• Dodging the “Get Windows X” campaign takes more than two Registry changes

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    And there’s no guarantee about future infestations. InfoWorld Woody on Windows
    [See the full post at: Dodging the “Get Windows X” campaign takes more than two Registry changes]

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    • #47962

      It honestly feels like they have become a malware vendor – an adversary you have to continually battle to keep this crap off our systems. I’m not surprised in the least about that stuff posted in their experience blog, i don’t like it at all and i find the statistics mentioned to be creepy (god knows what else they record) but maybe if you want win 10 you’ve got to accept it. However, retroactively infesting win 7 & 8 and then repeatedly ignoring user’s choice to not upgrade is simply not acceptable.

    • #47963

      I know that all of us are getting tired of Microsoft and their games and invasion of our privacy. I’m going to boycott everything Microsoft except for the operating system. I guess I have to use that. That means not using their Email,Skype and other software like Office ETC. So instead of complaining about them I invite all of you to join me in the boycott.
      It won’t do much good if we can’t get others to join us so lets try to get something going instead of complaining. Maybe Microsoft will start listening to their customers instead of spying on us.

    • #47964

      This really bothers me. I’m disabled, widowed, medically disqualified from driving and live in a village with poor public transport links. I rely on my PC and Internet like most people rely on their car and road network. I have to do most things online, including the basics of buying in food and paying bills.

      If Microsoft suddenly forced my PC to change to Windows 10 and as a result it stopped working, my independence would come to and end. That’s before any other issues about learning anything that’s different on Win 10.

      I reverted to Win 7 after finding Win 8 an horrendous OS to use.

      I paid for a licensed version of Win 7 (Professional). I don’t expect a forced “free upgrade” to something I don’t want and so far don’t trust.

    • #47965

      In regards to stop complaining and let’s boycott MS so they will listen sounds good, but going after their bottom line by shunning certain products and services will have little to no effect on their behavior. Campaigners often recommend going after a brand’s reputation or its shareholders as it is far more effective in getting their attention, however as we have seen over the decades MS is a brand that is certainly not ‘loved’ or trusted. Even with all the negative press they get, investors are not spooked for long. The CEO, Satya Nadella, has not suffered any challenge to his leadership. In fact, many believe his current marketing strategy and execution is brilliant.

      Their achilles heel is their arrogance. They do not listen. Those who participated in the W10 Insiders Program will attest to that. Enterprises are the only MS client that have any sway or say. MS is listening to their concerns and delivering in kind.

      The best boycott strategy I have heard so far, is employees writing emails to their boss, IT department and other employees to say why they do not want W10 in the work place. It has to have a set of business reasons – can not be a rant.

    • #47966

      Run GWX Control Panel and get rid of all of the vestiges of the “Get Windows 10” campaign.

      At this point, it’s really that simple. Windows Update will give you some updates that don’t help anybody but Microsoft, and the level of telemetry/snooping sent to Microsoft will increase. We don’t know exactly what or how. But as long as you keep GWX off your machine, you won’t be coerced into changing to Windows 10.

    • #47967

      Why don’t we do both? You talk to everyone you know about sending Emails to their bosses and I will talk to every one I know about boycotting Microsoft Products?
      By the way why not buy a tablet for your daily Internet browsing and not using Windows or any Microsoft product?
      Get an android tablet OS.
      Why don’t you weigh in here? What do you think? Are we just wasting our time or not?

    • #47968

      I don’t think you’re wasting your time, but I think you’ll be disappointed by the results.

      Microsoft is looking at hundreds of millions of converts. They know there’s a vocal minority, but their marketing techniques have brought a whole lot of people into the Win10 fold. I think the GWX effort stinks, and I’ll continue to expose it as best I can. But I think a boycott isn’t going to net much. What’s required is a lot of educated people making informed decisions – and I’m fighting hard on the “informed” part, too.

      Over the longer term – say, five years – I see Win7 being marginalized, much as XP is today. Microsoft will let it die. They have no incentive to make it better. So for people who are satisfied with Win7, they should stick with Win7. For those willing to take the plunge to a more invasive OS, over time, the choices between Windows 10, OS X, ChromeOS, iOS and Android will have more to do with the way people work, affordability of hardware, and availability of apps, than with OS software.

      So, yes, by all means, start your grass roots boycott! Just realize that you’re swimming against a very strong tide.

    • #47969

      Jack, I am not one for organised boycotts. I was just referring to some things I have heard that people are resorting to in regards to W10 in the workplace. To be honest I do not think you are they have a hope in hell of influencing MS or their companies to change course.

    • #47970

      Woody: I can foresee what seems to be the inevitable, however in the interim I’ve proceeded to install the GWX Control Panel which showed I had NO Win 10 crap-ware on my Win 7, and I will continue to use it. I’ve always liked Corel better than MS Word, however most people use MS Word.

      It feels as if I’m treading water, however as long as I can stay afloat I will continue to avoid the Win 10 at all costs. I have very ambivalent feelings about ALL MS updates.

