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Peter Lemkin
05-09-2016, 10:33 AM
Everything Is Wrong with Windows 10


...or how bad programs get worse and worse...and more invasive!

Table of contents


Why Windows is dead (http://itvision.altervista.org/why-windows-10-sucks.html#TheEND)
Why every Windows version sucks (http://itvision.altervista.org/why-windows-10-sucks.html#WindowsALL)
Why Windows 10 sucks (http://itvision.altervista.org/why-windows-10-sucks.html#Windows10)
How to partially fix Windows 10 (http://itvision.altervista.org/why-windows-10-sucks.html#Windows10fix)
Why Windows 10 is spyware (http://itvision.altervista.org/why-windows-10-sucks.html#Windows10spyware)
Busting Windows 10 myths (http://itvision.altervista.org/why-windows-10-sucks.html#Windows10myths)
I've got Windows 10 preinstalled on my PC/laptop, I hate it, what should I do? (http://itvision.altervista.org/why-windows-10-sucks.html#what-to-do)
Comments (http://itvision.altervista.org/why-windows-10-sucks.html#Comments)


It's funny and equally sad that year 2015 marks the end of the Windows OS for a lot of people. There are several issues with Windows which, at present, make Spyware/Malware (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malware) OS 10 inappropriate and even outright dangerous for a lot of people. The most egregious, of course, is a total abandonment of any form of privacy and control.
Firstly, Microsoft openly stated that pervasive data http://itvision.altervista.org/files/windows-10-fixed.jpgcollection will be present in any Windows version starting from Windows 10 and as a host of research on the Internet shows, this data collection cannot be disabled using official means. If you decide to disable total tracking (including keyboard scanning and voice recording) you'll have to disable over a hundred different Internet addresses and then no one guarantees that a new Windows update doesn't add new hosts because Microsoft surely is not interested in losing such a lucrative feature meant for Big Brother agencies. Read the rest of the article for official Microsoft statements and for various information on how Windows breaches you privacy and how you might try to control it (it's almost futile btw).
Secondly, Microsoft has stripped us of controlling Windows updates. It was ostensibly done to improve the user experience by keeping the system up to date and perhaps malware free, but the truth is that a built-in antimalware protection in Windows is simply horrible (according to various AV comparisons Microsoft Essentials misses over 20% of in the wild malware) and said updates mean nothing for security because over 90% of infections happen due to the user actions (like downloading and installing dubious applications). No Windows update can prevent such a behaviour.
Thirdly, as Microsoft has stated multiple times, Windows 10 will not have any service packs, Windows 10 is the final version of Windows, because Windows 10 has become a service, it will be updated over time to bring new features and remove the old ones. Windows 10 you might have updated to in July 2015 will be a different OS than Windows 10 plus all its updates a year later.
Let me say that I've always been a big fan of Windows because Microsoft does care about compatibility vs. many other tech companies which break backward compatibility all the time. However I've always felt that there are no resources or articles on the web which dig deep into Windows' problems and therefore I wrote this very concise essay. Mind that it was not created to say that Linux is better (it's definitely (http://itvision.altervista.org/why.linux.is.not.ready.for.the.desktop.current.htm l) not). It was created to stop Microsoft fans roaring in regard to Windows 10 and how it's better than Windows 7 in every regard - it's actually worse in most regards aside from DirectX 12 (which is actually hidden from the user and it's only exposed in games).
You may probably want to know why Windows 10 feels so buggy. Here's a very nice quote:
Full Disclosure: I worked at M$ from 2014-2015.
MS has some very talented programmers. They're not very common, but they exist. The problem is that the entire company is completely and totally focused on developing an absurd number of new features and products, giving them completely unrealistic deadlines, and then shipping software on those deadlines no matter how half-assed or buggy it is.
The idea is that everything is serviceable over the internet now, so they can just "fix it later", except they never do. This perpetuates a duct-tape culture that refuses to actually fix problems and instead rewards teams that find ways to work around them. The talented programmers are stuck working on code that, at best, has to deal with multiple badly designed frameworks from other teams, or at worst work on code that is simply scrapped. New features are prioritized over all but the most system-critical bugs, and teams are never given any time to actually focus on improving their code. The only improvements that can happen must be snuck in while implementing new features.
As far as M$ is concerned, all code is shit, and the only thing that matters is if it works well enough to be shown at a demo and shipped. Needless to say, I don't work there anymore.

In a new, not that unexpected, turn of events Microsoft now foists ads (http://www.infoworld.com/article/3042155/microsoft-windows/windows-patch-kb-3139929-when-a-security-update-is-not-a-security-update.html) as part of ... security updates for Windows 7 and 8/8.1 (KB3139929 which says nothing about this new "feature (http://neowin.s3.amazonaws.com/forum/uploads/monthly_2016_03/Sue_MS.PNG.bef50ca729a9479cedd4e17dfb31498f.PNG)"). People were afraid but never believed it would happen. It now has.
So, there are two kinds of issues with the Windows operating system created by Microsoft. The first kind is the issues intrinsic to every Windows version starting from Windows Vista (XP is out of circulation and support so let's forget about it).
Problems which are present in every version of Windows for PC



Devastating Windows rot (might be solved in future Windows (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/05/06/windows_10_project_centennial/) releases).
No enforced file system and registry hierarchy (I have yet to find a single serious application which can uninstall itself cleanly and fully). The $USER directory in Windows, specially in Windows 10, is an inexplicable mess.
svchost.exe (https://www.google.com/search?q=svchost+problem) (the whole philosophy of preserving RAM this way became outdated years ago).
No true safe mode (rogue applications (http://www.malwarehelp.org/safemode-malware-removal-2011.html) may easily run in it).
No clean state (for most OEM installations out there).
The user as a system administrator (thus viruses/​malware - most users don't and won't understand UAC warnings).
No good packaging mechanism (MSI (https://www.google.com/search?q=microsoft+installer+error) is way too fragile).
No system wide update mechanism (which includes third party software - to be fair there are 3d party applications which offer this functionality, but then such applications don't support core Windows updates).
In certain cases it's extremely difficult to find or update drivers for your hardware devices (anyone who's tried to install a fresh Windows onto their laptop will testify).
Windows is extremely difficult to debug (e.g. try finding out why your system is slow to boot).
Windows boot problems are too often fatal and unsolvable unless you reinstall from scratch.
Windows is hardware dependent (especially when running from UEFI).
Windows updates are terribly (https://www.google.com/search?q=windows+update+error) unreliable (http://itvision.altervista.org/files/trustedinstaller_leaking_memory_windows7sp1_64.png ), very slow (to install) and they also waste disk space.
Windows cannot replace system DLLs on the fly and restart corresponding services which depend on said DLLs due to its architecture. As a result some system updates require multiple reboots (innocuous malevolence in me requires to mention that in Linux you can even update the kernel on the fly).
Windows keeps trying to reinstall failed updates over and over (in certain cases every such cycle of "updating" can render you PC disabled for hours!).
There's no way to cleanly upgrade your system (there will be thousands of leftovers), etc.
Windows OS installer doesn't give a damn about other OSes installed on your PC and it always overwrites (https://www.google.com/search?q=windows+overwrites+MBR) the MBR. In case of already existing Windows installations, it sets the newly installed Windows as the default OS - no questions asked. In case of UEFI (https://forums.opensuse.org/showthread.php/494185-Dualboot-with-Win8-1-Windows-overwrites-GRUB) booting of other non Windows OSes is unsupported (https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windows/en-US/5473b255-1df5-4570-aa00-3d084a69a841/chainloading-a-linux-boot-image-in-windows-8?forum=w8itprosecurity) and Windows actively prevents this.
WinSxS, though a neat idea, turned into some madness: Windows keeps the versions of files the user won't ever need (http://blogs.technet.com/b/askpfeplat/archive/2013/10/08/breaking-news-reduce-the-size-of-the-winsxs-directory-and-free-up-disk-space-with-a-new-update-for-windows-7-sp1-clients.aspx): for instance the English version of Windows will have copies of files for many other languages irrespective of the chosen locale or MUI.
Cryptic error messages (considering the size of the OS, >9GB as of Windows 10, this practice is simply ridiculous).
Most malware writers target Windows as the most popular desktop OS, so it has the biggest number of viruses among all other OSes (over five thousand new viruses daily).
Windows loves thrashing (https://www.google.com/search?q=windows+constant+disk+activity) your HDD.
Microsoft programmers are still unable to cope with NTFS fragmentation 25 years after its introduction. To make things worse most Windows applications do not preallocate (http://stackoverflow.com/questions/7970333/how-do-you-pre-allocate-space-for-a-file-in-c-c-on-windows) files thus they contribute to fragmentation even more.
Windows anti-virus products oftentimes make (http://www.csoonline.com/article/3021774/security/trend-micro-flaw-could-have-allowed-attacker-to-steal-all-passwords.html) your PC less (http://www.csoonline.com/article/3020459/security/antivirus-software-could-make-your-company-more-vulnerable.html) safe (http://blog.ioactive.com/2013/01/the-demise-of-desktop-antivirus.html) - so if you want perfect security and privacy, stop using Windows and migrate to Linux right away.
Microsoft has recently decided that you would no longer be able to download certain (https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/msrc/2016/04/29/changes-to-security-update-links/) Windows updates manually. You'll only be able to get them via Windows Update.
Microsoft has gone crazy: Windows 10 is now a recommended update (https://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/4a0asv/warning_windows_7_computers_are_being_reported_as/) for all Windows 7/8.1 users unless you're running their Enterprise versions. That means your computer will automatically update to Windows 10 unless you either disable the Windows Update service completely or set Windows updates to the manual mode.

