back to article Microsoft's done a terrible job with its Windows 10 nagware

When Microsoft let slip that it had snuck some new Windows 10 upgrade nagware into a security patch, we asked Redmond to explain just what the offending patch was about. The company's response leaves us with a simple conclusion: all the nagware that's been irritating people for months was a botched effort. In fact, Microsoft's …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Indeed

    I've stopped taking Windows Updates on my Windows 7 boxes.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Indeed

      This is the biggie. Windows 7 is supposedly still being supported. If you can't trust the support or have to do significant work to weed out the junk, then what does "supported" actually mean? And what's the next trick they're going to pull?

      Given the huge public concern about the trustworthiness of their computers and phones - and the huge amounts of money that corporations pay Microsoft for the "comfort" of "support" it seems like madness to undermine what you claim your customers are paying for - integrity and reliability.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Microsoft can have BOTH.

        I don't see why Microsoft have not realised that they can have BOTH their cake and eat it.

        Free upgrade for sheeple with all the spy ware and telemetry and automatic updates. (home, or whatever version you want to call it) and sold as the pre-installed version on consumer boxes going forward.

        Paid "Boxed retail" and "Volume licence" versions for people who want the privacy or Businesses that need it for regulation compliance where the telemetry and spyware can only be installed by an OBVIOUS and LARGE and "are you sure this is a BIG risk?" separate option at install also options to NOT install stuff like XBOX etc as why would a business want or need these. And updates must be optional and CLEAR. HONEST and ACCURATE and separated in to security, patches, new features, upgrades. so confidence can "slowly" be regained.

        free/ consumer version will become the norm and "as a service" version and the other (boxed and volume licence) would be unknown to the masses and would be a pay to upgrade version that MS could resell say every 5 years with a shorter EOL time compared to old versions to try to get people moving more rapidly from version to version.

        Office is what keeps a Large number of companies and users attached to Windows and now with versions for MAC and Android and office 365 in the browser there are fewer reasons to stay.

        1. Tom 13

          Re: have BOTH their cake and eat it.

          Because they can't.

          The writing is on the wall. Windows as we have known it is dead. (As in dead dead, not mostly dead. Even Miracle Max Steve Bill can't save it.) If you look at any established industry it has a high growth curve from inception to wide adoption. Once it achieves wide adoption the curve levels off. There is no magic way to return to the growth curve. The expectation of the stock market AND Microsoft is that their growth rate adoption will continue indefinitely. So by all their metrics their business is failing. On top of this, the market is mature. There's not really a lot you can add to the OS to improve functionality in the way you could before. Which means Windows 7 is all the consumer really needs. But if that's all the consumer needs and his hardware lasts for 5 or 7 years instead of the 3 or 4 which has been the normal until about the time Windows 7 was released, you're taking another hit on the bottom line. So they're trying to switch to the monthly subscription model to sustain revenues. And for that very same reason, the consumer is unwilling to switch to the monthly subscription model. Windows 10 is their last desperate attempt to force people onto the monthly subscription model. So its uptake has been even slower than it would have been for a paid only version that wasn't working to switch to a new pricing model.

          The crap interface is jut toadstools on top of the excrement sandwich.

          1. John Sanders
            Headmaster

            Re: have BOTH their cake and eat it.

            ""Windows 10 is their last desperate attempt to force people onto the monthly subscription model.""

            Windows 10 WON'T BE their last desperate attempt to force people onto the monthly subscription model, this is but one more of many to come.

            There fixed it for you.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: have BOTH their cake and eat it.

            Unfortunately as the Masses think OS are either Windows, Apple or Android. Windows will be in a coma on life support for many more years and windows releases to come.

            Microsoft needs both Business and Consumer sales. with telemetry they are making it hard or impossible for Businesses to comply to regulations with Windows 10,

            Businesses need Users to have windows at home as they then have a base of users who do not need time and money spent on training them to use the basic tools required for work.

            If running windows becomes too costly for Businesses either due to regulation difficulties due to telemetry and spy ware or training costs for staff they will change to a product that reduces the cost burden to them.

            With so many business tools now being browser based either from a cloud or local server then the OS becomes totally irrelevant and it comes down to what costs less in training, licencing and management. so Linux with OpenLDAP and a MS Office web-tools server on site (or office 365 subscription :-( ) will provide the majority of low level users needs and if a company wants to spend money on user training (and don't have complicated Macro's) then Libre office or other alternatives are available.

            The Balance will Tip sometime but i dont think it is the Year Of Linux on the Desktop yet.

            1. UKSP

              Re: have BOTH their cake and eat it.

              "With so many business tools..."

              Well that rather sums it up.

              "...Linux on the Desktop yet."

              That made me laugh. It was the "yet" bit that made me chortle.

              1. Danny 14 Silver badge

                Re: have BOTH their cake and eat it.

                Bigger businesses will use WSUS though and if you have any sort of "server" then I would seriously recommend WSUS. It has the side effect of keeping W10 nags away.

            2. Pookietoo

              Re: the Masses think OS are either Windows, Apple or Android.

              Introducing new "Android for PC" - you loved it on your phone, now you can use it on your laptop and desktop too.

              1. Danny 14 Silver badge

                Re: the Masses think OS are either Windows, Apple or Android.

                Another shite thing is that although W10 wont be affected by WSUS enabled PCs (i'm not even sure domain PCs are safe anymore, I think you need WSUS to be completely free of the nag) this doesn't help when you are creating a golden sample (or updating the golden sample). I had to root GWX out of the beast on our golden sample as it merrily nagged away when I was installing updates to a software package. That is just plain annoying.

            3. TheVogon Silver badge

              Re: have BOTH their cake and eat it.

              "I dont think it is the Year Of Linux on the Desktop yet."

              It might be this year. Well sort of - Microsoft apparently plan to support Ubuntu running under Windows 10!

              I think the idea is that developers can easily access their legacy text based *NIX command line tools that work well for say AWS and that some prefer over the more modern object orientated Powershell in Windows...The ultimate objective presumably being more Windows boxes and fewer *NIX boxes.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @AC - Re: Microsoft can have BOTH.

          Did it ever cross your mind that Microsoft has to show Wall Street they have a large mass of captive users they can monetize at will in the form of a steady flow of revenue ? This is how Facebook, Google, Apple and others are doing it. In order to avoid being penalized for the loss of revenue generated by giving away a full fledged OS, Microsoft had to convince the analysts they will make hand over fist full of money as soon as everybody will be on board Windows as a service.

    2. JeevesMkII

      Re: Indeed

      I don't blame you. Windows update has gone full malware at this point.

      It's basically impossible to uninstall compattelrunner and its ilk and keep them uninstalled, Windows update won't take "no" for an answer. I hope it's possible to take them to court for this behaviour, surely installing things on your computer requires some kind of consent?

      1. Jakester

        Re: Indeed

        I was trying to remove the KB3035583 update from a friend's computer (the update downloads the installer for Windows 10 and keeps nagging to install Windows 10). I uninstalled it 3 times and after each required reboot it reinstalled. I eventually got it uninstalled and hidden, but it keeps unhiding itself, although it is in the optional updates). I've noticed there are 2 or 3 more updates that are there to help in determining Win10 compatibility. I try to keep those away too for those computers I absolutely need to keep on Windows 7 for the foreseeable future.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Indeed

      "adding in-house nagware to security updates "

      It's nagging you install a security update though. Windows 10 is after all basically a very large security update.

    4. Graham Marsden

      Re: Indeed

      > I've stopped taking Windows Updates on my Windows 7 boxes.

      I haven't, because some of the updates *are* actually beneficial.

      However each "Important" update is checked out carefully to see if there's nagware included or, worse, that a previously rejected (and hidden!) update has suddenly reappeared in another guise.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Indeed

        > I've stopped taking Windows Updates on my Windows 7 boxes.

        We are required by the FDA to not do windows upgrades .

        But we are required by the same agency to do all security updates

        Waiting for the first "upgrade to Windows10" popup to appear across the screen in the middle of a surgery.

      2. bep

        Re: Indeed

        I used to keep my home computer updated on a weekly basis. I've just given up because Microsoft have made it far too hard to weed out the genuine security updates from the other crap. This is not a good outcome for me, for Microsoft or for the rest of the internet that might get cross-infected by whatever trojan or virus my computer now acquires, but Microsoft have succeeded in making me not care. Some result.

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Indeed

        and NOW, "security update" must ALSO be properly vetted, before it ends up on my 7 boxen. I'm a software developer, and I typically need a "stable platform" that does *NOT* accidentally download ~6Gb of UNWANTED EXCREMENT by stealing my bandwidth in the background, nor CHANGE ITSELF without my permission.

        For accounting (which I can't use MSDN license keys for) I recently purchased a reconditioned box (for cheap) with 7 Pro on it. Turbo Tax won't support XP any more. I *DELIBERATELY* didn't get one with "Ape" (8) on it, and *ESPECIALLY NOT* 10. I don't *EVAR* use I.E. [it's like the intarweb equivalent of unsafe sex], so I don't need "that" security update [it remains UNINSTALLED]. Its predecessor is a cheap XP box from 2007, which is malware free because I don't surf the intarweb with it (especially NOT with IE).

        On the 'new' 7 box, after 2 days of updating, I had to re-hide KB3035583 at least once. yeah, it came back, like a turd that won't flush, after I hid it the first time. Haven't seen it since, though.

        I figure that by the time Microsoft *LOSES* their OS near-monopoly to Linux or "something else", Turbo Tax and other accounting software will be installable on THAT OS. I've bought some time.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: Indeed

          On the 'new' 7 box, after 2 days of updating, I had to re-hide KB3035583 at least once. yeah, it came back, like a turd that won't flush, after I hid it the first time.

          The Git has a wart on his left thumb called Graham (after a cow-orker) and it has persisted through many, many rounds of freezing, burning with acid, gouging etc over the last ten years. Every time I think it's dead at last, it just comes back. KB3035583 is the Graham of computing. Every time you think you've knocked it on the head, zombie-like it reappears. Worse, it reappears in your dreams! MS has created a nightmare... God how they must hate us!

    5. veti Silver badge

      Re: Indeed

      Seriously? You're reading a tech news website, and you don't know how to disable GWX without crippling updates completely?

    6. Keith Glass

      No need to stop updates. . .

      . . . .just install the "GWX Control Panel". And, suddenly, Win10 nagware and downloads disappear.

      Google it by name, I see it available on lots of sites. . .

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: No need to stop updates. . .

        ". . . .just install the "GWX Control Panel". And, suddenly, Win10 nagware and downloads disappear."

        Not quite...

        Whilst "GWX Control Panel" does a very good job at sorting out the mess of W10 update. This last two weeks I've had "GWX Control Panel" flag that among the updates have been updates that have re-enabled automatic W10 upgrades. Fortunately, due to "GWX Control Panel" being able to run in monitor mode as a service, I've been warned of these changes and so can revert them to my preferred settings.

        I do hope the guy who wrote "GWX Control Panel" is celebrating a decent sized windfall from those who have made a donation...

        NB. The lasted version of GWX Control Panel is:

        Version: 1.7.2.0

        Date: January 24, 2016

        You may wish to check that your installation is up to date.

  2. bazza Silver badge

    The Terrible...

    ...thing they've done is to not recognise what their users wanted, namely Windows 7 with modest technical improvements. I actually paid for Windows 7 retail licenses, and would do the same for something similar.

    Instead they've got off on the idea that we'd want to put our data in their cloud, be profiled in our usage and turned into lumps of meat for sale in the advertising market to the highest bidder, admire the toy land look of the remaining vestiges of Metro, buy apps from their store, etc, etc, all just to make the OS 'free'.

    Bollocks.

    The sooner they realise that the old way worked and the new way doesn't, the better for them and their bottom line. The PC market is dead-ish because of Windows 8/8.1, and 10 is demonstrably not the thing to revive it. 14% share and it's free? If anyone wanted it, craved it it'd be closer to 90%.

    I'm seeing friends and colleagues drifting of to Mac who were previously the most ardent Windows users. I may go Linux, and if they ever do Office / Outlook for Linux then I'm outahere. (Open Office is just not very good).

    1. Frank Zuiderduin

      Re: The Terrible...