      Thank you for your continued guidance in dealing with these problems. You have helped us all so much!! 🙂

    • #47971

      I will avoid the invasive choices you mentioned by moving to Linux when my back is to the wall. Right now, the Linux Mint distro is the leading candidate for my next OS.

    • #47972

      Me too! But GWX CP says that I am safe so far.

    • #47973

      I use Windows 7 on my desktop (and Windows 8.1 that came with a new laptop…yuchh!). I like Windows and must use it for various Windows applications that will not run on Linux.

      Microsoft snooping is apparently inevitable, especially as they have witnessed how millions of Android users allowed unprecedented privacy intrusions, in order to use all those cool apps! 🙂

      Since most modern hardware is capable of virtualization, I suggest using free Oracle Virtualbox (cross platform Win, Mac, Linux).

      Using a Virtualbox host on Win(7, 8/8.1, 10), install a Linux guest OS, such as Linux Mint, as a Virtual Machine, using the “bridged” network option. This type of network adapter is documented at the Virtualbox website to work at a level below the Win OS network stack, attaching directly to the physical adapter, so that the Win host OS cannot see any guest VM network packets.

      If you keep all of your web surfing, and private documents within the VM, Microsoft cannot track any of it. Only what you do on the Windows host, which you can control. You have options 🙂

    • #47974

      One more thing to add about using a Linux VM from within a Windows host is a feature called “seamless view”.

      This lets you open any application windows from the VM and use them on the Windows desktop without the Linux desktop GUI showing. Like a browser for example. Right next to any Windows app you may have open. Just click on whatever window you wish to use… Looks like a native app, and you can pull up the Linux desktop full screen at any time, or hide it, as you wish.

      Windows or Linux all in one seamless desktop session! No more dual booting required!

    • #47975

      I have been using Linux Mint KDE for a couple of years now. It is the most customizable and polished of the various versions.

      When I feel I no longer need Internet access with Windows7, I will deny it. That way I can still run any “Windows only” programs and not worry about any more update or snooping issues.

      The current version of Mint is a LTS one, and supported until 2019.

      I rarely find myself booting up in Windows, KDE does almost everything I need.

    • #47976

      People so desperately depending on computer and online access but not needing any special programs only available under Wijndows, are best advised to move to Linux Mint.

      Serious, Sir. I do not want to interfere with Woody’s focus of his blog (which is Windows), but if you depend so heavily on online connectivity and a safe OS, check out Linux Mint. Its easier than you might imagine.

      All tips given here to safeguard against Microsoft’s attacks, are workarounds only, and improvisations. You remain to stay under siege. And that will not change. The only way to protect yourself form Microsoft, is not to use their software.

      Firefox, Thunderbird, Gimp, Libre Office, multi-format document viewer, media players, VLC and more come with Mint by default, Skype, Team Viewer, and so many other prominent software is available under Linux, or has alternatives under Linux, a whole library of gfx drivers are included by default. Even my Canon Printer – Canon is critical under Linux since Canon hates Linux – works by default setup under Linux.

      If online connectivity is as important and vital for you as you say, and if you are as concerned about MS as you say, go Linux Mint. You do not need Windows for the kind of things you described.

      And while we are at it: avoid Java RTE, Active Scripting, Adobe, Flash, Google as well. Antisocial media like Twitter and FB anyway.

      It’s so easy not to be haunted by MS. Simply don’t use it. And compared to Linux, Windows is the worse OS anyway: slower, overburdened, needing more maintenance, wasting more resources, less safe.