Now the second (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/07/29/windows_10_sysadmin_says_average_joe_will_be_happy/) kind (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/07/30/win10_real_users_mail/) of issues is intrinsic to Windows 10 only



Windows 10 spies (https://edri.org/microsofts-new-small-print-how-your-personal-data-abused/) on (https://www.reddit.com/r/Windows10/comments/3gm1e3/what_windows_10_is_actually_monitoring_regardless/) you (http://fudzilla.com/news/38470-windows-10-sniffs-for-piracy) and even more so on your children (http://boingboing.net/2015/08/10/windows-10.html) aka phones home (http://arstechnica.co.uk/information-technology/2015/08/even-when-told-not-to-windows-10-just-cant-stop-talking-to-microsoft/) (welcome NSA/CIA/thoughtcrime/1984)! Microsoft added spying features to Windows 7/8 as well (https://voat.co/v/technology/comments/459263) (more general list (https://www.google.com/search?q=windows+7+telemetry+updates)). Microsoftofficially admits that automatic spying cannot be disabled (http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2015/11/02/microsoft-confirms-unstoppable-windows-10-tracking/) in Windows 10.
The official Microsoft guide on Windows 10 telemetry settings (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt577208.aspx) contains this beautiful tidbit: "Ability to gather user content, such as documents, if they might have been the trigger for the issue". Now, Microsoft states that user files can be requested only on the "Full" level of telemetry, however you need to bear in mind that this feature is built-in, it's remotely triggered, and it can be used to get any of your data any time they want.
Wow, just wow: Microsoft now openly publishes (https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2016/01/04/windows-10-now-active-on-over-200-million-devices/) its collected data in regard to Windows 10 users:

"Over 44.5 billion minutes spent in Microsoft Edge across Windows 10 devices in just the last month" - we spy on Edge users.
"Over 82 billion photos viewed within the Windows 10 Photo app" - you're using our Gallery app, right? Great!
"Gaming continues to grow on Windows 10 – in 2015, gamers spent over 4 billion hours playing PC games on Windows 10" - we now know what apps you're running and for how long.


Microsoft pushes Windows 10 so hard it actually started spreading FUD even about its own older OSes:

Microsoft started lying through their teeth (http://fudzilla.com/news/39575-microsoft-spreads-fud-about-windows-7) about Windows 7: "We do worry when people are running an operating system that’s 10 years old that the next printer they buy isn’t going to work well, or they buy a new game, they buy Fallout 4, a very popular game, and it doesn’t work on a bunch of older machines. And so, as we are pushing our software vendors and hardware partners to build great new stuff that takes advantage of Windows 10 that obviously makes the old stuff really bad and not to mention viruses and security problems.".
Egregious lying continues: Microsoft falsely states that newer Intel and AMD CPUs will only be supported (https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2016/01/15/windows-10-embracing-silicon-innovation/) by Windows 10. If that were actually true you wouldn't be able to run MS-DOS on Intel Skylake yet you perfectly can. Perhaps they are talking about new advanced features of the said CPUs, but their wording means the opposite: like you cannot physically run any older Windows releases on these new CPUs.
Microsoft desperately wants to install Windows 10 on pretty much all computers running Windows 7/8/8.1, even though some older hardware is not compatible with Windows 10 due to missing drivers. In certain cases drivers for Windows 10 are buggy and incomplete, which means after upgrading you end up with a broken PC you cannot use or its features don't work like they should.
Microsoft has lost (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/10/15/pushy_windows_10/) its mind (http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/10/windows-10-upgrade-installing-automatically-on-some-windows-7-8-systems/) and they now aggressively (http://tech.slashdot.org/story/15/10/15/2210224/windows-10-upgrades-are-being-forced-on-some-users) try to foist/force (http://tech.slashdot.org/story/15/12/07/1642241/microsoft-will-resume-pushing-windows-10-to-machines-with-win7-81) Windows 10 on unsuspecting users. Oh, it's now official (http://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2015/10/29/making-it-easier-to-upgrade-to-windows-10/): they will forcefully install it everywhere they can in 2016.


Microsoft's EULA grants Microsoft the rights (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/servicesagreement/) to use any of your content related to the services like Bing, Cortana (a built-in file indexer and search in Windows 10), OneDrive or Skype: "you grant to Microsoft a worldwide and royalty-free intellectual property license to use Your Content". You can read Microsoft's response (http://blogs.windows.com/bloggingwindows/2015/09/28/privacy-and-windows-10/) here which paints everything in a positive light however after Snowden's leaks it's hard if not impossible to take them seriously.
Windows 10 is a beta quality release (updated in April, 2016):

GWX application updates the PCs which are incompatible with Windows 10 because there are no drivers available for PC components or periphery devices like printers/scanners/etc.
Microsoft hides the information (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/08/21/microsoft_will_explain_only_significant_windows_10 _updates/) about Windows 10 updates (http://www.infoworld.com/article/2973432/microsoft-windows/windows-10-patch-kb-3081444-service-packs.html), so oftentimes you won't even know what certain updates are aimed to fix or improve. Also Windows 10 updates may have unintended consequences and unannounced changes in behaviour (it's already been confirmed).
Start Menu oftentimes fails to open (https://www.google.com/search?q=windows+10+start+menu+doesn%27t+open) for many users.
Cortana (built in Web search) opens by itself (https://www.google.com/search?q=cortana+opens+by+itself).
Microsoft often pushes half-baked updates (http://tech.slashdot.org/story/16/03/05/182206/another-windows-10-update-causing-problems) which kill end-users' PCs or cause a lot of damage (https://www.reddit.com/r/Windows10/comments/4egyrg/windows_10_april_updates_kb3147458_and_kb3147461/) (this is a wonderful read).