      LibreOffice suits me fine. I've moved all my "clients" (big word for a number of not very computer savvy people I support) to Linux. No complaints from anyone.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Terrible...

        Alas there's no equivalent of Outlook.

        Th only realistic way of getting a fully integrated mobile/desktop email/calendar/contacts/etc experience whilst avoiding Google and Apple and other data slurping clouds is to rent an Exchange server. Outlook is very good at that kind of thing, and Evolution and Thunderbird just suck in comparison.

        1. Esme

          Re: The Terrible...

          @AC - I dunno about mobile - I'm sufficiently Luddite that I don't have email or web access on my phone. But this I do know - Outlook on my desktop at work is an absolute shite pain in the arse piece of crap that hinders rather than helps me to get my job done efficiently. I can't comment about the backend of the thing, but the UI is crap, and insufficiently customisable. Easily my most loathed Windows application.

        2. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

          Re: The Terrible...

          "Alas there's no equivalent of Outlook."

          You make that sound like a bad thing.

          1. theOtherJT

            Re: The Terrible...

            @Jeffrey Nonken

            It is. It's a complete deal breaker. Not because Outlook is any good, it's not. It's horrible but we've got an administrative and secretarial staff here that simply do not know, and will not learn how to use anything else.

            Despite the fact that we have people with mailboxes running to over 50gig which completely flummoxes Outlook and makes it fall over about twice a week, we've had people down tools and go home - and then be backed by their boss that this was appropriate! - when we were forced to shut the outlook translator off for an update for a few minutes and it went wrong and we didn't get it back for a day.

            They could have carried on working through the web interface, but they just won't and until we can convince certain parts of the world - or at least their managers - that there's more to booking meetings than using Outlooks shared calendars we're stuck with it.

            1. TonyJ Silver badge

              Re: The Terrible...

              "...Not because Outlook is any good, it's not. It's horrible..."

              Why? Why, exactly is Outlook horrible? Or, like many often do on here, are you remembering back to the likes of Outlook 97 which was pretty grim?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: The Terrible...

                Outlook is like democracy: it's the worst system, except for all others. People who need to manage a lot of emails in some complex way find web interfaces just clumsy and too slow, while projects like Thunderbird are losing traction - because most of those email clients had been targeting the generic use and not the enterprise one.

                The Outlook/Exchange combo has many features other systems lack, especially since there are no standards for example for server side rules and the like. Used as simple mail clients they may look average, but it's the integration of all the various parts that makes it useful. Of course you need the very expensive Exchange to take advantage of it - and you also need a skilled administrator, and to train people to take advantage of many features.

                For example you don't really need shared calendars to setup meetings - room/resource mailboxes and meeting requests through the scheduling assistant are far better way.

                1. nijam

                  Re: The Terrible...

                  > People who need to manage a lot of emails in some complex way find web interfaces just clumsy and too slow, while projects like Thunderbird are losing traction - because most of those email clients had been targeting the generic use and not the enterprise one.

                  Of course web interfaces are horrible, and they aren't even email. But I must totally disagree about Thunderbird and "projects like it"; I receive enough work emails to justify about 150 (sub)folders and maybe 60-70 filter rules, and neither Thunderbird nor Evolution have a problem with handling that.

                  Contrariwise, Outlook is a pile of poop, and such integration as its components do have is both inscrutable and unreliable.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: The Terrible...

                    I never meant TB and projects like it are clumsy and slow - re-read what I wrote :)

                    I just meant they are not very actively developed and improved, i.e. the Mozilla Foundation is letting TB go because it no longer fits its business, Mozilla put too much emphasis on the consumer user, and too little on the "enterprise" one, even in its browser.

                    Moreover most mail clients never influenced server development for better integration of features. That's a long tale in mail development, where you often have separate SMTP, IMAP and POP servers, and mail clients, each developed separately with little integration among themselves. Unluckily the user sees the "mail system" as a whole, and expects it to work smoothly as such. And it usually expects groupware features as well. That "split" brain situation didn't help at all.

                    Also, if rules are client-side they are not enforced until you open the client and download emails. Server side rules are processed regardless of the client you use to access your email. Since I access my email from at least five different devices, it's not a small plus.

                    I've been using Outlook/Exchange since their early releases, and always found it more user friendly and reliable than Lotus Notes, and never found a better replacement to run a company groupware needs. Sure, for email alone it's probably too complex and expensive, and other tools are more than enough.

                    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                      Re: The Terrible...

                      "I never meant TB and projects like it are clumsy and slow ...I just meant they are not very actively developed and improved, i.e. the Mozilla Foundation is letting TB go because it no longer fits its business"

                      TB is still being developed. You're right in that it no longer fits well within the Mozilla world. There seem to be moves to incorporate it into LibreOffice.

                2. styx-tdo
                  Holmes

                  Re: The Terrible...

                  no standards for server-side rules like.. Sieve?

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sieve_%28mail_filtering_language%29

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: The Terrible...

                    Good. How many products has native support for Sieve out of the box? AFAIK even TB itself needs an add-on. What about IMAP and SMTP servers?

                  2. TheVogon Silver badge

                    Re: The Terrible...

                    See https://xkcd.com/927/

                3. Tom 13

                  Re: Outlook is like democracy:

                  I have to agree with that. Our agency adopted Google Apps (or at least significant parts of it) as the standard for our organization. And while it is true that 90%+ of our users are happy with the web interface, the power users all want Thunderbird or even better Outlook as their mail client. The searches in GMail might be obvious to an SQL guru, but their not to your mean or mode user. Thunderbird and Outlook both do a much better job for the non-guru types. Thunderbird has a problem (which I expect is all on the Google side). When you move messages to the local folders it leaves them on GMail. The Inbox label has been removed so you won't normally see it, but it's still there in the All Mail folder and counts against your quota (yes I've tried changing the various settings for what to do when you delete a message. None of them work). I suspect the only reason Outlook doesn't have this issue is we install GASMO with it so Google handles the entire process.

                  And don't get me started on the Calendar. Only people who don't have organizing large meetings like anything other than Outlook for their calendaring tool.

                  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                    Re: Outlook is like democracy:

                    "Thunderbird has a problem (which I expect is all on the Google side). When you move messages to the local folders it leaves them on GMail. "

                    Have you got the Leave messages on server box ticked? (Server settings in the account settings, not general preferences). If you have then it's definitely a GMail issue because I've never seen this happen on any other server.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Outlook is like democracy:

                    Our agency adopted Google Apps (or at least significant parts of it) as the standard for our organization

                    Judging by your spelling you're US based. Google Apps may well become a problem soon for EU users, and that shakeout is not going to be pretty. If you thought Google had problems, it hasn't seen real problems yet..

                    1. TheVogon Silver badge

                      Re: Outlook is like democracy:

                      "Our agency adopted Google Apps"

                      Google got quite a head start on Microsoft and got this out the door while Microsoft were napping, and had a lot of initial success while Microsoft were behind the curve. However it now seems to me that Microsoft have leapt ahead and have left Google Apps behind in the dust with the latest releases of Office 365. I don't often hear of Google Apps wining any significant paying business these days.

                      Google Apps certainty does work OK for small companies, and for start-ups - but I'm not convinced as to it's readiness for enterprise.. It's very sucky in many respects in when you compare it to Office 365 - especially when you want advanced enterprise type features and capabilities. The rental cost difference in the two products isn't very great versus the TCO, so I can't see many situtations these days in which I would recommend using Google Apps.

              2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                Re: The Terrible...

                Why, exactly is Outlook horrible?

                What are some things that Outlook still gets wrong?

                Well, let's see. It's astoundingly slow at searching "folders" - far slower than grepping through a bunch of mbox-format files would be (and mbox is a lousy idea created to fix the problem of poor allocation policies in old BSD filesystems). There's still no regular-expression search, or even decent Boolean queries. Searching a tree of folders requires toggling multiple UI controls, because that's never a thing that a user will want to do. Though it hardly matters, because nine times out of ten Outlook shows hits from outside the specified search scope anyway.

                It still - still - renders some non-text media by default in the preview and reading views. That's been a whopping security hole since the late '90s. (Just respecting the sender's choice of fonts is suspect, given the number of font-rendering bugs in Windows - not all of them Microsoft's fault.)

                The "attachment safety" mechanism is idiotic. It's trivially defeated by an attacker, but users who know what they're doing can't override it if they're in a domain and the admin has gotten clever. So people waste time working around it.

                No PGP/GPG support. Yes, S/MIME does the same things; but it's much, much less widely used. (And the PGP/GPG PKI, while an unfriendly mess, is not as eye-wateringly stupid as the X.509 PKI used by S/MIME.)

                Splitting large message stores apart, for example to improve backup time, is a pain in the ass.

                Too many aspects of Outlook are a black box, and too many others are only apparent to the cognoscenti. Yes, you can delete an unsent message receipt using MFCMapi and suitable magical incantations - how many people know how to do that? Why not just put the outbound receipts in the outbox like everything else? Because Outlook was designed by people who Know Better Than You, so fuck you, user.

                That's just off the top of my head.

                I've used many, many MUAs, on PCs and workstations and minis and mainframes. Most of them have been pretty much crap. The real distinguishing characteristic: those that weren't impenetrable black boxes were consistently less of a pain in the ass. Outlook sucks because the developers have decided they know what users need to do, and that's what they're going to support. If other stuff doesn't work well, too bad.

                1. Terry 6 Silver badge

                  Re: The Terrible...

                  Michael, you forgot the biggest nuisance with Outlook, (IMHO) Which is contacts. So that if you have more than one email address it stores the contacts for them in several different lists.

                  It doesn't seem to understand that we might just want one central list, with a choice of email addresses to use.

                  Nor does it understand that we might want different kinds of category sub-lists, such as friends, work, retailers etc. rather than just according to which email account we use for them.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: The Terrible...

                    What? You can have up to three different emails for a contact. What Outlook lacks is a better understanding of duplicate contacts - it could ask if you want to merge information or not if a contact add request looks to be a duplicate. And it lacks a merge contact feature (which exists, strangely, in WP8).

                    You can categorize contacts and create contacts folders, anyway. You can also mark contacts as private.

                2. TheVogon Silver badge

                  Re: The Terrible...

                  "It's astoundingly slow at searching "folders" - far slower than grepping through a bunch of mbox-format files would be "

                  I suspect you haven't used Outlook in a long while. Searching my local Outlook 2010 mailbox on Windows 7 with well over 100,000 messages and many folders gives an instant response to any keyword - including in messages themselves.

                  "renders some non-text media by default in the preview and reading views. That's been a whopping security hole since the late '90s."

                  Outlook stopped rendering active content in preview about 15 years ago. I am not aware of any publically attacked exploits since then that automatically exploit Outlook with no user interaction.

                  "Splitting large message stores apart, for example to improve backup time, is a pain in the ass."

                  You don't normally backup Outlook locally - the data is on the server. But VSS can take a near instant snapshot if you want to backup locally regardless of the store size.

                  "Outlook sucks"

                  I have yet to use a mail client that even comes close, so would be interested to know what you recommend instead that could practically be used in SMEs?

                  1. LDS Silver badge

                    "Searching my local Outlook 2010 mailbox on Windows 7"

                    Actually Outlook can be integrated with Windows Search so you can also look for mails even from outside Outlook - and that with advanced full text search capabilities. The indexer engine needs to be active, of course, and the index itself will take disk space. But queries are very fast.

                3. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: The Terrible...

                  Have you ever tried to explain regular expression to the regular Outlook user? Of course searching through a database is slower than grepping, yet a structured search is more useful than a grep. Anyway today you can simply type in the search box and then select where to search in the box to the right.

                  PGP may be widely used among the security and nerd circles, but it's utterly unused in the broader world where the standard is actually S/MIME and X.509 certificates, sorry. While most mail clients support S/MIME natively, not many supports PGP. There are even countries like Italy where legally certified email is built upon S/MIME, sorry...

                  And, yes, Outlook is more complex than your average mail client. It does a lot more. It is designed to be a groupware client, not just a mail one. If you're using it for mail alone, you're wasting your money and your time.

              3. el_oscuro

                Re: The Terrible...

                I remember Outlook 97.. and it was pretty good. Besides being p0wned by macro viruses which everything back then was, it was OK. Everything since Outlook 2003 as been downhill.

