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  • It’s all about control – isn’t it?

    Home Forums Outside the box Rants It’s all about control – isn’t it?

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    • This topic has 57 replies, 12 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago.
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      • #2363133
        JLamede
        AskWoody Plus

        Can I share some thoughts triggered by the bugbears of the persistent mania for software updates? Recent difficulties installing a new app have brought it all to a head.

        As I see it, there are two main elements:
        • software upgrades and ownership
        • time spent on installation and setup

        There was a time when you ran something called an operating system, activated when you bought your PC or laptop and, after having done that, set up and ran applications as necessary, without a backwards glance.

        Nowadays, though (and of course I’m thinking about Windows 10), your first installation of an OS is never the final word. You will get monthly updates followed by upgrades, capable of changing even the basics, every few months. With software, you will often be expected to pay a renewable subscription, or the initial installation will rely on the download of a tailored link from the originator without provision of a stand-alone application.

        In both instances, control stays with the source or manufacturer. You may be using a machine, including installed software, bought with your own money, but you no longer have full control over your property or your activity.

        There is another aspect to this: time. Microsoft, for instance, imposes upon users a parade of patches and upgrades that each entail a major expenditure of your time. For example, my wife and I recently separately upgraded our systems: she went for Windows 10 2004, I got Windows 10 20H2. On each occasion, the process took virtually a whole working day. In my case, I started the process at 11.00 and it finished at 17.45. Subsequently, I had to spend almost two days a) reinstating my previous settings; b) clearing up all the detritus left by the new installation. So the entire transaction effectively took up three working days during which not much else could be achieved.

        What makes things even worse is that Microsoft deliberately lards this whole thing with layers of obfuscation, if not downright intellectual dishonesty. When I first installed Windows 10 Fall Creators several years ago, it crashed my desktop twice in succession. On each occasion, I had to surrender control of my machine to a Microsoft tech for a whole day, and each time he had to upload an ISO and reinstall the OS. When I spoke to a supervisor about this he opined that it had to be the result of incompatible, out-of-date hardware (never mind the long-standing Microsoft business model of providing a universally compatible OS). When I subsequently ran online tests on the Lenovo website and even spoke to a Lenovo employee, it transpired that this was incorrect: mother-board, drivers and machine were entirely up to date and wholly compatible with Windows. When I went back to the supervisor in question, telling him by email that the hardware was fine, the result was a deafening silence.

        All those patches and upgrades are provided, we’re told, to keep our machines secure, and improve their running and design. I dare say there are businesses that have had problems, but speaking as an ordinary home user, although one using established up-to-date security software and two recognized malware-scanning applications, I have never had any security problems. And as far as improvements to the OS interface are concerned, they are negligible. (In fact, aesthetically, I suspect there are ten-year old kids who could do better.) When things have gone wrong in the 40 years I’ve been using Windows products, it’s the result of recurrent OS instability – still the case today.

        So what’s it all about?

        Control, pure and simple. That’s all these guys are interested in. Not improvement or security. They hate the idea of users not being under their thumb. That in my opinion is the reason for the veritable torrent of updates plaguing our lives day-in-day-out, to no perceptible purpose other than ensuring we don’t have control.

        Any thoughts, anyone?

        4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2363314
        Pepsiboy
        AskWoody Lounger

        JLamede,

        EXACTLY ! ! All they want is for THEM to control OUR computers and our lives. They feel that THEY own it, not US. This computer was purchased by ME, not THEM. Therefore, I should have CONTROL of it NOT THEM !! I will do whatever I can to keep it that way, too.

        Dave

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2363351
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        This computer was purchased by ME, not THEM. Therefore, I should have CONTROL of it NOT THEM !!

        The hardware was purchased by you and you do whatever you please with it. The software (Windows OS, Office…) you paid for and installed is NOT your. The software is licensed to use and for the developer to do with it what HE pleases.

        You option is to go Linux.

        • #2363384
          Ascaris
          AskWoody MVP

          Well, yes, if you don’t like Microsoft’s terms, you certainly can go for Linux, but that doesn’t mean that what Microsoft is doing is right, or necessarily legal for that matter. They swept the market free of any competitors by offering a product that was one way, made sure everyone was good and dependent, and now pulled this stunt where to keep using their computers, people have to accept this new, altered deal.

