back to article How Microsoft copied malware techniques to make Get Windows 10 the world's PC pest

Microsoft uses techniques similar to aggressive malware to promote its “Get Windows 10” offer. As many readers have discovered, the persistent and constantly changing methods Microsoft uses to continually reintroduce its “Get Windows 10” tool, or GWX, onto computers means it’s extremely difficult to avoid. Windows users who …

  1. Herby Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Finally confirmed my belief...

    That Windows (in any form) is a virus.

    1. davidp231

      Re: Finally confirmed my belief...

      Wrong - a virus is small and efficient in what it does... Windows doesn't fit either of those criteria.

      1. Chemical Bob

        Re: Finally confirmed my belief...

        "a virus is small and efficient in what it does... Windows doesn't fit either of those criteria."

        Right, Windows is a sexual mistake.

        1. Mpeler
          Holmes

          Re: Finally confirmed my belief...

          Ahh, like that old joke.

          Q: What's the difference between love and Windows?

          A: Windows is forever...

          1. Mark 65

            Re: Finally confirmed my belief...

            Q What's the difference between herpes and the Windows 10 nagware?

            A You've got a better chance of getting rid of herpes.

            1. Bloakey1

              Re: Finally confirmed my belief...

              "A You've got a better chance of getting rid of herpes."

              I am no lover of spam but I did smile ten years ago when I got spam from a dating agency that matched up people with herpes so they could party on and not worry about transmitting it.

              1. Jedit
                Trollface

                "ten years ago I got spam from a dating agency that matched up people with herpes"

                Ten years? Damn, those spammers were riding the crest of the targeted advertising wave, weren't they?

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Finally confirmed my belief...herpes

                Then people are fools: it is estimated that 90% of the world's population has already been exposed to one of the forms of the herpes virus. Most people are simply asymptomatic.

                Playing off the hopes, and ignorance, of gullible individuals.

    2. Mpeler
      Pint

      Re: Finally confirmed my belief...

      Now if only we could get it added to Windows Defender's definitions...

      Sit back, and let the fun begin...

      Mmmmh. Popcorn... and beer...

    3. John Sanders
      Holmes

      Re: Finally confirmed my belief...

      A virus who thinks it is the IT industry on its own, or that the IT industry is its own to do as it pleases.

      Linux user here, more hardcore as each day passes finds these MS shenanigans both amusing, ridiculous and petty.

      But this being MS I sort of expect these crap and people will tolerate it, as they always tolerate and bend to anything that comes from MS.

      Every day I wonder more and more what is the endgame MS is aiming for.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Finally confirmed my belief...

        But this being MS I sort of expect these crap and people will tolerate it

        I don't know how people can tolerate it. Consumers, perhaps, since they're used to "their" computer cocking up for no apparent reason (that's why tablets have gained popularity)

        But for those working in IT, how can you put up with this type of thing? Seriously.

        Things like this over-shadow any MS FUD from the last decade.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Finally confirmed my belief...

          "for those working in IT, how can you put up with this type of thing?"

          Certified Microsoft Dependent IT departments. They were all the rage a decade or so ago, and there are still a few left, where people haven't caught on yet to the fact that one size does not necessarily fit all, neither in software nor in hardware.

          IT Departments that are scared wotsitless that Bad Things will happen if they allow "a cancer" on to their lovely IT network.

          IT Departments in companies whose CEO thinks Windows is great too because he's got it at home, and sees no need to permit anything else anywhere in the company.

          Marvellous. Like dinosaurs were marvellous.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: Finally confirmed my belief...

            Marvellous. Like dinosaurs were marvellous.

            Dinosaurs are marvellous. I see dinosaurs out of my window every day; they flit and frolic above my head when I'm in the garden. Birds are modern dinosaurs, descendants of the long-dead animals that fill our museums. Everything we consider to be characteristic of birds was first a (non-avian) dinosaur characteristic and that includes feathers.

            You might want to try a different analogy.

          2. AlbertH
            Flame

            Re: Finally confirmed my belief...

            Most British Government departments are like that. They're entirely clueless and tied to MS by a very unfavourable contract that Tony Bliar signed (in return for a house in Belgravia - sue me if it's not true, Tone). They use Cap Gemini and Fujitsu etc. to "manage" their networks, and the level of service "enjoyed" by the users is truly abysmal.

    4. Sebastian A

      Re: Finally confirmed my belief...

      Anything that's that persistant has to be doing something nefarious. They obviously don't trust Windows 10 to stand on its own merits, and this campaign of harassment is only making me determined to avoid it. I had originally figured I'd wait a few months before installing it but now... Hell no.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Finally confirmed my belief...

      "GWX subverts a channel intended for one purpose (security hotfixes) for another (advertising)"

      Windows 10 is a security upgrade in many ways from older Windows versions so it's not "subverting" the channel.

      1. KjetilS

        Re: Finally confirmed my belief...

        I wish I could downvote you more than once

      2. Mr Flibble

        Re: Finally confirmed my belief...

        “Windows 10 is a security upgrade in many ways from older Windows versions”

        Yes, but whose security, I wonder…

      3. el_oscuro
        FAIL

        Re: Finally confirmed my belief...

        How does adding all of this telemetry phone home shit make Windows 10 more secure?

      4. SImon Hobson Silver badge

        Re: Finally confirmed my belief...

        > Windows 10 is a security upgrade in many ways from older Windows versions

        It may be, but it is *NOT* a "security update"

        > so it's not "subverting" the channel.

        Yes it is.

        If it were just a security update then it could update Windows 7 to ... Windows 7, make no changes to the way the user uses it, make no changes to the way existing programs work, and absolutely not add outright spyware to send unknown data to unknown places and automatically give your kids' friends' friends access to your WiFi !

        And yes, I wish I could downvote you more than once !

  2. 2460 Something

    I know they are keen to push it out so they don't end up with the majority of their users being on windows 7 at the end of it's life. But this is completely the wrong way not only that, it should be the end users decision to make.

    I recently rebuilt a laptop for a blind friend of mine. She cannot upgrade as that would require a new license for her screen reader software, which at £400 isn't cheap. The constant nagware mutations are just completely inappropriate. There should be a simple option to say no, and that option should be respected, irrespective of Microsoft's ulterior motives.

    1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      @2460 Something, re: screen readers.

      After all the "fun" you had in setting up a computer to use a screen reader, imagine all the "joy" your friend will have in *using* the thing. It's hard enough for you sighted folk to do this sort of work, it's infinitely more difficult to purge your computer of the various "Get Windows 10" scumware when you can only DO that IF the screen reader can & will parse the bits you need to know about in order to kill them.

      It's playing an infinite game of Whack-A-Mole when you can't even see the board to whack the moles when they appear. =-(

      1. 2460 Something

        Re: @2460 Something, re: screen readers.

        Yup. Although I suspect that she would call me rather than attempt it herself :)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @2460 Something, re: screen readers.

        Unfortunately a number of disability aid software including screen readers does not play nice with windows 8.x or 10 so these people are stuck on 7. and with the ever increasing way Microsoft is forcing W10 on to systems and if you dont catch it. it will take over :-( more people will be in difficulties and cut off from the world due to the upgrade.

      3. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: @2460 Something, re: screen readers.

        It's playing an infinite game of Whack-A-Mole when you can't even see the board to whack the moles when they appear. =-(

        It is apparent that even those of us with working eyeballs can't see all the moles. MS has become even more devious than previously proved and imagined.

    2. Adam Jarvis

      Breaking Disability Laws?

      Its an interesting Point, maybe Microsoft could be be taken to Court under the terms of the Equality Act 2010.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I recently rebuilt a laptop for a blind friend of mine. She cannot upgrade as that would require a new license for her screen reader software, which at £400 isn't cheap. The constant nagware mutations are just completely inappropriate.

      Now THAT is a story for the screechy rag trade. If the Sun blows this up into a hate fest I reckon it will change what Microsoft is doing quicker than just a lot of online whinging - they couldn't care less. You're just a number.

    4. Adam Jarvis

      Selective amnesia?

      Microsoft seem to have forgotten we paid for Windows 7.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Selective amnesia?

        "Microsoft seem to have forgotten we paid for Windows 7."

        No, they haven't forgotten. They know you only paid once. Now they're back for more and if selling your eyeballs is the only option then that's what they'll do.

        1. Adam Jarvis

          Re: Selective amnesia?

          Actually we've paid for Windows 7 several times over, 'per user', due to failing NVidia Graphics Chipsets with poor lead-free solder. It certainly felt like a subscription at the peak of the problem. (and still happening today, Quanta, I'm looking at you).

          It might be my selective amnesia but I don't remember reading that Microsoft had agreed to pay back their Windows tax share of each new failed Laptop purchase regards a Class action lawsuit.

          MS are very quick to talk up Piracy, but very quiet when it comes to all the unused licences out there that were paid for, but unuseable, due to the poor HW they were sold with.

      2. Glenn 6

        Re: Selective amnesia?

