back to article Confirmed: How to stop Windows 10 forcing itself onto PCs – your essential guide

If you're using a PC running Windows 7 or 8, you may be getting a little sick of endless popup screens telling you to upgrade to version 10. And you may be worried about inadvertently installing the upgrade as part of a security update. Microsoft will start pushing out a Windows 10 upgrade as a recommended, virtually mandatory …

  1. ZSn

    Spying

    More to the point - have they managed to stop the spying in windows 10. If it wasn't for that I would be quite happy with it!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      Re: Spying

      As if! You'll still be needing this (at the very least) for that.

      1. Tom -1
        Flame

        Re: Spying

        Only if you want to disable a massive amount of stuff that doesn't have anything to do with windows spying.

        Has the idiot who generated that package changed it so that it no longer completely disables windows update, prevents access to msdn, and does nummerous other damaging things that reduce both the utility and the security of your computer? If so, it might be worth considering after an extremely careful check on just what it is now doing. If not, I would advise keeping it off your machine.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Spying

          Has the idiot who generated that package changed it so that it no longer completely disables windows update, prevents access to msdn, and does nummerous other damaging things that reduce both the utility and the security of your computer?

          If you're talking about the Windowslies package, it didn't do anything like that to mine. I ran it first, then ran GWXControlPanel. Now I just use the latter, but the current, always on version.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Spying

          > Has the idiot who generated that package changed it so that [...]

          Are you referring to the scripts hosted on Github? If so, why not be (as of now) the 47th forker and submit a pull request with whatever changes you consider necessary? Don't forget to add closes #19 to your commit message.

          Or ask for a refund. Some free (as in beer and speech) projects have a "satisfaction guaranteed or double your money back" policy. :-)

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Spying

      have they managed to stop

      You phrase that as if that's something that had inadvertedly crept in, and they're unable to get rid of.

      Which it's not.

    3. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: Spying

      "If it wasn't for that I would be quite happy with it!"

      Lets see how happy you are when you have to start buying it monthly.

      Do some of you seriously think Microsoft is trying to ram Win 10 down everyone's throats while it is still a free upgrade because they don't want to make money?

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Spying

        "Do some of you seriously think Microsoft is trying to ram Win 10 down everyone's throats while it is still a free upgrade because they don't want to make money?"

        Well, yes. But not because they don't want to make money.

        Everyone, but you it seems, understands that the customers who will actually pay money for Windows 10 are and will forever be far and few between.

        The reason for this is that MS new model for making money is to monetise their customers -but in an even more sneaky way than Google has done.

        With Windows as a subscription service (owned and managed by MS), and spying on your every move, I can't see a lot of people being stupid enough to pay money for it. Some people have "upgraded" from Windows 7 to 10, basically destroying an investment -Windows 7 licenses are going to fetch decent money in the near future.

        A real PC operating system should not be something controlled by someone like MS (or NSA).

        The clue is in the name "Personal Computer".

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When upgrade numbers fall off a cliff in July

    And Microsoft suddenly decline to talk about numbers, you can bet it won't stay psy for very long. I predict win10 is so bad, they will never try and charge home users for it.

    Expect some desperate PR about how they want to celebrate windows 10 bring the fastest deployed windows ever blah blah blah, foever free, blah blah blah.

    1. Jess

      Re: I predict win10 is so bad

      Do you mean install figures?

      If so I could see you being correct, an awful lot of regular users don't want to upgrade from 7, because they are happy with it, having avoided 8.x which they were either warned off or made the effort to revert from.

      Realistically that is a sensible decision, Windows 10 is better than 7, but not to the extent that it worth the upheaval for a non techie user. They also don't trust that it won't be a POS like 8. (Obviously Windows 8 users are jumping at the chance to change.)

      For me it was a no brainer, find a machine with a bios that licenses Windows 7, install and upgrade. Of course, I need to be familiar with the latest Microsoft OS.

      Had the OS been a POS (like Vista and 8) the machine I am typing this on would by now be running Linux Mint. (Also if it required a payment.)

      If however by bad, you mean the actual OS, I disagree. The UI is fine - looks and feels like Linux Mint - and the system is fast and stable (much better than Windows 7 on this particular PC.)

      It would be ironic if Win 10 flops because of the legacy of Vista and 8 and the forced upgrade from XP. (Perhaps they should have given 10 home basic free to XP and Vista users)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I predict win10 is so bad

        Obviously Windows 8 users are jumping at the chance to change

        Not this one. Classic Shell plus 8.1U works fine. Why would I want to risk 10 when it doesn't do anything new that I need, and comes with pointless bloatware like Cortana?

        1. Jedipadawan

          Re: I predict win10 is so bad

          >"Obviously Windows 8 users are jumping at the chance to change"

          Well, based on my experience and comments on various forums, a lot of Windows 8 users jumped at the chance to change... to Linux.

          No, seriously. The comments on various forums saying, "That's it! I'm going Linux" has been way beyond anything I have seen before after a Windows version launch.

          1. Chika
            Devil

            Re: I predict win10 is so bad

            No, seriously. The comments on various forums saying, "That's it! I'm going Linux" has been way beyond anything I have seen before after a Windows version launch.

            Has anyone actually produced stats on users that have done this?

            I've seen the Microsoft figure being blasted from other sites (I actually killed one Twitter account, "OS Update", because it kept tweeting the bloody figure at me every time it picked it up from one of the web sites it covered which makes me wonder if Microsoft are really that desperate to make this figure known for some reason) but have also seen the whole "I'm pissed off with W10 so I going to install x Linux instead" (yes, I know a large portion has been using Mint but, as I am known for saying at any given point, Linux is NOT Mint) to wonder how much impact this has had.

            Hey, Reg! Perhaps this could be a poll in the making! :)

          2. Stevie Silver badge

            Re: the chance to change... to Linux.

            "No, seriously. The comments on various forums saying, "That's it! I'm going Linux" has been way beyond anything I have seen before after a Windows version launch."

            Yah, and we all know that anything people threaten to do on a forum they follow through on.

            But.

            Imagine for a moment how many of them *would* have done so already if any of the sites purporting to be selling Linux purpose-built laptops actually had any for sale. No diddling around with drivers and spending hours of forums trying to get a home-brew machine to work acceptably.

            I mean, I went looking seriously in August. And September. And November. By December I learned my lesson. So many promises, so little meat on the bones. Jam tomorrow.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: the chance to change... to Linux.

              > Imagine for a moment how many of them *would* have done so already if any of the sites purporting to be selling Linux purpose-built laptops actually had any for sale.

              Linux user since 1995 here. I have never given that point any consideration when buying my computers (work is a different matter, for business politics reasons). Aside from one Samsung laptop that for a while required a manually compiled Wifi driver years ago, I never had any compatibility issues. And hardware-wise, that Samsung was an utter piece of shit anyway.

              Either I have been very lucky or compatibility issues are exaggerated.

            2. John Sanders
              Holmes

              Re: the chance to change... to Linux.

              I got lots of people asking me for the last year about Linux.

              Many people have more than one computer lately, so plenty of people is now toying with Ubuntu, Mint, etc on their secondary/old computer.

              Of all the non-Linux users that I have helped to run Mint on a second computer, not a single one has removed it, I keep being asked questions about how to run stuff or what program is good in Linux for task "X" from many of them.

              There is certainly more interest lately, and while in years past I was getting many "This is rubbish" now I get "Hey it is not bad at all, maybe not as complete, but not bad".

              IMHO Linux keeps getting better all the time, in some areas slower than others, at some point it will reach the "good enough" point for what most people do at home.

              Also something I have noted of late, plenty of people appreciate Linux recovery CD's and tools to do stuff on Windows, like cloning or recovery, tools like GParted or Clonezilla may not have the 1001 bells and whistles that some commercial software do, but can save you lots of $$$ and on most home-like scenarios do 100% of what's required if these type of tools.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I predict win10 is so bad

            > No, seriously. The comments on various forums saying, "That's it! I'm going Linux"

            It is only anecdotal, but last week one of my girlfriends¹ has upgraded once to W10, downgraded once back to W8, then moved to OpenSuse. Weirdest thing, but her keyboard had stopped working with Windows 8/10 (it is fine now).

            ¹ Yes, plural. Life is short.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: I predict win10 is so bad

              Weirdest thing, but her keyboard had stopped working with Windows 8/10 (it is fine now).

              Setting up my HTPC to dual-boot w7 and MythTV resulted in the disablement of all USB. Fortunately I have a MS Natural PS/2 keyboard and regained control of the machine. Now running Cinnamon Mint 17.2 (no dual boot) and everything's fine. Better than w7/Media Centre even.

              Back in the 70s I had several girlfriends. My best mate said it was a pity that GF number 2 wasn't called Edith. 'Cos then I could have had my Kate and Edith, too :-)

          4. dshan

            Re: I predict win10 is so bad

            Hate to tell you this (well, no actually I don't at all) but I did the reverse. I dropped one of my Ubuntu PC dual-boot setups and went all-in with Win 10 on it, it's so much better than Win 8.x and Win 7 that's it's not funny. It's better than Linux in many cases too (on the desktop anyway), hence why bother with two desktop penguins when one will do? Face it, the year of desktop Linux came and went years ago, mostly it went...

            Windows 10 is the best version of Windows in years. It's finally usable again. To stay on 8.x or 7 when you can go to 10 for free is simply nuts.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I predict win10 is so bad

              "Windows 10 is the best version of Windows in years. It's finally usable again."

              Says MS paid shill: Nothing to back that claim up.

              "To stay on 8.x or 7 when you can go to 10 for free is simply nuts."

              For free? Are you nuts?

              Windows 10 is far from free: First you sell all of your privacy and secondly, to add an insult to injury, you pay montlhy fee to Microsoft for the spying.

              That is anything but free, in any sense. Upgrade might be but only a month, basically irrelevant.

              I'm sure that you try to tell us that it's just a coincidence that W10 destroys the option to go back to previous OS just before first monthly payment is due. Not after.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I predict win10 is so bad

              > It's better than Linux in many cases too (on the desktop anyway)

              Have you tried any distro other than Ubuntu or a desktop other than Gnome? In my humble opinion, you seem to have picked just about the worst option on either front.

        2. fruitoftheloon
          Happy

          @ledswinger: Re: I predict win10 is so bad

          Ledswinger,

          likewise, we are fine with 8.1 on our laptop (due to using VS and Adobe CC in case anyone wonders...)

          Cheers,

          jay.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I predict win10 is so bad

        For me it was a no brainer

        Quite.

      3. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: I predict win10 is so bad

        @Jess "Perhaps they should have given 10 home basic free to XP and Vista users"

        That would be a good idea. From a public health PoV retiring those ancient versions of Windows would be pretty beneficial.

      4. Tom -1
        Thumb Up

        Re: I predict win10 is so bad

        I like Windows 10, and I also like windows 8.1 - they are better than any previous MicroSoft OS.

        It's a pity that Windows 8.1 and windows 10 get tarred with the Windows 8 brush - and a pity too that Windows 8 got a reoutation that, for all its faults, it didn't deserve.

        Yes, windows 8 was a pain in some ways, and not really suitable as a desktop OS unless the user was very adaptable to something not much like Windows 7 or Windows XP (ancients like me, who had decades of computing in pre-DOS days and on the various Unixes as well as on windws from day 1 onwards, didn't have much trouble with it; others did); in other ways, it was marginally better than windows 7 (certainly I could get better SQL Server performance on Windows 8, and it booted faster than Windows 7 too). Windows 8.1 was a big improvement on both Windows 7 and Windows 8, much better performance and very easy to use. The only problem I see with Windows 10 is that awful Cortana thing, which seems to be designed to ensure you can't find anything; it's even lighter weight (hence better performing) that Windows 8.1.

        Currently I'm back on WIndows 8.1, after a nasty hardware problem and being driven back from windows 10 to Windows 8 (I won't use that hardware repair outfit again).

        I suspect that part of the reason for not offereing free upgrades to 10 from Vista and XP is that the old hardware thos OSs will mostly be running on does not provide some of the security features required for 10 - code location randomisation and prevention of data execution and so on.

      5. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: I predict win10 is so bad

        The iron of it all is that Windows 10 seems like a slick, fast and slim OS. One of MS best perhaps.

        But it's ALL ruined by Windows 10 being a trojan spy.

      6. Hans 1 Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: I predict win10 is so bad

        >Realistically that is a sensible decision, Windows 10 is better than 7, but not to the extent that it worth the upheaval for a non techie user. They also don't trust that it won't be a POS like 8. (Obviously Windows 8 users are jumping at the chance to change.)

        WTF ???? Ok, maybe, we have a different view on what is bad in Windows 8, maybe. Ok, tell me, what is better in Windows 10 than in Windows 8 ? The TKFM BS is stil there, except that it is no longer puked over the entire screen, it is in some tiny start-like menu (you can only put, what, 10 apps in there before it gets crowded), in Windows 8, when you searched for an app (down arrow in TKFM) you have a list, in 10 if you have many installed apps, you scroll past clock.exe, calc.exe (the two most interesting built-in Windows apps according to Apple (LOL), but I disgress) etc, etc, etc, in Windows 8, they were puked all over the screen, no scrolling, better ? Yes, I have to admit.

        In Windows7, you had to scroll as well... in Windows XP, 2000 etc, they were puked all over the screen, great, choose what you want! In Windows 2000 and XP, you could organize the shortcuts in "folders", in 7,8, & 10 you can forget about that.

        7, 8, and 10 suck, the latter more than the other two, imho.