You've got no real control over crucial features of the OS:

Windows 10 will have no service packs (http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/10/windows-10s-very-different-way-of-updating/) which means it will always be a work in progress and you are a perpetual beta tester.
Forced upgrades you cannot opt out of (and Microsoft have borked quite a lot of them recently so prepare to see your Windows die after installing a new portion of updates - actually Microsoft has already borked one update, read horror stories about KB3081424 (https://www.google.com/search?q=KB3081424+fail)).
Safe Mode has become impossible to access unless you've booted into ... the running OS which totally defeats its purpose. Also Safe Mode is hidden behind almost a dozen of steps vs. a single F8 key press on boot in every Windows version from 95 to 7.


Windows 10 features terrible UI inconsistency (http://www.windowscentral.com/windows-10-problems-missing-features), not limited to:http://itvision.altervista.org/files/windows_devolution.jpg (http://itvision.altervista.org/files/windows_devolution.jpg)

Two kinds of fonts antialiasing (ClearType v2 for classic applications and some awful dirty grayish shit (http://az648995.vo.msecnd.net/win/2015/05/101030-Start-Settings.png) for Modern apps).
All kinds of varying visual decorations and styles (some people have discovered up to seven varying styles in Windows 10).
Absolutely dissimilar classic and modern (PC settings) control panels.
Different fonts faces and sizes all around.
Different styles of settings for modern apps.
Absolutely different context menus and their appearance in different applications and apps.


Terrible hardly configurable appearance, dubious design choices and extremely limited functionality (vs Windows 7/XP):

Two Control Panels with absolutely zero thought given to how they differ and why each one should be used.
Some Control Widgets are spread between the two Control Panels which is utterly confusing (e.g. Users Management).
No Windows classic UI for windows decorations. Windows decorations can hardly be configured at all in Windows 10.
An awful choice of colors/palette.
Absolutely awful, childish and amateurish icons (http://itvision.altervista.org/files/windows-10-icons.png) (the current release features slightly better icons) as if we live in the era of 8bit displays (only rivalled by those in Windows 3.1 (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/73/Windows_3.11_workspace.png) from 1992). Windows 2000 in 1999looked better (http://itvision.altervista.org/files/windows2000.png) than Windows 10 in 2015.
A big number of Windows 10 apps are still NOT on par with their classical counterparts from Windows 7/Vista/XP (many features are missing or many options are not configurable).
The start menu is an unusable abomination. Sometimes classic Win32 applications are not listed anywhere. Applications are listed as a list which is nigh impossible to scroll.


Windows 10 sucks terribly if you are an unlucky user of a metered Internet connection:

It features huge mandatory system and apps updates (you cannot disable them, you can only postpone the system reboot after their installation). A note for smug commentators: certain home users/companies use a 3G uplink connection (for instance via a router which supports USB 3G modems), which means Windows 10 doesn't and cannot know how it's connected to the Internet.
As if it wasn't enough, Windows 10 gets downloaded automatically if you run Windows 7 or 8.1. We are talking about 3-6 gigabytes of data some people absolutely do not need.
It uses your free bandwidth to distribute updates to other users nearby you.


In Windows 10 certain not so old games (https://www.google.com/search?q=starcraft+2+windows+10) and applications either do not work or have severe problems.
Windows 10 shows full screen ads (http://www.howtogeek.com/243263/how-to-disable-ads-on-your-windows-10-lock-screen/) on your lock screen.
A new shocker: Windows 10 installs apps behind your back without your approval (http://www.neowin.net/forum/topic/1292306-windows-10-auto-app-installs/).
Windows 10 resets (http://www.winhelponline.com/blog/edge-hijack-pdf-htm-associations/) your default applications to built-in Microsoft's ones after each major update.
With Wi-Fi sense (http://www.osnews.com/permalink?616020) enabled anyone you have in your Skype, Outlook or Hotmail contacts lists — and any of your Facebook friends — can be granted automatic access to your Wi-Fi network as long as they're within range.
A newly created user profile weighs over 300MB (!) while containing zero (!) information about the user.
A newly created user profile is populated with all the default apps instead of giving the user a choice.

Some ways to fix/configure Windows 10



Do not install it or upgrade to it if you're running Windows 7/8.1. If you did, read further:
Install Classic Shell (http://www.classicshell.net/) aka Windows 7 (XP) Start Menu for Windows 10.
Uninstall/remove most built-in Metro/Modern apps in Windows 10 (quiet a lot of them are immutable and cannot be uninstalled no matter what):

Fire up administrator's PowerShell (Start -> Search -> Power -> Right mouse click -> Run as Administrator).
Run (copy and paste):
Get-AppXPackage -User | Remove-AppxPackage (remove the user's apps)
Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Remove-AppxPackage (remove all system wide apps)


Disable Windows 10 most spying/tracking/call home features (http://windows.wonderhowto.com/inspiration/everything-you-need-disable-windows-10-0163552/) - for deep cleaning use more powerful (http://www.majorgeeks.com/mg/sortpopularity/windows_10_fixes.html) (and equally dangerous) utilities.
You can disable built-in (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/windows-update-delivery-optimization-faq) torrent-like/bandwidth sharing feature by going to the Start Start button icon ˇ, then Settings > Update & security > Windows Update, and then select Advanced options.
The other things mentioned above cannot be fixed unfortunately (UI inconsistency, two Control Panels, very little UI customizability, disabling of updates, etc.).
Ultimate Windows 10 clean up: DWS (https://github.com/Nummer/Destroy-Windows-10-Spying/releases) (potentially unsafe, use at your own risk, it might totally wreck your Windows 10 installation):

Removes all spyware modules, services, domains and apps. Stops telemetry.
Removes Windows 10 Metro Apps.
Disables Windows Update.
Disables Windows Defender.
Open Source.


Why Windows 10 is spyware?

Because it has all the attributes of spyware (http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=8795613&cid=51581713):


Downloads itself to your machine without you specifically asking for it? YES
Aggressively attempts to install itself taking over your computer in the process? YES
Sends unknown and/or encrypted data to known and unknown third parties? YES
Sends personally identifying information to known and unknown third parties? YES
Easy to remove? NO

In short, it looks like spyware, smells like spyware, walks like spyware and talks like spyware. Windows 10 is spyware.
As a bonus Windows 10 has features of a PUP (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potentially_unwanted_program): it shows ads in the start menu including full screen ads on the lock screen (http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/16/02/24/2345234/windows-10-now-showing-full-screen-ads-on-lock-screen).
Busting Windows 10 myths

