back to article Windows 10 can carry on slurping even when you're sure you yelled STOP!

A feature introduced in the April 2018 Update of Windows 10 may have set off a privacy landmine within the bowels of Redmond as users have discovered that their data was still flowing into the intestines of the Windows giant, even with the thing apparently turned off. In what is likely to be more cock-up than conspiracy, it …

  1. Dwarf Silver badge

    And Microsoft wonder why people are not upgrading to Windows 10.

    I’ll give you a one word hint - there is no trust.

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Linux

      RE: Dwarf

      Exactly. Still on Kubuntu...Haven't "upgraded" to Windows 10 yet...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: RE: Dwarf

        Exactly. Still on Kubuntu...Haven't "upgraded" to Windows 10 yet...

        Don't you mean downgraded ?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Don't you mean downgraded ?

          Nurse, bring the bandages! Another person with split sides over here!

        2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: AC

          "Exactly. Still on Kubuntu...Haven't "upgraded" to Windows 10 yet...

          Don't you mean downgraded ?"

          *Loud whooshing noise over your head*

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: AC

            "Exactly. Still on Kubuntu...Haven't "upgraded" to Windows 10 yet...

            Don't you mean downgraded ?"

            *Loud whooshing noise over your head*

            It was intended for US readers of the Reg, you know how they explain everything at the end of every show or movie as if viewers are retarded in some way.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: AC

              It was intended for US readers of the Reg, you know how they explain everything at the end of every show or movie as if viewers are retarded in some way.

              They are.

      2. codejunky Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: RE: Dwarf

        @Tigra 07

        "Exactly. Still on Kubuntu...Haven't "upgraded" to Windows 10 yet..."

        I run a few mint machines at home but also for my friends and family. Once they saw the difference between win10 (or even 8 started it) and a good linux distro they were sold. It has also cut down the 'technical help' I have to provide considerably.

        1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Codejunky

          "I run a few mint machines at home but also for my friends and family. Once they saw the difference between win10 (or even 8 started it) and a good linux distro they were sold. It has also cut down the 'technical help' I have to provide considerably."

          Set them up an Arch Linux machine and you won't hear a peep from them...They'll never manage to get online to complain.

          1. Teiwaz Silver badge

            Re: Tigra 07

            Set them up an Arch Linux machine and you won't hear a peep from them...They'll never manage to get online to complain.

            What? When netctl can connect to your wifi automatically for you at boot time?

            Do the frog chorus 'useless' where you live?

            Also Arch linux is nont the sort of distro you should set non-tech relatives up with in the first place.

            1. AdamWill
              Facepalm

              Re: Tigra 07

              "What? When netctl can connect to your wifi automatically for you at boot time?

              Do the frog chorus 'useless' where you live?

              Also Arch linux is nont the sort of distro you should set non-tech relatives up with in the first place."

              *whoosh*

              the OP even used the "joke alert" icon, for Pete's sake.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: RE: Dwarf

          "It has also cut down the 'technical help' I have to provide considerably."

          Flat refusal to provide W10 support also helps: either they "upgrade" and you don't support them any more or they convert to Linux. Win win.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: RE: Dwarf

            Yes, this is what I did years ago. If friends and family want technical support from me, I'll happily give it as long as they aren't running Windows.

      3. NoneSuch
        Linux

        Easy Instructions

        1. Under Settings->Privacy->Activity history: ensure the setting "Let Windows sync my activities from this PC to the cloud" is not checked

        2. Under Settings->Privacy->Diagnostics & feedback: ensure Diagnostic data is set to Basic

        3. Open CMD window (as Admin) and type: Format C: /fs:FAT32

        4. Download any decent Linux distro.

        1. bpfh

          Re: Easy Instructions

          I followed your instructions but I don’t have a browser on my c drive to download anything after point 3, but I do have a ton of free space now!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Easy Instructions

            I followed your instructions but I don’t have a browser on my c drive to download anything after point 3, but I do have a ton of free space now!

            ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

            No browser, but you can see the free space.... curious.

        2. Someone Else Silver badge

          @NoneSuch -- Re: Easy Instructions

          Downvoted only because I recently (successfully) upgraded my Win10 box to Linux mint. No reformatting of any existing NTFS disk or partition was required, and I can still see them in all their "glory" (or is that "gory"? In any case, they're still there....)

          One could consider Step 3 fear-mongering.

        3. luminous
          Facepalm

          Re: Easy Instructions

          Surely 4 becomes before 3? Otherwise you are left with an empty PC. At least get your joke right.

        4. terrythetech

          Re: Easy Instructions

          may be better to do 4 before 3, and not waste time on 1 and 2

        5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Easy Instructions

          "3. Open CMD window (as Admin) and type: Format C: /fs:FAT32

          4. Download any decent Linux distro."

          But not in that order. And burn Linux distro to a CD/DVD or USB stick before formatting.

          1. Martin an gof Silver badge

            Re: Easy Instructions

            burn Linux distro to a CD/DVD or USB stick before formatting.

            The installers I've used recently (mostly OpenSuse) offer the option of formatting - to something more usable than FAT32 - as part of the installation process, so no need to format first. In fact I suspect that no current mainstream Linux distributions would install to FAT32 by choice.

            M.

          2. Stephen Palbuddy

            Re: Easy Instructions

            @ Doctor Syntax

            Or just configure Windows 10 to how you like it .. it's Windows, it's meant to be configured. Out-of-the-box is just that, out-of-the-box. So set it up how you like.

            Don't like Metro? One powershell command gets rid of the whole lot of it. Want it more private? Turn off the telemetry service (set it to Disabled), and make whatever adjustments you want in the Privacy settings found in Settings.

            So much fuss over the obviously generic out-of-the-box settings when it's so easy to make it how you want it.

        6. oldcoder

          Re: Easy Instructions

          Using step 4 you don't need any of the others...

    2. Bob Camp

      And you think Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon are any better?

      I find it humorous when people complain about Microsoft doing this while continuing to use their smartphone.

      I find it more humorous when people post, "that's why I'm running Linux" while using Chrome to make that very post.

      1. BGatez

        excuses excuses

        But whataboutism at it's finest. Try explaining to the officer about all those other guys speeding as well.

      2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Camp Bob

        "I find it more humorous when people post, "that's why I'm running Linux" while using Chrome to make that very post."

        *Cough* Firefox *Cough*

        1. Mage Silver badge

          Chrome?

          Firefox, Waterfox or even Chromium.

          Loads of Linux users don't use Google's Chrome. Other browsers are usually the default.

      3. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Google Apple, Facebook and Amazon????????? what about them?

        @Bob Camp

        There sren't just two browsers in the world, Edge and Chrome (shortly these two are to be only one so I can see how you get confused).

        Only a subset of 'Linux users use Chrome (I'd class them the the lower quartile).

        1. Wayland Bronze badge

          Re: Google Apple, Facebook and Amazon????????? what about them?

          Mint comes with Firefox but that's supports LGBT, Feminist and SJW protocols which I don't need so I installed Brave.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Wayland

            Mint comes with Firefox but that's supports LGBT, Feminist and SJW protocols which I don't need so I installed Brave.

            Too bad there isn't a white supremacist browser for you.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Google Apple, Facebook and Amazon????????? what about them?

            "LGBT, Feminist and SJW protocols which I don't need so I installed Brave."

            WTF?????

      4. paulll

        I'm not sure why you'd think it likely that Tigra07 is using Chrome, considering kubuntu comes with FF bundled-in and not Chrome. Anybody who has the modest amount of gumption required to install their own OS, yet actively chooses to download and install Chrome probably has a good reason for doing so. Although I imagine that doesn't happen very much at all.

        Kubuntu and Opera for me ...

        1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

          RE: Paulll

          "I'm not sure why you'd think it likely that Tigra07 is using Chrome, considering kubuntu comes with FF bundled-in and not Chrome"

          Then there's the fact that in just 3 years i've gone from being one of Google's biggest fans, to fearful of the influence they have and how they're using it to destroy competition, influence elections, and generally protect their corrupt monopoly. I avoid Google wherever i can.

      5. Updraft102 Silver badge

        And you think Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon are any better?