  3. Aniya
    Pint

    DisableOSUpgrade is insufficient

    I have tested this extensively as I'm kinda on a personal war against Microsoft right now after one too many upgrade prompts experienced by my friends. While the "DisableOSUpgrade" registry value does indeed help to block the upgrade process it does not actually block the constant "OMG PLZ UPG NAO!!!" nagging caused by the KB3035583 update. And as I have posted recently, you may not wish to uninstall KB3035583 as its removal is known to brick Windows Update notifications.

    To shut that one up you need to use:

    [HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Gwx]

    "DisableGwx"=dword:00000001

    This isn't documented but it is known and it works. There is also another value named "ReservationsAllowed" which is mentioned in the same article which you may also want to look into using.

    1. elDog

      Re: DisableOSUpgrade is insufficient

      Not that I don't not believe you about your registry change but it would be sorta nice to have a link to a semi-reputable (obviously not ElReg) web page that discussed this.

      Still, thanks, I think.

      I'm really hoping that these missteps by Mr. Micro Soft will make everyone evaluate their reliance on this behemoth. There are lots of wonderful alternatives for 95-100% of people's normal workload.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: DisableOSUpgrade is insufficient

        Not that I mean to imply El Reg could be reputable, or anything so absurd... but I'm having genuine difficulty thinking of anywhere one might consider a less disreputable source from which one might seek information of this kind. Do you have anywhere in mind? LightBlueTouchpaper perhaps?

        1. psychonaut

          Re: DisableOSUpgrade is insufficient

          That reg key is fine. Ive used it on hundreds of machines

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: DisableOSUpgrade is insufficient

            > That reg key is fine. Ive used it on hundreds of machines

            Sysadmin or Botnet owner? :-)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: DisableOSUpgrade is insufficient

        Not that I don't not believe you about your registry change but it would be sorta nice to have a link to a semi-reputable (obviously not ElReg) web page that discussed this.

        Fair enough, but a bit of Google will show that it appears in many places, and has also not been moderated into invisibility on the Microsoft.com forums themselves.

      3. thx1138v2

        Re: DisableOSUpgrade is insufficient

        http://www.zdnet.com/article/how-to-block-windows-10-upgrades-on-your-business-network-and-at-home-too/

    2. cd / && rm -rf *
      Coat

      Re: DisableOSUpgrade is insufficient

      "While the "DisableOSUpgrade" registry value does indeed help to block the upgrade process it does not actually block the constant "OMG PLZ UPG NAO!!!" nagging caused by the KB3035583 update"

      http://themetapicture.com/please-stop-it-windows/

  4. AustinTX

    KB you need to uninstall, hide, and uninstall again later:

    Launch Windows Updates. "View update history", then select "see Installed Updates" and search for:

    KB3035583 (Win10 nag)

    KB3068708 (telemetry)

    KB3075249 (telemetry)

    KB3080149 (telemetry)

    and right-click to uninstall them.

    Reboot and launch Windows Updates again. Go to automatic updates settings and select 'download but do not install'.. also uncheck ' install recommended updates with critical updates'.

    Reboot... run automatic updates and look at recommended updates.. uncheck and hide the four listed above. KB3035583 will occasionally be unhidden and added again to your "recommended" updates so keep your eyes peeled.

    Other unconfirmed "telemetry" updates:

    KB3022345

    And to keep an eye on things, you might download the GWX Control Panel, though ironically, it also adds a [10] icon to your task tray. It has some rudimentary cleanup options, but mainly just watches and warns about KB3035583.

    1. Zorro456

      Re: KB you need to uninstall, hide, and uninstall again later:

      Run these as Administrator from the Command Line one at a time. Then hide the updates after the restart.

      wusa /uninstall /kb:3068708 /norestart

      wusa /uninstall /kb:3022345 /norestart

      wusa /uninstall /kb:3075249 /norestart

      wusa /uninstall /kb:3080149 /norestart

      wusa /uninstall /kb:2952664 /norestart

      wusa /uninstall /kb:2976978 /norestart

      wusa /uninstall /kb:3022345 /norestart

      wusa /uninstall /kb:3035583 /norestart

      wusa /uninstall /kb:3068708 /norestart

      wusa /uninstall /kb:3075249 /norestart

      wusa /uninstall /kb:3080149 /norestart

      wusa /uninstall /kb:3035583 /norestart

      wusa /uninstall /kb:3068708 /norestart

      wusa /uninstall /kb:3075249 /norestart

      wusa /uninstall /kb:3080149 /norestart

      Includes Win 7 and 8 patches.

      1. AustinTX

        Re: KB you need to uninstall, hide, and uninstall again later:

        And without duplicates, that list is:

        wusa /uninstall /kb:2952664 /norestart

        wusa /uninstall /kb:2976978 /norestart

        wusa /uninstall /kb:3022345 /norestart

        wusa /uninstall /kb:3035583 /norestart

        wusa /uninstall /kb:3068708 /norestart

        wusa /uninstall /kb:3075249 /norestart

        wusa /uninstall /kb:3080149 /norestart

      2. PNGuinn
        Linux

        Re: KB you need to uninstall, hide, and uninstall again later: @ Zorro456

        Good grief -

        It's far simpler to install Debian / XFCE desktop AND kill systemd.

        Job done.

        Not knocking Mint - tried it, like it, - just prefer Debian.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: GWX Control Panel

      That is, in my humble opinion, useless - at the condition that modifying the Registry does not scare you.

      If that is the case, then first kill the GWX task, then just search your Registry for GWX and delete everything that shows up. Finally, delete the GWX folder. Works fine for me.

  5. Pompous Git Silver badge

    All a bit late, really

    Just configured my third W7 machine as an HTPC: Linux Mint running Kaffeine. It's even betterer than Windows media Centre :-)

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: All a bit late, really

      Sounds interesting. A quick google reveals:

      Kaffeine is a media player for kde. while it supports multiple phonon backends, its default backend is xine, giving kaffeine a wide variety of supported media types and letting kaffeine access cds, dvds, and network streams easily.

      Sorry, none the wiser....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: All a bit late, really

        I use Clementine. Though I'd rather use Kate.

        1. Chika
          Happy

          Re: All a bit late, really

          I know those women. They won't steer you wrong!

      2. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: All a bit late, really

        Kaffeine is a media player for kde. while it supports multiple phonon backends, its default backend is xine, giving kaffeine a wide variety of supported media types and letting kaffeine access cds, dvds, and network streams easily.

        Sorry, none the wiser....

        Kaffeine accesses free-to-air TV through my USB DBTV stick, plays DVD movies, VCD movies, the FLAC files my music is stored as, Internet radio etc.

      3. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: All a bit late, really

        Are you a Home Theatre PC user?

        I will have to look into this. Hopefully I can get my two (aerial and dish) cards to work.

        It's bit annoying that MS hasn't fixed a single bug in Media Centre for at least 5 years -and now they dropped it altogether. WTG MS!

    2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: All a bit late, really

      "Linux Mint running Kaffeine. It's even betterer than Windows media Centre :-)"

      Guess I'll have to look into this!

      2020 coming up fast..

      Just concerned about drivers for my two tuners (terrestrial plus satellite, 2 x 2 tuners).

      And I'm used to Media Center, which works fairly OK, apart from bugs that MS has ignored for nearly a decade now.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: All a bit late, really

        Easy enough to check by booting from a Live DVD. Good luck :-)

  6. beep54
    Facepalm

    What's truly pissed me off is that I literally cannot upgrade to 10 (on my rather old desktop) due to some graphics problem which MS should now know about (surely it phoned that home the first go round). But did this ever stop the attempt to 'upgrade'? Nosiree! In trying to fix this mess, I've somehow gotten my system at a point where it is in an infinite loop of 'You need to restart your computer before...' regarding updates. It is just a mess. On the other hand, I think that this has inadvertently saved me from the telemetry updates, so there's that. Yep, be moving to Linux soon.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Mint 18. Due in June. Looks like it's going to be a stonker.

      1. frank ly

        The recently released 17.3 is the Long Term Support version (until April 2019) and I prefer to stick with LTS versions. However, it is easy (and free) to try other versions if you have a spare drive to play with.

        1. nematoad Silver badge

          "...if you have a spare drive to play with."

          Alternatively just use a VM.

          Virtualbox is easy enough to set up.

          1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

            Yup, Windows works in a VM perfectly well, even if you want to play demanding games - just give it dedicated GPU and make use of vfio passthrough, and ensure you have enough RAM and few real CPU cores assigned to vCPUs. For disk use virtio device (in VM configuration) with Windows drivers from RedHat, rather than emulated AHCI or even worse, IDE.

            1. Adam 52 Silver badge

              Windows games in a VM? I thought DirectX support in VirtualBox was in perpetual beta. Tried to install it a few weeks ago on the latest version of VirtualBox and the driver caused Windows (XP I think) to fail to boot.

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Plus what about all the NEW games that come along like Fallout 4? I'd love to leave Windows, but let's face it. For serious PC gaming, there's no alternative. Even with Valve's serious push, most games released on Steam (especially the headliners) are Windows-ONLY.

                And no, WINE will not save us:

                https://www.vg247.com/2015/11/14/steamos-vs-windows-games-benchmark/

                1. John Sanders
                  Linux

                  This will change at some point

                  If you game in Linux using Nvidia cards the performance is similar or better than in Windows, this is because the proprietary Nvidia driver + OpenGL 4.5 implementation is really good, closed source but good. Also it depends if the game runs as native OpenGL or through a translation layer from DX9/10/11 to OpenGL. Many AAA games run through some such translation layers with poor results.

                  If you game using ATI, the proprietary drivers for gaming are not as good as in Windows and games will be slightly slower than in Windows.

                  The Open source driver for ATI is excellent for Desktop usage, for gaming it depends on the game and what OpenGL requires, (some commercial games will not work without OpenGL 4.1 at least) Mesa sits for ATI cards at OGL 4.1 depending on which distribution you run, the majority of Distros currently run OpenGL 3.3 (If you want to compare it with DirectX it would be comparable to DX 9)

                  Things are less than ideal, but if they improve during this year as much as they have during 2015 things are going to get interesting indeed.

                  I mostly game on Linux now, I haven't been a heavy gamer for a long time, last year I bought of Steam all I could get for Linux (Borderlands, Witcher 2, Metro, Bioshock Infinite) I have played most of them at 45/60 fps using Nvidia cards in 1080p and they ran way better than on Windows on the same machine, I was so pleased I removed the last Windows install I had on my Living room's computer.

                  I do not care if the games are old though, but that its me, I understand other people have other expectations, aspirations when it comes to AAA gaming.

                  I had a helluva ton of fun playing "Not a hero", "Broforce", and "Battleblock Theather" this Christmas (fun 2D platform sidescrollers) on Steam. I do not miss Windows, from now on if a game port does exist on Linux I will buy it, if there is no Linux version I will not play it. Once again that is me.

                  I get what Valve is trying to do with SteamOS, they are trying to create a console where HW vendors can not charge gaming companies a billion for the rights/tools to develop games, they are trying to create a new market with a level playing field from scratch, it may or may not work, but they are trying, and certainly will take time to get there if it works, I do not see why they could not succeed if they persevere.

                  On the technical front Linux has issues with its graphics stack, but the problems are perfectly solvable, and many are being addressed, the improvements on most drivers, + Mesa (FOSS OpenGL) have been sort of amazing on 2015, compared to the poor state of what we had before.

              2. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

                I said nothing about VirtualBox. Got GPU passthrough, use either Xen or qemu + kvm.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Frank ly Mint 18 is built on the forthcoming Ubuntu 16.04LTS and is "LTS" too. Just with lots of new goodies. Which is why I suggested it after reading "soon."

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. John Sanders
        Linux

        Me myself

        Me myself I'm looking forward to xubuntu 16.04 (Mint is based on Ubuntu 16.04 too).

        XFCE changes are low pace, it does everything I need dependably (Including rock solid XPRA (remote application support, Think Citrix XenApp/Metaframe/Presentation Server remote control style))

        I do not need bells and whistles, my current 14.04.3 LTE runs in all my hardware like a champ, even Steam games run great, that's why I haven't deployed Mint, but I have to say I was impressed by the polish on the latest version of the "Cinnamon desktop". The project leader: "Clement Lefebvre" certainly knows what he's doing and knows how to listen to user feedback.

    2. Pompous Git Silver badge

      In trying to fix this mess, I've somehow gotten my system at a point where it is in an infinite loop of 'You need to restart your computer before...' regarding updates. It is just a mess. On the other hand, I think that this has inadvertently saved me from the telemetry updates, so there's that. Yep, be moving to Linux soon.

      Sounds like what happened to my W7 and I'm reminded of it on the very few occasions I've felt the need to boot into Win. More than happy with the shift to Mint so far. Also fixed a W10 problem for a friend on Monday. Upgraded his new Acer notebook to Mint.

  7. David 132 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Score one for my pet theory...

    As (poorly) set out in a previous posting to the Reg forums, I have a theory that if something benefits the vendor, then it'll be made as easy as possible. If it benefits the user, however, the vendor will go out of their way to make it difficult.

    El Reg might think that adding registry keys is neither "impossible nor particularly scary" but it's not exactly, um, something that the average user would care to do, is it?

    Why not a simple checkbox in Windows Update that says "No thanks, I'm not interested, don't bother me again until I actively seek out the upgrade at my own convenience" (or words to that effect)? Leave a damn icon for it on the desktop, if you really insist.

    Does anyone else feel that this is Microsoft's equivalent of "In the cellar, on display at the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'"?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Score one for my pet theory...

      "El Reg might think that adding registry keys is neither "impossible nor particularly scary" but it's not exactly, um, something that the average user would care to do, is it?"

      We're not writing for average users. ZDNet and Gizmodo are that way ------>

      C.

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: Score one for my pet theory...

