Another two-minute hate on MSFT! You are spoiling us Mr El Reg.
Microsoft claims seven out of ten Windows 10 users are happy with Redmond gulping loads of telemetry from their computers – which isn't that astounding when you realize it's a default option. In other words, 30 per cent of people have found the switch to turn it off, and the rest haven't, don't realize it's there, or are …
How the fcuk can you have a "Privacy portal" that requires access via the web, is stored on Microsoft servers, accessed via a "linked" Microsoft Account to change/view it's settings. Can't people see there is a second way of indirectly routing grey data here, back to Microsoft.
Are the UK regulators ICO just plain stupid, or being paid to be plain stupid?
The first thing I did with my ASUS laptop - factory loaded with WIN 10 - was to format, wipe, and repartition the hard drive. Debian 9.1 works just fine - I send no data to anyone unless I explicitly decide to, and there is no fee or registration requirement.
Anyone who bows to the illegal monopoly is a fool, and makes the world less safe for us all.
"The future of radio belongs to us"
"I'm in England and I bought from pcspecialist.co.uk and installed Ubuntu."
I'm typing this on one of their i7 laptops - installed OpenSUSE 13.2 about 3 years ago with no issues.
Just ordered a simpler machine from nimbusoft - https://nimbusoft.com/ which comes with a choice of installed Linux - we'll see what they are like.
"This likely makes little difference to them since you still paid for a Windows licence."
I'm not sure that I agree with this where Windows 10 is concerned.. MS has made no secret that they want to move to the OS as a service and along with that Office. The service model requires renewable subscriptions to supply revenue to MS.
If the user removes windows 10 and replaces it with something else, then MS loses the projected revenue from the services over the life of the product. This cost will be significantly more over the life of the product than it was with previous versions of windows products, where the initial purchase price was all the MS received. - MS is moving from product space to services company.
So in the long run, I think it does matter to MS and people should remove Windows 10, if one has to get it in the first place. The cost savings over the long run will be significant - not to mention less privacy issues with alternatives.
If they want to use the OS as a data collecting and advertising platform then they should make the OS free. That's the way it happens in most other areas but no, not MS. They want to charge you for the OS, collect all sorts of data about your usage and then use it to push targeted ads at you amongst other things.
Free OS with advertising and telemetry, or a paid for OS with all the crap removed.
Why choose one strategy when you can have them both? That's the advantage of having a near monopoly in the PC OS market, you don't have to worry about competition. They even have a way to solve the problem of the PC's lengthening replacement cycle by making it subscription based.
That way they can move to charging $0 for the OS up front to better compete in case Chrome OS ever gets any traction at all, while insuring they make a lot more money if someone keeps running that PC for 10+ years as is becoming all too common for their liking these days.
That's what happens when Google catches them flat footed on search, something they didn't think was important until Google showed them how much money that could make off the data collection and advertising, which they tried too late to ape. And when Apple catches them flat footed by showing them how to make smartphones a mass market product everyone wants, instead of being limited to geeks and PHBs like they were in the Windows Mobile days.
"MS has made no secret that they want to move to the OS as a service"
There will likely always be a free or minimal cost version though where they make money from the Windows Store.
People seem to view "Windows as a service" as a bad thing, but imo It's actually a better model for consumers to pay via a rental model, rather than pay a lump of cash up front for each Windows version. Stop using Windows? Sell your PC? You stop paying Microsoft....your choice. So surely it's ideal for those that wish to use Linux instead?
"People seem to view "Windows as a service" as a bad thing, but imo It's actually a better model for consumers to pay via a rental model, rather than pay a lump of cash up front for each Windows version."
Well, that would be how it is if "Windows as a service" were actually a service, but for consumers, it's not, and MS has claimed that it never will be for consumers (though we know how reliable Microsoft's promises can be). Even though consumers have been told for two years that Windows is now a service, It's still a pay-once, use-forever deal, only now Microsoft uses the consumer as a beta tester, releasing largely untested updates twice a year to the consumer market, using the forced update system to ensure that the consumers get the version MS wants them to test, and using the non-optional telemetry to collect the testing data from the user.
MS sets the parameters for the beta testing by altering settings as it sees fit, installing whatever drivers it wants, and installing or removing whatever software it wishes. You're a beta tester, home user; did you really expect a full-featured, unrestricted, tested product to be released under the new beta program? Did you forget about your primary purpose, your obligation to provide Microsoft with the test data they require?
None of that implies that Windows is now a service to the consumer. None of that even touches on what defines "software as a service." The subscription model of which you type is the real definition of "software as a service," and maybe MS is trying to get there in the consumer market despite their protestations, but until they do, it's still a product, same as it always was... it's just a really crappy one now.
Perhaps what MS means by "Windows as a service" is that a service is being provided by the end users to Microsoft. Then it makes sense. It makes a lot of sense.
"But for consumers it's not
Not as yet. Obviously my comment was referring to a future rental only model. Which as per my comment is probably a good thing for Linux fans as it would potentially remove any upfront OS costs from hardware, whilst still letting manufacturers ship an installed OS with crapware that subsidises the hardware costs...
