back to article Is Windows 10 slurping too much data? No, says Microsoft. Nuh-uh. Nope

Is Windows 10 spying on you by grabbing all sorts of personally identifying data about you without your permission? Not at all, claims Redmond. On Monday, Microsoft OS boss Terry Myerson let fly a blog post explaining that all the Sturm und Drang on blogs and in the media about Windows 10's data collection policies is …

  1. Someone Else Silver badge
    FAIL

    You really want to "deliver a delightful and personalized Windows experience" to me?

    Then. Stop. Spying. On. Me!

    Period.

    No phoning home, no "telemetry", none of that bullshit. Simply deliver an Operating System, not a "User Experience", not anything "more delightful", and certainly nothing with that fuckin' "ribbon!" Just an Operating System...nothing more, nothing less.

    (/me is not holding my breath...)

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Len Goddard

        Re: You really want to "deliver a delightful and personalized Windows experience" to me?

        Just because other people are doing it doesn't make it right. Accepting another player in the game simply makes it more difficult to bring the existing villains to book

        1. BillG Silver badge

          Re: You really want to "deliver a delightful and personalized Windows experience" to me?

          Just because other people are doing it doesn't make it right.

          Where did I say it was right? I agree, it's all wrong. But the sad truth today is that once you give a company access to your information, they will do what they want with it, regardless of privacy settings and EULAs. So don't shoot the messenger.

        2. GW7
          Big Brother

          Re: You really want to "deliver a delightful and personalized Windows experience" to me?

          If its not about advertising, and the hosts file is being bypassed, then it must be about "delivering YOUR delightful and personalized Windows experience to THE NSA".

          1. dan1980

            Re: You really want to "deliver a delightful and personalized Windows experience" to me?

            Even assuming a fully benign and genuinely user-centric philosophy at MS, their chief failing is not understanding the difference between an experience that the user personalises for themselves and one that is chosen for them based on algorithms being worked on slurped data.

            I very much want a 'personalised experience' from my PC. But I want it the way I decide and not the way some software decides I want it.

            I want to set it up just the way I want it, install the software I want, set scripts at startup or via schedules, Disable services I don't need and add utilities that modify or replace built-in functionality. I want to update what I want, when I want, where I want, how I want.

            The idea that Microsoft can somehow automatically customise the system by forcibly pushing out updates and recording what I type is f%#king ridiculous.

            In the end, the 'personalised experience' they are talking about is delivery content that they think I want to see, Why not just let me choose? It's hard to get a better depth of personalisation than letting people make their own choices.

            1. David 132 Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: You really want to "deliver a delightful and personalized Windows experience" to me?

              I very much want a 'personalised experience' from my PC. But I want it the way I decide and not the way some software decides I want it.

              Yes! This! A thousand times, this!

              Personalised is good. But let me be the one doing the personalisation.

              Having "smart" software agents on the PC trying to decide what I want is ineffective at best, and downright creepy at worst.

              Having software agents back in the Microsoft mothership trying to decide what I want is... nope nope nope nope nope. Do not want. And I feel exactly the same way if you substitute Google/Apple/Adobe/whoever, so don't think I'm playing unfavourites.

              Upvoted. Have a pint, too.

              1. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

                Re: You really want to "deliver a delightful and personalized Windows experience" to me?

                @David132

                I sure as hell do NOT want a 'personalised' experience when reading news bulletins or Wikipedia articles. Like Mr Gradgrind, I just want the facts, objective facts.

                I do NOT want whirled news spun to the sender's satisfaction.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: You really want to "deliver a delightful and personalized Windows experience" to me?

              I want to set it up just the way I want it, install the software I want, set scripts at startup or via schedules, Disable services I don't need and add utilities that modify or replace built-in functionality. I want to update what I want, when I want, where I want, how I want.

              Then you're a power user, and should probably use an operating system designed for power users. Windows is now just an operating system for consumers.

              1. dan1980

                Re: You really want to "deliver a delightful and personalized Windows experience" to me?

                @AC

                I use the operating system I am most familiar with because I don't want to USE the operating system - I want to do stuff and using a familiar desktop facilitates that.

                Windows can be a good option for a power-user but MS is fast taking that away from us. I would rather be able to use Windows how I want than have to use a different OS. Unfortunately, MS are making that choice for me.

                1. dan1980

                  Re: You really want to "deliver a delightful and personalized Windows experience" to me?

                  Elaborating on my post (I was on my way out,) Windows, up to Windows 7, was suitable for power users. From Windows 8, that has declined.

                  The reason is Apple. Bear with me here . . .

                  Microsoft's products are no longer well-suited to power users because they don't see their customers as "users" at all; they see them as consumers. Apple have shown that there is a pile of money to be made by making 'consumer electronic devices' that bundle customers into an eco-system of constant consumption, of which Apple gets a healthy share.

                  It started, of course, with the iPod and Apple getting a chunk of each track sold. Then the iPhone, with Apple getting a nice slice of the carrier charges and then through apps and, again, through track sales on iTunes. Now they have moved that into the desktop world with the increased convergence of OSX and iOS, inlcuding the iTunes/app store.

                  It's a formula that has seen them reap vast profits; profits Microsoft are envious of.

                  This is what the cloud-first, mobile-first strategy amounts to - it is MS's attempt to turn users of software into consumers of services and, hopefully, to capitalise on it as Apple have.

                  The stumbling block, however, can be summed-up thus: Windows XP.

                  I believe that Microsoft's moves that started with Windows 8 are a result of what they have taken away from the persistence of Windows XP long after they expected it to fade away. They have realised that people don't really want to update and only tend to do so inline with a hardware refresh. Apple, as a 'consumer electronics device' manufacturer doesn't have this problem as it does what all electronics manufacturers do - it releases newer, shinier hardware that is faster and brighter and smoother and smaller and more desirable. MS doesn't make PCs and laptops so they can't drive adoption of new platforms that way. A Windows user can buy a machine far more powerful that a Mac user can and so be happy with performance for longer. It's also a simple fact the most PCs are just not that glamorous and so people aren't as concerned with having the latest, shiniest one - so many of them look outdated when they are released!