          Microsoft’s dominance of the PC market makes them a legal monopoly even though people do have the option to use Linux, and while monopolies are not illegal, they are more restricted in what they can do. It’s why MS got in trouble for what they were doing with Internet Explorer but no one said anything about when Apple demanded that all browsers on iOS use the Safari renderer as the backend, presumably… Apple has a minority of the mobile market, so it has more leeway than Microsoft does with 90% of the PC market, or ~98% if your definition of a PC means specifically “not a Mac.”

          Whether this ever amounts to anything is a big unknown. Microsoft “lost” the case when it came to IE and Windows, but they didn’t get broken up and IE wasn’t separated from Windows– some loss that was!

          The government of the US in particular is very much biased in favor of corporate interests, so I would not hold my breath waiting for them to do anything about… well, anything. They haven’t seemed to notice the enormous conflict of interest Google has in being a company built on amassing and exploiting people’s personal information, while also being the developer of the world’s leading browser and mobile operating system, both of which should be protecting the user from surveillance capitalism, not participating in the selling out of the user.

           

          Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.22.0 User Edition)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2363364
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Maybe that is why I am not using Windows anymore? And feel bad for those who have no choice but to use it. But that is neither here nor there: whatever OS one runs on one’s machine, bought with one’s very hard-earned cash from someone who sells them, there is going to be software that is licensed, not owned by oneself but by someone else and can do things to it without asking for permission, because one has granted that when accepting the terms of the lease. It could be some little application, or the actual OS itself that you have on the PC and is leased.

        Linux: as far as the operating system goes, Linux does not own your OS if you are running Linux in your PC, because “Linux” the company, does not exist and that is the whole idea with Linux and the General Public License and so on and so forth, Richard Stallman be praised!

        Now with Macs, to me that’s a bit murky, because one cannot install macOS anywhere else than in Macs (yes, I know, it can be to Hakintoshes, but let’s not go there). So: is the OS bought and owned with the Mac hardware it comes in, or is it leased? You tell me.

        One thing that I know about Macs and their OS, so I can tell you, is that one does not have to patch, or decide whether to install a patch for anything every month without fail. Every now and then I receive as ready to install, but that is up to me, minor upgrades, maybe one every other month at most, and installing them takes about 30 minutes, totally hands off, in my machine that is now a 41/2 years old. As to major upgrades (for example., with Windows that would be the same as going from Win 7 to Win 10) these come out once every year, around the beginning of Autumn, but one can continue using the same one, if one so wishes, fully supported, for up to three years.

        So: different strokes for different OS, that’s how I see it.

        For what’s worth: now days, using a Mac I feel much better stroked than I felt when using Windows. Yes, I know, Macs are more expensive and etc. Well … I can live with that, lucky me, no?

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      • #2363370
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        So is it bought and owned with the hardware it comes in, or is it leased? You tell me.

        MacOS doesn’t have a license nor activation. In theory if you get MacOS DVDs with your Mac you can install MacOS on any number of Macs (the same hardware).

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2363385
          Ascaris
          AskWoody MVP

          I am sure there is a license agreement in there somewhere that serves to dictate what you can and can’t do with it. Not having an activation scheme isn’t the same as not having a license. Even Linux has a license.

          Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.22.0 User Edition)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2363411
            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            Ascaris: That’s what I think is the case: there is a license implicit in the purchase and, or turning on one’s Mac for the first time and, or on opening an Apple account, something that one would do anyways, if nothing else to get user support for one year (or more, if one buys more) in case one ever needs it, particularly after just buying the Mac, for example.

            As to “Linux also has a license” yes, it does: it is called the GNU’s “General Public License”, but it is a different thing from an MS license. It means one cannot claim the software as one’s own and run off to patent it, for example. And if one modifies it, which one is free to do without asking for permission first, the parts unmodified remain not being a part of one’s own property, no matter what, and have to be acknowledged as such in the source and agreements made about it.

            Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

        • #2363390
          Susan Bradley
          Manager

          https://www.apple.com/legal/sla/  All operating systems have a legal agreement/eula.  Yes even Apple.

          Susan Bradley Patch Lady

          2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2363403
          b
          AskWoody MVP

          In theory if you get MacOS DVDs with your Mac you can install MacOS on any number of Macs (the same hardware).