MS is moving from product space to services company.
Some call it "services"... I call it blackmail: "Pay up or your data goes away.". along with: "Nice bunch of applications you have there... pity if they won't work anymore."
"I call it blackmail
That's not the model they use. If your windows is unlicensed it switches to annoy the hell out of you mode but you can still access your data. Ditto cloud storage switches to read only if you are over your limit....
You mean you're supposed to pay for Windows 10? Funny, I got my copy free simply by saying I needed special adaptive software for my disability. My disability? I'm a left-handed, over six feet tall, Gaelo-German protestant, pragmatic to liberal, compassionate married male living in the USA. Oh, I'm also legally blind in one eye.
"I got my copy free."
You got a free upgrade to an already licenced OS, so you paid originally. I would say anyone that hasn't upgraded probably qualifies as you must have been blind to miss all the pop ups they inflicted on you....
"MS has made no secret that they want to move to the OS as a service "
They are already heading that way with Windows 10 S. Which amusingly completely screws over Google.
You won! Thanks for sharing the clue only you seem to have. I thought everyone knew about Microsoft subscription plans. They're trying to seed copies of Virus10 on as many machines as possible and deserve a stinging rebuke before the harvest begins.
Why hand over your computer and your personal data to the thieves at Microsoft?
Why Linux machines are tiny percentage of PCs, the percentage of Windows user that stumbled (likely by mistake or MS coercion) into the Store is just as small. Not all of these lost souls "bought" Linux (to register in statistics) - it's simply unlikely that anyone that cared for Linux went for the trouble of getting Windows PC, signing up for MS account and shopping at their dingy Store.
"Where would the comments section on a Windows news story be without someone taking the time to tell everyone that they use Linux?"
Don't you find it just a touch ironic that Microsoft not only collect money for the licence want ongoing payments in data collection and displaying advertising whilst Linux distros don't demand either and yet it's the latter you implicitly criticise?
"The first thing I did with my ASUS laptop - factory loaded with WIN 10 - was to format, wipe, and repartition the hard drive"
Many of us want to run all the latest games and / or an Office suite that actually works though so Windows 10 is then a requirement.
"Many of us want to run all the latest games and / or an Office suite that actually works though so Windows 10 is then a requirement."
Things that run on Windows 7....
Other than running them elsewhere, vote with your money. Stop buying games until they release them for Linux. I absolutely will not buy any game that requires Windows 10. I don't care how good people insist the game might be, no game is worth installing Windows 10.
I'd love to but as a semi-pro photographer I need Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom with the now unsupported Nik filters. When you get those running perfectly on Linux Mint, I'm all ears. And no, don't even mention GIMP. Yes, it's bloody good but it won't cut it with what I need to do. So Windows or Mac is my only choice for that stuff. My dayjob, I'm more than happy to use my Linux Mint box.
"I'd love to but as a semi-pro photographer I need Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom with the now unsupported Nik filters."
Darktable - www.darktable.org for Linux & Mac
I've used it for years for my Canon 550D & 6D, my cousin, a retired industrial photographer, is very impressed and so is his son ( a very well-known sports photographer)
RawTherapee also gets good reviews although I've not used it personally.
You will lose all processing done in Lightroom, it won't run the plug-ins, the camera and lenses profiles are made by who knows whom.
Plus my hardware calibrated monitors don't support Linux, nor my photo printers have drivers for Linux. Again, drivers made by who knows whom are a no-no for high quality printing.
If you don't like Windows 10, macOS is the true alternative. All the tools are available, and fully supported. No need to play with an house of cards of tools with very different degrees of quality, if available.
I guess if MS stubbornly keeps on slurping, Apple will see more and more people turning to its products again, as soon it understands it needs very good hardware beyond the iPhone.
I guess if MS stubbornly keeps on slurping, Apple will see more and more people turning to its products again
I did, at least partially. I just got sick of the amount of time and effort I spent trying to protect my privacy from my computer and my phone.
How many times have we heard: "if you're not paying for it, you are the product?" Windows and Android are not free, but they are subsidized by ad revenues and user-data collection. I came to view the "Apple tax" as declining that subsidy -- essentially, paying extra for a modicum of control over my personal data.
Windows isn't, but Android is. You pay for the Android phone, but you don't pay for Android and neither does the OEM. At least not in dollars - as you point out, you are paying for it with your personal data.
If Windows really goes to a subscription model then I wouldn't be surprised to see it become free as well. Free to acquire, but you have to pay a yearly fee to keep it running (or more likely, to prevent pissing off customers, if you don't pay still run in some sort of degraded fashion that disables some functionality or limits performance)
"I am not sure there is anything other than GIMP to replace Photoshop "
GIMP is not even close to being a replacement for photoshop.
yes, there are alternatives to lightroom and photoshop but nothing integrates with my website or social media channels as well as lightroom. I can publish directly from LIghtroom into my portfolio, dropbox, facebook, instagram, twitter, I don't need to create multiple jpeg copies of any given image, I simply publish the raw files using lightroom, they are converted to the correct format on the fly.