There seems to be a good number of myths which are spread on pro-Microsoft forums and websites and I want to take a bit of your time to debunk them.
Windows 10 is more secure than any previous version of Windows
Um, sorry, this is pure BS. Windows 10 offers exactly zero new protection mechanisms to the end user vs. Windows 7. I haven't forgotten that Windows 8/10 apps run a sandbox and they are all verified by Microsoft, that's true, but most of them are made purely for content consumption (so they won't cut it for power users), besides people will still download executables from the Internet and run them relentlessly. Normally you should never run Windows without a decent antivirus installed (Microsoft Security Essentials is not an AV your can rely on, in fact you're crazy if you believe it protects you). Head to av-comparatives and check out their real world tests (http://www.av-comparatives.org/dynamic-tests/) to see what's best for you. According to various AV comparisons MS Security Essentials misses over 10% of in-the-wild viruses (i.e. over five hundred new viruses every day).
The truth is there are some new security (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_10#System_security) features but they are invisible for most users out there.
Windows 10 is a more modern OS
Hey, what does it mean it's more modern? How exactly do Windows 7 and 8 differ from Windows 10? This is yet another BS claim from the Microsoft fanboys. DirectX 12? There are just two games being developed for DX12 right now. 99.99% of the games which are being published at the moment will be DirectX 9/11 games so your Windows 7/8 system will perfectly run them. Of, course there's the Universal Windows Platform but if you're not into Metro apps it means nothing to you.
Windows 10 is faster
According to this (http://www.techspot.com/review/1042-windows-10-vs-windows-8-vs-windows-7/), this (http://www.neowin.net/news/hp-elitebook-1020-performance-windows-81-vs-windows-10) and this (http://www.dualshockers.com/2015/07/30/windows-10-vs-windows-8-1-gaming-benchmark-comparison-which-os-grants-better-performance/) there's no discernible difference between Windows 7, 8 and 10. Windows 10 features an improved memory handling for certain multithreaded applications like WinRAR but most other applications have the same performance.
"I have installed Windows 10 and it feels faster", right, like with every Windows release it feels fast when you install it from scratch. Then, strangely, it slows down significantly.
I have nothing to hide - let them track me!
Robin Doherty has a nice piece on this issue: "Why privacy is important (http://robindoherty.com/2016/01/06/nothing-to-hide.html), and having "nothing to hide" is irrelevant". Also you might want to read about the implications of real life surveillance (https://www.reddit.com/r/changemyview/comments/1fv4r6/i_believe_the_government_should_be_allowed_to/cd89cqr).
Here's an insightful comment (http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=8795613&cid=51582009) I cannot agree more with:
"Microsoft has given themselves the right to do remote administration and data gathering ... and for all but the ones which can select Security, they'll do it in such a way that they can personally identify you. Oh, and apparently they'll gather some of your documents as well. No fucking way we can trust them with this, because as soon as they have the ability to tell your computer to package up some data and send it to them, some asshole in law enforcement is going to demand they misuse it. And don't say they won't, because that's exactly the kind of shit law enforcement and the security agencies are doing. No way they won't show up with an NSL (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_security_letter) demanding information and forbidding Microsoft from admitting to it."

I've got Windows 10 preinstalled on my PC/laptop, I hate it, what should I do?

If you do value your freedom, privacy and ability to control your OS, not the other way around, you've get these options:


Downgrade to Windows 8.1 or even better to Windows 7 which contains zero privacy invasion features. Make sureyou have automatic updates set to "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them". Review and research every non-security update before installing it. Also you might want to disable telemetry bits (https://voat.co/v/technology/comments/853510)and upgrade elements in Windows 7/8 - use with caution.
If everything you do on your PC is web browsing, watching online videos and listening to online music, give Linux a try (http://itvision.altervista.org/best-linux-distro-this-year.html). You don't even have to install it to try it - it can be trivially run from your USB flash drive without touching your OS or personal data. Linux is slowly becoming a nice alternative (http://betanews.com/2015/12/30/microsoft-ubuntu-windows-10-2015/) to Windows.
Migrate to MacOS which is the most expensive option but the most viable at the moment because Linux is not exactly perfect.

In conclusion

Just before you call me anti-Microsoft, a Linux shill, zealot or fanatic, here's a wonderful list (http://itvision.altervista.org/why.linux.is.not.ready.for.the.desktop.current.htm l) of Linux problems that I've been compiling over the past six years. The truth is I don't plead allegiance to any OS on the market. So, sorry, Windows 10 sucks no less than Linux sucks, it just sucks differently. So far, Microsoft has had two great modern OSes: Windows XP and Windows 7 (in the past they had rock solid Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000).
I have no attitude towards MacOS X, because I've never had a chance to use it, however from what I've seen on screenshots this OS has the worst fonts antialiasing among any existing OSes - I actually refuse to try it because I don't want to hurt my eyes.
I'm not a journalist and I've never been one.
P.S. If you want to reinforce your love towards Microsoft and Windows 10 go to neowin.net - this website has thousands of raving idiots who dribble and moan with excitement from everything made by Microsoft.
Some guy from game-debate dot com rewrote this article in an easy-to-understand (http://www.game-debate.com/blog/index.php?b_id=19188) way.


http://itvision.altervista.org/why-windows-10-sucks.html

David Guyatt
05-09-2016, 11:08 AM
Thank god I don't use Microsoft and Windows anymore. But it looks to me as though the writing is on the wall and I wonder if Mac will soon go the same way? In which case I'll have to switch to an open source software like Linux because there's no damn way I'm allowing the computer I buy to be used against me like Microsoft are doing to their customers. Such arrogance.

Peter Lemkin
05-09-2016, 01:01 PM
If you still use Windows 7 or 8/8.1 remove some 'fixes' listed here : https://www.hackread.com/microsoft-updates-spy-on-windows7-8-users/
and here http://www.infoworld.com/article/2981947/microsoft-windows/the-truth-about-windows-7-and-81-spy-patches-kb-3068708-3022345-3075249-and-3080149.html

You can NOT really undo the spying on Win 10 - it is built into the program and you can not control how they change the program anymore.....welcome to the future you dreaded would come.

Mac is still safe, I think ::coffeesplutter::...and Linux is, as well....MS sold out long ago...long, long ago!

Linux now even has a special 'flavor' just for those who need EXTRA security!

Lauren Johnson
05-09-2016, 02:38 PM
Guess why MS is giving Windows 10 away for free (as an upgrade).

Magda Hassan
05-09-2016, 02:51 PM
Guess why MS is giving Windows 10 away for free (as an upgrade).

Yep.

Albert Doyle
05-09-2016, 03:21 PM
I was going to post wherever I could to avoid Windows 10. It has destroyed my computer in the last 4 months. I have had to do 2 complete factory restores and now they inform me I need to do a 3rd. My speed is down to 2.5 Megabites per second while my Vista laptop on the same isp gets 33. Microsoft and its proprietary interests have now reached a new level and they are getting rough with their customers.


No hacker, troll, virus spreader has caused me more hell and computer disruption than Microsoft Corporation and if there is any group that starts a class action lawsuit against Microsoft they can count me in as first in line.


Tech support tells me it is because Windows 10 is massive and cannot be run by any computer that is not factory built with it.


In the next week I am going to have to do a painstaking recovery the tech told me took him 18 hours and he knows computers.


The US government and its corporate extensions is an evil empire.

Lauren Johnson
05-09-2016, 03:36 PM
I was going to post wherever I could to avoid Windows 10. It has destroyed my computer in the last 4 months. I have had to do 2 complete factory restores and now they inform me I need to do a 3rd. My speed is down to 2.5 Megabites per second while my Vista laptop on the same isp gets 33. Microsoft and its proprietary interests have now reached a new level and they are getting rough with their customers.


No hacker, troll, virus spreader has caused me more hell and computer disruption than Microsoft Corporation and if there is any group that starts a class action lawsuit against Microsoft they can count me in as first in line.


Tech support tells me it is because Windows 10 is massive and cannot be run by any computer that is not factory built with it.


In the next week I am going to have to do a painstaking recovery the tech told me took him 18 hours and he knows computers.


The US government and its corporate extensions is an evil empire.

You an still buy Windows 7 which is pretty good and not a spyware operating system minus the updates the Peter mentions. Maybe do an install with it.

Albert Doyle
05-09-2016, 03:58 PM
The Supreme Court has now allowed corporations as people to now do whatever the heck they want and run as pirate organizations.


You can be sure Microsoft will stop supporting Windows 7 as a rough move to force people towards Windows 10. They now plan these rough moves in order to incur more revenue from the percentage of people who will purchase new hardware instead of dealing with the intentional problems caused by Windows 10. Microsoft engineers are not stupid, so you can be sure this move wasn't accidental. The membrane of consumer protection against this pirate-like action is non-existent. Microsoft already dropped the perfectly functional XP operating system.