        I don't think Apple deserves to be in the same group as the rest of them... not that I would touch an Apple product with a ten foot pole, but their business model is charging insane amounts of money for substandard, poorly designed hardware that will break if you look at it funny, and then they will refuse to honor their warranty and blame the user for the failure, who will accept this and go buy a new one so it can all happen again.

        This has proven to be very lucrative without pissing about trying to spy on the users. Why steal from them (the data, which is worth money, belongs to the users, so taking it without real informed consent and compensation is stealing) when they willingly hand over money as fast as they can earn it?

        I find it humorous when people complain about Microsoft doing this while continuing to use their smartphone.

        Why is it humorous? It doesn't make it okay to do something if you can point out someone else that is doing the same unscrupulous thing.

        I'd bet the people complaining about the Windows 10 slurp also dislike it when Android does it. In that case, though, the slurp has been there from the start (the price of admission, so to speak), whereas in the Windows world, the slurp that can't be turned off fully in consumer versions and that keeps turning itself back on to full is a new thing.

        As for me, I personally don't have a smartphone of any kind, and I never have, so when I tell you I switched to Linux to avoid Windows 10, you won't find any such humor.

        I find it more humorous when people post, "that's why I'm running Linux" while using Chrome to make that very post.

        Why would anyone do that? Except for a recent faux pas by Debian, de-Googled builds of Chromium are available in all of the popular Linux distro repos. I still don't use it, but if that ugly UI and the paucity of configuration options is your thing, why go for the harder to get, branded spying version?

        1. Toni the terrible
          Coat

          Re the comment on smartphones, I dont know wether you noticed but it is getting more and more difficult not to have such a phone - function creep alone in the retail area almost requires you to have one. Some contractors and commercial entities look at you most oddly if you cant be contacted that way, and it can be difficult as a result.

          Enjoy!

          1. Martin an gof Silver badge

            more and more difficult not to have such a phone

            Also schools and suchlike. Up until recently the schools our children attend were happy to send out simple text messages for "urgent" communications (such as, the bus back from the school trip will be an hour late, or half an hour early). Now they insist on a proprietary app, which can only be installed on a smartphone (of course) and requires you leave data switched on (I don't, generally).

            If you don't install the app, they send the same communications by - of all things - email. Email's no good for urgent communications if I don't get it until I'm sat at a computer because, erm, my phone doesn't do email! Oh, and because email is available, they use the excuse to send out non-urgent notices, rather than by a small printed paragraph on a weekly / half-termly paper letter, or a note in the home-school book which could be written-in by each child during registration, but often by scanning a poster or something and emailling the resulting image. Even more reason not to do email while mobile and waste my (deliberately low) data allowance.

            M.

      6. Thunderpants

        No, I don't think those companies are any better but in most cases, you generally fire up the app/page concerned after you've logged into the OS. Microsoft appear to be slurping data the moment you login to Windows.

        Amazon Alexa is a concern for different reasons, obviously.

      7. JohnFen Silver badge

        "And you think Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon are any better?"

        I don't think that. I also don't see how that's relevant.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          "I don't think that. I also don't see how that's relevant."

          Simple. If you're not doing it by yourself from scratch, including the hardware (where you're royally screwed because of hardware patents), then you're bending over. Who's doing it doesn't really matter because it certainly isn't you.

      8. aqk
        Trollface

        Hey! Good job! 68 Downvotes!

        You must have REALLY upset the El-Reg weenies!

        I'm hoping to get 100 downvotes for my insolent remarks here! I bet I can beat you!

      9. oldcoder

        Google, Facebook and Amazon don't manufacture... amazon does sell branded hardware - made by others.

        Really, Only Microsoft slurps everything you do.

      10. RegGuy1

        FORCED to use Google

        Your I find it more humorous when people post, "that's why I'm running Linux" while using Chrome may be fair. But I refuse to use Chrome. And when I use Firefox I always make sure it deletes ALL cookies on exit, and I exit at least once per day.

        But the other day I had to buy a new shower from Trition showers, or whatever they are called. I couldn't buy it until I'd proved I was a human. In other words, I'd asked permission from Google to buy the damned thing.

        Cunts. That's the word I would use.

      11. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I find it humorous when people complain about Microsoft doing this while continuing to use their smartphone.

        I find it more humorous when people post, "that's why I'm running Linux" while using Chrome to make that very post.

        No smart phone. No chrome.

    3. FastOlly

      >> I’ll give you a one word hint - there is no trust.

      That's four words.

      1. Dwarf Silver badge

        Ahh, good point, so have an up vote !

      2. cd

        so... TINT

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "And Microsoft wonder why people are not upgrading to Windows 10."

      Erm - but they are - it's already on 700 million PCs and was the fastest roll out of any version of Windows ever.

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        >> people are not upgrading to Windows 10

        > it's already on 700 million PCs

        Since Windows 10 was released and forced onto every new PC made by OEMs there have been nearly 700 new PCs sold. There are no figures for how many of those are still running Windows 10 (granted most of them will be).

        The original poster referred to 'upgrading'. There are still more Windows 7 PCs than W8 + W10 in spite of all new PCs for the last few years having later versions.

        https://netmarketshare.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?options=%7B%22filter%22%3A%7B%22%24and%22%3A%5B%7B%22deviceType%22%3A%7B%22%24in%22%3A%5B%22Desktop%2Flaptop%22%5D%7D%7D%5D%7D%2C%22dateLabel%22%3A%22Trend%22%2C%22attributes%22%3A%22share%22%2C%22group%22%3A%22platformVersion%22%2C%22sort%22%3A%7B%22share%22%3A-1%7D%2C%22id%22%3A%22platformsDesktopVersions%22%2C%22dateInterval%22%3A%22Monthly%22%2C%22dateStart%22%3A%222017-12%22%2C%22dateEnd%22%3A%222018-11%22%2C%22segments%22%3A%22-1000%22%7D

        1. DougS Silver badge

          "Fastest rollout of any Windows version ever"

          I don't know if that's true or not, but if it is its only because Microsoft forced it on users on 7 and 8, sometimes against their explicit instructions.

          When you have to hack your OS with something like GWX control panel or Never10 to prevent waking up one day to find it updated against your wishes, that's not a "rollout" that's malware!

        2. Timmy B Silver badge

          RE: "There are still more Windows 7 PCs than W8 + W10 in spite of all new PCs for the last few years having later versions."

          Nope. Try again... The link you posted has for November 2018 the following:

          10: 38.14%

          7: 38.89%

          8.1: 4.59%

          42.73 > 38.89 the last time I checked.....

          1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            >> RE: "There are still more Windows 7 PCs than W8 + W10 in spite of all new PCs for the last few years having later versions."

            > Nope. Try again...

            OK, I'll try again:

            There are more Windows 7 than Windows 10 (38.69 > 38.14)

            There are more Windows 7 + Windows XP than there are Windows 10 + Windows 8.1

            38.69 + 4.23 -> 42.92 > 38.14 + 4.59 -> 42.73

            And this is in spite of all new machine being forced to have the latest versions of Windows. Windows 8.1 was released over 5 years ago (October 2013), Windows 10 prerelease was 3 years ago tomorrow. In that time PC sales averaged around 275million per year. So the 700million you claim is actually much less than the total sales of PCs with those operating systems forcibly (by contract) installed.

        3. LDS Silver badge

          "it's already on 700 million PCs"

          For being an OS given away for free for a while, it's remarkable it took so many years to reach that number - including new PCs for which there was no choice.

          And the very fact tat MS had to deploy fraudulent tactics to attempt to install it on systems user made their best to keep Windows 10 away tells a lot about how dismayed they were even the "FREE!" label slapped upon it didn't lured more customers into the data gathering hell.

          I'm sure without using snake-oil selling tactics, and with only a slightly better UI - and no data slurping, Windows 10 would be on many, many more PCs today.

          1. Updraft102 Silver badge

            Re: "it's already on 700 million PCs"

            For being an OS given away for free for a while, it's remarkable it took so many years to reach that number - including new PCs for which there was no choice.

            No choice for sure, and they made certain that was the case. No previous version of Windows used Windows Update (the thing that's supposed to deliver updates that protect you from malware) to distribute a Trojan horse that breaks Windows Update forever, leaving you vulnerable to third-party malware, if you dare to install a pre-10 Windows version on newer hardware. That's well beyond "MS does not support this." There's a difference between not supporting and committing acts of sabotage.