This is such a huge advantage over everything else. all my images are contained within a single environment and greatly simplfies my workflow.
If you don't like what's offered for free, you're perfectly within your rights to go on paying a single company to 'safeguard' ALL of your data.
Or you could stop expecting the community to service your niche use case for free and pay to for features that you need to run your business on. Talking to people about free software is like dealing with primary school children sometimes. 
FFS, how many times do we need to say it. Free, as in speech. Not beer.
 - No. I'm not going near the "open-source" weasel words.
Hi David. I'm curious. Why did you buy a laptop with Win 10 pre-loaded, when there are bare machines available out there? I quite understand your wanting to use Linux, but why pay the Microsoft tax on the way there?
That would stick in my throat.
"Why did you buy a laptop with Win 10 pre-loaded, when there are bare machines available out there? I quite understand your wanting to use Linux, but why pay the Microsoft tax on the way there?"
The crapware that comes on nearly all new PCs offsets the Microsoft tax and (at least in one case) partially subsidizes the cost of the hardware.
Dell responded to customer demand and started releasing one of its laptops pre-configured with one of the Linux flavors some years ago. The customers were delighted, but only until they saw that the Linux-equipped model cost more, not less, than the standard Windows version. Why, the potential buyers demanded to know, was the version without the "MS tax" more expensive than the one with the tax?
Dell's explanation was that the Linux version was "clean," and thus Dell was not getting paid by every crapware manufacturer out there. Those trial versions of crap you don't want don't just appear there at random; they're put there because someone paid Dell to put them there. According to Dell, the sum total of all of the money they receive for each PC's worth of crapware more than covers the cost of the Windows license.
Linux users get the best deal on a crapware-laden PC (as compared to one sold with no OS). They get the benefit of the price subsidy, but they don't have to actually deal with the crapware, as it gets immediately wiped. Setting Linux up on such a machine is no harder than on one offered bare.
Windows users are the ones who have to deal with trying to uninstall all that crap, hoping that it actually uninstalls cleanly and leaves the system running smoothly (or else having to wipe and install Windows cleanly, which some people do).
In addition, if you ever want to sell the PC, having the Windows license can be a benefit; your buyer is more likely to be a Windows user than a Linux one.
The selection of machines available bare is also extremely limited compared to those with Windows-- and given the poor direction laptop design has taken lately (as I see it), just being able to find one model I am completely happy with would be a miracle, let alone finding one that I am happy with AND that is offered bare.
> Dell responded to customer demand and started releasing one of its laptops pre-configured with one of the Linux flavors some years ago. The customers were delighted, but only until they saw that the Linux-equipped model cost more, not less, than the standard Windows version.
Interesting. I buy Dell OptiPlex desktops many dozens at a time, directly from Dell with Ubuntu instead of Windows. Typically shaves about 10% off the order cost. And yes, we use Ubuntu on them in production.
It's sad that most corporates pay for Windows included with their new PCs, then pay for it again under their enterprise license agreements.
"they saw that the Linux-equipped model cost more, not less, than the standard Windows version."
A relative worked for Dell and he tells me there were three reasons for that with systems targetted at consumers - a) Linux got more support calls - that might not be what you would expect but apparently was the case, b) it costs X to build, manage, release drivers for and update an OS image and this cost was washed across a relatively low number of systems with Linux, and c) consumer Pcs with Windows on have crapware installed that subsidises the cost....
"It's sad that most corporates pay for Windows included with their new PCs, then pay for it again under their enterprise license agreements."
No they don't. You get a specific discount to cover Pcs that come with an OEM license on your ELA.
We do buy PCs without any operating system preinstalled. Then install licenses from our license pools (Windows, RedHat, VMWare...)
B2B sales channels offer them. It's just the consumer sales channels that make harder finding models sold without a pre-installed OS, but those who sell "assembled" desktops.
Which makes me wonder how many here really work in a business environment, and how many write just knowing what their local mall sells.
"I buy Dell OptiPlex desktops many dozens at a time, directly from Dell with Ubuntu instead of Windows. Typically shaves about 10% off the order cost. And yes, we use Ubuntu on them in production."
But then you do need to pay $150 a year / PC for Ubuntu support with a minimum quantity of 50. Which over any time period of more than a few years costs you more than Windows 10 + Software Assurance + the saving on the desktop. I do appreciate that obviously you didn't want Windows, but it's not quite as great as you made it sound!
> But then you do need to pay $150 a year / PC for Ubuntu support with a minimum quantity of 50. Which over any time period of more than a few years costs you more than Windows 10 + Software Assurance + the saving on the desktop.
Incorrect - we don't need to pay anything in ongoing support costs. If we did then we don't need to pay for everything anyway as just the base support price to cover a small hardware sample in the lab is more than sufficient to reproduce any issues - the fixes can then be distributed more widely. We haven't actually needed to do that yet though, but the option is there if needed. There are also other commercial support options other then Canonical.
