back to article Which? calls for compensation for users hit by Windows 10 woes

Champion of consumer rights and closer of customer email services Which? has taken a hobnailed boot to Microsoft's beleaguered Windows 10 operating system with research that will make for unpleasant reading at Redmond. A latest survey of more than 1,100 UK users comes after Which? gave Microsoft a kicking back in 2016. One …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft gave you a comment at least, better than Apple *.

    * on that note I’m typing this on a iPhone

  2. Richard 12 Silver badge

    If it was only security patches

    I wouldn't mind much.

    But it's not. It's regular wholesale replacement of the entire OS.

    April even managed to screw up my user folders. They added a new UI to move them, which screwed up the existing UI that I'd already used to relocate them onto another drive.

    So now I have two "My Documents", and applications are very confused about which one to use...

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: If it was only security patches

      well, 'Which?' has apparently documented a number of 'bad update' cases, particularly those in which money changed hands to get the computer back up and running again.

      This sounds like "a good start" at forcing Micro-shaft to "JUST STOP IT" with the forced updates.

      I still don't know why they're doing 'forced updates' like that. Why so much smugness/arrogance/hubris to FORCE us to COMPLY with their WHIMS ???

      Hey Micro-shaft - whatever happened to "The CUSTOMER is ALWAYS RIGHT" ???

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Milton Silver badge

          Re: If it was only security patches

          "But why do you talk like a 6 year old? What's with all the school-yard style, silly little insults, random capitalisation and total lack of coherence?"

          This is the bane of all grown-ups using the internet, and it's a similar feeling to the one you get after driving on the motorway for a while. "How can there possibly be so many adults who behave like abject morons?" you ask, with tears in your eyes.

          Not that I'm alleging bombastic bob is a moron, mind you. He could easily be one of those Artificial Idiot chatbot thingies that "learns" from other users and can't help itself.

          Someone ask him to open the pod bay doors and see what happens ...

          1. Arthur the cat Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: If it was only security patches

            Someone ask him to open the pod bay doors and see what happens ...

            I'm sorry Milton, I CAN'T DO THAT!!!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: If it was only security patches

          He's a Repuglican and they don't know any better.

        3. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: If it was only security patches

          "But why do you talk like a 6 year old"

          *sigh*... such a typical, ad hominem attacks disguised as "advice", made complete with a LEADING QUESTION.

          I have so many words to choose from to respond with, all of them profanity.

          So JUST *STOP* *IT* with the ad hominem attack "advice". It makes you appear as if you were a smug, arrogant, leftist, millenial 'political correctness' fascist. That's MY advice to YOU. You're WELCOME.

          Besides, you're OBVIOUSLY using a LEADING QUESTION, a MANIPULATIVE tactic that's typical of THE LEFT.

          How about if _I_ ask "How long have you been beating your wife"?

          It's the SAME kind of thing, yeah.

          Icon, because, YOUR argument has been "nuked"

          1. Shades
            WTF?

            Re: If it was only security patches

            "smug, arrogant, leftist, millenial 'political correctness' fascist. [...] typical of THE LEFT."

            Jesus H f**king Christ on a bicycle at Christmas. When did El Reg start letting MAGA type dickheads sign up? Bring back Matt, all is forgiven!

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: If it was only security patches

          > What's with all the school-yard style, silly little insults, random capitalisation and total lack of coherence?

          Completely guessing, but it may be medical related. A relative has early stage Alzheimers and now writes similarly.

          1. TonyJ Silver badge

            Re: If it was only security patches

            "...> What's with all the school-yard style, silly little insults, random capitalisation and total lack of coherence?

            Completely guessing, but it may be medical related. A relative has early stage Alzheimers and now writes similarly..."

            Nah. Just likes the attention - even negative.

          2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

            Re: If it was only security patches

            Steal the Caps Lock key, they may not notice.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: If it was only security patches

              > Steal the Caps Lock key, they may not notice.

              Oh, they'd notice. Rediscovering it over... and over... and over... and over...

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: If it was only security patches

            Fellow commentards: please observe the many posted "Do not feed the trolls" signs...

      2. phuzz Silver badge
        Gimp

        Re: If it was only security patches

        "I still don't know why they're doing 'forced updates' like that."

        Because otherwise they get slated for everyone never installing patches and getting pwnd by every bit of malware that comes along.

        Think back to the days when everyone ran Windows XP and most people/companies didn't patch, and Microsoft got their (deserved) reputation for having terrible security. That's what they're trying to avoid, by making sure everyone is running the latest security patches.

        They've probably over-reacted, but at least now you know why.

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: If it was only security patches

          I agree. They had a terrible rep and had to do something about it. The problem is that the marketing droids have turned it into "security updates and new features" which actually means "security updates and fucking with existing features you like to make them worse".

          I'm no fan of the knee-jerk anti MS brigade, but in this case they have a point. (CURSES!!)

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: If it was only security patches

            sabroni Just replied so that I can offer (see icon).....

    2. ForthIsNotDead Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: If it was only security patches

      My April update went perfectly. Not one single issue.

      Not a thing.

      That's Linux for you.

