back to article Microsoft whips out tool so you can measure Windows 10's data-slurping creepiness

Microsoft is laying its cards out on the table. The software giant has produced a tool that's claimed to show users how much personal information Windows 10 collects and sends back to Redmond for diagnostics. The application is dubbed Diagnostic Data Viewer, and is free from the Windows Store. It reveals that stuff like the …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reporting ...

    ... after the Event.

    Stable Door meet bolted horse.

    1. Chika

      Re: Reporting ...

      It's more than that. Oh yes, they want to be as transparent as possible but the loss of trust means that some will have trouble trusting a tool from Microsoft, and they still won't switch the slurp off either.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        'they still won't switch the slurp off either.'

        That irks the most! Users don't want to PAY for an OS that's Slurpy and a Update 'bully'. That's why 50% are sticking with Win7 till at least 2020. Listen Microsoft, sell a version of Win10 to end-users that's Slurp-FREE / Update-Flexible!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 'they still won't switch the slurp off either.'

          "Users don't want to PAY for an OS that's Slurpy and a Update 'bully'. "

          Presumably why it was a free upgrade for ages.

          "sell a version of Win10 to end-users that's Slurp-FREE / Update-Flexible!"

          On the current builds its only a couple of clicks during setup to disable the slurp. And it already is update flexible - there are lots of options including delaying updates.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 'they still won't switch the slurp off either.'

            "Presumably why it was a free upgrade for ages."

            Oh, we remember the free upgrade well. Mainly because Microsoft was repeatedly and aggressively trying to force it on people, even when they'd repeatedly refused, using various techniques that even bland, conservative mainstream IT publications were comparing to malware.

            Such as the maliciously designed dialog boxes designed to give the impression there was no way of opting out and- notoriously- changing the widely-accepted behaviour of the close button on that dialog so that it *didn't* cancel the upgrade.

            Such as repeatedly replacing people's preferred settings that they didn't want the upgrade, automatically downloading the upgrade (wasting bandwidth and hard drive space) "just in case" people wanted to upgrade.

            They were so aggressive in forcing this that the "GWX (Get Windows 10) Control Panel" tool was released to change this behaviour, and MS still repeatedly attempted to work around user's attempts not just to say "no" but to actively block the forced upgrade.

            This is so far beyond any legitimate definition of "good faith" that it defies belief.

            A few months after the free upgrade "offer" ended, MS offered an "apology" that was really a weasel-worded attempt to reframe and minimise things in their favour.

            They acknowledged *one* small aspect of the numerous things they'd done during the forced upgrade debacle, and apologised for that as if it were the only thing they'd done that had pissed people off at the time. Presumably they were hoping that peoples' hazy memories would have them think "oh, is that the only reason I was annoyed at MS? Well, I guess that's annoying, but it's forgiveable in hindsight".

            Fuck off. Fuck *right* off.

          2. Not also known as SC

            Re: 'they still won't switch the slurp off either.'

            "only a couple of clicks during setup to disable the slurp" and if Windows 10 comes pre-installed as it does on most consumer machines how do you switch it off then? You can change the setting to basic slurp from full slurp or vice-versa but I didn't see anyway of turning it off last time I looked.

          3. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: 'they still won't switch the slurp off either.'

            "On the current builds its only a couple of clicks during setup to disable the slurp."

            Oh? How is this done? The last time I checked, it was literally impossible to disable the slurp. The best you can do is to minimize it.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 'they still won't switch the slurp off either.'

            erm it's still free

        2. davidp231

          Re: 'they still won't switch the slurp off either.'

          Didn't they backport a lot of the Win10 slurping to Win7+8 as an "essential security update"?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 'they still won't switch the slurp off either.'

            They did, but it's trivial to disable. Unlike the hard baked slurp in 10.

        3. Wade Burchette

          Re: 'they still won't switch the slurp off either.'

          Windows 10 still won't have a proper and logical start menu, Aero, pre-boot F8, or a proper backup program. Those are the reasons why I'm sticking with Windows 7 to the bitter end, because I block all slurp at the router level.

      2. salamamba too

        Re: Reporting ...

        It's not about transparency, it's about getting more logins to the windows store, so they can tie people to machines. A data slurp disguised as a transparency tool.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Reporting ...

          Tinfoil hat much?

        2. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Reporting ...

          This is what makes the thing straight-up insulting: you have to sign up for a Microsoft account in order to get it.

          Plus, of course, it's mostly useless.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Reporting ...

            You can disable the slup with one or two clicks with O&O ShutUp10

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Reporting ...

      I do wonder if this reporting tool will just download everything on your PC to MSHQ so they can compare it with what they've got already. Its the only way to be sure!

    3. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Reporting ...

      More to the point, you can't download it from the MS Store without an account who's EULA has you sign away your first born.

