back to article Hold on to your aaSes: Yup, Windows 10 'as a service' is incoming

Another year, another round of Windows 10 updates – most likely 1803 in March, and 1809 in September or thereabouts. The company calls this "Windows as a service", the idea being that users get a constant flow of improvements. The advantage for Microsoft is that it can begin to escape its legacy prison, where keeping …

  1. Spacedinvader

    Who didn't see this coming?

    I wonder how long it'll be before there's a monthly subscription charge...

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Who didn't see this coming?

      Yep.

      The company calls this "Windows as a service", the idea being that users get a constant flow of improvements.

      The 'service' bit is the giveaway.

      Microsoft does nothing without extracting lucre when it comes to services.

      "For only $99/year we can keep your PC uptodate."

      Don't forget to read the 9999 page EULA along with a legal representative so that you can find out that the EULA precludes you from taking legal action when the brick your PC with an update OR you forget to keep your Credit Card details current and your 'service' periods expires.

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Who didn't see this coming?

        "Microsoft does nothing without extracting lucre"

        Well they are a business, that's kind of their raison d'être.

      2. Dave K Silver badge

        Re: Who didn't see this coming?

        And yet Microsoft don't realise that many people don't want an endless stream of "improvements" - especially when these involve lengthy installations (during which time the PC is unusable), and a steady stream of issues when these "improvements" break other applications or fail to install properly.

        The fact that Windows 7 is still doing so well should kind of hint that a sizable percentage of users don't care about "the latest features" and prefer long term stability over a steady stream of changes. Other vendors recognise this (for example, Ubuntu gives everyone the choice of the regularly updated version, or the more stable LTS version). Unfortunately MS seems to think that only very specific businesses might want a stable and dependable version of Windows, so the LTSB branch is out of reach for most home users.

        1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

          At Dave K, Re: Stability.

          Thank you for pointing this out. I intended to do so if nobody else had done it yet.

          As someone whom relies on a ScreenReaderEnvironment (SRE) to interact with my computer at all, the OS remaining stable is absolutely critical. I can't see to fix it if an OS update breaks the SRE, since I can't use the computer unless/until the SRE is talking & the SRE can't talk until/unless the OS is up & running. Break the OS & I'm left with having to pack up my computer, take it to BestBuy, & pray they don't destroy what's left. They will almost certainly empty my bank account, so either way I'm well & truely fucked.

          MS doesn't seem to realize, care, or intend to do anything for folks that *have* to have a stable OS in order to use the Accessibility tools we need to interact with the computer at all. They issue a patch, the patch breaks $Something, & part of that $Something will invariably fuck up the Accessibility. Since we can't fix the machine until/unless the Accessibility bits are working, an OS that's broken also breaks the Accessibility & leaves us unable to do anything... except pay someone else to try & fix our computer for us.

          Fuck that. I'm sticking with Windows 7 until I get fluent enough with my new Linux+ORCA (the SRE) system to ditch Windows entirely. I suck at Linux, it's been nearly twenty years since I last used it with any frequency, but I'm slowly clawing out the knowledge I need to be productive. I can't be productive on Windows 10, I'd be too worried that my computer would stop working at any time "for no apparent reason" (aka a Windows update forced down the pipe) & suddenly no longer had a computer at all.

          Hear that Microsoft? I don't need the fancy shit, I don't need the feature of the day, I don't need AR & VR & MR & whatever else you call it this week, I don't need Curtana, I don't need all the shit you keep shoveling down the pipe, I need a stable, reliable, working OS that allows both my SRE & I to Get Shit Done. You stop me from GSD & my only recourse is to find someone else (another OS) that *will*. Guess what? You've screwed the pooch with Windows 10, & since I'm not into beastiality I'll go elsewhere.

        2. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Who didn't see this coming?

          " should kind of hint that a sizable percentage of users don't care about "the latest features""

          I care very much about them, in the sense that I wish they would stop coming so fast. I really miss the days when they only came around every couple of years, and I could realistically choose whether and when I was ready to get them.

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Who didn't see this coming?

        "For only $99/year we can keep your PC uptodate."

        Linspire tried that, and it failed. but it was nice, for a while, being able to purchase inexpensive PCs with Linspire pre-loaded. [then I would put Debian on them]

      4. Zakhar
        Linux

        Re: Who didn't see this coming?

        No please, Redmond... don't do that!

        The day the monthly subscription starts we will see truckloads of n00bs going the penguin way. On top of having to respond to inept questions, it will attract all the malware makers.

        We are happy with our 1% ...

        ... ah no, they said it recently doubled... well, let's hope it's not starting yet... and let's imagine they don't count WSL as Linux (who knows!)

        [PS: sorry we can't have both sarcasm + penguin icons!]

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Who didn't see this coming?

      I wonder how long it'll be before there's a monthly subscription charge...

      That's the "Windows As A Disservice" release.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who didn't see this coming?

      Too true!

      So far I'm refusing to buy into Adobe's subscription service. This looks even more of a pain.

      [Insert obligatory reason for switching to linux here]

      1. J 3
        Go

        Re: Who didn't see this coming?

        My wife, who is a professional graphic designer, got fed up with Adobe and switched (well, is switching, since not all programs are ready, apparently) to Affinity programs. Old school model, pay $50 and that's it. She is very happy with the programs she's used so far, like Affinity Designer --she says it it much more light weight, does pretty much everything that Illustrator does, and in some cases more. I hope more people will try it, so Adobe gets some real competition.

        By the way, I have no affiliation or whatever with Affinity. Just married to a happy customer.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Who didn't see this coming?

          Older CS3 user here and never upgraded to the Adobe Creative Cloud.

          I'll give Affinity a look. Thanks for the recommendation.

        2. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: Who didn't see this coming?

          My wife, who is a professional graphic designer, got fed up with Adobe and switched (well, is switching, since not all programs are ready, apparently) to Affinity programs.

          Just like to put in a word for Xara here. No connection other than as a happy user, though the thing is Windows-only which is a bit of a problem if your existing setup is Apple.

          Xara Designer Pro

          M.

        3. MrNed

          Re: Who didn't see this coming?

          I concur. The Affinity apps are brilliant - Designer especially. I stuck with CS5 when Adobe went subscription only, then went to Affinity when they came out. Haven't needed to open an Adobe app in ages, and don't miss their bloated bug-ridden wares in any way whatsoever.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Affinity

            Their photo product looks to be excellent too. Serif have come an awful long way since i tried their stuff at least ten years ago.

          2. Vince

            Re: Who didn't see this coming?

            Add me to that list. CS4 was my last. Was going to get CS6 and then they yelled Cloud Cloud Cloud was about to be forced on us, so I decided against it.

            I use Affinity Photo in place of Photoshop and it is very credible and well priced. I also have the iPad version and it’s also fabulous. All for less than the Adobe “Photography” subscription.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Old school model

          Same here -- not a professional graphic designer, but had occasional use for a vector editing software, didn't get used to Inkscape and Illustrator was very expensive for my needs. Bought Affinity Designer (lucky me, they've dropped the price from $50 to $40 for some time), was able to install it in two computers and it does all I need (then some more). But I confess that I would buy Illustrator for twice the price if it was sold, not rented.

          1. BitDr

            Re: Old school model

            I'm going to ask a question that might be difficult to answer.

            Why?

            Why would you pay more for features you don't need?

        5. ShelLuser

          Innovation is what's needed...

          "Old school model, pay $50 and that's it."

          Which is also how it should be. I'm pretty much of an audio freak and have purchased several professional DAW's and same thing: you pay a lot of money (around E 700,- or such for Ableton Live Suite edition) but that's it. The version gets supported for many years until a new version comes out, then I can upgrade (but with a huge discount because I'm already a customer) or chose not to. When the version after that comes out: same deal. I can upgrade, with a discount.