Time to dump Microsoft and teach a painful consumer lesson.

Lauren Johnson
05-09-2016, 05:06 PM
Time to dump Microsoft and teach a painful consumer lesson.

I still use Win7 but I know the time is coming. I have feeling that any software that does not allow spying will labeled as terrorist software.

Peter Lemkin
05-09-2016, 06:52 PM
Windows 10 is on about half a billion computers now (and growing)....if, as I suspect, MS has an agreement with 'THEM' that if there were a 'national emergency' and thus 'needed' they could now with the automatic updates in Win 10 that you can NOT stop and are not even informed about, change it into a total spy program on all those computers and likely those connected nearby in certain circumstances. Even as it is now, when you push 'yes' to agree to the EULA for getting Win 10, MS can take ANY file out of your computer and inspect it in their facilities [!] if they claim it is suspected of causing some activities MS feels is dangerous to their program (and you do not even get informed of this happening!).

Madness. A company who'd do that, will do anything. ::face.palm::....they already have.....

Albert Doyle
05-09-2016, 08:05 PM
The Staples salesman told me they are no longer going to sell discs for data storage because of a move towards cyber data storage.

Magda Hassan
05-09-2016, 10:36 PM
You an still buy Windows 7 which is pretty good and not a spyware operating system minus the updates the Peter mentions. Maybe do an install with it.




Time to dump Microsoft and teach a painful consumer lesson.



I still use Win7 but I know the time is coming. I have feeling that any software that does not allow spying will labeled as terrorist software.

Don't worry about changing to a different version of MS. That's just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Just make a complete break from them and go Linux. Recommended reading Richard Stallman 'Free Software Free Society'. There are some lovely easy to use versions of Linux around now.

Lauren Johnson
05-10-2016, 05:45 AM
The Staples salesman told me they are no longer going to sell discs for data storage because of a move towards cyber data storage.

Are you saying they don't sell hard drives? What do you mean by "disks?" This can't be.

Peter Lemkin
05-10-2016, 07:02 AM
I think he likely meant CD/DVD/Blueray disks; however, the trend of 'cloud computer storage' is frightening. It is hard enough to protect the privacy of information ON one's own computer these days. If it is in some 'cloud' you can bet your bippie, the NSA has it stored en toto, as well....with your name and IP, address and ALL your personal bio and personal data attached to it. Brave New World / 1984.

Magda Hassan
05-10-2016, 07:27 AM
..... however, the trend of 'cloud computer storage' is frightening. It is hard enough to protect the privacy of information ON one's own computer these days. If it is in some 'cloud' you can bet your bippie, the NSA has it stored en toto, as well....with your name and IP, address and ALL your personal bio and personal data attached to it. Brave New World / 1984.

Yes, the fluffy white 'cloud' is as evil as all shit. More like a big black dungeon where all your personal data is held ransom. Have nothing to do with it or any Service as a Software Substitute (SaSS).

David Guyatt
05-10-2016, 10:49 AM
There's no way I'll ever use the cloud to store anything --- even my large collection of multicoloured angel's wings. If the day arrives when I don't have access to hard drive devices - and I can well imagine that day will come - then that's the day I either toss all computers in the river or find an alternative means of storage.

But bigod, can we all see where this is going. It's the younger generation that won't know any different; computers that spy on you by contract; that collect and analyse every bit of data available and only cloud storage will be standard. And due to the dumbing down and propaganda of the media, no one will think it at all wrong or unusual.

And imagine that day when the odd quirky person does hold his/her privacy to be important. They'll be castigated as dangerous social misfits... cerebral terrorists or worse.

Peter Lemkin
05-10-2016, 12:32 PM
There's no way I'll ever use the cloud to store anything --- even my large collection of multicoloured angel's wings. If the day arrives when I don't have access to hard drive devices - and I can well imagine that day will come - then that's the day I either toss all computers in the river or find an alternative means of storage.

But bigod, can we all see where this is going. It's the younger generation that won't know any different; computers that spy on you by contract; that collect and analyse every bit of data available and only cloud storage will be standard. And due to the dumbing down and propaganda of the media, no one will think it at all wrong or unusual.

And imagine that day when the odd quirky person does hold his/her privacy to be important. They'll be castigated as dangerous social misfits... cerebral terrorists or worse.

Yes, generally the younger generations already are used to everything being sucked up from their 'smart'phones and other mobile devices and on their computers use cloud storage and Windows, etc. without a thought...feeling they have 'nothing to hide'. The trend is obvious..first make everything anyone does on a digital device feed directly into electronic-espionage-central; then they will find a way to read one's thoughts and intentions. Freedom will be something gone with the wind..... for us oldsters, a memory of times past; for the younger generations, the new 'normal'.

By the way, come December 2016 in the USA, using Tor or other similar software will be ILLEGAL. They are thinking of making all encryption also illegal soon by legislation in the USA....with the EU surely to follow a few years after, all in the name of anti-terrorism and national security. Ha!

David Guyatt
05-10-2016, 12:50 PM
There's no way I'll ever use the cloud to store anything --- even my large collection of multicoloured angel's wings. If the day arrives when I don't have access to hard drive devices - and I can well imagine that day will come - then that's the day I either toss all computers in the river or find an alternative means of storage.

But bigod, can we all see where this is going. It's the younger generation that won't know any different; computers that spy on you by contract; that collect and analyse every bit of data available and only cloud storage will be standard. And due to the dumbing down and propaganda of the media, no one will think it at all wrong or unusual.

And imagine that day when the odd quirky person does hold his/her privacy to be important. They'll be castigated as dangerous social misfits... cerebral terrorists or worse.

Yes, generally the younger generations already are used to everything being sucked up from their 'smart'phones and other mobile devices and on their computers use cloud storage and Windows, etc. without a thought...feeling they have 'nothing to hide'. The trend is obvious..first make everything anyone does on a digital device feed directly into electronic-espionage-central; then they will find a way to read one's thoughts and intentions. Freedom will be something gone with the wind..... for us oldsters, a memory of times past; for the younger generations, the new 'normal'.

By the way, come December 2016 in the USA, using Tor or other similar software will be ILLEGAL. They are thinking of making all encryption also illegal soon by legislation in the USA....with the EU surely to follow a few years after, all in the name of anti-terrorism and national security. Ha!

That's certainly their aim, I'm sure.

But I harbour a snaky suspicion the whole damn edifice is going to crumble in the not too distant future - and with it the ongoing social control/thought manipulation project of the western elite. Anything they create is ultimately doomed to failure imo, because it's created for the wrong, selfish reasons and therefore has an in-built jack-in-the-box waiting in the wings ready to pop out when least expected and explode things.

Peter Lemkin
05-10-2016, 03:39 PM
That's certainly their aim, I'm sure.

But I harbour a snaky suspicion the whole damn edifice is going to crumble in the not too distant future - and with it the ongoing social control/thought manipulation project of the western elite. Anything they create is ultimately doomed to failure imo, because it's created for the wrong, selfish reasons and therefore has an in-built jack-in-the-box waiting in the wings ready to pop out when least expected and explode things.

Insha'Allah!...if not we are all in for a very dark electronic [and other] Police State World very shortly.

Michael Barwell
05-10-2016, 04:26 PM
Human Terrain; no biggie, they just want everything & anything about you & in real-time so you're set-up to be knocked down. Ref - "There are only two types of people; hunters, & farmers". Nice line that, says it all about them.