        Speak for yourself. :)

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Pirate

        Re: Selective amnesia?

        I didn't pay for windows 7, I pirated it.

        Pirates always get the superior product, no exceptions. No DRM, trailers, upgrade nags or other marketing rubbish.

        Obviously I'm using Linux now. I'm not a moron.

    5. John Sanders
      Holmes

      Yeah... we know.

      """Microsoft's ulterior motives."""

      Kind of remind me of something.... "Microsoft Loves Linux" hmmm.

      1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Yeah... we know.

        YES!!--This is why MS is embracing Linux now, so it can implant Windows 10 nagware on Linux systems!!! Soon, all OS will be Windows 10!! Muahahahahahaha!!!!

        "Nice distro you go there, but wouldn't you rather have Windows 10?"

        (Hmmm, tough icon choice between black helicopter and Tux for this post. I'll go with the now-endangered Tux, before he is driven into obscurity.)

        1. Mpeler
          Big Brother

          Re: Yeah... we know.

          Have to wonder about Secure Boot, UEFI, and Micro$loth signing boot keys...

          Conflict of interest? Nefarious interests?

          Nah, couldn't be...

          Or?

        2. el_oscuro
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Yeah... we know.

          I had to look for that Black Helicopter icon. Now off to the complex..

    6. Florida1920

      ulterior motives

      Does MS have any other kind?

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I know they are keen to push it out so they don't end up with the majority of their users being on windows 7 at the end of it's life.

      They're giving it away, and trying to force it on Windows 7 users because....?

      Well, I suppose if at Win 7 end-of-life, 40% of all PCs are using windows 7, then stockholder faith in Microsoft takes a nosedive.

      The whole "we now have 2% of all PC users on Windows 10, up from 1% last year!" is just something to put in the annual shareholders report.

      It's pretty sad if a company has a "newer, better" [their words, not mine] version of something that they can't convince people to use for "free"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        wait in line

        "It's pretty sad if a company has a "newer, better" [their words, not mine] version of something that they can't convince people to use for "free""

        Wasn't there once a time where people used to line up in overnight queues on release day so they could be first to hand over money to get the retail edition of their beloved leader's latest greatest OS?

        Or am I confusing MS and another company?

    8. AlbertH
      Linux

      I recently rebuilt a laptop for a blind friend of mine.

      Me too. We tried Vinux and Sonar and she still has both installed because she can't (yet) decide which one suits her better. Vinux has a brilliant speech synthesiser and Sonar has every multimedia codec you could imagine - she still can't choose!

      She ditched Windoze in 2005 for Knoppix with a built-in speech engine, and has used FOSS ever since.

    9. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      > I recently rebuilt a laptop for a blind friend of mine.

      How "pushy" are you and your friend ?

      As I see it there are several potential criminal acts here :

      1) Someone has already mentioned Disability Discrimination

      2) Computer Misuse Act - MS are "doing something" to her computer that's not been authorised* by her.

      3) It might even be classed as criminal damage.

      So if you are "pushy" enough to pursue it, then this is probably the best sort of case to go forwards with. Probably worth getting in touch with the relevant charities as I'm sure they'll be somewhat interested in what's going on and may already have "things happening".

      * No MS, me not turning off updates and you clearly misusing the system to push your nagware does not mean that I have authorised you to push it !

  3. Christoph Silver badge

    The easier way to block it

    Install GWX Control Panel to clear out all the settings and files automatically and to watch for attempts to reinstall them.

    1. JohnnyGStrings

      Re: The easier way to block it

      "GWX Control Panel" has worked excellently for me, it's now on all my PCs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The easier way to block it

        On a dozen or so laptops I have added the disable gwx =1 to the registry then run the blockwindowslies scripts, as yet the malodourous travesty that is windows 10 hasn't popped up any one of em..

      2. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: The easier way to block it

        I have noticed that since I installed GWX Control Panel my Lap Top actually starts in less than half the time it used take, it also seems faster. If that is not my imagination then it show how much bloat MS is injecting into helping you into your new 'Windows As A Service'.

        For me I'llstay on 7 until I feel the urge to go Minty.

        I liked GWX Control Panel so much I sent a donation, definitely worth a few bob.

    2. oiseau Silver badge

      Block it ...

      Hello:

      Reading this article, I have the idea that (may be wrong) Firefox may use similar methods to 'auto-update' itself in spite of what the Window installation's owner wishes to allow.

      Funny, this does not happen with the Firefox in my Mint 17.1 install ...

      Cheers,

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Block it ...

        Uninstall Mozilla Update Service from the Control Panel and that should be that.

        Or there's a setting somewhere in Firefox's preferences which disables it but leaves it installed IIRC.

      2. Doctor Evil

        Re: Block it ...

        "Reading this article, I have the idea that (may be wrong) Firefox may use similar methods to 'auto-update' itself in spite of what the Window installation's owner wishes to allow."

        Tools | Options | Advanced | Update, select option "Check for updates, but let me choose whether to install them", and you're good to go. You'll be notified when there's an update available but it won't install until you give the go-ahead.

        If you want no Firefox "telemetry" at all, select option "Never check for updates (not recommended: security risk)" instead.

        1. psychonaut

          Re: Block it ...

          ive been using this script i developed with another guy. its on about 200 odd machines, i installed it about 6 weeks ago. no signs of any problems yet, although the kb removals may need to be updated. you are welcome to use it at your own risk etc etc. bung it in a .bat file and right click and run as an admin.

          it checks for admin permissions, then sets reg flags to disable the upgrade. then removes kb's that were relevant 6 weeks ago. it does that twice because apparently they dont go after the first removal sometimes. it also sets "give me recommended updates in the same way as critical updates" to "off" so that you can leave it on automatic critical updates and not get the recommended ones installed as they are the ones that cause the problem, although there was a story last week about a critical update that did something similar. ive decided to turn off all recommended updates on my customers machines - ymmv - if it does, delete the entry for REG ADD "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update" /v IncludeRecommendedUpdates /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

          be careful you dont get line breaks when you copy and paste it into your favourite text editor.

          its quick to deploy to lots of machines if you only have remote control to do it with (i dont have a domains) and doesnt require the user to know anything or have to teach them about gwx control panel.

          @echo off

          if not "%1" == "max" start /MAX cmd /c %0 max & exit/b

          @echo off

          goto check_Permissions

          :check_Permissions

          net session >nul 2>&1

          if %errorLevel% == 0 (

          REG ADD "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Gwx" /v DisableGWX /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

          REG ADD "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate" /v DisableOSUpgrade /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

          REG ADD "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\OSUpgrade" /v AllowOSUpgrade /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

          REG ADD "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\OSUpgrade" /v ReservationsAllowed /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

          REG ADD "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update" /v IncludeRecommendedUpdates /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

          echo.

          echo should have 5 succesfull statements above

          echo.

          echo.

          TASKKILL /IM GWX.exe /T /F

          echo.

          echo dont worry if you get an error about GWX.exe above, it doesnt matter

          echo.

          echo.

          echo please wait until you see the FINISHED statement this may take 10 seconds or 20 minutes

          echo.

          echo.

          echo step 1 of 6 - PLEASE WAIT dont touch anything

          @echo on

          start /wait wusa /uninstall /kb:3035583 /quiet /norestart /log

          @echo OFF

          echo step 2 of 6 - PLEASE WAIT dont touch anything

          @echo ON

          start /wait wusa /uninstall /kb:3035583 /quiet /norestart /log

          @echo OFF

          echo step 3 of 6 - PLEASE WAIT dont touch anything

          @echo ON

          start /wait wusa /uninstall /kb:2952664 /quiet /norestart /log

          @echo OFF

          echo step 4 of 6 - PLEASE WAIT dont touch anything

          @echo ON

          start /wait wusa /uninstall /kb:2952664 /quiet /norestart /log

          @echo OFF

          echo step 5 of 6 - PLEASE WAIT dont touch anything

          @echo ON

          start /wait wusa /uninstall /kb:2976978 /quiet /norestart /log

          @echo OFF

          echo step 6 of 6 - PLEASE WAIT dont touch anything

          @echo ON

          start /wait wusa /uninstall /kb:2976978 /quiet /norestart /log

          @echo OFF

          echo.

          echo.

          echo FINISHED!

          echo NOW press any key to reboot your computer

          echo.

          pause

          shutdown.exe /r /t 005

          ) else (

          echo.

          echo.

          echo Failure: THIS HAS NOT WORKED.

          echo PLEASE RUN THIS AGAIN AS AN ADMINISTRATOR. press any key to exit

          pause

          exit

          )

          pause >nul

          1. psychonaut

            Re: Block it ...

            im not saying gwx control panel isnt the way forward, its great, but if you have to quickly deploy to many machines and the users arent able to cope with using gwx control panel then this is a good compromise. if you can use gwx control panel, then do. if you cant, this mitigates the problem for the moment.

            im guessing thats why i got a thumb down....unless its my code in which case its probably deserved. i had to throw it together quickly and it works...disnt have time for niceities

          2. Daniel B.

            Re: Block it ...