          The problem though is that software vendors should be more innovative. There comes a time when you don't have much extra to sell your audience, after which some customers can become stingy if you try to sell them stuff which - to them - isn't worth the upgrade costs.

          There are some software vendors who I really admire, and who I've stuck with over the years. Especially: Ableton, Propellerhead, Visual Paradigm, Daz Studio and Cycling '74 (now part of Ableton). Oh, and AOMEI tech: their partitioning software is brilliant in my opinion. Even the free version does good stuff, but it's well worth buying into as well.

          So what would be the main thing which "ties" all these companies together? Their "old school" and honest sales model: you pay for an item, you download the item and it's yours to work with. No subscription nonsense, no "new version = new full payment" nonsense (they actually value their customers!) and most of all: I seriously enjoy working with the software.

          Microsoft? I actually paid for Windows 7 (bought the Professional version) and what did I get? They tried to force me into Windows 10. Not even the pro version! So much for reliability. I'm staying on 7 for as long as it's supported and after that we'll see what's next. I wouldn't even be surprised if I'd move onto FreeBSD (with a Win7 VM for my regular work) or maybe even make a switch to Apple. I don't particularly like Apple (in some cases I think it's overpriced) but to my knowledge they don't try to force you into stuff you don't want. And all my professional software runs on both platforms, so....

          1. myhandler

            Re: Innovation is what's needed...

            Yes but Apple tend to tie in their software with OS updates - so if the OS is updated you *have* to update Logic Pro to run the latest version and that's not free.

      2. wallaby

        Re: Who didn't see this coming?

        "[Insert obligatory reason for switching to linux here]"

        In these forums - oh so tediously predictable reasons more like

        1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

          Re: Who didn't see this coming?

          "[Insert obligatory reason for switching to linux here]"

          In these forums - oh so tediously predictable reasons more like

          If you prefer, you could run ReactOS instead. I expect they'll reach full WinXP-compatability in another 10 years.

    4. Lysenko

      Re: Who didn't see this coming?

      I wonder how long it'll be before there's a monthly subscription charge...

      Hmmm. Build in and then enhance a Linux subsystem (thus getting an open source competitor into places it otherwise wouldn't be) when your end game is to increase charges?

      Sorry, I don't buy it. That's too dumb even for Microsoft. I'm sure there is an end-game, but it's not going to be that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Who didn't see this coming?

        @ Lysenko

        I don't down vote often, any more, but I think that is very naive and got one.

        I find it hard to believe that I've been on this site long enough to start to evolve into a reasonable human. I'm only in my 50ies so maybe I'll achieve that :)

        1. Lysenko

          Re: Who didn't see this coming?

          I don't down vote often, any more, but I think that is very naive and got one.

          Naivety doesn't really come into it. You assume that Microsoft either have no interest in retaining their position as the most popular desktop OS or they are terminally incompetent - and I'm not convinced of that. I don't actually care one way or the other since most of my machines run Linux anyway.

          Some of the reactions one gets around here lead me to think that a malaria vaccine (should one be created) will be dismissed as an evil innovation if it turns out Bill Gates (Boo!! Hiss!!!) had a hand in funding it.

      2. Hairry Hippy

        Re: Who didn't see this coming?

        Could it not be the other way around - rather than people spinning up Linux VMs to get basic scipting tasks done (and therefore potentially realising that Linux would be a viable alternative) MS are trying to provide enough of a Linux environement to keep people on Windows?

    5. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Who didn't see this coming?

      "I wonder how long it'll be before there's a monthly subscription charge"

      'Not Soon Enough' as far as Micro-shaft is concerned

    6. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: Who didn't see this coming?

      Monthly charge?

      I suppose MS could pay me month to month, but it would be a hell of a lot to make Windows 10 seem like a good idea.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who didn't see this coming?

      Calling it now.

      Subscription charge for the 'Pro' features, Group Policy Editor, virtualization, BitLocker, Domain Join etc.

      Next time there will be no Home vs Pro edition of Windows: everyone gets 'Home' by default. If you want Pro, you'll have to pay a monthly subscription; the day you stop paying is the day those features get switched off. For stuff such as Cortana, Edge, OneDrive etc, Microsoft can take them and shove it.

      They'll throw in free OneDrive cloud storage, a few months of free Office 365 trial, and maybe some credits or code to redeem games or apps on the Microsoft Store.

      This is the brave new world. If it gets out of hand I'd rather buy a Mac.

      A win32 desktop-focused Windows (ReactOS) can't arrive quickly enough. Run Steam and legacy games properly, run the win32 applications flawlessly.

      I can't wait for the day when using Windows is like launching a Sega Genesis emulator, only used occasionally for a dose of legacy nostalgia, nothing more.

  2. TRT Silver badge

    So that's what it is!

    "keeping compatibility with a large user base on old versions of Windows restricts its ability to innovate."

    I did wonder what was holding them back; but "users" was such an obvious answer I don't know why I didn't think of it before.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: So that's what it is!

      [Derisive laughter, er, Bruce]

      keeping compatibility with a large user base on old versions of Windows restricts its ability to innovate.

      <u>a large user base on old versions of Windows restricts its ability to charge by the month</u>

      More like....

    2. LDS Silver badge

      "keeping compatibility with a large user base"

      Most users don't look for an OS - the look for applications to perform what the need or like.

      And they may not want to abandon them just because someone in a marketing department decides they should not run anymore, or have to be bough from a store to get a 30% ransom, or need to have a new UI to match the latest fashion.

      One of the reasons Windows kept its market its exactly because of its backward and forward compatibility - you could usually run new applications on older systems, and old applications on newer ones, within reasonable limits. So you can decide what to upgrade and when.

      Kill this, and make it a fully consumer system with built-in obsolescence, and many customers will look elsewhere for systems that don't force them to chase the latest fashion at all costs - especially at higher costs...

      1. Flakk Silver badge

        Re: "keeping compatibility with a large user base"

        Most users don't look for an OS - the look for applications to perform what the need or like.

        Bingo. At home, I would be perfectly happy with "Windows 10 Single-User Program Launcher with Networking Support Edition". I don't need any of the garbage that Microsoft thinks I need. I just need the OS to run the software that I choose.

        1. joed

          Re: "keeping compatibility with a large user base"

          Just because you don't need it does not mean you won't be embraced by MS and shoved all the crApps down your throat. Choice is so yesterday. Remember, you're consumer and get served (Windows as a "service").

    3. Tikimon Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: So that's what it is!

      "keeping compatibility with a large user base on old versions of Windows restricts its ability to innovate."

      No, it restricts MS's ability to drag its customers away from a mature product that meets their needs, and force a spying platform with a horrible UI on them instead. Fixed that for ya.

    4. joed

      Re: So that's what it is!

      It's ironic how the ability to innovate often means removal of features that part of MS' userbase got to rely on. Windows as a service is for its users like building castles on quick sand. And don't forget to pony up for faster Internet service.

      fts

    5. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: So that's what it is!

      If Windows 10 is an example of Microsoft innovating... well, I will have the innovation-free version, please. This crap they're pushing now isn't even a good value for the money when it's free.

    6. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: So that's what it is!

      "keeping compatibility with a large user base on old versions of Windows restricts its ability to innovate."

      I did wonder what was holding them back; but "users" was such an obvious answer I don't know why I didn't think of it before.

      The solution is quite simple; MS just needs to adopt Wine as a compatability runtime under the newer MSWindows. Then they could remove the old cruft out of the kernel and port the removed pieces to the Wine-layer.

      Heck, had they done it at the time of the Wine/ReWind split, they could have used the ReWind version under the X11 license (which I'm sure they would have preferred over Wine's GPL).