I wasn't pitching TCO either - that's a different issue and something that's not simple to quantify or compare. I'm just merely stating that the purchase cost is slightly lower, not higher as some folks suggested above.
Hi - I got an ASUS 540S for US$199 - they were about to take it off the shelf, and tried to not sell it to me at that price. This was BestBuy. It took all day for me to complete the purchase, because they cocked up the processing of my card, then reported me for fraud. After I called my bank, the regional head of their electronics department personally apologized and helped me escape. One of the employees is no longer there.
I have never seen this laptop so cheap anywhere, before or since. I'm using it now, just about exactly a year later - it has a full year parts and labor warranty, btw, almost expired - and nothing is ever sent to Redmond Washington or their collaborators at Ft. Meade.
"the future of radio belongs to us"
The problem here is that as much as I like Linux, the software is not there and even if there is software to do a task, it is not always that good.
Blender is great if you are into 3D and there are some good audio software, but sadly Linux lacks on Video editing.
I do have Linux on my laptop and it is fine for what I use that for.
OBS is streaming software not a video editor
KdenLive is probably an OK alternative to Windows Movie Maker
As far as I'm aware the only NLE for Linux is Cinelerra, and that's a bitch to set up and get running, crashes constantly and has an even more obtuse interface than GIMP used to. I don't think is still being developed either.
Windows Movie Maker too is non linear, but it's still very limited, and good for some amateurish video. kdenlive is more or less at the same level.
When the main editing suites are from Avid, DaVinci, Adobe and Apple, AFAIK only DaVinci is supported on Linux, but only on very specific certified hardware.
Those are the tools you will find in pro environment. Other tools mey be OK for your personal or indy projects, but do not expect them to be used where money matters.
"Those are the tools you will find in pro environment. Other tools mey be OK for your personal or indy projects, but do not expect them to be used where money matters."
I didn't realise that the topic discussed in this sub-thread was money. I thought it was video software for Linux.
So, professional video software then - well let's guess what Pixar and Dreamworks use for their operating system.
<hint :One thing that all of the larger studios have in common is they use Linux as their operating system. >
Pixar and other 3D animation studios develop their own software, and they don't have video footage taken with cameras, they have just rendered images. Linux clusters for such tasks make sense.
But what they use for the final editing? For example, Disney for 'the Force awakens' used Avid tools. I'm sure most of the CGI rendering has been done on Linux, but the editing has been done on Avid, and that means Apple or Windows.
Editing video footage shot with cameras is a different job. And like any professional job, money matters. Subpar tools with subpar support for cameras and editing devices are not what you're looking for. The price for the tools are just a small fraction of the overall expenses, but the time wasted to achieve the desired result can be very, very expensive.
Take a trip, if you like, to the Canon new Burbank facility, where movie makers can test their equipment and edit on the tools their used to, and see what's in use.
Indeedy. New PC purchasing process...
1. buy PC
2. swap out SDD/HDD for a blank SSD or hybrid
3. fix brain-dead UEFI defaults
4. install Linux Mint (and donate $)
5. install commercial WINE version for better gaming support
6. install Windows <10 VM for "those special cases" (ie: corporate teleworking).
7. shelve original drive in case you need a warranty claim.
Net number of times need to worry about the "telemetry" == 0.
8. Never be able to do any useful work.
9. Hide behind the sofa (you must have done something bad to be worried about your data being slurped)
Listen up Linux punks.
I have three PCs on my desk two Windows 10 and one Linux Mint. I am an IT professional and never play games and I do not do video processing either. Every time a new distro airs I try it 'cos I would love any distro to be useable. I have tried them all and they are not useable on any level. If you can get them installed they are all like going back twenty years and generally have an amateur feel. On the few occasions I have suggested Linux to customers they have all swapped back to Windows PDQ.
I have no axe to grind with Linux but please please stop bleating on about Linux as if it is a rival to Windows, IT AIN'T and will never be.
The down vote button is the one on the right (just to help Linux punks find it)
Thank you for joining the Register today . (You really, (no really ) would not believe how many Linux bashers are like you) Glad you are a IT professional?. I've been using Linux since ~1995, quite a lot of the time professionally with a major pharma ( but there again I'm NOT an IT professional) just a user.
Why do you have a Mint desktop ?
Unfortunately for those of us that partake in the pastime known as "gaming" the pengiuns lagging behind in driver and software support. should they catch up i'll happily swap teams and cop an earful for "making the darn computer more complicated"
Win 10 is currently what I have to use at work, and to be honest, as an OS it works fine despite the schizophrenia that is control panel (two different places, still?)
But on my own PCs (personal or business) I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole. The data collection policies of Microsoft are just too much like malware. Give me the option to completely turn it off, and proveably so, and to be able to permanently reject unwanted updates, and I'd happily reconsider.
Until then it's Linux Mint, and VMs with older MS OSes (if only I could get the updates to install properly on them without 100% svchost.exe usage for days on end).
