM or a Win7 VM and it works just fine, with the bonus that you can disable external networking to enhance the security (e.g. if you accidentally open an infected Word document it can't phone home), and only give the VM access to a restricted area of your Linux host's file system.

          Of course it is no excuse for not being careful, running some sort of AV on the host (to be honest, they all seem to suck and be ineffective), and having a proper off-line backup in case of cryptolocker style malware.

        3. Halfmad

          Re: Mint is the way?

          My daughter (5 years old) uses Linux Mint on an old laptop to play Minecraft, she's never actually used MS Windows despite it being on the two other PCs in the house. She prefers her laptop. I prefer Windows although do use Linux a fair bit, just shows you how you stick to what you know best.

          A habit I need to crack!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I'm one of them too. Had been a Linux user for many years, but recently bought a new laptop that came with Win 8 for work. Final straw for me came when it was taking 5+ minutes to boot and a minute plus to open an office document. That and endlessly downloading the win 10 update when I hadn't asked for it. Back to Mint. I had forgotten how snappy and elegant that OS is. And Libre Office handles all my work documents just fine as it turns out. Happy days - I get to choose if and when I update.

      3. Woodnag

        Mint

        I agree with you in general, but I am far more productive with O2003 than LOffice or Ooffice, and can't stand the ribbon of O2007+. Which means VB in seamless mode, which is ok, but I'd prefer a Win which is TweakUiable and non-invasive like the good ol' days, that runs early apps fine line Win7 does.

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: Mint

          Keep in mind that O2k3 is now, like XP pas its support date. Inside a VM with no external net access. It shouldn't really be all that troublesome. For a while at least. But, Sooner or latter documents made via O2k16+ are gonna become incompatible with your copy of O2k3, and MicroSoft aren't likely all to bothered in creating a converter app, to make those Files, just work in O2k3.

      4. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Martijn Otto

    Moot point

    It's a moot point, since you anyway don't have the luxury of deciding whether or not to install a certain update.

  5. J J Carter Silver badge
    Windows

    Get over yourselves. MSFT has no need to pander to teenage scribblers.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Get over yourselves. MSFT has no need to pander to teenage scribblers.

      So who are they pandering to then? Certainly not to anyone that reads this Site. I won't go as far as to say that Kids don't visit this Site... But, then this aint Facebook either...

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Windows

        So who are they pandering to then?

        Tweens with their first tablet.

      2. bobgameon

        Didnt you see the windows 10 add. Apparently windows 10 is being targeted towards 5 year olds as their first computer.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Xbox debacle

      True, M$ has a track record of ignoring upset teen scribblers... ;-)

      http://m.theregister.co.uk/2013/06/19/microsoft_uturn_drm_used_gaming_controls/

  6. Adam 52 Silver badge

    I don't understand how this can be legal. Up until now they've had the justification that a computer owner has consented to the code running on their PC. If they don't explain the updates that consent can't be given.

    This was Microsoft's own argument when the Computer Misuse Act was being drafted. I know not all of the provisions have been enacted, maybe there's a loophole.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: loophole....

      RTF... E.U.L.A....

      1. Zippy's Sausage Factory

        Under UK law

        Illegal contract terms can't be enforced. Not like US law, where an illegal contract term renders the contract null and void.

        Interesting times for Microsoft lie ahead if they try to start that shenanigans with large businesses, methinks...

        1. Jim Mitchell

          Re: Under UK law

          @ Zippy's Sausage Factory

          US contracts frequently have a clause stating that if any clause is found to be "illegal"/whatever, the rest of the contract is still valid.

          https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=severability+clause

          1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

            Re: Under UK law

            But if the contract is invalidated, that clause is also invalid, is it not ?

            Contracts mostly work by frightening people into doing what they say. The brave test it in court.

        2. bobgameon

          Re: Under UK law

          I doubt there are any interesting times ahead. Given the number of cases Microsoft has fought and lost concerning windows i'm pretty sure they must have asked their lawyers to be pretty through when coming up with the new EULA.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: Under UK law

            As far as I know, no EULA has ever been tested in court.

            There have been legal opinions sought and given by many parties, and a few out-of-court settlements, but no actual case law.

            EULAs almost certainly contain unenforceable clauses, and may even be unenforceable in general - beyond the general protections provided by copyright laws, anyway.

      2. Adam 52 Silver badge

        Re: loophole....

        IANAL of course, but I don't think the EULA can be a bullet proof get out, no more than "she consented" is a get out for performing unnecessary medical surgery.

      3. John Bailey

        Re: loophole....

        "RTF... E.U.L.A...."

        S.T.F.U

        I am not bound by a click through license, Therefore I have consented to nothing.

        An EULA Is a contract. And you can put anything you like in a contract, but only ENFORCE the legal bits.

        Contracts are worthless bits of paper until they are examined in court. And only then are the conditions deemed enforceable or not.

  7. jake Silver badge

    "significant windows 10"

    Isn't that an oxymoron? Just askin'

  8. Hans 1 Silver badge

    >“As we have done in the past, we post KB articles relevant to most updates which we’ll deliver with Windows as a service. Depending on the significance of the update and if it is bringing new functionality to Windows customers, we may choose to do additional promotion of new features as we deploy them.”

    Most KB articles on updates do not actually tell you what the update is about. Most just contain boilerplate canned statements ... look at the GWX updates, for example. Security updates are no better, BTW.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Most KB articles on updates do not actually tell you what the update is about. Most just contain boilerplate canned statements ... look at the GWX updates, for example. Security updates are no better, BTW.

      In those, times... (I guess from here on out till January 14, 2020), I will have to hit up Google on every KB<Number> that gets pressed along. While Windows Updates sucks at telling you the things you need to know. MicroSofts actual Knowledge Base, offers a bit more insight into what it is any actual given Updates about. Of course though it highly time consuming having to search for +10 Updates in any given Month.

      But, if Microsoft were actually stupid enough to do this with Windows 7... (I can not report on Windows 8.x... As it seems like they were just starting the road works there). Then MicroSoft will need to morph into some kind of American S0NY type Company, that sells Games Consoles... 'cause their Software side.. Will have tanked to a level deeper then the Titanic. At this point its more like Iceberg ahead.... But, either that person is asleep on his/her arse, or is being geeted in kind by "What Iceberg?"

  9. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Coat

    Proprietary code is simply of too poor quality to be published.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      IMHO, most open source code is also below a quality level that I'd want my name against, but clearly that's just me since the actual authors chose to publish.