          But not legally:

          you are granted a limited, non-exclusive license to install, use and run one (1) copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-branded computer at any one time.

          Windows 10 Pro version 21H1 build 19043.1052 + Microsoft 365 (group ASAP)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2363449
            Alex5723
            AskWoody Plus

            But not legally:

            Apple’s policy is to ‘trust the user’ while Microsoft’s policy is ‘never trust the user’
            hence License keys and activations vs none.

          • #2363706
            Ascaris
            AskWoody MVP

            Except that with each Mac purchased, you would have been supplied with another license to use MacOS on that hardware. The license only allows you to install it on one Mac, but each Mac has its own iteration of the license.

            Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.22.0 User Edition)

      • #2363399
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        Not having an activation scheme isn’t the same as not having a license. Even Linux has a license

        There is no license key either on the license agreement nor embedded in MacOS/motherboard…As a result, Contrary to Microsoft Apple can’t check EULA breach..

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2363402
          Susan Bradley
          Manager

          Doesn’t need to be there.  The eula you clicked through when you installed the OS or opened up the PC for the first time – you agreed to the terms on their web site.  These days most geek things don’t have the license on the device itself – it’s all in the cloud so the terms can be updated at any time.

          Susan Bradley Patch Lady

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2363404
          Ascaris
          AskWoody MVP

          But having a license is not the same as having a license key. One is a legal instrument, and one is a technical instrument. Having a license agreement does not, in any way, imply that there is any checking going on.

          Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.22.0 User Edition)

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2363557
            bbearren
            AskWoody MVP

            But having a license is not the same as having a license key. One is a legal instrument, and one is a technical instrument. Having a license agreement does not, in any way, imply that there is any checking going on.

            The two are entwined and inseparable.  One cannot  use the key without agreeing to the license.

            “By accepting this agreement or using the software, you agree to all of these terms, and consent to the transmission of certain information during activation and during your use of the software as per the privacy statement described in Section 3. If you do not accept and comply with these terms, you may not use the software or its features.”

            “Updates. The software periodically checks for system and app updates, and downloads and installs them for you. You may obtain updates only from Microsoft or authorized sources, and Microsoft may need to update your system to provide you with those updates. By accepting this agreement, you agree to receive these types of automatic updates without any additional notice.”

            Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
            "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
            "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

            • #2363614
              JLamede
              AskWoody Plus

              Yup, sure! All the postings about licences and upgrades/updates are very true, but frankly missing the point. The real issue is the misuse of those licences and implied permissions by Microsoft. No, actually, it’s the abuse of those licences and permissions, showing utter indifference to the interests of their customers, who often have no other choice but to use Windows OS.

              • #2363635
                bbearren
                AskWoody MVP

                As of this moment, “This topic has 20 replies, 9 voices.”  Which is to say that it seems to have not registered as a huge concern among AskWoody members.  I dare say it has not registered as a huge concern to hundreds of millions of Windows OS users.

                Microsoft says right up front in its EULA that it fully intends to do the things about which you have issue, and that our only recourse is to refrain from using Microsoft’s software.

                … who often have no other choice but to use Windows OS.

                Might I suggest that your complaint, in reality, is with those entities/organizations/employers/correspondents/what-have-you who offer you no other choice but to use Windows OS.  Microsoft has made their position in this “triangle” quite clear.

                Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
                "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
                "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

              • #2363785
                anonymous
                Guest

                bbearrem:

                Which is to say that it seems to have not registered as a huge concern among AskWoody members.

                Carborundum. The topic has worn us down over the years. That may be by design as well. A lack of posted agreement does not suggest a lack of sympathy. When I read JLamede’s lament, I inwardly saluted the brave effort to restate what has been argued ad infinitum on these very pages. You’ve rebutted on many of them, yourself. Two sides restating the same points again and again feels very 2016. Immovable meet irresistible.

              • #2363792
                Susan Bradley
                Manager

                As more and more moves to the cloud and we’re running our businesses off of our iphones and androids, windows becomes irrelevant. BTW the largest amount of computers sold in 2021 are Chromebooks.

                Susan Bradley Patch Lady

                1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2363684
              Ascaris
              AskWoody MVP

              The two are entwined and inseparable. One cannot use the key without agreeing to the license.