                  And so, 'learning' from XP, MS want to make sure that there is no ability for their consumers to stay on an older OS anymore. And that;s important to them because they can roll out new 'features' and EULAs that better align with their corporate goals which now seems to mean forcing people onto online platforms. Look at the removal of long-time stalwart Outlook Express, replaced with something that is simply an on-ramp to MS's online services, rather than the lightweight e-mail client of days past. Imagine such a thing happening on-the-fly without your knowledge or approval - delivered through an update that was forced upon you with no ability to opt-out.

                  And don't discount the ability to force new EULAs onto people either - just look at what Sony did with one of their updates after the class-action following their (several) massive PSN breaches.

                  So that's it - MS wants to get rid of people who want to use their software and convert them to people who consumer their services.

                  I do have a Linux desktop (and server) at home but I am also a sysadmin and most of the people I support use Windows - servers, desktops and laptops. Microsoft are making it more and more difficult to operate in their world unless you unquestioningly gulp down their Flavor-Aid, preferably thanking them in the process.

                  I still view Active Directory and GPOs as the 'killer app' for MS as the offer such excellent control for administrators. A pity then that their new direction is to remove as much control from us as possible.

                  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                    Re: You really want to "deliver a delightful and personalized Windows experience" to me?

                    @ dan1980

                    A very interesting post.

                    A significant factor may be that Apple's market is not the same as Windows'. In trying to grab a share of one they risk alienating the enterprise segment of the other (where Apple's consumer-based approach wouldn't have been acceptable). They seem not to have grasped this.

                    They also seem to not appreciate that their traditional lock-in approach may have back-fired. Where users had custom applications running on XP and dependent on specific aspects of the OS their choices in moving no vary from impossible if the development was by a company that not longer exists to expensive if it has to be extensively modified.

                    1. dan1980

                      Re: You really want to "deliver a delightful and personalized Windows experience" to me?

                      @Doctor Syntax

                      "A significant factor may be that Apple's market is not the same as Windows'. In trying to grab a share of one they risk alienating the enterprise segment of the other."

                      Agreed but Microsoft have planted their flag: cloud and mobile first.

                      What we are seeing here is a result of that because it's not just a technology they are focusing on but a business model, impacting everything from their organisational structure (see the firings) to their product development road-maps to their licensing models to the default settings in new software.

                  2. Someone Else Silver badge
                    Coat

                    @dan1980 -- Re: You really want to "deliver a delightful and personalized Windows experience" to me?

                    Microsoft's products are no longer well-suited to power users because they don't see their customers as "users" at all; they see them as consumers product

                    There, FTFY

                    BTW, Nice well thought-out post, Dan.

              2. nijam

                Re: You really want to "deliver a delightful and personalized Windows experience" to me?

                Windows is now just an operating system for the consumed.

                FTFY

            3. Mike_R

              Re: You really want to "deliver a delightful and personalized Windows experience" to me?

              At the risk of bringing down fire and brimstone:

              Has anyone mentioned Linux?

              Works for me.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @BillG - Re: You really want to "deliver a delightful and personalized Windows experience" to me?

        So, so wrong. Your five examples (why not throw in Facebook while you're at it) are nosey as fuck, but we each have a choice as to whether or not to use them and, to a certain extent, how much we reveal to them.

        For my part, I use very little of their services and they really know nothing much about me at all.

        Most importantly, none of them has a presence on my machine except transiently when I use a browser.

        Microsoft are embedding permanent and unstoppable collection of data for generic purposes in the operating system itself. Collecting personal data even when I am not using the internet. That is a wholly different situation to the ones you give as examples and justifications for Microsoft getting away with it.

        No. It is thoroughly wrong and unacceptable.

        1. Mikel

          Re: @BillG - You really want to "deliver a delightful and personalized Windows experience" to me?

          >but we each have a choice as to whether or not to use them

          It turns out, you do have a choice whether or not to use Windows. It's not like there aren't ample better alternatives.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Mikel - Re: @BillG - You really want to "deliver a delightful etc.

            You're quite right. Microsoft have reduced things to just that one choice - accept their way or use an alternative.

            If I was buying fresh I would not choose Microsoft. Or buy cheap and just wipe the slime off and put something more civilised on.

            Microsoft are banking on the masses not having the skills or vision to do just that. They expect to take advantage of people's trust and lack of awareness, and that is despicable.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: You really want to "deliver a delightful and personalized Windows experience" to me?

        "it's a world-wide corporate thing."

        That may or may not explain it. It doesn't excuse it.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You really want to "deliver a delightful and personalized Windows experience" to me?

        Microsoft are taking this to a totally new level.

        They are even deliberately bypassing the hosts file. This is AFAIK neither Apple not Google are doing (yet...)

        They are also forcing updates on the poor unsuspecting user knowing full well that if they bork the users system their EULA gets them off the hook without even a slapped wist.

        As a side note, I went to the Christiana Mall in Newark, Delaware a few hours ago. sure, 4pm on a monday is not exacly peak time but there were ZERO customers in the MS store. About 50m away was the Apple store. Busy as one would have expected. I got in and out with a MacBook Pro (15in) in less than 10 minutes. No Sales Tax in Delaware and no 20% VAT (hopefully) when I get off the plane in the morning back in blighty.

        CentOS + Cinamon will be going on it when I get it home.

        The apple sales droid said that the previous three days had been manic and they were totally sold out of the new phones until Wed at the earliest. I overheard another customer being told the exact same story so it wasn't just for my benefit especially as I'm not in the market for a phone at the moment.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Bypassing host file

      Is there a list of the IP addresses or domains that Microsoft has hard coded in Windows 10 (thus bypassing the host file)? I'd like to add them to my router's blacklist.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Bypassing host file

        http://someonewhocares.org/hosts/ At the bottom is #Windows 10... have fun as it's a long list.

        1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

          Re: Bypassing host file

          http://someonewhocares.org/hosts/ At the bottom is #Windows 10... have fun as it's a long list.