      (runs for door)

      1. Pete4000uk

        Re: If it was only security patches

        I've never had such problems with Debian on my 10 year old laptop

      2. collinsl

        Re: If it was only security patches

        I'm currently having a BlueTooth issue with the latest 2 kernels of CentOS 7.

        But there's a bugfix open for it...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If it was only security patches

      Windows 10 is the last version of Windows, and Microsoft wants to keep polishing the turd and convince you it's a brand new OS with every major update.

      Traditional OS releases every 3 to 5 years with service packs in between, are too 'old fashioned' for the millennials' taste.

      Even emulating Apple's OSX release cycle and pricing scheme would have been more palatable.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If it was only security patches

        > Even emulating Apple's OSX release cycle ...

        Unfortunately, that's gone to shit as well. OSX is now yearly releases, with as many - or more - regressions as there are improvements.

  3. BobChip
    WTF?

    MS abandoning Windows??

    The only thing that will make MS sit up and take notice of it's (Windows) customers is that they start losing them. Losing money will do it.

    That said, since they seem determined to move to being a "cloud and services" business, and have suddenly decided to "love" open source and Linux, could it just be that they have simply lost interest in Windows - not making enough money - and are preparing to abandon it?

    Interesting times.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: MS abandoning Windows??

      I've just resurrected Windows 2000 in order to run an old version of QuickBooks as I had no interest in paying the SaaS tax for the latest version just in order to produce some accounts for a small charitable group.

      The only reason for having a recent version of Windows is in order to run recent versions of applications. If the applications are "in the cloud", then what would you particularly want Windows for? Would you want to pay a regular subscription for software that simply enabled you to access other software?

      There is still a small category of applications that need precision pointing, large screens and/or local processing power, but the primary purpose of Windows - to provide a stable platform for a wide range of local application software - is much diminished. The issue for Microsoft is whether they concentrate on an increasingly niche market for which Windows is appropriate, or whether Windows effectively becomes another Android or iOS. They've pretty much failed at the latter and don't seem ready to accept the former.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: MS abandoning Windows??

        MS already know that Windows is becoming less important. Their focus now is Office 365 and Azure for IaaS.

        Try Office 365 in a web browser. Certainly good enough for most day to day tasks. Web version of Outlook is better than the full client in many respects (folder search when filing especially). Only thing missing for me is the ability to duplicate calendar items as I need that for my timesheet.

        1. Dave 15 Silver badge

          Re: MS abandoning Windows??

          Really? Not if you are trying to use outlook without a broadband connection direct onto the main backbone it isnt... far too slow. Frankly I also object to MS and the NSA having direct access to all my emails ... especially the work ones with confidential data in them

          1. Khaptain Silver badge

            Re: MS abandoning Windows??

            "especially the work ones with confidential data in them"

            Third party encryption is your friend..

          2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

            Re: MS abandoning Windows??

            This is a British company, if you are worried about the NSA access then they must be ge

            Hang on...

            Wait a minute...

            ttining it from....

            Um!

        2. styx-tdo

          Re: MS abandoning Windows??

          er.. no.

          shared mailboxes are a PITA. Does calendar sharing / shared calendars finally work?

        3. julian_n

          Re: MS abandoning Windows??

          You must be running a different version to me. My Office 365 is vastly inferior to the thick client. Loads of the shortcuts either don't work now or are intercepted by the browser

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: MS abandoning Windows??

        the primary purpose of Windows - to provide a stable platform for a wide range of local application software

        Surely you jest about the stability of windows? Experience tend to point in the direction of instability especially with the latest offering.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: MS abandoning Windows??

          "Stable" as in "APIs maintain near-perfect backwards compatibility"

          And to be completely fair, Windows 7 and Windows 10 are also very stable as in "Don't crash and recover nicely if you do".

          The problem with Win10 is the incessant forced feature upgrades, which break/move/ruin existing installs and features.

        2. Cpt Blue Bear

          Re: MS abandoning Windows??

          "Surely you jest about the stability of windows? Experience tend to point in the direction of instability especially with the latest offering."

          Your experience must be limited to old and crappy hardware then 'cause stability hasn't been a serious issue for any OS in the last 10 years. Kids today don't know what instability is...

      3. Roopee

        Re: MS abandoning Windows??

        QuickBooks 2000 runs perfectly well on Windows 7 64-bit, as does Quicken '97; installing them however is something of a challenge, involving manually identifying and copying a bunch of supporting files from a working copy on XP or earlier. I've been using all 3 for years and have no plans (or need) to change them since they do their respective jobs extremely well.

        Hope that helps.

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: MS abandoning Windows??

      "could it just be that they have simply lost interest in Windows - not making enough money - and are preparing to abandon it?"

      Quite the reverse based on what they are up to recently. You can now run Linux apps under Windows 10 and on Server 2019 without a Linux kernel. Embrace then replace.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: MS abandoning Windows??

      "The only thing that will make MS sit up and take notice of it's (Windows) customers is that they start losing them. Losing money will do it."

      You'd think so in a NORMAL world. And, as far as new computer sales go, this is probably ALREADY happening. Micro-shaft does not care about losing money right now. They have way too much 'spare capital' to do whatever THEY want. And it appears to be a LONG GAME strategy, which means they're driving "the masses" in a direction THEY want, because THEY CAN.