              Indeed. But one can agree to a license even if there is no such thing as a key. MacOS does not have a product key, as @Alex5723 has been saying, but there is still a license you agree to by taking the action of using it. Linux has a license, the GNU license, but there is no product key. The absence of a product key or activation scheme does not imply in any way the lack of a license.

              Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.22.0 User Edition)

      • #2363438
        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody MVP

        I’ve been toying with the idea of installing Windows 10 on my main home computer. A key reason is how easy it is to set up a peer to peer (home) network in Windows as compared to Linux. Also, Windows 10 has worked very well for me wherever I have installed or used it.

        But after reading the original post, I think I’ll stick with Linux. In fact, I’ll probably install Ubuntu Server, which should solve the file sharing issues I’m having with Mint.

        More about Ubuntu Server in another post.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      • #2363448
        Susan Bradley
        Manager

        So here’s where I think Microsoft falls down in a huge way. You said ” had to surrender control of my machine to a Microsoft tech for a whole day”. What he did impacted your view of the operating system. Yet he’s not an employee of Microsoft. The bulk of Microsoft support personnel (especially for consumers/home users/small business – everyone BUT big business) are employees of subcontracting companies that do business with – but are not Microsoft employees. That lack of ownership – of pride – deeply impacts the attitudes of these folks commonly called “v-dash” representatives. “When I went back to the supervisor in question, telling him by email that the hardware was fine, the result was a deafening silence.” That supervisor also doesn’t work directly for Microsoft. Over the years the support experience of Microsoft as compared to Apple – especially in the consumer space – has increased to a huge gap of expectations.

        I’m not justifying, I’m just explaining that the bulk of us who interact with Microsoft only see the interaction of vendor computers that are loaded up with third party bloatware and outsourced support personnel. We do not get a good experience all around.

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2363738
          Ascaris
          AskWoody MVP

          If Microsoft’s goal, as Mr. Nadella claimed, is to have people use Windows because they love Windows and not because they have to, there are many areas where Microsoft falls in a huge way. Back when all of this was getting started more than five years ago, Woody was one of the few big hitters who was calling Microsoft out on these things, consistently and clearly. It’s one of the things that initially drew me to the site, back when I was a Windows user and was hoping that MS would take our feedback into consideration and fix Windows 10 as they had with Vista, and as they were in the process of doing with 8.x (Threshold initially was to be the 8.2 update, but it got waylaid into Windows 10. I wish it hadn’t.)

          First there was GWX, an adware program masquerading as a Windows update, which people get for the purposes of fixing bugs and security issues, not having ads pushed at them. Then there was the background downloading of the entire Win 10 installer even to people who had not “reserved” Windows 10, often going way over their data caps if they used metered connections, along with the deceptive “upgrade now” or “upgrade later” dialogs with no cancel button, and then how they reversed it when people learned the little X to close the thing was the cancel button.

          Then came another faux update whose only purpose was to  deliberately break a functional installation of Windows 7 or 8.1 and leave it open to third-party malware attack, simply because it was installed on a newer CPU architecture that MS has claimed is solely the property of Windows 10. That’s straight-up malware: a Trojan horse.

          The continued usurpation of control over computers they do not own, including using consumers as beta testers for the benefit of enterprise users, continues to this day. After nearly six years of people begging, demanding, pleading for a simple OFF for all telemetry in consumer editions, along with full update control the way it used to be in every other Windows version since Windows Update was born, they still don’t have either of these. They also don’t have a very much requested long-term support build of Windows that would alleviate the burden of the rapid update cycle (which was evidently copied from Ubuntu, except that Ubuntu does have a LTS version, which they report as being the choice of 95% of their users, as well as 100% of Mint, Pop! OS, Neon, etc., users, as those are all based on the LTS build of Ubuntu).

          The question is not whether this is legally defensible (I am not convinced that all of it is, given Microsoft’s status as monopolist, but that’s not the issue before us), but whether it is Microsoft demonstrating that they want people to love Windows or not. I do not see any evidence that they have any concern for customer satisfaction at all… it’s all about how far they can push people and still have them as Windows users. Pretty far, apparently. Pretty far!

          Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.22.0 User Edition)

      • #2363456
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        how easy it is to set up a peer to peer (home) network in Windows

        Setting a home network and sharing data is big disaster in Windows 10 (it was a child play in Windows 7).
        I gave up after updating from 1809 to 1903.
        I use devices’ IP address to access data on the network.