          The author of this hosts file evidently thinks you can use it to confound the Windows 10 reporting. The post that started this thread believes Windows is bypassing the hosts file. Does anyone know which it is?

          Either way, I suppose a proxy server would be another way to prevent Windows phoning home.

          1. Mark 85 Silver badge

            Re: Bypassing host file

            True on the list. But I posted that in response to someone who wanted the list of domains/IP's to blacklist at the router/switch.

          2. Naselus

            Re: Bypassing host file

            "The author of this hosts file evidently thinks you can use it to confound the Windows 10 reporting. The post that started this thread believes Windows is bypassing the hosts file. Does anyone know which it is?"

            I've seen no convincing evidence anywhere that Windows 10 bypasses the hosts file. I've also seen no evidence that it continues to take data if you tell it not to.

            Really, I'm not keen on the data slurping either, but some of the claims going round about Win 10 are beyond hysteria. Were reaching the point where people will swear blind that just looking at someone else's Win 10 machine will immediately result in the NSA putting you on a watch list, which (considering MS are still paying a huge daily fine for refusing to release the data stored in Ireland) is a bit of a disservice to one of the few tech giants who have refused to hand over data to us.gov without a warrant.

            And yes, dan1980 more or less has the right of it - MS has spent most of the last decade trying to be Apple. They used to revel in being the software company that everyone hated but no-one could live without, but since Gates stood down MS appears to have become pathetically desperate for a hug and wanting someone, ANYONE to like them. To stop being the big bad wolf which everyone else can set themselves up against and appear to be the good guys, even when they're a privacy-destroying monster like Google.

            That's also what makes the Maxipad so disturbing - it's Apple trying to be Microsoft rather than the other way round for the first time in at least ten years, and another example of Tim Cook's losing battle to find originality. Rather than MS seeing some trendy new bit of Apple kit and producing a decent copy that no-one wants (iPod=Zune, iPhone = Lumia, iPad=Surface RT), instead suddenly Apple are trying to rip off the Surface 3. And why? Who the hell wants to be Microsoft?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You really want to "deliver a delightful and personalized Windows experience" to me?

      I'm suprised you've time to worry about it, what with all the other things people keep telling me are "Someone Else's problem" to sort ;)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    nothing whatsoever to do with advertising

    or data pimping, nosir, it' all to improve your, blah blah blah. We have your best interest in the crosshair.

    But hey, I believe him, he's from a company that, like, you know, you can really, really trust. Like.. I dunno... bankers and politicians? Yeah, that kind of trust.

    1. Vector

      Re: nothing whatsoever to do with advertising

      This is the obtuse part of stands like these. Let us assume, just for a moment, that he's being perfectly honest and truthful. That still ignores the fact that once they have all this nifty data for that "delightful experience," there's nothing to say they might not not decide later, with it all in pocket, that advertising (or other even less savory uses) is in their best interests. In the corporate world, this typically ends up translating to: "We've got the data, wadda they gonna do?" followed by huge tracts of legal brief describing how they're perfectly within their rights.

      The best way to keep the horse in the barn is not to let anyone open the door.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: nothing whatsoever to do with advertising

        Go a tiny bit further... can they keep that data safe and out of the hands of miscreants? It's not "if" they get attacked and boarded but "when".

        1. Mikel

          @Mark 85 Re: nothing whatsoever to do with advertising

          >can they keep that data safe and out of the hands of miscreants?

          I know this is obvious but... They use Windows to "secure" your data. Think about it.

    2. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: nothing whatsoever to do with advertising

      ...it' all to improve your, blah blah blah....

      Really? You think that's bad? Check out Satya Nadella’s mission statement (it starts about a tenth the way down the page and then takes up the rest) and a lovely analysis of the same by Lucy Kellaway. I've always maintained that MS is a marketing company and not a software company and here's more fuel for that fire.

  3. GregC
    Big Brother

    Ah OK, that's all right then. If the nice man from Microsoft says so it must be fine, I shall install Windows 10 forthwith!

    Yeah, right.

  4. Sebastian A
    Holmes

    OK let's dissect this.

    "We collect a limited amount of information...

    Because you simply can't collect unlimited information.

    to help us provide a secure and reliable experience.

    For whom?

    This includes data like an anonymous device ID, device type, and application crash data

    Data like that, but not just that. Something else. Else that word "like" wouldn't have needed to be in the sentence.

    which Microsoft and our developer partners use to continuously improve application reliability,"

    to more accurately market to you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Re: OK let's dissect this.

      "an anonymous device ID,"

      WTF is an anonymous device ID? Is there a separate ID for each application installed? Each source IP address? Each logged in user?

      Then its sure as fuck not anonymous.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bollox

    I believe that as much as VW cars don't cheat at diesel emissions tests or Sepp Blatter is an honest man.

    Unfortunately we don't have a corporate bullshit icon. Reg Ed, it's about time we had some new icons.

    1. Mephistro Silver badge
    2. Vic

      Re: Bollox

      I believe that as much as VW cars don't cheat at diesel emissions tests or Sepp Blatter is an honest man.

      Although somewhat dated now, this does a smashing job of expressing incredulity...

      Vic.

  6. pewpie
    Unhappy

    Your data pays for your 'free' OS.

    ..and what are they doing with it? Well..

    http://blogs.microsoft.com/eupolicy/

    Sleep tight..

    1. Paul Shirley

      Re: Your data pays for your 'free' OS.

      It's not free, you paid for the os it upgraded and you still had years of support prepaid on it.

      After the win 10 upgrade borked network access to my htpc, my microphone and a whole pile of app problems because it didnt manage to migrate settings correctly, I'm severely annoyed with this fugly mess and ready to rollback. Except i don't have that option if i want to stay employed :( so I'll have to clock up more time defanging win10 on top of the hours wasted already.

      1. pewpie

        Re: Your data pays for your 'free' OS.

        I'm still on 7 - it will be the last MS OS I ever use. Linux is no longer an experimental option.

  7. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

    Microsoft, NDA's and all that.