  3. TRT Silver badge

    Timeline...

    Innovative. Aka "Recent documents ++"

    1. Czrly

      Re: Timeline...

      Also: "the very first thing I'll turn off when the new build lands"

      Seriously. Who wants that? Sending recent activity data to Microsoft just for a pimped Alt+Tab experience that nobody other than Microsoft fully support?

      If Microsoft actually wanted to innovate, they'd accept the innovative idea that Windows is supposed to be an operating system and, as such, is not supposed to innovate. It is supposed to run programs. End of.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: an operating system and, as such, is not supposed to innovate.

        So you're still running CPM yeah?

        1. VictimMildew

          Re: an operating system and, as such, is not supposed to innovate.

          > So you're still running CPM yeah?

          A new OS is an innovation. Once in the wild, it should surrender its innovative ambitions, settle down and concentrate on supporting the development of innovative software.

        2. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: an operating system and, as such, is not supposed to innovate.

          "So you're still running CPM yeah?"

          I am, on three of my machines.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: "So you're still running CPM yeah?"

            There's a difference between making improvements or advancements or enhancements or adding features or whatever you want to call it and innovation which is creating a new method, idea or product.

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Timeline...

        > If Microsoft actually wanted to innovate

        Next you will want native ext4, a decent text editor (instead of two that have sucked since the 90s) and actually a bootloader that has not been put together by interns toiling in the boiler room?

      3. Cypherdude

        Re: Sending recent activity data to Microsoft

        My understanding is that Microsoft's Windows 10 has been tracking your activity and sending it to their servers since day 1, not just recently. See this YouTube video:

        "Windows 10 Spying is worse than I ever imagined"

        https://youtu.be/RVzc5wK2-pc

        I believe the person in the above video works in PC security in England. He has made other videos regarding this subject.

        This is why I still use Windows 7-64, until Jan 2020. After that I don't know what I'll do, Linux Wine perhaps?

        1. Updraft102 Silver badge

          Re: Sending recent activity data to Microsoft

          "This is why I still use Windows 7-64, until Jan 2020. After that I don't know what I'll do, Linux Wine perhaps?"

          There's also Windows 8.1, suitably modified. I'm preparing for a Windows-free future too (using Linux to post this), but I also have 8.1 installed on both of my main PCs. Out of the box, 8.1 has a pretty poor UI, but that can be fixed. With Classic Shell to replace the tiled start screen and eliminate the hot corners and charms, Old New Explorer to remove the ribbon from Windows Explorer, a custom theme to un-flatify the UI, and a batch file along with install_wim_tweak.exe to evict the Windows Store and all of the other apps, Windows 8.1 is very close to Windows 7, only with three more years of support. No Windows as a Service pushing out unwanted updates that break a lot of things twice a year, no forced updates, no more telemetry than Win 7 (easily removed, unlike 10), no Cortana, no uncommanded installations or uninstallations... if you must run Windows, it's better than 10 by far, and still has a lot of life left in it.

          It's still a temporary measure, even if the time frame is long. Microsoft shows no signs of backing off on this insane direction they're taking with 10, so while we can hope that they will see the light and make Windows 10 into something worth using, it's not terribly likely.

          1. Cypherdude

            Re: Windows 8.1

            If I buy Windows 8 Pro - Upgrade, does Microsoft still give the upgrade to 8.1 for free?

            Where do you get the batch file along with install_wim_tweak.exe to evict the Windows Store and all of the other apps?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sending recent activity data to Microsoft

          @ Cypherdude

          "This is why I still use Windows 7-64, until Jan 2020."

          The Windows 10 privacy situation has been much improved since 2015. Most people don't realize that they can pretty much stop telemetry by shutting off one or two services ( the primary one being "Connected User Experiences and Telemetry" ).

          The rest can pretty much be handled through the improved Privacy section of Settings. The Cortana component of Search can be handled with a single regedit.

          Moreover, with a single line in PowerShell you can wipe all the "apps" off your local account, with a second, all the "apps" on the system (new accounts will be created without them). Imagine the possibilities, eh?

          It takes a bit of tweaking, but hey, it's Windows, and it's meant to be tweaked.

          1. Cypherdude

            Re: Sending recent activity data to Microsoft

            What site can I visit which gives me all the necessary tweaks for Windows 10? I would want to shut off all snooping, i.e. telemetry, advertisements, using my bandwidth to disperse Windows Updates, Cortana, any "apps" which I don't want, everything.

            I use Windows 7-64. I'm not sure what the difference is in Windows between an "app" and a program. Is there any difference?

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Timeline...

      obviously they're tracking what you do ONLINE, otherwise it wouldn't be "across devices"

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: Timeline...

        too late to edit, I just realized I didn't express myself very well...

        They're obviously tracking what you do ON YOUR COMPUTER with an ONLINE DATABASE, otherwise it wouldn't be "across devices". In other words, it's integrated spyware, with YOUR ACTIVITY HISTORY being stored someplace that YOU do not have control over, so that "who knows" can go rifling through it looking for 'whatever' that might hurt you or be used against you at some point, even if it's merely for ADVERTISING to you (I don't care, might as well be Mueller fishing for whatever he can find).

        That's what I meant to say. yeah, black helicopters for the spying, and also big brother for the new icon choice.

      2. joed

        Re: Timeline...

        btw, only MS fanboys, idiots or both would use Edge on any platform they did not have to. Does MS pay them for this?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'completely do away with the old-style Control Panel' - I'm not sure about doing away with the control panel. It's like a passage of time for long term sys admins, you open one element it looks like it's from Windows 10, open another dialogue box and that is in the style of WIndows 8 and the properties box of that is like Windows 7. Memory lane all in the process of changing one setting.

    Another one of my pet hates about Windows 10 is the amount of crap it comes installed with that I don't want. The fact I then need to mess around in the powershell to remove some of it is like hiding the uninstall option. Why does a buisness PC need XBox connectivity? Or even the time suck that is candy crush? It doesn't. I buy Windows and it tries to sell me stuff. That is not fair. I can forgive Android for adverts - as they give it away, but when I am paying for a product, I don't expect it to try and up sell me.

    1. whitepines Bronze badge
      Windows

      Nostalgia, indeed.

      It goes even further back than that. If you dig hard enough you can find original W95 styling and 3.1-era icons laying around. Or at least could, as of W7. No idea past that since W8 and up is a dirty word around here and I can't be bothered to check the lone W10 "runs a handful of $$$ business apps" PC right now.

      Some might think the Windows GUI subsystem has been neglected for 20 years. The funny thing is the older control panel apps are the ones that tend to work the best for things other than nagging for activation and showing ads....

      1. Sandtitz Silver badge

        Nostalgia

        "If you dig hard enough you can find original W95 styling and 3.1-era icons laying around."

        Oh, MORICONS.DLL is still there in Windows 10. Whenever I need to create scripts for users I select something from there for the shortcut. :-)

    2. inmypjs Silver badge

      "hates about Windows 10 is the amount of crap it comes installed with that I don't want."

      You/we need the LTSB version.

      I have been playing with it. Turn off spying options, install classic shell, remove onedrive and a couple of policy edits to put windows update back on a when I say so footing.

      After that the only real annoyance left is the control panel and metro style settings dissociative identity disorder crap.

      Shame you can't just buy it. People say the 90 day trial version just nags a bit after 90 days so maybe you don't need to buy it.

      1. joed

        I bet that KSMpico would take care of that (though getting a clean copy takes some digging).

    3. MJI Silver badge

      My work PC is on 7 and staying that way, but if I end up getting 10 I see something XBox the PC support people will be getting it in the neck.

      Already prepared the comments.