  2. J J Carter Silver badge
    Windows

    Well done, MSFT!

    Now will Google do the same for Android?

    1. Ledswinger Silver badge

      Re: Well done, MSFT!

      Now will Google do the same for Android?

      The obvious thing for both companies is to offer not just more transparency, but to give customers a choice. Use the service for free in exchange for your privacy, or pay for the product with all slurping and feedback turned off (diagnostics, crash reports, the lot).

      In that situation, I wonder what the price point for Android would be? And whether you'd need to offer variants of "purchase as product", and "purchase as a service"? As a service, say paid monthly (like Google Drive), you'd expect feature and version upgrades included. Buy as a product for an upfront price (say £40?) you'd only get security and bug fixes. Google would need to will take the handset makers and networks out of the update chain for that to work.

      My guess is that far too few people would pay, and of the few who would, the price point wouldn't be high enough. Anybody know what Google thinks an Android user is worth annually? Any views on what you'd REALLY fork out to protect your privacy?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well done, MSFT!

        Google already do this,

        If you are logged in then just go to accounts.google.com

        and check 'my activity' and delete anything you don't want there.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Well done, MSFT!

          And it suffers from the same flaws as Microsoft's effort: you have to have an account, and it doesn't stop the data collection.

      2. nematoad Silver badge

        Re: Well done, MSFT!

        "The obvious thing for both companies is to offer not just more transparency, but to give customers a choice."

        I'm sure that they do. The trouble is that the users are not the customer the ad slingers are. The users are the product.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well done, MSFT!

      https://myaccount.google.com/privacy

      Been there for as long as I can recall.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: https://myaccount.google.com/privacy

        Hmm, and why would we trust that any more than MS's new tool? The difference of course is that google tracking is on pretty much every website you visit whatever device you use, whether you have a Google account or not.

        Yet somehow MS get much more shit for their slurping though Google's is much more widespread....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well done, MSFT!

        And you are more than welcome to download, compile, audit Android source code...

        Therefore, the big question is, it's time for Apple to step up, and that's a closed platform, and only Apple knows what's being sent back to HQ over that encrypted link...

        Me, I'm more than happy with the security and privacy of my Google Pixel 2...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well done, MSFT!

      >>>> Now will Google do the same for Android?

      Why the down votes??? Does anyone think google aren't slurping their data??

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Well done, MSFT!

        I suspect that the downvotes are because Google already does this for Android and has for years.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well done, MSFT!

        "Does anyone think google aren't slurping their data??"

        Google are "slurping" exactly what they claim they "slurp", it's written in black and white, in their privacy policy that you are either too stupid, or too lazy to read. It's obviously much easier to just lap up some fake news from the internet, as it fits your belief...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Well done, MSFT!

          Microsoft hard-coded data slurping into Windows 10.

          Google's apps and services: you have a choice whether to use them.

          There is no choice for most users when it comes to desktop Windows.

          Data slurping should never be allowed at the OS level.

          Big difference.

          ---

          Case in point: on Windows 10's Chinese language input keyboard (Simplified Chinese pinyin keyboard), the data slurping happens by default as you type in characters. Some word suggestions have a cloud icon next to it; they're suggestions retrieved from Microsoft's 'cloud' as it 'learns about your typing habits'. You have to go inside the keyboard preferences and turn it off manually.

          This is on an installation of Windows 10 (local account) with all telemetry and data mining disabled. No Cortana, OneDrive etc. And yet data slurping still happens.

          No cloud hooks on the Chinese keyboard in previous versions of Windows.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well done, MSFT!

      Since when did Android need it? It's well documented what the deal is, and it's totally optional. You don't sign up to Google's stuff, you get a Googleless Android that doesn't "leak" anything. You do want the googly stuff, you read the privacy policy and it does exactly as it claims it does.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Available to the masses?

    From MS blog

    To kick off the new year ahead of Data Privacy Day we are giving our Windows Insiders an early preview of the Windows Diagnostic Data Viewer coming in our next release of Windows

    Unless there is a link you can provide?, or perhaps you would like to correct your piece?

  4. agatum

    "This is all part of our commitment to increase your trust and confidence in our products and services."

    After your recent activities my trust is something you'll never get back. Never. If you introduce 'telemetry OFF' -switch AND it is proven by gazillion experts that the switch is indeed working I may update my one win machine to 10.

    1. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Turning off the telemetry won't get rid of what I consider to be the worst "feature" of Windows 10, which is the ridiculous update schedule that Microsoft refers to as being part of "Windows as a Service." Way too much change, way too often.

      1. Def Silver badge

        which is the ridiculous update schedule

        That can be annoying, yes. But you can also pause updates on a machine for up to 35 days at a time. Which is what I do on nearly all my machines now.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "That can be annoying, yes. But you can also pause updates on a machine for up to 35 days at a time. Which is what I do on nearly all my machines now."

