Thursday, May 19, 2016

Is Windows 10 a Scam?

I now have the Windows 10 operating system installed on my personal computer, but I never gave consent or permission. How did that happen?
Microsoft has been aggressively selling users on the benefits of Windows 10. I've been getting pop ups that I should install Windows 10 and upgrade. The best part is that the pop ups don't stop and I can't easily remove them. It's free! Do it before it's too late.

Nothing is ever free. I paid $200 for Windows 7, so how can the newest operating system be free? Last  I checked Microsoft is anything but a charity. I regard it much like the frequent emails I receive from various Nigerian princes. While they're offering me free money, I know it's a scam. These princes want to extort money from me. Nothing is free.

I had relegated myself to closing out the Windows 10 update pop up. I'll wait and see how Windows 10 plays out. It turns out I didn't have to wait. Microsoft changed Windows 10 from an optional update to a recommended update.

Since I have my operating system set to automatically install recommended updates, because the internet is a dangerous and scary place and I want security updates immediately, I got Windows 10 without explicitly granting permission. I was surprised when I return to my computer and the screen displays an in progress install window. Installing what? I didn't click yes to anything!
As an added bonus, I couldn't use my computer for a little over an hour. I was afraid to cold reboot since it was in the middle of installing. I didn't want to lose all of my files.

This is after the revelation that Microsoft was forcing downloads of Windows 10 onto user computers so the install would be ready when users opted in back in September of last year. Microsoft obviously don't care about our consent.

With my computer out of commission, I started a Google search on another system. Apparently 2016.05.16 was when Microsoft decided to force Windows 10 on users. Some had no issues after the upgrade, many did. Microsoft claimed it didn't install Windows 10 without permission, but that's a half truth and the cousin to a lie. Windows 10 is recommended only because Microsoft is trying to meet the goals for it's install base. It became recommended instead of optional so they could install it on more machines. They want millions more installs and when customers didn't agree, Microsoft decided to make it mandatory. In how many weeks will Microsoft release a report that Windows 10 installs have increased exponentially and that customers are as happy as clams?

What about privacy? Do you think Microsoft isn't getting a monetary benefit for the data they mine from your computer through Windows 10? Software takes time to develop. One way or another, the user will pay for that.

During installation I avoided the 'express installation' and opted for custom. This allowed me options to disallow the data tracking. The first thing I did once I regained control of my computer was to uncheck any of the privacy settings not present in installation that are default on that allow Microsoft to track EVERYTHING I do on the computer and send it back to their headquarters. That is a violation of privacy. By default all of the settings are on so that they will track you. Microsoft will track which websites you visit and what you type on the web and will collect data from your computer. Search for Windows 10 privacy settings for tutorials on how to turn the tracking off. While you can turn these settings off, some users have determined that Microsoft is still collecting data even with the settings turned off. There are reports of Windows 10 on an idle machine attempting to connect to various Microsoft related websites to transfer information. I can't personally verify that, but if they are willing to install software I didn't permit, why wouldn't they implement data collection I didn't permit?

I've read some reviews extolling the virtues of Windows 10, but how do I know those reviews weren't a paid advertisement by Microsoft? Is Windows 10 honestly better for me, or just better so Microsoft can track my information? Microsoft has breached my trust by forcing the install of Windows 10. No matter what they say now, I can't help but second guess it. Their comment on the installs without consent was that they wouldn't and didn't do that. That's just double speak. Windows 10 is not a recommended update in the same category as security updates and patches to fix software vulnerabilities.

I do have the option to revert back to Windows 7, that system I paid $200 for and Microsoft decided to remove for me without asking. Once I do that, will I just get a Windows 10 install again in the next recommended update? Will I have to turn off automatic updates and review them manually since I can't trust Microsoft to provide me security updates and just security updates? If I try to revert will an error occur and I lose everything?

What's Linux up to these days?

Added bonus, Windows 10 does not natively support DVD playback. They graciously directed me to their store where I could pay $15 to play DVDS. I have to pay for a feature that should be standard? Fortunately I had Media Player Classic already installed and that program plays DVDs without charging.
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