            On top of that, MS has apparently forged some unholy alliance at least with Intel, if not other OEMs, to not create drivers that will work with newer hardware and other versions of Windows. I tried setting up Windows 8.1 on a Kaby laptop some time ago, and I was expecting the Update sabotage. The touchpad, as it turns out, was impossible to get working properly in Windows 8.1. The i2c drivers that were necessary for the "precision" touchpad (which had no option to use basic mode in the UEFI) did not exist for Windows 8.1-- the 8.1 i2c drivers for previous hardware would not work at all when force installed on the Kaby laptop, and neither would forcing the Windows 10 drivers that worked with that model in Windows 10.

            I know AMD was also part of the announcement when MS glibly told us that we'd better get used to the idea of using 10 on newer hardware, as they'd all had a confab and agreed to only "support" 10, but AMD apparently wasn't as obedient as MS would have liked, since they released Windows 7 drivers (and maybe 8.1 also, I don't remember) for the various chipset bits of Ryzen when it first came out.

            Intel, on the other hand, has held firm, at least on the chipset drivers for things like the i2c drivers (packaged by Intel as "Serial I/O drivers"). Intel also declined to release a Windows 8.1 driver for the Kaby Intel integrated graphics, but in this case, force-installing the Windows 10 driver worked perfectly, with all of the options in the tray applet functioning perfectly.

            It's fine, I suppose. If MS would rather I have only Linux on the machine rather than Linux and one of their own products, I can live with that. I guess they really do love Linux now!

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        "it's already on 700 million PCs and was the fastest roll out of any version of Windows ever."

        Given the extreme measures that Microsoft went to to try to trick & force everyone to upgrade, that's a bad showing.

      3. aqk
        Angel

        Oh my! 69 downvotes so far (Dec 14)

        lol.

        Not very popular here are you? Sometimes it's tough revealing the truth to old fuddy-duddies.... ;-)

      4. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        > Erm - but they are - it's already on 700 million PCs

        Didn't they claim that it would be on a billion PCs by Christmas or something ?

        (actually by mid-2018 apparently). So 700miliion is a fail.

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/07/15/microsoft_wont_hit_billion_win10_devices/

    5. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Mushroom

      It is _SO_ like MS and Win-10-nic

      It is _SO_ like MS and Win-10-nic to bury the settings for "do not slurp" in 2 unrelated places, without documentation, and only mention them when faced with legal action.

      Back in the "control panel" days, things like this would typically all be on ONE page, or at least one set of tabs in a dialog box.

      But UWP "The Settings" can't fit more than 2 or 3 things on that BRIGHT BLUE ON BLINDING WHITE crap interface, even on a GINORMOUS monitor, because 4 inch phone screens. So it requires TWO (2) places, not one, but TWO, 2 places, to make the change(s) necessary to AVOID THE SLURPAGE.

      (rage - see icon)

      Aside from avoiding the cloudy 'Micro-shaft Logon' completely when setting up your computer...

      "Got, Linux?"

      1. Timmy B Silver badge

        Re: It is _SO_ like MS and Win-10-nic

        RE:"It is _SO_ like MS and Win-10-nic to bury the settings for "do not slurp" in 2 unrelated places, without documentation, and only mention them when faced with legal action."

        Yeah - because everything is so well hidden that just 2 mouse clicks and 8 key presses reveals very part where you can alter the privacy settings in Windows 10. (click start - click settings - type privacy and press return)

        That shows you not only all the places where you can stop slurpy like things but also lets you get to screens that let you delete what MS has stored already.

        Though, at the end of the day, I don't really carte that much. I don't care if MS knows I spent 14 mins and 28 seconds in Outlook and it to Outlook 4 seconds to start. Perhaps they will use that to make it start in 2 seconds in the future.

        If you're all that worried put all your computers down and slowly back away from the internet.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: It is _SO_ like MS and Win-10-nic

          "If you're all that worried put all your computers down and slowly back away from the internet."

          Why go that far when you can just stop using Windows?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It is _SO_ like MS and Win-10-nic

        @ bombastic bob

        I'm not sure why you are raging. Turning all that off should be the first thing people do when setting up Windows 10. Windows out-of-the-box is a certain way sure, and Microsoft over did it in its contract with Candy Crush Saga 'n all, but who goes with that? You want it more private? Make it more private.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: It is _SO_ like MS and Win-10-nic

          You can turn everything off? Really? How do I turn off telemetry?

          1. Stephen Palbuddy

            Re: It is _SO_ like MS and Win-10-nic

            @ JohnFen

            Basically, just disable the "Connected User Experiences and Telemetry" service.

            You might also go through the Privacy settings, of course, and set everything to private. If you are running Pro, you can use gpedit.msc to lock down most everything should you want to go to extremes.

          2. m2key

            Re: It is _SO_ like MS and Win-10-nic

            If you are complicated instruction comfortable and patient, try this -

            https://github.com/adolfintel/Windows10-Privacy

            I completed this -in a few days- and my new laptops run without problems

            Cheers

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: It is _SO_ like MS and Win-10-nic

          "You want it more private? Make it more private."

          According to Microsoft, they are "committed to privacy"

          Of course, they don't exactly say what they are committed too with regard to privacy. Maybe they mean they are committed to entirely removing the users privacy?

    6. Updraft102 Silver badge

      And Microsoft wonder why people are not upgrading to Windows 10.

      I’ll give you a one word hint - there is no trust.

      Absolutely. An operating system, by virtue of what it does, is privy to all information stored on that computer, everything the user does on that computer, and to everything that passes through the computer. It has the keys to the kingdom, so to speak... like having top security clearance to every state secret a hypothetical country might have.

      To be in such a lofty position requires the utmost in trust. To grant such a level of security clearance would require the most stringent background check possible, and if there were even the slightest hint of the potential for divided loyalty, the person would most certainly be denied such clearance. It is imperative that a person embued with such a profound level of clearance would be loyal to the entity granting that clearance, and no one else at all.

      That's the key failing of Windows 10. To use an OS is to grant it total security clearance, but can Windows 10 be trusted to have loyalty only to the entity granting it clearance (in this case, the owner of the PC)? Even the possibility of divided loyalty would be enough to prevent clearance being granted to an individual, but Windows 10's divided loyalty is more than a possibility. It's a well-known, documented fact.

      This alone renders Windows 10 unfit for purpose. An operating system must have only one master, and that must unequivocally be the owner of the PC (often also the user in home settings, of course, but not in corporate settings). Any company that attempts to develop an OS to serve two masters, itself and the PC owner, is going to run into inevitable conflicts of interest which it will end up resolving in its own favor. It will, of course, twist things around so that it can claim that serving its own need is really serving the PC owner, like when MS forces updates on the unsuspecting customer's machine. MS will claim this is really in the best interest of the customer, since then he gets the latest and greatest in security and features.

      It's nonsense, of course, because it's the owner of the PC who gets to decide what the owner's interests are. If he decides it is in his interests to never get updates at all, then that's what the OS needs to do. It doesn't matter if you, I, or Microsoft think that he would be better served to get updates, because we're not the ones who own that PC. Ownership comes with certain benefits and prerogatives, and being able to decide things like that using any criteria imaginable is one of them. The company that makes the OS can try to persuade the owner of the PC to do something, but ultimately, it needs to respect that the owner's authority is absolute. It's why all previous versions of Windows included an OFF setting for Windows Updates (which they were sure to tell you was "not recommended").

      All of the problems with Windows 10 can be traced back to this MS philosophy of WaaS, which apparently means that Windows is now a service to Microsoft. What, you thought it meant that Windows was a service to you?

      The bizarre, inappropriate half and half UI was initially part of Microsoft's effort to use its Windows dominance to sell Windows phones and force a usable Windows Store into being. That's Windows being used to serve Microsoft, not the user. The ads scattered throughout are the same, as is the inability to remove "apps" like Xbox and the Store itself. It doesn't matter if you don't want these things on your PC... Microsoft does, because it serves Microsoft's interests to have them there. It's pervasive, even being evident in minor changes like the one where they took out the ability to select local searches only for entries typed into Start Menu/Cortana. The PC owner may wish just to have a local search that isn't cluttered with useless and irrelevant web results, but it serves Microsoft's interests to force you to have them, since the odds of you clicking on a sponsored link are always greater if you see the sponsored link than if you do not.