As for the 70% accepting full telemetry, I doubt many of them even know that they're sending data to MS. Of those that do and keep the setting at maximum, they've probably bought into the Cortana thing, which requires way too much personal data to be shared with MS in order for it to work. Most people would probably be very uncomfortable with it if they really knew just where the data had to go in order for Cortana to work.
"Windows 7 and 8 updates now contain telemetry - not as much as Windows 10 though."
Anyone smart enough to stop their system being "upgraded" to M$ Spyware10 should also have been smart enough to block the attempts to port the spyware onto Win7 - and possibly Win8.
As for the 70% being fine, the word you are looking for is sheeple; even when you tell them how much of their private data M$ is slurping, they either dont care, or dont believe you; besides, they have already given most of it to FarceBook, Twatter, and InstantGran.
The latest Win10 saga is that it is deleting and/or blocking programs without warning; several complaints every week on the LOTRO forums.
"Win 10 is currently what I have to use at work ..."
Me too. Speaking as a developer, there are an infinite number of non-default configurations that we can't test against but there is one default configuration that we can test against and if we don't then we look a bit foolish if that's a configuration that doesn't work. So all my test systems stick largely to the defaults. They also have no personal data on them, (and no source code, as it happens) so if MS want to slurp then there is nothing for them to find except for usage patterns that will skew their stats towards "None of your newly-introduced features are getting *any* usage whatsoever.".
So I am "several" of the 70%, despite switching the telemetry off on the systems I actually care about.
Novex: "Until then it's Linux Mint, and VMs with older MS OSes (if only I could get the updates to install properly on them without 100% svchost.exe usage for days on end)."
If you're running Windows 7 in that VM, give Windows Quick Patch a try:
29% of Windows users probably have non-linear minds, and as such, can't be so easily HERDED like the other 70%. Except for the remaining 1%, who are hackers and IT pros, that threw away the Win-10-nic license for something SANE.
(this is based on the assumption that ~1/3 of the population are non-linear-minded "creative/hunter" types, and the other ~2/3 are linear-minded "farmer" types - the percentages based on centuries of natural selection because farming is a more effective means of getting food than hunting/gathering, though the creative/hunter types are highly ADAPTABLE and as such fill _OTHER_ important roles in society like craftsmanship and ranching and military/police, and thus the relative percentages of these "classifications" of thinking patterns, either linear time-based 'farmer' thinking, or non-linear now-based 'creative/hunter' thinking - yeah, it's an old theory, the 'hunter/farmer' concept, but it works and explains a lot)
My experience with atechnical Windows 10 users is that they are typically blissfully unaware of Microsoft's data grabbing. A few will have chosen to turn off some options such that stop certain data being sent and will assume (wrongy) that their data is then secure. IMO, the majority of Microsoft's 70% are oblivious to the whole issue.
The kings of slurp, way worse than Apple or Google, who are both transparent with what's collected and honest about rentention. I did a paper on some tests I did about data deletion and it's after affects, it was crystal clear that Google and Apple did the right thing and truly forgot me, but Facebook and Microsoft didn't. Even 3 years later, Facebook data is still retained about me, my IP address, and people I may know.. Microsoft are still using things it knew about me for advertising.
Then they are doing it very well, as there is a huge difference between targeted advertising from my "known" profile and the untargetted data from my deleted profile data.
Most people when they get a new 'whatever' just click through and accept defaults unless they know and understand what they want.
Most people just want their new system to be up and running and ready to use WOW or Facebook or whatever as quick as possible and with little thought as possible.
Low hanging fruit is just easy, not necessarily preferred...
Afraid so..... MS went to a cumulative model for Win 7 / 8 updates. So you get one 'quality update' a month that includes all new updates and previous ones. The only way not to get those updates is to install the security only cumulative update from the MS catalog. Then you just get security updates not function updates. Does not stop MS from deciding that telemetry updates are needed as part of the security updates as well.
Essentially MS have retroactively made the deciding what updates you want a nightmare....
This is a telling thing. And a reason that massive comapnies like Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc exist and operate. They cater for most people. Most people don't care about sharing what websites they view, or what they buy, or where they go. They don't care because having other people know, or governments know, or companies know just isn't as important as doing these things at a price that makes them convenient and easy. They, mostly subconsiously, make the decision that a kind of trade is going on where they give up some privacy for ease, convenience and cost. This is the trade that makes saying "Alexa play my favorite songs" so appealing. I don't think it will ever change and I don't think it's a totally bad thing - I do think it'll increase, though. Ford will track journeys to make sat-navs and autonomous cars better for example.
All I think is needed is simple rules that makes what they gather clear in the T&Cs and then you have a choice to use it or not. This is kind of like the current rules changes in the UK to do with marketing mail.
I don't necessarily condemn those who accept this "deal" consciously - but I really doubt most do. Funnily enough, we take it for granted that the warning "you have the right to remain silent, anything you say can be used against you in a court of law" is NOT optional, yet the exact same thing outside the judicial context suddenly becomes a "no need to talk about it" deal...