        Your snark is noted and ruefully acknowledged. I could have phrased myself better. I'm sure we here in these august fora are all expert users, of almost infinite sagacity - able, God-like, to bend the very electrons to our will and change data in memory just by staring pointedly at it... the Chuck Norrises of registry-wrangling...

        But Microsoft are pitching this as "stop complaining that you can't defer the Windows 10 upgrade, we've given you a method, what are you all whingeing about?", and as I said, they haven't exactly gone out of their way to make it easy. Can we at least agree on that?

        1. John Sanders
          Windows

          Re: Score one for my pet theory...

          Good old MS always understood "the power of stupid" way better than anybody else in the industry.

          And it works both ways, in making something way too easy or difficult/obscure.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: Score one for my pet theory...

            MS always understood "the power of stupid"

            Sadly they do such a good job of leading by example...

      2. Captain DaFt

        Re: Score one for my pet theory...

        "We're not writing for average users."

        No, but many of us are the poor souls that have to try to explain it to average users when they come to us for help, and then run the risk of having to do it for them after their eyes glaze over after the second sentence and they start whinging, "But can't you do it for meeeeeeee?"

        Fortunately, I'm mostly immune from all that now, since I can tell them, "I don't do Windows, Want me to install Mint?"

      3. Esme

        Re: Score one for my pet theory...

        @diodesign - no but why should Microsoft put out some information that only the likes of the El reg readership would be up to following? It's well within MS's ability to create a pop-up window giving all users the chance to select a tick-box stating whether they want to upgrade or not, so why don;t they do it? Not forgetting that many folk here have been having to support multiple friends and family members through this nightmare, and wouldnt; have to if MS did something so simple?

        Also - whom are these 'other websites' of which thou speakest? Heretic! :-)

        Downvote from me, diodesign!

        1. chivo243 Silver badge

          Re: Score one for my pet theory...

          MS wants home users to take it up immediately if not sooner. We Reg readers can follow the not too complicated instructions to defer this abomination. And most of us are on a corporate LAN, and probably have WSUS running. So, we're good for now, I said now...

          MS has taken a page from Apple, changed the font and edited the text, but the end goal is the same.

          I've yet to dip my toe in the Win9 I mean 10 waters, and I already have a bad taste in my mouth, anyone got a Mint for me ;-}

          Thanks! I'm doing two more shows tonight, the after 10 show gets a little blue if you know what I mean.

        2. Jess

          Re: no but why should Microsoft put out some information that only the likes of...

          Because that is their nature.

          Every time time they do something a bit unreasonable to promote upgrades, there is always a solution provided. (Behind the Beware of the Leopard sign, as pointed out elsewhere.)

          For example with office 2007 and the new formats, the solution they wanted you to take was to buy 2007 everywhere. But they provided a converter pack for previous versions. Officially it requires the latest service pack on Office 2003. In practice this only applies to Excel. The Word and Powerpoint converters work at least back to Office 97. (It wouldn't surprise me if it works on 95 and Works, but I've not tried).

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Score one for my pet theory...

          why should Microsoft put out some information that only the likes of the El reg readership would be up to following?

          Because we're not the target market.

          And maybe, just maybe their doing that will stop us thinking they're the enemy and telling their target market not to upgrade, or to go to Linux? You know, because they've never really understood us. Like almost the most pathetic thing in the world is someone from Microsoft trying to be 'cool'? Or a politician trying to 'get down with the kids'?

      4. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Score one for my pet theory...

        We're not writing for average users.

        ... only for mean users.

        1. Roj Blake Silver badge

          Re: Score one for my pet theory...

          I'd be happy to help the median user, if he ever needs it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Score one for my pet theory...

            ref. "I'd be happy to help the median user, if he ever needs it."

            - here's the reply why MS have made it so difficult - to give the gurus and gods like us another reason to prove our worth to the great unwashed. And what do they get in return - the usual bitching! :D

        2. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: Score one for my pet theory...

          ... only for mean users.

          Personally, I've been regressing for years.

          1. AndrueC Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Score one for my pet theory...

            The older I get the more I see where Victor Meldrew was coming from. Like him I'm not a pessimistic person and like him I am frequently disappointed.

            1. David 132 Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: Score one for my pet theory...

              @AndrueC: The older I get the more I see where Victor Meldrew was coming from. Like him I'm not a pessimistic person and like him I am frequently disappointed.

              New marketing slogan?

              "Windows 10. You Won't... Believe... It!"

      5. Hans 1 Silver badge

        Re: Score one for my pet theory...

        >We're not writing for average users. ZDNet and Gizmodo are that way

        Yes, and they swore Windows Me was great, Vista was the best Windows ever, 8 was a winning horse, 8.1 a welcome update, and 10 the ultimate Windows experience ...

        I personally think Windows 10 is WORSE than Windows 8.1 ... qua ui.

        1. Chika
          Flame

          Re: Score one for my pet theory...

          >We're not writing for average users. ZDNet and Gizmodo are that way

          Yes, and they swore Windows Me was great, Vista was the best Windows ever, 8 was a winning horse, 8.1 a welcome update, and 10 the ultimate Windows experience ...

          Indeed, and I've seen many an article there that says the same of W10 to the extent that they will publicly denounce any naysayer. What nobody there seems to understand is that we don't want an ultimate experience because nobody knows what that actually is. Not Microsoft, not ZDNet, heck not even El Reg.

          What we actually want is something that does what we want it to do when we want it to do it with no fuss and without snooping. That's why I was continually pissed off with all the shovelware that infested OEM installations going back to W3, all the extra unnecessary wizards in XP and the bloat in Vista and 7 requiring hefty hardware upgrades. W8 just made it harder and despite some of the token changes in W10, they have broken any trust I have in Microsoft ever producing a good piece of software.

          Their assumed attempt to buy off the media is as despicable as their buying of marketing space years ago to push other systems out of the market and while I'll admit that Linux is not perfect and Apple has its flaws, Microsoft's continued bad behaviour towards its users guarantees that even if Linux or Apple do not take over the desktop market, they are unlikely to disappear either as disgruntled users look for alternatives.

      6. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Score one for my pet theory...

        We're not writing for average users.

        Well whilst I appreciate knowing the details, I find it very helpful to simply point those who request my services and may find ZDNet too techy to tools such as GWX Control Panel.

        Hence El Reg articles need really to serve two audiences: what I as a tech person should know and what I should be advising those I'm supporting to do. Remember time is money, so I will get paid for running a tool such as GWX Control Panel, but will have difficulty in fully recovering the time spent editing the registry, uninstalling KB's etc.

      7. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Score one for my pet theory...

        I've done my share of almost impossible PC configurations.

        But I'm just not interested any more to try to defeat MS idiocy.

        I'd rather spend my time doing something else.

        I have iPads, Android-pads and a cheapish Mac.

        The Windows 7 PC is booted occasionally to run a game. Hopefully it won't upgrade itself to Windows 10. If it does I'll have to stop playing that particular game. Bye-bye MS.

    2. PNGuinn
      Mushroom

      Re: Score one for my pet theory...

      "No thanks, I'm not interested, don't bother me again until I actively seek out the upgrade at my own convenience"

      Far too long winded. How about "Zark off"?

      Icon for petty corporations who just don't understand.... ---->

      1. Chika
        Coat

        Re: Score one for my pet theory...

        petty corporations who just don't understand....

        Don't understand or just don't give a zark?

  8. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    @David 132, First an upvote. Mucking about in the registry is something I try to avoid because there is to much potential to really bork the system. Having the average user try this is recipe for disaster. The only reason for this is that the nagging can only benefit Slurp not the user - your point entirely.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Do the easy thing.. GWX Control Panel. It seems to have stopped the downloads of the "updates" and definitely all nags on the 4 computers here my house. I've passed it around to friends and relatives and they all say it works.

      Disclaimer: It is still working at least for now or until MS decides that some other strategy will get your machine converted.

      1. Trixr Bronze badge

        No need to reinvent the wheel

        GWX Control Panel is great, well documented and does the biz. Much quicker than manually uninstalling patches and farting around in the registry.

      2. ChrisBedford

        Exackly. In fact GWX Control Panel does precisely the registry hack, only you don't have to see the details (that's the first button) as well as optionally removing any W10 downloads that might have sneaked onto your computer while you weren't looking (second button). Plus, if you don't delete the download, you can always go back and run it again to *restore* the registry and therefore the GWX app, and go ahead with the W10 "up" grade.

        You did read the instructions, right?

        ;-)

        1. veti Silver badge

          I don't get it... people are seriously recommending installing a third party utility that hacks your registry, as a more secure alternative to simply hacking it yourself?

          Maybe GWX Control Panel is completely benign and does exactly what it says on the tin. And maybe it will continue to be so through all future updates. But even in this best of all possible cases - for the most clueless user that you remotely care about, is this really the precedent you want them to take on board?

          1. 404 Silver badge

            You don't let *them* do it FFS - you use the GWX Control panel as a tool* to save *you* time rather than dicking around in the registry on every machine.

            Then when the user asks 'How did you do that?', you can give them the 'Ancient Microsoft White Paper Incantation. If I told you...' spiel. How the hell are we going to get mythical priesthood class for IT if you inform the great unwashed of details of exorcisms we perform? Geez**....

            * I try tools on my own kit before experimenting on clients, that's just professionalism.

            ** This is one of the few Mondays of the year where my hair isn't on fire, there is peace on my clients networks, and I'm relaxing by the fire with some warm cider ;)

  9. revdjenk

    I haven't been bothered ...

    ... but then my lone win machine is not connected to the internet!

  10. Andrew Jones 2

    I think Microsoft are probably intelligent enough to know that there is no way anyone will actually want to pay to upgrade to Windows 10 after the free year is up. The only way people will be getting Windows 10 after that is on a new machine.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      So should we worry that they'll figure out a way to totally bork our Win7 boxes such that we'll need to buy a new machine? Not paranoid... much... but wondering since I wouldn't put that one past them after some of the stunts they've pulled.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Well, its seems they are already back-porting they spyware into Windows 7?

        That's what I gather anyway.

        This means then that since Windows 7 will already be screwed in a years time, the resistance to go with Windows 10 will lessen. This may backfire though, as the solution might just be to get rid of anything MS instead.

        One interesting point though is if it's legal for MS to effectively destroy products that people have spend money to purchase? (i.e changing Windows 7 into spyware) I can see a class action coming up.

  11. lnLog

    WSUS offline

    Using WSUS offline to update, and not seen a single nag screen yet...

    1. KeithR

      Re: WSUS offline

      I haven't seen a single nag on my (this) internet-connected Win 8.1 box either: and I'm not using ANY software to prevent them. I'm just not getting 'em.

      Feel quite left-out really, - I want to be a whiny paranoid like some of the drama queens on here...

  12. Steven Roper

    Paying for Windows 10 after July

    I don't think most people are fully appreciating the ramifications of what this really means.

    With all the concerns about slurping and spying, people aren't paying as much attention to the Ransom-as-a-Service rentism business model Microsoft have adopted. And they seem to be adopting it universally.

    Now if you have to pay a monthly ransom to continue using Office 365, Visual Studio or even Solitaire, I'd put money on the "no longer free after July" really meaning, "You'll have to pay a monthly ransom just to continue using Windows" as well. It won't be a once-off cost. Microsoft have figured out billing people monthly is a far more lucrative model.

    All the signs are there. The forced upgrades with no way to back out or revert; the upgrade becoming 'mandatory' this year; the monthly charges being levied on applications like Office; the "free for a limited time" gig.

    Once everyone is forced onto Windows 10, Microsoft will have us all by the bollocks. That's when the shit will really hit the fan, and people wake up to the reality of Microsoft's true meaning of "no longer free after July."

    Pay your monthly ransom or lose access to your computer entirely.

    That's where this is going. I'd bet a year's income on it.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

      If anything was ever going to usher in the Year of the Linux Desktop, having Microsoft basically act like the Mafia demanding protection money to maintain access to one's files would be just that. Suddenly all those non-Windows PCs that are offered at bargain basement prices in the dark corners of bestbuy.com and walmart.com would take center stage, and word would get around that they can do pretty much the same stuff (except for games and business related apps) on them and people would start replacing their MafiaPCs and copying files over.

      They can't do this until Windows 7 goes out of support, so that gives about four years for someone to figure out a Linux desktop that doesn't suck for the average user (and no, Chrome doesn't qualify)

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

        so that gives about four years for someone to figure out a Linux desktop that doesn't suck for the average user

        The friend I upgraded from w10 to Linux Mint on Monday is what one might charitably call a less than average user. Oh, he's bright enough (a retired anaesthetist) but he has the irritating habit of bricking his computers. His Mac has been in the hands of an Apple "Genius" for five months, hence the new Acer. He has taken to Cinnamon Mint like a duck to water. And he has strict instructions to not do anything other than initial login that requires his password. Fingers crossed...

        1. Ian 55

          Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

          "And he has strict instructions to not do anything other than initial login that requires his password. Fingers crossed..."

          What, including allowing updates? That's brave.

          It was the way that Linux Mint started insisting on having my password every single time, rather than just the first time after booting, that pushed me back to Ubuntu, particularly now that Ubuntu MATE is an official version.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

            "the way that Linux Mint started insisting on having my password every single time, rather than just the first time after booting"

            So if someone came up with a piece of Linux malware you'd be quite happy for it to install itself silently rather than draw itself to your attention by asking for the password?

          2. KeithR

            Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

            "And he has strict instructions to not do anything other than initial login that requires his password. Fingers crossed..."

            Sigh...

            His Win and MacOS computers would probably still be OK if he'd followed that diktat to the letter, wouldn't they?

            Doesn't really prove much about the Linux distro you've talked him into, does it?