          After which, full screen nags will start taking over your machine. The only way to "ignore" these nag dialogs is to click 'Get Updates' and then Alt+F4 the resulting update Window, by which time your ship has flown into the Sun because controller input was blocked. (Gaming is the only responsibility I've left Windows with).

          I say "ignore" because it's not really ignoring, that is no longer an option, what I really mean is "frantically getting back to where you were before something bad happens". Whenever I reboot for games now, I literally go make a coffee, then read The Register while waiting for the update prompt - anywhere between a few minutes and a couple of hours, then I can game. Roll on Vulcan already.

          The end result is I update less frequently now, with forced updates, than I did when they were optional and could be applied at a convenient time. I also play less games as a result. Good work MS.

          1. agatum

            I say "ignore" because it's not really ignoring, that is no longer an option, what I really mean is "frantically getting back to where you were before something bad happens". Whenever I reboot for games now, I literally go make a coffee, then read The Register while waiting for the update prompt - anywhere between a few minutes and a couple of hours, then I can game. Roll on Vulcan already.

            I did not realize this. Never mind what I said earlier about updating to w10. No way I let these fuckers ruin even one frame of worldoftanks for me. So it's w7 for me. Games and one client project is the only reason I still occasionally boot to win. Many of the games I already play on mac and as soon as my client sees the light and moves to some sort of nix it's byebye slurp and thanks for all the rotten fish.

        2. JohnFen Silver badge

          "But you can also pause updates on a machine for up to 35 days at a time."

          Something which has literally never actually worked for me, much like the "ask before rebooting" option has never worked.

          Even if it does work, it's not a solution to the problem that you are still forced to apply updates.

        3. Updraft102 Silver badge

          "That can be annoying, yes. But you can also pause updates on a machine for up to 35 days at a time. Which is what I do on nearly all my machines now."

          Delaying 35 days didn't help the Intel Clover Trail laptop owners who had upgraded to Windows 10, only to find that the Creator's Update wouldn't work on their machines, ever. MS had changed something so much that the drivers designed for Windows 10 no longer worked with Windows 10. The GWX adware had told the owners of these machines that they were fully Windows 10 compatible, and with that being "the last version of Windows ever," they expected to have Windows 10 working at least for the useful service life of the device. But less than two years after Windows 10 landed, they were already out in the cold.

          Initially, Microsoft just told these customers "too bad, so sad," but the anger over that quickly prompted Microsoft to continue offering security fixes for the last version of 10 their Clover Trail PCs were able to use, but only until 2023, when the Windows 8.x the devices had shipped with was going out of extended support.

          The very next patch, Creator's Fall Update, broke even more Windows 10 drivers. Razer warned their customers not to update to Creator's Fall Update, as every PC they sell was incompatible. They all had a full set of Windows 10 drivers, but again, those Windows 10 drivers were no longer compatible with Windows 10.

          This has been the story of Windows 10 from the start. Each new "feature" update breaks a ton of stuff that USED to work. It's so pervasive that the developer of Classic Shell has given up... with each new version of 10 breaking the program, it was just more than he could or would handle. Given that Classic Shell is one of the things that makes Windows 10 tolerable for a lot of people, it's kind of an interesting turn of events that Classic Shell no longer finds Windows 10 tolerable.

          No 35-day delay will be enough if you are one of the customers for whom Classic Shell made the difference between Windows 10 being acceptable and Windows 10 being intolerable. Even if the OSS community picks up where he left off and continues to develop Classic Shell, it won't change the pattern of Microsoft making huge changes and breaking things their customers rely on twice a year.

          The last time I had 10 on one of my machines, I had removed a good bit of the crap from it. Edge, Cortana, Windows Store, and every other "app" had all been ripped out. It still ran just fine, and with those things gone, it was closer to acceptable than it had been with them still installed. Even so, that was about when I gave up on 10 ever being usable... I wiped the SSD I had 10 on and repurposed it as a Linux boot device for my main PC (installed alongside the SSD that PC had installed with Windows on it).

          I had made a lot of deep changes to Windows 10, and even though they worked right then, I could see that this was unlikely to remain that way for long. The tricks I had used to flush the apps would very possibly stop working, or perhaps the things like Cortana that had been removed (so far without any ill effects) would have much deeper ramifications going forward. With 10 changing so much, there simply was no way to know that the modifications I had made would be possible at all in the future, and without that assurance, Windows 10 was of no use to me. Unless I was prepared to accept things completely on Microsoft's terms, there was no way that 10 was going to work.