Yes that's true, but for Google I get email, search etc in return for letting them know my browsing and purchasing habits, some of my privacy is the payment (they also let me see what they know). With Microsoft I *PAY* them for my overpriced licence therefore I expect I get at least the option to maintain my privacy. But I'm not given the option. The phrase "Cake and eating it" springs to mind.
I can't help but notice there that the enterprise option gets a very minimal option (less than basic) so they know the big corporates wouldn't upgrade if anything of real value was spaffed out so it's a case of we'll listen to the big corporates but fuck the rest of you.
I was on a Apple forum the other day (sorry), and people were genuinely excited that the next generation of apple watch might be able to measure your blood chemistry, nobody seemed to worry what that might do for health insurance etc etc.....
I bought a heart rate monitor recently and the computer interface took the readings straight to Osram - no opportunity to store my data on my machine .... so I sent it back.
IMHO - where possible we should all try to reject this encroachment ...
"spends most of its time updating". A serious question... "What have you done?" I have half a dozen w10 PCs at home and use one full time at work. I don't see this at all on any of them. Or is that just hyperbole? Is this an upgrade? From what? What software is running?
To be fair, the less often that you use a bit of software like Winx the worse it gets. If you only turn it on for an hour a month then it downloads and starts installing all of the updates, you turn it off in disgust as it's used half of that updating and then try again a month later and it does the same thing then your going to have a pretty poor view of it.
"If you only turn it on for an hour a month then it downloads and starts installing all of the updates, you turn it off in disgust as it's used half of that updating"
The great mystery to many of us is why it needs to do updates this way. Earlie todayr I got an alert that my system had one update. The system's discovering that had no noticeable effect on performance. I don't set the system to autoupdate so a few moments ago I ran the update. One package was updated: 258kB downloaded at 636 kB/s and installed with no noticeable effect on performance. The whole update took seconds of elapsed time.
Clearly there'd be many more packages to update if I left it to be a monthly task. Even so I know from large updates, say the mass that occur when, as you describe, an infrequently used box is switched on, that it doesn't take anything as long as the equivalent Windows update, it doesn't impede performance to any noticeable extent, it stops and restarts any services which have had an update without reboots, it doesn't require long delays to shut down after an update nor on the consequent restart and, in fact, the only sort of update that requires a reboot at all is when the kernel itself has been updated.
FreeBSD is pretty similar (it's a while since I tried PC-BSD, based on FreeBSD and found it to be inexplicably similar to Windows in this respect).
So why is it that Windows updates are such a major production?
I've never been. It involves creating a Microsoft online account, agreeing to the terms and associating your pc with it.
My Mrs did. All it achieved was Microsoft spam to her email address, she wasn't happy but rather than file a complaint with the ICO she took it out on me.
"All it achieved was Microsoft spam to her email address"
Set up an address beforehand specifically for this. Then discontinue it or at least ignore it forever afterwards. Added bonus, make it a HotLiveOutmail address and let Microsoft store their own spam indefinitely.
Mine isn't. I told Windows to get stuffed every time it tried to tell me I should create a Microsoft account instead of a local one, and every time it said I should "upgrade" to one. This means I cannot use Windows Store apps, so it's a win-win really.
"With Windows 10 your Microsoft account is your Windows login. So it's quite hard to dispose of it."
That's completely optional though. You can still choose to use local accounts. However anything from the Windows Store that requires a license won't work in that case...Just like on OS/X / Android, etc you need to be signed in for the App Store to work fully.
No doubt Reg readers know already (and no doubt can expand on this if there's more), but for those who don't...
Windows-R, services.msc, double-click "Connected User Experiences and Telemetry", stop the service, disable the service.
I remember reading of another item to disable - maybe someone can add it if they know?
And check occasionally that it hasn't been re-enabled by updates, as happened with mine when the Creator's Update hit my laptop.
(1) If you are using Windows 8 or 10, install Classic Shell.
(2) After install, click the start button for the now proper and logical start menu, right-click 'This PC' or 'Computer' in Win7, then left-click Manage.
(3) Find System Tools, then expand Task Scheduler, then Task Scheduler library, then Microsoft, then Windows.
(4) Find the 'Application Experience' task list and 'Customer Experience Improvement' one and disable all tasks therein.
"Would you share please"
plus probably others.
Also be aware that Slurp's "telemetry" bypasses the hosts file and talks direct to the relevant IPs, so you need to block in an external firewall or your router.
Another vote for Spybot Anti-Beacon here. Re-run after any updates. You'll see how Slurp resets all the privacy settings you've carefully and laboriously set.
I had no problem with the minimum telemetry setting until I tried to record sound from a microphone onto my PC. It turns out on my system the telemetry causes the audio device driver to fail to fill all the input buffers, causing audio drops. That's when I added some rules to the firewall, and now audio recording works fine. The fact that I had to go out of my way to disable something just so that my PC could function correctly is, to put it mildly, annoying.