      Think about the purchase of GitHub. Think about how developers "moving to Linux" has prompted them to "Embrace Extend Extinguish" a kind of 'linux clone' subsystem that runs in Win-10-nic. None of this is a coincidence, I'm sure of it.

      In a normal world, they would care VERY much about losing customers, and do what they could to try and WIN THEM BACK. But they're not. They're smugly, arrogantly, even DEFIANTLY moving off in whatever direction they *FEEL* is right, DAMN the customers, full speed ahead.

      Unfortunate, because in the 90's, I really liked what they were doing.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: MS abandoning Windows??

      Not abandoning... more like 'reshaping' Windows, similar to the transition from Office to Office 365.

      The monetization comes from subscriptions and/or ad delivery, not selling a new box of the same software every few years.

      What I can see Microsoft abandoning is its alliance, or at least its dependence on, Intel. By cozying up to Qualcomm.

    5. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: MS abandoning Windows??

      Since Microsoft have apparently restructured ( others here will TBH know much more about this than I) and become much less Windows focussed it's clearly a yes.

      So many ordinary users use their smart phones to do TwitBook and Google to search, with Amazon to shop that consumer PCs are a diminishing market. Most home users don't much need a computer, they are content consumers, not producers. School kids and students need a home computer. Beyond that it's business. And none of these markets are going to replace machines as often as they used to. And frankly, why should they. Several years back we reached peak upgrade. Very few users have computing needs that exceed the capacity of a machine made after about 2010.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: MS abandoning Windows??

        @Terry 6

        Succinct summary of what you've commented:

        These days, you could easily get by a day** without touching a single Microsoft product or service. And you wouldn't be missing anything. Back in the late 1990s to early-mid 2000s, this wasn't the case. Kids these days do not understand that dark, helpless era; they think Xbox, Minecraft, Github, a jeans-wearing CEO and a hipster minimalistic window tile corporate logo make Microsoft a palatable company.

        **Unless your workplace forces Office and Exchange/Outlook on you.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: MS abandoning Windows??

      @ BobChip

      It frightens me that MS have embraced Linux. Not trying to start an init war and I'm not suggesting that Linux's init system(s) couldn't be improved but systemd is massive overreach and may have been their first steps toward and embrace of Linux.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Post-Truth Society

    The problem is, no one actually listens and addresses anything anymore. Put this in front of a Microsoft executive and expect to get the Zuckerberg treatment: A lawyered and different answer, to every question asked!

    Take Microsoft recently: calling out Facebook for human-rights 'data' abuses... WTF?

    Its like the whole of Silly 'con' Valley have bought into Jobian reality-distortion-field economics. Deny it. PR it. Throw money at conferences / journos and by sheer will create the perception you want people to swallow!

    1. onefang Silver badge

      Re: Post-Truth Society

      "Its like the whole of Silly 'con' Valley have bought into Jobian reality-distortion-field economics."

      The problem is that it worked very well for Jobs, well except for the whole cancer thing, and made Apple a very very very profitable company. So naturally other evil companies are trying to emulate that success.

  5. JimmyPage Silver badge
    FAIL

    Good luck with that.

    UK tort law starts with having to show a "loss", and your time is worth .... nothing.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Good luck with that.

      "Need to show a loss"

      Well, all it would take is for one small business to get hit with a fine from HMRC for late filing of a Tax return and you have a loss allright.

      OR an author to lose a 500,000 word manuscript that was due for publication.

      Time spent fixing the issues can be taken into consideration IF that time would have been spent earning money.

      For us mere plebs/mortals/ordinary people, MS could not give a F***. In many cases I think that they'd rather we went away and didn't bother them again. Well, IMHO, Windows 10 from a consumer POV seems hell bent of driving users to other platforms so... you make your own mind up.

      Yet again last month, I had to tell a family member "I don't do Windows 10" when asked for help because MS in their 'wisdom' (sic) had screwed up their computer with an update. sigh.

      1. Milton Silver badge

        "... lose a 500,000 word manuscript"

        " ... OR an author to lose a 500,000 word manuscript that was due for publication"

        So that's what happened to George Martin's next Thrones novel.

        The rewritten version has an army of robotic, faceless, rapacious monsters that cannot be killed gradually being forced back beyond The Wall until they are returned to confinement in the Tomb of the Undead, in Redmond.

        Windows is Coming

        1. TonyJ Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: "... lose a 500,000 word manuscript"

          "...Windows is Coming..."

          He took a [Windows] patch to the knee....

          I'll get my coat.

        2. Mage Silver badge

          Re: what happened to George Martin's next Thrones novel?

          I thought he still uses CP/M?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: what happened to George Martin's next Thrones novel?

            Martin surfs the Web and does his email on a modern computer (using I don't know which OS), but he famously does his writing in WordStar 4.0 on a painstakingly maintained, air-gapped DOS box.

    2. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: Good luck with that.

      "UK tort law starts with having to show a "loss", and your time is worth .... nothing." --- JimmyPage

      But, if you can't fix it yourself, and you pay someone to fix it for you, I think* their time is worth something, and you might well be able to claim that having to pay them is a 'loss' you might expect to be at least partially reimbursed.