      MSDN samples are generally pretty poor quality. MS defend that by noting that they are intended to illustrate a particular API and so often omit error checking or don't handle general cases. On the other hand, they know full well that these samples are cut-n-pasted and end up unmodified in real apps. Perhaps this is why so many MS technologies wither on the vine. They launch the API with such poor quality samples that the API can't evolve without triggering loads of backwards compatibility issues (and so it never evolves).

      1. Andy Non

        Ken Hagan said "MSDN samples are generally pretty poor quality."

        I've lost count of the number of times I've beaten my head against a brick wall due to poor Microsoft documentation and examples. I'm no newbie programmer either, having been a professional software developer for thirty years. They introduce new technologies with each version of Visual Studio but the documentation is often appalling. I've spent countless hours searching the web to see if other developers have had the same problems or found solutions and it is often a case of the blind leading the blind with hundreds of developers hitting the same problems due to lack of examples/documentation. I shouldn't have to fumble around guessing which bits of code and parameters to use because they are so poorly documented or use a trial and error approach to finding what works without generating run time errors. There have been occasions I've simply had to abandon implementations of Microsoft's latest and greatest technologies due to these problems and use older better documented technology. Anyway, I've given up on Microsoft now and switched to Linux development, so no longer my problem.

      2. DJSpuddyLizard

        They launch the API with such poor quality samples that the API can't evolve without triggering loads of backwards compatibility issues (and so it never evolves).

        Microsoft APIs often don't evolve - they're replaced or forgotten.

        The trap is blindly following all the new technologies. Yes, I do find myself liking new features in different releases of the .Net framework, but on the other hand :

        Does anyone use Silverlight?

        If I'm writing a desktop application, I've yet to find a compelling reason to do it in WPF rather than Winforms.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Proprietary code is simply of too poor quality to be published."

      There have been numerous recent examples of Open Source code that has been available for years - for instance Open SSL - that has been demonstrated to be of far poorer quality than most commercial software.

      1. Woodnag

        Eh?

        Since we don't have access to the source of "most commercial software", your assertion seems tough to justify.

      2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Demonstrated to be of poor quality, yes.

        How would you evaluate them against closed source code, though ?

        It's closed, right ?

      3. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Finding one bug doesn't necessarily mean it is of "far poorer quality". In fact, the commercial software may be of worse quality, but have some bugs that are harder to find due to not having the source code. (Or, those bugs are kept unpublished by forward thinking arganisations.)

        Thing is, with closed source software you simply don't know.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Standback and watch Enterprse say away in droves

    I can't imagine my information security team accepting changes blind...

    ??? Wonders if the same policy will apply to Server 2016 ??? If it does there will be some serious questions asked.

    Now forced to apply changes on a more regular basis with little indication of the area or impact of the OS being changed while still retaining enterprise workloads and security.

    Not acceptable to Enterprise, Giovernment, Millitary etc etc

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is almost as if MS don't want the likes of us to use it

    By adopting this sort of approach they are clearly trying to out nanny Apple.

    They are also in danger of making the sort of people who read articles posted here to really consider moving to other platforms.

    sort of footgun with both barrels.

    Then once we are gone they can cuddle up to the great computer Illiterate and become their friends for life and slurping their data at the same time?

    Has the likes of the NSA etc moved lock stock and snoopers charter into Redmond?

    2015 is really turning out to be a watershed year.

    We shall have to see how things turn out as W10 moves forward into 2016 but at the moment, it seems to me that MS is not winnng people over towards admiring and using their new baby.

    Pass the Six-pack and the Popcorn please.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It is almost as if MS don't want the likes of us to use it

      Then once we are gone they can cuddle up to the great computer Illiterate and become their friends for life and slurping their data at the same time?

      Well said and, I think, spot on.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It is almost as if MS don't want the likes of us to use it

      Then once we are gone they can cuddle up to the great computer Illiterate and become their friends for life and slurping their data at the same time?

      You forgot to add the bit about all their money for 'services' and apps they don't need.

    4. g00se
      FAIL

      Re: It is almost as if MS don't want the likes of us to use it

      They've probably given up hope of the codebase (if such a coherent thing even exists) ever being able to be pulled around enough to be accpetable to the likes of us and have therefore decided to head in the obvious direction of the using their remaining consumer base as advertising cannon fodder and a captive marketing target. And of course, from the POV of MS, if we always seem to be pissing, we can just go and live in another tent so they can bid good riddance to us.

    5. blinkdt

      Re: It is almost as if MS don't want the likes of us to use it

      Yes, people who do lots of naughty things on their devices should definitely be concerned about the "privacy" issues surrounding Windows 10. Me? Cortana tracks my shipments right to my door (she pulled the info from my e-mail receipts), opens specific files on command whether OneDrive or local based, and is great at scheduling appointments, reminders, and all things Office. The store has really improved as I can now buy an app once and install it in many cases on up to ten (10) devices. 'Course, the store needs to know who I am to make this happen and can recommend other apps I never would have tried based on my app history. As for Groove, well, I'm a believer and a subscriber. Apple Music? Just, why?

      But, yeah. I get that you're disabling all of this productive functionality in the name of "privacy." Right. Completely reasonable.

      I wonder how large the army of data reviewers is that Microsoft has employed to root through your stuff. Or is it all an automated effort designed to make you moe productive, as clearly stated in the new, easy-to-read-and-understand terms?

      Really, do you suppose that CIA has another CIA to spy on the first one? Sober up.

  12. alain williams Silver badge

    Documentation takes effort ...

    and organisation. Maybe their internal systems are so chaotic that they don't really know what has changed. Maybe they don't know all of the changes that have been supplied by: the large number of internal teams, the NSA, device drivers from hardware manufacturers, the lot in India that they outsourced something to, ...

    The above might be wrong: but many will suspect that this is what is happening.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Documentation takes effort ...

      MS know very well exactly what each change in their operating system is. And it will be documented in their internal source code control system (SCCS). The SCCS will handle several different branches of development, all documented.

      Yes, it's massive and probably hard to overview, but it sure as heck isn't undocumented and chaotic.

      Whatever change tracking ducumentation the consumer sees (which is nothing at the moment) has little to no connection with what MS has documented internally.

  13. Aoyagi Aichou
    Holmes

    Is this new?

    I mean really, what is this telling you?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: what is this telling you?

      Same as a lot of my git commit comments in unimportant branches:

      "change a bunch of stuff"

      "stash changes"

      "build isn't broken yet"

      "more hax"

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: what is this telling you?

        You're a bad person and should be ashamed.

        If you don't give useful names to your commits then you're hurting everybody in the project - especially yourself.

        I bet you-from-the-future hates you.

        1. TechnicalBen Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: what is this telling you?

          "You from the past, what were you thinking? What did you do? Why? How do I undo it now? At least, I think I want to undo it, whatever "it" is..."