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

              His Win and MacOS computers would probably still be OK if he'd followed that diktat to the letter, wouldn't they?

              Doesn't really prove much about the Linux distro you've talked him into, does it?

              I wasn't attempting to prove anything. He was very insistent that he needed help and so I provided that help. I don't do Windows support no more. I never did OS X support. He wants support it's Cinnamon Mint 17.2 'cos that's the OS I'm using. He wanted to browse the Interwebs access his web-based email, and play music and videos, and he can do that now.

              How the fuck could I provide W10 support since I only ran it long enough to discover it destabilised the computer I installed it on?

          3. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

            What, including allowing updates? That's brave.

            If he can later convince me he is competent enough, I will give him the go ahead. If he wants my support (and it's free) then he does what I say. My experience with Linux, and this concurs with several people I know who have been penguinistas for a very long time, is that it doesn't need updating weekly. If it ain't broke, don't "fix" it!

          4. Ian 55

            Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

            Oooh, three thumbs down.

            What, dear downvoters, does Linux Mint MATE give me that Ubuntu MATE doesn't? Apart from the need to back up [b]everything[/b] when doing a version upgrade because LM has never done them reliably?

      2. Jess

        Re: a Linux desktop that doesn't suck

        Windows 10 has pretty much the same desktop as Linux Mint. So where's the problem?

        1. Jedipadawan

          Re: a Linux desktop that doesn't suck

          "Windows 10 has pretty much the same desktop as Linux Mint. So where's the problem?"

          Ribbons

          Tiles.

          You were talking about the Windows UI, right?

          And yes, any of the Mint GUI's are actually more like Windows XP/7 than Windows 8/10.

          1. Jess

            Re: a Linux desktop that doesn't suck

            >> "Windows 10 has pretty much the same desktop as Linux Mint. So where's the problem?"

            > Ribbons

            Where?

            > Tiles.

            On the 'start' panel, where Mint has a regular menu. Big deal.

            > You were talking about the Windows UI, right?

            Yes

            > And yes, any of the Mint GUI's are actually more like Windows XP/7 than Windows 8/10.

            Given that windows 10 is more like XP/7 than 8 that makes your comment nonsense.

            Windows 8 is nothing like mint.

            Mint has always looked like what you would have got if Microsoft had skinned 2000 with a little more taste than they used making XP.

            With Windows 8 Microsoft ditched the Bling, so it was fast, but went back to a Windows 3 style interface, so it was horrible.

            With Windows 10 they restored the Win 95 family interface, but didn't restore the bling.

      3. alain williams Silver badge

        Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

        If anything was ever going to usher in the Year of the Linux Desktop, having Microsoft basically act like the Mafia demanding protection money to maintain access to one's files would be just that.

        And once the use of Linux desktops gets to the magic 15% all sorts of nice things happen:

        * hardware vendors need to release specs so that Linux support becomes a no brainer

        * software vendors will start to feel the pressure for that Linux port

        However: I dread what MS will be able to do once it has all MS Windows machines being updated within a few weeks to their latest release. Consider the following:

        * MS quietly release protocol update to SMB (file sharing), all machines are capable of the protocol, but none use it; use older protocols.

        * 3 months later: new update, that protocol is now mandatory (excuse is a security flaw in the old protocol); will no longer work with old protocol.

        At a stroke any machine using Samba (ie Linux, BSD, ...) cannot do file sharing with MS Windows machines. MS announces that "Linux is broken, come back to Microsoft, it just works"

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

          @ alain williams

          AFAICR Microsoft, as one of the settlements of one their regulatory run-ins, have to share details of the SMB protocols so unless this settlement expires your scenario seems unlikely.

          1. alain williams Silver badge

            Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

            AFAICR Microsoft, as one of the settlements of one their regulatory run-ins, have to share details of the SMB protocols so unless this settlement expires your scenario seems unlikely.

            That is true. But when will they release the spec ? "Sorry guys, we forgot to put this on our web site. This is why Samba has not been working for 4 months." They won't need to do this very often to give the Linux desktop a bad reputation. Do they care if the EU fines them a few hundred million ?

            Also have you looked at some of these things ? Not examples of clarity.

        2. DougS Silver badge

          @alain williams

          How is this fabled world of having "all MS Windows machines being updated within a few weeks" ever supposed to happen? Even with a subscription service, Microsoft couldn't force updates on everyone. Do you think they are going to force Enterprise customers to patch on Microsoft's schedule, rather than on their own schedule? They try that and they would be sued out of existence (such big lawsuits that even Microsoft couldn't pay them) No one forces updates on their customers, and for good reason.

          So no need to be mindlessly paranoid about Microsoft's evil plans to dominate the world via changes to the SMB protocol. But thanks for the laugh!

      4. KeithR

        Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

        "If anything was ever going to usher in the Year of the Linux Desktop, having Microsoft basically act like the Mafia demanding protection money to maintain access to one's files would be just that"

        Which is precisely why it ain't going to happen.

      5. Someone Else Silver badge
        Coat

        @ Doug -- Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

        [...]and word would get around that they can do pretty much the same stuff (except for some games and business related apps) [...]

        There, FTFY

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: @ Doug -- Paying for Windows 10 after July

          "business related apps"

          What if that business-related app is a custom industrial control system that runs on XP and only XP? Changing OS is not an option due to the custom nature of the hardware (which also means it can't be virtualized, so VMs are not an option), and since the hardware's hugely expensive and still being amortized, you can't switch it out.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: @ Doug -- Paying for Windows 10 after July

            In that case Charles, it's XP Embedded and has no physical or radio connection to any public network whatsoever.

            And is therefore safe and never was going to get any OS updates anyway.

    2. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

      @Steven Roper: Excellently put. Have an upvote. I agree.

      I'm not, despite what some of you might think from my posting history, a Microsoft hater. As I've said before, I like a lot of their software. I develop using Visual Studio. I have friends in Redmond. I just don't like the direction they've been heading in ever since Sinofsky was there. Your comments about ransom-as-a-service ring all too true.

      I don't think they will suddenly switch existing copies of Windows 10 to pay-as-you-go. That would have too many complications for them; they'd get sued for deceptive marketing promises faster than you can say "class action", for one thing. I'll wager they'll be more subtle about it - "if you want DirectX %nextversion% enabled on your copy of Windows, that'll be $1/month, please" and so forth. Growing revenue in a mature, saturated market is a real challenge for them - and this strategy makes sense if only considered from an accounting/finance perspective. If they think they can make users swallow it - well, give them full marks for chutzpah, at the least.

      We spent the last twenty years demanding always-available Internet access; well, the flip side of that is that it's enabled a digital shackle for our PCs and software, shifting the balance of power back to the vendors. Dammit.

      1. Steven Roper

        @ David 132 Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

        "I don't think they will suddenly switch existing copies of Windows 10 to pay-as-you-go."

        Yes. Your analysis is cogent. It won't be an abrupt "pay or die" transition, but it will certainly follow the boiling-frog principle, charging nickel-and-dime for this or that "extra feature", slowly but inevitably leading up to a full-on monthly ransom.

        The other side of the coin I suspect will be that if you don't pay, your computer may not be locked down, but you will be constantly nagged to "upgrade to premium", your computer will be ransacked for useful information to sell to advertisers and LEAs, and you'll be endlessly bombarded with unblockable ads on the desktop as well as in every application you use. Want to get rid of the ads and spying? Pay up, picknose!

        1. thomas k

          Re: @ David 132 Paying for Windows 10 after July

          I experienced this recently with my Cyberlink software. A Blu-ray disc I rented wouldn't play, said an update was required. I kept clicking the OK button but nothing happened. Finally thought to go into the Options menu and do a 'check for updates' there; now, that took me to their website and, voila, there was an update available. After installing, it added a banner to the main app screen urging me to "Upgrade to the Latest Version!" and a little pop-up box urging same will appear when I fire up the program. (The disc played, too, btw.)

        2. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: @ David 132 Paying for Windows 10 after July

          @ Stephen Roper

          So just like the Skype client, then?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

        judging by the profit Adobe have been making (boosted) through their "subscription" model, MS must feel encouraged, that whatever they want to pull off will work too. I'm afraid, they're probably right.

        1. Jedipadawan

          Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

          >"judging by the profit Adobe have been making (boosted) through their "subscription" model, MS must feel encouraged, that whatever they want to pull off will work too. I'm afraid, they're probably right."

          You maybe right. It seems the majority of Windows users will put up with all manner of abuse as long as its from Windows.

          But Windows activation where I have beg M$ to use the software I forked out for plus the travesty that was the Windows 8 UI had me dropping the whole Windows experience and jumping to Mint Linux.

          Never looked back. Some of us have a breaking point and $150-220 for the OS ALONE is crippling for someone on my income in the Far East!

        2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

          Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

          Adobe are perhaps painting themselves into a corner though.

          There is a HUGE market opportunity for others now to fill the massive void left by Adobe.

          And once those products reaches near parity with Adobe's products, Adobe will be in real peril.

      3. g00se
        Linux

        Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

        That would have too many complications for them; they'd get sued for deceptive marketing promises faster than you can say "class action", for one thing.

        But you'd think that would already have happened. It hasn't - in any significant way.

    3. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

      Pay your monthly ransom or lose access to your computer entirely.

      s/computer/W10 installation/

      FTFY

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Windows

        Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

        >"Pay your monthly ransom or lose access to your computer entirely."

        >s/computer/W10 installation/

        >FTFY

        Ah, but only if "Secure[sic] Boot" will permit you... and if you've the wherewithal to pre-emptively rescue all YOUR data - which the Microsoft Corporation silently sequestered the moment you first checked your hotmail (of whatever NSAFT is calling it today). How many of the poor souls out there do you suppose are up to facing that?

    4. Jess

      Re: the ramifications of what this really means.

      I disagree with your conclusions, but I think you have a point.

      Don't forget Windows 10 users can revert to the previous OS, providing they have the install media.

      I don't believe MS will try to charge for any existing 10 installations after July.

      However I could quite see this as being an attempt to move in that direction.

      They could easily start OEMs shipping home users with a Win 10 core OS, which required a subscription to give it a full feature set. (Businesses already have the choice of renting or buying, so they might just play with the pricing for them.)

      The free versions for a year could easily be a loss leader.

      1. Jedipadawan

        Re: the ramifications of what this really means.

        >I don't believe MS will try to charge for any existing 10 installations after July.

        What I am expecting is the upgrade to remain free forever but functionality (apps and utilities) that were once suppled as part of the OS will be crippled by future updates and users will have to pay monthly fees to get them back. See 'soltaire' and 'media player.'

        That way M$ hook users into Windows 10, convince them that they are getting a good deal "It's free!" and then proceed to shift users onto subscription charging for everything, adding a dollar here one month, then 50 cents another months, then another dollar to keep going.

        It the increments are small and gradual, I dare say the public will buy it. I do know that people will pay serious money to stay in their comfort zone for an operating system!

      2. Adam 52 Silver badge

        Re: the ramifications of what this really means.

        "Don't forget Windows 10 users can revert to the previous OS, providing they have the install media."

        Not if the BIOS doesn't let them, like it doesn't on recent Dells.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: the ramifications of what this really means.

          Do any motherboard manufacturers still make motherboards with BIOS only instead of UEFI? I suspect there could be a real market there if the Microsoft/manufacturer cartel make it to difficult/impossible to change OSs.

    5. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

      Once everyone is forced onto Windows 10, Microsoft will have us all by the bollocks.

      For rather tolerant (and increasingly so) definitions of 'everyone' and 'all'.

      Pay your monthly ransom or lose access to your computer entirely.

      I suggested something along these lines some time ago and collected a noticeable number of downvotes. Apparently the MS fanbois have now buggered off elsewhere, considering us irredeemable.

      1. KeithR

        Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

        "Apparently the MS fanbois have now buggered off elsewhere, considering us irredeemable."

        You don't have to be an MS fanboi to recognise mindless paranoia when you see it.

        1. Steven Roper

          Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

          "You don't have to be an MS fanboi to recognise mindless paranoia when you see it."

          Even as you don't need a tinfoil hat to recognise mindless shilling when you see it.

    6. Someone Else Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

      Microsoft: "No longer free after July! (tee hee!)"

      World + Dog: "Linux after August! (Whoopee!)"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

        I hope the MX-15, AntiX (for older systems) and Linux Mint servers have the bandwidth to manage the influx of users :)

        Remember, you can always run a VM for Windows specific software.

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

        "World + Dog: "Linux after August! (Whoopee!)""

        Later...

        "Where's my Fallout 4?!"

        Gamers: "Back to Windows in September...and this time for a fee!"

    7. veti Silver badge

      Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

      If you're honestly suggesting that W10 users will find their machines bricked if they don't pay a subscription to use Windows after July - I'll take your bet, thank you.

      Microsoft has done some research and some calculations, and figured out what it's costing them to support half a billion Windows users on obsolescent versions of the platform. Hence the drive to get everyone to upgrade. It's not altruism on their part, but neither is it a huge conspiracy - it's just good business sense. And, of course, all that huge bulk of telemetry data will make support even better...

  13. westlake

    Facing reality.

    Net Applications shows Windows 10 approaching 10x the market share of Linux, all flavors. Desktop Operating System Market Share - Operating System Versions.

    Net Applications builds its stats by looking at hits to about 40,000 websites that draw a very large and diverse audience. CNN. Disney. Kraft Foods, and so on. Their numbers won't tell you much about the geek elite but should tell you which way the masses are headed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Facing reality.

      What that tells us is that if you make your employees use Windows 10 at work they're more likely to waste time surfing than if you use Linux.

    2. Wade Burchette Silver badge

      Re: Facing reality.

      How does Net Applications judge people's opinion of Windows 10? It only tells us how many are using it, not whether they like it or not.