              4. Pompous Git Silver badge

                Re: The Terrible...

                Why? Why, exactly is Outlook horrible? Or, like many often do on here, are you remembering back to the likes of Outlook 97 which was pretty grim?

                I'm with you on this TonyJ. One thing I miss using Linux is the ability to have my contacts and calendar sync automagically with my Android phone. Of course I can by giving all that information to Google, but why would I want to do that FFS? If it's simple to write your own software to do this, why has nobody in the Linux community done so?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The Terrible...

            I don't understand the comments against Outlook. It's one of the most under-rated pieces of software MS have IMO, and nothing else I have tried comes anywhere close for usability and functionality. Gmail? Thunderbird? Don't make me laugh. It's frustrating because surely it can't be that hard...

            I'm talking Outlook 2010 and earlier for the avoidance of doubt - can't speak for the latest incarnations. Word and Excel similarly very good, but their libreoffice equivalents do a perfectly adequate job. Unfortunately I don't see that MS have made any serious improvement in anything since W7, they have gone down so many blind alleys they are only in business because of the inertia of existing investments. I don't see much rosy in their future.

        3. Terry 6 Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: The Terrible...

          Outlook

          Fu** It. That's the only thing that's kept me locked into Windows, and it's not even that good.

          But it does allow me to keep my diary in sync. And as that's less and less important to me these days so I may well be jumping ship pretty soon unless Microsoft push overboard first, with anoterh stupid stunt, of course.

          All I wanted was an improved Win 7. Maybe a start menu that was easy to manage. A few useful bells and whistles ( like built in encryption for home users).

          Instead, they've turned into this monster that seems determined to root out anything that the users might actually like about their software.

          *Got a nice menu system in Office, that just needs to be a bit easier to simplify and manage? Make it more complicated and then make it really difficult for people to change it.

          *Got an OS that people like and use - but needs a tidy up? Take away the bits they use most or hide them, then stick stuff they're never going to use in front of their faces or make it pop out at them if they inadvertently move the mouse a cm too far...

          *Got an interface that people can control and personalise to their needs? Spread the controls into lots of different places with different methods to locate them

          *Have a brand that has a reputation for working in a trustworthy and reliable way? Start being sneaky and manipulative, make random changes and "improvements" without saying what they are, while giving yourself a key to the back door and tapping the phone.

          FAIL icon because there's no icon for deliberately steering a ship onto the rocks.

        4. This post has been deleted by its author

        5. Fungus Bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: The Terrible...

          "Alas there's no equivalent of Outlook."

          The same could be said for a number of other diseases like Lotus Notes...

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

      Re: The Terrible...

      I use OpenOffice here at El Reg. It's fine for the light typing I do - never need formatting here at The Reg. The spreadsheet syntax is close enough to Excel that I can translate. Rubbish for presentations. Apple Keynote for that!

      1. Patrician

        Re: The Terrible...

        Just wondering what you use for an email client/calender etc?

    3. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: What users want ...

      ... doesn't matter to Microsoft.

      Google has more market share than Microsoft, and Apple has more revenue. Google works giving things away for free and selling adds. Apple sells an expensive walled garden. Microsoft have decided to copy Google and Apple. bazza and a million other previously content Windows users are now third in the queue at best (behind advertisers and commercial licensing) when it comes to what Windows N+1 will do.

      Ranting isn't going to fix anything. What you can do is make purchase searches on Amazon (already common) and information searches on Wakipedia (probably the first useful link in search results anyway). If you take the users from Google/Bing, then the advertising revenue will wander off and Microsoft will have to rethink where their money will come from.

      If you have a problem with LibreOffice, then fix it - you have the source code and a license to use it. Personally, I use reportlab+python, but each to his own.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What users want ...

        Google no longer sells ads only. Google gathers and sells data. The same game Microsoft is attempting now. There's a huge demand for people data - and not only for advertising.

        The idea everybody should "fix" FOSS code to use it is utterly stupid, truly nerdy, and blind-sighted. An idea born into the minds of people who believe the world turns around IT and coding. People needing a reality check.

        Just a few have the skills and the will to work on complex software. That's why there are people *ready* to pay for commercial software, as long as it fits their need. If you're, for example, an interpreter/translator like my sister is, you have really no clue about programming languages even if you proficiently speak and write four different human ones. Nor she wouldn't like to spend her free time again at a PC trying to fix the tools she needs to use for work. She *wants* to pay for her professional tools and then being able to spend her free time whatever she likes.

        1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

          Re: What users want ...

          > She *wants* to pay for her professional tools...

          Ever considered donating money to a useful (for you/her) OSS project? By the way, professional and OSS are not mutually exclusive.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What users want ...

            No, donating is different than paying for professional services. It's basically the difference between a charity and a professional organization. When you "donate" you don't really expect anything back - it's just showing your support. When you're a paying customer, you do expect a very different level of support.

            Also, there's a big difference when a commercial company needs to find customers through appealing products, and when a non-commercial one is basically driven by the money of the largest donors - whose interests may be different from those of many users.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: What users want ...

              "When you're a paying customer, you do expect a very different level of support."

              A while ago I had a problem with LO calc crashing when performing a particular operation. I reported the bug, it was verified, fixed and in the next update but one (there wasn't time to get in into the earlier release). You, I expect a different level of support as a paying customer, but not necessarily in a good way.

          2. LDS Silver badge

            "By the way, professional and OSS are not mutually exclusive."

            I agree - but there is a big difference between, say, the Red Hat model, and the LibreOffice one. The former does sell a professional product based on open source code. The latter aims for a more "anarchic" community model. Among the various open source companies and movements, there are some more commercial oriented, and others more political oriented.

            Most users don't care what's behind the tools they use, but they do care about the tools they need to use to make a living. If you ask them to support your political agenda, only a few of them will care about that. The others will look for tools with the feature they need, the support they need, so, when they finished their work tasks, they can forget about them and live their lives as they like.

            I would not go to a greengrocer shop that asks me also to grow tomatoes if it hasn't any, and share them with the community - if I buy from it is exactly because I don't want to go through the hassle of growing tomatoes myself, and if it can't sell them, I will look for them elsewhere.

            Asking any user to "fix" code or donating in hope to get something in return one day - or even "donate to the cause because we want to change the world" is not professional. Delivering a product users need, and supporting it properly, is professional, regardless if the code is proprietary or not.

            1. John Sanders
              Holmes

              Re: "By the way, professional and OSS are not mutually exclusive."

              You do not get it, this open source thing is too confusing, isn't it?

              The whole idea of open source is not that every single user programs or contribute.

              The idea is that everybody is free to use the software, and those who can and are willing to do so, contribute if so they choose, contribute, change or learn of it, it doesn't matter, it also prevents any party including these same people from stopping others to do the same.

              It doesn't matter if there is thousands of contributors or a single contributor.

              I find strange that people fail to understand these basic principles, my mom is not expected to contribute to Firefox, now my friend in the other hand has contributed two small fixes to X.org related to reading monitor EDIDs so his old HP laptop can use the correct resolution of his screen.

              Now you could argue that this model does not produce the same timely releases as a commercial schedule, or that you prefer the closed model of development because it is "professional", but please do not mix your poor understanding of how's and why's of FOSS development models with its politics or long term aims.

              1. LDS Silver badge

                Re: "By the way, professional and OSS are not mutually exclusive."

                I do get it, but you should better explain it to the OP who stated that if LibreOffice doesn't suit your needs you should fix it yourself, especially because he's not alone in this believing.

                You should also read better my post, because I never said only the closed source model is "professional" - I exactly talked about the Red Hat model as a professional model based on open source, and there are others. I really have nothing against FOSS, but because I like freedom, I don't believe it is also the ONLY model that should be allowed.

                It looks you have a very poor understanding not only of the software development business, but of general written language as well. But you're probably one of those FOSS activists who mix software development and politics, so you first write, then, maybe, read and think.

                1. John Sanders
                  Facepalm

                  Re: "By the way, professional and OSS are not mutually exclusive."

                  @LDS,

                  You're right.

                  Sorry mate, it seems I wasn't paying attention to what I was replying to, I think I mixed your post with another in my head.

                  1. LDS Silver badge

                    Re: "By the way, professional and OSS are not mutually exclusive."

                    Ok, understood - thank you. With all these comments may be easy to be carried away and answer the wrong one :)

            2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: "By the way, professional and OSS are not mutually exclusive."

              "Delivering a product users need, and supporting it properly, is professional, regardless if the code is proprietary or not."

              This is true. But remember the fix-it-yourself response came from a commentard here, not from the LibreOffice devs.

              1. LDS Silver badge

                "the fix-it-yourself response came from a commentard here, not from the LibreOffice devs."

                True, but that's an assertion you often hear in this context: "You complain something is missing? You should add it yourself". It may be valid in a relatively small circle of people being able to actually code proficiently in the target language (and product aims) - the same circles were most FOSS projects were born - but not for the broader circle of users. IMHO there's a lack of understanding that in the XXI century (and even before), most users are no longer developers, as it could have been in the early years, and in some specific sectors like comp-sci courses and the like.

                In the early days of photography, photographers had to prepare their plates just before use, and develop them almost immediately. Then came the commercial ready-to-use plates and films, and commercial development - many photographers no longer needed to learn the skills to prepare and develop photos (which became quite difficult when color emulsions were introduced). These looked at the camera just as a device to create images, not a complex (and sometimes dangerous) chemical process too. In turn film companies had to understand what user needed, and deliver it. If people needed, say, higher dynamic range, or finer grain, the answer couldn't be, "hey, you can make your own plate!", even if someone - with the proper skills and experience - actually did, and maybe shared the "recipe" among a community of fellows who could take advantage of it. Others had to wait for some commercial product.

                LibreOffice, because of its "foundation" model, offers a different model of support than, say, Red Hat. It's mostly something good for IT people and developers, less of the average user. In another post someone asks if MS has Bugzilla - well, Bugzilla is a tool with which most developers and IT people will feel comfortable with, but most "common" users will feel intimidated by it. Same for mailing lists and forums, good for people deeply involved, not for the others. To support those users, you need a different model of support - maybe with someone paid to listen and understand what the user really need.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What users want ...

            @Grumpenkraut: Donating to an OSS project is a fine and socially useful thing, but what that user WANTS is to get functional tools THIS MONTH, and directly paying for a commercial package is the only effective way to get that. Donating to an OSS project has no causal relationship with getting the specific functionality you need within a reasonable time frame; the project folks will do whatever scratches their itch, or whatever the most users demand (if they are responsive to requests from folks who aren't paying them for their work).

            For the non-programming professional, the only way to get specific desired functionality out of an OSS product that doesn't already provide it is to hire a programmer to add it. That's cost-prohibitive without a large user base to share the expense, so it won't happen. If no OSS tool does the job, said professional will perforce buy a commercial product.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: What users want ...

              "Donating to an OSS project is a fine and socially useful thing, but what that user WANTS is to get functional tools THIS MONTH, and directly paying for a commercial package is the only effective way to get that."

              No, installing a package that has the functions is the only effective way, irrespective of whether that package is commercial or OSS.

              The question arises as to what happens if there's no such package. For a start "this month" is unlikely.

              If a mass-market commercial package doesn't do what you want you're probably not going to see that change unless you pay humungous amounts to the vendor because only the vendor can fix it and they have their roadmap for development so aren't going to be diverted for anything less.

              Specialised commercial packages might be more responsive. I've worked with such vendors. Features could be requested but, of course, such packages tend to be at least semi-bespoke so they're probably nothing like as cheap as the mass-market package in the first place.

              If the OSS package doesn't have it one approach would be to use its bug/feature requesting page to make a request. This might or might not work as some projects are more responsive than others. If the need is worth it you could pay a sufficiently experienced developer to add them. The cost is likely to be similar to that of the feature request for the semi-bespoke package but you don't have the up-front cost in the first place.

          4. Someone Else Silver badge
            Coat

            @ GrumpenKraut -- Re: What users want ...

            By the way, professional and OSS are not mutually exclusive.

            Sehr geehrter Herr: You are, of course, correct. However, OSS and professionally documented sure seem to be mutually exclusive....