          I don't want to delay the feature updates for 35 days, or 365 days for that matter. I want to avoid them forever. While a small minority of the "features" these updates contain are actually things I would want, the one thing an OS needs is notably absent: Stability. I don't just mean the lack of crashing or other malfunctions, though that's a big part of it. I also mean stability in terms of APIs and compatibility with all of that stuff that used to work on Windows 10 (drivers, programs like Classic Shell, etc.).

          An OS is supposed to be a stable, sturdy foundation for the programs people run to build upon. Those programs are the things that are supposed to be fun and exciting, not the OS itself. Microsoft's trying to make Windows 10 the star of the show, and that's not what an OS is about. The OS, if it does its job, kind of fades into the background, quietly doing its thing while the applications get all of the glory. The OS, in normal use, is only really noticed if it malfunctions, impedes the user, or otherwise does something wrong. That's happening on nearly a daily basis with Windows 10 now... it's getting noticed a lot, but for all the wrong reasons.

          As far as I am concerned, as long as Windows 10 is on this "WaaS" release schedule, it is unfit for purpose. While the ability to turn off updates and otherwise control them in the manner that all previous Windows versions could is a necessary thing for 10 if it is to become fit for purpose, it wouldn't be enough in and of itself. With each build essentially being a new version of Windows, the 18 months of support that each one gets is woefully short. Even if you install a new build on the day it is released, you'll be completely unsupported and forced to upgrade in a year and a half, even if you have the ability to turn off update checking and to pick and choose which ones to install.

          What would be needed here is something like LTSB for end users, but MS tries to tell us that LTSB is only for very specialized use cases like ATMs and POS machines, not for general-purpose PCs even within the corporate environment that has access to LTSB. No, the rest of us can't have that because we "need" to have all of the wonderful "features" MS wants to force on us to justify WaaS in the first place. MS didn't ask us what we need... they're telling us what we need. That, in a nutshell, is the problem.

          1. Jim in Hayward

            I have windows 10 professional upgrade installed on a 2008 Dell Core 2 Duo, 4GB ram, 256GB SSD 15" laptop. I use a utility I found to Show/Hide Windows Updates. As of today I am still successfully running Version 1607, having avoided the Creators and Fall Creators feature updates. I manually control when to check for updates (which will install automatically if it finds any). Of course I do a full backup to Acronis before I click that check for updates button. After every update I run that utility to verify that the 1709 Feature Update remains hidden.

            What a PAIN, right?? But it's success! LOL.

  5. Dwarf Silver badge

    Effort

    Must have taken a lot more effort to produce the app than it would to just give an off button that does what it says

    We still don’t trust you and therefore won’t use the product.

    My data is mine, not yours.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: My data is mine, not yours.

      And Google's, obviously.

      1. VinceH Silver badge

        Re: My data is mine, not yours.

        "And Google's, obviously."

        Sure. Unless you take steps to limit it - there are ways and means. They probably still get some data from me, but it's nowhere near as much as they could get if I just shrugged my shoulders and accepted what they do.

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: My data is mine, not yours.

        But this discussion is about Microsoft. That Google is also awful on these issues is irrelevant.

      3. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: My data is mine, not yours.

        "And Google's, obviously."

        Fuck off with your whataboutism. Who are you, Sean Hannity?

        Jibbers garlic-covered Crabst...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So... They are both doing it

    Microsoft and Apple OS's sending telemtary to the mothership that is.

    Perhaps the biggest questions are then:-

    - is what happens to that data and is it anonomyzed and how long is it kept

    - Ok, but what is in this data? Does in include my inside leg measurement and the last call I made to my bit on the side?

    - Do you sell that data to 3rd parties?

    And specifically to MS

    - Why, oh why, oh why have you made it so hard to block and why do you make us go through even more hoops after every set of patches to block it again?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So... They are both doing it

      " - is what happens to that data and is it anonomyzed and how long is it kept"

      Obviously it's used to improve your Windows Experience.

      "- Ok, but what is in this data? Does in include my inside leg measurement and the last call I made to my bit on the side?"

      It's telemetry data, duh, no we don't care about your inside leg measurement, as for your bit on the side, well yeah, sure, why not? We've also given her your WiFi password.

      "- Do you sell that data to 3rd parties?"

      Not openly no... we sell no user information, only usage stats.

      "- Why, oh why, oh why have you made it so hard to block and why do you make us go through even more hoops after every set of patches to block it again?"

      Because we know you don't want it and keep turning it off, however we need this data as we're not making enough from selling functional software people do want. Even if we only get a little bit of data before you realise we've changed the setting again, every little helps.

  7. 45RPM Silver badge

    Apple does request permission to phone home with ‘telemetry’. Every sodding time you upgrade the OS. I gave my answer once - I’m not certain I fully understand the rationale behind having to provide it again. And again. And again.