      1. KeithR

        Re: Facing reality.

        "How does Net Applications judge people's opinion of Windows 10? It only tells us how many are using it, not whether they like it or not."

        Want me to go off and get some more straws for you to clutch at?

  14. Grikath

    It would be nice to add that those registry keys must be inserted during one of the Dreaded Updates us Troglodytes have burned with fire, then nuked and buried in a lime pit. Especially since they don't contain just the upgrade-nagging, but also the thing that makes Win10 a no-no for most: the bloody telemetry.

    I've just done an extensive scouring of my registry, and the lines in question aren't there at all.

    Good thing for me, tells me I've been thorough in my nuking. But this makes this method even worse for peeps who aren't ...suited.. for this kind of making-windows-behave. Looks to me you'd need to have to allow the whole series of Win10 related KB's to install before you get them, with all the ärger involved. Could be the KB article gives some hint as to exactly which upgrade adds them, but really can't be arsed. But if people have done only a partial deletion, they may have well nuked those lines as well, and may start hunting around for something similar in the registry. Not a pretty thought.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A smell of desperation

    Worried they are, yes.

  16. vincent himpe

    With all these brilliant coders out there :

    Why has nobody written a windows clone yet (without all the bugs and holes ) ?

    It would be really great to have an alternate OS that can run existing programs. I run plenty of professional software (Solidworks, Altium , Ilustrator, Indesign, Various embedded system development tools such as Keil .Software to control test equipment etc ..) for which there are NO linux distributions.

    Switching to alternate tools is impractical. having a 1:1 replacement for windows that can run EXISTING windows programs would be the solution ( including all the hardware support and existing drivers)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Windows

      Re: With all these brilliant coders out there :

      Because writing a perfectly compatible clone of a gargantuan incoherent, perverse, closed & obfuscated hairball is a herculean task straight from hell.

      It's called ReactOS and won't be finished for a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggg time.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: With all these brilliant coders out there :

        "It's called ReactOS and won't be finished for a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggg time."

        Judging by their homepage, it hasn't been updated in over a year. Plus their original target was Win2K compatibility. Meanwhile, there have been FOUR major Windows releases since then. They're trying to chase a moving target, and it's getting away from them.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. fatbuddha

      Re: With all these brilliant coders out there :

      "It would be really great to have an alternate OS that can run existing programs"

      That.

      Love reading all the comments about Windoze but for many of us biz users there is no alternative OS that can run the production software we use so we have to suck it up and live with it and the various OS upgrades, updates and security issues. All we can do is to keep abreast of the security battle and get users to be savvy.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: With all these brilliant coders out there :

        @fatbuddha

        Suggested strategy:

        1. Linux (or BSD but in these days of systemd Linux is probably closer to what you're familiar with).

        2. Use the native Linux or BSD tools as far as you can. This is probably further than you think and a lot further than the naysayers who last tried OO in 2008 think.

        3. Where there's no suitable native tool run the preferred Windows tool under Wine or Crossover.

        4. For the cases where the Windows tool won't run under Wine or Crossover run Windows in a VM. An old copy of W2K may do fine and won't try to install spyware even if you let it connect to the net.

        1. Andy A

          Re: With all these brilliant coders out there :

          The major application use on my main machine (currently Win7-64) is a program which does NOT run under Linux; wine has it listed as a disaster area. Even the installer fails just after showing the intro.

          The developer of the program has ceased support for health reasons, so I am stuck with the latest version. There is nothing on the market anywhere near as good. It runs fine under Win10, but there are other niggles stopping me upgrading - mostly to do with Microsoft's assumption that I really should be spending my time streaming music and videos and constantly updating Farcebook and Twatter.

          So why should I convert to a non-Windows OS just to be forced to start up a VM running Windows?

          Another box runs Win7-32. The DAB radio board has drivers last updated for Win2K, and an excellent freeware player/recorder. The "Media Center", otherwise useless, does a decent job of handling a DVB stick to give me Freeview PVR facilities. It will even write a recording to a DVD.

          Messing with the registry holds no terrors; I've been supporting Windows since BEFORE version 1 was released. My updates are handled by WSUS, each patch being checked before approval, so I know what state my machines are in.

          I've tried Mint. It looked pretty, but support for anything out of the ordinary is non-existent. It didn't even want to connect to a share on my server without tweaking some non-obvious settings.

          So I won't be "upgrading" to Mint. I might move to Win10, but only after Win7 support ends.

          1. Kevin Johnston

            Re: With all these brilliant coders out there :

            If the developer of this package has retired then surely you need to be looking for a replacement package as matter of urgency since the next time there is an OS or driver change it could bork your software at which point you are dead in the water. Once that happens you may be stuck with running an older Windows OS in a VM anyway in order for the package to continue limping along so the question then would be why run the VM on a Windows box.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: With all these brilliant coders out there :

              Many times, there is no replacement package, and the hardware is custom, so virtualization is not an option. It's bare metal or bust.

        2. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: With all these brilliant coders out there :

          "4. For the cases where the Windows tool won't run under Wine or Crossover run Windows in a VM. An old copy of W2K may do fine and won't try to install spyware even if you let it connect to the net."

          And if the software balks in the VM?

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: With all these brilliant coders out there :

        "All we can do is to keep abreast of the security battle and get users to be savvy."

        So how do you fix Stupid?

    4. Stoneshop Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: With all these brilliant coders out there :

      Switching to alternate tools is impractical. having a 1:1 replacement for windows that can run EXISTING windows programs would be the solution ( including all the hardware support and existing drivers)

      And you think that would be an easier task than building alternate tools?

      Windows is an indescribable piece of bloated horror, with hidden interactions that I doubt even the Windows coders at MS completely understand. Building a fully compatible work-alike would be a) a Herculean task that includes rebuilding Augias' stables with every piece of shit duplicated exactly, b) something that would still not pass the common PHB sniff-test of "is it Windows, including the support from MS", and c) a barn-sized copyright infringement target with a correctly aimed and loaded cruise missile at ten paces (as seen by MS and its hordes of already-drooling landsharks)

    5. Ian 55

      Re: With all these brilliant coders out there :

      When Microsoft can't do perfect compatibility between Windows versions, expecting anyone else to be compatible with every version of Windows is optimistic beyond the bounds of reality.

  17. Kiers

    Dummy here: WHere's the Registry Key mentioned?

    Hello

    I'm running W7 Pro 32, can't find HKEY Local Machine\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate

    I've got NO SUCH "WindowsUpdate" entry under the Windows hive. help?

    1. agatum
      Coat

      Re: Dummy here: WHere's the Registry Key mentioned?

      > I've got NO SUCH "WindowsUpdate" entry under the Windows hive. help?

      Try adding it yourself. Instructions:

      https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/310516

  18. Brett Weaver
    Thumb Down

    I tried this

    Its really important to me that Microsoft not try to upgrade my Dad's Laptop. He's 85 and not going to have the energy to learn a new OS. All he wants to do is check E-mail.

    Its bad enough the changes made to Outlook 2013.

    I'm not sure about the HKLM part of those registry entries.. On my Win 8.1 machine I don't see anything similar.. Is it an acronym I can't see?

    Also on my Win 8.1 machine Google Chrome has "upgraded"itself to a buggy, frustrating App.. Anyone know how to load Chrome classic?

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: I tried this

      @Brett Weaver: I'm not sure about the HKLM part of those registry entries..

      HKLM is a commonly-used abbreviation for the

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE

      branch of the Registry. Broadly speaking, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE stores machine-specific settings (that are common to all users). HKEY_CURRENT_USER - usually abbreviated to HKCU - stores user-specific settings for the current user. All the User trees are held under the HKEY_USERS group; the appropriate set for the currently logged in user is linked/mirrored to HKCU for convenience. So if you log in as two different users and look each time, you'll see a different set of data under HKCU.

      Hope this helps and didn't come across as patronising.

      1. Brett Weaver

        Re: I tried this

        @David 132 - Thanks - I just wanted confirmation as I had a senior moment when HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate setting was missing

        I like the trend in later posts towards punishing Microsoft developers - but also include the Google drongos who made a useless App out of an acceptable browser...

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Re: punishing Microsoft developers

          I don't think it is the developers that decided to put the telemetry in. It's VW who apparently has engineers that go off and do things without management approval (or so they say).

          No, Microsoft managers are the ones to take the beating in this matter, along with the marketing department I'm sure. And not the little managers either, this kind of decision was made at the top and ran down the line.

  19. kitekrazy

    Couldn't find any of that stuff

    Checked the reg (W7 Pro) I couldn't find any of the reg keys. Seems bogus to me.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Couldn't find any of that stuff

      Sometimes the settings have default values in code and the registry is only necessary to change them from the defaults.

      1. Andy A

        Re: Couldn't find any of that stuff

        .. and which way would Microsoft set the default to be?

        Of course you need to create a couple of the entries.

  20. Mikko

    You want your OS upgrade to be clearly marked, bomb proof, and with clear triggers how to start it - and cancel it, if needed.

    Windows 10? Haphazardly triggered, occasionally "by accident", downloading gigabytes of data without asking, seemingly impossible to stop the process once started, prone to failure midway through (but still stuck in the middle of the upgrade forever), likely (2/3 cases) to brick Windows Update whether you start the process or not... and then there is the goddamn lying to your customer about the content of the Windows Update updates. Call it a "Windows 10 Update notification", not a stability patch or whatever. Do they want to build trust, or destroy it?

    Frankly, if you chance to meet anyone from Microsoft who is associated with Windows 10 Update, be kind to them and follow the same bait-and-switch mode of social interaction he is clearly comfortable with. So ask them if they would like a drink, and if they say yes, punch them in the fucking face.

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Happy

      @Mikko, your suggestion...

      Frankly, if you chance to meet anyone from Microsoft who is associated with Windows 10 Update, be kind to them and follow the same bait-and-switch mode of social interaction he is clearly comfortable with. So ask them if they would like a drink, and if they say yes, punch them in the fucking face.

      ...amuses me. But they have a really pleasant bar/restaurant on the Redmond campus called Spitfire, and I think it would be ill-mannered and downright churlish of me to implement your suggestion next time I'm invited there. Could I at least get one round of drinks in first?

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Happy

        So ask them if they would like a drink, and if they say yes, punch them in the fucking face

        Actually, the thought occurs to me that a better analogy for Microsoft's Windows 10 Update behaviour is Father Ted's Mrs Doyle...

        "Will you have a cup of tea?"

        "No, thank you."

        "Ah, you will. Go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, GO ON"

      2. Someone Else Silver badge

        @David132

        Could I at least get one round of drinks in first?

        Only if they're buying.

    2. Pompous Git Silver badge

      So ask them if they would like a drink, and if they say yes, punch them in the fucking face.

      Harsh! But fair... Then there's head butts:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9nGalzYRp4

    3. agatum

      > Do they want to build trust, or destroy it?

      No. They want to force the trust down your fucking throat. And they will fail miserably.

    4. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      >Frankly, if you chance to meet anyone from Microsoft who is associated with Windows 10 Update, be kind to them and follow the same bait-and-switch mode of social interaction he is clearly comfortable with. So ask them if they would like a drink, and if they say yes, punch them in the fucking face.

      cf icon

      I have not laughed out this loud in years!!!!

  21. Asok Asus

    There's WAY more to this issue than claimed in this article

    I've made some tools to help put an end to this coerced Windows 10 installation nonsense. They can be downloaded from here:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_hrA7ihzIPlVXpRUnJyc1AyNkU/view

    The three included tools uninstall the Windows 10 nagware and the Microsoft "telemetry" (spyware) "updates" from Windows 7 and Windows 8.x Operating Systems if they are installed, prevent the updates from being reinstalled, and remove the Windows 10 installer folder $WINDOWS.~BT if it is present.

    These tools must be run from an account with Administrative privilege, which is the case (unfortunately) for most accounts. They can also be run from a non-Administrator account by right-clicking them and then left-clicking on "Run as Administrator".

    The tools are most effective when run in the following order:

    1. Run PreventW10InstallationUAC.exe to set Microsoft Update to "manual only" mode and modify a couple of registry variables that tell the OS to never allow a newer OS to be installed. This tool will run quickly unless you accept the optional request (recommended) to make a System Restore Point before the tool makes it changes, in which case the Restore Point will take a while to make.

    Note that after this procedure finishes, no more Microsoft updates will be applied unless you manually request a check for updates and then decide which updates to accept, though making such decisions requires knowledge that the average user usually does not possess. However, for mature operating systems I personally believe that blindly accepting Microsoft updates at this juncture has more downsides than upsides.

    (If you DO want to attempt to manually check for updates, you'll first have to change the Windows Update setting from "Never Check for Updates" to "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them" before you click the "Check for updates" button.)

    2. Run RemoveW10NagwareTool.exe to remove a set of Microsoft updates that relate to Windows 10 nagware ("white flag") popup, Microsoft spyware, and the Windows 10 installer itself if any of them have been installed. Detection and uninstallation can take a few minutes to complete.

    If any of this set of updates is found, you'll need to reboot the system.

    It might also be necessary to run this tool again after rebooting if the nagware update had previously been slated to be installed AGAIN, in which case after rebooting, you'll STILL see the Windows 10 ("white flag") nag. If that's the case, just run this tool again and reboot again, and then run PreventW10InstallationUAC.exe again.

    3. Finally, after you're sure the Windows 10 nagware has been removed, run RemoveW10Folder.exe to detect and remove the Windows 10 install folder if it is found.

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: There's WAY more to this issue than claimed in this article

      @Asok Asus, Good job! It's obvious you've put a lot of thought into this & I'm sure your tools will be very useful for people.