      Perhaps, by making the updates compulsory, MS have increased their exposure to such claims?

      *IANALBIPOOTI

    3. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Good luck with that.

      @JimmyPage

      Lots of people have not just lost time. If the Win 10 update screw up stops you working / reduces effectiveness then it costs money - e.g. borked PC so cannot use webcam to record bondage session and burn DVD for your punter, so cash is lost.

      (There may be more family friendly use cases)

      1. tapemonkey

        Re: Good luck with that.

        I got a desperate call from a blind friend who uses screen reading software to use his PC. After the update his onboard sound was borked (still is) and that was a massive deal to him. Without sound his PC was nothing more than an expensive room heater. I had to order him a cheap usb soundcard to plug in as I dont live nearby and couldnt install a PCI card. The PC is a Zoostorm and the onboard was nothing out of the ordinary just a Realtek HD so you would have thought MS would have checkecd that before release to the general public.

        MS should realise that some people rely on their computers for far more significant things than business. To my mate it is his lifeline aginst loneliness. He lives his life in total darkness, not something most of us could cope with, and to lose that because someone did not invest a bit of time to ensure their product was fit for purpose is extremely hard on vulnerable people like him.

        1. Milton Silver badge

          "some people rely on their computers"

          "MS should realise that some people rely on their computers for far more significant things than business"

          Twenty years ago I used to say that if Bill Gates had to be in Intensive Care and rely—absolutely rely—upon a computer-controlled device to keep him alive, he'd shit himself if he thought its OS was any version of Windows.

          And to anyone who's technically familiar with OSs and high-uptime servers, I'd ask the same thing today. If your life absolutely depended upon a given machine continuing to function and do its job—if it stopped working for more than 60 seconds, you would die—would you in all honesty trust a Windows OS or a *ix one?

          It's my shrewd suspicion that whatever folks might say, there isn't a single techie working for Microsoft who, if their life really was the stake, would choose Windows over *ix.

          1. Martin Summers Silver badge

            Re: "some people rely on their computers"

            "It's my shrewd suspicion that whatever folks might say, there isn't a single techie working for Microsoft who, if their life really was the stake, would choose Windows over *ix."

            What a great question. I had to stop and think about it, but not for long. My answer was Linux. Supporting Microsoft products is my bread and butter and I don't go in for bashing them 'just because, but I feel on this one you're right.

          2. herman Silver badge

            Re: "some people rely on their computers"

            "if it stopped working for more than 60 seconds, you would die?" A plane only takes about 5 seconds to come down from kilometers up to a couple meters below ground level. So, yeah, I rather use Linux for flight control systems.

            1. TonyJ Silver badge

              Re: "some people rely on their computers"

              "...A plane only takes about 5 seconds to come down from kilometers up to a couple meters below ground level..."

              Aeroplanes don't fall out of the sky like that. Even unpowered they will glide. For that kind of descent you'd need to be in a powered dive.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "some people rely on their computers"

              5 seconds? Assuming its wings had fallen off and zero momentum it would be 15 seconds in free fall.

              I suspect it would more like a minute and a half to 2 mins with the winds still on.

            3. This post has been deleted by its author

          3. Named coward

            Re: "some people rely on their computers"

            If your only options for a life-critical application are windows and a generic *nix one, someone had no idea what they were doing

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "some people rely on their computers"

              Not bashing Linux, but if it was a life or death choice, Linux would not be the version of Unix I'd choose. I'm sure Linus would agree too.. It's simply not what it's designed for.

              But if I did have to have Linux, it would be without systemd :-)

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "some people rely on their computers"

            "And to anyone who's technically familiar with OSs and high-uptime servers, I'd ask the same thing today. If your life absolutely depended upon a given machine continuing to function and do its job—if it stopped working for more than 60 seconds, you would die—would you in all honesty trust a Windows OS or a *ix one?"

            Of course not. Oh, you meant that to be a one or the other question?

            I also would not trust x86 hardware, non-ECC memory, non-redundant power supplies, anything socketed, etc. There are ways to make software and hardware reliable enough to trust your life with them. Those methods are *extremely* expensive, not just in the hardware chosen, but in the specification process, the design process, testing, verification, etc.

            I'm no Windows fanboi (stubbornly running Win 7 here!) but the life-support provision isn't a realistic comparasion.

          5. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "some people rely on their computers"

            OpenBSD/x-ray - OpenBSD on medical x-ray machines

            Some of you may have been interested in this recent event.

            https://www.bsdcan.org/2018/schedule/events/986.en.html

        2. Cpt Blue Bear

          Re: Good luck with that.

          "I got a desperate call from a blind friend who uses screen reading software to use his PC"

          I got a similar call after the big update last year. Fucking thing reset accessibility settings. Fortunately I could talk his daughter through re-enabling them.

          "...ordinary just a Realtek HD ..."

          A while back I came across a string of cases where Windows 10 was automagically installing the wrong driver for one of the Realteck sound chipsets. A client had a bunch of Asus (I think) laptops that suffered from it and I also saw it on some deaktops. From memory it required manually removing the incorrect driver and manually installing the right one. It sounds like the Windows driver library is still borked.