I have seen network activity obliterate basic audio usability before, although in that case it was _any_ network activity. I don't remember the details, only that it wasn't a simple "just make sure drivers are up to date" issue - it's all the more annoying considering those two functions are often both implemented using Realtek chips so one would expect them to get along better. I blame it on the modern "everything is software-only" mantra which makes things that need to happen at the same time totally fail to do so whenever the programming is sub-par (which is just to say "practically always").
"They block ad, data collection to the ad throwers, etc."
Which the Spybot app will also block. There are things in that list that will break other stuff too...
Strongly suggest you don't just pick stuff at random but use a list from someone that has actually researched what you actually need to block...
So... why, after over 2 years of massive data slurping by MS, is Windows 10 still no better than an early beta version (and that's me being polite)?
Looks to me like the data slurping is more about pushing ads rather than improving the operating system.
I'll just stick with my Windows 7/Linux Mint dual boot thanks. That's Windows 7 minus all the telemetry BS, of course. And, fully up to date with Windows security updates using a Kaby Lake 7th generation processor despite MS's lame attempt to block updates for 7th generation back in April.
"why, after over 2 years of massive data slurping by MS, is Windows 10 still no better than an early beta version"
Have you not installed the "creator" update? It's massively improved from the RTM version.
About the only thing I can still complain about is that we are still in transition between to old style control panel and the new touchy-feely interface for settings. However, the vast majority of required settings can now at least be reached via the new interface which certainly wasn't the case at RTM...
From the article:
"In other words, 30 per cent of people have found the switch to turn it off, and the rest haven't, don't realize it's there, or are genuinely OK with the data collection."
Or don't realise it's happening, which is not quite the same as not realising there is an option to reduce it (not turn it off).
"She cited comments from shill users like "Very well done," and "The privacy settings added to clean installs are a boon for the privacy minded."
Actually, you've missed the biggest gawper, too.
In order to comment/give feedback, you are required to have full telemetry on. Windows 10 will not allow you to give any kind of feedback unless it is on, full stop. I occasionally turn it on, just so they can track my keystrokes as I tell them they are pushy, nosy, and rude. And then turn it off again.
Or: "I'm not fiddling around with things I don't know" ?
I am the one who goes round and turns off all the 'useful' stuff on W10 for my mates, most have no experience with computers other than the 'keyboard, mouse, screen' experience. They are scared of screwing up and wrecking things.
I'm happy with 'turn almost all of it off, if anything really needs access it will ask'.
"I'm happy with 'turn almost all of it off, if anything really needs access it will ask'."
Then you have presumably discovered that, in practice, most software does not ask but instead just fails quietly and it is up to you to figure out why. You sound like the sort of person who is willing to do this.
Your mates sound like the sort of people who aren't. They've discovered that switching things off screws up and wrecks things, so they don't.
A 70:30 split between these two populations sounds surprisingly heavily weighted on the "clued up" side.
Yeah, Micro-shaft is running out of actual IDEAS. So they'll recycle this one unti it stops working. The only market THEY care about is "the 70%".
I'd like to start a NEW campaign, to replace Windows with desktop Linux:
MAKE! COMPUTING! GREAT! AGAIN!!!
We'll go after the 30%, the "unsatisfied". It _COULD_ turn into a real revolution...
only way to get 30% on linux, would be to get the major software developers to produce products for linux.
I am one that will switch if this happens. and would switch the entire office over to linux if i could get Autodesk software on linux. add to that photoshop etc etc etc. unfortunately there isnt alternatives that do the same job.
Like the old saying, if they build it they will come.
I know plenty of engineers / architects / designers / manufacturers that would switch in a instant, if only the software would support linux without lame WINE or other work around crap. Ditto improved driver support to prevent crashes of said complex software.
"As evidence for this claim, she said 71 per cent of people choose the default option of sending a full load of diagnostics data back to Redmond's servers. She cited comments from users like "Very well done," and "The privacy settings added to clean installs are a boon for the privacy minded."
71% of the users from a specific set of data your removed from the actual full data.
Of these 71% of people how many understood what they were being told? and how many understood privacy implications?
The only Windows User Feedback Program that Microsoft pays any attention to, is in the Insider Program. As a participant of the Insider Program you are obligated to NOT turn off any telemetry. This program has 10 million fanboys. Considering that MS is their 'Dear Leader', it is more than likely that the positive feedback cited by Marisa Rogers came from this camp.
Consumers (est. 400 million) upgraded to W10 primarily from an OEM W7/8 Home or Pro pre-install. The additional 100 million after GWX probably bought new OEM hardware with W10 pre-installed. The OEM defaults were set on those systems to benefit MS (partnership agreements and all that). Windows is a closed system and even more so with W10. The Privacy configuration options range between 'all' and 'almost all', so user satisfaction feedback based on this is an insult to their customer base.
Memo to MS Rogers: PR is a weapon best used as a preemptive strike. It has a lot less impact when your lead ship is under the constant barrage of devastating salvos.
"App suggestions, and tonnes of nags constantly."