    I've been testing software for Microsoft since 2000 and signing NDA's as a matter of course. I've also been testing software for other concerns since the 1985. Those are also covered by NDA's. Even the fact I'm testing someone's software isn't supposed to leak with hefty civil penalties attached. So what part of collecting even anonymous data don't they understand? I'm very 'religious' when it comes to these, and other, agreements. I read everything I agree to do, even those agreements/EULA/Privacy/etc. ad nauseum. [Which has entertainment value for certain definitions of entertainment. I like to cross compare.] It's even happened that I've been testing competing products and I let both sides know in advance to obtain a blessing. You ought to know that as in it's in your records, Microsoft.

    No, it ain't happening here, ergo Windows 10 is right out as are any of the various telemetry and user experience updates for 7 and 8. Google ain't allowed to collect anything either just in case you really care about my compliance, Microsoft. And yes, I do capture traffic for analysis if you care to ask to now prevent you sneaking in an undeclared feature which is really, really a sad strait.

    1. Vic

      Re: Microsoft, NDA's and all that.

      No, it ain't happening here, ergo Windows 10 is right out

      Having read the bit about sharing your WiFi keys with other Win10 users, I have taken the decision that Windows 10 will not be coming to my network. Anyone visiting with such a device will not be given the key.

      Vic.

      1. VinceH Silver badge

        Re: Microsoft, NDA's and all that.

        I've decided my policy will be that I'll allow them - but each time someone does bring a Windows 10 device, it will prompt a key change when they leave.

  8. David 132 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Jesus wept.

    I'm starting to think they actually believe this stuff.

    ...although he did admit that the OS does regularly phone home by default...

    How the flip did we get to a situation where having an OS "regularly phone home by default" is not seen as blatant, get-the-torches-and-pitchforks-out, what-the-feck behaviour?

    "We collect a limited amount of information to help us provide a secure and reliable experience. This includes data like an anonymous device ID, device type, and application crash data which Microsoft and our developer partners use to continuously improve application reliability,"

    Well, that sounds lovely and cuddly. Switch it off by default and I'm sure everyone will switch it on immediately by choice, cos it's so amazing, right? Right?

    Myerson said enterprise customers will be able to disable collection of telemetry data – once the long-fabled enterprise features for Windows 10 are delivered later this year, that is – but added that "we strongly recommend against this."

    Mmm. And IT/Legal/Compliance departments the world over will "strongly recommend" that Microsoft take their collection of telemetry data, and shove it up their named pipes.

    Incidentally, can we stop using the fluffy euphemism "telemetry"? Call a spade a spade. It's wholesale spying and monitoring and slurping of every aspect of our lives. And let's stop with this sly, subtle implication that anyone who doesn't want this is in some way paranoid, or strange, or has something to hide. You might be happy to live in a Panopticon. I sure as feck am NOT.

    Look, Microsoft. If I want data-logging, or social media integration, or any "digital assistant" wankery, I will install an application to provide that. Don't put it in the operating system and tell me I'm stupid for wanting to disable it. The job of the OS is to run basic services and provide a standardised set of interfaces for applications - nothing more.

    Rant over. Sorry. *wipes frothing spittle from mouth*

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Jesus wept.

      I don't know what you have to feel sorry for.

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Jesus wept.

        I don't know what you have to feel sorry for.

        I apologized, because I can't shake the feeling that I am different and strange for not "getting" this new model of computing. As I said in a post passim, I might be "that one soldier on the parade ground compaining that the other 99 soldiers are out of step". Microsoft are selling - OK, giving away - colossal numbers of Windows 10 licenses, so there's obviously many, many people in the world who don't share my opinion & concerns.

        Do I come across as the guy in this icon? --->

        ...buggrit, millennium hand and shrimp, I tole 'em, I tole 'em...

        1. Chronos Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: Jesus wept.

          David 132 wrote:Microsoft are selling - OK, giving away - colossal numbers of Windows 10 licenses, so there's obviously many, many people in the world who don't share my opinion & concerns.

          Or are not technically literate enough to know or care about the implications as long as funny cat videos may be viewed, Aunty Mabel's joke e-mails still come through (with all the addresses in the "To:" field, of course) and they can play the odd hand of Solitaire. To them, a computer is a black box and the intricacies of the OS are as out of reach as the bottom of the Mariana Trench. These are people who can't even find the latest piece of crapware they downloaded even though the Downloads folder is pinned in Explorer. And Windows 10 has to be better, because it's a bigger number, right?

          To cut a long waffle short, IT has gone Mainstream - with a capital daft.

          Do I come across as the guy in this icon? --->

          No, you come across as a normal, rational, intelligent human being who is sick to the back teeth of people screwing with his basic human right to privacy and hiding it beneath a semi-transparent veneer of bullshit that not only insults your intelligence but also takes advantage of, shall we say, the less cerebrally endowed to create a critical mass of people who "don't mind" because they don't understand what they're giving away to legitimise the whole damned thing. And you're not alone.

        2. Vic

          Re: Jesus wept.

          I can't shake the feeling that I am different and strange for not "getting" this new model of computing

          Whilst I am quite sure you are both "different" and "strange", I think most of us here are of one mind regarding spyware...

          Vic.

        3. Wade Burchette

          Re: Jesus wept.

          @David132 - "Microsoft are selling - OK, giving away - colossal numbers of Windows 10 licenses, so there's obviously many, many people in the world who don't share my opinion & concerns."

          Have you actually told people what Microsoft is doing? I have. And I haven't met one person who was thought it was acceptable once they found out. The only way this plan can succeed is if people are kept ignorant. And unfortunately most people will be kept in the dark.

    2. MacGyver

      Re: Jesus wept. (phoning home)

      I hate to tell you this but non-LVL XP and newer OSes have been phoning home this entire time. XP was the first Microsoft OS that required an internet connection, and it has only gotten worse. Some versions simply stop working if no contact with the mothership is made within 90 days.

      Anytime a piece of software or media has DRM, it is not yours.