        2. John Sanders
          WTF?

          Re: What users want ...

          ""The idea everybody should "fix" FOSS code to use""

          Those who can should fix it, and indeed it is what happens.

          ""it is utterly stupid""

          Lots of people in many industries disagrees with you.

          ""An idea born into the minds of people who believe the world turns around IT and coding. People needing a reality check.""

          The truth is that it does. Try to run anything but the simplest task without computers and telecoms, you are in for a surprise. So sad we won't be there to see your face.

          The fact that the public at large is unaware of the fact doesn't make it less real.

          Just an example; try to get your local architect to draw the plans by hand, engineers to run complex calculations with a casio calculator, the printing industry to work without DTP, the finance department without accountancy software, the phone infrastructure without computers or complex switching equipment (computers), complex irrigation systems, emergency services, etc.

          Do a little experiment, each time you enter a room count the number of computers present in the room, and count the number of these running software, you'll be shocked.

          Almost 4/5 of the entire economy in the western world (yes, the one that invents nice things) depends completely around computing and software, and growing!.

          The more of it running on open standards/free software the less barriers to economic development, and the better for everybody.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What users want ...

            Yes, try to run your PC without power and tell me how you feel. That doesn't mean that everybody should be able to fix power lines or a power generator, or install solar cells.

            Or that everybody should be able to build the table you put your computer on. Or the floor under the table, and the roof above. Or try to feed yourself using your computer alone... the world was working even before computers, and it did for many thousands years before computers.

            Is IT important today? Sure. That's why there are professional paid to make it work. Expecting that every user has to become an IT professional and being able to read, fix and compile code is utterly stupid, auto-referential, and nerdy.

            Open standards are orthogonal to free software. Probably there would be no IT at all if people didn't see a way to make money, while open standards predates free software.

            And you can still build huge monopolies like Google on free software... and I don't believe it is better for everybody.

          2. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: What users want ...

            Just an example; try to get your local architect to draw the plans by hand,

            ROFL! That's precisely what Real Architects do! The working drawings that builders use are executed by their lowly minions: draughtsmen. One once admiited that when he went owner-builder on his own home, he discovered that the design drawings for foundations he insisted upon were in fact impossible to execute. Builders of course are utterly aware of the failings of architects and the need to improvise. They have a term of art: k'narchitects. Architects are useful for pretty drawings, but not much beyond that.

      2. bazza Silver badge

        Re: What users want ...

        Ranting isn't going to fix anything. What you can do is make purchase searches on Amazon (already common) and information searches on Wakipedia (probably the first useful link in search results anyway). If you take the users from Google/Bing, then the advertising revenue will wander off and Microsoft will have to rethink where their money will come from.

        Ranting does help, it makes me feel better about it...

        Whilst the measures you suggest may make MS sit up and pay attention, I'm not sure that they'd help in the long run. Sure, it would leave MS rethinking where their money comes from. But by then there may be no way back for them if they keep failing like this. That would leave no choice but to join the Borg, or something. MS and their shareholders should learn sooner rather than later that 'boring' is probably the best way of guaranteeing a future, and that rash "me too" experiments to grow an already vast business even further in ways that annoy the existing customers is asking for trouble.

        With the ISPs beginning to wade in and get into the Ad blocking business, advertising funded IT may suddenly become impossible (commercially if not technically, or very messy). Getting a business onto a paid for and ad free footing now (you know, like they used to be) is probably going to be the smart thing to do right now. Amazon have that (Amazon Prime), Google don't, MS could, Apple sell hardware. Anyone left depending on frames downloaded from ad brokers Web sites for their revenue could find their business being held to ransom by the ISPs.

      3. Matthew Taylor

        Re: What users want ...

        "If you have a problem with LibreOffice, then fix it - you have the source code and a license to use it."

        The year of "Linux on the desktop" is clearly imminent. Any day now, I tell you...

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: What users want ...

          LibreOffice, of course, is in no way bound by the attitudes of its supporters here any more than Microsoft, Apple or Google are.

          If you have a problem with LibreOffice log it with them. Does Microsoft Office have a Bugzilla account?

      4. John Sanders
        Holmes

        Re: What users want ...

        "Google works giving things away for free"

        Giving things away for free that people want, because people find them useful.

        That's the difference.

      5. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: What users want ...

        If you have a problem with LibreOffice, then fix it - you have the source code and a license to use it. Personally, I use reportlab+python, but each to his own.

        So where's this Outlook equivalent you've written then, smart-arse?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Terrible...

      The terrible thing they've done is to not recognise what their users wanted, namely Windows 7 with modest technical improvements. I actually paid for Windows 7 retail licenses, and would do the same for something similar.

      Ah, but you are assuming Windows is developed for you, which is not the case. Useful updates were Win95/98, Win XP and Win 7, but everything in between was just step changes to generate revenue.

      Windows versions were developed to make you buy new copies, because that's what Microsoft used to make its money with (ditto for Office). That's why every version is never quite perfect, because you'd no longer buy the upgrade. It also shows in the amount of patch data you have to download - it was so much that they had to pack it together for a patch day so sysadmins could actually get somethings useful done in between.

      However, there is only so much bling you can stick on a VW Beetle (which is what Windows as well as Office are IMHO), not helped by the disaster called Windows Vista which pretty much broke the obedient upgrade cycle for many - a lot of people suddenly started to wonder why on earth they should keep paying money for something they already had and that more or less worked the way they wanted it to (which includes the recognition that it does NOT get better with every version). Oh, and the cursed ribbon UI in Office.

      In other words, the user herd was not keen on any more bloodletting, and any attempt at imitating other players in the market (Google with advertising, data tapping and search engine, Apple with controlled hardware and a more contained sales process) has not worked that well - you can enter a market when someone has just defined it and either steal their tech (Stack) or destroy their revenue (Netscape) but if the dominant players are really big, the usual bullying doesn't actually work.

      It's pretty much the same position Adobe finds itself in: there's only so much you can add to a product such as Illustrator and Photoshop, and a one-off income from selling upgrades will eventually end (which is used nicely by Affinity, a Serif setup that has developed Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo which show enough new, raw power to hurt Adobe, and they're just at v1 with both).

      Hence both Adobe and Microsoft moving to subscriptions, which requires defining software as a "service" and thus needs an online presence, with all the associated dangers for the customers but (as I said when I started) that doesn't matter, because this isn't for customers, it's for revenue.

      Subscriptions have lots of advantages for the PROVIDER:

      - tied in customers;

      - no expensive sales process;

      - opaque spending (it's a monthly cost so it doesn't trigger budget reviews, pretty much like a small wound can bleed for hours whereas a gushing stream will pretty quickly draw attention to itself);

      - no NEED to provide upgrades (although you can pretend, of course, otherwise it won't sell)

      - no need to invent new features to sell Yet Another Version

      - nice, steady, stable monthly revenue stream

      - possible creative taxation model: realise revenue where the service is located (at a guess).

      Microsoft HAS NO CHOICE but to force its current users into its subscription model because they're already fleeing the platform in droves for a variety of reasons. People dropping Windows because it's STILL unsafe, and the alternatives are starting to become useful (not just OSX, Linux IS starting to make baby steps into small shops that simply can no longer afford the Microsoft tax), and the Office revenue was holed under the waterline since Star Office was released to the masses - especially since OpenOffice became LibreOffice it's been quite good (in my personal opinion, but you cannot pry Excel from a dead accountant's hands if it involves complexity although that also may be because they're finally familiar with it - another reason NOT to f*ck around with the UI to sell a new version).

      It is thus not hard to guess why Microsoft has pretty much resorted to *ramming* Win 10 down everyone's throat: if it doesn't, it will eventually have no income left. It already had to set up a scam to make OEMs install Windows instead of alternatives (OEMs get punished financially if they dare offer options), and UEFI is not as optional as you think. Although it won the MSOOXML fight at ISO (to make it a "standard" by what IMHO can only be described as large scale bribery), it lost the overall battle as even the MS friendly UK government has made ODF the standard. MS Office handles that *badly*, but that's hardly surprising as Libre/OpenOffice and ODF have been pretty much developed hand in hand, and MS is a Johnny-come-lately who has never had to code to someone else's specification (unless it benefitted them - remember Kerberos?).

      Just remember this when you see yet another attempt at downgrading to Win10:

      a drowning man will not stop yelling .. until he drowns.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: The Terrible...

        "Ah, but you are assuming Windows is developed for you, which is not the case. Useful updates were Win95/98, Win XP and Win 7, but everything in between was just step changes to generate revenue."

        In the long run the two are not incompatible. Fail to design the product for the customer and in the long run the customer isn't. And without customers you can't sell product.

        MS had its long run of success because, for a long time, their direct customers were the H/W manufacturers. Now there's no particular need to upgrade H/W so H/W sales are now linked to replacement of failed kit or the limited growth of a mature market. If they want to sell upgrades direct to the end-user they have to make it more attractive and, as W7 was generally rated good enough, that would be fairly difficult.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Terrible...

      re.

      they've got off on the idea that we'd want to put our data in their cloud, be profiled in our usage and turned into lumps of meat for sale in the advertising market to the highest bidder, admire the toy land look of the remaining vestiges of Metro, buy apps from their store, etc, etc, all just to make the OS 'free'.

      They are right. A VAST majority of users either want the above, or don't mind it at all. Pretending the majority of worldwide MS users share the sentiment of the Register readership is just absurd.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: The Terrible...

        "Pretending the majority of worldwide MS users share the sentiment of the Register readership is just absurd."

        That self-evidently applies to the majority of W10 users. However, they're not the majority of MS users so your point is moot.

    6. TonyJ Silver badge

      Re: The Terrible...

      Hard not to agree with you, Bazza.

      Fair play to MS with 8/8.1 - they tried something new. Although the counter-argument to that is if they'd listened all the way through their various beta testing they'd have heard loud and clear that in general, people don't want their laptop or desktop to look, feel and behave like their phone.

      Windows 7 was actually a good release. It ran on relatively modest hardware and included some nice tricks that even made it feel quicker than previous OS's even if it wasn't. But more than that, it cleaned up on the horrors that they'd inflicted with Vista and the crappy "Vista ready" programme whereby PC's that clearly weren't capable of running it anything like well were deemed suitable.

      Windows 10... I do have it on my personal laptop and I can't say I mind it all that much but it does have quirks and oddities but I do prefer 7. And that, to me, in and of itself is a worry as I've always enjoyed getting and playing with the latest OS...10, though, was more of an Ok, pop it on then if you have it as an option, otherwise pop 7 on.

      But fundamentally it's not the way the OS looks or behaves that is caning MS here, it's the insidious tracking they've built into it and the way they refuse to come clean and tell people exactly how to turn everything off or what, exactly, they're tracking to begin with. And that, more than any nag screens or other 'issues' is why it's got such low market penetration. Trust. Lack of.

    7. Missing Semicolon
      Unhappy

      Re: The Terrible...

      and the sad thing is that the first Win10 preview builds were very much Windows-7 like, with a proper start menu. They also ran like the proverbial off a shovel, even on inadequate hardware.

    8. BobChip
      Happy

      Re: (Leaving) The Terrible... (Microsoft behind)

      I'm also seeing friends and colleagues drifting off... Yes, to Mac, but also to Linux, and at an increasing pace. In my case the move to Linux was triggered by businesses I dealt with making the move first, though to be fair I had been looking at it seriously ever since Vista. I went fully Linux about 5 years ago, and have never regretted it.

      I don't know what your office requirements are, but for ours Libre Office 5 does everything we need, and very well. But that's just my view.

      Like a lot of other commentards here, I used to get angry and frustrated with Microsoft. Now I no longer even think about them. They have become irrelevant. No more anger, no more frustration, much more peace and calm.

    9. Avatar of They
      Thumb Up

      Re: The Terrible...

      totally agree, have an upvote.

      I am a Linux bunny for actual work and have never liked Apple with a passion because of the Jesus culture that surrounds what is actually just a phone, or a laptop. The whole Apple tax where you pay for the symbol.

      However I want a good laptop and don't want effort of buying a windows 10 and converting to Linux. So after years of hating Apple I am sizing up a laptop. Because at least you know it works and you know the devil. MS are just rewriting definitions like untrustworthy and dubious.