      But all revolves around

      "But I have a Playstation!"

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      WTF?

      'completely do away with the old-style Control Panel'

      how about "completely do away with the 'the Metro' settings" instead?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hold Me

    No, I'm not going to hold your aaSes. Also, I'm not going to hold my aaSes on any windows. It's really cold this week. /coat

  6. Excellentsword

    Fluff

    Can't help but think everything since the Start button has been fluff, and I barely ever touch its equivalent now except to type-search for a specific file. Otherwise it's boot, open Steam/Origin/browser and away I go. Stop trying so hard, Microsoft.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Fluff

      "Stop trying failing so hard, Microsoft."

      fixed it for ya. you're welcome.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "What users and businesses value most is better security, stability and consistency; but it does no harm to have wonderful new features as well. Windows Services for Linux is one such;[...]"

    Which is why I stay on W7 for my legacy applications and run Linux Mint Mate in a VM - as a precursor to getting the legacy applications to run on Linux.

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "sending activity history to Microsoft's servers"

    And here we go again. This brave new world in the making obviously considers that everyone wants to sync everything and show it to everyone by default and, to do so, Microsoft is one more in the long line of application writers that wants to store all your data "to better serve your interests".

    Timeline. Hmm, where did I already hear about that ? Oh, right, Facebook. That thing that is platform-independent. And not everyone was happy with it at the time.

    So, Microsoft, with Meltdown and co on the loose, you want to implement a server-held repository of everything a user does and push it out on whatever thing the user is using at the moment. Brilliant. No security concern there, for sure. No privacy concern either, right ? But, it's nothing important, you say ?

    Then why do it ?

    You are going to include a shutoff key for that, right ? And not make it on by default ? Yeah, right. And I'm winning the lottery tonight.

    1. GregC

      Re: "sending activity history to Microsoft's servers"

      Timeline

      ...snip...

      You are going to include a shutoff key for that, right ? And not make it on by default ? Yeah, right. And I'm winning the lottery tonight.

      Given that as of the last big update you now need to edit the registry to disable Cortana and Game Mode, I think I can guess what we'll need to do to get rid of this new "feature".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "sending activity history to Microsoft's servers"

        Bear in mind that they also have a habit of later disabling those registry keys. It used to be possible to disable the automatic downloading of spam apps (e.g. Candy Crush) through the registry, now you have to figure out the IP address they're being downloaded from and block them (for as long as that lasts).

        1. David Nash Silver badge

          Re: "sending activity history to Microsoft's servers"

          "Bear in mind that they also have a habit of later disabling those registry keys. It used to be possible to disable the automatic downloading of spam apps (e.g. Candy Crush) through the registry, now you have to figure out the IP address they're being downloaded from and block them (for as long as that lasts)."

          Can anyone recommend a good repository of detailed information about stuff like this? I am still on W7 and Linux, but my son is on W10 and although he's aware of privacy issues etc. he isn't a techie. Unfortunately I haven't had the time or pressing need to keep current on this kind of W10 knowledge.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "sending activity history to Microsoft's servers"

            I had to figure that one out myself, unfortunately. I've only just moved from Windows 7 to 10, so all the info I found on the internet refers to the old methods that Microsoft has removed/disabled.

            http://winaero.com/ is a good resource from Windows workarounds though.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: "sending activity history to Microsoft's servers"

      42th upvote. you're welcome

    3. el_oscuro

      Re: "sending activity history to Microsoft's servers"

      Dude, get an intercepting proxy like Burp Suite and set your browser to use it. While Burp Suite is primarily intended for pentesters, you can use it to see how much shit phones home.

      The results will probably surprise you. If used it to disable shitty extensions, disable default home pages, etc. All browsers are guilty.

  9. simmondp

    It's an OS not an Ecosystem

    Microsoft just don't get it......

    What people want is a stable, secure OS on which they can run their business applications, or in the case of Joe Home User; a Word Processor and a Browser.

    However MS continue to think that people want an entire ecosystem of apps and other cr*p.

    Unfortunately for MS (and fortunately for the rest of us) the world has moved on, those who still need a desktop for full-fat applications buy Windows; if you can afford it Apple, and the rest use either a Chromebook or a portable device of some description.

    Speak to the kids, very few now have desktop devices in need of an OS like windows that is the centre of their life!

    1. Joe Harrison Silver badge

      Re: It's an OS not an Ecosystem

      It's traditional to moan about "Windoze" and keep saying how bad it is and it's only the hassle factor that stops you from ditching it and having desktop Linux instead. I personally have been moaning in said fashion for 20 years but always stuck with Windows.

      I think finally we are getting very close to the time when people actually really do try to find an alternative. I certainly don't want to spend half my life creating devious obstacles to prevent Windows from uploading everything I do to somewhere or other. It's bad enough now having to find ways to stop weirdo unwanted applications from appearing on my PC.

      1. Wulfhaven

        Re: It's an OS not an Ecosystem

        The one and only reason I have a windows box myself is to play games.

        Everything else is running on linux, since linux is by far the more user friendly system of the two. (And I found MacOS to be somewhere in between the two. I can actually stand it, but I dislike linux the least.)

        1. el_oscuro

          Re: It's an OS not an Ecosystem

          I don't even have that. Dying Light, Kerbal Space Program, and FTL are my biggest time wasters, and they all run on Linux. And I have at least a dozen games I haven't even really started.

          If Microsoft would sell me a legit VM image, I would probably buy it. Professionally it is useful to keep my Windows skills current. But other than that, Windows is completely over.

      2. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: It's an OS not an Ecosystem

        I think finally we are getting very close to the time when people actually really do try to find an alternative.

        ReactOS is coming along quite nicely. Frankly, it's approaching the point it'd be suitable for production use. Hopefully it'll be finished by the time Windows 7 support is.

    2. David Nash Silver badge

      Re: It's an OS not an Ecosystem

      "However MS continue to think that people want an entire ecosystem of apps and other cr*p."

      It's not that they think people want it, they are desperate to convince people that they want it, otherwise there's no reason to keep bringing out new versions of Windows.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: It's an OS not an Ecosystem

        . . . but is there any point in doing so? I think everybody had all of the features they wanted at what, win2k?

        At the end of the day, an OS is supposed to Operate Systems. If I want a program to do something else, I buy that program. I don't want an exciting experiance from my OS that leaves me wondering if I can actually use it to do anything constructive when I turn it on, just a stable platform to do other things with.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: It's an OS not an Ecosystem

      if it's an "ecosystem", then my privacy has become an ENDANGERED SPECIES

    4. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: It's an OS not an Ecosystem

      "However MS continue to think that people want an entire ecosystem of apps and other cr*p."

      I doubt it. They know that they want us to have that stuff, so we get it, whether we want it or not. Windows 10 isn't a service... it's servitude.

    5. Timmy B Silver badge

      Re: It's an OS not an Ecosystem

      I think, actually, that it's you that doesn't get it. The average user does want an ecosystem. They want something to manage their photos, browse the net, do some emailing and some word processing, and watch some entertainment.

      If all these things could be done in one place then they would only go to that one place. This is why tablets are so used. They do all this thing in something you can easily carry about. People only have tablets because their phone screens are too small.

      If MS could get all the above things that 90% of the people do 90% of the time done well in something they could easily use and afford then people would buy it. MS know this and this is what they are trying to do. So do Google, and Amazon and Apple and Facebook. Everyone is trying to make a one stop ecosystem for the 90%

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: It's an OS not an Ecosystem

        I don't agree. According to the article:-

        45 per cent of PCs still run Windows 7, and only just over 27 per cent Windows 10.

        Ergo, with an 18% lead over WinX, people and businesses prefer privacy, stability and controllability over the ongoing trainwreck that is WinX.