    My answer, for what it’s worth, is yes - phone home. I’m even happy for the anonymised crash reports to be sent out from Apple to the developers of the software. As a developer I understand that it’s nigh on impossible to fix a crash and improve your software without lots of evidence. This ‘telemetry’ is the best way of gathering it.

    Once again, at least for Microsoft and Apple, this feels like a storm in a tea cup. A smoke and mirrors distraction from the monumental data slurp and security error that is Facebook and other social networks. Gathering crash dumps is not what we should be focusing on. But well done Microsoft for releasing this tool - even if most users won’t have a scoobies what it means.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don't forget Google, your banks (using omniture), and just about every other organisation which seems to have an interest in your computer.

      Some of the designers (haha) actually make it impossible to block third party crap, and clearly have not considered what would happen if the third party host went titsup?

      Why do a UK based high street banks/building societies need to communicate with a site in america to carry out its UK based business?

    2. nkuk

      Its not a storm in a teacup compared to Facebook and other social networks. Those social networks only harvest what you choose to feed them. On the other hand Windows 10 has access to all your confidential data, keystrokes, what applications you use and when, full telemetry of your browsers and all the data that is coming in and out of your PC, etc, etc.

      Lumping in crash reports with all the other harvesting is disingenuous, it could, should, and used to be completely separate.

      Its also not anonymous.

      1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

        Those social networks only harvest what you choose to feed them

        Err, not true. FarceBork builds a profile on you even if you have never visited their site or agreed to them doing it. This profile is "quite detailed". Ever noticed those sites with the FarceBork "F" on them ? Well they are one source of information for that profile.

        What's more, that personal information is exported back to the USA without even informing the data subject let alone asking them. I suggest you look up the details of the Max Schrems vs Facebook case - yes the one that resulted in Safe Harbour getting ripped up and replaced with Privacy FigleafShield, which will similarly get ripped up when the machinations of multiple levels of bureaucracy and courts get done with it.

  8. James 51 Silver badge

    If I can't turn the slurp off it's window dressing.

    1. charlieboywoof
      Joke

      I see what you did there

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If Microsoft's sense of transparency is anything like....

    Facebook's 'Download-your-data' tool, you can be sure MS will be equally deceptive. The Max Schrems case showed how much FB hold back - realms of juicy profile data. Facebook regularly undeletes posts from a decade ago. None of that shows up in my download... So trust Microsoft? The Xbox-180 fiasco was a warning sign of future history. Judging by the fact that Sony is still selling double the amount of consoles, that loss of trust cost MS big-time!

    1. Richard Jones 1
      FAIL

      Re: If Microsoft's sense of transparency is anything like....

      I remember Sony embedding root tools on their CD/DVDs to do very similar things like control your machine. It was so effective at one time that my daughter could not even play Sony disks until they had been copied onto other media. So what were you saying about trust again?

  10. Jamesit

    Remember that this program only tells you what Microsoft wants you to know. I'd like to know what it doesn't report.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They have retrofitted some telemetry to W7 and W8. Does their app work on those too?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Certainly not on Windows 7 as it's a Windows Store app.

      But everyone here's removed/never installed the telemetry KBs already, right?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "But everyone here's removed/never installed the telemetry KBs already, right?"

        I thought I had - but it wouldn't be a surprise to find that the rolled up "security" updates have put them all back again.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A stage illusionist pulls off their tricks by directing your attention to certain things - so you don't notice what they are actually doing with their other hand.

  13. Carl D

    "The application is dubbed Diagnostic Data Viewer, and is free from the Windows Store."

    Wow, we might finally see some user activity amongst the tumbleweeds blowing around in the Windows Store.

    But, not from me... they couldn't pay me enough to install Windows 10 these days.

    1. joed

      Just remember - to get the app from the Store you need to sign in with MS account (so better have that real phone number ready, and don't forget CC - just in case). The other of their "privacy" tools also require sign-in on the web page (similarly like just about any adjustments to Cortana). So privacy tools these are not.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It reveals that stuff like

    there's NO f... way I will EVER, KNOWINGLY let ANY software look into my pants like that, no matter whether I washed my jewels or not. MS can f... off and prosper forever. Elsewhere, not in my household.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It reveals that stuff like

      Please enligten us as to what software/os you use?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It reveals that stuff like

        W7 with all data collection, available to be blocked by a semi-literate user like myself, disabled or removed, that's good enough for me. Software that "needs" to connect to the internet, with all options to "send diagnostics", "update", "customer improvement programme", etc., off. All other software is blocked from accessing internet.

    2. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: It reveals that stuff like

      Bob, there's no point in going AC if you're still going to do the RIDICULOUS CAPS LOCK thing that you ALWAYS do.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It reveals that stuff like

        hate (?) to say that, me no Bob masta...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It reveals that stuff like

        That was pretty short for a Bob piece, though

  15. Dave K Silver badge

    More control?

