Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Quickies: Heads Up, Gentle Readers!

     Because if you haven’t yet heard about this, it’s time that you did:

     For months now, Microsoft has done everything in its power to shove Windows 10 down your throat. The free update is mandatory at this point, and we’ve heard from many Windows users who discovered their computers updated to the newest version automatically, without their knowledge or explicit permission. Microsoft kept offering excuses for these annoying occurrences, and even said it will stop pushing upgrades to Windows users who refuse to hop aboard the Windows 10 train.

     Now, the company has come up with its most evil trick yet to get you to update your PC to Windows 10, and it’s based on the same methodology hackers use to trick people into installing malware.

     Pop-ups often appear when you visit malicious websites and when you click the “X” to close them, malware is installed on your computer. Well, Microsoft just tweaked its Windows 10 upgrade alert pop-up so that the update is triggered when clicking the X, PC World explains.

     I’ve used, and mostly approved of, Microsoft products since 1978: thirty-eight years. I’ve also defended the company against some of the specious criticism it’s received. But this is a step too far. Should this “upgrade” be forced on me, and should it prove incompatible with any of the programs I rely on, I intend to wipe Windows from all my computers and install something else – something that doesn’t allow anyone to override my decisions about what I want or don’t want installed on them.

     Had this been an openly announced policy, I would never have done business with Microsoft. As it is, I feel that my trust has been violated. Such behavior must be punished, lest it become commonplace.


Tim Turner said...

Caveat Emptor.

I'm serious. Microsoft is a business. You are an individual. Don't go whining like a college student when you don't read the fine print.

I know that sounds harsh, but Microsoft is just doing what the government does. They make their OS and delivery systems fit the lowest common denominator.

At least they (unlike Obama) publish ways to avoid or undo the update.

And yes, I agree with you that you could feel justified not wanting to do business with a company that does business this way.

Don't think that Apple is any better. If that other grass isn't any greener, it's partially our fault.

Francis W. Porretto said...

Tim, that's the first wholly idiotic comment you've ever left here.

Caveat Emptor is an excellent guideline...when the terms of the deal are known before the deal is struck. That's not the case in this instance. Moreover, anyone who runs Win 7 and has unknowingly fallen into Microsoft's trap is, as far as I know, unable to undo the upgrade. As of this writing, Microsoft hasn't published any method for backing out.

Even should Microsoft have a corporate attack of conscience and publish a back-away technique, my point stands. Changing the terms after the other party has agreed to the deal has always been regarded as illegal and unethical.

Anonymous said...

Francis, I installed this software https://www.grc.com/never10.htm, it claims to block the arbitrary installation of Windows 10.
Here is a PC World review http://www.pcworld.com/article/3048836/windows/never10-is-a-free-app-for-when-you-absolutely-positively-dont-want-windows-10.html

Weetabix said...

I installed the GWX Control Panel from here:
months ago, and I've been happy with it. I saw it linked at an old computer guy's blog.

Seems to work.

My company has decided to go to 10, and I'm very unhappy about it. I've asked to buy my old machine from them and get a new one with 10. I like 7 and I'm fine with my old machine. Then when the new one with 10 won't let me do things, I can light up the old one.

Moe said...

I also installed the GWX Control Panel. It's been doing a fine job of keeping the devil at bay.


KG said...

I've switched from Apple to Linux, for somewhat similar reasons. Apple has become no better than Microsoft in their behaviour towards customers.
Linux ain't perfect but it sure beats being bullied.

brinster said...

To top it all off, 10 sucks. I upgraded as soon as it was available. Everything was fine for a couple of weeks, then the notification center became inaccessible, Edge has disappeared completely and the Windows menu has also disappeared. Tried numerous fixes, none of which has helped. Stuck in Windows hell.

Linda Fox said...

I have a Macbook, which I am happy enough to not change. However, when it goes, I'll be replacing it with a Linux machine (I'm lucky, I have a Linux-mad brother, who would be happy to install and maintain it - I COULD, but essentially have made a decision NOT to be "up" on all tech).

For traveling, my husband and I have decided to supplement our iPads with a Chromebook and online data/work storage. We'll try sharing, but, if that doesn't work, the Chromebooks are cheap enough that it won't break the bank to buy another.

Eskyman said...

In my not-so-humble opinion, Windows 10 is malware. It doesn't ask permission, it simply installs itself, regardless of your wishes in the matter; it also can severely impact your work but again, that's regardless of your wishes.

I regularly read Dr. Jerry Pournelle's blog Chaos Manor. In it, he describes how this happened to him, and to Larry Niven as well:

"Happened to Larry Niven over the weekend. I need to go out to his house and show him how to get back to work; he’s in shock, and I don’t blame him."