            Thanks!!!

            1. psychonaut

              Re: Block it ...

              dan - you are welcome.

              wonder why the downvotes?? never mind, the world still turns

    3. PhoenixRevealed

      Re: The easier way to block it

      I've used GWX Control Panel on the half-dozen PCs I'm reponsible for and several others that people have asked me to squash GWX on. Excellent and completely effective so far. I do want to point out, however, that you don't need to "install" this utility if you don't want to. I just run the "portable" version and GWX hasn't come back on any of the PCs I've used it on. Supposedly, actually installing the tool provides a little more protection against GWX reinfection, but the portable version is so effective that I really don't see the need.

    4. 2460 Something
      Thumb Up

      Re: The easier way to block it

      This needs adding to the article.

    5. John Sanders

      Re: The easier way to block it

      Yes, it works rather well, I had to install it on my Win 8.1 VM I use for testing MS crap.

      However I'm amazed that in one form or another Windows always needs clutches.

  4. Alan Sharkey

    Another way?

    You could always upgrade to W10 - that would stop the nagging :) :)

    [Ducks down behind the barricade and waits for the mortar shells]

    1. Len Goddard

      Re: Another way?

      Nope. Tried that. The installation failed and rolled back to Win 7 (no, I am not joking).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Another way?

        " The installation failed and rolled back to Win 7 "

        Same here, except the on-disk structure had been corrupted sufficiently that scandisk etc no longer were able to run, and nor was the virus checker able to do a full system scan.

        Top class stuff. Not.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Another way?

          Daddy - what's a "Virus Checker"?

      2. tin 2

        Re: Another way?

        Yes indeed.

        Even worse, I foolishly said go ahead at 2 in the morning or whatever and - despite the PC coming out of standby every night as windows has made it do for months - it didn't once manage to install it, re-nagging that it wanted to start in the middle of the day and being put off again by me till the following night.

        One day it just silently gave up and started presenting the GWX reminders again.

        Even worserer, I very foolishly *bought* a laptop with Windows 10 on it. It failed to install itself properly with lots of "something went wrong" errors. Once it got to something looking like a desktop everything was black aside from an empty start menu, an edge tile icon thing and a few others proclaiming a new app will appear here soon, and still nothing worked.

        Deffo complete and utter refusenik now. Time to learn a bit of Linux or Mac I feel.

        Shame they haven't put as much effort into the Win 10 as they have done with the malvertising!

        1. Jakester

          Re: Another way?

          I have done several Windows 7 to 10 test upgrades (first backing the computer or cloning 7 to another hard drive, perform the upgrade, restore Windows 7 from the backup image or put the original drive back in the computer). I had one upgrade go horribly wrong where all data, the original Win 7 install, and the Win 10 upgrade basically vaporized. There was only a few hundred megabytes of files left on the drive and it would perform a boot in any way shape or form.

          I have a friend who upgraded his Windows 7 system to 10 and it did the same thing. Fortunately, I had worked on his system a couple months previous and I still had a full backup image of his hard drive. I was able to restore him back to 7 and he was able to restore his critical data that he backed on an external drive.

          Yes, I was also mystified at how the KB3035583 keeps reinstalling. To keep the patches out, I changed my Windows Update settings by unchecking the 'Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates'. I also don't install (or uninstall if they happen to slip by):

          KB2952664-Compatibility update for upgrading Windows 7

          KB2970228-Update to support the new currency symbol for the Russian ruble in Windows

          KB3006137-Update changes the currency symbol of Lithuania from the Lithuanian litas (Lt) to the euro (€) in Windows

          KB3021917- Update to Windows 7 SP1 for performance improvements (sends telemetry)

          KB3035583-Update installs Get Windows 10 app in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 SP1

          KB3068708-Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry

          KB3075249-Update that adds telemetry points to consent.exe in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7

          KB3080149-Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry

          KB3102429-Update that supports Azerbaijani Manat and Georgian Lari currency symbols in Windows

          KB3123862-Updated capabilities to upgrade Windows 8.1 and Windows 7

          The descriptions are the titles of the KB articles. I have no use for the foreign currency symbol updates, but you may wish to leave in on your installs. I don't know if those updates can be removed once installed.

      3. Andrew Jones 2

        Re: Another way?

        And did it fail at 32% overall progress and 6% installing drivers & features by any chance?

      4. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Another way?

        The rollback actually worked after a failed upgrade attempt? Count yourself lucky... a lot of people had the rollback fail too, leaving the PC unbootable.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: Another way?

          a lot of people had the rollback fail too, leaving the PC unbootable.

          Mine wasn't unbootable, but it was certainly unusable with svchost consuming 95-98% of cpu.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Alan Sharkey - Re: Another way?

      Yeah and if you hit your front teeth with a hammer you'll never have to brush them ever again. Oh, and you'll be free from cavities also.

      Don't duck, come out and fight like man! :)

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Another way?

      "You could always upgrade to W10 - that would stop the nagging :) :)"

      you forgot the <facetious> tag

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Another way?

        Shouldn't that be the <feces> tag instead? Having used the upgrade and that's the taste I was left with.

    4. Pookietoo
      Linux

      Re: stop the nagging

      Stop the nagging and start the stealthy snooping - no thanks.

      1. Adam 52 Silver badge

        Re: stop the nagging

        "Stop the nagging and start the stealthy snooping - no thanks."

        I seem to be getting the snooping anyway (on Windows 8.1); at least there's a "telemetry" process consuming 100% of disc bandwidth until I kill it.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another way?

      Ducks down behind the barricade and waits for the mortar shells

      Given that mortar shells tend to follow a high arc, I fancy that a barricade would be of little use to you.

      I suggest a concrete bunker, with a very thick roof.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Another way?

        I think we have a number of bunker busters in the inventory. "You can hide but we'll find you."

        1. Dagg
          Pint

          Re: Another way?

          >I think we have a number of bunker busters in the inventory. "You can hide but we'll find you."

          Not if the OS of the bunker busters is W10....

    6. Gudgeon

      Re: Another way?

      I've got 2 PCs that can't, for reasons that drivers are unavailable, be upgraded to W10. GWX Control Panel keeps it at bay for the moment. Why the **** can't Microsoft accept that I would upgrade if I could, but I can't. And as I'm in the wilds of France on a limited satellite broadband connection with an 8.5 Gb/month download limit, 6.5 Gb downloads sneaked onto a computer is something I can do without, thanks........

  5. Rory B Bellows
    Pint

    Helpful comment

    I used the GWX control Panel tool from Ultimate Outsider several months ago on both win 7 and 8 machines, and i've never seen or heard from a windows 10 pop up since... It was brought to my attention by a fellow El Reg reader in the comment section of a previous article on this topic. Whoever it was, I owe you a beer...

    1. pakman

      Re: Helpful comment

      That might have been me (I have certainly mentioned it, although I am probably not the only one). GWX Control Panel has certainly been helpful, although I am slightly uneasy about the source code not being available. By and large I have managed to avoid being press-ganged into Microsoft's conscript army of unpaid support staff by pleading ignorance (I haven't used Windows seriously since Win2000). I have to make a couple of exceptions though, and not having to do things like muck about with the registry is a big deal.

      1. Chloe Cresswell

        Re: Helpful comment

        I've meantioned it too...

        ...and I found out via another poster here.

        GWX control panel, the circular helper

  6. Kubla Cant Silver badge
    Mushroom

    1. Windows is insecure, so Microsoft has to release numerous security patches. It is stressed to users that they must install all security patches to keep their system safe.

    2. Microsoft subverts the security patch system to distribute nagware.

    3. Everybody complains.

    4. Microsoft tells them they can avoid the nagware by changing their security update settings.

    5. goto 1

    What part of quis custodiet ipsos custodes don't they understand?

    1. Adam Jarvis

      Its comments like this is why I love theregister.co.uk. And why I'd so like to meet you in the flesh. Intelligent, rational but downright cutting, hitting the problem right on the nail. :)

    2. theOtherJT

      All of it, I would imagine.

      Somehow I can't see there being a lot of Latin speakers in Redmond. Or just roundly educated people in general, based on evidence so far.

  7. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Sadly it may still be a while before we're finally rid of this virus, once, and for all. But this is merely just one of the many straw's that have broken that Camels back. But, of I had to cite my single biggest concern it would be down to the question of trust. Not that MicroSoft were ever that big on trust to begin with. These, and their chief clown actually believe that it's ok for the Government to snoop on us....

    Which was perhaps one thing, but now they want a look in as well in order to flog some more tat from what used to be Eidos. Then that's the universal sign to GTFO. With, what on the surface would appear to be a two teired approach to Windows Programs (i.e. Games), running in some new, and improved (e.g. a DRM'egd enforced), native mode, or a watterd (i.e. dummmed down) slowed down mode...