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Is this new?

      not much useful

  14. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    FAIL

    "Darling, it was a moment of madness"

    Like many of the readers here, I suspect, I have been using different flavours of Windows for a long time. Almost all of the time they got the job done, and like a long time relationship we've rubbed along fine, despite the occasional odd behaviour (Win 8).

    But now, the trust has gone. Like discovering a partner's infidelity there can't really be any way back. Even if MS does a volte face with, say, Windows 11 it's never going to be the same.

    I guess I will be joining the migration to Linux along with many other old campaigners, with a somewhat heavy heart as Windown 7 support dwindles.

    Of course, all that doesn't matter in the light of MS's new target audience - the generation who know no different. Please understand I'm not trying to be patronising (although I have been on occasions, I know - see posts on Facebook etc.) but most young people don't seem to realise or care about the concerns voiced here.

    A programme aired this week (UK Channel 4) on the truly vile practice of "Revenge Porn". The presenter carried out a vox pop of several young people who admitted to sending raunchy pics to their partners but seemed shocked to be told that that these pics might be shared further. And all without any mention of "cloud sync", data sluping etc.

    Time to get back to the allotment (US - rocking chair on the porch).

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: "Darling, it was a moment of madness"

      "the generation who know no different"

      I think they're starting to find out. And as a consequence we can hopefully look forward to the following generation being better educated.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: "Darling, it was a moment of madness"

        On the bright side, they'll probably have less hang-ups about nudity, and their tabloids will publish fewer "celebrity long-lens" shots.

        As everybody's bits will already have ended up in public view at some point.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft choices

    From the article: Microsoft is offering the choice between terrible or woeful security

    And that is news? Where have you been for the last, say, 2 decades or so? The only thing that's changed is that they somehow have managed to convince themselves to be more blatant about it.

    At the same time they are putting plans in place to massage the statistics: a vulnerability you don't know about is one you don't see when clueless people go into this useless pissing contest of "my OS has fewer problems than yours", a process they started with Patch Tuesday where all your problems were bunched into one stream of rubbish instead of the steady dripfeed of updates making you aware of just how many problems the OS has. They really seem to think we're now ready for the next step, which is their new Terms & Conditions.

    Their new Terms & Conditions legalise them roaming around your system "looking for unauthorised hardware" and it surprises me that anyone even *thinks* about any Enterprise, government or home deployment. If a smaller company dared suggest such terms they'd be laughed out of the boardroom.

    I find it very ironic that whereas Google has adopted Microsoft's business strategy regarding legal compliance (i.e. ignore, fines are the cost of doing business, escalate all the way up the legal tree and put in a token effort for compliance if all of that fails), Microsoft is now trying to execute a home invasion to mimic Google. Both of them can stick it where the sun doesn't shine.

    /rant

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft choices

      "looking for unauthorised hardware" - Who decides if the hardware is unauthorized? If it came with the box or was installed by the owner it is by definition authorized.

  16. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    And so the last maiden voyage starts

    Let me see, an interface nobody wants and must be replaced with 3rd-party tools (on PC, that is), an OS that rapes your data like never before, a looming threat of subscription to be allowed to use your own data, the promise of unwanted changes automatically downloaded and installed, and now information on WU patches being withheld on a whim.

    Really, Microsoft, if this were a Hollywood film, now would be the perfect time for SatNad to stand in front of a mirror and the camera to show no reflection.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And so the last maiden voyage starts

      Really, Microsoft, if this were a Hollywood film, now would be the perfect time for SatNad to stand in front of a mirror and the camera to show no reflection.

      You're understating the problem. If it only took a wooden stake and some silver bullets to fix the problem it would have happened already :)

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Who says demons have reflections ?

  17. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Trust nothing? Too late for that!

    "To your correspondent's mind, Microsoft's stance flies in the face of years of sensible security advice to trust nothing. Asking users to just swallow Windows 10 updates is very hard to consider as best practice."

    The moment you decided to run Windows, you trusted Microsoft with total control of your PC.

    Sure, you will find cases where an update borks something you were rather fond of, such as the ability to run your workloads, but that *is* (tin-foil hats notwithstanding) accidental and the vast majority of updates *do* protect your machine against attacks (that are, these days, often reverse engineered from the published patches).

    If you have to time and energy to deploy patches on a test system to check for accidental damage, feel free to do so. But refusing to install a patch just because MS didn't publish a KB article about it makes no sense when you happily installed the entire OS without any end-user documentation (let alone source) at all.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Trust nothing? Too late for that!

      "you will find cases where an update borks something ... but that *is* (tin-foil hats notwithstanding) accidental"

      It's also something that can happen to other OSs too. If you don't like living on the bleeding edge choosing a variant that has the most conservative update policy you can find.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Trust nothing? Too late for that!

        If you don't like living on the bleeding edge choosing a variant that has the most conservative update policy you can find.

        Alas, I can no longer find my MS-DOS floppies :).

        1. Simon Sharwood, Reg APAC Editor (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Re: Trust nothing? Too late for that!

          This might help. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/03/10/happy_20th_birthday_microsoft_bob/

          There's a Win 3.1 VM to download. With Bob.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Trust nothing? Too late for that!

            >There's a Win 3.1 VM to download.

            Shame it's not WfWG and includes Office 4.3...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Trust nothing? Too late for that!

              Ah, Worries for Workgroups - we dubbed it that because its file sharing facilities were, er, interesting.

              Little did we know that worse was to come.

              Now, if I had not thrown away my Turbo Pascal and Paradox disks I could have been interested in this. If I could be bothered to dig up a drive that would read them, and assuming the disks would still be magnetised.

              On the other hand, rereading this makes me realise that means effort vs having a beer. No contest, really.

  18. Chris G Silver badge

    If

    I were a succsessful computer manufacturer who could also turn out reasonable OSs, about now I would seriously be considering making the OS available to anyone with the money.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: If

      I think the last 30 years or so have demonstrated that mass-market success is obtained by cutting corners and reaching market with something sexy before the quality implementations turn up (and thereby ensuring that the quality version never catches on). As long as "testing" actually costs time and money, there will be an incentive to "optimise" the amount of testing you actually do.

      This doesn't meaning that a software version of Gresham's Law is inevitable, but it certainly makes it harder for quality to win.

      On the other hand, for many popular application classes, like email, browser, office suite and OS, we pretty much *have* that features that most people want and so it ought to be possible for vendors to offer just that feature set and compete on quality.