    >> "and to provide you with increased control over that data," said Windows and Device Group privacy officer Marisa Rogers on Wednesday. "This is all part of our commitment to increase your trust and confidence in our products and services."

    If you want to provide more control and increase customer trust, PROVIDE A F*CKING OFF SWITCH!

    Doesn't matter how transparent you are, a lot of people (understandably) don't want Redmond knowing exactly what they have installed, how they're using it, etc.

  16. chivo243 Silver badge
    Windows

    Just turn it off at Installation

    I stopped as much as possible when first configuring windows. The only reason I installed W10 was to be able to support it. I rarely use it for anything other than training purposes. So MS is getting a whole lotta nada from my W10 usage...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I recently upgraded from windows 10 to windows 7.

    Very impressed. Less spying, better GUI, all the settings in one place, doesn't crash as often and has a menu that wasn't designed by Fisher Price.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: I recently upgraded from windows 10 to windows 7.

      Why does everything have to keep changing? I picked a career in IT 'cos I thought it would be nice and stable but things change all the fucking time!!!

      Oh no, sorry, that's a moronic thing to say. Tech changes all the time and you either keep up or lose relevance.

      1. ChrisC

        Re: re: I recently upgraded from windows 10 to windows 7.

        Don't confuse necessary (and genuinely beneficial) changes to the underlying technology (filesystem, networking stack etc) with changes to the user interface which seem to have been made partly (for W10 specifically) to make life easier for the minority of users with touchscreen devices at the often significant expense of the majority of users with mouse-driven devices, and partly just out of the ever present desire (for products in general) for each generation of graphics designers to stamp their mark on a product even if it means it looks and feels nothing like its predecessor.

    2. Zippy's Sausage Factory
      Joke

      Very impressed. Less spying, better GUI, all the settings in one place, doesn't crash as often and has a menu that wasn't designed by Fisher Price.

      Please, don't insult Fisher Price. I reckon they'd probably do a much better job of UI design than MSFT...

  18. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Really?

    "Thing is, virtually everyone uses Windows, which is why so many people get upset by its data collection."

    "Virtually everyone" uses Google (either for web search or via Android) in some capacity and, judging by the activity I have seen on these forums over the years, the amount of people who even give a shit is a fraction of those howling over Microsoft's telemetry, so this is hardly an argument.

    1. ChrisC

      Re: Really?

      "so this is hardly an argument"

      Yes it is, and not just a 5 minute one either...

      Google dataslurping, on the desktop at least, is constrained to G seeing whatever I do within my browser or the Google Earth app. Similarly with the likes of FB or anyone else with their own dataslurping exercises, what they see is limited in scope.

      As soon as you move the dataslurping into the OS itself however, it doesn't matter how much slurping you think each individual app/website/etc is doing or not doing, because now anything on your PC is potentially open to being slurped by MS.

      And yes, in this context, anyone running Android is then putting themselves in the same boat - perhaps the reason there isn't so much uproar here is because of the way most Android devices are used vs how most Windows PCs are used, or more specifically what sort of potentially interesting data an OS-level slurp might expect find on a PC vs an Android device...

      Perhaps also it's because I don't remember there ever being a time in the history of Android (at least not in its commercially available forms) when there was any presumption that Google wouldn't be doing at least *some* sort of slurping within the OS, because that's just how we knew they operated in general. Whereas MS, whilst never the most trustworthy of companies over the years, at least never had a reputation for knowingly hoovering up data at the OS level, and so for them to go all out with slurping in W10 makes people far more uneasy because of how much of a seismic shift it is in terms of what we now know our PCs to be doing under the hood.

      1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: Really?

        @ChrisC - One important difference between Android and Bloat10 is many people set up their phones with the bare minimum of personal stuff on it. I am not worried about Chocolate Factory getting my financial details from their vacuuming because I did not have any financial apps on my phone and never will. But I do online banking, shopping, etc. so I am concerned about the OS vacuuming up my data even if accidentally. I want at least one OS that allows full control of its phone home behavior and that is my primary desktop OS (which is Linux).

  19. Chronos Silver badge
    FAIL

    Here's an idea, MS...

    Stop bloody doing it! It's an operating system. It should abstract the hardware, provide APIs and a UI and then stay the hell out of the way. Many of us just want to use our computers. We don't need to have a "relationship" with you or anyone else in order to do so.

    1. SVV Silver badge

      Re: Here's an idea, MS...

      Hear hear!

      The only excusable thing this app could show are the words "Nothing. Ever". If you want telemetry data on how people use your OS, set up an internal telemetry lab and run a specially instrumented version of your OS with large user group samples, who you will have to pay, and get the data that way, not with my bandwidth. Your paid for OS is your product, not me and my data / usage history.