      • #2363461
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        Control, pure and simple.

        To be fair, I have not experienced any of the issues you’ve described in my five installations of Windows 10 across three machines (two of which dual boot).  Upgrading my laptop from Windows 7 to Windows 8 was the only instance where I had to call tech support, and the issue was resolved in less than 10 minutes by some registry editing he did.

        Updates/upgrades only happen according to my schedule.  The only thing I’ve ever had to re-install (intermittently, not on every upgrade) has been StartIsBack++, which takes at most a couple of minutes.  I’m a “Seeker” on my daily driver desktop, but I wait for the push on my NAS and laptop, and I’ve never had any problems with either, or even known when the update/upgrade occurred unless I check the history.  And I only dodge driver updates via Group Policy; I don’t use any pause or delay tactics for any other updates/upgrades.  I always have current drive images at the ready should anything go awry, but so far, that has not been the case.

        But you are correct in one aspect; it is about control.  None of us own the software we use, we only own the hardware.  The software is licensed, and by using the software we have agreed to the licensing terms.  I have a few programs that I have used for many years, and in each case, when the vendor moved to a subscription model, I have opted out, kept using my lifetime licenses on those programs, and they still get updates from time to time.  So far, that has not been an issue for me.  Everything still works as it always has.  As for Windows 10:

        “By accepting this agreement or using the software, you agree to all of these terms, and consent to the transmission of certain information during activation and during your use of the software as per the privacy statement described in Section 3. If you do not accept and comply with these terms, you may not use the software or its features.”

        “Updates. The software periodically checks for system and app updates, and downloads and installs them for you. You may obtain updates only from Microsoft or authorized sources, and Microsoft may need to update your system to provide you with those updates. By accepting this agreement, you agree to receive these types of automatic updates without any additional notice.”

        Regardless of one’s opinion of the terms, using the software invokes tacit agreement to the terms of use.  “If you do not accept and comply with these terms, you may not use the software or its features.”

        Or to put it in the vernacular of a convenience store owner I know when a customer is complaining about his prices, his reply is always, “Don’t shop here.”  He’s been in business in the same location for 20+ years.  Microsoft offers the same option.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2363697
          Cybertooth
          AskWoody Plus

          @bbearren, in the past you have described a number of UI tweaks that you make to Windows 10 and other personal preferences with respect to the way you use Windows 10:

          Here:

          I haven’t used a Windows Start Menu since Windows 8.  I’ve used StartIsBack in its various iterations, currently on StartIsBack++ v2.9.

          And here:

          I don’t use a Microsoft account to sign in to Windows. There has never been a Microsoft account on my PC’s—local accounts only.

          And here:

          For me, Windows 10 Pro is more Windows 7 Pro Service Pack 3.  StartIsBack++ is Windows 7 Start Menu, $3.99 for a lifetime license (free trial available).  O&O Shutup10 handles telemetry. [emphasis added]

          In short,

          I can configure Windows to run my way.

          Imagine now that Microsoft were to change the EULA to:

          • Prohibit users from installing third-party Start Menu replacements such as StartIsBack;
          • Require users to set up a Microsoft Account in order to use Windows, and to stay signed in (this changed to be backed up by the elimination of local accounts in the next version of Windows 10); and
          • Increase the required amount of telemetry to what is currently the most expansive setting, and at the same time prohibiting users from installing third-party software to limit/control this telemetry.

          Suppose further that–as is commonly seen in the software world nowadays–Microsoft were to announce that your continued use of Windows as of the effective date of the changes signals your consent to the updated EULA terms.

          To sum up, you would no longer be able to run Windows your way. How would you feel about these new EULA provisions?

           

          • #2363724
            bbearren
            AskWoody MVP

            To sum up, you would no longer be able to run Windows your way. How would you feel about these new EULA provisions?

            If you visit my website, you will notice that running Windows my way primarily uses essential troubleshooting tools built into Windows.  There are a couple of utilities that I use just to make it quicker and easier (which use Windows API’s to do their work), but they are not essential to my methods.

            Telemetry can be handled via the registry.  Microsoft would have to completely get rid of the registry to keep me from running Windows my way.  But since editing the registry is one of Microsoft’s main tools for recalcitrant installations of Windows, I doubt that is going to happen.