    2. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: If

      Well IBM sold off their Think line to Lenovo. HP seem strangely lost. I think Dell is reached a fork in the road, and perhaps with MicroSoft having done gone, and jumped off the deep end.. Perhaps if enough pressure was leveraged the bigger players... Redhat, and Canonical can finally start to make some inroads of their own. They are certainly both ready for primetime, as they are. I guess the only real PITA would be if the likes of a Dell actually wanted to be on the line for say Dell OS - based on Debian for the course of a LTS Distro. I'd have to assume there'd be additional costs with this. Since the likes of Dell just assume that this is all MicroSofts Debts.

  19. Geoffrey Madden

    Windows 10

    Don't trust a monopoly which gives itself the right to obscure 54 cm squared of my monitor screen several times a day with self-advertisement, when an icon on the taskbar for several weeks with a similar message had not persuaded me into accepting their "service".

    1. sqlrob
      Stop

      Re: Windows 10

      Several times a day? I revoked that right the instant the first one and icon showed up in my taskbar.

  20. Naselus

    Once again, it's not really for us.

    WE want to know the contents of updates, but how many of you send out an email outlining each update you're applying from WSUS to your userbase? Anyone? No? No, me neither.

    And when you show up at the meeting next month to try and stop the CIO from deploying Win10 enterprise-wide, and you cite this as a reason not to do it... is he REALLY going to accept your proposal to switch every machine over to a shiny new Ubuntu install, or is he going to point out that re-training his 8,000 users onto a new O/S, rebuilding all 8,000 machines, and replacing the various bits of software which only play nice with MS O/Ses means Win 10 is coming at some point, like it or not, and you'd best learn how to prevent it phoning home every twenty minutes and updating itself whenever it feels like it (Which it actually lets you do quite well - the replacement for WSUS in the pipeline is actually pretty good - being able to roll out in the same testing phases MS use internally is actually pretty handy, and the network-internal P2P stuff is pretty shiny too).

    Remember, we also don't want stuff moving to the cloud because if I don't know where my data is physically, I don't know if it's secure. How many of you managed to keep everything on-site? How many were overruled by higher-ups who were looking at more than just the tech side? How many of you work for Jennifer Lawrence, Sony Pictures or the OPM and so are just about the only techies who were proven right (and also, commiserations on losing your jobs, it wasn't your fault)?

    I actually have to confess, Win 10 is a good OS. The phone-home stuff I don't like, but I can turn most of that off; meanwhile, the update stuff simply isn't going to be enough for me to convince my boss to not upgrade in twelve months, and even if I can talk him into it he's not going to swing the board. I'm resigned to it, since the only alternative is resigning over it.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: stop the CIO from deploying Win10 enterprise-wide

      I would seriously question the sanity of a CIO who wished to deploy Win10 now, particularly if they have only recently completed a desktop refresh; unless some a business profit centre can provide a business justification and rationale for the spend.

      Yes have it on the roadmap and evaluate it, but I see no reason to deploy it anytime before WS2016 has been released to market.

      I would use the issues with Win8 and Win10 as a justification to fund an IT project to explore the viability of alternatives.

      However, if the CIO has been visited by top MS exec's then it is probably time to either look for another job or accept your fate.

    2. Michael Habel Silver badge

      The Phone Home features can be turned of....

      Till the moment MicroSoft decides its better for you to have then turned back on again... In most respects probably without ever alerting you to the fact, that it had done so...

    3. Roo
      Windows

      "or is he going to point out that re-training his 8,000 users onto a new O/S, rebuilding all 8,000 machines,"

      If a CIO really believes that is a point of difference then the CIO is a cretin. That is the kind of CEO that is expecting to pay your wages using pots of gold misplaced by hapless Leprechauns.

      "The phone-home stuff I don't like, but I can turn most of that off; meanwhile, the update stuff simply isn't going to be enough for me to convince my boss to not upgrade in twelve months"

      The unannounced mandatory updates can switch them all back on again, or even add new phone home functionality. Presumably you enjoy playing EULA mandated whack-a-mole in addition to doing your day job. Each to their own I guess. :)

    4. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      You forget that he already has to train his 8,000 workers still on XP or 7 onto 8 or 10.

      A suitably configured Linux is a far smaller step for most people. And he's no longer at Microsoft's beck and call - he can upgrade when he's ready, not when Microsoft says so.

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

        If the CIO is that thick, you should have seen it long ago and made your exit plans. In fact by now you should have been long gone.

  21. Avatar of They
    FAIL

    Basically

    Everyone should just trust MS on updates?

    Riiiiiiiiiiiigggghhhhhtttttt,

    Really hope Steam for Linux picks up the pace.

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Basically

      "Really hope Steam for Linux picks up the pace."

      There is no DX 12 for Linux though and Vulcan is likely at least a year away, so you will be playing with a ~40%+ graphics performance handicap compared to those using Windows 10....

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Basically

        Assuming that, anyone actually cares enough about DirectX 12 to begin with.... Really DX12 is NOT a deep enough reason for me to drop my paints and, bend over waiting for MicroSofts Ad men to ream me dry....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Basically

          Assuming that, anyone actually cares enough about DirectX 12 to begin with.... Really DX12 is NOT a deep enough reason for me to drop my paints and, bend over waiting for MicroSofts Ad men to ream me dry....

          Yes, DX is so often the decider cited for an otherwise seriously-detrimental upgrade. I suppose this is long and universally known, but ignored as superfluous, irrelevent, but we're dealing with addiction. The labels 'addict', he/she who is 'addicted', have, like the word 'sorry', that we'll never hear from Microsoft, been cheapened by over-use. 'Addiction' hasn't been nearly so much though; it remains enough of a scientific, medical term and it's meaning is not quite so easy to brush aside as tongue-in-cheek exaggeration. Those who will move to Windows 10 because it has DX12, are enslaved by addiction - to gaming. The same argument was used for Windows 8, as I recall.

          I guess it's also addiction, but to having 'the latest', that explains the pro-upgrading-from-7-to-8 faction that weren't doing it for DX. And who now claim that 10 is an improvement over 8/8.1. Because to fail to acknowledge that data-slurping, closely followed by loss of control of updating, are such serious issues as to make all others irrelevent is willful blindness. A bit like how I go through day after day after day smoking cigarettes.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Basically

        "There is no DX 12 for Linux though..."

        Three pages of comments and the best the hardcore fans can do to defend Windows 10 is touting DX 12? Really? I think such desperation says it all, sadly.

        1. blinkdt

          Re: Basically

          Oh, we can do LOTS better. But wasting keyboard strokes to chastise the Linux tribe is like throwing pennies into a pond for the blind. They hear the splash, but they'll never figure it out.

          1. Chemist

            Re: Basically

            "But wasting keyboard strokes to chastise the Linux tribe is like throwing pennies into a pond for the blind. They hear the splash, but they'll never figure it out."