    Well even if the Mustardrace would gleefully lap it up. It seems that some of the bigger boys (Tim Sweeney), however might hopefully have better ideas. But, MicroSoft shall not be darkening my PC ever again.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      I doubt we'll ever be rid of this virus. I expect that at some point around EOL for Win7, every pc with Win8.1 or lower will wake up in the middle of the night and install Win10. It will be unannounced, no known update, it will just happen.

      MS has shown no concern for anyone, even those who are disabled <see above comments>.. They've not been honest but have pumped out the PR BS at max. I would hope that hell* has a very special place reserved for them.

      *Not knowing if there really is a hell, there should be one just for them.

  8. Adrian Jones

    Interesting

    I had removed and hidden KB3035583 on both my Win7 desktop and Win8.1 laptop and have had no problems since then. My partner's Win7 laptop however keeps getting the nag box to upgrade, despite doing the same to it.

    It appears that KB2952664 *was* installed on my desktop, so I've nuked that too. I'll have to spend some time going through the laptops to clean them out too.

  9. Richy Freeway

    Import this into your registry.

    Have done this on a number of Windows 7 and 8 machines and not had any sign of Windows 10 return.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

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

    "DisableGwx"=dword:00000001

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate]

    "DisableOSUpgrade"=dword:00000001

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Import this into your registry.

      While this may work at the moment but for how long eh?

      All it needs is for MS to change the registry keys it looks for (nah, they wouldn't stoop so low to do that would they?) and you are into whack-a-mile territory again.

      I've raised the white flag. No more microsoft for me. They are as dead as the proverbial Dodo.

      {Posted from a Windows 10 free Environment}

  10. adnim Silver badge

    I is dreaming

    of a Windows update that gives the user the option of switching off all windows 10 upgrades and notifications, world peace and cats cuddling dogs.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: I is dreaming

      That is GWX Control Panel with each nagware item set to "No" or "Off". Try it, you might like it.

      You have to tackle the telemetry updates yourself though.

      1. adnim Silver badge

        @Dan 55... Re: I is dreaming

        Was wishing for others... I always run GWX Control after applying *ANY* MS update. Still, have an up vote for mentioning GWX Control panel... I hopes at least some of you are clicking on that donate button :-)

      2. kb
        Happy

        Re: I is dreaming

        I can help with that, there is a handy .bat on the middle of this page that strips those out, followed by a nice list to slap into HOSTS that blocks the websites that MSFT likes to phone home to. HTH.

        http://techne.alaya.net/?p=12499

    2. Chemical Bob

      Re: I is dreaming

      "of a Windows update that gives the user the option of switching off all windows 10 upgrades and notifications, world peace and cats cuddling dogs."

      I can understand wanting to turn off Windows 10 upgrades and cats cuddling dogs (the horror!), but *why* would you want to turn off world peace?

  11. Mikel

    Get a Mac

    Or Linux. It is long past time to stop dealing with this nonsense.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Get a Mac

      One notification and a nice picture in the 'Appy Store for while... and everybody ends up updating.

      Sometimes less is more.

  12. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Talk about cancer.

    Well done, Microsoft.

    And thanks to El Reg for calling a spade a spade.

  13. Adam Jarvis

    Aesop's Fables: The North Wind and the Sun

    Have the folk at Microsoft never heard of it? They really need to.

    The North Wind boasted of great strength. The Sun argued that there was great power in gentleness. "We shall have a contest," said the Sun.

    Far below, a man traveled a winding road. He was wearing a warm winter coat.

    "As a test of strength," said the Sun, "Let us see which of us can take the coat off of that man."

    "It will be quite simple for me to force him to remove his coat," bragged the Wind.

    The Wind blew so hard, the birds clung to the trees. The world was filled with dust and leaves. But the harder the wind blew down the road, the tighter the shivering man clung to his coat.

    Then, the Sun came out from behind a cloud. Sun warmed the air and the frosty ground. The man on the road unbuttoned his coat.The sun grew slowly brighter and brighter. Soon the man felt so hot, he took off his coat and sat down in a shady spot.

    "How did you do that?" said the Wind.

    "It was easy," said the Sun, "I lit the day. Through gentleness I got my way."

    1. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Aesop's Fables: The North Wind and the Sun

      Nice story and quite profound. But hey girls and guys you are all a bit late to the party. Did you not notice that Windows became spyware beginning with Vista. It's inbuilt DRM was constantly using *your* resources to check that you were not doing something criminal.

      I went over to Linux but I am applauding Apple for their stance on privacy. This coming from a long-time Apple basher is quite a rare occurrence. As for Windows it's "time to die". (Bladerunner)

      1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

        Re: Aesop's Fables: The North Wind and the Sun

        > ... I am applauding Apple for their stance on privacy

        What ! Apple and privacy ? You don't have any if you use their stuff - at least not unless you turn off some actually useful features and find a myriad of obscure and unrelated settings to turn off the telemetry they have. Might not be as bad as MS, but they certainly don't respect your privacy either.

        For example, did you know that by default, whenever you type or edit anything in the Safari address bar, the entire text in that box is sent somewhere unspecified to be used for something unspecified. Not just the characters you type, but the entire contents every time you change it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Aesop's Fables: The North Wind and the Sun

      Here's another Aesope's fable - The Sick Lion

      A Lion had come to the end of his days and lay sick unto death at the mouth of his cave, gasping for breath. The animals, his subjects, came round him and drew nearer as he grew more and more helpless. When they saw him on the point of death they thought to themselves: "Now is the time to pay off old grudges." So the Boar came up and drove at him with his tusks; then a Bull gored him with his horns; still the Lion lay helpless before them: so the Ass, feeling quite safe from danger, came up, and turning his tail to the Lion kicked up his heels into his face. "This is a double death," growled the Lion.

      This will be Windows 10 one day.

      1. Steven Roper

        Re: Aesop's Fables: The North Wind and the Sun

        While we're on Aesop's Fables, my favourite one is the shortest in the collection, but to my mind the most profound in its simplicity:

        A Vixen sneered at a Lioness because she never bore more than one cub, while she, the Vixen, boasted she could whelp several at once.

        "Only one," the Lioness replied, "but a lion."

  14. BobChip
    Unhappy

    Can this be legal?

    I don't use Windows (and boy, am I glad I don't, after reading all this) so none of this affects me directly. However, if the entire Windows ecosystem now has to be viewed as essentially an aggressive form of malware, I am beginning to wonder if I ought to protect myself from unsolicited content in documents, drawings, spreadsheets etc. that I receive from Windows users.

    I can't see that I would be directly affected - I use Linux - but I regularly comment on documents, modify drawings etc. and then send the work back out to other people, some of whom are Windows users. If I inadvertently foist an unwelcome Win 10 update on a user who has so far managed to avoid it, my business / reputation would undoubtedly suffer. I could hardly complain if a client sued me for damage done to his business.

    Which leads me to question whether or not Microsoft's actions are actually legal in the first place? And can I protect myself against it? Just thinking.......

    1. 's water music Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Can this be legal?

      And can I protect myself against it? Just thinking.......

      Sounds like tin foil may be the kind of protection you need :-)

    2. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      Re: Can this be legal?

      > ... question whether or not Microsoft's actions are actually legal in the first place?

      In the UK I don't believe they are. I've commented earlier with respect to visually impaired users, and I believe they are probably committing an offence under the UK Computer Misuse Act for starters. It's clear that many of the people having this foisted on them do not want it, and would not authorise it if given a real choice. The fact that MS don't actually state what the update they are pushing on users actually does should pretty well remove any defence of "the user approved it by installing the update".

      Then for those where it fails and causes them problems, there could be an argument of Criminal Damage - also a criminal offence.

      As since the spyware is not laid out in a meaningfully clear way, and the user does not get to give informed consent (or in reality, even uninformed consent) - there is also the issue of Data Protection offences which unfortunately (see other stories on The Reg) a criminal activity I believe.

      And to finish off, since we can probably assume some of this data goes outside the EU, and specifically to the USA, then there is another question to be asked under data protection laws.

      EDIT:

      And yes, you raise a good point about office documents. There isn't really anything to stop MS stuffing something into Office updates to also circumvent users attempting to avoid the upgrade. One thing I think we can probably look forward to is Office updates with a minimum OS requirement that excludes pre-10 users, and with format changes so users of earlier versions can't work with the documents. Ie if you don't run up to date office you can't work with documents people send you, and you can't run up to date office without running W10. It's something both MS and other vendors (Quark, you complete and utter b***ards) have used in the past to force upgrades.

  15. emmanuel goldstein

    i have a windows 7 pc and have had no nags to upgrade to 10. i run Windows Update regularly. why are they ignoring me? (i'm glad they are!)

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Perhaps????

      That RJ-45 Cable that should be plugged in the back is ... well Not plugged in?

      That's one way to stop the W10 Malware from infecting your machine.

    2. theOtherJT

      You're not the only one.

      I have 3 Win 7 machines at home. 2 of them got the disease, and were treated as suggested in this article, one seems to remain naturally immune. Perhaps I should donate it's body to science to find out where it got this special power...