      That's the root of what's wrong with 10... it's not built to serve the user. It's built to serve Microsoft and the user, and the only reason the user is even in that loop at all is because even the most Microsoft-bound victim of Windows lock-in would not use a product that never serves his needs. The worst version, of course, is Windows 10 Home, which is so loaded with monetization and MS-serving that the only way it would even somewhat be ethical would be if it were a free product. It's not, though, with MS recently increasing the price on what at best is a freemium version of Windows. Even the free-upgrade version was not free, since it relied on an existing license that had been paid for.

      Satya Nadella may think that Microsoft has its mojo back, but its Windows product, no longer worthy of its own division, is in shambles. If they ever wanted to get Windows back to being fit for purpose, they'd have to undo every change they've made to the development process in "Windows as a Service." Every change they've made while getting back said mojo has been destructive. I get that MS wants to be in the cloud, but clearly WaaS has failed quite convincingly.

    7. aqk
      Facepalm

      NO ONE IS UPGRADING TO WIN-10? Oh, the horror!

      And Microsoft wonder why people are not upgrading to Windows 10

      Hello... people are not upgrading? lol.

      Just about everyone I know (and a lot of them are non-savvy folks (except for their thumby li'lAndroid chocolate bars) seem to upgrade their laptops (and the occasional BIG MONITORS desktop) every 2 years or so.

      And when asked if they want to replace the installedWindows-10 with Win-7 (or perhaps el-Reg's favourite Win-XP), do they still moan

      "OH YES! YES! I WANT WINDOWS-7!"

      The few that made this mistake a coupla years ago have since realized their shortcomings and have actually asked later if they could re-U/G back to Win-10. LOL. Not sure what replies were.

      Geezzz... Who are you old troglodytes here anyhow? WTF rock are you hiding under?

      Just ABOUT EVERYBODY I KNOW who buys a new laptop or perhaps desktop (I need that big 27" monitor!") accept windows-10 and, AND! have now grown used to it. Understand yet?

      And some like me, have indeed installed a Linux variant (usually Ubuntu 18.04LTS) on their old PCs that they refuse to junk. Sigh... sooner or later that HD will have a headcrash...

      Migod. Is El-Reg the last refuge for old dying Mac users?

      OK- I'm in Canada. Perhaps the nerds in Old Blighty still masturbate to pictures of Steve Jobs....

    8. aqk
      Windows

      Oh! The horror! Is it the evel M$ Bill gates spying on us?

      BS. They ARE upgrading! See my comments elsewhere here.

      OH! I expect to see AT LEAST 100 downvotes on my nasty truth / comment! Are you listening, Mac weenies?

    9. Sonic531

      So which is the one word? There? Is? No? Trust?

    10. Portent

      No trust

      2018 was the year I finally lost trust in Windows and moved to Linux full time for everything except a few small Windows only games (and frankly I haven't used those in months). I'd dabbled in Linux for years but earlier this year I'd just had enough of not feeling like my PC was actually mine. I'm now happily running Kubuntu with Firefox and am looking to reduce my footprint on anything Google too. The only area I don't think I can replace Google from is youtube.

  2. herman Silver badge

    Hmm, if you are really worried about security and privacy, then there really is only one option: OpenBSD.

    Otherwise, you are not really serious about it and should just carry on playing your online games and chatting on facebook as before.

    1. detritus

      Or, y'know, using applications that simply don't appear on Linux.

      Saying this as I should be receiving my first Win10 machine tomorrow - a laptop so I can work away in the New Year. Looking forward to the new laptop, less so to Win10. I'm hoping I can scourge much of the tracking by scouring through gitHub and that German company with the stripping-tool (name escapes me right now).

      As much as not everyone uses an IDE to do all their work, not everyone's playing online games and chatting on Facebook as you so decide to condescendingly deride.

      1. IsJustabloke Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        It's the amusingly named ....

        "that German company with the stripping-tool (name escapes me right now)."

        ShutUp10 :)

        1. Credas Silver badge

          Re: It's the amusingly named ....

          I hadn't heard of that before - if it does work as described then it seems to me that it's a must-have for anyone lumbered with a W10 installation!

        2. Jimbotech

          Re: It's the amusingly named ....

          O&O Software. https://www.oo-software.com/en/shutup10

          1. Kiwi

            Re: It's the amusingly named ....

            Had a look in case they had something W7-relevant.

            To follow the Download or Products link it seems you need JS activated.

            I'll shop elsewhere.

      2. BGatez

        A MS reseller can provide you with Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB for about $300. Comes sans ALL crap and IMHO is closest to 7. Comes with NO "feature" updates, security updates only.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Yeah, but then you're still stuck with Win 10.

        2. antaresuk

          TeamOS ;)

      3. sisk Silver badge

        Or, y'know, using applications that simply don't appear on Linux.

        That's why I tell hardcore gamers not to bother with Linux at all and college students to be cautious about it despite it being my OS of choice. What you're using a computer for should be a consideration in choosing an OS. Sometimes Linux just isn't the best choice. Most of the time for me though Windows is such a poor choice what with its privacy concerns and generally inferior overall performance - extremely inferior in my experience - that it's not even worth considering (the rare exception to that mostly being when I'm eyeing a particular game).

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Linux

          "What you're using a computer for should be a consideration in choosing an OS"

          with few exceptions, I would recommend "testing it under Wine, first" before purchasing a Win-10-nic machine/license JUST to run "that application".

          1. sisk Silver badge

            with few exceptions, I would recommend "testing it under Wine, first" before purchasing a Win-10-nic machine/license JUST to run "that application".

            If you're paying full price absolutely. But if you can get a Win10 license for < $10 (which you can if you watch allkeyshop and similar sites and are either patient or lucky, though I think they're only just barely legal) then it becomes worth it. Beside that there are certain games that don't work on Wine anywhere near as well as on Windows or at all. And I've been told that in the case of certain games your game license gets revoked if you try to run it on Wine (though I've not played any of those games).

      4. Wayland Bronze badge

        Use the SpyBot tools for Windows 10.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      BSD privacy

      One company know about all of my online activity using it for games

      Sony

      And I think Nintendo use it as well.

      Playing games without someone knowing is not easy, many are on line based, of the others many require a connection for updates and the like.

      Even single player for game saves and trophies.

      But at least it isn't Microsoft

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: BSD privacy

        "Playing games without someone knowing is not easy, many are on line based, of the others many require a connection for updates and the like."

        I find it very easy. I just don't buy or play games that require an internet connection. Job done.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: BSD privacy

        "Playing games without someone knowing is not easy"

        unplug 'teh intarwebs' via ethernet, and don't set the login info for any wireless adaptor in your game console.

        Fixed.

        (you can re-connect when needed for updates, or in-game rewards, depending on the game etc.)

    3. Teiwaz Silver badge

      OpenBSD

      I'm not knocking OpenBSD or any BSD.

      But you do have to curate your hardware choices much more than even 'Linux.

      Most users want to buy whatever they want and expect to be able to stick whatever they fancy on it and everything'll work.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: OpenBSD

        well, FreeBSD is pretty good with legacy support. Not perfect, and you may have to go back a few revisions to get it to work, but I think legacy peripherals still have a lot of support. Linux is also pretty good, but BSD and Linux typically get 'modernized' to avoid having to support hardware that might, well, interfere with getting the code to work better or to implement new features.

        example: 32-bit kernels on 64-bit MIPS platforms - gone in FBSD 12, as I understand it. Is anyone complaining? Maybe, but I doubt it will matter much.

        yeah, THAT kind of thing. I suspect OBSD and FBSD do similar things in this regard. As I mentioned earlier, the FBSD kernel source contains many references to OpenBSD, so there's been at least SOME collaboration in the past, at least, and I expect that it will continue.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      OpenBSD

      "if you are really worried about security and privacy, then there really is only one option: OpenBSD."

      I haven't tried OBSD but I have seen collaboration between that project and FreeBSD, at least within some of the kernel drivers.

      perhaps I should get the latest and put it in a VM, for grins.

      but, relevant to topic, ANY OTHER OS would be better than Win-10-nic for privacy.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "then there really is only one option: OpenBSD."