      Whole new level of creepy. Windows 10 might actually be okay, but I just have no faith or trust anymore in MS as a company.

      1. hoola Bronze badge

        Re: The Terrible...

        I don't know the answer but I assume you have total confidence that Apple is not collecting similar data from their operating systems. I would be very surprised if any of the 3 key operating systems were not doing it. With Microsoft it is something that has been introduced with Windows 10 and everyone is having a paddy about it.

        As soon as you sign in on your Android or Apple device you are permitting the sharing form the OS or applications.

    10. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: The Terrible...

      The sooner they realise that the old way worked and the new way doesn't

      I suspect that the old way isn't working the way it used to. Microsoft has been heavily reliant on OEM Windows sold with new PCs, which produced healthy revenue as long as there was a fairly high churn rate in the PC market. This was driven by (i) people buying a PC for the first time and (ii) people replacing PCs because of poor performance running new applications. Both these drivers have lost a lot of their power over the past 10 years, and will probably continue to do so.

      I don't dispute that Microsoft has made mistakes with its new versions and its update process, but that doesn't alter the fact that they have to change their business model.

    11. Dave K Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: The Terrible...

      The irony of the whole situation is that overall, Windows 10 isn't a bad OS. Maybe not quite as good as Windows 7, but not too bad overall. However, I absolutely 100% will not be installing it onto any of my machines because MS have done everything in their power over the last 6 months to destroy every last morsel of trust they might have had.

      MS are going on about "making the process easier", but I'm sorry, that's absolute BS. Instead, they've done the following

      Hiding nagware behind cryptic update names.

      Not making it possible conventionally to turn off installed nagware.

      Re-enabling updates that users have intentionally uninstalled and blocked.

      Re-publishing nagware against new KB names to also try to get around blocks.

      Hide malware inside security updates and deploying it to corporate customers.

      Download gigabytes of data onto users PCs over potentially metered connections without their approval.

      This is before we get onto the murky mess that is Windows 10's data slurping and the fact that even when you turn the telemetry supposedly off it still phones home like ET on steroids.

      Sorry MS, your actions here aren't "helping the user", and you bloody well know it. Face it, you stopped giving two craps about the customer a long time ago, and your behaviour blatantly shows this. With this kind of shocking attitude towards your customers, no way am I ever touching Windows 10.

    12. paulf Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: The Terrible...

      @ bazza

      I'm completely with you on this; but Microsoft have played this game of giving people what they don't want with the Ribbon interface, chucking away 20 years of UI investment/research in the process.

      I've also bought Windows 7 retail licenses (2*Ultimate), one for my main desktop at home and one on the Parents' computer (yes it's overkill but it makes telephone support so much easier with us on exactly the same version). Both copies cost about £150 but Win 7 has been pretty reliable in the 5+ years I've been running it (touches wood).

      This whole thing with stealth Win 10 updates is seriously frustrating. I've now got my parents looking up KB articles to check for Win 10 - a technical advance for them but it's something they shouldn't have to do as they're non-techies. Once people say "no, thanks" to Windows 10 that should be the end of the matter. The fact MS have gone to such lengths to force this "Optional" upgrade on all users (including the most technically able that can delve into the registry and remove Win 10 update stuff that keep reappearing Zombie like) shows a pathological obsession that isn't healthy.

      I'm not sure what the alternative is. I have a MBP and I really like OSX but it's an old school machine (it can be fixed/upgraded) and I don't like the newer disposable "Its-all-soldered-to-the-MB" Macs Apple sell now. Linux is cute and all, but for me the hobby is the stuff I do on the computer, not the computer itself. I just hope Linux Mint is as good as other Commentards have said as I think that will be my first port of call for Win 10 alternatives. I certainly won't be paying for Windows 10, whether through money, telemetry data, or App store purchases &c.

      Icon -> Fuck you Microsoft. Patch Tuesday is now hell.

    13. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The Terrible...

      "Open Office is just not very good"

      I think most of the OO devs went to LO. So (a) if your view of the .ods/.odt world is OO it's slightly out-of-date and (b) what are your issues?

    14. BasicChimpTheory

      Re: The Terrible...

      The VAST number of upvotes you've earned here tells me that I need tread carefully but I do feel it is important to counter some of the points you've made here.

      Let me preface the following with an admission that Windows 8 through 10 are not perfect and no contained version is my primary OS.

      With that said, let us begin...

      "is to not recognise what their users wanted, namely Windows 7 with modest technical improvements."

      Desktop mode in Win8 was a more stable and faster booting/shutting down version of Win7. Start menu was obviously changed but you hit the start button and you could start typing for what you wanted (same as Win7) or you were presented with a very different view that happened to be SIGNIFICANTLY more confirgurable than the old start thing and this ongoing complaint is 100% resistance to change. This is for a bag-standard user. I accept that an enterprise BOFH may have valid compaints. These complaints rarely show up in these threads.

      'Instead they've got off on the idea that we'd want to put our data in their cloud, be profiled in our usage and turned into lumps of meat for sale in the advertising market to the highest bidder"

      Even Ubuntu beat them to this. This is Microsoft being last to the party again (think how late Bing was). This isn't proof that they are ding the wrong thing. This is proof that they can't even see where the market is LEADING THEM. Yes, the majority of the market WANTS these rubbish "features".

      "The PC market is dead-ish because of Windows 8/8.1"

      This does not gel with observable history. The Win8.x UI and store was a response to mobile computing having long taken over in the consumer space.

      "14% share and it's free? If anyone wanted it, craved it it'd be closer to 90%."

      Pretty sure you're not factoring business into this calculation here.

      "Open Office is just not very good"

      Nether is Office Office. Jump ship. You'll get used to it.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: The Terrible...

        "Even Ubuntu beat them to this."

        And got their arse in a sling for their efforts. The difference between them and MS is that they backed off PDQ.

      2. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: The Terrible...

        Yes, the majority of the market WANTS these rubbish "features".

        Like MS pushing redundant copies of w10 onto their machines when only one copy is needed. Using up all of users' mobile data to do this requiring the purchase of more bandwidth. W10 destabilising/bricking users' machines. Etc.

        Whatever it is you're smoking, don't Bogart that joint my friend. Pass it around.

    15. stanimir

      Outlook?!

      I may go Linux, and if they ever do Office / Outlook for Linux then I'm outahere. (Open Office is just not very good).

      In my book Outlook is the definition of an utterly trash mail client.

    16. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: The Terrible...

      "The PC market is dead-ish because of Windows 8/8.1, and 10 is demonstrably not the thing to revive it."

      exactly!

      Microsoft _COMPLETELY_ mis-read the market, thinking that people were 'moving to slabs'. not even close. Now, people are HANGING ONTO WHAT THEY HAVE, because "new" doesn't not APPEAR to be "better".

      Moore's law no longer makes next year's model 30% to 50% 'better/faster', so Microsoft can't use the speed/power growth to prop up their more-inefficient code (like "the METRO" sewage) in the "new windows" (yeah like 'new coke'). "Ape" and Win-10-nic are OBVIOUSLY SLOWER than the native code of 7, especially when you try to PLAY A GAME written for "the METRO". Solitaire comes to mind [you know, the thing that SOLD MORE COPIES OF WINDOWS 3.0 THAN ANYTHING ELSE, back in the day..].

      Nobody wants their NEW CAR to be SLUGGISH compared to the OLD car. That happened in the 70's, and nearly KILLED certain car companies. So why does Microsoft *FEEL* (not think) that people want SLUGGISH COMPUTERS running INEFFICIENT "the Metro" apps(sic)?

      People don't want this, especially if the appearance is FLUGLY (flat-ugly), like "Ape" (8) and Win-10-nic.

      New computer makers should be getting together to BREAK THE MICROSOFT OS NEAR-MONOPOLY, and do things like shipping a wide range of computers with pre-installed Mint Linux (for example), discounted by the cost of putting OEM Windows on it. Intel should be investing in "other operating systems" *LIKE* Linux, so they can sell more chips. And if not Linux, then SOMETHING. Chip and computer vendors need to stop relying on Microsoft and hitching their wagon to Microsoft's success, or THEY TOO will fail.

    17. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: The Terrible...

      ...thing they've done is to not recognise what their users wanted, namely Windows 7 with modest technical improvements.

      I think most users wanted XP with modest technical and security improvements and would of most probably quite happily paid for such a version of XP wrapped up as an XP R2 product.

    18. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: The Terrible...

      "Instead they've got off on the idea that we'd want to put our data in their cloud..."

      They've gotten the idea that _they_ want us to put our data in their cloud, that _they_ want us to be profiled in our usage, that _they_ want us to buy Metro apps from their store (or at least to be able to do so, so we can be used to try to convince app devs to write Windows phone apps that also run on our PCs, so those devs don't have to worry about the complete absence of Windows 10 phones in the market). It's never been about what we want or need.

      At this point, vetting every Windows Update for 7 and 8 individually is mandatory. I still get updates, but I check each one before installation, and I keep plenty of backups "just in case."

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Yada yada yada

    They won't stop until all their remaining users are absorved into the Redmond Borg.

    As has already been said, users wanted an update Windows 7 and it would have been business as usual. People would have paid for updates. Instead we get Metro/Tifkam/Modern and the upgrate machine has siezed up. Like trying to mix Mineral Oil and Castrol R and expecting an engine to run.

    Businesses are strapped for cash. so they made it free. Even then it should have been far more than 10-15% penetration after 6 months.

    This is IMHO makes Windows 10 an even bigger lemon than Vista and that makes it really bad.

    What's next?

    Obviously the 'get your free upgrade today. After then it will be $50/month'. (or something like that)

    The IT Literate who hang around here will have more than likely voted with their feet and left the MS Arena for good. The MS Fanbois will be increasingly preaching to an empty building. The Tumbleweed will start blowing down Main St Redmond.

    Yes I know that this is wishful thinking but stranger things have happened.

    {Posted from a Windows 10 free Environment}

    1. Tom 13

      Re: Yada yada yada

      I think they could make their revenue goals at $30/quarter or $120/year. Maybe even less. Frankly they probably would have had less trouble if they posted that model up front. But they didn't.

      They're trying to compete with Google using the same marketing techniques. It worked for Google only because they weren't obvious about it. Now that Google is getting obnoxious about it, even they're getting pushback.

    2. Shufflemoomin

      Re: Yada yada yada

      "Businesses are strapped for cash. so they made it free."

      Microsoft didn't make this free and they know it. They way it appeared to be worded last year was that people who upgraded before July didn't have to pay at all. Now they say if you change out your motherboard after July, you have to pay for a license. You need to activate with MS anyway, so they COULD just have given you a generated key and only allowed that to be installed on one PC at a time, but no, they did it this way so that they conned everyone into upgrading and just have to sit back and wait for the money that they know they'll almost certainly get from you sooner or later.

      It was just another bulls**t tactic by Microsoft.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've had a rather productive weekend.

    Did two things with computers.

    - Built a quick and dirty 'Hackintosh'. I'm going to be faffing around with it a bit in the next few weeks to see if I like it for daily use.

    - Installed Mint on my main box with a swappable drive. So it boots native. Installation was extremely painless and fast. They also include 'commercial' drivers for the GTX980, and the thing is blisteringly fast. Hardware wise I'm chuffed. Then I tried to install Cairo, which went fine, and proceeded to add some shortcuts to it, which is kind of arcane and clunky. But I'll get there.

    I'll still have Windoze on another drive on for the occasions where I need specialized software like autocad, valve calculation software, storage tank software and other stuff I need every now and then. When push comes to shove I can run that off the portable (it's a very good portable)

    But I have decided I'm going to make a real go of this and see if I can separate myself from Microsoft in the next few months. I truly hope I persevere this time. Who knows, maybe I'll do something with Wine or something to see If I can get completely shot of it.

    Even if I fail, It won't be for the lack of trying. Wish me luck.

    1. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: I've had a rather productive weekend.

      Linux Mint, like most distributions, has multiple desktops. Install VirtualBox and run Windows in a VM. You can have seamless (fullscreen) display on one of your Mint desktops. It is not difficult to achieve.

    2. 45RPM

      Re: I've had a rather productive weekend.