          None of which helps you if don't have access to the PC but.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good luck with that.

        buy a goddam mac then

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Good luck with that.

          > buy a goddam mac then

          Unfortunately, recent "macOS" releases are known to be flaky for many people.

    4. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Good luck with that.

      "and your time is worth .... nothing."

      Speak for yourself. Mine is worth over £100 an hour. Plus VAT.

      1. Les Matthew

        Re: Good luck with that.

        "Speak for yourself. Mine is worth over £100 an hour. Plus VAT."

        I never knew that writing bad poetry paid so well.

  6. Christian Berger Silver badge

    One would expect a consumer magazine...

    ... to know somewhat more about Microsoft, than to expect that they would now compensate their users.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One would expect a consumer magazine...

      I think they're smart enough to know it's just an article to a) fill up some space on their site and b) stir controversy / make their audience "engage" with their website and see a few more ads while at it d) get picked up by other media (the register, etc.) to give Which free publicity. Which they got.

    2. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

      Re: One would expect a consumer magazine...

      > ... to know somewhat more about Microsoft, than to expect that they would now compensate their users.

      It's W10 we are talking about here so the term "users" is perhaps not the best. If they were able to be "users" then they wouldn't be griping. It's the "not able to be a user" that needs compensation the most.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: One would expect a consumer magazine...

        On the other hand, this may be a respite from the slurp. :)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    software giant still needs to work a little harder

    In my view, MS has worked extremely hard to beat the sheep into their fenced garden. And it works!

    p.s. for the refusenicks, next Windows is gonna be even less appealing, but who cares about 0.0001%, i.e. scum that obstinately refuse to be fleeced anyway? They probably wear penguins tatooted on their foreheads

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: software giant still needs to work a little harder

      It drove my parents away - their PC totally bricked (by older update) - I'm no Windows 10 expert, so they got Linux installed instead so they could have a working PC again. Lots of casual home users do not actually need any MS products (web, email, music, images, video, documents etc. can be done on any OS)

      1. Dave 15 Silver badge

        Re: software giant still needs to work a little harder

        In fact now that the media player has been removed a lot of videos cant be played without adding 3rd party stuff

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: software giant still needs to work a little harder

      "MS has worked extremely hard to beat the sheep into their fenced garden."

      Gardener with neighbouring sheep farmer here: sheep have to be kept out of gardens.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: software giant still needs to work a little harder

        methinks the neighbouring farm applies old, outdated, so-called "organic" farming methodology. To get the maximum ROI, you keep the sheep in, feed them off a belt, shear them onsite, keep the wolves and penguins out, profit. Still long before the association for prevention of cruelty to sheepo sapiens gains any traction to lament such approach as "degrading and inhumane".

      2. hplasm Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: software giant still needs to work a little harder

        "Gardener with neighbouring sheep farmer here: sheep have to be kept out of gardens."

        Thus the SNAFU is explained...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: software giant still needs to work a little harder

        > Gardener with neighbouring sheep farmer here: sheep have to be kept out of gardens.

        What happens if they're not? Do they turn into Gremlins at midnight or something? :)

        1. Ken Mitchell

          Re: software giant still needs to work a little harder

          No, but they do eat the veggies growing in the gardens.

          Deer are a problem as well. Deer like NOTHING better than fresh tender shoots of rose bushes. Deer. They're like rats with hooves.

    3. onefang Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: software giant still needs to work a little harder

      "In my view, MS has worked extremely hard to beat the sheep into their fenced garden. And it works!"

      I dunno, the garden next door is full of Apples, very tempting for sheep. Sheep probably don't like penguins much though.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Won't Microsoft argue that it's free so therefore it's your own choice to use it?

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      @AC re: Free.

      Firstly, it's not free to all users. Some people have actually paid for it, and on new PCs, I'm sure the OEM will have paid something to put a valid Windows license on them.

      Secondly, the extreme measures they used to try to persuade users of previous versions of Windows to upgrade may weaken any 'user choice' arguments they may try to use.

      But doesn't Microsoft palm off all support for Windows on OEM systems to the manufacturer of the PSs? I think they only offer direct support to people who buy retail of enterprise licenses.

      1. Dave 15 Silver badge

        Re: @AC re: Free.

        not free for any user. You pay for the licence on a new PC (most suppliers will supply without OS if you ask them)

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Won't Microsoft argue that it's free"

      No. They wouldn't be able to complain about piracy.

  9. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Dickman sounds like a decent superhero name...

    1. EastFinchleyite

      Dickman

      decent perhaps but not smart. In suing to get his Windows 7 back I am presuming he had it is the first place. In which case upgrading to Windows 10 without keeping a full backup (I use Macrium) is a bit dumb.

      Back in the free Windows 10 year, I installed it on one of my PCs, found it was a crock of **** and quickly restored the Windows 7 build. I lost a couple of hours but I regard that time well spent learning not to do it again.

      1. Remy Redert

        Re: Dickman

        When you 'upgraded' to Windows 10, your key was also converted. After a short grace period during which you could revert back to Win7 that change became permanent and it will no longer be possible to activate a Windows 7 install with it.