      Have you considered making the source available too? I err towards the principle of "trust, but verify" and am hesitant to run random EXEs as Administrator.

    2. JWLong

      Re: There's WAY more to this issue than claimed in this article

      Sorry to inform you that your EXE has been flagged as a virus and has been deleted by Microsoft's own anti-virus "Defender". Now, ain't that a pot calling the kettle BLACK!

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile....

    And back in the real world 200 million deviices are already running Windows 10

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Re: Meanwhile....

      Yeah, but the small print admits that the number includes warehouses full of unsold Lumia phones and Surface tablets.

      Try to keep up!!

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile....

      "200 million deviices are already running Windows 10"

      That's an awful lot of victims to feel sorry for.

    3. Chika
      Holmes

      Re: Meanwhile....

      And back in the real world 200 million deviices are already running Windows 10

      ...of which a sizeable amount will be XBones, unsold OEMs and the like...

      We've been down this road before with W8. Microsoft aren't backwards about giving out figures.

    4. Pompous Git Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Meanwhile....

      And back in the real world 200 million deviices are already running Windows 10

      And all with no user input required! It's a miracle ain't it?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meanwhile....

      and back in the real world, it's great on my sons' XBox One and I can see it being functional on tablets, if mostly used for surfing/social media. I sure as H E double hockey sticks don't want it on my laptop or desktop.

  23. Jedipadawan

    Ahh! Registry hacking! Of course.

    Ah, hacking about the registry - perfectly acceptable in Windows. Nobody bats an eyelid.

    User might have to copy and paste a couple of lines into a terminal in Linux (though normally there is a GUI setting but its varies from DE to DE) and it's - "Arrgh! Linux is so hard to use, it's for geeks only, you have to use the CLI for everything!!"

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Ahh! Registry hacking! Of course.

      "it's for geeks only, you have to use the CLI for everything"

      Not around here. We don't need a mouse to delete our files.

      C.

      1. Jedipadawan

        Re: Ahh! Registry hacking! Of course.

        >"it's for geeks only, you have to use the CLI for everything"

        >Not around here. We don't need a mouse to delete our files.

        Er, sorry. I have no idea what is being said here. It seems contradictory. Can oyou explain?

    2. MacroRodent Silver badge

      Re: Ahh! Registry hacking! Of course.

      There is a way to hack the registry from the command line on Windows, command "reg". MIght be more useful to instruct registry modifications in terms of it, so people can cut'n'paste. For example, try this:

      reg query HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate

      This just queries a value, does not break anything.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Ahh! Registry hacking! Of course.

        Copy/paste into Notepad, save as nowgoawayoriwilltauntyouasecondtimeaah.reg, then doubleclick that one.

      2. Jedipadawan

        Re: Ahh! Registry hacking! Of course.

        >There is a way to hack the registry from the command line on Windows,

        I am sure! My point, of course, is that when Windows users have to drop to the CLI or run up regedit this is regarded as perfectly normal and does not detract from the GUI in the OS.

        Whereas the second there is a fix for Linux requiring the CLI (and it normally doesn't require the CLI, it's just that the CLI is standardized across distros in Linux whereas the UI is not) then this is regarded as 'proof' that Linux is user hostile, has not usable GUI and *everything* requires typing in esoteric commands.

        I note that nobody here is screaming that messing about with the registry or dropping to the CLI instantly proves that Windows is really hard to use, has no usable GUI and you have to hack the registry in order to meaningfully configure Windows.

        I'm just pointing out the dual standard. :-)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ahh! Registry hacking! Of course.

          I am sure! My point, of course, is that when Windows users have to drop to the CLI or run up regedit this is regarded as perfectly normal and does not detract from the GUI in the OS.

          In Mint KDE I have to go CLI maybe once or twice a week. On Windows 7 I have to go CLI maybe once or twice a year.

          1. Jedipadawan

            Re: Ahh! Registry hacking! Of course.

            >"In Mint KDE I have to go CLI maybe once or twice a week. On Windows 7 I have to go CLI maybe once or twice a year."

            What are you doing that requires that? That's extraordinary.

            I can't remember the last tie I dropped to the CLI in Mint KDE. Usually it just to add a PPA and even that I can do via the GU 'software sources.' So what the heck are you doing? And are you sure you're not missing the GUI? I mean, KDE is famous for allowing GUI control of EVERYTHING!

            However it is, I doubt very much that your experience is the norm.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Ahh! Registry hacking! Of course.

              "In Mint KDE I have to go CLI maybe once or twice a week. On Windows 7 I have to go CLI maybe once or twice a year."

              What are you doing that requires that? That's extraordinary.

              I can't remember the last tie I dropped to the CLI in Mint KDE. Usually it just to add a PPA and even that I can do via the GU 'software sources.' So what the heck are you doing? And are you sure you're not missing the GUI? I mean, KDE is famous for allowing GUI control of EVERYTHING!

              However it is, I doubt very much that your experience is the norm.

              Yeah, I play about a lot. The point is I use both, and play with both in the same way.

              However, after I'd posted I thought actually it's more like once or twice a month in Mint once the initial setup is done - only the editing window had gone.

            2. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: Ahh! Registry hacking! Of course.

              I do keep the CLI in mind, even in Windows. In fact, I've become pretty adept at Batch Files and VBScript automation, because few things beat batch files for...well, batch operations, doing similar things to numerous files at a time.

              1. MacroRodent Silver badge

                Re: Ahh! Registry hacking! Of course.

                because few things beat batch files for...well, batch operations, doing similar things to numerous files at a time.

                Exactly! This makes GUI vs CLI arguments pretty pointless, regardless of the OS. GUIs just get incredibly clumsy when you have to repeat a number of steps, but their hand-holding is useful when you perform some operation so rarely that you forget the details between uses, and of course for anything that is naturally interactive or graphical.

          2. Chika

            Re: Ahh! Registry hacking! Of course.

            In Mint KDE I have to go CLI maybe once or twice a week. On Windows 7 I have to go CLI maybe once or twice a year.

            That really depends on what you are doing. In some situations, whether Linux or Windows, the CLI actually works a lot better because the GUI is not designed to do certain tasks. Even Microsoft admits that much, especially when they are pushing Powershell.

            Actually there is only one reason why I am forced to go to the CLI at the moment on Linux, and that's because of f*****g systemd!

  24. Matt Kimber

    Endemic of the whole Windows 10 effort

    This has been Windows 10 all over - either spend your life hacking registry settings or fighting constant unwanted notifications, forced file updates and downloads. The concerning situation is that if you have a "modern" Windows variant, Microsoft now see it as their duty and right to manage your PC for you. Even if you grudgingly accept it the nagging and upgrade, the problems don't stop there; I'm forever having to work around my computers being rebooted for me (one of the new bits of fun in 10 is the "reboot your computer now or it'll happen in 15 minutes, like it or not" dialog box) or drivers for my hardware being overwritten by Microsoft generic ones that don't work.

    Windows Feedback is full of upvoted "stop trying to control this for me" messages, so it appears a general problem. I can vaguely understand the notion of turning your PC into a managed service, but it's not what people want and in any case Microsoft are doing it badly. They're more like an ISP blocking public access to your e-commerce site because they thought you'd appreciate it rather than anything helpful.

    It feels like they've made a massive screw-up with this generation of code; Server 2016 is just as bad, albeit in different ways with half-arsed implementations of things Microsoft are panicking about because Internet and dog have been happily running them on Linux servers for long enough that it's encroaching into their staid enterprise heartland. It's a shame as once you got past their attempt to innovate the UI (which I personally didn't mind as much as the rest of the world seemed to) 8.1 felt like a decent consumer OS built by a Microsoft that had regained its confidence post Vista, especially if you fired it up on one of the convertible hybrids it was aimed at.

    1. g00se
      Linux

      Re: Endemic of the whole Windows 10 effort

      Windows Feedback is full of upvoted "stop trying to control this for me" messages, so it appears a general problem.

      If it's any consolation (see my Convergence Alert comments elsewhere) Linux is getting like that too with "Don't worry your pretty head about how systemd works or its specs - it just does" or "don't worry that systemd logging is binary and will be well and truly fscked if things get corrupted - it just won't happen" and the like.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Endemic of the whole Windows 10 effort

        That is why the Devuan Project is so important.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No Windows 10 Nags Here

    Lucky I did a clean install of Windows 7 Professional lately.

    I haven't installed any optional or recommended updates since the start of 2015 - security updates only.

    Actually, I did install one or two optional/recommended updates after checking them all out thoroughly - I think it was just time zone updates or something like that. I will only be installing security updates from this point forward.

    If Windows 10 still manages to sneak it's way onto my machine then it will be time for another clean install - a Windows 7/Linux Mint dual boot with Windows 7 at Service Pack 1 level only and no Internet access whatsoever. All online activities will be Mint only.

    I won't even need to go online to activate 7, I have the activation files saved with Advanced Tokens Manager (doesn't work with Windows 8 or 10, btw).

  26. TRT Silver badge

    Office 365

    Installed on someone's laptop as they insisted on having the latest when offered the choice. Called in to help them with their CV... there's a border round it that shouldn't be there. I've torn my hair out trying to use it. I had to do the typical repair job on someone who's cv says they are proficient in Word, yet they add spaces below paragraphs by adding more paragraphs, right aligned words by careful use of spaces (proportional font as well, so it's almost but not quite aligned), written the whole thing inside a table cell, used a mix of numbered and unnumbered bullet points and bullet characters, mixed margin positions... Basically the sort of a document I used to get from a certain professor to make ready for journal submission. It would usually take about an hour per 1,000 words to reformat and make pretty (printed on paper of course it doesn't look like you've done anything during that time, but hey ho!)

    Office 365... I gave up. The most unwieldily piece of crap I've ever come across. Highlights words at random when click-dragging a selection, throws grammar errors all over the place, show invisibles doesn't show all invisibles any more, format paragraph has gone somewhere I can't find, all the tools have moved around, save takes you into some other screen full of crap about licenses and file info that you just don't need to see, the "ribbon" thing just takes up screen space and things seem to jump around from one place to another in it depending on what you're doing, margins and reflows suck major league, the tabs and arrows behave unpredictably...

    In short, if this is M$ idea of productivity software, they've written themselves a new dictionary. And I don't hold out ANY hope for Windows 10 being any better. I criticise it with the prime example that any OS which requires prerequisite knowledge that swiping your finger from the right off the trackpad or your pointer from the right edge of the screen, leftwards, in order to bring up a hidden menu of control panels has just pissed all over Xerox Parc's decades of work on human/machine interaction whilst laughing maniacally and rogering themselves up the anus with a spiked baguette in a sadomasochistic orgy.

    I recently had to level the same accusation at Apple for (by default) hiding the scroll bars when your pointer isn't in a magic 1/8" strip down the side of a window.

    1. Jedipadawan

      Re: Office 365

      >I recently had to level the same accusation at Apple for (by default) hiding the scroll bars when your pointer isn't in a magic 1/8" strip down the side of a window.

      I hear ya! I have to use Macs in various schools I am subcontracted to and it's a right pain in the ass! I am not impressed with the so called 'easy to use' Mac UI.

      Also not impressed that Macs, to this day, do not allow you to delete a single file in isolation. Instead it's the zap 'empty/destroy' everything trashcan!

      And re: Office 365…?

      I dunno. I dropped Windows and Office in 2012 and have NOT regretted it! Now I use Libreoffice. No crazy ribbons, I can customize the toolbar (again) and don't have to keep paying every time a new rendering of the software comes out just to carry out the same functionality but to read another modified file format! I am enjoying cost free and hassle free productivity

      Libreoffice is available for Windows and well worth a spin. No clippy and no ribbons!

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Office 365

        Don't get me wrong, I love Macs. I recommend them for all the scientists here as they cover all the bases - they can use their Unix tools, their Mac only tools, their PC only tools via e.g. Parallels, they play nice with the rest of the equipment, they're a piece of piss to set a backup on, they've got a good remote management solution and the central IT team won't touch them with a barge-pole (all Windows boxes now have to be one of three four* base models which come with a locked down version of Windows 8.1 and no freedom to install your own choice of software unless you fill out a formal request form, business case form and license disclaimer / damage waiver).

        But the Apple GUI, with El Capitan, has moved away from anything intuitive. About one in five of the programs don't work any more, half the controls are hidden, users get lost with a single click on the windows controls when it expands to full screen and the side-by-side documents they were comparing vanish... They've lost their way for sure, and now just change things for change's sake.

        *Four after I pointed out that the deal they had done already without listening to feedback from the research side of the University was only for a laptop, an all-in-one and a SFF case, none of which could take an off-the-shelf graphics card or other PCI-flavour card that various equipment might come with. Hence they added a Workstation full size case to the range. Even last week when I tried to buy a Win 7 laptop with four USB sockets and a 1Tb HDD in order to have a mobile 3D-scanning and printing system for use in community clinics I was told I had to have the Win 8.1 256Gb SSD Dell and use a USB hub, even though HP did a model which was the same price (within £10) meeting all the requirements.