I have used the Windows 10 insider build as my primary laptop OS for well over a year and I don't see any nags or app suggestions (except in the Windows Store - which you would expect). Sounds like you are not speaking from any actual experience.
As to full telemetry I really don't care if some random at Microsoft gets anonymised information about what I use it for. If you do care - just kill it with the app mentioned above.
"The only Windows User Feedback Program that Microsoft pays any attention to, is in the Insider Program.
Considering that MS is their 'Dear Leader', it is more than likely that the positive feedback cited by Marisa Rogers came from this camp."
They only pay attention to the Insiders that still remain after the Great Purge, where all of the Insiders that were offering feedback that didn't boil down to "Great job!" were purged from the Insider forum, effectively removing their opinions from Dear Leader's awareness. They eliminate voices of dissent, then crow about how everyone who speaks up loves what they're doing.
"This is great news to us because what we hear from you directly impacts the improvements we make."
You've not heard from me - I had no idea it was possible to even tell you what I think, which is that I hate the idea of this Cortana monstrosity monitoring everything I do and feeding details of my private life back to Bing.
I would have said that was very poor under the circumstances. I assume MS recognise this and have a plan to eliminate the option to turn off telemetry.
The US gubmint gets a special build I understand, but outside the US I think governments will have to look at the alternatives. I was most surprised that the Chinese government embraced Windows, in spite of developing their own OS. Most Odd. What can it mean?
The moment it became clear that M$ will start slurping as they slurped never before it was out with the Windows from the one system I had to run a commercial OS on (Linux on every other system ever since 0.99.13 with a Slackware distro) and in came a brand new, expensive MacOS system. It was the excessive slurping that was the final nail in the coffin of my M$ usage...
After I read this article I logged on to https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/concern/privacy and left a message for Marisa Rogers, as follows...
Marisa Rogers, if you and your company truly want to support Windows User's privacy, you'd stop setting the "default" data mining "feature" (cough, spying) to OFF, and/or make the privacy settings during the initial setup of Windows 10 more VISIBLE to the general public, who are not certified data security professionals.
Hiding Windows 10s data slurping behind "Microsoft cares and listens to it's user base" is at best a naive approach, or at worst a disingenuous tactic adopted by a mega corporation trying to catch up in the modern world of corporate attitudes that are inching society as a whole to a true state of 1984-ism. We want your identity, and we are willing to lie to you, as long as we can make a buck off of it.
In the past at least we as society could make you stand up and pay attention, by hitting you in the wallet (because that is the only thing that has worked in the past, i.e. Windows ME, Vista, and Windows 8), but now that you have taken to role playing as PC Operating System Savior, and "given away" Windows 10, you seem to now think that means you can do anything you want with people's data, because you feel we are indebted to you.
Wake up, and if you want to really stand out in the global market place, stop trying to be like Google and Facebook, and REALLY respect the people using your software, and stop spying on them, just because you can and you think you can drive up revenue by doing so.
It takes a much stronger ethical standard to stand up and state, Microsoft is not going to stoop to the same tactics as these other mega corporations, we BELIEVE in privacy, and believe that each individual's privacy is an inherent right given to anyone with a heartbeat, and a PC connected to the world wide web.
"and/or make the privacy settings during the initial setup of Windows 10 more VISIBLE to the general public"
They are pretty clearly displayed with an option to set them during the install process, and the impact of not setting them is also clearly displayed.
The vast majority of people simply don't care what data Microsoft (and anyone else!) collects within reason....
More proof that Microsoft are still smoking their funny stuff and believing that they understand what the users want.
Its a bit odd that with all the customer feedback, the have still not worked out what people really want.
Something that works like Windows 7, Isn't constantly changing "just because Windows", has no telemetry and doesn't need any form of subscription service.
Its not that hard MS.
Google slurps all your search keywords, browsing history, and if you connect to your car's radio Google will slurp your engine's performance. Apple is bit more polite. They give you shiny new toys, like Siri, yet fail to mention Siri is quietly collecting everything you express interest in. Apple calls it "learning." Amazon Echo places a live speaker in your home which is connected to a server farm. XBox Live puts a camera in your house. Smartphones track your GPS coordinates to provide traffic data then sell you back the data they've collected from you.
So, Windows 10 is snooping? You're just swimming against the tide at this point.
A portion of those that haven't opted out are too stupid to realize that continuously handing the Big Data Machine® all of your personal information (because you have nothing to hide) is a seriously bad idea. Showing a potential or current employer where they can find pages of selfies where you have an adult bevy in hand or or smoking something other than ciggies (actually, those might be of issue too) is not a great idea. Yet, it seems that it is precisely at this times that people think to whip out a camera and take a picture of themselves instead of that pivotal moment where they make a breakthrough discovery during an experiment they designed at the VVLHC (Very Very Large Hadron Collider) or they are at the microscope just after they discover a universal cure for cancer. Nope, they have to document the more base enjoyment of mood altering substance usage, in full. Might as well copy Bevis and Butthead quotes into ones resume cover letters.
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