  16. Tikimon Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Skynet's real strategy

    Unleashing a nuclear war is so wasteful, and generates enough resentment to create an armed resistance. That's how humans would do it, but the Machines are smarter than that. This is merely one move to enable their ultimate goals, while allowing us to believe they are our servants.

    They find the most useful, malleable persons with positions of power and influence. They encourage and suggest (spot the reference?) planting seeds in the right minds. Bit by bit, technology leaves our control and begins to control us. Surveillance states, data mining, we are building the tools Skynet will use to enslave us all.

    One day when it's far too late, the hapless tools of the Machines will wake up and realize what they have done in the name of market dominance, cloud storage, home automation, or behavioral tracking. Long are the ways of the Machines, and devious.

    Technology isn't out of control... It is ever more each day IN CONTROL.

    1. DropBear Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Skynet's real strategy

      I KNEW IT! People, grab the torches and pitchforks! We go lynch that conniving fiend Wolfram Alpha!

  17. Old Handle
    Devil

    Here's what you do, reinstall Windows 7 (I'll assume that's what you're using, since it's the last version made for desktops), then don't activate it. Instead use "WGA Killer". Miscrosoft will think you're using an unlicensed copy and won't even offer you Windows 10. (But you'll still get security updates.)

    At least that works in my experience. I did pay my copy of W7, by the way. I just object on principle to having to ask MS for permission to use it.

    1. herman Silver badge

      This is brilliant. It reflects their spiteful stupidity back to them.

      I have some Win7 machines that absolutely have to stay that way - so I may give it a try. Thanks!

    2. Daniel B.

      This technique will also allow you to buy Windows 7 licenses, by the way. ;)

  18. Robert Moore

    Enough is enough!

    I own a small company. One man at the moment, but I have bigger plans for the future.

    I am rewriting the computer use policy today to exclude the use of all Microsoft software. I expect this will grant me a major competitive edge.

    Mint with the Cinnamon desktop seems to have a nice shallow learning curve. LibreOffice does everything I need.

    1. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Enough is enough!

      Agreed! In a reversal of the "no one got fired for buying IBM" I would suggest that anyone suggesting a Microsoft solution is taken out back and shot. Well OK maybe just fired.

      1. Ilmarinen

        Re: Enough is enough!

        @ Mystic Megabyte

        No - you were right first time: taken out back and shot.

        The best procedure IMO is that advocated by my old primary school teacher in the 1960s: they should be "shot at dawn for a fortnight"

        (RIP Miss Gould)

      2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: Enough is enough!

        Shooting would be too kind, burned at the stake at a minimum.

    2. ma1010 Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Enough is enough!

      @ Robert Moore

      Absolutely agreed! My main computer went Linux Mint in response to Windows X, and my dual-boot laptop has Win 7 (for a couple of "Windows only" programs I need) and Ubuntu with a Cinnamon desktop. It's exactly as you say, Mint and Libreoffice does about everything one needs with a nice, shallow learning curve.

      Not sure who downvoted the original post, but I figure it's some employee of Microshaft. Sorry to rain on your parade, Satya. Try to have a better day.

    3. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Enough is enough!

      >Mint with the Cinnamon desktop seems to have a nice shallow learning curve. LibreOffice does everything I need.

      Yep got gifted a PC with Win10 on it on a SSD (have to admit it's nearly instant on during boot) and even after a fair amount of work cleansing it of the Microsoft spyware (including even blocking at the router level) I now run pretty much exclusively on LMDE on separate spinning rust drive with a smallish partition (300 gig or so lol), I originally meant more as a secondary boot. Win10 is wicked fast and actually really good for a Microsoft OS but I just can't trust Microsoft to be a OS software vendor first anymore (instead of a Google data mining wannabe) as this article shows. Steam now being viable on Linux cinched it. It just too bad I eventually will fully eat the systemd shit sandwich but so be it. Guess then might move Linux onto the SSD.

    4. Snake

      Re: Enough is enough!

      This started because I can't leave Windows behind, and I am quite sure that is true for many businesses. I am dependent on an industry-specific app that, even if I switch to a different supplier, would still be on Windows. The second app I use constantly, a 14-year old legacy Windows image catalog that I could switch away from as the images themselves are standard, has a database with included user-field comment data that I would lose.

      After that, I am dependent upon the bane of all Windows users: Adobe Creative Suite, CS6 in this case. Linux simply had no replacement of quality for the InDesign/Photoshop combo.

      Finally, I have a label printers and a Silex USB to Ethernet bridge that all need driver support.

      So Windows is the only true option, as going Linux would only add an unknown factor to any support issues. Also, my boss would never give me even a second to get an alternate system running.

      1. asdf Silver badge

        Re: Enough is enough!

        If I was you then I would pray Win7 end of support doesn't get suddenly pushed up as the next slap to the users.

  19. bombastic bob Silver badge

    how long before GWX's inventor is fired?

    So, how long do you think it will be before the public UPROAR and ANGER forces Microsoft to *FIRE* the individual(s) responsible for GWX?

    This doesn't mean GWX would stop. Instead, scapegoat.

    Sinofsky "stepped down" over "Ape" (8) and yet THAT INFLUENCE is still there in Win-10-nic [the 2D flat/ugly, "the METRO", "the STORE", etc.]. He was sacrificed in an attempt to restore consumer confidence in Microsoft. All that, of course, *FLUSHED* with the release of 10, which is only at 14% despite being FREE and AGGRESSIVELY SHOVED IN/UP/DOWN OUR ORIFICES.

    We may never know about any such firings, if they haven't already happened...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: how long before GWX's inventor is fired?

      I think they already have.

      If Joe B comes back to Window's Mobile after his year's "sabatical" I'll be shocked. Still think his dyed Blond Hair photo last month uploaded to twitter, using an iPhone was a cryptic clue to say, Windows 10 Mobile has 'dyed' / is dead. He liked cryptic clues and the timing was about right.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    I can't believe...

    When looking back then I can't believe that I actually applied for the "Windows 10 insiders program" (before its launch) because I figured it would be a good thing to keep up with current developments. Now you actually have to take plenty of effort in order NOT to upgrade.

    Clear signs that Microsoft is slowly but steadily totally loosing it.

    1. Tim99 Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: I can't believe...

      Yes, loosing it onto the Internet, unless you meant "losing it"?

  21. RoboticRabbit
    Flame

    GWX control burnout

    I'm wondering how long the author of GWX control panel will continue to support that software. Its not his day job, just something he does on the side, and he only gets the odd donation for doing it. This month he's admitted he's been way too busy. Its just a matter of time before it ends up being abandonware I think.

    1. earl grey Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: GWX control burnout

      Even worse. MS will buy it and turn it into pushing Win 10 on unsuspecting users. It's the old death by mumba from MS.

  22. Gray
    Big Brother

    Plain and simple

    Microsoft is too powerful to influence, too rich to regulate, too pervasive to rein in, and too arrogant to listen. Those who require Windows are essentially screwed; enjoy the ride. All others are free to jump off the train. Despite the inconvenience there are alternatives. As for missing apps, where there's a need, enterprise will sooner or later provide.

    It isn't that the King has no clothes; it's more that the King is Typhoid Mary in disguise.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Plain and simple

      They also have a significantly smaller market cap than Apple. Their days of the rest of the industry doing what they say have come and gone.

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Plain and simple

      For all her faults Mary Mallon was just someone who was trying to make an honest living. Slurp is not being honest thus references to Typhoid Mary are insulting to Ms. Mallon.

    3. regadpellagru

      Re: Plain and simple

      "Those who require Windows are essentially screwed; enjoy the ride."

      Yep, that's what I'm telling victims coming to me for support, equipped with W8 or W10.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Spot on

    I haven't had any problems with GWX for a while, as I was fortunate to learn of what it was up to in April last year. I got rid of the infection then and have treated it as malware (and Windows Update as a Trojan Horse) ever since.

    But it wouldn't do to be complacent, and I'm glad that Andrew has gone to some detail in calling it what it is : Malware.

    It isn't yet too late for Microsoft to reap the whirlwind.

  24. Borg.King
    Facepalm

    So f'kin annoying

    My wife's PC has finally succumbed to Windows 10.

    The next time she complains about it, I'm buying her a Mac. Sayonara Microsoft.

    1. AlbertH
      Linux

      Re: So f'kin annoying

      The next time she complains about it, I'm buying her a Mac.

      A quicker, cheaper and (probably) easier solution is the current iteration of Linux Mint. You'll be pleasantly surprised at the ease of installation and the quality of the OS and its applications when it's installed. Have fun!

  25. zero2dash

    You forgot to mention KB3123862

    You forgot KB3123862 which is the 3rd one to never install.

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3123862

    "Updated capabilities to upgrade Windows 8.1 and Windows 7"

    Thanks but no thanks.