        New features summary from a cynic.

        Timeline: We'll transmit a summary of everything you've done to Microsoft! Enjoy having no privacy!

        Sets: We're reinventing an inferior version of the taskbar for new sytle apps as we can't admit that people want their taskbar back!

        Progressive Web Apps: Remember VBA apps in IE6? Everybody loved those, let's do it again! Be locked into using our products until the stars burn out. Complete with security problems that will still be being discovered in a decades time! Take up these exciting new features now to ensure dissapointment, depression, despondancy and ongoing dependance on microsoft!

        Microsoft has now abandoned the mobile market, and tacitly agrees that their major market is for the PC. But they remain determined to force their customers to use a touchscreen interface optimised for a 7" touchscreen mobile on a 28" desktop screen which is interacted with by their mouse. The average home user despises it. The average business user has stuck with Win7 and has no migration plan to WinX.

        Microsoft now has the choice of delivering something their customers actually want and retaining 90% of the business market locked into their existing one stop ecosystem, or face increasing numbers of their business customers migrating to other platforms.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Developers with innovative ideas develop apps for mobile platforms"

    If they fit a mobile platform - and where are the "innovative ideas" even on mobile platforms, anyway? Most of the apps are still social/chat/intermediation/streaming - and any variation of them - as long as they can steal you as much personal data as they can.

    Not that a limited input/output device can do much more.

    Anyway, IIRC in OS/2 3.0 you could design a folder like some kind of workspace, put into it shortcuts to applications and documents, and they were opened and closed when the folder was opened and closed.

    "Innovation" looks a lot like "recycling", these days.

    1. onceuponatime

      Re: "Developers with innovative ideas develop apps for mobile platforms"

      I seem to vaguely recall doing the same thing in Windows 3.1 or having a tool to do so. I'd have to go digging in the pit of despair to be sure but my vague memory may be wrong. I don't generally expect to open multiple programs at the same time unless I'm programming and I try to do that as little as possible.

    2. Nolveys Silver badge

      Re: "Developers with innovative ideas develop apps for mobile platforms"

      "Innovation" looks a lot like "recycling", these days.

      I think it looks more like a cess pit at a rendering plant.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain.

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain.

      Hands up who didn't hear that sentence in the voice of Montgomery Scott.

      If you now have your hand up, you're a liar and fooling no-one :)

      Trivia: in that same film, the elevator on the Excelsior was voiced by Leonard Nimoy. And with that factoid, your life is now complete.

      1. Updraft102 Silver badge

        "Hands up who didn't hear that sentence in the voice of Montgomery Scott."

        Do people actually hear stuff they read in their head, or is this just some meme? I didn't hear anything. It's text; it's something I see. I had always assumed everyone was like this, except for those people whose lips move while they're reading, for some reason.

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          they are everywhere...

          It's text; it's something I see. I had always assumed everyone was like this, except for those people whose lips move while they're reading, for some reason.

          There are quite a lot of those running about. Maybe if you looked up from the books you'd see they were everywhere....

          I'll leave now before you have your 'close of Body Snatcher' moment - here comes Donald Sutherland and he's pointing at you...

  12. Warm Braw Silver badge

    It can begin to escape its legacy prison

    Good luck with that. Microsoft's only real platform is the desktop now and all those "innovative" voice-activated and data-mining gadgets aren't going to be running on the desktop or even on a hybrid tablet. Their only market is the legacy market - but it's a big market and it's going to be around for a long time if they want to serve it.

    Gradually turning Windows into a desktop version of Android sounds more like desperation than innovation.

  13. DJV Silver badge

    "compelling new features"

    Erm, exactly what were these "compelling new features"? Buggered if I can find any REAL improvements over Win7 - and I don't think "improved" telemetry really counts.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "compelling new features"

      Can you call being nagged to update at inappropriate times a feature? :)

    2. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: "compelling new features"

      > Buggered if I can find any REAL improvements over Win7

      I don't have Win10, but Win7 was a step back from WinXP in user-friendliness. The best example is the Control Panel. In WinXP if you wanted/needed to change some system setting you knew it was in one of the (obvious) Control Panel Categories; In Win7 it's not that simple anymore. The File Explorer also lost functionality and got cluttered by adding lots of stuff nobody asked for, which shouldn't be there, and you can't remove or hide.

      It's an unfortunate evolution to remove usability which started much earlier, and the best example is Window's native disk checking program: Till Win2000 it gave you a full report of what it had found and done. From WinXP on, all of a sudden that report was dropped: No feedback at all (well, for boot-time checks you could find a report in the System log, if you knew such a thing exists). Why on earth did they drop that result feedback? "According to user request", to "improve our experience", or just to "innovate"?

      From the user experience point of view, WinXP SP3 was IMHO the best Windows there has ever been, after that usability went rapidly downhill.

      - Note I'm not speaking about speed, security or stuff like that. Just about the ease to do and find things if you're not an IT professional.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "compelling new features"

        Just like they removed the nice "local help" features you got clicking the "?" icon and then something in the application window or dialog. Now you invoking help usually brings you to some internet page with some very luser information, usually useless.

      2. MrBanana

        Re: "compelling new features"

        Sorry to tell you, but if you thought that Win 7 was a step in a downward direction, then grab a parachute for Windows 10. I've spent 2 days trying to figure out why the latest FCU won't install on my Lenovo P50. Apart from two, seemingly random, hex error codes, I have no clue as to where to look. The Microsoft support pages are vague to the point of obscure on the issue... something, something, device driver, something. How about pointing me to an error log file?

    3. Graybyrd
      Trollface

      Re: "compelling new features"

      Ah, yes... softly hum the hymn of "Compelling New Features!"

      And shun, nay, excise all memory of the rotting remains of versions past.

      Lest we forget... the sad fate of the Flagship Achievement of Microsoft Past:

      http://www.graybyrd.com/graynest/commentary/disgraced.html

    4. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: "compelling new features"

      Hell, I'm hard pressed to think of anything that wasn't actively made worse wince Win7, outside of a couple of tiny changes that should have been made years ago.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 10 is gaining ground, though, but is that because users who need Windows can hardly avoid it, or is it driven positively by compelling new features?

    The main reason that it is gaining ground is that you can't buy a new consumer computer without the win10 crap on it.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      And also because the market is shrinking as people move of desktop for good: the numbers flatter to deceive.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Megaphone

        "And also because the market is shrinking as people move of desktop for good"

        NO. WRONG. NO, NO, NO! People are *NOT* "moving off of the desktop". People are simply *NOT* *UPGRADING* *THEIR* *DESKTOP* *AND* *NOTEBOOK* *COMPUTERS* in significant enough volume as compared to 10 years ago. This is due to SO many factors, with an end to 'Moore's Law" driving 30% improvements every year. In other words, your 10 year old machine running Windows 7 or Vista is "Good enough" so with a new hard drive or some extra RAM, you're doing just fine with the old box, and EVEN BETTER in many ways because it is _NOT_ Win-10-nic!!!

        Market measurements ONLY look at NEW SALES. They don't look at EXISTING INSTALLS.

        When people buy slabs and phones, they do NOT replace their DESKTOP machines with them. This was the BIGGEST MARKETING BLUNDER that Micro-shaft made when they went with Windows "Ape" and that major cluster-blank "the Metro" interface, and THEN went with their "one windows" strategy and Win-10-nic [even worse than before].

        Micro-shaft is WRONG about the market. Plain and simple. And that's why Win-10-nic is FAILING. When Win "Ape" and WIndows 7 machines were next to one another on the display shelf, guess which one was selling? You got it, Windows 7. Micro-shaft doesn't LIKE us rejecting their "shove it up our rectum" operating system, and so they SHUT DOWN ALL OTHER ALTERNATIVES. Now it's "take Win-10-nic or we shove it up your ass" for a new computer. Nobody likes having computers and operating systems shoved up their ass. A lot of people just tolerate it, or don't care enough. Maybe they like it who knows. Whatever tips their trigger.