      [joke[

      Yes, you can do so little after you installed it that there's little privacy concerns....

      [/joke]

      The usual issue is the availability of software applications users needs.

      Don't get me wrong, I've server and network appliances running BSD, but as a desktop system it's not a real choice for most.

  3. chivo243 Silver badge
    Windows

    diving headlong into the Registry

    So, which keys do I need to tinker with? C'mon El Reg, articles in the past would have included this little nugget of wisdom ;-}

    1. poohbear

      Re: diving headlong into the Registry

      There wasn't enough space on the web page to list them all.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: diving headlong into the Registry

        Or you could always just follow the link in the article to the mentioned thread and the details therein?

        Anyway, to save the time:

        [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\

        Windows\System]

        "PublishUserActivities"=dword:00000000

        (the key is all one line, but el Reg's board is too thin due to having so many ads down the sides)

        1. chivo243 Silver badge

          Re: diving headlong into the Registry

          @Anonymous Custard

          Thanks for finishing El Reg's job. +1

          Ads? I never see any. Content filter and ublock origin at work. PI hole, ghostery et al at home... I was shocked when I saw El Reg on a non protected system, bling blam wonka wonka zoom, that a lot of ads...

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Meh

            Re: diving headlong into the Registry

            ads down both sides? I'm not seeing it...

            I don't mind ads, I just don't see them because, NOSCRIPT.

            Now,, El Reg, please consider that MANY readers of your fine on-line news thingy are SECURITY PROFESSIONALS and IT PROFESSIONALS and are likely to do things *LIKE* block script.

            I wouldn't mind seeing ads. ADS WITHOUT SCRIPT IN THEM, that is. I might even BUY something from one of the advertised vendors. It's relevant to my interests already, no need for TRACKING via script by the 3rd party ad providers...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: diving headlong into the Registry

              I wouldn't mind seeing ads.

              Same. A bit of text and a link, maybe a STATIC image (ie not some animated gif or video loop), and I'll see it and maybe even follow it. Works for directing me to articles I might want to read.

              Pretty easy to do some PHP code that fetches the ads from a database and squirts them into the text. You can even do counters for the advertisers and show some ads more often based on relevance to the article and/or how much extra the advertiser is paying you.

          2. julian.smith

            Re: Ads? I never see any.

            I didn't know there were "Ads" on El Reg - I must have configured something wrongly.

            [Mint /Firefox / UBlock Origin / No Script]

        2. Hans 1 Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: diving headlong into the Registry

          You might also want the fellow key (lives next to one in AC's post):

          UploadUserActivities=dword:00000000

        3. Bluto Nash

          Re: diving headlong into the Registry

          [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\System}

          "HeyMSGetYourGoddamnMittsOffMySytemDammit"=DWORD:00000001

          FTFY.

          1. Excused Boots

            Re: diving headlong into the Registry

            I think you'll find it's actually 'their' system, you're just allowed to use it for a while for a fee, (probably soon to be monthly), of course

    2. Wade Burchette

      Re: diving headlong into the Registry

      I first use O&O ShutUp 10 to turn off a lot of tracking (you must restart and do it twice after every 6 month update). Then, using a .reg file I made, I add these entries beyond what ShutUp 10 does. The last two turn on numlock by default, so you can remove those if your keyboard does not have it. This registry includes activity history. It turns off driver updates, promoted apps, and fast boot. It too must be done after every 6 month update. Just create a new .reg file and copy the text below to it.

      ----

      Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

      [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ContentDeliveryManager]

      "SilentInstalledAppsEnabled"=dword:00000000

      [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ContentDeliveryManager]

      "SystemPaneSuggestionsEnabled"=dword:00000000

      [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]

      "ShowSyncProviderNotifications"=dword:00000000

      [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ContentDeliveryManager]

      "SoftLandingEnabled"=dword:00000000

      [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ContentDeliveryManager]

      "RotatingLockScreenEnabled"=dword:00000000

      [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ContentDeliveryManager]

      "RotatingLockScreenOverlayEnabled"=dword:00000000

      [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ContentDeliveryManager]

      "SubscribedContent-310093Enabled"=dword:00000000

      [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Power]

      "HiberbootEnabled"=dword:00000000

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

      "ExcludeWUDriversInQualityUpdate"=dword:00000001

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

      "PublishUserActivities"=dword:00000000

      [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Keyboard]

      "InitialKeyboardIndicators"="2"

      [HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Keyboard]

      "InitialKeyboardIndicators"="2"

      1. arctic_haze Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: diving headlong into the Registry

        Also change the following

        [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\SecretRedmontSetting]

        "UserDataSlurping"="0"

        Maybe the setting does not exist but it should.

      2. Maventi

        Re: diving headlong into the Registry

        I thought one of the advantages of Windows over Linux was not having to resort to 'complex' stuff like this?

    3. JWLong
      Thumb Up

      Re: diving headlong into the Registry

      https://download.spybot.info/AntiBeacon/SpybotAntiBeacon-1.6-setup.exe

      Enjoy!

  4. Wellyboot Silver badge

    I've got an inkling

    >>>left users unsure of what is being collected and when<<<

    'Everything' & 'All the time' seems a reasonable conclusion given the 25,000 'events' being tracked.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In what is likely to be more cock-up than conspiracy,

    why do Microsoft get the luxury of innocent until proven guilty?

    Look at the the idiot rabid Google hate here, and it's no surprise, there is a huge paid agenda going on...

    1. Remy Redert

      Re: In what is likely to be more cock-up than conspiracy,

      Mostly because recent events have shown that if Microsoft wanted to do this on purpose they'd probably cock it up and turn off telemetry entirely.

    2. Michael Strorm

      Re: In what is likely to be more cock-up than conspiracy,

      "why do Microsoft get the luxury of innocent until proven guilty?"

      MS lost anything resembling the benefit of the doubt in my mind when they started trying to coerce and force-upgrade users into installing Windows 10, ignoring or resetting user preferences that contradicted this, using "dark pattern" design on dialogue boxes where use of the "close" button was taken as "accept" rather than the implicitly (and widely-accepted) meaning of "cancel" and intentionally overriding tools designed to *force* MS to pay attention to a user's preferences and not upgrade (whose necessity already showed that MS had gone too far in the first place) using techniques that even bland, conservative mainstream publications like C|Net were comparing to that of malware.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: In what is likely to be more cock-up than conspiracy,

        @Michael_Strorm

        Yup....agree completely. However some of us got there a bit earlier after watching:

        - theft from Stac Electronics

        - attempt to screw with DR-DOS

        - successful attempt to screw with Netscape

        - branded "monopolist" by the courts

        - ...and so on....

        *

        Of course, there were much earlier clues. Take a read of Bill's "Open Letter to Hobbyists" in 1976. Or the "Evangelism is War" emails in 2000. And here we are in 2018....nothing has changed.

    3. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: In what is likely to be more cock-up than conspiracy,

      yeah, the fact you cannot turn off all slurping is a bug as well, the fact that they keep hiding it in updates to Windows 7 is due to bugs as well ... they really, really, really meant to have separate optional patches for slurping in 7, but somehow, the build system went haywire and decided on its very own, thanks to MS' incredibly efficient AI built in to its CC, that it would be much better to hide any slurpy features in obscure patches.

      No conspiracy, here ... all bugs!

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        The real question is . . .

        Why has none of this telemetry helped to ensure that Update 1809 wasn't a complete fiasco ?

        When NASA has telemetry, it's to find out what went wrong and find a solution to it.

        Since Windows telemetry was worth fuck all for that, what do they actually use it for ?

        1. King Jack Silver badge
          Megaphone

          Re: The real question is . . .

          Probably sell it to anyone who wants it. Governments, ad agencies, etc. That is why there are no law suits.

          In the real world if you take something from somebody without their consent you get a trip to the police station. If you are M$.... SILENCE.

    4. sisk Silver badge

      Re: In what is likely to be more cock-up than conspiracy,

      why do Microsoft get the luxury of innocent until proven guilty

      Because conspiracy requires competence and Microsoft has none. That said, cock-up or conspiracy you can bet your arse that they're going to be selling all the data they've collected whether they had permission and collected it on purpose or not.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In what is likely to be more cock-up than conspiracy,

      They are both equally as bad as each other and with MS being all pally with Google over Chrome... Is it any wonder that there is a lot of hate towards them both.