            I'm glad you joined The Register today to be so abusive. Hope you feel better and that your eyesight never fades.

      3. TechnicalBen Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Basically

        All my games are basically cpu bound anyhow. No real need for bleeding edge graphics. We got to the "good enough" power range of GPUs a while back, and only resolution, not fidelity, is the current bottleneck (4k and above being rather power hungry).

  22. 404 Silver badge

    Windows10 is malware

    Fsck Microsoft Windows10 - almost made it a week with it on my test Dell 5447 laptop before reverting back to 8.1 last night. I had enough of the stuttering WMP video replay, slow response to desktop interface, unexplained Office crashes, unexplained security(?) patches, etc.

    My 5-6 year old HP 8440p Win 8.1, running side by side with the higher spec'ed Dell Win10 5447, outperformed the Dell in every detail.

    Here is the kicker - Microsoft pulls the Java update trick - if you revert back to Win 8.1 Pro, upon 1st Windows Update, if you don't look at the 'optional' update tab - it will reinstall the Win10 malware by default. Microsoft 'helps' the inattentive user by placing a checkmark on the optional 'Upgrade to Windows 10', infecting their machines again.

    What a bunch of bastards Microsoft has become - essentially will be selling fully spec'ed Chromebooks and trying to Googlize/monetize the unsuspecting buyer.

    1. Belardi
      FAIL

      Re: Windows10 is malware

      Yep! what a load of crap from MS. To constantly keep trying to install the Spamming Upgrade "updater" constantly. WTF! What, the first 3-4 times wasn't a CLUE we don't want to install your next shitty operating system?

  23. Linker3000
    Alert

    Dear Deirdre

    Darling,

    I have something to tell you...I...I...signed up for something on my computer...and...I ended up getting fucked by people I'd never met before...I couldn't help myself...the thought of something new and different was so attractive I just had to give it a go...but now I feel like I have given away my soul and my private affairs are being exposed for others to pick over...Oh darling, I have made a terrible mistake and I feel there's no going back...everything that was private is now in the hands of others.

    Dearest, please don't tell me you signed up at Ashley Madison!??

    Oh no, dear - I...I installed Windows 10.

    Darling, HOW COULD YOU!!??

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dear Deirdre

      Darling, I would have been less upset had you traded me in for a better model..but this ... this monster...

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WTF?

    Don't they want this stuff to be deployed in industry?

  25. Mikel

    It is none of your business what their computer is doing behind the scenes

    Be grateful they let you use it at all.

  26. adampski

    Troubleshooting now made harder

    I work in support and the KB articles are great for troubleshooting, or at least pointing you in the right direction. This change will make our business less likely to adopt Windows 10 I would imagine.

  27. JP19

    Win 10 reminds me

    of a line from The Wire, something about

    "I wouldn't touch that skank wid yo dick".

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This popcorn

    tastes terrible

  29. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    KB012576 - Device may spontaneously explode due to all the fish in the atmosphere

    1. Andy Non

      Re: Bah!

      That sounds like a red herring.

      1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

        Re: Bah!

        Red Herring? Nope, it was a Caviar drive

  30. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Re: Bah!

    Funny by me it was a Barracuda.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Insider preview

    I have had the windows 10 insider preview on a spare laptop for a while and was beginning to think it was becoming a reasonable OS to replace 7. However after seeing the extent of 'phoning home' it does I am staying with windows 7 and office 2010 until 2020 or whenever the EOL date gets extended to. I will also read the description for each windows 7 update to make sure they are not capturing data to send to MS.

    I have had a play with Linux mint and see that it has possibilities as a replacement.

    1. Belardi

      Re: Insider preview

      I have Linux Mint on one of my notebooks, its quite nice. You know it won't come with SPYWARE, ADWARE and JUNKWARE to constantly upgrade behind your back.

      Other than a few programs like Intuit and Adobe software, why the hell do we actually NEED a Microsoft OS?

  32. Joe User

    Just trust us!

    Asking users to just swallow Windows 10 updates is very hard to consider as best practice.

    But Microsoft's motto is "We know what's best for you." </sarcasm>

    Pity there is no prostate exam icon....

    1. Anomalous Cowturd
      Thumb Up

      Re: Pity there is no prostate exam icon...

      I always use this one.

  33. tekHedd

    Do they explain them now?

    "This patch fixes issues in Windows" or some such. And you click on the link, and go to a page that says the same thing, but with more headers and footers.

  34. Gatehellian

    Windows 10 Sales: (Off Topic)

    In my opinion, Windows 10 wasn't FREE, as much as it was a stepping stone to encourage more sales of Win 8.x (required for the FREE Win10 upgrade). If Microsoft considers Win8.x dead in the water, and many Win7 installs to be pirated (and with Win7 nearing its dead end as well), then Microsoft can disquise millions of Win10 sales under the sales of Win7/Win8.x required for upgrading to the Win10 in the first place.

    If Win10 was a FREE upgrade, then anyone and everyone would be able to upgrade. That's not the case. Only those with a valid windows license are permitted. This suggests to me that Microsoft was targeting the non-licensed installs. At the time of the FREE offer to the public, only about 15% of the computer users globally were using Win8 and Win8.1 combined. I can only guess at how many pirated Win7 installs exist(ed). What could be a "small number" of people getting it for FREE, as compared to the, what could be, "large number" of people who now needs to finally purchase a registered version of Windows to get Win10, just may be the very reason why Win10 is (illusionally) FREE.

    What concerns me about Windows 10 is it's data collection habits. The first thing that comes to mind is "Intellectual Property Rights", defined by Google as: "Intellectual Property Rights are the Rights given to the persons over the creations of their minds."

    Now if we were talking about music files, rather than email/file/voice content, then the term "Royalty Fee" would be sounded. I find it interesting how Microsoft has set itself up to earn money from the global public's personal data, without being required/forced under the law to pay a Royalty Fee on those collected revenues.

    I've seen the agruments many times so far that, Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, etc, are collecting and selling public data, so what's wrong with Microsoft getting in on the data-collecting train as well?

    Personally, I don't see all these platforms as being an equal argument to make. Facebook, for example, only has the data a Facebook member gives it (via manual posts/uploads). Facebook doesn't scan people's computers for extra data to sell. I wonder when the last time Facebook, or Twitter, checked out your private folders or emails for info? Google works much in the same way, with the exception of it's own email. But then again, even Yahoo would have that same ability to check its own email server data. All of these platforms have a very simple "opt out" option. Simply don't sign up to Facebook, or don't use Google services. Problem solved. So whether or not these companies are spying on you is somewhat irrelevant being that it really doesn't have to affect you or your personal computer space/data. Apple would be (IMO) a fair comparison, and fair argument.