        At any rate, if Win-10-nic were so popular, then WHY! MUST! MICRO-SHAFT! ADVERTISE! IT! ???

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          NO. WRONG. NO, NO, NO! People are *NOT* "moving off of the desktop". People are simply *NOT* *UPGRADING* *THEIR* *DESKTOP* *AND* *NOTEBOOK* *COMPUTERS*

          Ick, caps.

          Twenty years ago, desktops were what you 'generally' needed to browse the web and use email - If your needs are not much more than that - and many fall into that category. Do they really need a little desk in the corner of the living room or wherever to do that any more if their phone can do it.

          Some might still have the desktop or laptop sitting. I'd wager they don't get used as much, if at all. Odds are they won't be mourned if they don't boot up one day.

          <u>Not everyone needs a desktop (or even a laptop). They've dropped from necessity to a luxury for the user who is not actually using them for work.

          The 'Desktop' isn't dead, but there are other options than it, or even a big laptop now. Some will not feel the need to have anything more than a phone - some might like a laptop, but budget and priorities preclude that.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Funnily enough. was talking about this with oldest child today. She's just graduated and started work. Her work laptop is fine for a bit of typing and record keeping at home. In the office she plugs it into a full grown machine with a nice screen and keyboard. For report writing, and any serious typing we both want a full sized keyboard and screen. So a tablet, let alone a phone, is of no use to us.

            But, for all the people at home who only ever used a PC to surf the net or play Candy Crush there is no use having a PC/laptop whatever. That market is dead.

          2. Updraft102 Silver badge

            "Not everyone needs a desktop (or even a laptop). They've dropped from necessity to a luxury for the user who is not actually using them for work."

            That's how I see smartphones. The desktop and the laptop are the standard... it's the phone I don't need.

          3. Cypherdude

            Re: Death of Desktop and Laptops

            It depends on what you want to do on the Internet. If you only want to do email and view webpages, then you only need a phone or tablet. If you want to work on something, then you would need a desktop or laptop. If you want to work on something which requires a lot of computing power, then you would need to have a multi-core i7 (or Ryzen), 16GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, multiple monitors etc... Here is my desktop as an example:

            https://youtu.be/pwNJto6VWE8

            I also own a laptop and a smartphone. I use my desktop everyday, my laptop twice a week.

            I would like to upgrade to a 10 core Intel i7 7900X. Unfortunately, you can only use it in Windows 10. I still believe Windows 10 has privacy issues. No one wants to use an O/S which sends private information to MSFT. This is why my desktop and laptop still have Windows 7-64 and will probably remain so until January 2020.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      "The main reason that it is gaining ground is that you can't buy a new consumer computer without the win10 crap on it."

      and the 2nd reason is that it's getting difficult to locate a version of Win 7 that is legal to use...

      /me wonders if a Meltdown/Spectre fix for Win 7 will _EVER_ be released... thus forcing everyone into Win-10-nic

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    "Windows as a service"

    That's "service" as in what bulls do to cows I presume?

    1. g00se

      Re: "Windows as a service"

      No - because they at least have the decency NOT to do it in the aaS

      1. Franken Farter

        Re: "Windows as a service"

        You’re not a Kingsman then....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Windows as a service"

          Windows Wrongole?

  16. adam payne Silver badge

    where keeping compatibility with a large user base on old versions of Windows restricts its ability to innovate. Windows is an OS you run other programs on it and Windows 10 is certainly not an innovation.

    The feature works by sending activity history to Microsoft's servers Another data slurp!

  17. kotaKat

    Can they just push up a newer LTSB release so I can have WSL back on something that's NOT full of shitware? None of this is stuff that consumers nor power users want.

  18. smartroad

    I wish Linux would make some strides into becoming a better platform for gaming. It's the only thing that keeps me on Windows. I have tried using Linux and while it is great for my productivity side (mostly) I have to dual boot windows for games. I end up just going into windows as it saves a reboot.

    1. cybersaur
      Go

      Gaming on Linux

      Steam has over 4000 titles available on Linux.

    2. nkuk

      Linux has made huge, huge, strides in gaming. The platform itself isn't the problem, there are thousands of games on Linux and I no longer have a Windows partition for gaming.

      The only blockers at the moment are companies like EA, Activision and Ubisoft not releasing a Linux version of their games. They will say it's because of a lack of marketshare (which is fair enough) but it creates a chicken-and-egg situation where a large percentage people won't move because FIFA and COD aren't available, and they're not available because the big userbase isn't there.

      I have more than a lifetimes worth of good/great/exceptional games on Linux so as long as you don't expect everything (and having a console to fill in the gaps can help) its perfectly viable for gaming, depending on the games you like to play.

      1. Updraft102 Silver badge

        "The only blockers at the moment are companies like EA, Activision and Ubisoft not releasing a Linux version of their games."

        If Vulkan ever takes off, Linux will be much more capable as a gaming platform. WINE would work a lot more smoothly if it didn't have to translate D3D calls to OpenGL. That's the hard part that causes the biggest performance penalty... having an API native to Linux that requires no translation would be huge.

      2. MJI Silver badge

        Big publishers

        Have no excuse for not producing Linux versions of their games.

        Why?

        Because it is a lot less work porting code written to run on BSD to run on Linux, than from Windows to Linux.

        Gaming on BSD?

        Yes lots of us do it. But it is not obvious. I have devices with Orbis OS, Cell OS on them, both are BSD based and both sold very well. Both have lots of really good games.

        So if you want a game on Linux and the publishers are not interested, if there is a Playstation version remind them that the Playstation OSes are forms of Unix, just like Linux.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      90 of my 180 steam games work under Linux perfectly. I only buy Linux compatible games now.

      It all depends if you ever to the play the crappy AAA yearly rinse and repeat games.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Just get a PS4. No pissing about with compatibility, graphics card upgrades, viruses, etc.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Get a console

        Just get a PS4. No pissing about with compatibility, graphics card upgrades, viruses, etc.

        I did that in the late 90's, fed up with the rounds of upgrade every new game came out I wanted was over my machines spec.

        Stayed away from PC gaming until recently. Consoles are now almost as expensive as a PC, the machines don't require updating as much.

    5. JohnFen Silver badge

      "I wish Linux would make some strides into becoming a better platform for gaming"

      Linux is a perfectly good platform for gaming. The only thing that stops most game developers from targeting it is that it has such a small market share.

  19. spacecadet66

    Speaking as an uppity Linux bigot, I'd like to say that "service" is not the word I would have chosen here.

  20. Alan Edwards

    More shovelware

    It's always the same, the first half hour after an update installation is spent turning off the crap you don't want, doesn't work properly, or wants to upload a running commentary to the mother ship.

    The OS is supposed to be there to work for you, you shouldn't be fighting the OS for control of the hardware.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: More shovelware

      "The OS is supposed to be there to work for you"

      Haven't you heard? Everything's a service now, which means it's no longer supposed to be there to work for you. It's supposed to be there to mine your data or money or both.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gaming platform

    "...the fact that a high-end PC is the best gaming platform bar none."

    This is in spite of Microsoft, not because of it (see the list of DirectX 12 games).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "see the list of DirectX 12 games"

      Releasing it for Windows 10 only doesn't truly help... and it requires a big re-write.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "see the list of DirectX 12 games"

        Agreed, plus DirectX 12 is a nightmare for programmers, it requires so much developer-side handling of temporary resources and gating of existing memory access that it's just not worth it. Your game would have to be physically broken in DX11 to even consider switching. Even the games that do run DX12 (Hitman, FIFA, etc.) actually use DX11 as the interface through feature levels because programmers hate DX12 so much.