  20. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I recently upgraded my Windows 7 pro dual boot partition to Windows 10 pro using the "assistive technology' free upgrade so i didn't have to pay for it. Now I only had about 5 extra programs installed that onto of a clean Win 7 install before the upgrade yet once I had upgraded to the 'Professional' edition of Windows 10 installed I had load of links to games in the start menu, Hmm very professional.

    As well as that it now randomly crashes telling me it has to reboot to fix the problem, which never occurred under Win 7, on rebooting the Windows Error reporting process is shown as using 99% of my disk time causing the laptops to massively slow down, to the point i have to end the task to do anything with it.

    The whole experience makes me feel that Windows 10 still isn't ready for being used in a live environment yet. I am certainly glad I got the upgrade for free as I wouldn't be happy if I had to pay for it. As i now have the license activated, I will probably go back to Windows 7 until support runs out and I am forced to update to 10.

    1. davidp231

      "Win 7 install before the upgrade yet once I had upgraded to the 'Professional' edition of Windows 10 installed I had load of links to games in the start menu, Hmm very professional."

      Agreed... but their "target audience" for the Pro SKU these days is power users and enthusiasts - they want to push ENT for businesses. I use EDU (courtesy of Dreamspark), which is (by their definition) ENT with a different name and that still installs a load of crap.

    2. Sporkinum

      You can do the 7 to 10 back to 7 thing multiple times. I have done it 3 times. Once at launch, once after a major upgrade 10 had, and most recently to try out a Mixed Reality VR headset. The nice thing is their revert tool is excellent. I was back up and running with 7 in about 10 minutes.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trust Microsoft

    to deflect. How can we be sure this shows all telemetry ? How come I still can't turn off telemetry, even on Enterprise ?

    And the answers are, Microsoft is a US company beholden to the Patriot Act, security letters, etc, and is a member of PRISM. If you value your personal privacy or even company info you should not be running MS software.

  22. unwarranted triumphalism

    It's still Apple's fault.

  23. Carl D

    I believe I've mentioned this once or twice before - if all of this telemetry that Microsoft is collecting from Windows 10 users is supposed to be used for making Windows 10 better then why is it still a pile of unstable garbage nearly 3 years after it's release?

    In fact, it seems to be getting worse with each new version.

    One only needs to look at Windows 7 for the answer. Why would Microsoft want to 'retrofit' telemetry to Windows 7 when they have no intention of adding any new features and haven't done so for several years now? In fact, after their disgraceful behaviour with the GWX campaign, it is pretty clear they've been trying to kill off Windows 7 completely.

    One could even be forgiven for thinking that this Meltdown/Spectre fiasco is yet another ploy to get rid of Windows 7 (Windows 10 is allegedly the only OS that won't suffer slowdowns with the patches for Meltdown/Spectre. How convenient for MS).

    Looks to me like the telemetry is more about targeting ads and just being generally 'nosy' with the excuse that because everyone else does it these days then why can't we?

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      "why is it still a pile of unstable garbage nearly 3 years after it's release?"

      Possibly because the info that reaches MS is skewed towards those don't know about it, or who can't switch it off, or who use the box only for testing purposes. That's a population that is skewed away from the IT literate and towards those who believe whatever you write on the tin. Perfect for advertisers, but shit for the official purpose.

    2. Updraft102 Silver badge

      "I believe I've mentioned this once or twice before - if all of this telemetry that Microsoft is collecting from Windows 10 users is supposed to be used for making Windows 10 better then why is it still a pile of unstable garbage nearly 3 years after it's release?"

      Because you're the beta tester now. You don't expect beta versions of software to be stable, do you? That telemetry data is the beta testing results that MS used to get from paid professionals before releasing the product into the wild. Now you're the unpaid volunteer.

      The same is true now of Windows 7 and 8.1 patches. They're no longer tested adequately by MS either, so of course telemetry is needed so that MS can get the beta test results. Since ordinary end users don't know how to write a bug report (nor do they even know they're beta testing!), lots of telemetry data is needed to let those end users perform their service to Microsoft.

      So yeah, MS is not lying when they say they will use the telemetry data to improve Windows. That's exactly what they are using it for... they just leave out the part where they fired their paid beta testers so they can use consumers for that instead, while their business customers are safely tucked away behind a layer of deferral options unavailable to consumers.

  24. c101

    Nevermind data slurping. What about the fact that they have your account password.

    They can run anything on your computer.

    One day my display turned grayscale by itself. I had to find the option to do that to turn it off.

  25. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    GDPR?

    My first thought was whether this is the first step in them trying to make sure their Windows data slurp is GDPR compliant. Must worry them (I'm sure the requirement to produce a defrag-free version of Windows 2000 still rankles, for example)

  26. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Our commitment is to be fully transparent on the diagnostic data collected from your Windows devices, how it is used, and to provide you with increased control over that data,"

    Assuming it does what they say the first bit makes sense. But how does it provide increased control? And wouldn't full be better?