        So you have to either resort to cracking the Win7 install to make it work, which depending on your local laws may or may not be illegal, it's also definitely a violation of the EULA but that's not worth the paper it's written on anyways.

        Or you have to buy a new Win7 license, which of course Microsoft no longer supplies.

        1. Carl D

          Re: Dickman

          When you 'upgraded' to Windows 10, your key was also converted. After a short grace period during which you could revert back to Win7 that change became permanent and it will no longer be possible to activate a Windows 7 install with it.

          So you have to either resort to cracking the Win7 install to make it work, which depending on your local laws may or may not be illegal, it's also definitely a violation of the EULA but that's not worth the paper it's written on anyways.

          Or you have to buy a new Win7 license, which of course Microsoft no longer supplies.

          Since when?

          I've never had a problem activating Windows 7 when reinstalling it after trying Windows 10 using the W7 keys for the 'upgrade'... on my main PC or my laptop.

          And, I've done it quite a few times since the release of Windows 10 three years ago (I'm a sucker for punishment sometimes but I think I've finally learned my lesson - no more trying out W10).

        2. EastFinchleyite

          Re: Dickman

          "When you 'upgraded' to Windows 10"

          Who said anything about an Upgrade. One thing I have learned about MS products is always do a clean install. No link to previous version so you can't be messed up as you suggested. Archive everything, never use the same names or IDs especially when managing the enthusiasm of MS trying to jam Win10 down my throat.

          I was just curious about Win10 but I didn't inhale.

        3. Roopee
          Headmaster

          Re: Dickman

          @Remy Redert

          Not true in my experience - Windows 7 OEM keys carry on being able to activate Windows 7 even after being used to activate the free guinea pig Windows 10 install when you decide to upgrade it back again, eg to refurbish a used PC and make it more valuable.

  10. Multivac

    404?

    I did wonder if the Which? website might be experiencing a few technical issues today, they are running on AWS though, I presume they checked that before releasing that statement.

  11. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    “We want to make sure our customers receive the right support they need to get the best Windows update experience and we will continue to review customer enquiries and issues on a case-by-case basis to ensure individual help and resolution where possible”

    Which means "something has happened which makes us look bad so we are making an open-ended statement, but won't take any concrete action and will continue as per before." when translated from PR-speak

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or "yeah, whatever - suck it up, buttercup" for the TL;DR version

  12. Dave 15 Silver badge

    Windows 10

    Crock of shit would be a better description

    Found my windows services using 95% of memory yesterday. Post total reboot virus scan showed nothing untoward. Best advice on the internet seems to be to randomly shut the services down until the problem seems to go away and then to permanently stop this particular service. But then we know MS will update the whole shebang in a weeks time and reenable it all whether you wanted, liked it or not.

    The last update has totally bollxd one of my wifes machines, a 100euro trip to the shop (excluding her lost time etc etc etc) and the shop found nothing they could pin it on except questioning whether it was plugged direct into the wall or an extension cable (I mean, honestly... it was plugged in exactly the same as before the update and unless the power supply is really really really on a knife edge limit I cant see anything that should be triggering a succession of memory faults in different places, complaints about file handling and all manner of other random OS generated errors).

    No roll back seems to be available (I thought during an update it was good practice to create a restore point you could go back to, MS dont do this and with no warning about when the OS is going to screw itself over you have no particular chance to).

    The whole lot is written in C# leaving the whole mess is unpredictable, it is slow even when it hasnt memory leaked itself into a hole (something C# is supposed to help prevent), it is so flawed the updates come out faster than water from a tap, MS should realise the whole thing is a bad idea and give everyone lessons on linux and provide all users with a free linux package... finally destroying the 'product' that is inflicting misery on millions.

    When I worked for them they actually tested stuff before shipping it, made sure it was used internally and would not release it with showstopper defects like 'it doesnt bloody start quicker than I can make a cup of tea' or 'I have grown old and died while waiting for the volume slider to appear'.

    1. Thoguht Silver badge

      Re: Windows 10

      Like all garbage-collecting languages, C# will prevent memory leaks caused by failing to release memory referenced by objects that have gone out of scope. However, it's still perfectly possible to write C# code that leaks memory. Not to mention leaks in the .Net runtime itself.

      1. herman Silver badge

        Re: Windows 10

        Well, except that the C# garbage collector is also garbage. I have observed a system practically halt for 3 seconds every 8 seconds, thanks to the garbage C# garbage collector.

    2. onefang Silver badge

      Re: Windows 10

      "MS should realise the whole thing is a bad idea and give everyone lessons on linux and provide all users with a free linux package... finally destroying the 'product' that is inflicting misery on millions."

      With Microsoft including bits of Linux in Windows now, that might be precisely what they are doing.

  13. The C Man

    Where's the problem?

    We, my wife and I, have laptops, tablets and all-in-ones dating back to 2008 all running Windows 10. All of them have been through various updates from Vista (the earliest one we still have) to the latest update without a problem. What we do is make sure that all drivers are up to date every couple months which means not relying on Windows updates for all of them. Some, such as Bluetooth drivers, have been rolled back to a working version but what really matters is not always relying on the updates to do everything but doing some maintenance for yourself.