      Stage 1: Free Windows 10 upgrade for all (free for a year anyway)

      Stage 2: Yearly subscriptions. (say $120 a year)

      Stage 3: Act now for a new lower priced monthly subscription rate. ($6 x 12 = $72 a year, what a great deal!)

      Stage 4: $7 a month

      Stage 5: $8 a month

      Stage 6: $10 a month

      Stage 7: $12, then $15, then $20.

      Stage 8: New option available now, only 50 cent a day, the price of a cup of coffee. That's a $60 savings over the monthly rate.

      Stage 9: $1 a day, then $5 (you do want to open that resume today right?)

      Stage 10: Pay per use. Price to go up at a rate calculated by our accounting office to be just where you'll pay, but not so much that you'll move to a different OS.

      The only way to win is to switch to opensource software until the big players remember their place.

  9. Novex

    Trying to improve my experience...

    ...just got me to install Linux Mint 17.2 on my laptop, as an eventual replacement for Windows 7 once I've got through some of the inevitable troubles with various programs and the like. So well done, you've lost a customer due to too much bloody invasive crap.

    1. Scoular

      Also switched to Linux Mint.

      Having reached the limit with MS snooping I an writing this on a new ASUS Z170AR under Mint.

      Wine happily runs most of the Windows programs I need. A couple of VMs allow me to have environments needed for working with some products I support.

      Recommended folks, definitely worth a try. I have been using Unix and Linux on and off since Unix came from AT&T but Mint does not demand sys admin skills. I have a few friends interested in switching too after having had a play with MInt.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: Mint does not demand sys admin skills

        Good to know. I have been refurbishing an unused box I've had lying around for years with the express intention of installing some flavor of Linux, not knowing which one to try. I regularly try out Ubuntu and some others, but they all require that you know Linux to use them (aka mounting hard disks, etc). Nuisance.

        If Mint works similarly to Windows (meaning it can find the bloody partitions by itself and not demand that I be a computer engineer to use it), then I will install that and make it my permanent Linux platform to educate myself about leaving the Windows world with which I am thoroughly fed up now.

        1. Chemist

          Re: Mint does not demand sys admin skills

          "'ve had lying around for years with the express intention of installing some flavor of Linux, not knowing which one to try. I regularly try out Ubuntu and some others, but they all require that you know Linux to use them (aka mounting hard disks, etc). Nuisance."

          Just try out a few live-CDs to see what you like - no need to worry about your HD at this point, but allow for it being quite a lot slower. Once you find something you like then install it - usually just a click on OpenSUSE for example, answer a few questions about location/language and a default install will usually be OK without worrying about mounting or very much else.

        2. Scoular

          Re: Mint does not demand sys admin skills

          It comes up and asks if you want to do things yourself of just let it wipe the disk and set up everything for you.

          The let the installer take care of it approach produces a workable system with a user interface familiar enough to XP/7 users that you can get right down to playing rather then struggling to set things up.

        3. Vic

          Re: Mint does not demand sys admin skills

          I regularly try out Ubuntu and some others, but they all require that you know Linux to use them (aka mounting hard disks, etc).

          Hmmm. That's not usually the case for the distros I use. Perhaps you might like to try something other than Ubuntu?

          Give CentOS a try. It's not quite up-to-the-minute bleeding edge code - it's built for stability. But things like partition recognition just seem to work...

          Vic.

    2. zen1

      @ Novex

      Did that about 3 weeks ago myself, and I'm just kicking myself I didn't do it sooner. Not only does my machine run much faster, but I got a ton of disk space back. FU Redmond! Thank you for making the decision that much easier for me.

      1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: @ Novex

        I have been MS free for over 1 year and for several years had limited use of W7. The current box is pure Linux (4 distros installed). Way fewer headaches about what the OS is doing.

    3. Kevin Johnston

      Re: Trying to improve my experience...

      I have been using Mint for many a moon now (4.something?) but still had a Windows box for those oddments which were Win-only. I did try WINE but it was not friendly enough to fight to get a couple of games and some old but still useful apps across.

      During the update to Mint17.2 I found PlayonLinux....OMG....how simple was that? Each app/game moved across into their own little environment working at the first attempt.

      Sad to end the Windows experience but that time has now come.

  10. Bota

    Now I know how girls feel

    When a guy bullshits before trying to f**k them.

    "Unlike some other platforms, no matter what privacy options you choose, neither Windows 10 nor any other Microsoft software scans the content of your email or other communications, or your files, in order to deliver targeted advertising to you," Myerson claimed.

    This is legalese no doubt, they scan it for their 5 eyes friends. The c**ts, all of them.

    1. Boo Radley

      So it done for some other reason?

      Unlike some other platforms, no matter what privacy options you choose, neither Windows 10 nor any other Microsoft software scans the content of your email or other communications, or your files, in order to deliver targeted advertising to you," Myerson claimed.

      So, they're doing it for reasons other than advertising, he's not denying that they do it, is he?

    2. PhilipN Silver badge

      Legalese

      Correct. An obvious lawyer's trick :

      Note: "we do not scan your emails IN ORDER TO..... " which means they scan your emails for any other reason. Except this is Microsoftspeak so they mean they do not scan emails EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF delivering targeted emails. This is just a happy consequence of grabbing all that personal(ised) data.

      Don't forget we all love Big Brother eventually.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I guess even Microsoft is starting to get the picture

    If you exploit people then whilst you might get away with it for a time eventually they will find out and hate you forever afterwards.

    I would imagine that by now the number of people that are still taken in by your lies is decreasing by the second, if you do not hurry up and discover some executive was acting without authorisation it won't matter what you change your name to or what business you attempt to enter your name will be Mudd with everyone and you won't be able to sell your your wares on even a street corner.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: I guess even Microsoft is starting to get the picture

      It's already happening. I went into Best Buy to see about a new laptop for my lady.. All they had was Windows10 machines and not a soul looking at them. People came in took one look , asked about Win7 being available and then went to the Mac aisle. Me, I went online and found what she want (new) with Win7. We'll be using her old one to test Linux Mint and various legacy programs*).