Albert Doyle
05-15-2016, 08:52 PM
Found out today my computer problems with Windows 10 arose because my manufacturer decided not to make any updates for my computer for Windows 10. There was never any chance Windows 10 would have worked in my computer, which explains why I was having serious problems with it.

Lauren Johnson
05-15-2016, 10:24 PM
Found out today my computer problems with Windows 10 arose because my manufacturer decided not to make any updates for my computer for Windows 10. There was never any chance Windows 10 would have worked in my computer, which explains why I was having serious problems with it.

Now that's just frickin' weird! ::pullhairout::

But Windows updates from the Windows website. I don't get it.

Albert Doyle
05-15-2016, 11:57 PM
The hardware in my computer needed adaptations to accommodate Windows 10 because it is a much larger than normal operating system. Not mechanical adaptations but software updates. My manufacturer did not issue any software updates for Windows 10 for any computer older than two and a half years. I missed it by 2 months and got screwed because without those updates it wasn't possible for Windows 10 to ever work on my machine - which explains why it gave me nothing but hell. There's two types of updates. Windows and your manufacturer's. If your manufacturer doesn't bother to develop the necessary updates you're screwed!

Lauren Johnson
05-16-2016, 12:17 AM
The hardware in my computer needed adaptations to accommodate Windows 10 because it is a much larger than normal operating system. Not mechanical adaptations but software updates. My manufacturer did not issue any software updates for Windows 10 for any computer older than two and a half years. I missed it by 2 months and got screwed because without those updates it wasn't possible for Windows 10 to ever work on my machine - which explains why it gave me nothing but hell. There's two types of updates. Windows and your manufacturer's. If your manufacturer doesn't bother to develop the necessary updates you're screwed!

Oh, yah. Drivers for the various motherboard etc. devices. That sucks. It reminds me the old days with a new version of DOS. That saying was, "DOS isn't 'til Lotus won't run."

Peter Lemkin
05-16-2016, 04:52 AM
Computer manufacturers usually [not exclusively] supply the needed drivers; MS or whoever built your OS supplies the updates and 'fixes'. Win 10 is supposed to update automatically and without you being able to opt out or control it. It also changes over time and you can't change that either.
I again strongly suggest you either revert back to Win 7 [removing all spyware listed in the urls above I posted], or better, move over to either Mac or best Linux - such as Ubuntu. Everything you can do in Windows one can do in Linux - often better...and you can move all of your files from one to the other. You will, yes, have to learn some new software and how to use the system [Linux takes more work than does MS]...but not that much - and one is not spied on and on has control over what you do and don't do. A Linux system can look into a Windows hard drive and take out needed files and bring them into the corresponding Linux program for use. The last option is to run MS on Linux as a 'virtual machine'. This is work to set up, but after is like the original, minus the spying - but even if you do that, use Win 7 and not Win 10...which is built to be spyware and to be totally out of one's control. They are giving it out free or upgrading to it for free likely because there is money in being able to see into your machine or someone else has paid them to make this offer...such as the NSA and that type of entity.

David Guyatt
05-16-2016, 08:20 AM
Computer manufacturers usually [not exclusively] supply the needed drivers; MS or whoever built your OS supplies the updates and 'fixes'. Win 10 is supposed to update automatically and without you being able to opt out or control it. It also changes over time and you can't change that either.
I again strongly suggest you either revert back to Win 7 [removing all spyware listed in the urls above I posted], or better, move over to either Mac or best Linux - such as Ubuntu. Everything you can do in Windows one can do in Linux - often better...and you can move all of your files from one to the other. You will, yes, have to learn some new software and how to use the system [Linux takes more work than does MS]...but not that much - and one is not spied on and on has control over what you do and don't do. A Linux system can look into a Windows hard drive and take out needed files and bring them into the corresponding Linux program for use. The last option is to run MS on Linux as a 'virtual machine'. This is work to set up, but after is like the original, minus the spying - but even if you do that, use Win 7 and not Win 10...which is built to be spyware and to be totally out of one's control. They are giving it out free or upgrading to it for free likely because there is money in being able to see into your machine or someone else has paid them to make this offer...such as the NSA and that type of entity.

I can speak about Linux, but the Mac operating system is very easy to use and very rarely gets viruses etc. I'd recommend it as an alternative to Microsoft anyday.

Peter Lemkin
05-16-2016, 11:56 AM
Computer manufacturers usually [not exclusively] supply the needed drivers; MS or whoever built your OS supplies the updates and 'fixes'. Win 10 is supposed to update automatically and without you being able to opt out or control it. It also changes over time and you can't change that either.
I again strongly suggest you either revert back to Win 7 [removing all spyware listed in the urls above I posted], or better, move over to either Mac or best Linux - such as Ubuntu. Everything you can do in Windows one can do in Linux - often better...and you can move all of your files from one to the other. You will, yes, have to learn some new software and how to use the system [Linux takes more work than does MS]...but not that much - and one is not spied on and on has control over what you do and don't do. A Linux system can look into a Windows hard drive and take out needed files and bring them into the corresponding Linux program for use. The last option is to run MS on Linux as a 'virtual machine'. This is work to set up, but after is like the original, minus the spying - but even if you do that, use Win 7 and not Win 10...which is built to be spyware and to be totally out of one's control. They are giving it out free or upgrading to it for free likely because there is money in being able to see into your machine or someone else has paid them to make this offer...such as the NSA and that type of entity.

I can speak about Linux, but the Mac operating system is very easy to use and very rarely gets viruses etc. I'd recommend it as an alternative to Microsoft anyday.

Yes, on a computer coding basis, Mac and Linux are very similar, and either are very very very rarely subject to malware or viruses [to the point of almost never]. Mac has the better 'look' and ability to handle better [4K] monitors and visuals; Linux is cheaper, and open source...in case Mac decides to sell out some day. Either is a viable option vs. Windoz now. Linux will work on any machine that runs Windows and one can wean oneself off of Windows by 'dual booting' [having both operating systems on the same disk or on two disks in the same computer] until you can transfer important information and trust/skills to Linux entirely. I'm not sure about dual booting with Mac for the average person.......not easy even for an expert.

Dawn Meredith
05-17-2016, 01:47 PM
Erick and both have new computers and we specifically said we did not want Windows 10. But the damn program just pops up. Earlier I got a pop up telling me it was going to automatically download May 18- tomorrow. So am unplugging from the net before I go to bed tonight and when I am at court tomorrow. This is fucking bullshit.

Meanwhile our kindle's did have some new update that was necessary to use the thing but Erick could not download it...Need to get this fixed before summer vacation which is when I use my kindle. He thinks it is a scam to make us buy a second kindle. An upgrade.

Lauren Johnson
05-17-2016, 04:45 PM
To keep Windows from automatically updating, go to this place:

Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Update > Change Settings

The option I like is "Search for updates but do not download and install them."

Michael Barwell
05-17-2016, 04:48 PM
To keep Windows from automatically updating, go to this place:

Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Update > Change Settings

The option I like is "Search for updates but do not download and install them."

Love to, but 'cos 'phones, computers an' the 'net are now considered essential, I have none of these things, for that same reason.
Like the Quote.

Peter Lemkin
05-17-2016, 05:50 PM
To keep Windows from automatically updating, go to this place:

Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Update > Change Settings

The option I like is "Search for updates but do not download and install them."

Works [to some extent] in Win 7 and 8/8.1 - does NOT work in Win 10! Also, many [not all] of the updates are spyware - see the url's I listed at the beginning. They must not be installed - ever - and if installed they MUST be removed or your system is their system! With Windows 10 - your system is their system and there is nothing you can do about it........you have actually unknowingly given your rights about this away when you hit 'yes' to the Win 10 EULA install button.