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Re: So...

      "But Asbestos never killed me" and "But I never got Ebola" or "But my car does not roll over and explode" are not relevant arguments. Sorry.

      I agree that use cases can vary. And even I tend to frown at people complaining all the time when the user is 90% to blame and not the programmer/manufacture etc. But things being what they are now, a LOT of the time it is a forced update/change in code/change to T&C/Services that messes up the product the customer just paid for! (See stores still selling products at full price that are paperweights because the online only device service ended months ago).

    2. Joe Montana

      Re: Where's the problem?

      If you need to do maintenance yourself then it's not suitable for the typical user, who has no idea how to perform these maintenance tasks. People complain about linux, but windows is actually worse in this respect - more maintenence required, and more difficult to fix anything that breaks. The typical windows workarounds posted on forums involve registry edits and powershell scripts, which is just as difficult for non technical users as shell commands if not more so.

    3. tapemonkey

      Re: Where's the problem?

      That doesnt help when the latest update completely borks the most up to date drivers. I am a tech with years of experience but when this update broke a blind mates onboard sound driver there was literally nothing that could be done except buy a usb soundcard. This meant he was without a PC until it arrived because without sound his screen reading software was useless. Also some people like my mate are unable to do maintenance for themselves and rely on the goodwill of others or PAY

    4. Dave 15 Silver badge

      Re: Where's the problem?

      The problem is I have (or rather had now) a working system. Microsoft broke it for me without my consent or request. I should not have to spend hours now trying to find which 'driver' I need to update for the different 'devices' on my machine (from graphics to bluetooth, networkcards, mouse, keyboard et al). More I shouldnt have to rely on the device manufacturer to have provided an update.

      Microsoft should NOT force me to 'upgrade' from something that is working to something that is not. It would be like being forced to have your car serviced and finding they had taken the tyres of it and removed the seats claiming you need to go to the original manufacturer to get new compatible ones!

    5. Mage Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Where's the problem?

      I've had the sound driver vanish after a W10 upgrade on x86 tablets that only ever had W10. Neither repair or search internet worked. Pointing "update driver" at windows.old worked, proving it is appalling MS idiocy.

  14. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Had the dreaded update on my Lenovo X260 Stinkpad - and nothing seems to be amiss...

    ....yet.

    I've resurrected an old HP 7600 desktop PC, added some extra RAM and loaded Linux Mint on it, for the kids @ home. Not going to stick with M$ anymore, next thing you know is that they hosed all existing Win7/8/8.1 installs with a funny windowsupdate thing.

    Mistakes will continue to be made and Windows users can expect a lot of data loss not to mention productivity loss to be the inevitable result.

  15. steviebuk Silver badge

    I was in IKEA...

    ...at the weekend and in the cafe. All the screens displaying the food and menu had the Windows 10 update waiting for someone to either restart or choose a time when it should restart.

    I enjoy seeing these in the wild for some reason. Like the cash machine that had crashed a few years ago when I went up to use it.

    But Microsoft needs to give people back control of Windows updates.

    1. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Re: I was in IKEA...

      Well seriously, if someone is still trying to sell you an information screen based on Windows in 2018, you should be verry weary of them.

      After all in the real world, there are software packages/services like Info Beamer, that allow you to do the same with a small Linux box (preferably a Raspberry PI) with features like live coding (save your file and the new code will be applied during the next frame) and recursive frames in subdirectories. If you use the commercial services all you need is to upload your content, to the "cloud", write the OS image onto an SD-card, pop that into a Raspberry Pi and register it to the service.

      And if you don't want to use the service you can use Info Beamer independently of it. Just log into your computer via ssh and edit the files on there.

  16. Jeroen Braamhaar
    Holmes

    Win10 security by inability

    "to be fair, Windows 10 has excellent security defences in spite of its faults."

    if it doesn't work, you can't get infected by malware either, right ?

    (would use BOFH icon if there was one)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Which? calls for compensation for users hit by Windows 10◾️

    Fixed that headline for you.

  18. Laughing Gravy

    Smug

    I love these stories about M$ and Win 10. No, I don't feel your pain

  19. adam payne Silver badge

    Which?'s helpdesk revealed that over the last three years it had been contacted about Windows 10 problems three times as often as it was contacted about all other operating systems combined (including mobile)

    Speaks volumes on how crap Windows 10 is!

    Not looking forward to Windows 7 going EOL.

    1. Dave 15 Silver badge

      As long as the a... wipes dont 'upgrade' windows 7 in the same way they keep 'upgrading' windows 10 before they EOL then I am quite happy for the EOL. I dont tend to upgrade my machines once they are working well because even on older versions of windows you could 100% guarantee the upgraded version would be slower than the original and still full of holes. Note apple got caught also slowing down older devices with 'upgrades' full of nops in nasty places. These guys (all of them) are nasty criminals.

    2. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Speaks volumes on how crap Windows 10 is!

      Probably speaks louder about how many Which? readers use Windows against how many use other OSes.

      10 out of 100 users of product "A" complained

      2 out of 10 users of product "B" complained.