  22. bleedinglibertarian

    it's so very sluggish. who wants it?

    my kids begged me to put linux or android or anything but microsoft on their cheap little HP Streams they got for christmas so i did and now they are happy. it was torture how slow windows 10 was before switching to a real OS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: it's so very sluggish. who wants it?

      My 9 year old daughter wanted one of those HP's.

      Luckily I got a "lovely" Lenovo AMD A9, 4Gb RAM, 500gb HD for £50 more. So glad I never bought one of those.

      She moaned at first, but after making her first video that ran in the to GB's of space, she is more than happy.

  23. tiggity Silver badge

    ability to innovate

    I assume MS idea of innovate differs from mine

    Forced updates, what should be private data sent back to MS*, unwanted dross installed etc.

    * Yes, I know on super expensive W10 versions less slurpage, but lets think about average non tech, home user user who just buys a device and uses the preinstalled W10 (which will typically be a slurp all your data variant with no option to stop it)

    1. onceuponatime

      Re: ability to innovate

      You keep using that word, I don't think it means what you think it means. </bad spanish accent>

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: ability to innovate

        You keep using that word, I don't think it means what you think it means. </bad spanish accent>

        Sorry, I've known too many Spaniards to take your word on that.

        The icon is for the Dread Pirate Roberts -->

  24. TheSkunkyMonk

    so first it collects the marketing data, next it feeds you the adds and then it charges you an appropriate amount for the pleasure. Yay just what we always needed to help further mankind.

  25. ColonelClaw
    Joke

    I have a crafty way for Microsoft to increase W10's market share by at least 10% in under a month - Include the option of a classic Start menu

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      "I have a crafty way for Microsoft to increase W10's market share by at least 10% in under a month - Include the option of a classic Start menu"

      actually, if they ALSO included the option for a 3D skeuomorphic interface, turning off the forced updates, and turning off the ads and tracking, *THAT* would *WORK*!!!

      no joke!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    NetMarketStats...

    ..I'm not saying they are made up, but apparently 0.03% of internet connected devices are running Windows NT (2000 is 0.01%)

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You missed a key point.

    "Cortana, Microsoft's digital assistant, is also being developed. Added in build 17063 is support for Spotify, so you can play specific tracks, and ask what is playing, through voice input."

    That is a knee jerk reaction, not progression.

    They ceased Groove with little warning

    They announced partnership with Spotify

    Cortana music search feature stopped working and remains so except for insiders.

    They now search Spotify

    1. onceuponatime

      Re: You missed a key point.

      Spotify will be their next purchase.

  28. Tonk

    I'd use Win10 apart from (1) the appearance is terrible, can't get anything approaching the classic theme (2) the UI seems to drop mouse clicks making the experience feel laggy (3) the telemetry. It's just not worth the trouble, even for games that I'm no good at anyway.

    1. Polardog

      Console for games, I mean at least they ain't data mining you the whole time.

      1. Rattus Rattus

        No

        Console is not an option.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: No

          For you may be, but for many of us we are happy with consoles.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ Tonk

      The Spring 2018 update will be very cool looking if the betas are any indication. JFYI, the "Classic" theme is not available out-of-the-box with Windows 10. You probably are looking at third party software for that.

      Most people do not realize that most of the telemetry can be stopped by turning off one or two services, the primary one being "Connected User Experiences and Telemetry" Most of the rest of the privacy issues can be handled via the Privacy panel of Settings. The Cortana component of Search can be turned off with a single regedit. Very little tweaking really, for an OS that is designed to be tweaked.

  29. IGnatius T Foobar
    FAIL

    Microsoft FAIL

    The job of an operating system is to launch programs and then GET OUT OF THE WAY. We don't WANT all that other crap.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft FAIL

      @ IGnatius T Foobar

      You want PC-DOS ? Some command-line only OS?

      Although the Microsoft marketing dept. was allowed too much sway, obviously, Windows 10 can easily be tweaked back to a normal decent operating system. Which to some extent is the point of Windows - you can tweak and customize it to your heart's content.

      You can easily make Windows 10 Home into what seems more like a special LTSB edition or Windows Server 2016 as a workstation. Get with it.

  30. Triumphantape

    Yeah no...

    This is just a way of getting naive users to go along with the data rape, calling it a "feature".

  31. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Predicted the very wording that would be used back when the dreaded 10 was being offered "for free" - whether you wanted it or not in some cases.

    10 Team Points for me then.

  32. johnnyblaze

    Most of these 'features' are utterly pointless, and are turning windows into a garish side-show that bares little resemblence to what it was originally designed for. Feature bloat is now becoming a real problem as MS fall over themselves to try and attract people to the platform, and every new feature that's part of the OS adds bugs and other problems. Not that MS really care - 'as a service' means they don't have to really worry about bugs at release time anymore. They just keep patching the system as they go, but in reality, it's like the boy with his finger in the dam - and there are a lot of holes to plug.

    Windows, at it's core, is designed to be a program launcher. That's all it needed to do. Run win32 apps of the users choice securely and stably. MS never even really acheived that lofty goal though - Windows now is just inherantly broken. MS just do their best to make it look pretty to take peoples minds of it.

    The last version of Windows with the actual user in mind was Win7. It ticked almost all the boxes people needed, and that's why MS have such a huge problem with Win10. 10 is primarily a conduit to push people towards MS services, extracting huge amounts of data at the same time, so MS can inject ads, promotions and offers directly into the OS. It's a bastard Jekyll'n'Hyde of an OS that just shows how low MS have sunk.

  33. Just Saying 132

    What happened to "If it ain't broke don't fix it?"

    There's a reason I'm still use the 2003 version of Word and Excel. It's because they worked and did exactly what I needed.

    I don't want a subscription, I don't want ever changing interfaces, most of your "new and unproved" isn't, it's just different, I don't want a subscription, I don't want the cloud, ... I simply don't want the majority of your innovation.

    The real problem is software engineers need to continue to justify their existence which means we get change for the sake of change.

  34. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Timeline Tachograph.

  35. Polardog

    I turned to fedora a couple of years ago, a much more productive os that just works and keeps it is the way.

    I boot to Windows one or truce twice a month on another pc if I need to, this is becoming less and less.

  36. Terry 6 Silver badge

    To the point

    "key features including Cortana, the Microsoft Store and the Edge browser "

    i.e. Don't want, don't need and don't like are their " key features". Add to this the 3D crap.

    1. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: To the point

      "key features including Cortana, the Microsoft Store and the Edge browser "

      Yup... first things I deleted when I tested Windows 10 in 2015. It's not that I don't care about these "features." I do care-- I specifically want them deleted from any OS running on my hardware.

  37. kain preacher Silver badge

    And how fast will this get hacked.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Progressive Web Apps + paid for Windows Cleaning Service

    Sounds political - give me Regressive Web Apps any day!

    Maybe there's an opportunity for someone to offer a Windows Cleaning Service which intercepts Windows Update and gives you customised patches to disable all the tracking / bloat / apps you don't want? Now that would be a service worth paying for!

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once its recorded....

    I wonder how long Timeline is used as a evidence trail.

    "As we all know M'Lud in 2018 minesweeper was declared illegal. But bango Jones here was clearly playing two years later!"

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 10 is gaining ground, though, but is that because users who need Windows can hardly avoid it

    'Hardly avoid it' is right! We need to see more lawsuits / legal cases:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/09/12/microsoft_hp_italy_windows/

    Overall OEM's need to wake the fuck up and offer users more choice!