      I think the word is getting around except there are those that don't understand or care about the data slurp and the headaches. I did ask the sales droid who seemed rather knowledgeable and looked up what he didn't know about various programs. Fully half my programs that ran under Win7 won't run on Win10.

      *Yes, programs. Applications are either corporate speak or phone speak, IMO.

  12. Roo
    Black Helicopters

    Of course it's not for advertising...

    GCHQ & NSA will love it. All that extra metadata for them to collect will help them target their zero day exploits more effectively and provide more info for their fingerprinting efforts. For folks who don't drink the Win 10 koolaid they've already got plenty of info from those handy little cookies that get passed around with the rest of the HTTP metadata.

  13. fidodogbreath Silver badge
    Devil

    They only want to delight us

    Does anyone seriously believe that the only reason M$ harvests personal data from EVERY WINDOWS USER IN THE WORLD is to make our experience "delightful?"

    I thought not.

  14. cd

    "... continuously probe our software with leading edge techniques..."

    And I'm gonna keep on lovin' you

    'Cause it's the only thing I wanna do

    I don't wanna sleep, I just wanna keep on lovin' you

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Trollface

      And I'm gonna keep on lovin' you

      'Cause it's the only thing I wanna do

      I don't wanna sleep, I just wanna keep on lovin' you

      I now have that song stuck in my head. Confound you! *shakes fist*

  15. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    If all they gather is this tiny minuscule little bit of data..... WHY IS THERE A GINORMOUS LIST OF WHAT THEY GIVE THEMSELVES PERMISSION TO COLLECT IN THE PRIVACY POLICY?

    And talking about "user experience" is always an indicator of a badly broken user interface.

  16. Teiwaz Silver badge

    They are not interested in privacy when it comes to collecting data that can be monetised.

    If they were truly interested in providing a personalised service, they could provide an indexing package to process the users interactions on the users pc against a list of additional services and ask if the user wished to subscribe. Do so also through a control panel entry for user monitoring and control of subs, so the system is not constantly bugging the user 'clippy' style.

    That they are not is the main flaw in 'Cortana' (same with all the other Co.s with Now and Siri).

    'Personal Assistants' they're only 'personal' in that they exist to 'assist' in the gathering of personal information.

  17. joed

    Trust MS ...

    but verify.

    I have a 10 Enterprise test box setup, local account, OS hacked to the point of braking it (all tin-foil applied;), all MS telemetry request denied and yet it wanted to slurp some. I did not monitor network traffic but when I rummaged through the folders looking for telemetry files I found them (content often difficult to read but keywords stand out here and there). Not just OS or MS apps. They actually would collect some queries of my Firefox searches. Is MS running Mozilla's CEIP? And why they care about what I typed and not just performance data.

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Trust MS ...

      > ...collect some queries of my Firefox searches.

      WTF? This gotta be illegal under EU-ish laws.

      Penguin, saying "thanks a ton" to Microsoft ===--------------------------->

  18. Kev99 Bronze badge

    If you read the numerous forums, especially the Insider Forum, you'll see there are 6 or 8 places where you have to manually set the option to no. And these places are no located in one section. They're scattered all over. Nope, MS isn't slurping. It's frickin' guzzling!

    1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

      The privacy setting controls not being located in one control panel item is telling. "We are purposely making this as difficult as possible." This is butt coverage. Yes, you can (mostly) turn these off(, but why would you want to).

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Pint

        JoS:The privacy setting controls not being located in one control panel item is telling. "We are purposely making this as difficult as possible."

        Yep. You can always tell, these days, when a software vendor really wants you to do something - and when they don't.

        Annoying in-your-face pop-ups, with no obvious way to disable them:

        "OS 9.01 is now available for your iPhone" / "Click here to reserve your copy of Windows 10" / "Click here to switch on OneDrive"...

        ... a sure sign that <whatever> is for the vendor's benefit, not yours.

        Having to apply an arcane Policy, or edit the Registry in 47 different places, or apply commandline incantations to turn something off...

        ... equally, a sure sign that <whatever> is something that benefits you, but not them.

        And both cases give them plausible deniability: "We don't force people to upgrade to the new OS" / "We don't force people to install Skype"... nope, technically users can disable <behaviour X>, but you make life as feckin' difficult and obnoxious as possible until people give in and drink your kool-aid.

        Bunch of pempsliders, the lot of them.

        I'm in a foul mood at the moment and need a drink. Or several.

        1. auburnman

          Has anyone checked yet if it's easy to block the snooping with the firewall* and still let OS updates occur?

          *Might as well assume you've missed at least one of the obfuscated settings to turn it off and have a better line of defence.

  19. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    *Reads the AUP/EULA/TOS contract of installing Windows 10*

    *Promptly uses contract to wipe my ass*

    *Mailes the shit filled & feces covered document back to MSHQ*

    *Cackles & gives MS The Finger*

    Nope. Not installing it in the first place. Denied all your "upgrades" to my Win7 that would have enabled me to install Win10, the "telemetry" (spying), the updated/upgraded bits to all the subsystems that needed no update/upgrade...

    Don't want Win10, won't install it, & once my Win7 machine physicly dies needing to be replaced, it will NOT be to a Win10 machine.

    *Makes lewd crotch, nose, flipper, wing, tentacle, antenna, Noodley bits gesture towards MSHQ in utter contempt*

  20. Mikel

    Love the photo selected for this article

    What did we expect them to say?

  21. largefile

    The information is a month old so I'm sure the Windows 10 share has increased but it really shows how most of you are inconsequential technophiles pissing up a tree. You folks just have your personal piss fest anytime anything Microsoft is mentioned. This rag is downright comical in how out of touch with reality it is.

    http://netmarketshare.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=10&qpcustomd=0

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      You were already saying that about Vista, weren't you ?

      Remember how that turned out ?

      Don't forget one thing : us technophiles are the ones the clueless people come to for advice on computing. If we say don't use something, they won't. It's just that we have to wait for them to get around to asking the question.

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Happy

        You were already saying that about Vista, weren't you ?

        Silly Pascal, don't feed the troll. Wrestling with pigs, and all that.