  27. Carling

    Free for Now

    Come on you M$ fans you have been lead down the path of FNYPL (Free Now You Pay Later) Mickysoft has spent Billions of dollars buying Skype and Minecraft you you think for one minute they are going to be free to use for ever. No way is that ever going to happen. August is going to be pay back date, What Mickysoft the media is NOT telling the public about is M$ from August is moving to annual subscription payments, with WaaS (Windows as a Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service) with their new Azure cloud system If none of you believe what I'm saying then go read their reports web inks below SaaS is going to be for other services like Gaming and using Skype

    https://www.microsoft.com/industry/government/guides/cloud_computing/4-SaaS.aspx

    http://www.computerworld.com/article/2917799/microsoft-windows/microsoft-fleshes-out-windows-as-a-service-revenue-strategy.html/

    Now you know what to expect soon If you don't want pay annual subscription fees to Mickysoft then start downloading and installing Free Open Source Linux operating system(s) after all your using it every day and don't know it Everything you do is done on Linux OS whatch the Video Linux is Everywhere here on Youtube

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XTHdcmjenI

    1. Carling

      Re Saved $360,000

      One School in Pennsylvania saved $360,000 Dollars moving from Windows to Free Open Source Linux Operating System That's only one school so what is Microsoft costing you tax payers in education taxation annually for every school in America that's using Microsoft's proprietary locked down windows operating system and software, watch this youtube video it will open your eyes and get you all thinking about what's going on with your education departments wasting education Tax payers Dollars when they could save tax payers dollars,

      watch this video

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8Co37GO2Fc

  28. This post has been deleted by its author

  29. Zippy's Sausage Factory
    Thumb Up

    Win10wiwi works well

    I use it myself. It does an excellent job of hiding all the "upgrade now" nonsense (I think it's win10wiwi.com but Google it yourself to be sure - it stands for "Windows 10 When I Want It", by the way)

    Thumbs up because... erm... it's quite good?

  30. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

    Just my two penn'orth

    I cut my teeth with a BBC micro and Amiga 1200, then bought a PC when Win95 came out. Liked it. Liked Win98 even better. Looked at NT4, pretty awful for a home user (drivers etc), Win2000 better, but happy with XP - the best in terms of GUI, IMHO.

    Win7: OK but not really a great improvement on XP. Stuck with it until this W10 lunacy.

    Win8: awful, didn't bother.

    I'd played with various Linux distros in the past, and despite learning lots I always went back to Windows because of issues with some hardware or other (I once spent a week trying to get sound working). Applications weren't great then, either, and there was always some CLI hacking to do to get things running. But after trying the horrible interface that is Win10, and then the slurping, and then the upgrade nagging, I'd had enough, and after some experimentation plumped for Mint Cinnamon with the Numix theme. It works well, looks great, and the available applications are now as good as I need for general office, internet and photo editing. I also like that updates are all in one place (night night, Ninite), and I don't need anti-spyware (yet) or AV (yet - although I scan attachments with ClamAV so as not to pass viruses to MS users).

    I think that just as MS have decided to stop providing a standalone OS, Mint has come good. This time I'm not going back to Windows, and now I've also switched my family's computers to Mint I don't get any more calls for help from them.

    PS Not a Linux fanboi, just a happy user.

    1. Boothy

      Re: Just my two penn'orth

      Similar to me.

      Cut my teeth on ZX80, Spectrum 48 and 128, Amiga 500, 1200 and a 4000 (which I still have).

      First Windows was an Me (yuc), quickly replaced the OS with 98 SE, then moved to XP. Jumped passed Vista to Win 7, which I've stuck with since.

      I have tried Win 10, installed it on an i7 system, that had been running Win 7 64bit without issue. No blue screens, no stability issues of any sort, rock solid.

      Win 10 on the same device was flaky at best. Would randomly decide to take 10 minutes or more to shut down, would sometimes start itself again immediately after being shut down for no apparent reason! General stability issues, control panels refusing to open, or taking way longer to open than they should have done, driver issues (despite all the HW being fairly new) etc etc etc. All in all a poor experience. So put Win 7 back on.

      I'm a keen gamer, so need to stick with Win 7 (for now anyway), but I have just bought a new 512GB SSD, which I'll be installing in the same i7 box above, and be putting some form of Linux on as a dual-boot system. Not decided on flavour yet, but Debian is probably the top runner atm.

      1. Jedipadawan

        Re: Just my two penn'orth

        >"Cut my teeth on ZX80..."

        Wow! I have only seen one ZX80 in real life and now I reside in the Far East am unlikely to ever see on again. I tried it briefly and a couple of emulators.

        How did you do ANYTHING on the thing?!! Did you code in Z80 'cause the BASIC and 1K couldn't do anything!!

        I am genuinely curious. Did you get the ZX80 to do anything?

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Just my two penn'orth

          I had a friend with a ZX80. A teacher actually. He moved on to the TRS-80, which he lent me for the summer holidays whilst he went to Ireland. Yes, the ZX-80 was capable. My friend wrote a D&D dice emulator for it (there was a group of us that went round to his house to play weekly), which I rewrote in assembly. A 12" B&W set and a ZX80 on a tea trolley next to the DM. Those were the days, my friend!

          1. Chika
            Childcatcher

            Re: Just my two penn'orth

            I tried to get a TRS80 from the Tandy in Collier Row but it was too damn expensive! Ended up eventually buying a ZX81 complete with wobbly RAM pack and yes, I lost more than one half-typed program from a magazine listing before finally selling it on and buying a BBC Micro. Ah... we didn't need the Net to be entertained back then!

            And you tell that to the kids today. Will they believe you? Nooooo.....

          2. Jedipadawan

            Re: Just my two penn'orth

            Wow.

            My gast is flabbered! :-)

        2. Boothy

          Re: Just my two penn'orth

          @ Jedipadawan

          Quote: "Did you code in Z80 'cause the BASIC and 1K couldn't do anything!!"

          Short answer, yes.

          Longer answer....

          The ZX80 was a hand-me-down from a family friend who got a ZX81 in 1981. They knew I was interested in computers (well anything electronic really!). So gave me the ZX80 to play with.

          I was 12 at the time and had no hands on experience with computers at the time, but they fascinated me,

          As well as the ZX80, I was given some books on assemble language, including some samples, so started with those. (The Hex is strong in this one ;-)

          I got myself a Zilog Z80 reference book, and some other reference materials, and just started to mess around.

          By the time I got the Spectrum a year later in 1982, I was writing small games in assembly language, the largest one I wrote, being a sort of mining game, digging tunnels for gold (points) and being chased by ghosts (lost a life) etc.

          I wrote a custom tape loader routine for the Spectrum, that avoided the need for the little BASIC loader that most other commercial games seemed to use at the time (which I'd figured out how to circumvent some time before). I could load my game into memory, without executing the code, load a graphical screen (load screen) to the display, and then dump the entire memory contents to tape in one burst of data. If you then loaded the tape on a newly started machine, it loaded the graphics to screen first (very badly drawn, I was never much of an artist!), and then it continued loaded the game in one continues screech of noise, automatically executing it once loaded.

          Unfortunately (or fortunately), by the time I got to 14/15 my interests moved onto other things (girls/music) and so I never really moved into the 16bit side, other than being a consumer.

          I still love playing games now, but I haven't tried to write anything since the good old days of 8 bit computing.

          Wow, sorry for the length everyone, got carried away reminiscing! Happy days :-)

        3. Vic

          Re: Just my two penn'orth

          Did you get the ZX80 to do anything?

          A mate of mine got it running Defender in 1K. He made a fortune...

          Vic.

    2. Jedipadawan

      Re: Just my two penn'orth

      >"I cut my teeth with a BBC micro..."

      I still miss my 8K Commodore PET.

      My first computer given to me in 1987. Expanded it to 32K, dual disk drive and printer and made it sing and dance!

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Just my two penn'orth

        My first machine was a ZX81 my father bought for me from the Bolton branch of Woolworths. Christmas, 1981. 32K RAM pack and a Redifusion cassette deck as well. By the end of Christmas Day, I'd finished with the Moonlander code in the manual, read from cover to cover, and typed in the Scramble! code from a magazine. By the end of the Christmas holiday, when I went back to boarding school and had to leave the computer behind at home, I was writing my own versions of arcade classics. A very slow Space Invaders, Bomber (the 70s SEGA one), Robot Attack etc.

        And so it remained until I had saved enough for a Vic-20, then I stayed with the Commodore stable through the 64, 128, Amiga 500, 1200, and CDTV, right up to the CD32. It was around this time that I started building PCs from bits left around at work.

        1. Boothy

          Re: Just my two penn'orth

          @ TRT

          I'd forgotten about the CD32! I had one of those as well.

    3. Two Lips
      Stop

      Re: Just my two penn'orth

      I remember the Apple Lisa prototype just after I left university. We had the ZX81 kits, but since we were using real computers(PDP & VAX) at the time, the ZX line were just toys at best.

      Regarding W8, you should've tried it, and upgraded to W8.1 Pro. Better than Windows 7 by a country mile. In fact so far the best OS they have done, although you have to reverse out the MS spying updates the same as W7.

      I never use the metro interface. Ever. I use W8.1 like a W7 desktop with the only change being that I didn't bother adding back the start menu, and got used to searching to find any program I need. Far quicker that way anyway. The desktop mode is otherwise virtually identical to W7 for all intents and purposes.

      In terms of resources W8 and 8.1 are leagues ahead of W7 in terms of efficiency and resource use. Especially RAM. Your 'didn't bother' comment is quite common with many people who missed the peak of MS OS offerings.

  31. theOtherJT

    "Redmond isn't dumb"

    Bold statement. There's a surprising amount of evidence to the contrary, and you have to admit they do have a history of committing utter howlers worryingly frequently.

  32. BobChip
    Unhappy

    Who owns my computer?

    Half-hidden under many of the comments here are serious questions of ownership. I don't dispute that Microsoft are entitled to operate any business model they please, and that if I am foolish enough to buy their products I will be bound by their draconian EULAs. Including paying subscriptions for what increasingly looks like ransomware.

    However, the computer I am posting from is mine. I did not buy it with Windows already installed - I built it myself. The machine, and any data held on it are mine, and I regard my data as private - not a resource to be mined for someone else's marketing campaign. I do not, and will not, consent to MS trawling through it, though that is what the (Win 10) EULA claims to authorise them to do.

    It is MY damn PC, which is why it runs Linux Mint 17.

    1. sola

      Re: Who owns my computer?

      I agree, one of the most annoying development in the Windows saga is the blatant spying attempt.

      I just can't imagine how a company that has anything of business value on their computers would allow these "telemetry" services to run. You would have to trust Microsoft completely for that (muuuuhaha).

      Anyone with half a brain should now seriously start thinking about moving to Linux. Apple is headed to the same direction so only Linux remains a viable alternative.

      1. Jedipadawan

        Re: Who owns my computer?

        >"Anyone with half a brain should now seriously start thinking about moving to Linux. Apple is headed to the same direction so only Linux remains a viable alternative."

        The good news is that Linux is ready for it now. I tried Linux around 2010 along with the (then) utterly busted 'Open Office.' It was a disaster!

        Scroll on two years and I figure I have no choice. I jump to Mint Linux KDE edition and… what a world of difference! The fastest, cleanest, easiest to use OS I have ever known - and I have played with a lot in my time. I found free, open source alternatives for ALL my Windows software, devoid of product keys, activation codes, adverts, nagware or weird GUI's from the different Windows UIs spanning Windows 2000 to 10 where Microsoft could not work out what Windows apps should be.

        Just clean, fast software that worked.

        When I found a non-linear, multi-track video editor (Kdenlive by name) which was faster, easier to use and more reliable than my Windows SW, I was sold! I have been in hog heaven ever since. I have to use Windows 7 occasionally at work and it just so painful in comparison. My Windows using colleagues think that waiting five minutes for a flash drive to be mounted is normal.

        Not everyone can jump completely yet but there is more and more of a case having a dual boot system or running Linux as the primary OS and running Windows in a VM with Linux being used for as much serious work as possible and keeping Windows just for the odd game or critical piece of Windows software that cannot be replaced. Using Linux for day to day work is fast becoming pretty much the only way to have any privacy on the desktop.

        Plus, contrary to popular opinion, Linux is now WAAAAAYYYY easier and more straightforward to use than Windows - and I would argue Mac as well.

        1. Chemist

          Re: Who owns my computer?

          "I tried Linux around 2010 along with the (then) utterly busted 'Open Office.' It was a disaster!"

          I'm glad you are now sorted but I can't have everyone assuming that you are typical.

          I was using Linux for serious research involving expensive software and state of the art 3D hardware in ~2002 without sig. issues and indeed personally I've been using it at home since the mid-90s - since the late 90s it's been straightforward to install on every bit of hardware I've tried and has given very little trouble apart from temporary problems with e.g some wifi adaptors. This is mostly with SUSE and OpenSUSE. Not used Windows since ~ 2006 at home.

          1. Jedipadawan

            Re: Who owns my computer?

            I concur that my experience does not match everyone's.

            But, consider the context of what I was saying. If Linux is good for me, and I am quite a heavy laptop user, NOW, then odds are that it is good for the vast majority. Not everyone, especially those locked into particular niche areas of work and/or tied by necessity specific, even bespoke Windows software.

            The key point is that Linux has come a loooonnnnggg way in recent years and nothing like the geeky beast most suers assume it (still) is. OK, if you run Arch, Slackware or Fedora then that's down to you! :-D

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: Who owns my computer?

              The key point is that Linux has come a loooonnnnggg way in recent years and nothing like the geeky beast most suers assume it (still) is. OK, if you run Arch, Slackware or Fedora then that's down to you! :-D

              Have a coldie and an upvote...

    2. KeithR

      Re: Who owns my computer?

      So your point is..?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How to stop Windows 10 forcing itself onto PCs – your essential guide

    Just buy an iMac.

    Confirmed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How to stop Windows 10 forcing itself onto PCs – your essential guide

      Don't buy anything, just install Linux.

      FTFY

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: How to stop Windows 10 forcing itself onto PCs – your essential guide

        Don't buy anything, just stick with what you've got because, frankly, most games require it since they're not WINE or VM-friendly.

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Re: How to stop Windows 10 forcing itself onto PCs – your essential guide

      Hmm... but my copy of Win7x64 in Virtual Box on the Mac just...