    1. Belardi

      Re: Windows 10 Sales: (Off Topic)

      That means Linux will be the future for people who want privacy and control of their own computers.

      1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: Windows 10 Sales: (Off Topic)

        wont be long before linux gets banned then......

        Yes we're watching you....

  35. Bottle_Cap
    Linux

    I've been pure linux at home for several years now and can't ever see myself going back to a M$ OS - I was gonna take a look at 10 - cos initial reports were sounding promising so a duel boot on a spare HD wouldn't hurt. The you shalt not chose your updates happened. The data slurping etc. Now they won't tell you what the updates they force on you actually do?

    F*ck that tbh.

    Linux does all my needs - especially now Valve have made steam Linux native and the few games that aren't on linux wine takes care of - a previous poster mentioned WoW - works just fine under Wine.

    My 2 cents

    1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      > the few games that aren't on linux wine takes care of - a previous poster mentioned WoW - works just fine under Wine.

      *Had* been running that, but she and the rest of her team *insisted* the client was working poorly because it was running under Wine. Well, under MSWin7, it *still* sucks. But trying to win an argument through logic is a lost cause. Linux works fine for *my* gaming, because it usually consists of Solitaire or Mahjongg, or any other such games that have *better* versions under Linux than MSWin. Personally, she should just find a PS3 game she likes and stick with that instead.

  36. Belardi

    The future of MS-OS.

    How I see the future of Microsoft from the actions of the past, the present and the near future.

    Since Windows 3.x, MS had charged typical OEMs and upgraders about $100. (MS-DOS6 + Win3 = $90~95). They had command of the PC market because of the clone business, unfortunately. Otherwise most of us would be using Amigas today, considering it took MS over 10 years to even equal AmigaOS is some ways with WindowsXP. So since the early 90s, MS has controlled over 90% of the desktop business. This gave them control of the internet in many ways and office suites.

    Every few years, new OS versions came out, with more requirements, more features, etc. Think about how much OS-X has changed since 2000 vs. MS-Windows... which had 6 radical changes is OS skin/operations while OS-X looks very much the same as it always has... and STILL more polished looking than Windows. But that doesn't matter, they own the market.

    iPhone and Android changed the game on MS big time in ways we and microsoft didn't see coming. When the iPad was launched successfully around 2010, Steve Ballmer said "Its a fad" - yet look at what the first MS-branded computer is... A TABLET! Windows 7 was new to the market and selling well.

    The use of phones and tablets by the masses showed the faults of Windows and MS-OS's history. In that the common person NEVER LIKED their shitty products. More difficult to use than they should be. Not state of the art quality programming of features. As my clients bought tablets - they STOPPED buying notebooks. I rarely ever work on anyone's notebook computer. I use my phone as a computer far more than my own ThinkPad.

    While MS commands about 95% of the OS market for DESKTOP - the sales of desktops have been going down drastically, with PC companies like Dell, HP and others dropping like flies. Why? Because the overall user base has changed - with MS controlling about 20% of the OS market overall with Android then Apple in charge.

    My wife rarely ever uses her notebook, but has gone through 4 phones since we've meet. That $700 Samsung Note Edge is a sale that HP or Dell or Lenovo didn't get (Okay, I would have built her a new PC desktop or bought a notebook). Hell, the screen resolution on her phone is higher than any of our Thinkpads. Thus, MS didn't make a dime... other than the BS scam they get from Android sales.

    The MS solution was Windows 8. Its dumbed down for the masses, which made it difficult to use in business and for techs. The plan is actually good, or at least sounded good. Make a common UI for its Mobile, tablet and desktops. Since people are forced to buy whatever OS MS pushes out, Windows 8 desktop will SELL the Win8 tablets and phones (hence, buy Nokia) and they will rule the world! I too, thought it would work out well. I installed the preview – when the desktop mode still had a nicely updated Aero which LOOKED great, but after 15 minutes of use, saw so many problems many months before release that we all witnessed. MS was nervous enough to offer the CHEAPEST upgrade for Windows7 and Vista users - $50! What a bargin!

    Like so many others, I didn’t touch the upgrade. Windows 8’s cons were more than the pros.

    The failure of Windows 8 desktop resulted in the failure of Windows 8 tablets and phones. Win8 was to be their stepping stone to a new business model in which MS makes money from the app store, rather than the OS. With 8.1, MS forced its users to upgrade IF they wanted to get security patches. No if or buts.

    MS made several improvements with 10. I was even interested in trig it out on a dusty notebook. Making it FREE made it very inviting. Really, a FREE MS-OS?! Windows 10 will always get free Windows upgrades. There is something they are not telling us.

    We learn that the following:

    1 – After 30 days, your Win7 or Win8 backup will be erased. Making return difficult for typical users.

    2 – Many uncertainties concerning Win10 activation… ie: you replace the motherboard or other failed part or want to do a clean install, etc, etc.

    3 – you have NO control of the updates. You get them, no matter how bad they are. PERIOD.

    4 – MS is data-mining everything.

    Also, MS says you’ll always get free Windows upgrades for as long as you have your computer/whatever and other vague statements rather than simple answers.

    Look at the new browser, EDGE. Changing out the engine doesn’t require changing the product name, we’ll get back to that later.

    So, MS is making Windows10 a free upgrade for a limited time for Win7 and 8 users. That’s a loss of revenue, but MS has billions, so think long term. They promise that future Windows will always be free upgrades.

    With Windows and Office being the ONLY revenue generating product for the company (Xbox, bing, Surface, etc always lose money and continue to lose money) – its important to make money from them. MS is so desperate to keep people on MS-Office that they finally made it available to Android and iOS in which how hard is it for Linux access? As we know, MS-Office only offers Outlook and a few polished features over Open Office, which has the high price of $0. Yes, I agree that OO isn’t MSO in many ways – but is it $400 better?

    Win10 has to succeed, and making it free is their best chance (reminds me of Tron Legacy heheh). Win7 has only been available for PRO/business systems. How long will that last? That will continue as long as business REFUSE to use Windows 8 or Windows 10. MS rather make some money than none.

    We can assume that MS will get most of the Win8 users to upgrade. It is a better OS in most ways. But imagine if they got 50% or more of the Win7 users to upgrade as well? That could push Win10 to over 50% market share in a year. As of July 2015:

    61% = Windows 7

    16% = Windows 8.x

    12% = Windows XP

    5% = Mac OS X

    1.6% = Linux

    1.6% = Windows Vista

    By year two, with Windows 10.3 or whatever, XP should be down by 8%, Win8.x by 1%. Windows 7… who knows? Depends how much people like Win10 and willing to deal with the trade-offs. Yes, some nice new features, DX12, better use of modern technology… all for the sake of your data and security. I think they’ll get more than half by then.