        Besides, "technophile" == "one who loves technology"... ow, what a cruel insult. Ouch. Sorry, but I'll gladly accept that description.

        And it's surely because we love technology that we despise the marketroids and social media onanists who're systematically gutting the concept of PC-as-open-platform and turning it into PC-as-Telescreen.

    2. zen1

      @ largefile

      Those stats are obviously based on new PC/MAC sales. Let's be honest, most people aren't rushing out to buy a new PC for a number of reasons, and I would further guess that the vast majority of those with Windows 7, who haven't upgraded to 8.x or 10 either don't want to or don't know how to. I'm afraid to say the only way Microsoft is going to grab a larger market share with Win 10 is at gunpoint, er... attrition.

  22. MacroRodent Silver badge

    Slurping communications, why?

    From Microsoft's page (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/online-services): When you communicate with your friends, family, and business associates, like text messaging (SMS, MMS, etc.) on a Windows device, we have to get the content of the message to deliver it to your inbox, display it to you, enable you to reply to it, and store it for you until you delete it

    If I use SMS or MMS, only my cellular network operator needs to handle the message. It is none of Microsoft's business. E-mail should go via Microsoft only if I use their Outlook (former Hotmail) service. If Microsoft is routing all communications though their servers, they are actually inviting various kinds of legal trouble: Requests from law enforcement, complaints from privacy watchdogs, etc.

  23. largefile

    And you thought Microsoft was evil!

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/technologyinvesting/google-will-target-ads-using-email-addresses/ar-AAeSVDo?ocid=edgsp

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And you thought Microsoft was evil!

      Microsoft, yahoo, Facebook and apple all do exactly the same. The only difference some (Google) are more upfront about it..

      So yes, microsoft are evil, they use careful wording that suggests they don't do it, but they do.

    2. Vic

      Re: And you thought Microsoft was evil!

      Given your posting history, one could almost imagine you've got a personal interest here...

      Vic.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Weasel words

    "neither Windows 10 nor any other Microsoft software scans the content of your email "

    Of course the key word there is "software". Microsoft SERVICES like hotmail AKA office365 does exactly that.

  25. Archie Woodnuts

    My OS doesn't need to know shit about me, it needs to load up and run other applications. The end.

    I can delight myself, thanks very much.

  26. Ed Mozley

    Transparency

    MS talk about wanting to deliver content that is personalised. Why not just make a special app that lets you search for things then tweaks your news feed accordingly?

  27. Whitter
    Flame

    " avoid collecting any information that directly identifies you"

    But indirectly?

    Hell yes!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have a fix to improve your windows 10 experience

    Null route all ranges M$ owns, problem solved.

  29. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Alert

    But why?

    Why hasn't this slippery piece of software modification received the attention in the wider media commensurate to that being given to the VW scandal?

  30. This post has been deleted by its author

  31. bobgameon

    Nothings Changed

    While people here might find it easy to switch OS's in the real world its not really an option. Take me for example.

    My company requires me to have around 7-8 pieces of software's on my PC for work. It's part of the whole BYOD thing. None of these will run on Linux and trying to run them in a VM will get me fired for going against company policy.

    On the personal side if i do switch to Linux i lose access to around 99% of the 300+ games i have on steam. Not to mention to continue gaming i will either have to rely on the very limited steam library of games for Linux or buy a gaming console. Which brings me back to the original problem. On a console i will have to sign in with a user account and it will collect user data only this time there will be no way to stop any of it.

    So while for people on tech forums it might be as easy as creating a bootable USB and wiping out windows to install Linux. In the real world its not that simple.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Nothings Changed

      "It's part of the whole BYOD thing. None of these will run on Linux and trying to run them in a VM will get me fired for going against company policy."

      I'm not disputing that this is a "real world" example, but I have to shake my head at a real world in which employees are forced to buy their own computer and then told that they can't run a VM on it.

      1. bobgameon

        Re: Nothings Changed

        They are not forced. If i want i can keep one machine for personal use only and the company will give me another one for work. I even tried it for a while but carrying two laptops while traveling isn't exactly easy. If i leave the work laptop at home i can't do anything productive and if i leave my personal laptop at home all i have to browse the internet and check mail and stuff is my phone since the work laptop wouldn't even allow me to open gmail and outlook.

        Running a VM isn't a problem. Trying to run the in house software inside a VM is.

  32. Stratman

    From the original article

    Myerson wrote. "This doesn't include any of your content or files, and we take several steps to avoid collecting any information that directly identifies you, such as your name, email address or account ID."

    The Windows 10 Privacy Statement gives examples of data that Redmond might collect, including "name, email address, preferences and interests; location, browsing, search and file history; phone call and SMS data."

    Hmmmm...

  33. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    Where does this lead?

    At present, as I understand it, there are really only two kinds of Windows 10 installation: corporate, for which you need to pay for some kind of multiple license, and personal, which you pay for by letting Microsoft spy on you in all the horrible ways described here.

    It's fairly obvious that the large corporates are never going to allow any of the spying and unconditional updating that personal users are subject to. Most of them have spent the past 20 years discovering the support nightmare that comes with free-form Windows desktops and working hard to get a lid on it.

    But what about the numerous SMEs? Most of them aren't large enough for site licenses and corporate desktop builds, but that doesn't mean they'll roll over and accept unscheduled updates and phone-home spying. Unless MS is prepared to write off this community of users, there has to be a paid, non-volume, version of W10 with no spying and no forced updating.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Where does this lead?

      "Unless MS is prepared to write off this community of users, there has to be a paid, non-volume, version of W10 with no spying and no forced updating."

      Just block the outgoing connections. Too much (ongoing) effort? Well...

      It's a market opportunity for someone who already has blacklisting software and who already maintains the blacklists that drive it. Of course, that would require the AV companies to grow a pair and actually take on Microsoft, so I won't hold my breath.

      1. Vic

        Re: Where does this lead?

        Just block the outgoing connections

        It was reported[1] that the addresses in question were used both for snooping and for updates - so if you block the spyware, you get no more updates...

        Vic.