      Windows 10 is not fit for service in any SME business. Unless your IT support is on the ball a simple update could ruin the business.

      I avoid both slimeball organisations as much possible. Chrome is prohibited on my systems.

  6. Semtex451 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    It's beginning to look a lot like....

    1984

    No wait, 1984 is beginning to look like a better option

    1. AMBxx Silver badge
      Big Brother

      It would be interesting to do a 1984 TV Series, but updated for current technology. Instead of a telescreen, we'd have one of the google or Amazon screens that are so widely used.

      TV watching monitored. Websites/wikipedia edited as needed rather than going to all the fuss of changing paper. Books instead of being recalled just updated on your kindle.

      For current life, all we'd really need to add are microphones to the current CCTV systems.

      Scary part would be millenials not understanding what the fuss is about.

      Then we could do Brave New World. Very similar parallels.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge
        Big Brother

        A decade ago..

        @AMBxx >>>all we'd really need to add are microphones to the current CCTV systems.<<<

        From 2007 - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6524495.stm - and the links therein.

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: A decade ago..

          @AMBxx - forget the TV show, just look out the window...

      2. imanidiot Silver badge

        Throw in monitoring via Smartphones and you've basically tagged every single citizen in the western world with their own personal spy bug already.

        1. Mage Silver badge

          Smartphones?

          When people PAY for Amazon Echo, Dot and connect their smart TV with mic and "Android TV" GUI to Internet? I can't believe the use and user agreements of Android TV in most TVs now in Europe is even legal.

          IoT gadgets too.

        2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

          Throw in monitoring via Smartphones and you've basically tagged every single citizen in the western world with their own personal spy bug already.

          unless you're carrying it in something like the belt-pouch I use for mine. If it can manage to muffle the ring enough that I don't hear it while driving (OK, I also have my stereo playing), then it wouldn't take much to muffle the microphone to unusability.

      3. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Black Mirror

        "It would be interesting to do a 1984 TV Series, but updated for current technology"

        See title. Pretty much what you asked for. And more.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Black Mirror

          My wife and I watched the first episode of Black Mirror and found it pompous, overblown, self-indulgent, and generally annoying. Maybe it gets better, but I don't know if I'll ever get around to finding out. (There's a lot of content out there, and I don't watch much television anyway.)

          In any case, for most middle-class industrialized-democracy citizens the present cultural moment is much more akin to Brave New World than Nineteen Eighty-Four1 (or that first episode of Black Mirror). It's cooption, not oppression; it's about enjoying being controlled, not suffering under it. Levi's, not bread lines.

          1Orwell hated it when people wrote the title in numerals. He felt that emphasized what was a completely arbitrary date, rather than the themes he felt were important.

          1. sisk Silver badge

            Re: Black Mirror

            My wife and I watched the first episode of Black Mirror and found it pompous, overblown, self-indulgent, and generally annoying.

            Some episodes are better than others, and each episode feels (to me anyway) more like a self-contained movie than an episode of a series. I'd personally recommend watching another episode or two before you write it off completely.

            In any case, for most middle-class industrialized-democracy citizens the present cultural moment is much more akin to Brave New World than Nineteen Eighty-Four

            Absolutely. What's truly terrifying is how few people realize that. Though I will point out that more and more political rallies - in all camps - seem to bear a resemblance to 2 minutes of hate from Nineteen Eighty-Four.

            Orwell hated it when people wrote the title in numerals. He felt that emphasized what was a completely arbitrary date, rather than the themes he felt were important.

            I vaguely remember seeing him quoted as saying his only regret about the book was the title and that he felt he'd gotten the rest of it basically right.

            1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              Re: Black Mirror

              Some episodes are better than others, and each episode feels (to me anyway) more like a self-contained movie than an episode of a series. I'd personally recommend watching another episode or two before you write it off completely.

              Yeah, I'll add it back to my list, and give another couple of episodes a try.

              Though I will point out that more and more political rallies - in all camps - seem to bear a resemblance to 2 minutes of hate from Nineteen Eighty-Four.

              True. People want both sorts of circuses to go with their bread.

      4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Big Brave New World Brothers and Sisters

        It would be interesting to do a 1984 TV Series, but updated for current technology. Instead of a telescreen, we'd have one of the google or Amazon screens that are so widely used.

        TV watching monitored. Websites/wikipedia edited as needed rather than going to all the fuss of changing paper. Books instead of being recalled just updated on your kindle.

        For current life, all we'd really need to add are microphones to the current CCTV systems.

        Scary part would be millenials not understanding what the fuss is about.

        Then we could do Brave New World. Very similar parallels. .... AMBxx

        For Virtual Realisation of the Entitled Above ....... would One do IT Best with Tender Invitations for Supply of Perfect Core Source Feed with Immaculate Seeds/Enlightened Trails in Heavenly Trials ..... LoadsaMoney for Nothing, Helluva Chicks for Free was Never Ever Sweeter Delivered Just in Time and Way Out Ahead in Space for Operating Systems which do All the Leading in IntelAIgently Supplied Places/Special Areas of Particular and Peculiar Interest and Ripe Ready for Global Presentation in an EMPowering Stream of Future Indicative Programs ....... BlockBuster AIMovements for Audacious TeleVisualisation.

        Whatever the Cost, IT's a Certain Bargain.

        1. Cliff Thorburn

          Re: Big Brave New World Brothers and Sisters

          You make it sound so easy amfM ...

          1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

            Re: Big Brave New World Brothers and Sisters

            You make it sound so easy amfM ... ... Cliff Thorburn

            Whenever so simple, it is not difficult, CT. All problems arise for those and that which know not what they should be doing for a greater and completely different future program.

      5. Wayland Bronze badge

        re: modern tech 1984

        AMBxx

        It is interesting how Winston had to edit physical newspapers and burn the unwanted paper. That was the part that did not really make sense. The reader could see what they were driving at but in practice it was unworkable.

        It's still unworkable but not actually necessary. People have short memories and websites can be altered or removed very easily. Any evidence that still does turn up is simply ignored as the work of conspiracy theorists.

        We also do have Brave New World. Plenty of Happy Pills and pills to stop you ageing. It's obvious they have reduced teenage pregnancies with Gardesil. It's obvious that Chemo is a cure for ageing.

    2. Woza
      Black Helicopters

      To repurpose Tim Minchin's song about Google Streetview:

      "It's just like 1984 - well,

      Even the late Georgie Orwell,

      Would surely think he was hearing a fiction

      If you tried to describe how far this shit's gone -

      Would presume you were taking the piss

      Being happy with technology like this..."

    3. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      I read that as "update 1984" in the same way as "update 1809". No doubt that's a horror that still awaits us...

  7. disk iops
    Unhappy

    it really is shameless. And especially since nobody gives a good damn what they do on their respective devices. Really, some twit has been clamoring to have application state follow them from phone to desktop to slate? What, one pathetic puke out of a million? How many thousands of man-hours were spent writing all this spyware when even microsoft doesn't use it in any useful capacity (serious bugs in preview releases being ignored, anyone?); ignoring for the moment they aren't remotely entitled to have it in the first place without my express say-so.

    Whatever happened to shooting dead the morons be they marketing, managment, or engineer who though "using my computer" needed to mashed into an activity feed, ala farcebook?

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Big Brother

      @disk iops

      (serious bugs in preview releases being ignored, anyone?)

      Of course they ignored any real information in the slurp... M$ won't use any of it, but they will "SELL IT" to the highest bidder, just like Faecesbook et al

      1. LDS Silver badge

        "but they will "SELL IT" to the highest bidder,"

        Wrong. They know the real value is in the information themselves. They will sell the *use* of data through their tools only, not the real data. You'll have to pay them every time you need to use them.

        I'm sure FB was much angrier because CA was able to steal its valuable information FB had slurped than CA using them for their nefarious purpose.

        Who control the information can control people...

  8. Jemma Silver badge

    Can we have...

    Some real landmines in tech HQs please (said in Oliver Twist quote fashion for best effect).

    I'm thinking something roughly the size of the Lochnagar mine, using the national molecule of ISIS/Somalia/Palestine/NI, TATP.