            Since I have numerous drive images at the ready, and I dual boot, it would be an interesting and fun undertaking to keep Windows working my way if such an upgrade were to come along.  Dual booting allows me to work on the registry of the un-booted installation remotely.

            Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
            "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
            "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

        • #2363702
          Ascaris
          AskWoody MVP

          None of that changes the OP’s opinion that the behavior of MS is unethical and wrong, which is an opinion I heartily endorse. What they can get away with legally (in a country whose legal system is largely servile to the corporate world) and what they should be doing in one person’s opinion have nothing to do with one another. When people complain about Microsoft’s unethical behavior, arguments about what the EULA says are missing the point.

          Or to put it in the vernacular of a convenience store owner I know when a customer is complaining about his prices, his reply is always, “Don’t shop here.” He’s been in business in the same location for 20+ years. Microsoft offers the same option.

          Most likely, Microsoft legally does not have that option to offer. They are a monopoly, and they are subject to restrictions that don’t apply to a convenience store. “Don’t like it, use something else” is an option reserved for non-monopolists. It’s why “don’t like it, go install someone else’s OS on your brand new PC” didn’t fly 20 years ago.

          If it was a competitive market, it would have been perfectly fine for MS to tell hardware OEMs that in order to be eligible to buy Windows for resale (preinstalled on their hardware), they must not have any other browser except IE, and that the IE icon must be prominently displayed on the desktop. It is not a competitive market, so when MS did that, they broke the law. They did not have the option of telling their customers (the OEMs), “Those are the terms; take it or leave it.”

          Of course, they “lost” the case on paper, but they were not ordered to remove IE from Windows or to have the Windows part and the IE part of MS broken up into separate companies, so whether they really lost is debatable.

          The laughable “disable IE” option we in the US got instead of a real option to eradicate IE was useless. I “disabled” IE and the thing still popped up as much as it ever did. It turns out that if another program called IE directly rather than the default browser API, IE completely ignored the “disabled” status and came up anyway. A lot of programs did directly call IE, since they knew IE was installed, and by using that specifically they would not have to test their HTML on anything else.

          Since IE was already not the default browser on my PC, using the UI to disable it amounted to zero change at all.

          All I could think of to tell them at the time was, “Congratulations on your ‘loss,’ Microsoft!”

           

          Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.22.0 User Edition)

          • #2363725
            bbearren
            AskWoody MVP

            bbearren wrote: Or to put it in the vernacular of a convenience store owner I know when a customer is complaining about his prices, his reply is always, “Don’t shop here.” He’s been in business in the same location for 20+ years. Microsoft offers the same option.

            Most likely, Microsoft legally does not have that option to offer.

            Oh, but they do—it’s right there in the EULA:

            By accepting this agreement or using the software, you agree to all of these terms, and consent to the transmission of certain information during activation and during your use of the software as per the privacy statement described in Section 3. If you do not accept and comply with these terms, you may not use the software or its features. You may contact the device manufacturer or installer, or your retailer if you purchased the software directly, to determine its return policy and return the software or device for a refund or credit under that policy. You must comply with that policy, which might require you to return the software with the entire device on which the software is installed for a refund or credit, if any.”

            Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
            "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
            "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

            • #2363729
              Ascaris
              AskWoody MVP

              The law specifically says that monopolies don’t get to behave in that way, and Microsoft stating that they do in the EULA does not mean anything. Where the law and the EULA contradict one another, the law wins. Quoting the EULA is not a rebuttal to a statement that the law renders those bits of the EULA null and void.

              They could also put in the EULA a clause stating that anyone who uses their software consents to having Microsoft agents come to their house and take all their stuff while they are at work. That doesn’t mean they actually have that power. They can put anything they want in the EULA, but it does not mean it would ever be enforceable in court, which is the only time the exact text of a contract actually matters. Courts throw out duly executed bits of contracts all the time, and particularly when the contract runs afoul of statutory law.

               

              Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.22.0 User Edition)

              • #2363735
                b
                AskWoody MVP

                Does anyone but you believe that Microsoft is a monopoly?

                It’s a bit rich when you haven’t used Windows for ten years.