Lauren Johnson
05-17-2016, 06:05 PM
To keep Windows from automatically updating, go to this place:

Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Update > Change Settings

The option I like is "Search for updates but do not download and install them."

Works [to some extent] in Win 7 and 8/8.1 - does NOT work in Win 10! Also, many [not all] of the updates are spyware - see the url's I listed at the beginning. They must not be installed - ever - and if installed they MUST be removed or your system is their system! With Windows 10 - your system is their system and there is nothing you can do about it........you have actually unknowingly given your rights about this away when you hit 'yes' to the Win 10 EULA install button.

If Dawn already has Win 10 machine, yes. I thought she was getting a "free" upgrade to 10 from 7.

Dawn, are you running Win 10. Oh wait, she can't read this. ::headbang::

Peter Lemkin
05-18-2016, 03:34 AM
To keep Windows from automatically updating, go to this place:

Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Update > Change Settings

The option I like is "Search for updates but do not download and install them."

Works [to some extent] in Win 7 and 8/8.1 - does NOT work in Win 10! Also, many [not all] of the updates are spyware - see the url's I listed at the beginning. They must not be installed - ever - and if installed they MUST be removed or your system is their system! With Windows 10 - your system is their system and there is nothing you can do about it........you have actually unknowingly given your rights about this away when you hit 'yes' to the Win 10 EULA install button.

If Dawn already has Win 10 machine, yes. I thought she was getting a "free" upgrade to 10 from 7.

Dawn, are you running Win 10. Oh wait, she can't read this. ::headbang::

It is possible to DOWNGRADE from Windows 10 back to Windows 7 - but one would still have to look for the spyware 'updates' and remove any [described in the two url's near beginning of thread]. There are 'how-to's on the internet as to how to downgrade. Here is one: http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/how-to/windows/how-downgrade-windows-10-uninstall-win-10-reinstall-windows-7-8-summary-3633149/
However, I see some warnings that if you've had a Windows 10 upgrade for more than a month, it can not be easily downgraded. This is likely complex and depends on many factors. In the worst case, it is possible to make a copy of your disk, uninstall Win 10 in the original disk. Install Windows 7 and then migrate the contents [your own information, not the programs] from the copy to the new installation...but this will take a little work and skill....and suggest you have a computer savvy person help or do this for you so you don't loose all your information! Bottom line - if less than a month since upgrade: easy to go back to Win 7. If it was a new install of Win 10 or upgrade past one month old, it gets more difficult, but is still possible.

Albert Doyle
05-25-2016, 06:26 PM
New laptops are now much more lighter and trimmer because they no longer contain recordable media hardware or ports.


Manufacturers have teamed-up with the interests of government agencies in removing recordable media in favor of cloud storage. So the private business sector has now combined interests with government in formulating technology at the expense of rights. Of course the justification would be removing the need to consume materials for CD discs and burning hardware etc. However the interest of government having all data in one place where it could monitor it is never admitted. Corporations directly save money by offering less while selling your rights to the devil as a combined interest.


These massively powerful and wealthy corporations are selling themselves as the victims of market forces and as only doing what they are forced to do by those market forces.

Lauren Johnson
06-02-2016, 05:08 AM
PC World (http://www.pcworld.com/article/3073457/windows/how-microsofts-nasty-new-windows-10-pop-up-tricks-you-into-upgrading.html)

This morning, the unthinkable happened: My wife, an avowed PC user who long ago swore to never touch an Apple device, started shopping around for a Mac Mini. And it’s all thanks to Windows 10. Or rather, the nasty new way that Microsoft’s tricking Windows 7 and 8 users into automatically updating to Windows 10.
I adore Windows 10, but I’ve long been a vocal critic of the heavy-handed tactics (http://www.pcworld.com/article/3024278/windows/you-will-upgrade-to-windows-10-inside-microsofts-strong-arm-upgrade-tactics.html) that Microsoft’s been using to force people into the upgrade, all to hit a goal of migrating 1 billion users (http://www.pcworld.com/article/2916479/microsoft-wants-windows-10-on-one-billion-devices-in-three-years.html) to an operating system brimming with freemium services and ads (http://www.pcworld.com/article/2957365/windows/why-windows-10-isnt-really-free-the-subtle-new-world-of-built-in-costs.html). The annoying “Get Windows 10” pop-up began using deceiving malware-like tactics (http://www.pcworld.com/article/3014238/windows/get-windows-10-prompt-adopts-malware-like-tactics-to-trick-you-into-upgrading.html)months ago, but it recently received an overhaul that seems purposefully designed to confuse users who have been wearily slogging through the nagging for half a year now.
That nasty trick resulted in my wife’s beloved Windows 7 PC being sneakily upgraded to Windows 10 this morning. Sure, she has 30 days to roll it back to Windows 7 (http://www.pcworld.com/article/2960692/windows/how-to-uninstall-windows-10-and-go-back-to-windows-7-or-8.html), but she feels so betrayed—like Microsoft forcibly removed her control over her own PC—that she’s strongly considering embracing the Dark Side and buying a Mac, instead.
Even worse, the process can kick off automatically if you don’t touch a thing on your computer.
UPDATE: Further reading: How to escape the Windows 10 update you mistakenly agreed to (http://www.pcworld.com/article/3074339/windows/how-to-escape-that-forced-windows-10-upgrade-you-mistakenly-agreed-to.html) and How to go back to Windows 7 or 8 after an unwanted Windows 10 upgrade (http://www.pcworld.com/article/3074020/windows/how-to-go-back-to-windows-7-or-8-after-an-unwanted-windows-10-upgrade.html)

The change

In December, the Get Windows 10 (GWX) pop-up changed its verbiage in a way that mimicked malware: The only immediate options were to “Upgrade Now” or “Start download, upgrade later.” An offer you can’t refuse! The wording changed slightly since then, but the only way to decline the upgrade has been the same: By clicking the X button in the GWX pop-up’s right-hand corner and closing the window.
View image on Twitter (http://twitter.com/BradChacos/status/675122217940860928/photo/1)https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CV6EB_1WEAAxf6Y.jpg (http://twitter.com/BradChacos/status/675122217940860928/photo/1)



Follow (https://twitter.com/BradChacos)
https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/672533601297256449/wYZN_awq_normal.pngBrad Chacos
✔‎@BradChacos (https://twitter.com/BradChacos)

On a Windows 8.1 PC. Mostly full screen pop-up. No clear "No thanks" button, just download Windows 10 now or later.
5:17 PM - 10 Dec 2015 (https://twitter.com/BradChacos/status/675122217940860928)



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Earlier this year, however, Microsoft pushed the Windows 10 download out as aRecommended update (http://www.pcworld.com/article/3028957/windows/microsoft-starts-recommended-update-roll-out-for-windows-10.html). That means anybody using the default Windows Update setting—as you should be!—automatically received the installation bits and a prompt to install the new OS, which again could only be refused by exiting via the X in the corner of the pop-up’s window.
Last week, Microsoft altered the GWX prompt, as ZDNet (http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-makes-saying-no-to-windows-10-update-a-little-easier/) covered. On the surface, it’s an improvement; the box clearly states when your PC will be upgraded, and even adds a (still small and easily skippable) line that allows you to reschedule or change the upgrade timing. So far so good!
http://images.techhive.com/images/article/2016/05/gwx-new-100662456-large.png
(https://cms-images.idgesg.net/images/article/2016/05/gwx-new-100662456-orig.png)LumpyMayoBNI via Reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/pcmasterrace/comments/4k6tms/psa_closing_the_upgrade_to_windows_10_box_now/)But here’s the icky part: The redesigned GWX pop-up now treats exiting the window as consent for the Windows 10 upgrade.
So after more than half a year of teaching people that the only way to say “no thanks” to Windows 10 is to exit the GWX application—and refusing to allow users to disable the pop-up in any obvious manner, so they had to press that X over and over again during those six months to the point that most people probably just click it without reading now—Microsoft just made it so that very behavior accepts the Windows 10 upgrade instead, rather than canceling it.
That’s gross.
And if you don’t find that small link to reschedule or cancel the Windows 10 upgrade—or, say, if the pop up appears while you’re away from your computer—your system will automatically begin the process at the scheduled time. In other words, your PC can potentially upgrade to Windows 10 without you asking it to or explicitly approving the upgrade.
That’s gross, too.
Fallout and prevention