    They just don't understand that no means no. Or in most cases "hell, no". The government agencies tell them don't do that, consumers say don't do that, industry bodies tell them to stop. What do they do? Ignore everyone and just do what they want, to who they want, when they want.

    That's above and beyond the software that's flakier than a lepers crotch, data breaches and crappy code and security thereof. Putting Windows 10 on a computer should have a warning on the box that it's the IT equivalent of giving that Maureen woman from the bad drivers series an M1 Abrams & free fuel for life. You know it's a bad idea, but you just can't stop - or look away..

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Can we have...

      Actually, it's you who doesn't understand that there are people who don't take NO for an answer...AND have the ability to bribe any guns you hire to turn on you at the last minute.

      So what's it gonna be...the no-lube job or the lead lobotomy? And no, there is no third option.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Can we have...

        Actually, it's you who doesn't understand that there are people who don't take NO for an answer...

        Government firepower trumps software firm's crap any day. Except maybe in your mind.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Can we have...

          Unless said software firm is back by ANOTHER government WITH firepower. That's the problem with China. THEY have nukes AND a philosophical history more likely to accept MAD.

  9. karlkarl

    If you have to stick with Windows because either yourself or your boss is an idiot then just get creative with the firewall and block everything other than DHCP, DNS, Git, Iridium (Web Browser) and a few other online programs you use.

    1. Jemma Silver badge

      Blocking git(s)

      I don't think any of my bosses would have liked that if I did that to them... But oh God, it's such a wonderful thought. A Boss Firewall - someone *has* to invent that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > just get creative with the firewall

      Which firewall? If you're meaning "Windows Firewall", on Windows itself, you're dreaming.

      It'll be one of the first thing they changed so it never blocks telemetry, regardless of the settings you plug into it.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Yes. I don't count "Windows firewall" as a real firewall at all. The only kind that counts is an external standalone firewall.

      2. Carl D

        >> Which firewall? If you're meaning "Windows Firewall", on Windows itself, you're dreaming.

        It'll be one of the first thing they changed so it never blocks telemetry, regardless of the settings you plug into it. <<

        - AC.

        I'm sure there are a lot of things that Windows Firewall never blocks (even if you think it does).

        As an example, the latest versions of CCleaner were showing a 'flyout' ad for a Black Friday special in the bottom right hand corner of the screen a few weeks back.

        The recommendation to stop it from a lot of people was to block CCleaner's access to the Internet - I set up Windows Firewall to block CCleaner (and yes, I did have it set up correctly - I rechecked several times) and the ad still appeared.

        Using One Click Firewall (based on another recommendation) solved the issue for me. No more CCleaner ads.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          CCleaner (Credit Card cleaner?)

          > ... the latest versions of CCleaner were showing a 'flyout' ad ...

          In case you haven't seen the CCleaner problem from a while back:

          http://time.com/4946576/ccleaner-malware-hack/

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    cock-up or conspiracy

    "In what is likely to be more cock-up than conspiracy, it appears that Microsoft is continuing to collect data on recent user activities even when the user has explicitly said NO, DAMMIT!"

    There really is someone at El Reg that gullible ???? Has Dilbert's pointy hair boss made its way through your site, guys ?

    Come on, it's MS and like FB, they need to cash out on something, ie, your data. Extortion, since the dawn of humanity has always been about claiming, then, if exposed, claiming it was a sad mistake.

    1. Wayland Bronze badge

      Re: cock-up or conspiracy

      I think there are social and legal pressures against telling the truth. It obviously is a conspiracy because Microsoft have made so many cockups that cause data slurping. I think their user file deletions the other month were an actual cockup but it's hard to see how you could damage user data when you're just putting files in c:\windows which does not contain user data.

      I would prefer people just to call a spade a spade but these days no one gets into trouble for lying but plenty get into trouble for telling the truth.

    2. Excused Boots

      Re: cock-up or conspiracy

      'Never ascribe to malice that which can be better explained through incompetence' as a wise person once said, (although I've probably paraphrased it).

      In Microsoft's case, I'm not sure which of the two is preferable!

  11. caffeine addict Silver badge

    So - what's the current favourite for automating turning off all the Win10 crap?

    Bonus marks if it also disables the advertising that appears on the lock screen.

    1. Chozo
      Joke

      You could go back to running DOS

    2. LenG

      Install Linux

      1. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

        They're here...

        Microsoft Online Reputation Managers...

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: They're here...

          @CAPS LOCK "Microsoft Online Reputation Oversight Network Services", or Morons for short?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        But then if you MUST play Sunset Overdrive (hint: it REQUIRES at least Win8) and don't have a console handy...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          But then if you MUST play Sunset Overdrive (hint: it REQUIRES at least Win8) and don't have a console handy...

          It's a game, Charlieboy. Except in your weird and not-al-all-wonderful universe there is no such thing as a "MUST play".

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Tell that to PROFESSIONAL gamers. They do it for a living.

            1. Kiwi

              Tell that to PROFESSIONAL gamers. They do it for a living.

              And, PRAY tell, WHAT makes THIS a "MUST"? What LAW is THERE that MAKES them "MUST" play GAMES?

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                The law of "Money Makes the World Go 'Round," and if the ONLY way you have to make your daily bread is to play games...

                1. Kiwi

                  Perhaps you can explain how someone who has the ability to see and hear, follow complex instructions, show the dedication needed to train themselves to reach a high enough level to be "professional gamers", work in a team environment where they have to show decent hand-eye co-ordination along with hand-ear co-ordination and following orders/working with others in a pressure environent - all this and yet "professional gamer" is the only job they can possibly hold? And how did they afford the kit to become "professional gamer" without already being paid well enough to own such hardware?

                  You are one weird kid if you even remotely believe what you write.

                  BTW, new a great guy once who was a pro gamer. All his money from gaming went to his kit, but he also had a full time job to pay for his addictionprofessionalism. Also gave it up quickly as it made a real mess of his RL relationships.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Bonus marks if it also disables the advertising that appears on the lock screen"

      What advertising?... mine is a blank screen... mind you I don't use any apps, only traditional programs, so only see ads when running IE (less so with Firefox + adblocker)

      1. caffeine addict Silver badge

        What advertising?

        On the front screen it loves showing you photos of pretty places around the world with strangely clickbait-y texts that reveal where it is or what it's called. But it also occasionally decides to tout apps or services that it thinks you might like. Off the top of my head, the Microsoft store and some photo sharing thing were its last suggestions.

    4. imanidiot Silver badge

      Win10Privacy (Not affiliated) seems to work for me just fine. Haven't encountered any sort of ads on my system whatsoever.

  12. Haefen

    cock-up than conspiracy,

    So you caught my friends at your house, with a moving van, shifting everything that wasn't nailed down, even after you said you didn't want us to take stuff.

    OK we'll stop, it's just a cock-up not a conspiracy to steal stuff of value.

    Have a nice day.

    Whats that? You want your stuff back? HAHAHA, it was worthless sitting in your house, we stole nothing, it was just a cock up.

  13. Timmy B Silver badge

    Why, oh why?

    Why do I read the comments on articles like this. I know I'm going to see the same silliness.... sigh..

    PS. If MS are listening and you do pay people to spout glowing praise for Windows then drop me a line - I'm cheap enough and will say whatever you like....

    1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Re: Why, oh why?

      "PS. If MS are listening"

      When are they not?

  14. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    The Double Edge Sword of Damocles, curtesy of Dionysius

    Windows 10 can carry on slurping even when you're sure you yelled STOP!

    All your activity are belong to us

    That does beg the question, whenever it be so, what is their excuse for not providing better protection against perceived and conceived threats against Global Peace and Universal Stability.

    What says Microsoft to that EnigmatICQ Question? Do You Choose to Not Provide Lead by Prime AI Programming Example ...... Virtualised Sample in Other Parallel Augmented Virtual Realities?

    Or has One Never Asked Before?

    When one is perceived and conceived to be in Almighty Possession of All Information surely that is akin to Heavenly Intelligence .... for the Sublime State of Pristine Being.

    Where Raw Core Ore Source is Found and Mined, Processed and Dispatched.

    A little something there for us all here on El Reg to mull over for the weekend.

    https://youtu.be/pRwleQ4pnrM

    1. 4whatitsworth

      Re: The Double Edge Sword of Damocles, curtesy of Dionysius

      Say what now...