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My gaming pc has linux mint, windows 7 and windows 10. I can honestly say windows 10 is the most unreliable PITA of the lot by a mile. I have wasted so much time fixing things that should never have broken I have now given up on it.

    Why microsoft do I need to add my pc games to an xbox app in some vain hope they might run as smoothly as they used to before the creators fall update ? If I wanted an xbox why would I be using a pc to game ? Now I can't install any nvidia graphics driver updates properly since your 'upgrade'. Great - thanks for that new feature. Cortana, edge, windows store - utterly useless to me. GUI is as ugly as ever. Why don't we get a choice of GUI's like Linux ? Oh no of course not - microsoft knows best. Except they don't.

    For work I use linux. Windows 10 is far too unreliable to do anything useful with. Its a mess frankly. Too many BSOD's, updates take too long, too much going on in the background, too much data slurp.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      "For work I use linux."

      Lucky you!

      At home, I don't have a single Windows installation. At work (where I develop for Windows, Linux, and various mainframe OSes), though, I have to use Windows. Using and developing for Windows always feels like a step backwards.

  42. Lorribot

    It seems to me that Microsoft over the years has got a little confused as to what it was supposed to be supplying.

    For most an OS should do the basics and provide an opportunity or platform for Application vendors to provide the experience.

    Back in the days of Windows 95 and subsequant versions that experience was subsumed in to Windows until Windows 7. With windows 10 lots of work was don to uncouple teh basic OS from all teh peripheral detritus which is why the early copies booted almost instantly with the help of BIOS tweaks and SSD, unfortunately it came with a penalty of increased snooping and a need to sell services and become a hub and more and more has been added to the OS in the name of features and selling stuff.

    I have no camera, microphone or mobile phone connection and yet i still have to have Camera, Recorder and Messenger installed, why?

    OS as a service should be just that, an OS, a platform for others to build on, unfortunately no one (not even Linux distros) seem to offer that, MS could but choose to, but the everyone needs money to survive and its current business model precludes it.

    What price a basic OS that is stable, free of snooping, light weight and secure by default and the only consequence of a badly written app is that it crashes its own little world?

  43. tekHedd

    "Latest Features"

    "Latest Features" meaning bloated things I didn't want and can not uninstall? Apps that occupy system resources, and cost money to fully activate? It only took a millisecond to make that connection.

    I understand it's inevitable, but can we stop pretending that it's for our benefit please? The mealy-mouthed pretense is making me ill.

  44. sloshnmosh

    Privacy settings

    The first time I looked at Windows 10's "privacy" settings I thought to myself: "Is James Clapper a developer at Microsoft now?"

  45. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Windows offline

    I keep my windows machines offline to avoid malware AND M$ updates. I need them for CAD and sim work and to be stable all of the time. The last thing I want is to have an update break an expensive piece of software that I am not ready to or can't afford to level up. I'm not a great software writer either, so custom bits that I have written could have problems too.

    There just hasn't been a super compelling reason to update any OS in a long time. So many things get changed just for change's sake which leads to slowing down work when maximizing human output is what computers are supposed to help with. The additional OS overhead also slows down perfectly good hardware that could have ages left to run but ends up having to be trashed before the magic smoke is all used up.

  46. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Timeline

    Isn't that the name of the feature in Facebook everyone didn't want but was turned on anyway?

  47. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    There are elements of both, but lacklustre adoption for key features including Cortana, the Microsoft Store and the Edge browser raises the question of whether Microsoft's main areas of focus in Windows resonate with its customers.

    Cortana - do we really want to be forced to send embedded local search queries to the US, to be processed using a poor search engine (search engines are generally measured against Google) and for it to omit, half of the time, the bloody local resource that we were searching for? No. Happy for Cortana to be an option, not happy that it's shite, transfers data to untrusted regimes (US), intrusive and non-removable.

    Microsoft Store. Generally nothing to see there other than poor quality versions of desktop applications. The fact that the PoS is designed in such an appalling way that uninstalling something where there is an update for it queued will reinstall the software just makes it even worse. However not worse than all the shovelware junk that is foisted on every user on every system, the removal of which is directly hamstrung by the uninstall/update-reinstall issue.

    Edge Browser. Seriously, it's hopeless. It's foisted on W10 users however is only vaguely fit for personal use, it's not controllable in any way to the level required and that IE is. However MS have set it as the default, put in hard-coded nags about switching away (search for "Internet" and rather than IE showing first, Edge is - attempt to change default browser from Edge to anything else and you get an "are you sure" prompt with a tiny "do it anyway" option). The fact that it feels slow, unwieldly and has take the minimal user interface style to the point of barely being usable doesn't help matters either.

    However most of the updates to W10 revolve around these dead areas and then add a load of junk focussing on things that frankly 99.99% of users have zero interest in - 3D browsing and 3D objects... While there have been some small, nice improvements within W10, many of these are fixes to issues that were introduced in W8, rather than actual improvements to W10 :(

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why did you think Windows 10 would be the 'last version of Windows'? ;)

    I have a new machine on Windows 10... it needs plenty of taming, including installing 'StartIsBack'.

    Microsoft has abandoned/betrayed its desktop heritage... look no further than the schizophrenic Control Panel vs Personalize/Settings UI. With Build 1703, even the classic taskbar clock is no more. The good old calculator is replaced by some 'Modern' monstrosity, I had to install the old Calc.exe from Sergey Tkachenko (downloaded from Winaero.com).

    It was a bad decision to merge a desktop OS and a touch/mobile OS (otherwise Apple would have done it long ago). Instead of letting Windows 10 be a mea culpa for Windows 8, they doubled down on the idiocy, and used it as a platform for the then newly appointed Microsoft CEO SatNad to data mine everyone.

  49. davidp231

    OSK

    Does it fix the FSCK'd up, useless touch keyboard they introducted in 1709?

  50. The Godfather
    WTF?

    ?...

    What is this bollocks?

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too many ?

    One new version a year would be more than enough, quite frankly, but it doesn't matter too much to me as I'm on a LTSB edition already.

  52. Milton Silver badge

    The Great Deception ...

    The Great Deception ... way back when .. was to convince customers that the OS was a cool, aerodynamic rocketship of a product ...

    When in fact it was then, and is now, there just to run programs, safely, securely, without fuss.

    A thoughtful computer user should not have to give a phlying phart about his OS. It exists only to execute code and do basic housekeeping.

    In point of fact, a really *good * OS is, or soon becomes, invisible.

    MS appears to be heading in the opposite direction, trying to sell its ever-more-obese spying technology with bells you don't need and whistles you don't want, long after you'd settled on Win7 and thought "Ok, that'll do the job".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A nice operating system ...

      Yup, Windows 7 is fine but then so is Windows 10. Windows 10 can be configured to run much more minimally than the default out-of-the-box configuration.

      Most telemetry can be shut off by tweaking a single service, the Store "apps" can most all be deleted, Cortana shut off with a single regedit, and privacy can be turned on via the Privacy panel in Settings.

      Moreover, just like with Windows 7, there are plenty of guides out there for shutting off any services you don't want running.

      As far as safety goes, any versatile computer that connects to networks such as the Internet will need updating, that's just a fact of modern life.

      Windows won't ever quite be 'invisible' on the desktop/laptop as it is a GUI OS, but even then, there are many programs you can run in kiosk mode. Even the Command Prompt can be run in kiosk mode.

      So sure, the marketing dept. at Microsoft wants their bit, but you can easily tweak out what the marketers contributed.

  53. Mr Dogshit

    Yawn

    I neither know nor care what any of this shit is.

  54. Tom 35 Silver badge

    LOL

    so if you visited a website in Edge on Android...

    The android store only shows 12,000 downloads.

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