      Which is the worse product?

      (Speaking as someone who has never - other than briefly a cast-off Windows 95 laptop - had a Windows machine at home)

      M.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Not looking forward to Windows 7 going EOL.

      Hopefully ReactOS is ready for general end users by then.

  20. David Roberts Silver badge
    Windows

    Blast from the past - W7 to W10

    Just updating a friend's PC which has been stored for a while; long story but he bought it off a mate and then never got around to using it because of lack of Broadband.

    I told him he could tether it to his mobile, and helped him set that up.

    Having quite fast Broadband I said I would get all the latest updates on. I found that it had the Windows 10 update queued up and all updates turned off. Does make me wonder if this is why his mate flogged it on, but more likely he just turned off updates because he didn't know how to stop the W10 update. Just looked back and the forced updates were around March 2016.

    Anyway, cue a quick installation of GWX followed by clicking all the buttons to clean up, and Windows 7 is now happily up to date.

    All this just made me realise how far back the whole upgrade cockup was.

  21. keith_w

    No problem with windows 10 update

    got W10 on 3 machines without issue. CPU on the one I am writing this message on (a 4 year old Dell) is between 2 and 9%. Most likely the vast majority of people are in the same situation, no problems so no commenting about it, which I wouldn't have done until I saw this thread.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A whole one thousand users?

    Satnad must be getting Gates and Ballmer on a call.

  23. Mage Silver badge
    Devil

    to be fair, Windows 10 has excellent security defences

    Except the worst configurability, ease of use, appearance and GUI since versions prior to 3.0.

    I have copies of 2.0, 286, 386, 3.0, 3.1 3.11, three kinds of 95, 98, 98SE,

    NT versions 3.51, 4, 2K, XP, 7 & 10

    (No copies of ME or Vista survive, I never had 8.x personally)

    Also full of IoT garbage and Slurping by default.

  24. Craig 2
    Trollface

    "In the survey, conducted in March and so before the excitement of the April 2018 Update"

    You need to proof-read your articles better, that's not how you spell "excrement"...

  25. Maelstorm Bronze badge

    My Windows 10 experience has been mostly positive. The major problems that I have had deal with updates. I have yet to install 1803. Considering the number of problems with it, I don't think I will. I usually download the updates from Microsoft and manually install them. Some of those updates can be quite large though...upwards of 1GB or more in some cases. As a result however, I do not run into the problems that others have had.

    On the other hand, you have to be pretty sharp to be able to maintain it though. It's worse than maintaining a Unix box. I had to reinstall Windows on a friends netbook because she ran out of space on a 32GB drive and Windows destroyed itself. Yeah, that was Windows 10.

  26. thomas k

    Went ok but ...

    Went ok for me - no show stopping bugs, at least - but I found the changes they made to Edge so annoying that I decided to try Opera. I couldn't be happier with it.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lost time

    The fall update bricked on of my families laptops. It ended up in a boot loop and once I did get into Recovery, it was failing to do anything. I ended up wiping with a fresh install - however it took a day.

    If I am testing a Microsoft product, in absence of QA testing by Microsoft I assume, then can I charge for my time?

  28. Sleep deprived
    Happy

    "to be fair, Windows 10 has excellent security defences"

    Good enough to kill Windows 10 telemetry?

  29. Ken Mitchell

    2 out of 3 Ain't Bad....

    My 4-year-old Dell laptop gave me no end of fits last year with the first of the "Creator's" updates. I eventually got it installed, and haven't had any large problems since.

    A 3-y.o. Lenovo desktop and a new Dell desktop worked with no problems for the latest round of updates.

    The problem is that these aren't Windows "UPDATES"; it re-names the "Windows" folder to "Windows.old", and it does a complete fresh installation. If you've got anything in the Windows folder - such as MS SQL Server LocalDB - then you're going to have to move those files back into the new Windoze folder.

  30. Matfink

    As the family (and neighbourhood, and family once-removed) PC fixer-upper, my services have never been in so much demand until Windows 10 shoved itself onto the scene. My spare time is in tatters!

    Microsoft just don't seem to give a toss though -- maybe this will prod them to sit up and take notice?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What are you on about?

    Microsoft are trumping great successes when it comes to W10 and its more-frequent-than-ever updates. Long live Windows, long live Microsoft.

    Jokes aside.

    Today I spent 1 hour and 20 minutes fixing a botched update on ONE desktop.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: What are you on about?

      It seems like every update something goes wrong on one of our home computers. Usually not the working of the device as such. Just an update that stalls, fails, cancels or, most often, keeps telling me it needs to restart to update after it's already been updated and restarted..

  32. VK2YJS

    All many really want is something with a simple UI, like a tweaked version of Server 2016.

  33. SHR

    Forced to upgrade

    Windows 10 Update killed my laptop in January. I recovered it by draining the battery, leaving everything unplugged for a couple of days and then booting from an old hard disk. Then, a week later Windows decided I needed an update again. Dead laptop. Eventually I managed to fix it and everything was fine until May. Update, dead laptop. I have now upgraded to Linux. This seems to be Microsoft's plan. They make no money out of me anyway.

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