      Yarp. I built a hackintosh. I wiped it fairly soon afterward and installed Ubuntu instead (my self build tower is currently multibooting Ubuntu, FreeDOS and Windows 8.1). The problem is that a Hackintosh, in my experience, doesn't really approach the ease of use that Mac at its best can be*. It wouldn't be reasonable for it to, I suppose, since Apple hasn't tested OS X to run on the hardware that you pick. For my money, the best bet for OS X is an old style Xeon powered Mac Pro tower (get one second hand with guarantee from vendors like Scrumpy Macs). If you can't bear that then just use Linux of your choice.

      * In fairness, Yosemite wasn't Mac at its best either. El Cap is much better in my experience.

    3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: I've had a rather productive weekend.

      An article on your experiences with a Hackintosh would be most welcome.

      How about it? Or are El-Reg journo's trying to get back into Apple's good books these days?

      1. TonyJ Silver badge

        Re: I've had a rather productive weekend.

        "....An article on your experiences with a Hackintosh would be most welcome.

        How about it? Or are El-Reg journo's trying to get back into Apple's good books these days?..."

        Unlikely, given that it's a direct breach of all of Apple's EULA T's & C's.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I've had a rather productive weekend.

        All El reg has to do is ask politely and I will endeavour to oblige;

    4. Boothy

      Re: I've had a rather productive weekend.

      I've also had a productive weekend with Mint, building a dual-boot Win 7/Mint system.

      I did try Debian at first (as I was already familiar with it), but hit a few hurdles (Grub issues, then X Windows crashing on boot etc.). So tried Mint instead.

      Mint installed without issue, even recognising my GTX 980 Ti, and giving me options of which drivers to install. Propitiatory ones from nVidia themselves, or an Open Source version, all in a nice little Driver window, listing pros and cons of the different options. Mint recommending the nVidia propitiatory ones, which is what I used, and installation was just a matter of a couple of clicks.

      The only issue I had was my audio, which is a Creative SB card feeding some 5.1 speakers. but I was already aware of Creative's lack of Linux support, so expected this anyway. (Mint recognises the card, knows it's a Creative sound card, but no sound comes out).

      But my monitor has built in speakers (not normally used), and Mint automatically configured the nVidia audio driver in the GTX 980 Ti, which let me select Displayport as my audio output, so the system still has audio, just stereo at the moment, rather than 5.1 (for now).

      As a quick gaming test, I installed Steam (direct from the web site), and then installed a couple of test games, which worked without issue. (About 40% of my 178 items in my Steam library showed up as Linux compatible).

      I'll keep Win 7 for now, but hopefully over time the need for Windows will diminish, I've also set up a Win 7 64bit VM within Mint itself, which seems to work fine so far.

    5. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: I've had a rather productive weekend.

      "Installed Mint on my main box with a swappable drive. So it boots native. Installation was extremely painless and fast. They also include 'commercial' drivers for the GTX980, and the thing is blisteringly fast"

      But Windows 10 is faster on the same hardware. Especially the latest games that support Direct-X 12. Hence why my PC - which is primarily used for gaming - runs Win 10.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I've had a rather productive weekend.

        Sucks you got down-voted for such an obvious thing... Games, in particular, modern games that are optimized to run in a Windows environment (take advantage of D3D) will run better than when ported to run on Linux or Mac and use OpenGL. It's just a fact of market realities, do you spend resources optimizing a game for <12% of the market, or do you aim for the mainstream market? It's not just game developers making this choice, it's also game engine developers and hardware/software engineers at graphics card manufacturers. Don't get me wrong, OpenGL is great, but it is not optimized for gaming.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Trustworthy Computing"

    Quite.

    These days, whenever I run task Manager and see "trustedinstaller.exe" doing stuff, I get nervous.

    I think Microsoft grossly underestimated the capability and willingness of people to actually cooperate and communicate to reveal and fight their machinations.

    If they hadn't started the whole GWX thing, they might have had more success - there are plenty of fans out there willing to praise Windows 10. Not so many who can justify what Microsoft have been up to.

    No quick wins here for them, I'm afraid.

  6. Mark 85 Silver badge

    And we thought the NSA were sneaky bastards...

    It appears that there's a trend setting into the Updates. They're now burying their wares in non-system updates. It makes one wonder when they'll start fragmenting it and putting bits and pieces into Security Updates until the Beast is fully assembled on the sly. You'll think you've got it turned off, firewalled, locked down and wake up some morning to Win10 on your PC and there will be no smoking gun, no footprints, nothing to tell you how it got there.

    They've carefully weaseled about how the new OS is to be paid for. By subscription? By ads? By selling your particulars to the highest bidders (more ads, of course)?

    If it's trust they want, then dammit, they'd damn well better be open and honest. The statement about the largest number of CS calls about "how to I get my upgrade?" my be real, as those fighting it aren't going to call the source of the problem, are they?

    I don't normally think of myself as a tinfoil hatter, but the weasel words from MS, the underhanded and sneaky methods make me wonder. But not too much longer, I'm only a couple more tests away to converting to Mint/Wine. When that happens, I'll be more than happy to take my friends and family along if they want.

    I go quietly now. Rant is over. Time for a nice adult beverage and a lie-down.

    1. regadpellagru

      Re: And we thought the NSA were sneaky bastards...

      "It appears that there's a trend setting into the Updates. They're now burying their wares in non-system updates. It makes one wonder when they'll start fragmenting it and putting bits and pieces into Security Updates until the Beast is fully assembled on the sly. You'll think you've got it turned off, firewalled, locked down and wake up some morning to Win10 on your PC and there will be no smoking gun, no footprints, nothing to tell you how it got there."

      I was thinking exactly the same: put 25% of the nagware in every update. I'd bet good money they'll be going this way very soon.

      "They've carefully weaseled about how the new OS is to be paid for. By subscription? By ads? By selling your particulars to the highest bidders (more ads, of course)?"

      I'd say subscription is on the way, by way of an update, which will mandate a Visa card be put on Windows, for it to boot. We'll see this summer in my opinion.

      There'll certainly be ads as well, and of course anti-ads, plus some "specials" like proto-ransomware.

      Oh yes, and paid security updates !

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Re: And we thought the NSA were sneaky bastards...

        Oh yes, and paid security updates !

        I certainly hope so, because that would get Microsoft in all sorts of new problems due to a rather obvious conflict of interest.

        1. regadpellagru

          Re: And we thought the NSA were sneaky bastards...

          "I certainly hope so, because that would get Microsoft in all sorts of new problems due to a rather obvious conflict of interest."

          Well, to be franck, in many countries, conflict of interest is not illegal, it's only bad for morality, which we've all concluded on, now.

          Conflict of interest actually excellent for the revenue and profits line, like I'm reading every day in the press.

  7. msknight Silver badge

    Translated...

    Microshite has lost the plot.

    It's trying to push people to cloud just as the general public are starting to wake up to the issues of privacy, data location and are doing the calculations on the cost of renting server storage and processor time.

    It's ignoring mobile just at the point where traditional PC's are slightly declining in the home in favour of tablets and other devices that save resources in our ever dwindling floor space where we can't eat a large take away pizza in comfort, let alone invite the neighbours around for a spot of tiffin.

    The only thing it has going for it, it Surface, and that's at a price that defies many people's pockets at a time of recession.

    Nadella's just making screw up after screw up as far as I can see.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Childcatcher

    What little trust Microsoft had remaining in the bank has been well and truly overdrawn by the utter disrespect and contempt shown toward their customers.

    When someone offers sweeties to come back to their place you can bet it isn't going to end well for you.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Trust from whom?

      Millions and millions and millions would have no clue what you are talking about, they are not aware of these issues. Nor do they care.

  9. Gray
    Facepalm

    notifications from the task bar

    Bought a lease-return Lenovo X130e for a knock-about field computer. Came with a fresh install of Win7 64-bit. Delightful purchase! Flashing & blinking icon in the task bar, right there from the get-go! Can't miss it. Then comes the pop-up window! Upgrade! Free! Windows 10!

    No thanks. Don't need it, don't want it, doubt that I'll like it. Dug out the list of 17 (!) KB-number "Security Patches" I'd been collecting & saving from Win10 dissenters here on El Reg. Found 6 (!) of them installed in the freshly-installed Win7 installation! Dug 'em out, sprayed 'em, stomped 'em, killed 'em. Downloaded GWX control panel. Set it for Win10 'death watch' mode. And ... also turned off MS Security Update.

    Waiting for the day that MS decides to bypass all Update settings and ram Win10 down the pipe anyway. That will be the day for total disk-wipe and Linux install.

    Did we notice the "notification" in the task bar, MS Marketing? YES ... now go diddle yerself.

  10. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    It's a bit like some sort of midlife crisis thing going on here, I think. A middle-aged guy, well established, doing well. Everything moves along nicely, but a little too routine, a little bit boring. So all of a sudden he wants to do all the stuff the hip young kids are up to, but hasn't got a clue about it. So inevitable he makes a fool out of himself; alienating both his old peers and his would-be new peers. We've all seen that happen, and it usually doesn't end well.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      I have just remembered something that's probably also a good comparison. Does anyone remember the 'New Coke' desaster from the 1980ies?

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Yes, new Coke was all over the news media, there were protestors with placards and loads of people spreading the word that we should boycott Coke - and they did that without having social media available to help them.

        None of that with Windows 10, it's an issue mostly amongst the tech strata alone.

        And anyway, Coke reissued Coke classic to shut everyone up, then quietly and stealthily eased over to the new cheaper to produce drink without anyone seeming to notice.

        1. Gray
          Angel

          Sneakin' something in

          Ayup, so they did. And so did we stop drinking Coke altogether. That sickly-sweet flavor left a gawd-awful aftertaste, and it prompted us to think what a silly price we'd paid for a habit of drinking colored sugar-water!

          (But at least they weren't sneakin' in ethylene glycol as an 'upgrade'; that would of been an MS-like move of sneakin' in the telemetry without confessin' the truth of what its all about.)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          There's a plant down Mexico way that still produces the Original Recipe Coke. More than a couple of bucks a 12oz bottle up here but occasionally I succumb to temptation.

          1. PT

            Mexican Coke, yes! It's made with sugar, not high fructose corn syrup. Worth the price.

          2. Jim-234

            Yes Mexican Coke and Mexican Sprite, the only way I'll every on rare occasions drink it...

            Funny how you have to get your drink from Mexico for it to be actually good.

            Just like Dr. Pepper and their crap, shutting down the only US producer who made it original and the way people wanted to pay extra for...

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge
      Pint

      "It's a bit like some sort of midlife crisis thing going on here,"

      Well put. Upvoted and beer.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    WELL DONE MICROSOFT

    The line you crossed is not so far behind you, the curvature of the Earth hides it.

    Now no one will ever trust you ever again.

  12. Yag
    Facepalm

    Weasely words for weasely actions.

    Whenever I read each sentences of the response, this song was popping in my head...

    1. Bob Vistakin
      Facepalm

      Re: Weasely words for weasely actions.

      Because Microsoft sort-of started out OK a long time ago but ended up like this?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is that Microsoft's usual "management" of statistics?

    “Since launching Windows 10, our #1 customer support request has been 'how do I get my upgrade'”.

    Knowing how trustworthy statistics are that are quoted by Microsoft, I wonder what exactly they did to prevent the real #1 from showing up:

    'How the %$#@ can I prevent my computer from even mentioning it, let alone stop the upgrade from happening?'

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Is that Microsoft's usual "management" of statistics?

      "How do I get my upgrade [off the computer]?"

  14. GregC

    The part of this that really boggles my mind

    is that they've snuck the latest W10 ad in via stealth mode in a security update, so full on sneakyness, but then I read this:

    The spokesperson who sent the missive went on to explain that “Users that have turned off the GWX app or disabled notifications in settings will not see this recent change, nor will Windows Professional users.”

    Don't get me wrong, this bit qualifies as a good thing, or at least a not terrible one. And it appears to be true - having let this update through during the weekend on one machine and fired up IE to check, there is no W10 update prompt anywhere to be found.

    It's as if Gollum is running the show for the most part, but occasionally Smeagol manages to take control....