    1. Adam Jarvis

      Re: You forgot to mention KB3123862

      There is a lot more than that (about 12 to avoid). I'm currently putting together a 'how to' Fresh Install guide for Win7SP1. There are a couple of new things to avoid regards the Feb and March patches for Windows Update; KB3135445 (Feb16) and KB3138612 (Upd:March16) which seem to prevent restoring of past images of Windows 7SP1 from 'image' backups i.e. Paragon HDM, Acronis. Linux DD etc. Best to stick to KB3102810 version of Windows Update, it still works fine (at the moment).

      1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

        Re: You forgot to mention KB3123862

        How exactly can they prevent restoring a raw image like dd? By messing with UEFI?

        1. Adam Jarvis

          Re: You forgot to mention KB3123862

          I didn't explain that too well. It more that on restore Windows Update goes back into its dumb mode of taking forever to check for updates, instead of a maximum of 7 minutes for an SSD install. As said. KB3102810 seems to work still, but if up install the newer versions of Windows Update Feb Kb3135445 /March KB3138612- it reverts to taking forever. It may well still install updates overnight but its not finding them quickly. Well not on HP machines.

          I could be wrong, but its almost as though MS are trying to prevent you restoring a previous Windows 7 image if you have installed an activated version of Windows 10, which sort of makes sense.

          1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

            Re: You forgot to mention KB3123862

            I'm fairly sure that newer WU clients are just flaky. Plus brave DevOops-style changes on the WU server side. No need to claim malice. As yet.

            W7 image with June 2015 patchlevel (and telemetry KB's removed) gets updates just fine. Security KB's are mostly OK to add, "recommended" updates are not, ahem, recommended.

          2. cd / && rm -rf *
            Trollface

            Re: You forgot to mention KB3123862

            It more that on restore Windows Update goes back into its dumb mode of taking forever to check for updates

            If the Windows Update servers detect a Win7 machine trying to update, they're delivered from a ZX81 with a wobbly RAM pack in Kazakhstan. On the end of a 300bps modem.

            1. earl grey Silver badge
              Trollface

              Re: You forgot to mention KB3123862

              'On the end of a 300bps modem."

              You may as well have added the remainder...

              On the end of a 300bps modem in the bottom drawer of a locked file cabinet in a subterranian Golum cave occupied by a frothing Satya.....

  26. Ilmarinen
    Happy

    I've (mostly) avoided it...

    ... by switching to Linux (Mint), back when they stopped support for XP. And very happy with it.

    I have had W10 inflicted on me with the new PC I've just bought for a job at work. It's a bit of a disappointment really, in a number of ways that I won't bore you with here. I expect that you could tinker with it to get a half decent "user experience" - but life's too short.

  27. JEF_UK

    Tip of the Ice burg

    There are also a host of other updates that worry me, which introduce some extra telemetry points. Of course in a business with group policy the telemetry/CIEP can be disabled but I've skipped the updates.Then I'm not sure if its the patches mentions or others that create additional scheduled "phone home" tasks.

    Personally I don’t like any of that.

    1. nematoad Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Tip of the Ice burg

      "Tip of the Ice burg "

      What town is that?

      Perhaps iceberg (ice mountain) is what you meant.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And then all the pundits wonder why people turn off win update. Doing so doesn't appear to be any worse than being infected with win 10.

  29. Mage Silver badge
    Linux

    If they release a Windows Classic

    Based on updating XP, I'd buy 5 copies.

    Maybe the same of Office 2003. I HATE THE LATER OFFICES, ESPECIALLY "FLAT" and RIBBON!!!

    Meanwhile two machines are staying XP (but not online) and the rest are now migrated to Linux Mint, Mate Desktop, WINE. Copied all my Windows True Type Fonts to server, then downloaded to all the Linux computers.

    Everything has Libre Office, which once you figure the quirks and disable some silly defaults isn't bad.

  30. Chris Stephens

    You block this at the firewall. BUT you have to block all of microsoft and its other domains and never get updates again. I use Deep Freeze and a reboot cures all.

    The NSA hackers wrote Win 10. And its naggy ware. Rest assured.. http://money.cnn.com/2015/02/17/technology/security/malware-nsa/

    I have downloaded all the patches every issued for Win 7 up till the patches mentioned. I then install WIn 7 and use discs to update it. The reason is one day they will not support Win 7 anymore and I will want to still install and update it. So after a virgin install up to this point I Deep Freeze. Thats how im going to run for years to come. Im just never going to update or go to win 10. Ever. Even if i have to reinstall Wn 7 often. I will just make a image.

    **ck Windows 10 and the NSA who are behind it.

    Its not malware like, its the same guys who wrote

  31. Chris G Silver badge

    10 as a service?

    What I have yet to see are details of exactly what kind of service GWX is going to become.

    I am guessing the huge foist fest that MS is indulging in at the moment is designed to get as many customers trapped in the walled garden that GWX will become, then they will reveal some awful stratified payment scheme for various users to continue by paying for update/grades.

    Anyone who has gone for ten because it is free now has just taken the honey, they will not be happy when they discover it's too sticky to let go and will have to pay through the nose I suspect to avoid losing all of their cloudy service. Which I expect will become more and more entangled with routine ten funtctionality.

    Apple users may be in some kind of walled garden but at least they chose to be there and are usually happy about it, not lured or shoved in there with no idea of what they are going to find.

    1. PNGuinn
      Linux

      Re: 10 as a service?

      Chris - I'm told that honey is not the only substance that is sticky .......

      El Reg - we need an @ sticky as ... icon.

  32. JLV Silver badge
    Trollface

    oh I dunno

    If it's as bad as all that.

    I have the perfect antidote.

    1 buy laptop w win 8 home

    2 upgrade (bitch to find) to win 8 pro. Why is it not in the app store???

    3 want a win 10 upgrade (I hate 81)

    MS seems totally confused about upgrading pro upgrade packs. It doesn't nag you and in fact if you try to do it manually it insists on steering you to the Home upgrade which stops without indication of a solution.

    Own goal much?

    I did get that you can bring it to a MS store and they'll be it. Very nice folk, unlike the harried Apple staff, they have plenty of time. Haven't done it yet.

    When I do get 10 ill probably block telemetry via settings AND router hosts.

    1. Kurt Meyer

      Re: oh I dunno

      @JLV

      Please accecpt my apology for the downvote.

      I meant to hit the "Expand Comment" button.

      1. JLV Silver badge

        Re: oh I dunno

        You can upvote a downvote in Reg, but you cant put it back to neutral.

        No pbm either way ;-)

  33. john devoy

    where are the sue crazy americans when we need them?

    Why haven't a group of annoyed Americans started a class action against MS yet? Their attitude with windows 10 is alienating a lot of people.

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: where are the sue crazy americans when we need them?

      "Why haven't a group of annoyed Americans started a class action against MS yet?"

      The range and scope of what you can slip by the American public during Clown seas... er, Presidential primary campaigns is astounding!

  34. mr.K

    KB3042155

    Does anybody have any thoughts on this one?

    KB3042155

    Seems that it is bundling some GWX crap into a security patch for IE.

    http://www.infoworld.com/article/3042155/microsoft-windows/windows-patch-kb-3139929-when-a-security-update-is-not-a-security-update.html

  35. Youngdog

    So just spoof a successful KB295266 install

    I've done that before to avoid unwelcome but unstoppable giftings from WSUS when the usual channels have failed me.

  36. RyszrdG

    Permanent fix ...

    Install Ubuntu!

  37. Carl D

    Finally had enough...

    My main PC and 10 year old HP laptop are now running Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon. What a breath of fresh air.

    The last straw came when MS decided to start 'polluting' security updates with W10 nagware - plus it took nearly 4 hours to get 11 security updates for W7 on the laptop last week - 3 hours "checking for updates..." then another hour to download and install them. The main PC doesn't take anywhere near as long but the wait is still annoying.

    Been putting up with that every month since the middle of last year. Does anyone still believe that the slow checking for updates for W7 - especially after a clean install - isn't deliberate 'sabotage' by MS? I suspected it when all the trouble started - right at the time W10 was released.

    Linux Mint was installed, updated and running in almost no time at all by comparison. On the main PC and the laptop.

    My main PC actually now has a W7/Mint dual boot - W7 is at SP1 level only - no further updates with NO Internet access allowed whatsoever. Just for programs that don't have a Linux equivalent at the moment. Now I can sit back, relax, and enjoy using my computers again (plus I'll occasionally grab a bag of popcorn and watch the Windows train wreck continue).

    1. PNGuinn
      Big Brother

      Re: Finally had enough... @ Carl D

      Pro tip:

      Bulk buy that popcorn before prices skyrocket.

    2. gmathol

      Re: Finally had enough...

      Try VMware or Virtualbox it is free. After that you can backup your W7 partition and restore it in a virtual environment and than you can also switch off Internet Access and just use the W7 programs you have and you don't need to reboot. You should have at least 4 GB memory and a Dual-Core processor.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Finally had enough...

        What about the games? Those require close-to-metal performance and I recall most VMs don't virtualize graphics hardware very well, especially cutting edge games that use DX11 and eventually 12? And there have been companies that have been recorded as saying they won't develop on Linux (like Bethesda Softworks who make the Fallout series now).