        [1] No, I've no idea if this is actually the case. Nor do I really intend to discover for myself.

      2. David 132 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Where does this lead?

        Ken Hagan Just block the outgoing connections. Too much (ongoing) effort? Well...

        It's a market opportunity for someone who already has blacklisting software and who already maintains the blacklists that drive it. Of course, that would require the AV companies to grow a pair and actually take on Microsoft, so I won't hold my breath.

        A sensible suggestion from a technical perspective, but this is just mitigation of the core problem; we/the IDS vendors shouldn't have to patch around Microsoft's arrogance and thirst for data.

        An analogy: you have a car that, despite the manufacturer's assurance that it's clean, pumps out unexpectedly high levels of emissions. Is it for the manufacturer to fix? Or is it a great business opportunity to sell giant bin-bags that tape over the tailpipe and catch most of the fumes?

        /me marvels at my brilliance

        /me rushes off to register VAGbags.com

        /me realises that it sounds far too rude

  34. This post has been deleted by its author

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only Metadata you say?

    Metadata has always been more valuable than content. I don't want to read your email, I want to know who is in your contact list and how often you talk. The same quantity of metadata tells me much more than the equivalent content data. Content data will make analysis much more difficult.

    And everybody knows this. Nobody has hired a private detective to record a cheating spouses phone call. They hire the detective to find out where the spouse goes and who they see on a daily basis.

    Yet governments and business continue to tell us to not worry about their surveillance and data collection because it is "anonymous" (which we know it isn't) and it's just metadata and of course it helps keep you safe and gives you a better experience. And we must accept this.

    If we the masses really care so little, are so gullible, then our future is bleak indeed.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How personallised?

    Okay, I'll be honest, I only have a win PC for playing computer games (come on steam OS...) but I probably use it mostly for Pron. If they 'personalise' my desktop experience (and recommendations) from historic data I'll have a PC you can only log into if you pass the age quiz and will never be safe for work (or pluggin into a projector).

    1. Salamamba
      FAIL

      Steam OS?

      If I wanted an OS designed for data collection and DRM I'd just stick to windows.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Steam OS?

        "If I wanted an OS designed for data collection and DRM I'd just stick to windows."

        Come on!

        Valve can't be as evil as MS yet...give any company another ten or fifteen years and maybe...

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: How personallised?

      "I'll have a PC you can only log into if you pass the age quiz and will never be safe for work"

      Sound like back to the 90's with all those sneaky dial-up prawn programs then...

  37. JLV Silver badge

    "deliver a delightful and personalized Windows experience to " me

    Yeah, totally on board with that, Terry. Great idea. ++vote

    So let's start personalization by un-telemetry-fying my machine, in a simple way, when I ask for it. Pretty basic, innit? Seems like a personalization option requested by a fair bitta folks and not just the enterpriseys.

    So why don't you walk the talk?

  38. Sproggit

    We've All Lost The Plot

    If you look up the "traditional" definition of an Operating System, it is designed to provide just a few basic services:-

    1. Task Switching

    2. Resource (i.e.) Memory Management

    3. Hardware Abstraction

    4. Bound to be something I forgot

    If you go back to the DoJ AntiTrust trials and Microsoft fighting to argue that Internet Explorer - a *web browser* was an inseparable part of the OS, we find the early signs of Microsoft trying to shore up their continual upgrade cycle by folding more functionality into the OS that forces user upgrades and thus forces the cash-cow to keep on churning out their income.

    When we get into discussions such as this one [and it's fascinating, with lots of terrific and thoughtful insight] it's interesting to see how far the "question" has been moved by Microsoft [and others] and their marketing. Maybe even the GNU/Linux model of shipping a platform that can pull in any of tens of thousands of apps in an instant even helped push MS in this direction. But the point here is that Microsoft are playing fast and loose with the definition of an OS as an excuse to push functionality that nobody wants. Once before the DoJ took them to task for it - but it is sad though perhaps inevitable to see that nobody is even discussing that here, let alone seeing a chance of it happening.

    The argument we're seeing from all the major platform vendors is, "As long as there is another platform we can argue you have a choice. As long as we can make that argument we are free to do what we want."

    Sadly the simple fact is that W10 is shipping in enough volumes and people are using it in enough numbers for MS to be able to continue undiminished. If there had been a mass movement in the industry to boycott the platform, we might have seen a partial retreat on this. But they astutely decided that a retreat from something new, shiny and free was unlikely, especially given that less than 1% of the users will be aware, much less care, how badly they are being abused.

    I have nothing but empathy for everyone posting and sharing their frustration here in this comments thread, but I suspect the truth is that the lack of change/concern/remorse from MS since W10 launch means we can only expect this to become more restrictive and intrusive with time.

    It boils down to this [and I apologise in advance for being so blunt about it]:-

    Either use the product and shut up, or don't [and shut up]. Those are your only options. Don't bother to argue, complain, plead, beg, cajole, implore, impress, entreat or otherwise attempt to influence Microsoft to change W10. They are not listening. Get over it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We've All Lost The Plot

      You might be right, but it seems an odd argument to say that the absence of back-tracking from Microsoft means that they are succeeding. I get the impression that Windows 10 is an all-or-nothing thing. Microsoft can't back down because there is no Plan B.

      Re your final comments -

      Either use the product and shut up, or don't [and shut up]. Those are your only options. Don't bother to argue, complain, plead, beg, cajole, implore, impress, entreat or otherwise attempt to influence Microsoft to change W10

      I would agree if I was banging on about Microsoft's evilness in order to influence them, but I've seen as an Insider how little they give a shit for any commentary that is contrary to The Plan.

      No, I (and I suspect many here) am banging on in the hope that others who aren't aware enough of what is happening will become a bit more enlightened.

      I've said it many times in many ways : I am really angry not about what MS want to do to me, but about what they are doing to the vast majority of innocent unaware users. People who are forced to trust Microsoft because they don't have the training/mindset to verify for themselves and who are being badly abused.

      People come to this and other like sites for fun but also for advice - I intend to keep on giving that advice for as long as The Register keeps giving me the openings.

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