    So maybe around year 3 (2019) or so, a new OS will come out. Win7 will be approaching EOL.

    Only, it won’t be called Windows 11 or Windows anything. (There are no Windows in the Win8 TIFKAM UI)

    I’ll call it “MS/OS”. MS/OS should have obvious improvements over Win10.x. It too will be a free “upgrade” of course. But with the added expectations.

    1 – Win 7, Win 8 and Win10 mainstream support will end by 2020. (8 & 10 have extended till 2023/25).

    There is no “free upgrades forever”. Wind7, 8 and 10 have expiration dates.

    2 – MS/OS can be expected to be subscription service. Why not?

    3 – MS/OS will continue to data-mine and spam you to buy video and music.

    Can MS survive by not making a profit off MSO and MS/OS? No. Luckily for them – they are doing quite well with MSO360. Its on par with GoogleDocs Pro in terms of pricing with more features.

    If Win10 is successful in the market place, that will be the future. If Win10 fails… which I personally hope will happen, what then? Linux? Maybe… GoogleOS? MacOS? Maybe Android…? Tablets with keyboards, a mouse that can run office docs in the could – we do that today, will it be more so in the future?

    As MS attempts to push the whole WindowsOS into the tablet formfactor, how well can the Android be made to work in a more desktop fashion? Like a 24” display or your TV via wireless and the ability to run 2-3 apps side by side the way you can with WinTablet 8 and some Samsung and LG products.

    The success or failure of Windows 10 upgrade process will determine if MS fails. If IT and business lose more confidence in MS/Windows – then they’ll look more seriously at other solutions. Their concerns “training staff to use a new OS” is silly as the differences between Windows 7 and Linux Mint is far less than Win7 from Win8 or Win10. Of course, as long as IT professionals know only MS and not Linux, that will also continue to help Microsoft. But with MS’s goal of total control of all desktop computers… who needs an IT dept in the future?

    MS will continue to lose market share for the home user market. The business sector is their last battle ground. Since the 2009 release of Win7 – My PC has been upgraded once using the same Win7 license and I don’t see any value or reason to bother with Win8 or Win10. In that time, I’m now on my 3rd Android phone in which I’m looking to get a new Moto X in the coming months. I’ve not bought a new notebook or whole PC in over 6 years. Maybe in 2-3 years intel will make a CPU that is noticeably faster than the i5 2500~5500 series CPU? With the gaming market also in control of the Playstation 4, why do people need desktop computers?

    This is what keeps MS and intel up at night.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: The future of MS-OS.

      I believe consumers are essentially lost to MS with tablets and smartphones being the devices of choice. MS is an enterprise oriented company and has been for years. There are enough people in most companies who are aware of the Linux and that many distros are easy to transition to. The only hold up will be specialized packages only available on Windows that keep some "loyal". Many are not actively researching their options yet - they just finished migrating from XP. Others are probably being quiet about it.

      Plus many IT pros are strong FOSS advocates and Linux & BSD are FOSS OSes. We use MS because that is what we are given not by choice

  37. Gatehellian

    Concerning mandatory updates (back on topic)

    This is just a guess, so feel free to dispute, but, IMO the mandatory updates are a ploy to disguise your bandwidth being used to phone home to Microsoft with your data. As we all know Microsoft is extracting data from our computers. This extraction of data can be monitored by the bandwidth usage.... being that Microsoft uses our bandwidth for data transfer.

    If we were able to turn off updates, then the bandwidth usage/per month would give us a better idea as to how many times Microsoft is extracting data from our computers. The mandatory updates (including P2P) provides Microsoft with a way to hide the reason for bandwidth usages that we experience by extracting data from our computers during the update process.

    Just my opinion, again, feel free to disagree.

    1. Andy Non
      FAIL

      Re: Concerning mandatory updates (back on topic)

      Regarding bandwidth usage, the first I knew that my 8.1 laptop had started the process to upgrade to 10 was a failure to connect to the internet on another computer in the household. Living in a rural area, we don't have any cable broadband and are reliant on mobile WiFi which is capped at 2 GB per day. The automatic update had taken our entire day's usage allowance before I'd even had breakfast; so for the rest of the day nobody had any internet access, no skype, no emails, no research, no catching up on the news etc. Thanks Microsoft! I don't plan on continuing to use that Windows 10 laptop any more, but if I did I'd need to keep a window open at all times monitoring for automatic updates so I could shut down that computer if necessary before it took the entire days worth of bandwidth quota. I need to manage the available bandwidth so it is available for the entire household for the whole day, not one greedy Windows 10 computer to take all for itself first thing in the morning!

  38. tempemeaty
    Joke

    It's Mystery

    From now on when ever someone asks what is in a Microsoft OS update, we can all just simply respond with "it's a mystery".

  39. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Linux and patch policy

    "Have you tried explaining to her that Linux allows her to do a bunch of stuff the average user has absolutely no interest in while losing highly desired abilities?"

    Not really, because the people I usually talk to want to use a web browser, play facebook games (flash), mount usb sticks, and play videos... maybe light word processing, pulling photos off their phone or camera and sometimes printing an scanning.

    Anyway.. as for the policy of not describing these cumulative updates, I'm guessing there are just so many changes throughout the system that it wouldn't be useful to enumerate them all. I mean, when I had a VM with Ubuntu 14.04 on it a few months before release (like February or March or so), each and every update was listed in update manager, but there were like 100 a week so it was honestly not that useful.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Linux and patch policy

      " I mean, when I had a VM with Ubuntu 14.04 on it a few months before release (like February or March or so), each and every update was listed in update manager, but there were like 100 a week so it was honestly not that useful."

      No! It is EXTREMELY useful to know what has been updated as soon as something breaks due to updates! Especially if you don't notice the problem immediately after the update.

      So a log of descriptive and detailed update descriptions is essential.

      Besides, having this as the norm makes it all the more difficult to sneak in unwanted things, and makes it more obvious that doing so is intentional. That, of course, is the real reason MS don't want to bother with letting us know what they are doing with our systems: The freedom to do whatever they want without being questioned.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE. Re: Concerning mandatory updates (back on topic)

    Yeah, same here.

    I still think M$ should be reverse class action sued back to the Late Cretaceous for costing people a fortune in bandwidth charges and wrecked systems, there should *must* be an opt-out one shot that deletes this monstrosity permanently and blocks it from ever downloading again.

    This is 1000000* worse than "Browser Choice" IMHO.

  41. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Linux

    Windows -> Linux

    This needs two icons really.