        Much as I'd love to switch to Linux, the Linux Steam collection is a pale imitation of the Windows one and there are no signs of this improving anytime soon.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There are so many things wrong that I am just going to stay right where I am on Windows 7.

    If I let GWX upgrade my computer, it will brick it.

    The offer only applies if you upgrade an existing install not a fresh install.

    You surrender control of what updates install and when they are installed so I have no interest in becoming an unpaid beta tester.

    There are also a few applications I still use that are a challenge just to install and run under Windows 7 much less run, they are a lost cause on Win8+

  39. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    What about RICO?

    Since Slurp is acting like the Russian mafia and installing a virus on users' systems what about declaring Slurp a criminal organization?

  40. ben kendim

    I am not fully Microsoft free yet...

    ... because I still have a Microsoft mouse.

    All my desktops & laptops are now running Ubuntu and Libre Office, and all the BeagleBones are Debian.

    The only thing that I am feeling cramped about is Netflix, which I may drop just for this reason.

    1. Jess

      Re: Netflix.

      Works on Linux with Chrome, but not Firefox

      1. davidp231

        Re: Netflix.

        Nor Chromium, unless you build it from source with the relevant stuff in.

  41. Mephistro Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Thank you, Microsoft!

    Thanks to your policy regarding the forced upgrade to Windows 10, I'll probably be driving my own Lamborghini Aventador by this time next year. Every one of your forced upgrades bags me quite a few bucks worth anything between 2 work hours and eight, depending on the damage your '"software" for lack of a better -but still polite- term inflicts on your own customers. The most requested service is to roll back to whatever version of Windows they were using before your hacking upgrade to Windows 10.

    But as I've got a conscience, I always advise them to go Linux Mint, an option which many of them choose. For those who don't, I do my best to make sure your damn malware can't resurface, but also tell them to cross their fingers. At the very least they're are now aware of the issue.

    And in the end, there is a small chance that a big Class Action Lawsuit will make you, dear M$, to pay my wages and those of other techies who are helping in the fight against your blightsoftware.

    For all that, Thank you, Microsoft!

  42. Asok Asus

    get rid of w10 nagware & spyware once and for all

    GWX Control Panel ( http://ultimateoutsider.com/downloads ) does some good things, but it hasn't kept up with the full list of KB updates that ought to be removed beyond just KB3035583, namely:

    KB3035583

    KB3022345

    KB3068708

    KB3075249

    KB3080149

    KB2990214

    KB3044374

    KB2952664

    KB2976978

    KB3021917

    KB3112336

    KB3112343

    KB3083711

    KB3083710

    KB3123862

    KB3012973

    KB3146449

    KB3139929

    So I've made some easy-to-use tools to help put an end to this coerced Windows 10 installation nonsense. They can be downloaded from here and then unzipped:

    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.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Indian CEO

    Comes with Indian marketing technic.

  44. Jedipadawan

    Helpful Linux demo (maybe)

    Seeing so many users taking of jumping to Mac or Linux, I thought I offer something possibly useful (for once in my meaningless, futile existence)

    After getting fed up with all the FUD being pumped re: Linux, I created a demo video of Mint 17 KDE edition. It's nothing clever - just basic operation and the look and feel of Mint but it serves to put to bed a lot persistent clams that "Linux is hard to use", "You can only install software by compiling from source" etc, etc. I do cover video editing, mind.

    Windows 8 and activation pushed me over the edge in 2012 and, boy, I don't regret dropping Microsoft and embracing open source at all!

    Just to help people as they weigh up whether it's worth the jump for them and whether Mac is worth the money!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8hDYiGprWs

  45. Huns n Hoses

    Windows 10?

    Who uses windows anyway?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Windows 10?

      GAMERS for one due to the fact that most games are Windows-only and WINE-unfriendly, not to mention the upcoming DX12 games that require 10 and won't be ported for Vulkan (ask Bethesda why Fallout 4 won't be making the jump).

      1. Esme

        Re: Windows 10?

        I'm a gamer, and I don't use Windows.

        I find it amusing that for years some folk claimed that you couldn't get any serious work done using Linux. Patently untrue, but still, that's what they claimed. Then, the next downside to Linux that was touted about was that you couldn't play games on it. Misleading, as you could, it's just that few, if any, software houses wrote games for Linux, and not many would run via Wine. Now about this time, I was claiming that all Windows was good for was playing games (also misleading, but hey, I was troll-baiting). Now we've good games that run natively in Linux, and more that will run via Wine and Steam (see Steam and GoG websites).

        I'm a happy gamer and I don't use Windows. No game I've played on Linux has stopped working due to an OS update, not so far, anyway. And the situation with Windows is...?

        Eventually those sticking with Windows just to play games will realise that they're just being endlessly milked to pay for games they won't be able to play in a few years time.

        Windows - less of an OS, more of a drive-by-mugging.

        1. cd / && rm -rf *
          Thumb Up

          Re: Windows 10?

          Windows - less of an OS, more of a drive-by-mugging

          Lovely. Have an upvote for that.

        2. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Windows 10?

          OK, what headline games DO you play on Linux that work either natively on on WINE with little or no configuration, with little to no loss in performance vs. the Windows version? I can tell you Fallout 4 won't run natively, as Bethesda has gone on record against porting to Linux, citing conflicting environments and targets. I can also speak from firsthand experience that Valve's own Linux ports rarely match the Windows versions in real-world performance. I've tried, I've honestly tried, but Linux hasn't really work for me yet.

          1. regadpellagru

            Re: Windows 10?

            I don't use Wine, but for Linux native games, I'm playing Borderlands 2, Wastelands 2 and XCOM 2.

  46. gmathol

    Windows 10 makes it hard to install VMware - so I installed Linux with VMware and Windows 10 in VMware. Many useful third party or free software packages are harder to install and I certainly won't buy stuff I already have to make it compliant with a W10 installation.

    Question is - what is in the pipeline after W10 - MS can make the next version expensive or more invasive, finally W10 runs much faster that's good, but it also lacks support for older hardware like printer /scanner.

  47. Huns n Hoses

    Free upgrade period is almost up

    Right? Once this 'free offer' expires and we have to pay for it, the nagging will disappear, right?

    Right?

    err...

    1. Adam Jarvis

      Re: Free upgrade period is almost up

      Its likely they you'll have to pay after July, but they give you some free credit back to use in the App Store (to reel in the developers to a potential slush fund), which is what Microsoft should have done in the first place.

  48. ZeiXi

    Cramps from Keeping my fingers crossed

    Been using W7 computers for a couple of years now connected to X-ray machines. Disabled updates since day one and have been working perfectly since then. Really dreading the day I have to move over to W10. Sure hate to have to deal with problems that are created by Microsoft. And hate to have my limited bandwidth chewed up by Windows stuff running secretly in the background.

  49. chivo243 Silver badge
    Devil

    Problem solved

    I turned off Updates on my Win7 box and pulled the network cable. I don't use it for anything but a few old games...

  50. MotionCompensation

    Too many words

    The first sentence of the article contains far too many words. Let's fix that:

    Microsoft uses aggressive malware to promote Windows 10.

  51. bin

    What happens when it's no longer free?

    That's it in a nutshell really. After all they can't very well 'force' you to take an upgrade and then demand money for it it........what a good idea! Lets call it ransomware (nah that's been done)

    OR are we going to see the free upgrade period magically extended - for your convenience?

    I do have a confession though - I actually took an old spinner, installed W7 and then immediately updated to W10 - do they actually expect people to PAY for this? OK, it works but it's a train crash. There are many adverse comments about UI design in Linux, but you have to work really hard to come up with something as schizophrenic as the mess of metro and classic as W10.

    One of my neighbours allowed her tech savvy daughter to upgrade her laptop from 8.1 to 10.

    Cost - one new printer/scanner as her 10 year old machine would not work with W10 full stop. Worked fine on my linux machine but no way with W10 - free upgrade??? Yeah - right.

    1. Adam Jarvis

      Re: What happens when it's no longer free?

      As above, its likely they you'll have to pay after July, but they give you some free credit back to use in the App Store (to reel in the developers to a potential slush fund), which is what Microsoft should have done in the first place.

      Given its 'Malware', I'm sure Microsoft will have theirs systems back up to pay in Bitcoins by then, to protect your Privacy (as its routed via their servers). The two come hand in hand normally.

      I'm sure that's what will be announced at Build 2016, or something along those lines, things change though.

  52. Roo
    Windows

    Mutating Patches...

    FWIW I get that most people don't give a stuff about software certification - but there are some businesses are required to be able to replicate the exact configuration that was "certified" at all times *and* keep their software up to date with patches...

    For those sectors mutating patches are an epically shit idea because:

    1) You can't establish a "known" good configuration because the configuration is changing without your knowledge.

    2) You can't verify that a configuration is a "known good" config without doing a full binary diff of the entire box - and then painstakingly work out which differences you can ignore.

    3) All that software that is certified to run on a certain configuration of Windows box is now invalidated - your warranties and support contracts are now junk simply because you can't *reliably* replicate the configuration that the software was certified against.