PC users are already up in arms (https://www.reddit.com/r/pcmasterrace/comments/4k6tms/psa_closing_the_upgrade_to_windows_10_box_now/) over it, and rightfully so. By now, every existing Windows 7 and 8 user has seen and declined the Windows 10 update numerous times. By forcing out Windows 10 as a Recommended update and changing the behavior associated with exiting the GWX pop-up, Microsoft’s actively striving to push the operating system on people who actively don’t want it.
Worse, these under-handed tactics are encouraging Windows 7 and 8 users to disable Windows Updates all together, which leaves their systems more vulnerable to attackers who exploit security flaws.


Follow (https://twitter.com/PeteSkerritt)
https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/734485673319751684/hObmViIr_normal.jpgPeter Skerritt ‎@PeteSkerritt (https://twitter.com/PeteSkerritt)

Why I completely disabled all updates on my laptop, right here.https://twitter.com/BradChacos/status/734350641561251841 … (https://t.co/UbMT4ckZpw)
7:45 AM - 22 May 2016 (https://twitter.com/PeteSkerritt/status/734394825315880960) · West Springfield, MA, United States (https://twitter.com/search?q=place%3Aff074e1ff3c7a5c8)



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33 Retweets (https://twitter.com/intent/retweet?tweet_id=734394825315880960)

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That certainly stops Microsoft’s nagging, deceptive pop-ups, but I’d recommend installing the free GWX Control Panel tool (http://ultimateoutsider.com/downloads/) instead. It lets you remove and disable the upgrade prompts all together—though it’s a shame that you have to resort to third-party tools to keep your operating system from hijacking itself. Update: Several users have also written me to suggest Never10 (https://www.grc.com/never10.htm) by famed security researcher Steve Gibson as an easier to use GWX Control Panel alternative.
Again: I personally use and love Windows 10. It’s great (http://www.pcworld.com/article/2950916/windows/windows-10-review-its-familiar-its-powerful-but-the-edge-browser-falls-short.html)! But deploying these dirty tricks only frustrates long-time Windows users who have very valid reasons (http://www.pcworld.com/article/2952888/windows/windows-7-holdouts-why-diehard-users-refuse-to-move-to-windows-10.html) to stick with operating systems they already know and love. And thanks to the deceitful new update, there’s a very high chance that my wife will be a new OS X convert by the end of the day. You may have ostensibly achieved another Windows 10 upgrade to pad your adoption stats, Microsoft, but you very well may have lost a lifelong PC user who swore she’d never switch to Apple.
Which means that I might have to learn how to troubleshoot Macs.
Dammit, Microsoft.
Update: Here’s some user feedback after I received after tweeting about the issue this morning.


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https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/660998387878092800/kRJO8Dx6_normal.jpgTrevor Darby ‎@MakingTrevenue (https://twitter.com/MakingTrevenue)

@BradChacos (https://twitter.com/BradChacos) Work at a repair shop. So many customers called complaining about how they hit the "X" as usual and got upgraded to Windows 10.
10:33 AM - 22 May 2016 (https://twitter.com/MakingTrevenue/status/734437164826533889)



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1111 Retweets (https://twitter.com/intent/retweet?tweet_id=734437164826533889)

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22 May (https://twitter.com/Tihusky/status/734430466535792640)
https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/705472587900399617/wzws529U_normal.jpgばかなハスキー ‎@Tihusky (https://twitter.com/Tihusky)

Why is everyone's computer randomly updating to Windows 10? Are they not giving a choice now?




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https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/734258669039259648/QHVG1Ha-_normal.jpgRachel Wülfe ‎@AberdorkUnited (https://twitter.com/AberdorkUnited)

@Tihusky (https://twitter.com/Tihusky) Apparently this is what's up;https://twitter.com/BradChacos/status/734350641561251841 … (https://t.co/LYSThfO3uE)
10:32 AM - 22 May 2016 (https://twitter.com/AberdorkUnited/status/734436845384269825)



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https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/716270924975177729/9NK--BF2_normal.jpgAshley ‎@tokenblackchick (https://twitter.com/tokenblackchick)

OMG THIS LITERALLY HAPPENED TO ME THIS MORNING! https://twitter.com/BradChacos/status/734350641561251841 … (https://t.co/ZMYRCXUi6U)
10:32 AM - 22 May 2016 (https://twitter.com/tokenblackchick/status/734436720448409600)



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22 Retweets (https://twitter.com/intent/retweet?tweet_id=734436720448409600)

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22 May (https://twitter.com/jimgaynor/status/734417530274512896)
https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/734530041191620608/jDzFmUxj_normal.jpgJim Gaynor ‎@jimgaynor (https://twitter.com/jimgaynor)

@BradChacos (https://twitter.com/BradChacos) @getwired (https://twitter.com/getwired) Spent an hour at the Farmer's Market, talking w/ a reasonably tech-savvy Mom & Pop biz ready to ditch Windows.




Follow (https://twitter.com/jimgaynor)
https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/734530041191620608/jDzFmUxj_normal.jpgJim Gaynor ‎@jimgaynor (https://twitter.com/jimgaynor)

@BradChacos (https://twitter.com/BradChacos) @getwired (https://twitter.com/getwired) Not because "Mac is better", but because of the heady-handed Win10 tactics, and current shitshow of Win7 updating.
9:18 AM - 22 May 2016 (https://twitter.com/jimgaynor/status/734418161634664448)



(https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?in_reply_to=734418161634664448)

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https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/421471324855209984/zzpTrtcH_normal.jpegGreg Uzelac ‎@GregRexUzelac (https://twitter.com/GregRexUzelac)

@pcworld (https://twitter.com/pcworld) @BradChacos (https://twitter.com/BradChacos) Of the ~10 offices i work at, 4 PCs upgraded last wk. We use w7, so had to roll them bk to 7. Old PCs, ~2.5hrs ea
4:06 PM - 22 May 2016 (https://twitter.com/GregRexUzelac/status/734520888922628096)



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Related:

Dawn Meredith
06-04-2016, 01:54 PM
Erick was sitting in court the other day on his computer and noticed that the damn thing was just uploading on his computer. He immediately shut it down. This stuff is really insidious.

Lauren Johnson
06-05-2016, 06:14 PM
Never 10 (https://www.grc.com/never10.htm) is supposed to stop the automatic update to v 10. Here's a review (http://betanews.com/2016/03/29/never-10-close-look/). Looks good.

Lauren Johnson
06-05-2016, 06:17 PM
Never 10 (https://www.grc.com/never10.htm) is supposed to stop the automatic update to v 10. Here's a review (http://betanews.com/2016/03/29/never-10-close-look/). Looks good.

It took 30 seconds to download and run. Easy peasy.

Dawn Meredith
06-06-2016, 12:53 PM
To keep Windows from automatically updating, go to this place:

Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Update > Change Settings

The option I like is "Search for updates but do not download and install them."


Thanks Lauren. (We have windows 7)

Dawn