    I don't know if this is the right place, but I'd like to see an El Reg article on real-world experience of migrating from Windows to Linux. I can't be the only one, now that Microsoft has gone over to the "dark side" with Win 10.

    At the risk of a thousand downvotes my experience of Linux is roughly as follows...

    Whenever I've tried it, I've been impressed at the progress made by the more polished distos towards a user-friendly experience. My benchmark is Win 7 and when I tried Mint it was pretty good experience; better than Win 7 in some respects.

    BUT, the big BUT, is that I've never been really happy with the Linux software. Overall I find it less polished and in some important cases significantly harder to use (Gimp for example). The office suites are fine if a little dated in feel and appearance, but more importantly I sometimes have problems exchanging files between Linux and Windows office software. No doubt this is down to some undisclosed jiggery-pokery by MS in the file format, but when work is at stake it has to be right.

    Like a lot of hands on users I find that I need to recourse to small programs/utilities from time to time and there are usually dozens to choose from in the Windows universe, but the choice tails off very quickly with Linux stuff. I know one of the primary advantages claimed for Linux software is the oversight by a vast community and while this might be true for the half dozen most popular programs I have come across less common programs that might be useful, if finished, but which have apparently had only one or two comments on the originating web site. Hardly an oversight by thousands.

    Apologies for griping but if I'm going to make the switch I want to know what I'm diving into. And, yes, I know there are dozens of sites that will give me a view, but El Reg is where I come for informed comment.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Chemist

      Re: Windows -> Linux

      "Windows -> Linux "

      Vast topic to reply to :

      My most used programs (for non-scientific uses)

      Video editing - kdenlive

      Raw photo developing and manipulation - Darktable

      E-mail - Thunderbird

      Browser - Firefox

      Vector drawing - Inkscape

      Web page creation - SeaMonkey

      Media - Vlc & GNOME Mplayer

      WP/Spreadsheet - LibreOffice

      PIC programming - MPLABX (runs perfectly under Wine)

      Editor - KWrite.

      File Manager - Dolphin

      Photo viewer - Gwenview

      Others - Google Earth, Skype, get_iplayer, motion (web-cam motion capture), minidnla (media server), Yast for system admin. Samba, NFSD for my file server, Cups for print serving

      I'm rather puzzled about your utility program requirements. Usually there are so many programs to perform a task that finding one that suits is the problem not lack.

      1. Belardi

        Re: Windows -> Linux

        Photoshop?

        TurboTax? Quickbooks? Quicken?

        1. Chemist

          Re: Windows -> Linux

          "Photoshop?

          TurboTax? Quickbooks? Quicken?"

          Like all things - if you really, really* need them stick with Windows. It's not obligatory to move to Linux. However in my experience (I've used Linux since the mid-90s and abandoned Windows ~2006) there are plenty of alternatives for what I need as I mentioned earlier. In any case all the scientific software I use was written for Unix/Linux or Mac and easily ported

          *From past experience many people say they need Word when they want to just write a letter, or Photoshop to shrink a photo or adjust curves.

  42. TechnicalBen Silver badge
    Linux

    Not in "my" OS.

    As much as there are excuses not to, and pot meet kettle examples. If it's free, and I'm clueless to how it works (due to my own stupidity ;) ), then I'll switch to a form of Linux...

  43. Palpy
    Meh

    Yes. Consider, though --

    -- that the downloadable software world in Windows is not what it was 5 years ago.

    I've downloaded some lovely stuff made by good programmers who have an eye for both form and function. IrfanView, Notepad++, CodeEdit, Paint.net, etc. The Windows ecosystem was great.

    And you're right about the richness of the Windows ecosystem versus the Linux ecosystem (in many, not all, areas). Compared to Windows, you have nearly as many web browsers to choose from in Linux, but very few video editing programs. You have good text editors, but the full-monty office suites are limited. And so forth.

    But vampire bats and vipers are infesting the Windows jungle: now almost every Windows software repository wraps downloads inside malware and adware installers. So if I really want something, I download the Windows installer using Linux, scan the files with antivirus utilities in Linux and then again with additional malware scanners in Windows, yadda yadda.

    And yes, I've found a Windows exploit pack sitting venomously in my browser cache -- on the Linux machine, fortunately.

  44. Belardi

    One of the great things about Linux is that you don't have an activation key. You don't worry about finding the right disc or ISO that'll upgrade. Will you be allowed to upgrade? How much does it cost?

    Nope, just download the latest version and run it... simple.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Linux

      @ Belardi

      One of the great things about Linux is that you don't have an activation key.

      The favourite for me (and a few other people I know) is when it comes to hardware changes. Spill something on your laptop, or want to upgrade your motherboard and a few other bits as well? In Windows it's a painful process trying to get drivers in, activation done and so on. Sometimes a re-install is required and sometimes, well, your legitimate key may suddenly stop working on a whim from MS.

      Linux? Swap the HDD into the new machine, turn it on. Grab a NVidia or AMD binary driver blob if you feel the need to for your specific video hardware. I swapped one of my old laptops out for a slightly less old laptop with a much larger screen in a matter of a few minutes. Swapping the drive from one caddie to another took longer than making sure everything was working. Sound, video, network+wifi - all up and running without the usual hours hunting for drivers crap you get with doze.

      Make life easy for yourself and your loved ones. Use this W10 bullpucky to move them to a decent and reliable OS!

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      I usually have a DVD with the current version of Mint floating around. Mostly to use to install it on other boxes. Same original ISO, no personal questions asked during the install only what time zone, language, key board, and how do I want to partition the hard drive.

  45. Cirdan
    Linux

    Linux... again... for me since 2006!

    My Linux story:

    My Apple iBook (blue clamshell ca. 2000... NOT Intel CPU) had been upgraded to maximum RAM and MacOS X 10.2

    In 2006, it would no longer run a modern browser and I couldn't do much of anything useful on the Web with it.

    I tossed a coin between Yellow Dog Linux and Ubuntu... It came up Ubuntu. Success!!! Firefox!!! A useful computer again!

    Nine years later and I'm enjoying Linux Mint MATE (I LIKED Gnome 2.2) on fairly modern but modest hardware. Hardware detection and drivers are SOOOOOO much better now :-)

    And, as previously mentioned... When my work computer had a motherboard failure, I was able to swap the HD into another (better) machine and soldier on... It just worked.

    My kids want Win boxen for some specific games... But they're on their own for malware. They'll have to factory restore. I'd just nuke and pave.

    Best of luck with what works best for you!

    ...Cirdan...

  46. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    There is no difference between Microsoft's attitude and behaviour than any large monopoly-type utility company. Arrogance and indifference.

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