                These days, it’s harder to see Microsoft as the big monopolist bully Judge Jackson once described. Microsoft Windows operating systems still dominate the PC OS market, but PC OSes are less important than they’ve ever been before, diminishing Microsoft’s ability to use Windows’ market share to make life harder for its rivals. Thanks to the rise of high-speed Internet, web-based solutions and cloud computing in general, it doesn’t really matter what OS you use — Facebook and Gmail don’t care if you’re accessing them from Windows, OS X or Linux. On top of that, we do more of our daily computing on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, a sphere that’s owned not by Microsoft but by rivals Apple and Google.

                A Judge Ordered Microsoft to Split. Here’s Why It’s Still a Single Company

                (And that was seven years ago!)

                Windows 10 Pro version 21H1 build 19043.1052 + Microsoft 365 (group ASAP)

              • #2363739
                Ascaris
                AskWoody MVP

                It is clearly a monopoly in the PC market space. For vendors of x86 PCs, who are looking for an OS to preload on their systems, it has 98% market share. In fact, the market share has not moved since it clearly was a monopoly way back when. Phones are not PCs; they are a separate market.

                2015 was not ten years ago, btw. And what difference does it make when I used Windows? Would I have a different opinion about it being a monopoly if I did? The choice I made has 2% market share, and for my PC hardware, it’s the only other real choice other than Windows. If 98% market share is not a monopoly, what is?

                Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.22.0 User Edition)

              • #2363780
                DriftyDonN
                AskWoody Plus

                I agree w/ you completely @Ascaris . However, how many users who agree can afford the army of lawyers (not to mention YEARS of litigation) it would require to bring this to court?

                 

                1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2363862
                bbearren
                AskWoody MVP

                The law specifically says that monopolies don’t get to behave in that way, and Microsoft stating that they do in the EULA does not mean anything. Where the law and the EULA contradict one another, the law wins. Quoting the EULA is not a rebuttal to a statement that the law renders those bits of the EULA null and void.

                And Microsoft with their huge legal team purposefully includes unlawful requirements/conditions in their EULA.  Right.

                By and large, EULA’s are written by lawyers to be in compliance with existing law in order to be able to legally enforce the EULA.

                They don’t conflict with the law, so there is no conflict between the law and the EULA.

                Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
                "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
                "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

            • #2363728
              anonymous
              Guest

              You might be able to get a refund for a retail license key card, the rest of that clause may be junk! Have you or anyone else tried to get a refund from an OEM, or places that state all sales are final?

              Is it time for another Windows Refund Day?

              • #2363734
                b
                AskWoody MVP

                Do you buy computers from places that don’t allow returns?

                Windows 10 Pro version 21H1 build 19043.1052 + Microsoft 365 (group ASAP)

              • #2363740
                Ascaris
                AskWoody MVP

                Some people do. I don’t, but some big players in the electronics retail industry don’t accept returns. B&H Camera doesn’t. It’s why I didn’t order the Acer Swift 3 from them instead of the Dell XPS I ended up buying.

                Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.22.0 User Edition)

              • #2364004
                anonymous
                Guest

                No. Your response dodges the question of anybody successfully attempting to get a refund for a Windows license you do not want on that computer which may suit your needs.

                However, some people have been able to get a refund.

                People are still paying for Windows with money and time. The manufacturers will not disclose how much money; Choosing a configuration for a business class computer from HP with FreeDOS installed nets you a good discount off the total price.

      • #2363804
        Cybertooth
        AskWoody Plus

        Telemetry can be handled via the registry. Microsoft would have to completely get rid of the registry to keep me from running Windows my way. But since editing the registry is one of Microsoft’s main tools for recalcitrant installations of Windows, I doubt that is going to happen.

        Since I have numerous drive images at the ready, and I dual boot, it would be an interesting and fun undertaking to keep Windows working my way if such an upgrade were to come along.

        Fun or not, under the premise of the question I posed blocking telemetry to keep Windows working your way would be a violation of the new Microsoft (Windows) EULA. The details of whether they can technically prevent your blocking are not relevant here. What I am asking is: how would you feel about Microsoft’s policies with respect to Windows in light of the new terms of use that legally prohibited you from blocking telemetry? And remember, the new terms would also prohibit you from using either a third-party Start menu or a local Windows account.

         

        • #2363856
          bbearren
          AskWoody MVP

          In your proposal, you are ignoring some technological quicksand in which Microsoft would very quickly get mired.