  15. Len Goddard

    After all the nagging, the upgrade failed

    Having built a new PC I decided the easiest way to clean up my old Win 7 system prior to passing it on was to do the Win 10 upgrade and tell it not to preserve user data or settings. Failed with an undocumented error code. Hmmm. Find an article on preparing to upgrade. Follow advice. Same result. <sarcasm>Much praise to M$ as the rollback worked perfectly! </sarcasm>

    Fortunately the requirement to upgrade before doing a clean install was removed in November so I made a DVD and installed from that using the Win 7 product key. What a ridiculous mess.

    Now the new PC is a games-only zone. Everything productive I want to do is run under linux mint on a 5i5 intel NUC, accessed via NoMachine to avoid multiple-keyboard issues.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: After all the nagging, the upgrade failed

      Yes, I've also stepped over to Linux mint, and whilst I agree that it not only eats Windows' lunch, it also sleeps with Windows' wife, most people don't actually give a shit.

      Most of this discomfort about what MS are up to really only exists in the IT savvy world and it's always a mistake to assume our world is the only world. Our world is relatively tiny, though it might in the long term prove to be influential.

      1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

        @ werdsmith

        Most people may not give a shit, but don't you think it's a good thing that some of us do? It's just like the 'snooper's charter', where 99% of the public don't know or care what will happen with their data, but a bunch of barristers are making a fuss.

  16. roblightbody

    Microsoft says that Windows 10 is fundamentally more secure than Windows 7. Therefore, the entire OS is an important security update. I don't see the issue.

    Windows 7 is nearly 7 years old, its very much time to move on.

    1. GregC

      Microsoft says....

      Microsoft says a lot of things. I personally don't trust a word they say.

      And Windows 7 may be 7 years old, but it's due to be supported with security updates until 2020. I'll 'move on' on my terms, when I choose.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Security updates like these? I wouldn't like to see a Windows 7 computer in 2020, it'd be covered in popup adware for MS' latest and greatest OS.

        1. Tom 13

          Yes, with security updates like these, I might very well move to a *nix before the end of 2016.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I might very well move to a *nix before the end of 2016

            That was pretty much what made transitioning to OSX easier for us. The GUI is not that much different (although so much more usable in so many little ways if it wasn't for having to work out where home/end/pgup/pgdn went to), but it also has Unix with a lot of the trimmings underneath and we were already comfortable with that on servers.

            A win/win by going for no-Win :)

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          I wouldn't like to see a Windows 7 computer in 2020, it'd be covered in popup adware for MS' latest and greatest OS.

          Well a few years back when we were reeling from MS's madness over XP EoL and W8 release, I did say that the Win7 EoL in 2020 was an opportunity for open source and Linux in the Enterprise, as MS were and still seem to be doing much to push customers away from Windows.

  17. VinceH

    Not optional

    "Since launching Windows 10, our #1 customer support request has been 'how do I get my avoid this upgrade."

    “We’ve been using notifications from the task bar to inform people when their upgrade is ready. We are evolving our notifications to be more approachable unavoidable and hopefully make it clear that resistance is futile.”

    “Users that have turned off the GWX app or disabled notifications in settings will not see this recent change, nor will Windows Professional users - and we need to assimilate them as well.”

    There. Fixed it for them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Now, if they could deliver Seven of Nine also...

      .... maybe I could think about an upgrade.... <G>. Even if she's Seven of Ten..

      1. VinceH

        Re: Now, if they could deliver Seven of Nine also...

        I was going to question the use of Seven of Ten - but then I realised that with Microsoft, there is no Nine!

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge
          Linux

          Is Microsoft German, in a way?

          ... but then I realised that with Microsoft, there is no Nein!

          (actually, there is, and we all know how it's written)

  18. jake Silver badge

    Drop the final word in the Subject line ...

    ... and I suspect that you will be closer to the truth.

  19. Carl D

    My main PC Windows 7 SSD is about to be given a rest until all this update BS is sorted one way or another.

    I've almost finished preparing my 2nd SSD with another install of Windows 7 (I have 3 W7 genuine licences, btw) and Linux Mint as a dual boot. Windows 7 is at SP1 level only, with no further updates and NO Internet access allowed whatsoever. All Internet activities will be Mint only.

    Not long to go now and when I'm ready it's just a matter of moving the SATA cable from one SSD to the other (with the PC shut down and power off, of course). I keep them both powered inside the tower, makes swapping a little easier.

    But, the way things are going, I suspect my W7/Mint drive will be the only one I'll be using very soon.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      "Windows 7 is at SP1 level only, with no further updates and NO Internet access allowed whatsoever."

      Why? Surely, with this configuration and your knowledge, WSUS Offline is your friend.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Since launching ... our #1 request has been 'how do I get my upgrade'...

    I doubt that except in round table conversations from serfs to executives. After all, its what they expected (demanded) to hear! Microsoft is essentially a cult... What a surprise, eh? Apple is too. Even unsexy IBM. Accenture was the biggest of all (I know I worked for them)! I hear Google is heading that way also, according to worker interviews for a mainstream newspaper! The sect leaders must meet every new hire to make sure they're firmly brainwashed....

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've only one thing to say to Microsoft Executives about Windows-10...

    Go and read some of the 1-star reviews on Amazon.com you total fuckwits!

    1. Gray
      Devil

      Re: I've only one thing to say to Microsoft Executives about Windows-10...

      "Go and read some of the 1-star reviews on Amazon.com you total fuckwits!"

      Holy Rejectulation, Batman! Nearly four hundred reviews for Win10 on Amazon, and it averages three stars out of five? Bat guano gets four! That Win10 score ties with Joker and Scarface for butt-ugly!

  22. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Faulty nagware

    I got the usual pop up this morning but realised there is a serious error in the design. I'm really amazed that it managed to slip through their QA system. The screen pops up and offers three choices - Upgrade Now, Upgrade tonight and Choose a time. What wally managed to forget to include a button for 'When hell freezes over'?

    Makes you laugh - massive software giant can't even get a simple thing like that right. Bet there are red faces at Microsoft!

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Faulty nagware

      What wally managed to forget to include a button for 'When hell freezes over'?

      So, try a date near the end of its calendar. Which is probably well past the end of MS itself.

      1. ITS Retired

        Re: Faulty nagware

        I think it only give you three (3) days, at most.

        No way are they going to let you opt out. Open W I D E , while we shove this sweet nectar down your throat, whether you want it of not.

  23. HAL-9000

    How not to

    What the bloody hell do you think you've achieved with these sneaky bloody push it down our throats tactics. Any one there at Redmond? suits are so funny, they believe they have some deep inside knowledge that makes them invulnerable to prize fuck ups. When they do screw up the standard line is denial, spin, and lies - effing hillarious. Windows 10 may have been taken up by more had those fucktards at Redmond not been quite so underhand. The upgrade process should have been 'opt-in' not 'opt-out', that wouldn't have garnered quite so much rancour. As it stands we're all fighting a monthly war with the latest attempt to trick us into installing this abomination.

    We will remember this Redmond, just like we remember Vista

    PS

    I wonder if Satya gets a fat bonus this year, incompetence seems to be rewarded these days

  24. BurnT'offering
    Devil

    Here's an idea

    Why not employ a call centre in India to cold call people, say they've noticed the user hasn't upgraded, and offer to do it remotely?

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Here's an idea

      You are a bad man.

      Up voted.

  25. Fihart

    Bunker mentality.

    Microsoft again demonstrates that it is about as in touch with public opinion as Hitler in the last days of the Berlin bunker.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Bunker mentality.

      With a Penguinista army advancing through the suburbs...

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    “Trustworthy Computing”...or... Trusted Computing.....???

    http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/tcpa-faq.html

    1. JudeKay (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: “Trustworthy Computing”...or... Trusted Computing.....???

      Trustworthy Computing. See Bill Gates' memo of 2002: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/01/17/ms_highest_priority_must/

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Flame

        "Thrustworthy Computing”

        In the bin, with great force $bignum Norrises.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    “Trustworthy Computing”....???

    Surely its Trusted Computing we're talking about....

    http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/tcpa-faq.html

  28. eJ2095

    Who needs Malware

    When we have Microsoft doing the job for them eh

  29. Aslan

    I actually had trouble getting the Windows 10 nagware to show up

    I had a friend who needed an OS because the previous one was crashing, of course they didn't have an OS disk and for some reason the Windows 7 key on the box was invalid. I looked around and found http://youngnewton.com/how-to-reserve-windows-10-on-pirated-windows-7/ which does exactly what one expects. If one activates pirated Windows 7 with "windows loader" Windows and Microsoft will both believe it to be genuine. While Microsoft believes it's genuine one can upgrade to Windows 10 and receive the full version and a genuine copy. So I'd installed all the updates on this pirated version of Windows including the nagware ones making sure it was "genuine", and 48 hours later I still wasn't getting the nagware popups. I had Windows 10 on a flash drive, but just because the computer passed antivirus checks didn't mean I was going to use my USB drives in it. So I had my friend get their own USB drive and had them plug it in, I ended up downloading the ISO direct from Microsoft and using their tool to copy the ISO to USB. It worked beautifully. The computer now has Windows 10 Pro with a legitimate digital entitlement issued directly by Microsoft. Still I was shocked when I couldn't get the initial Windows 10 nagware to pop.

    1. PT

      Re: I actually had trouble getting the Windows 10 nagware to show up

      Are we supposed to be impressed?

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: I actually had trouble getting the Windows 10 nagware to show up

      Paragraphs. Paragraphs.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Creating a problem..

    The thing is Windows 10 isn't a *bad* OS, it's actually given new life to a number of ageing systems and I've been quite happy to recommend it to people along with Spybot Anti-Beacon to hold back the telemetry stuff.

    However, this nagware / adware / spyware issue is putting a lot of people off. I dare say the install numbers might be higher WITHOUT it. People are starting to treat Win 10 as ***DO NOT WANT*** ***VIRUS*** due to how forcefully it is being pushed, rather than the OS upgrade it is.

    Things like advertising on the log-on screen and start menu once you get 10 haven't helped either, I've seen people roll back to 7 after that.

    So you have, at the core, a decent enough OS, the modern stuff that's left in there from Windows 8 (settings control panel vs. traditional control panel) is still a huge piece of garbage, as it was in Windows 8, but otherwise I can't complain. Microsoft's marketing department, with this strategy, and the spyware is shooting itself in the foot however, they're starting to create the next Vista simply through bad marketing (and awful spyware)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Creating a problem..

      Look, Redmond guys, reverse psychology isn't going to work either. Promoting it by slightly damning it isn't going to wash.

      Too many of us have done government work, so nice try.

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Creating a problem..

      Microsoft's marketing department, with this strategy, and the spyware is shooting itself in the foot however

      Way past shooting themselves in the foot already; they're machinegunning their knees with gay abandon.

      I'm looking forward to them deploying their groin-pointing Gatling.

  31. auburnman
    Facepalm

    GWX Control Panel

    GWX Control panel appears to be the latest in a long line of 'fix it' tools in the burgeoning

    'please-unfuck-whatever Microsoft-have-done-THIS-time' software genre. Any other organisation might take the prevalence of 'reverse this horrible shit' programs as a warning sign.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: GWX Control Panel

      GWX Control panel appears to be the latest in a long line of 'fix it' tools in the burgeoning 'please-unfuck-whatever Microsoft-have-done-THIS-time' software genre.

      Yes, the first one was called "anti-virus" ..

  32. adam payne Silver badge

    “Since launching Windows 10, our #100 customer support request has been 'how do I get my upgrade'”.

    Statement fixed.

  33. myhandler

    Thunderbird not so bad but its search stinks to hell

    I use Thunderbird at work and Windows Mail on Vista at home so neither is full Outlook.

    Thunderbird is quite good apart from its utter pile of shite search facilities which are upside down, dumb crap with extra "we know better than you" tools that cannot be tailored. But TB is free on W7.

  34. MT Field

    Windows 10

    Is it really that bad?

    I use a linux lappy for most day-to-day use but still need the old W7 machine for a few things that can't be done on linux, and I'm not buying an Apple mac of any sort ever. I am on the point of going to the big ten ...

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Windows 10

      Don't.

  35. Asylum_visitor

    Notification options

    Maybe they should resurrect the wonder that was Active Desktop in Windows ME, they could use that for notifying us about new OS upgrades. Providing the new OS was called Active Desktop Recovery obvs ;)

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Notification options

      Holy fuck that's a blast from the past!