    1. agatum

      And wouldn't full be better?

      Not 'better'. An 'absolute fucking requirement'.

  27. Duffy Moon

    Not in my Microsoft Store

    A search for "Diagnostic Data Viewer" did not give any results that included said app.

    1. Steve Jackson

      Re: Not in my Microsoft Store

      Pretty clear it's in the Insider Preview builds ATM

  28. RAM Raider

    Interesting. You slurp all my windows preferences, yet are unable to retain those settings when a patch is applied.

    Oh and stop enabling features I have disabled!

  29. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    The idea, says the Office giant, is to let users know exactly what data is being collected and kicked into the company's cloud each time their PC sends a diagnostics report back to the mothership.

    I don't think this is the actual user data slurping stuff, though?

    Just the error diagnostics stuff.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's criminal

    Microsoft's illegal PC access, spying, spamming, coercion and more via Win10 is criminal and they should be held accountable for tens of billions of Euro fines.

  31. herman Silver badge

    If you run Win10 in a VM with host only networking, then the data leaks are not a problem.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Or, use a standalone firewall and block access to all of Microsoft's servers.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No brainer

    I really don't understand why people are getting so upset.

    If you don't like it, then install Linux.

    So much for being "IT Professionals".

    Patient: It hurts when I poke my eye

    Doctor: Stop poking your eye.

    1. Anonymous IV
      Facepalm

      Re: No brainer

      "No brainer" is not only the title but a description of the previous comment's content.

      People want a less-intrusive version of Windows, not some random alternative.

    2. Chronos Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: No brainer

      Many of us have taken this road - or never had to because we were already on the Free-way. What we're moaning about is the "slowly boiling frog" element where they exploit the clueless to generate a critical mass of people who "aren't bothered" by the intrusiveness. We can see what they're doing to people who know no better and are concerned about it. Once it becomes established, like any virus it then infects other areas, just as it originally cross-contaminated Microsoft from Google.

      If you recall, many of us were just as vociferous when Google started it. This isn't a case of looking after numero uno. As professionals, we have to deal with the fallout from this bollocks. It is a widely accepted tenet that prevention is better than cure.

    3. ChrisC

      Re: No brainer

      "If you don't like it, then install Linux."

      Sure, and throw away potentially thousands (if not tens of thousands) of pounds worth of now worthless applications which you've built your business around, and which have no simple replacement in the Linux world.

      Blindly throwing out the tired old "oh, just switch to Linux" response whenever someone complains about Windows is seriously missing the point - for many users, switching away from Windows is something that would only make sound business sense if Windows was no longer in existence, and for as long as it continues to exist in some form which can continue to run the tools on which the business relies, then IT professionals and clued-up users alike will continue to use it simply because it's the lesser of two evils.

      No matter how much we as individuals might very much want to ditch the crapfest which is W10, if corporate policy is for us to use it then use it we do.

      And no matter how much you might have disliked MS in the past, opting for a Windows based business environment never felt like a completely crazy idea - no matter what MS changed with each new version, you were still ultimately in charge of your PC, which is kinda what you want out of your business tools. W10, now that's a whole different ball game. MS have gone and changed the rules for millions of users without them having any say in the matter, and that's pretty low even by their standards.

      So yes, anyone setting up a new business would do well to seriously consider the Linux alternatives, because they ought to be well aware of what they'd be letting themselves in for if they opted for a W10 environment instead. The rest of us just have to make the best of it, and hearing smart-alec remarks like yours really doesn't help...

  33. smartroad

    "This is all part of our commitment to increase your trust and confidence in our products and services."

    So let us turn it off completely then. You'd gain a large increase in trust then. Otherwise all you are doing is showing us what info you are stealing and spying on without any idea where that data is going and how it is being stored and identified.

    This is just one big "muhahahahaha look at what we are doing that you can't stop muahahahaha"

  34. Petersonregistery

    pfSense

    The way I control Windows is through the use of an external pfSense/OpenBSD firewall. The firewall also runs pfBlockerNG and Snort. I think using the pfBlockerNG Windows block list isolate your computer from Window slurps. It probably can block updates also. How selective you can be on updates I don't know. An external firewall is probably the only way you can gain control of the Windows beast. This is fairly complex to setup, so the masses are probably out of luck.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This:

    "" said Windows and Device Group privacy officer Marisa Rogers on Wednesday".

    Surely A: The single biggest oxymoron ever.

    B: A more pointless job than the chap who fits the indicators on BMWs.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft Store? You mean I need to log in to a Microsoft account to download stuff from it?

    No thank you, Microsoft.

    Your 'app ecosystem' is dead, so stop trying already.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019