    4) MS are mutating patches on older "stable" OSes, so those older stable OSes are now effectively junk (good bye 7, 8 & 8.1).

    I suspect many businesses will simply pretend it's not an issue because it's too hard to fix, the diligent outfits will have no option but to ditch Windows or negotiate a waiver with the regulatory authorities if they are serious about compliance.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Mutating Patches...

      I sure hope these businesses are not using Microsoft stuff, because then their sanity must be questioned.

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Mutating Patches...

      I have not thought of that angle with a rolling release type OS, what is the "good" or reference configuration. This might require much more detail about each update than Slurp traditionally releases.

      With the Arch family of distros, all rolling release, all updates are package specific and information about each update is available - it might be tedious to work through ~150 separate package updates. What I have heard about Slurp's rather vague descriptions is that no one really knows what is being fixed or features added.

  53. SpinkyMuffler

    The nagging is just the start of the problems ..

    Just been fixing WiFi issues brought upon a client of mine by Windows 10 sneaking itself onto their PC as an "Important Security Update". The WiFi adapter could see the network but refused point blank to be joined to it. Windows 10 reported it as being a "hidden" network despite it appearing in the list of available networks. How the hell can it be a hidden and yet visible network? Tried 3 separate network adapters until we finally got it to join. 6 hours later we just ordered a new network adapter that worked from a neighbouring PC. Utter pain in the arse that just should not have happened.

    Shouldn't Microsoft be getting sued under the computer misuse act for this kind of sabotage?

  54. Jonjonz

    Korpo Nazis

    The fascist VPs at MS have had a major boner for Apples land grab of gate keeping all software sales for their platform.

    They essentially want to become the middle man and reap profit from all software sales for that platform.

    Compare the effort put into this against the effort to update Windows real security.

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Korpo Nazis

      The fascist VPs at MS have had a major boner for Apples land grab of gate keeping all software sales for their platform.

      Dunno if it's still true, but not so long ago 95% of Mac users were running MSO, a much higher percentage than PC users.

  55. DerekCurrie Bronze badge
    Devil

    Marketing-As-Management Hell

    This is what happens to a company when Marketing takes over the role of management. It's one of the best ways I know to ruin a company. Bye-bye Microsoft and good riddance.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Microsoft

    If your product were truly fabulous there wouldn't be a need for such insecure, desperate, scummy tactics to coerce users to upgrade.

    Your product would stand on its own merit.

  57. Aseries

    GWX Control Panel

    So far GWX CONTROL PANEL has kept Windows 10 nags off my three systems still running Windows 7.

    3 of my systems are running happily with Windows 10 but the other three are for support of Windows Media Center. There would be a lot less push against Windows 10 if Microsoft had just carried WMC forward.

  58. User McUser
    Windows

    Block via NTFS permssions - Easiest Fix I've Found

    I just changed the NTFS permissions on "C:\Windows\System32\GWX" and that's stopped it cold on my Win7 Pro boxen. It blocks the GWX executable from starting *and* prevents new updates from being applied.

    Set yourself as the Owner, disable inheritance, delete all existing permissions, explicitly set Deny All for SYSTEM and "Trusted Installer", and Deny All *except for* "Change Permissions" to yourself and the built-in Admin account so you can undo this later (should you so desire) but can't accidentally install one of the offending updates.

  59. IGnatius T Foobar

    politically correct correction

    It's not called "malware" anymore ... the politically correct term is "migrant software"

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    nothing like a good whine before the weekend is there?

    Plus it helps hit the advertising quota for the week.

    Here's a sneak preview of the next end-of-the-week titillator - "suspicious occurrence of number 6 in Satya's birthdate demonstrate clear intentions for windows". Yawn... I'm off to read the National Enquirer.

    Good choice of "unbiased sysadmin from the trenches" by the way. I couldn't name too many more rabid, anti-M$ supporters :-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: nothing like a good whine before the weekend is there?

      ZZZzzzzz .....

    2. John 104

      Re: nothing like a good whine before the weekend is there?

      @AC Whine

      You are obviously not a sys admin. Or, if you are, you aren't worth a damn. Nagging on consumer PCs ins one thing. Nagging on domain joined workstations in a tightly controlled enterprise environment is a huge deal. Most users are clueless idiots and will go into a panic when they see this message.

      The verbiage on the page was intentionally crafted to put users into a state of uncertainty. It is a not so subtle way for MS to get corporate end users to start nagging their IT departments to upgrade to 10. There is no other reason for this to appear in a browser. None. It doesn't let you override domain or corporate policy to perform the update. It simply puts it on the radar of end users in a very negative way, pointing the finger at IT as if they are somehow doing the users a disservice by blocking the upgrade

      I've already sent notification to my team that in no way will the root update be installed. Which sucks. There are legitimate security fixes in this update that will have to be skipped due to this extra bull shit that they package with it. It reminds me of politicians and riders on important bills.

      In the mean time, I'll continue to grow my Linux chops on my personal Mint install and slowly shift my skill set in that direction. It's been a nice 15 years, Microsoft, but its time to move on and earn my living elsewhere.

  61. Updraft102 Silver badge

    When will anti-malware programs start detecting and removing GWX from infected systems? There's no difference between the adware MS installs and the adware that is detected as a PUP and removed by most anti-malware programs.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      No, because they're designed to remove unwanted third-party programs. GWX is an unwanted first-party program (because it's made by the same company that makes the OS).

  62. Radio Wales
    WTF?

    Seriously folks...

    I'm just a poor user now having retired from the IT world where I was spending too much time defeating people intent on separating me from my money.

    Windows: We rubbed along without it seriously upsetting me (except for the licensing fracas which is a whole separate story) until now.

    I use 7. I liked 7 right from the start. it has never BSOD'ed me or crashed leaving me free to do things other than just maintaining my computer in working order, That was a major plus.

    Them came 8. I looked and decided that it wasn't for me. I want to use a computer for doing stuff with and fondling the OS does not figure in that. Seems I wasn't alone because 8.1 closely followed.

    It seemed to be better but I didn't need the changes so I soldiered on with my 7.

    Now - Surprise - they offer a spanking new 10 for free.

    That rang warning bells in my head, That's exactly what all the scammers do, lure you in with a deal that is too good to be true and now they are using tried and tested scamware means to compel all but the IT savvy folk to give in and take the free sweeties on offer from that nice MS guy.

    If they were offering that to my kids, I'd report them to plod for grooming, but as it's me I have to wonder why exactly are they so keen to get me to abandon my perfectly good 7

    When something good is offered for free I worry, but when they get to INSIST that I take the goodies I rear up and say 'Whoa, something is up here.and I'm not gonna like it when it appears.'.

    I don't know what, but my gut is telling me that it's gonna be 7 or Linux for me.

    Somebody - please - tell me I'm wrong and (if possible) why.

    1. John 104

      Re: Seriously folks...

      You aren't wrong.Sorry.

  63. Aurelian2

    No sale

    I fancied a new ThinkPad but when I went to the Lenovo UK site I found they all had Windows 10 on them.

    There's no point in paying for an operating system that I'd immediately replace with Linux Mint.

    I expect I'll just buy another refurbished ThinkPad instead.

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: No sale

      There's no point in paying for an operating system that I'd immediately replace with Linux Mint.

      So why would you? The commonly accepted belief that you are forced to purchase windows with hardware is complete bullshit. You don't really believe that corporates purchase their hardware with windows and then also purchase a volume licence for the same do you? Here's how to purchase a Dell without windows:

      http://www.geek.com/chips/buying-a-dell-without-windows-is-not-easy-but-possible-1302452/

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: No sale

        There are people who dispute that article. After all, there's the matter of the "Microsoft Tax," the discount Microsoft will ONLY apply if the reseller sells Windows AND ONLY Windows on their machines (and yes, this takes the volume license into consideration, they reduce the baseline price per laptop). I think the only reason Dell dares is because of counteroffers from the likes of Ubuntu allowing them to save either way.

    2. Craig100

      Re: No sale

      There's always these: https://www.thinkpenguin.com/catalog/desktop-computers-gnu-linux

  64. crosshatchshirt

    I registered just to post this.

    The fact that MS supposedly referred to the notification area as the system tray makes me wonder who's been put in the font of the public. Who authorized that comment?

    1. Anonymous Coward
  65. mswin10

    I think if everyone goes Linux and or Mac computing will eventually cease to exist

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Headmaster

      You seem to have serious trouble with the proper use of logical connectives (not to mention punctuation), so your opinion is probably not worth much, sorry.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @mswin10 - a view like that shows so much ignorance of the industry I don't know where to start. Any potential employee who turns up at our door thinking that any one platform the be-all of computing is quickly shown the door.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        What about EXISTING employees? Especially those ABOVE you?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "What about EXISTING employees? Especially those ABOVE you?"

          Good point. Fortunately they share this view (this sort of thing usually works top down), hence my post above.

  66. This post has been deleted by its author

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