  36. Florida1920
    Alert

    KB3134814

    Seems to be one of the offenders, which they just pitched at me. On this system I never even updated the IE version it came with (Win 7 SP1) because I never use it. So i don't install IE-related updates. Good thing!

    Windows 7: KB3134814 update to IE11 installs W10 Icon

    Once this method is discovered and people wise up, MS will probably start slipping nagware into other Important updates.

  37. twellys

    Windows for Linux-groups?

    Microsoft have a choice to make, as many commenters above have written. Whether to down the route of subscription (as Adobe, Amazon, et al. have done), or down the route of added value (Red Hat). I fear though Microsoft will go down the familiar path of Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

    We've seen in the press about MS embracing some of the components in a Linux environment. Soon, they will introduce Outlook & Office in a closed source binary with a Windows like GUI on Linux (Windows style on Linux), to get the flock back to using they products . Slowly they will tinker with the Linux kernel (extend), before forking it. Microsoft will then force the flock to use that fork because Outlook & Office (et al.) will only run on that fork. After that, Microsoft's Linux and Windows 13.11 will be merged.

    (Microsoft's play book is Animal Farm...)

  38. Comunicate Manifest

    How to increase adoption rate for Windows 10

    I think the real answer why Windows 10 is resisted is that everyone thinks it is more spyware than operating system. Fix that and make people know Microsoft has fixed it, then Windows adoption would pick up. As it is, every time Windows 10 is mentioned, except with well censored fanboi sites and in their articles, the privacy - or lack thereof - issue is brought up.

    Microsoft should:

    1. Change the EULA so that it is clear that no right to privacy need be forfeited to employ Windows 10. Delineate use of Windows 10 from all the online services.

    2. Change Windows 10 so there is a privacy switch which turns off all the data sending WITH the option to turn off all data sharing except that which is specifically needed for security updating and bug patching - don't play games - don't punish or sulk - use the ol' noggin.

    3. Make driver patching user controllable in the case of non-security issues with drivers. When a driver has a security issue make it clear the patch is a security issue.

    4. Make the prompt for Windows 10 upgrade on Windows 7/8.x systems more polite.

    5. Make it well known to the public that you have fixed the privacy issue.

    Watch adoption rates rise.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: How to increase adoption rate for Windows 10

      6. Call it Windows 11. W10 is now too toxic.

      TBH they'd still face an uphill struggle. A big row with the FBI might help there.

  39. zero2dash

    I haven't had any issues or ads since installing that IE security update.

    Could be because there are no traces of KB2952664, KB3035584 or KB3123862 on my machines.

    Updates are set to Notify only and I have also installed GWX Control Panel and enabled monitoring mode.

    Their excuse they keep spitting out about "the #1 question from people is 'how do I get the update?'" is rubbish. They've basically beaten every Windows user over the head with the upgrade offer and anyone who wanted the upgrade has already upgraded.Those who haven't (but do want it) have the GWX icon. Everyone else doesn't want it, and just wants MS to F off already.

    1. Comunicate Manifest

      And it's their own fault. They took a flippant approach to their customers' choice and privacy. Now adoption has slowed to 1% per month.

      They need to fix the privacy issue, and the patch and driver issue, and they need to do it without sulking.

      They probably should come out with a Windows 10 SE (or Windows 11) to make the break clean.

  40. Stoneshop Silver badge
    Big Brother

    ... to inform people when their upgrade is ready.

    Ah yes, make it sound like it's something personalised, something that's unique to you.

    The Advertising ID is, but having it wrapped in some 3GB of not at all unique stuff does devalue the uniqueness somewhat, doesn't it?

    And the bucket in which all your data will end up is also unique, but as it's not yours to access it is a bit hard to count that as 'yours'.

  41. Marty McFly
    FAIL

    Either liars or ignorant

    "Users that have turned off the GWX app or disabled notifications in settings will not see this recent change, nor will Windows Professional users."

    I absolutely guarantee my Windows 7 Professional has been nagging me about Windows 10. Is Microsoft ignorant or are they lying?

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its the way to go

    I now have Windows 10 on all my PCs that includes 2 tables 3 pcs 2 laptops and the latest insider build 164 on our 3 Nokia phones 635 735 and 930 and all working wonderfully along with the limited version of Win 10 on the sons Xbox one.

    Stop fighting it embrace it accept inevitability Its the way to go because there is one thing for sure its here to stay, you can save yourself busting blood vessels

    1. Someone Else Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Its the way to go

      And what exactly happened to The Borg, again?

      Shut up, fuckwit, and be ignorantly blissful being YAN Micros~1 product.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Its the way to go

      Yes, embrace the Darkside, Luke.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Its the way to go

      "Stop fighting it embrace it accept inevitability Its the way to go because there is one thing for sure its here to stay, you can save yourself busting blood vessels"

      sorry, the pea isn't under the shell, like you'd want me to believe. I'm not throwing my money at an obvious scam just because you make me "feel confident" about it.

      'stop fighting it' - I bet certain kinds of violent criminals say that to their victims

  43. Kev99

    GWX Control Panel Monitor.

  44. dwonk786

    Microsoft's Windows 10 crimes & conspiracy.

    It is gratifying that PC people are beginning to recognize what Microsoft has been doing to FORCE people to downgrade to Windows 10. They have ILLEGALLY HACKED into millions of PCs and they are part of a worldwide CONSPIRACY that includes computer manufacturers and even governments.

    DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE SERIOUSNESS OF THIS ISSUE!

    A year ago I made an atypical and unfortunate decision to 'upgrade' to Windows 10 on my Dell XPS One 2720 desktop PC. I made a full backup and was comforted by Microsoft's promise that I could go back to 8.1 with no hassle within 30 days. Less than two weeks later I tried to go back to 8.1, with the end result that the 2720 is now on my garage floor. My long conversation in the Dell Forums was erased, a typical response.

    I posted my concerns on the howtogeeks.com forum and was met with derision and mockery. Then I posted some of my proof, with the result that howtogeeks.com OBLITERATED my posts and BANNED me for life from their forum and even prevented me from sending them mail.

    In the next few months I did tests on older computers and several new ones I had bought just for the purpose. EACH ONE FAILED in a predictable and repeatable manner. A brand new HP desktop PC with Windows 8.1 and marked "Windows 10 Ready!" failed right from the store, as did a new Toshiba laptop with Windows 10 pre-installed (so I bought another). I recorded a long email conversation with Asus that illustrates clearly that Asus was fully aware and unwilling to cooperate.

    Microsoft, mostly through updates but also with all updating turned off, continually modified whatever version of the OS was installed, INCLUDING overwriting the recovery partition and also installing on one machine a new, impotent BIOS that would not even permit booting from a thumb drive.

    I have PLENTY of documentation in different forms that proves what I'm saying. But there is no need to release it, because any informed computer person can prove it herself. Try this: take a Windows 7 or 8 PC and eliminate as much Microsoft as possible. Turn off as much as you can if you're installing the OS. Use apps like Revo or IOBit uninstallers to get rid of all Metro apps. Use your own security software. Do a complete uninstall of OFFICE, a huge gobbler of personal data. Turn off updating. You're smart, do what you can! Here is what happens: Your apps will mysteriously disappear over time, as well as some of your data. The Metro apps and Office will mysteriously reinstall themselves. Eventually you are forced to accept Windows 10 (which might or might not work), or you are left with a PAPERWEIGHT.

    BTW, my first computer was a Sinclair that I built myself. I have a Kaypro II. I was a software engineer working in the semiconductor industry for 23 years. I know what I'm doing.

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft's Windows 10 crimes & conspiracy.

      "DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE SERIOUSNESS OF THIS ISSUE!"

      Do not underestimate the level of contempt that gratuitous unnecessary use of capital letters brings...

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft's Windows 10 crimes & conspiracy.

      "They have ILLEGALLY HACKED into millions of PCs and they are part of a worldwide CONSPIRACY that includes computer manufacturers and even governments."

      I see things like this on USENET all the time. and your posts won't be deleted there.

      As much as I despise the direction Windows 10 has gone, and where Microsoft appears to be SHOVING US (via GWX), it's only bad decisions made by top-level execs, and NOT an actual "conspiracy". I think they've been pretty obvious. And computer makers are being HURT by this, so I doubt THEY are conspiring WITH Microsoft [if they are, it's to their own doom].

      How to fight this:

      a) start your own hardware company

      b) release your own OS to run on your computers

      c) successfully market it

      we still have THAT freedom.

  45. Gerlad Dreisewerd

    Nasgware

    The Windows 10 Nagware has been an exercise in frustration.

    My laptop upgraded without incident.

    My netbook has been telling it is going to upgrade soon practically7 since the Windows 10 upgrade was announced. Hear that Bill? I'm waiting!

    On my Win 7 machine, the nagware says I need to upgrade Windows 10 then informs me that my hardware will not support it and I need to upgrade the hardware to update. Any sensible company would then uninstall the nagware knowing that when I upgrade to my next desktop, it will have Windows 10 on it. Not Microsoft. I have to manually uninstall the nagware then hide the upgrade until Microsoft sneaks it onto my computer again. Is this an operating system or malware?

  46. Asok Asus

    Tools to nuke W10 "upgrade" BS

    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?usp=sharing

    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. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Tools to nuke W10 "upgrade" BS

      "I've made some tools to help put an end to this coerced Windows 10 installation nonsense."

      Well done and it is very good of you to share them. However, if you are interested in getting people to use them, I suggest you might be well advised to follow http://ultimateoutsider.com/ and package them up as a product and have a website with all the relevant information.

  47. Cyberhash

    You are all NAGS

    The comments on these posts are pointless and just people out looking for a good NAG/MOAN.

    If you don't want windows 10, USE the internet and find out how to block these updates and GWX.

    If you wanna jump ship to linux/osx, then do so. The world would be boring if everyone drove a ford car.

    If you have a problem with MS products after installation, contact MS.

    Wipe away the tears and BE HAPPY !!

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Somebody, anybody...

    Please come up with some add-on program/hack/tweak to disable all the 'Upgrade to Windows 10 today!' desperate naggings by Microsoft.

    1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Somebody, anybody...

      You can uninstall the nagware if you know what its Windows Update ID numbers are. There's about half a dozen of those updates, but a bit of googling will see you right.

  49. jonoMan

    Average computer users do not see or notice extra icons in their system tray. Nor do they notice flashing icons on their task bar.

    This is only coming from someone who has updated over 50 PC's to windows 10 for people who had no idea that they could upgrade for free because they did not see the notifications.

  50. IT Poser

    I am not in IT yet I knew to get out of windows

    For several years I played around with various Linux distros. While there were some advantages it was simply harder to play older games. KB3086255 changed that. When that update came out I initially uninstalled it and continued on. When the update was reinstalled after I unchecked it later that week I set up my primary machine to dual boot 7 and Mint.

    My OS choice is now:

    I only use 7 disconnected from the net to play games. That will go away once I figure out an easy way to play in Linux. No, I don't need advice as I can use a search engine. I simply haven't had the spare time to play around yet.

    Mint is for everything else. Libre Office does everything I did in MS Office. I never really liked ie so I use the same browsers as I had before. When I connect my TV using an HDMI cable it now just works instead of requiring a restart into safe mode. The only problem that I have had since the switch is when I rebooted to 7 with the HDMI cable still connected. Windows safe mode screwed up grub but I managed to figure out how to fix that easily.

    Since the switch I have convinced four of my neighbors to do the same and they no longer use windows. After the first couple weeks the response has been unconditionally, "I wish I had done this sooner." It comes down to Linux just works while Windows doesn't anymore.

    First time poster although I've been getting IT related news here for years. Time to go back to my corner unless the masses want more opinions from an uninformed wall flower.

  51. Brian Allan 1

    After installing Win 10 twice on a test laptop and uninstalling it twice after finding it was missing drivers and wouldn't run some of out software, we've finally installed the third release of Win 10 and find most (but not all of the bugs) are finally fixed!

    With a bit of modification we've got Win 10 user interface looking like the wonderful UI found in Win XP/7 and can now proceed with porting a few of our other laptops/PC to Win 10.

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