    • #47977

      Like others here, I feel frustrated, confused, disappointed with this state of affairs.
      Although several prior commenters here have urged folks to move to Linux, I am afraid that for many ordinary folks who use Windows 7 and 8, moving to Linux would be more complicated than they could handle, or at least than they would wish to handle.
      I’ve been using personal computers for more than 30 years and I am not averse to devoting time and effort to learning the basics about new technical stuff (especially if backed into a corner), but I don’t feel in a position to migrate to Linux. There are a couple of paragraphs in the comments above (written by people who are saying to move to Linux) which, to me, might as well be written in Greek, because I don’t even know what they are going on about, let alone how to begin to implement such a new system.
      For the people who already have a lot of technical knowledge and resources, sure, it’s great that they can move to a safer, more private, cheaper, do-it-yourself alternative. But I know that it’s not feasible for me, on my own, to get my head around something like Linux and successfully replicate everything for which I have relied on Microsoft for decades.
      It’s like a car — I just want to buy a car, drive the car, have it get me from A to B. I don’t want to tinker with the engine, I don’t want to redesign the electrical system in my “spare time”, I don’t want to customize the external bodywork, I just want to drive from A to B safely. Yes, I will get oil changes, I will keep the tires inflated properly, and so forth. But I do not want to be told, 2 years after buying the car outright, that suddenly it’s not mine, but it still belongs to the manufacturer, and they insist on changing the mechanics internally, and they now want to record exactly where I go, and to film inside the car 24 hours a day and store the videotapes of me and my passengers, plus create transcripts of everything that is spoken in or around the vehicle, at their offices, as well as provide them, under my name and address, to governments and ne’er-do-wells around the world, to be held not only for my lifetime but for the conceivable future of our species. And I don’t even have a say in whether this happens or not, and while I keep saying, “No thank you, no thank you”, they sneak up into my garage in the middle of the night to my locked car and install tracking equipment inside it. They claim that it’s for my own good, and also that it’s their right. They wrap the new equipment up in security measures that are necessary for my car’s safety on the roads, so it’s difficult and increasingly risky for me to decline/remove their added gizmos. Once a month I have to jack the thing up and root around blindly in the mechanical areas, which is not, obviously, my forte, and try to identify and rip the unwanted changes out, but I could mistakenly cut a wire that might cause the vehicle to crash or develop a fire. I spend hours on this every month, and it’s more and more nerve-wracking and anxiety-inducing. It isn’t a solution to recommend that I delve in and just remove the engine and electrical wiring and replace them with an alternative system put together by creative enthusiasts. This is not my subject matter, this is not my passion, this isn’t information I can soak up like a sponge, I don’t want to know about any of it, I just want to put the key in the ignition and drive the vehicle that I purchased, in the original configuration that I chose for it at the dealership, safely, privately, while minding my own business, and not having to constantly guard my garage and property from spying, tampering, double-speaking interlopers.
      I wonder if any of the many employees involved in this strong-armed, mealy-mouthed, disrespectful campaign feel any cognitive dissonance about it.
      This product/service has evolved into something so unique in modern times that it is almost like a necessary utility (like safe running water, electricity provision, etc.) in many people’s lives, and with the (lucrative) privilege of providing it, should come great responsibility, care, and restraint.

    • #47978

      D., well said, and I feel your pain! I think you represent the silent majority of computer users without a voice in this changing game.

      A free market and pure economics is at work here, and unfortunately there is very weak protection from this kind of data collection.

      The tech companies are going to do it because they, and the technology, can. Data mining is the future, like it or not. Big data == Big money.

      It becomes about trust. Hard to win trust, easy to lose it. So, who do you trust?

      I start with the disclosure provided. I have decided to trust Google with my mail. I know what they are doing, they do not try to hide it. Plus there is never anything in my mail that I would lose sleep over. This is the problem I have with Microsoft — no full disclosure!

      I have worked in IT for over 30 years, and I have been supporting my Dad’s computing for the last 15 years, with PC’s & Mac, and found he stopped running local apps, saving files, printing, etc, and just used the web browser.

      Both his PC and Mac had recently reached end-of-life, his bank disabled his access for out-of-date browser, so I got him a Chromebox (same as a Chromebook — without keyboard and monitor) as a cheap drop-in replacement for his Mac Mini.

      Just turn it on, the browser launches, and you can drive away! Use it for all of your cloud accounts, email, web surfing, etc. Keep your old PC around (disconnected from net) for that precious shrink-wrap software you love, if needed. No Linux required! 🙂

    • #47979

      @D, consider this perspective: whether you stay with Windows or whether you switch to Linux, you will have to expend time and energy. There’s just no getting around that. With Windows, you will have to constantly be on guard for the next spy bug, the next booby trap, the next net that will snare you and drag you kicking and screaming to Win10. You can never relax and you will not rest until, too weary, you give up and let the whirlpool that is Microsoft suck you under.

      Or, like a handful of posters here have already done, you can spend time and energy and move your OS over to Linux. With 30 years of exposure to changes in computer hardware and software, you actually know more than you think you do and, if you have survived those changes and learned and adapted to those changes, you are well prepared to make a switch now. The difference in the end will be that the time and energy you spend doing so will leave you in a position to relax and to focus your future efforts to being productive.

      One choice leaves you stressed and constantly looking over your shoulder — and it will never end, even after you have finally given in. The other choice gets you out from under the car and puts you back in the driver’s seat so you can concentrate on driving from A to B. But make no mistake about it — BOTH choices require time and technical energy. It’s your choice to make.

      On a related topic, some posters here have kicked around boycotts as a way to get a message across to Microsoft. The problem with boycotts is that somebody/somebodies have to get a lot of people to agree to doing the same thing, and the thing is, you really can only control one person — yourself. If I abandon Windows and change to Linux, that’s enough for me. If @D decides to put his/her energies to a constructive future and changes to Linux, that’s then two people. And if three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in and singing a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out … uh, whoops, that a movement of a different kind. Look, I’m not talking about ending the Draft or stopping Microsoft from doing their business in however they wish to do business. I, personally, am just focused on finding a computing environment that works in the way I’d like it to work, where I’m spending my time getting my work done instead of dodging booby traps. And right now, it’s looking more and more like Linux will do that for me rather than Windows.

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