  34. Captain Badmouth
    Devil

    The truth

    http://dilbert.com/strip/2001-01-06

    Posted on another thread earlier in the year.

    For those who missed it.

  35. Florida1920

    HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate

    This "WindowsUpdate" key doesn't exist in my Win 7 SP1 64-bit laptop. Guess I could have created it, but I only install Important updates, and then only after checking to see what they do. So far, so good.

  36. OffBeatMammal

    Despite the upgrade wizard having confirmed an old PC won't upgrade (thanks to an unsupported nVidia 65xx driver) the little flag and update message keeps popping up and tries to sell me a new PC instead...

    1. The Real Tony Smith

      Same here, and despite informing me I can't upgrade this PC (actually VirtualBox under Linux) the Windows 10 upgrade icon is still there. Why??????????

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: the Windows 10 upgrade icon is still there. Why??????????

        MS are a hardware vendor these days, click on the link and you get taken to the MS store where you can purchase a Surface which can run W10...

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't forget to do other things

    Use a local account, not a Microsoft account. The essential first step.

    Tweak the settings to disable the cloud and telemetry stuff. Disable Cortana.

    Disable the setting which uses your PC as a 'torrent seed' for Windows update. (steals your bandwidth).

    And remember to install Classic Shell (or an equally competent Start menu modifying software).

    Windows 10 is okay, but it must be kept on a tight leash. Stay away from Microsoft's 'ecosystem' and you're safe. Frankly, there is no point in having a Windows walled garden (app store) for your PC... if you're into gaming then Steam is all you need. Other media content have their own delivery channels on the web. Hence there is no need to log in with a Microsoft account and partake of its app store.

    The incessant nagging of Win 7 and Win 8 users reeks of sheer desperation... it's like having a possessive girlfriend phone you multiple times a day asking you if you love her, if you think she's pretty etc.

    Good grief. Give it a rest and have a little more faith in the product, in the mainstream marketing, in the OEMs.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WHY?

    Why has Microsucks NOT been prosecuted for illegally entering a PC? Why has the U.S. FTC and FCC NOT issued a cease and desist order for this blatant violation of law? Why do authorities look the other way when Microsucks infects hundreds of millions of PCs with malware and WIN10 files? What does it take to stop the criminals at Microsucks and hold them accountable for all losses to all PC user's around the globe who have been infected by Microsucks's illegal access and downloads to PCs?

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: WHY?

      Because they tell you right upfront exactly what they're going to do somewhere* in that massive EULA that everyone skips to click "I agree".

      Since they put it right there in print, and you clicked "I agree"... It's all nice and legal... ish.

      *Note: This is not a picture of the file cabinet holding the actual EULA in printed form. It's much too small to house that document.

    2. Charles Manning

      FTC

      FTC do not act on their own bat.

      They only act when enough people complain to them.

      If people send 250-odd complaints to FTC rather than posting 250-odd comments here, then something might happen.... in 2025 or so. Since FTC is a .gov and not motivated by free market forces, they don't have to act promptly. They can spend a year or three investigating the issue.

  39. Someone Else Silver badge
    Devil

    Some people are tempted to turn off Windows Update completely to avoid getting the new operating system – don't. It'll leave your computer vulnerable to attack as you'll no longer get security patches.

    Equating Windows updates with implicit safety because of their "security updates" is a false equivalency. You can run Windows securely without ever having done a Windows Update, if you take other, perhaps more conscious, thought-intensive and less convenient approaches. and besides, it frees you from getting the all-too-often borked update that completely (or worse IMHO, partially) hoses your system. (e.g. the "invitation" to upgrade to Win 10)

    Nah, leave WU off, and simply use you head about what you do online.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      And then you get hit with a drive-by. BAM! There goes your idea of "being careful". I mean, what if El Reg gets hit with a drive-by, especially on one of its internal (read: won't be filtered) ads?

  40. bill 27

    It'd be wonderful. If I had those things in my registry. Searched for "OSUpgrade" and came up empty.

    Win 7 Home.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get Linux, various distros have now caught up with mainstream comercial OS malwares.

    Where there's a will, there's a way!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Mint, Zorin, or MX-15 are very nice and user friendly. Zorin offers a free version, but also a paid for version for about 10 Euros that offers all its goodies.

      I neither work for nor am I related to anyone in that organization. I did install the free version on a neighbour's desktop several years ago and he has used it without issue ever since.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Except for games. Where can I find Fallout 4 for Linux?

  42. Fihart

    Average user.

    Would not want or should not try editing the Registry.

    Will Microsoft be so helpful when Windows is borked ?

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is an easy way to stop the nagging ..

    .. stop using Windows.

    If you need any indication what hassle you will otherwise incur, just look at this forum and do a general search on "how to stop Windows 10". Honestly, I have never seen better marketing to illustrate that continuing down the Microsoft path is not going to yield much benefit and may become even costlier than it already was.

    Microsoft is becoming the Julian Assange of the computing industry..

    1. Captain DaFt

      Hey now!

      Julian Assange is a total prat, douche, and sleazeball, but even he doesn't deserve to be insulted like that!

  44. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Corporate vs SOHO users?

    "Redmond isn't dumb; if the entire office suddenly tried to download and install that much data, the screams would be heard all the way to Seattle."

    Really? There are that many corporate users? And larger enterprises can't set up rolling updates with their WSUS services to keep the sh*t from hitting the fan all at once?

    I think its more likely that corporate IT departments, with their thumb on their own update servers are waiting for the SOHO users to get through the early adopter grief and major version teething problems before they throw the switch on this one.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Corporate vs SOHO users?

      If any medium-sized or larger business has just one important application that doesn't run perfectly under an upgrade-path Windows 10, and is upgraded without explicit request of the business, that business will immediately sue Microsoft.

      How much they win is irrelevant, the publicity would severely damage Microsoft's reputation in the business world.

  45. dwonk786

    Anyone want to bet on that? https://youtu.be/BeILg5ztVnI

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks Microsoft

    Finally pushed me to find time to find time to install Mint rather than just talk about it, biggest hassle was resizing the windows 8 partition so I could run dual boot. After that it was a breeze to install, quickly found and installed all the software I need and some of it probably works better on Mint. Not found a need to boot windows yet.

    1. Col_Panek

      Re: Thanks Microsoft

      After a while, you'll find you're booting Windows just to do the updates. And the longer you wait, the more painful they are, until one day you give up .....No Gates, no Windows, you are free to move about!

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Thanks Microsoft

        Until you realize that one piece of software you need is Windows-only, won't run on WINE, and acts funny in a VM.

  47. Allan 1

    I actually let Windows 10 install, then found 90% of my games (admittedly old ones) simply refused to work. So I wiped and reinstalled Windows 7, did the whole windows update thing, then went to bed. Woke up the following morning to find Windows Update about to reinstall Windows 10. So glad I woke up when I did.

    Installed GWXControlPanel almost immediately after that. Just checked, and it appears GWXControlPanel makes all the necessary adjustments to registry for me.

  48. Danny 2 Silver badge

    No spoilers please

    I really want to know how to stop a Win10 update repeatedly trying and failing to install itself on this PC, slowing down this bandwidth and eating up 10Gb of unrecoverable HD space. Please, nobody tell me, I have more important things to do just now and will have plenty of time to figure it out soon one way or another.

    My over my self confidence has just been boosted greatly by googling IMAO and finding it recognised widely. I can't prove I invented that first, but I did come invent it independently before it was Yahoo~able, and you can't patent a FLA.

    I didn't invent FLA, it was common among my fellow students back in the '80s, an extension of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-letter_acronym 's, a seemingly witty riposte to excessive use of jargon and acronyms in IT.

    [Two letter acronyms were and are deemed ok - occasionally knowledgeable]

  49. Joe Montana

    Easy?

    So Windows is "easy" and Linux is "hard" because users might want to delve into the command line?

    Those same people who can't understand a commandline are not going to work out how to make manual registry changes...

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Easy?

      Those same people who can't understand a commandline are not going to work out how to make manual registry changes...

      You'd have to be pretty thick to not understand double-clicking filename.reg. And what makes you think you need to understand the commands you paste at the command-lline, having copied them from elsewhere? No rocket science here at all...

  50. Charles Manning

    Give MS feedback

    Bitching to the choir doesn't help anything.

    If everyone sent their regional MS sales office a little rant (channelling the Fuck You Microsoft post of a few weeks back), they'd get the message.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Give MS feedback

      Nah, they'll just start filtering the mail en masse and dumping anything resembling a rant into the incinerator. Only something that directly influences their finances or their investors will get their attention. That usually requires legal action, but Microsoft also has plenty of legal bases covered.

  51. JJKing Silver badge
    Flame

    I had Windows X download itself onto the C and D partitions of my laptop HDD. The one on the C partition did 3 lots of Updates (these are the install files in the $Windows.~BT folder) and was sitting at 7.25GB. The D partition install folder was just under 4GB. Really wasn't happy with MS consuming my bandwidth to the tune of 11GB+.

    Microsoft's new Mission Statement: "All you computers are belong to us."

  52. JDKelley

    Brilliant.

    The two Registry keys live in non-extant subfolders on my system, and my system won't let me create them (unless I'm missing something.)

    Should I just take a trip up to Redmond with a box of hammers to throw? I've already put about six hours into killing this damned nag (several times, now...) and I'm about to send those idiots a bill for my time!

    Tell me - is there something I'm missing? Because this is driving me batty (yes, I know the nag will "go away" on its own in a few months, but I'm damned near ready to blow shit up NOW because it won't go away! I don't want to have to wait a few months for it to go away on its own, I don't plan on getting Win10 anyhow.

    Hell, I think Win2K was where they should have stopped. Win7 is acceptable, I didn't much care for XP, I can't stand 8, reports from the field on 10 are uniformly negative, ...

  53. BenR

    For the kind of messing about I do on my desktop and laptop at home, I really don't think Windows 10 is bad as an OS. The "spying" concerns me a little, but considering my usage consists of time on eBay, time browsing the net generally, the occasional YouTube trip, and occasional gaming, I don't think I'm going to worry myself unduly about the entire affair.

    What worries me a little more is time spent on an unsupported OS. My Win 7 machines might have to be imaged, then upgraded, so that I qualify for the "free" upgrade and can immediately revert back. Saying that, I've had Win10 on my desktop for a while now and I've had no problems with it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The "spying" concerns"

      You've misunderstood: It is spying by any sense of the word: All of your passwords are sent to MS. Including phone, wifi, email, web-accounts, _all of them_.

      Also anything you do, which videos you watch, where you are surfing, all of that. And they alternatively deny and admit that they do that, of course. Just like NSA: "Yes, we have all of your data but we don't collect it".

      If that's not spying in literal sense, I don't know what is.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm using Win 10 now on a latop, because it came with it, and it's a fast OS that seem to work well.

      But I have sort of given up. I'm old and wtf.. Go ahead, screw me if you must...

      But for the future I'd rather things changed.

      Bit like a prostitute, who doesn't necessarily want their child to have the same experience...

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Free Upgrade

    "In any case, this is going to be a non-issue in a few months. Microsoft is only offering Windows 10 as a free upgrade until July. After that, people will have to pay if they want Redmond's latest operating system, and hopefully the nagging will stop then – but don't bet on it."

    ...nah, it'll still force install itself but will then demand your credit card details after rebooting and before allowing you back into your machine.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Free Upgrade

      That would be the new Redmont way to do it, yes.

      I firmly believe they are a**oles like that. Real Soon Now(TM).

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Upgrade" will be pushed down to everyone's throats, as security patch if nothing else helps.

    "Some people are tempted to turn off Windows Update completely to avoid getting the new operating system – don't. It'll leave your computer vulnerable to attack as you'll no longer get security patches."

    Yes, and? How long it takes MS to "offer" windows 10 "upgrade" as a security patch?

    1 month?

    They've already pushed it as a mandatory "patch" several times and it's obvious no brain activity will hinder the money grabbing and setting "upgrade" as a security patch is just a flip a bit: Totally trivial.

    So it will happen when semi-voluntary updates stop: Only way to stop it is to stop updates, as long as you still can do it.

    It's certain that in some point one patch bypasses all updating related user settings. just like W10 already does. Then it's time to push w10 upgrade again and you can't stop it.

    That's the way MS is planning, obviously.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: "Upgrade" will be pushed down to everyone's throats, as security patch if nothing else helps.

      "So it will happen when semi-voluntary updates stop: Only way to stop it is to stop updates, as long as you still can do it."

      Then you get caught between Scylla and Charybdis when a zero-day total-pwn exploit appears in drive-bys, meaning you face a dilemma: get the necessary security update and get pwned by Microsoft or go without and get pwned by the malware. And going Linux is not an option because most games require a to-the-metal Windows install (especially once DX12 hits mainstream--VMs don't work well with the cutting edge).

    2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: "Upgrade" will be pushed down to everyone's throats, as security patch if nothing else helps.

      MS won't actually have to issue Win 10 as a security update. All they have to do is again accidentally change the user's settings to accept important updates. Or they could introduce a new update category as a security update -a category that is set to install its updates by default.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I stopped Win 10 getting onto my new laptop

    Ordered one with Linux pre-installed, for the first time (for myself)

    This will be interesting.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ouch!

    How unfortunate that Microsoft have to dump all their advertising is some foreign langauge which I don't understand. They fail totally to give one reason for upgrading (or is it downgrading?) or to tell me what the PC requirements are.

    I have a phone running on Win10 and it is a catastrophe - they wouldn't even tell me what the icons mean and some of then have changing effects. If fact the company simply cannot be contacted and to get to one of their "experts" I would have to drive about 1000 miles.

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