  15. Triumphantape

    Not sure it makes any difference how you try to turn it off, I have noticed items I've turned off are back on again after an update.

    So you would have to redo everything you've turned off.

    Even if you set up a reg file to make it easier, my thoughts are that after an update they may be labelled differently or placed in a different area.

    It's strange what we put up with.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > It's strange what we put up with.

      Alternatively, don't put up with it. :)

  16. HamsterNet

    BLOCK IT

    Who with a modicum of IT expertise isn't blocking all MS slurping with a few firewall rules. Its only about 80 odd rules to add.

  17. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    It occurs to me that an Enterprising Young Thing might employ a small farm of Raspberry Pis to swamp Redmond's digital ear trumpet with (to them) misleading gibberish, flooding the spy with "information" to dilute the usefulness and cause an eventual budget review.

    1. doublelayer

      Re: Bah!

      I somehow doubt that would work. You would need to be able to fake a signal from a real windows device, which I presume has some encryption on it so it's hard to mess up, and you would also need to know the contents well enough to make misleading contents that don't get automatically rejected. If they found you doing it, they'd just autodelete anything from your network connection and carry on. If you have a way, I'm interested to hear how you'd get around these things.

    2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Bah!

      Quote:

      Raspberry Pis to swamp Redmond's digital ear trumpet with (to them) misleading gibberish.

      Given the latest quality of updates, I'd say m$ are flooding themselves with misleading gibberish and have no need of assistance....

  18. TheRealRoland
    Windows

    Not enough coffee...

    ShutUp10 - maybe i'm reading between lines, and being ESL, here's an example where i get confused:

    Take the first entry in the list of things that can be switched on and off to do 'stuff'.

    setting: Sharing of Handwriting data disabled

    button is showing red: so this is not yet switched on?

    the Recommended column says 'yes'

    What's the logic pretzel that i need to visualize? Is it:

    it's switched off right now; but I should switch this setting on, based on the recommended column's suggestion, so that it's disabling the sharing of handwriting?

    R.

    1. TheRealRoland

      Re: Not enough coffee...

      Never mind - i saw that in the actions menu you can execute all changes with one click - and indeed, when something's switched off, and the column says 'recommended' - it needs to be switched on.

      carry on.

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. sisk Silver badge

    I have found one sure-fire way to keep Windows 10 from collecting data. First, go into the device manager and find your network card. Second, disable it and uninstall the driver.

    It works perfectly for preventing privacy breaches by Windows, though it also slightly hampers the performance of applications which require network access.

  21. JohnFen Silver badge

    Bull

    "Microsoft got in touch to insist it is committed to privacy and transparency"

    Microsoft is full of shit.

    "Marisa Rogers, Privacy Officer at the software giant, told us: "We are working to address this naming issue in a future update.""

    In other words, they're going to ignore the actual issue.

    1. Wayland Bronze badge

      Re: Bull

      I read that as "Marisa Rogers, Privacy Officer at the malware giant,"

      1. mickychip

        Re: Bull

        Do you think they added Windows Defender to keep a Microsoft malware monopoly?

  22. moistbuns

    This is all very important and all but NO ONE has commented on how pretty the man is in the stock photo.

    He's GORGEOUS.

  23. JohnG Silver badge

    I thought it was common knowledge that Windows 10 and other Microsoft applications spy on users, regardless of any privacy settings. There are several services, numerous schedule tasks - and these can be changed/renewed during software updates. The most effective way to prevent all of this is to block access to the various servers that receive such telemetry. Spybot Anti-Beacon is one utility that provides an automated approach to this.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      How can ANY software block Windows' access to the servers when it's the OS and can work BELOW any software you attempt to install on it. It doesn't even need DNS to get through to the servers because it has an internal lookup list, and I bet you they resolve to the same IPs as the update servers.

  24. Winkypop Silver badge
    Big Brother

    We are the product.

    Our PI is the IP.

    Carry on citizen.

    As you were.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: We are the product.

      Given my browsing history and my disbelief in the Daily Narrative, more like "anti-citizens".

  25. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Slurp10 doing what it does the best... slurping

    1. mickychip

      We are just another M$ slave to be exploited.

  26. Potemkine! Silver badge

    "Privacy Officer" at MS

    What a joke.

    1. stiine

      Re: "Privacy Officer" at MS

      Why a joke? The didn't say it was a customer privacy officer.

  27. Paul Johnson 1
    FAIL

    Renaming doesn't fix the problem.

    The GDPR is explicit about this: if the users consent is required for processing, then that consent has to be active and explicit. Setting the default to True and hiding it in an Options dialog doesn't count. See https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/lawful-basis-for-processing/consent/

  28. WildWest

    No need to attribute to conspiracy any act that is more easily explained by incompetence...

    1. Wayland Bronze badge

      WildWest

      Incompetence is when the gun goes off accidentally whilst you are waving it about. Conspiracy is when your workmates hold the victim down whilst you stick the gun in the back of their head and let off 7 shots into their brain as they squirm.

      Thinking you're smart because you quote Hanlon's Razor; gullible.

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      There's no need to decide between conspiracy and incompetence. In either case, the result is the same for everyone else.

      That said, given the context and history of Microsoft, this looks more like conspiracy than incompetence.

  29. Deliberatus1

    Us think this is bad?

    Then it's going to be M.I. time at the DR down at hospital when you truly understand Google and it's wonderful chrome os!

  30. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Where Does the Buck Stop? Who is Ultimately Responsible?

    If Microsoft Systems are used in Destructions are Microsoft Liable for the Repair and/or Replacement of All Damage Caused with Remote Party Use, Misuse and Abuse of their Systems? And would the personally wronged and/or collectively persecuted User be entitled to payment of exemplary compensation from the Operating System and its Power Providers?

    1. Cliff Thorburn

      Re: Where Does the Buck Stop? Who is Ultimately Responsible?

      Is it possible to PM you at all amfM?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    This doesn't worry me, to be honest. I don't connect to or use the Internet at all, so it really doesn't effect me.

    1. grumpasaur

      I was going to correct the "affect" but then I got the joke. Well done.

  32. Nematode

    Windows 10? What's that?

    Probably you mean like Skype upgrading itself even when you told it not to

  33. Zarno

    I have always wondered...

    I have always wondered whether a solicitor/attorney/judge/courthouse/government/healthcare institution could actually, legally, use Windows 10 (or 8.1/8/7 after the telemetry updates), given how it sends things back even when disabled fully?

    One would think that alone opens up all sorts of privacy concerns, when the data on the machine may not be yours to give consent to distribute to a third party...

  34. Kev99 Bronze badge

    And NEVER log into your Microsoft account without afterwards hitting CTRL-SHIFT-DEL.

  35. Wibble

    Little Snitch?

    Is Little Snitch not available on Windows? Brilliant on a Mac; amazing how much slurping's done with many applications.

  36. Not That Andrew

    Couldn't this be argued to be a GDPR violation?

  37. Slx

    GDPR is going to be expensive

    A lot of these companies seem to be accidentally bqueueing up to test the GDPR.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft got in touch to insist it is committed to privacy and transparency

    Yes.

    Making your privacy screens 'transparent' and making your whole life visible to all. Well, to them at least.

  39. redwine

    Cinnamon desktop

    Under whatever your distro. of choice is - really good!

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    thieft by any othername

    If you have indicated to Microsoft / Google / Apple / etc. that they may not collect data from you and they continue to do so they are engaged in thief of services. You are paying for or receiving a bundled amount of data they are consuming some of this bandwidth / volume without your permission. This is the same as someone enters your home as a guest and helps themselves to the bottled water in your fridge without your permission. In plain and simple terms they are stealing from you. It may be a challenge to get the police to take notice since the value of what is stolen is so small and they would argue that the offender was in your home with your permission and by "extension" had permission to take the water. this argument falls apart when you invited guest takes your car / jewelry or bank / credit cards with out your permission.

    Microsoft is using band width and data volume the counts towards your data limit without your explicit permission. They are stealing a service you have paid for,

  41. mickychip

    a matter of trust

    The Dwarf is correct it is a matter of trust. I can customise many settings in windows to my liking. After an update they remain, well all those apart from some privacy ones . I only use Windows 10 for occasional gaming now.

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