          Imagine now that Microsoft were to change the EULA to: Prohibit users from installing third-party Start Menu replacements such as StartIsBack;

          I prefer StartIsBack, but I’m not tied to it.  I can use Windows’ built-in tools to modify the Start Menu to suit my taste.  No third-party tools involved.

          Require users to set up a Microsoft Account in order to use Windows, and to stay signed in (this changed to be backed up by the elimination of local accounts in the next version of Windows 10);

          Very unlikely.  There are a number of logical and logistical reasons that preclude everyone in an organization/family from having and using a Microsoft account.  Also, one cannot “stay signed in” and at the same time reboot to install an update/upgrade.  Staying signed in would eliminate, among other things, Roaming profiles, which Microsoft would be loathe to do.  “Switch user” could no longer be an option.

          and Increase the required amount of telemetry to what is currently the most expansive setting, and at the same time prohibiting users from installing third-party software to limit/control this telemetry.

          Not a problem.  I can control telemetry in the registry, no third-party software required.

          Suppose further that–as is commonly seen in the software world nowadays–Microsoft were to announce that your continued use of Windows as of the effective date of the changes signals your consent to the updated EULA terms.

          That has always been the case.  That would not be any change at all.

          To sum up, you would no longer be able to run Windows your way. How would you feel about these new EULA provisions?

          To sum up, I would still be able to run Windows my way and stay within the boundaries of the EULA.

          Fun or not, under the premise of the question I posed blocking telemetry to keep Windows working your way would be a violation of the new Microsoft (Windows) EULA. The details of whether they can technically prevent your blocking are not relevant here. What I am asking is: how would you feel about Microsoft’s policies with respect to Windows in light of the new terms of use that legally prohibited you from blocking telemetry? And remember, the new terms would also prohibit you from using either a third-party Start menu or a local Windows account.

          I can do what I do without third-party software.  The third-party utilities that I have used do not enable what I do, they just use Windows API’s to make it easier.  The ability to do what I do is built into Windows.

          In short, is Microsoft going to re-write a large portion of Windows to lockout both themselves and their OEM partners from doing any kind of troubleshooting/repairs to Windows installations still under warranty?  Since Microsoft’s built-in tools are what I use, that’s basically the question you’re asking me, “What if Microsoft’s new EULA says that by using Windows you agree that you can’t use Windows?”

          I don’t think that’s gonna happen, do you?

          Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
          "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
          "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

      • #2363814
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        This is all very well, but the there is also the question of what is the relevance of Windows to which sector of users, actual or potential that has just been brought into the conversation. If it turned out the answer is: Not relevant at all to anyone, then we might just as well have dropped Windows from consideration from the start, and gone instead with tongues and hammers exclusively at Macs and Linux.

        You might easily missed it in the middle of the large number of comments and all the sturm und drang, but Susan, a.k.a. Patch Lady, has this little itsy bitsy comment as an answer to another, so even if it is very recent, maybe posted an hour ago as I write this, hers is placed considerably further up, towards the beginning of this thread, from this one.

        Short version of her short comment (as I understood it): business users use Android cell phones and chrome books, as to Windows … what is that? Let’s take her at her word and put a pin on it for now.

        Now “creatives”: scientists, engineers, graphic artists, game designers … many of them use either Macs or Linus and Windows, if at all, maybe just to check for compatibility; if software compatibility with Windows is desired.

        So, who uses Windows?

        People who do office work use Office, the original “killer application” that put DOS, then Windows, over the top and Bill Gates into the real big money. But Office can also be run on Macs (as has been the case for quite a while now), so …

        People that use software that only runs on Windows, with no equivalent available for other operating systems.

        People who do it because they have Windows PCs and have no time for installing Linux in dual boot on them, and the idea of ditching the PC and buying a Mac does not appeal to them. And neither does keeping it and getting a Mac. There are lots of users in this category.

        People who use Windows because that is what is in their computers, so they have some familiarity with it and they know they are not knowledgeable enough to install Linux and use it, and afraid of making a switch to a Mac. Massive numbers in this category, I surmise.

        But I would submit that what Windows users, many of them at any rate, do not have to offer to this conversation, is an overwhelming reason why MS Windows should be around much longer. This does not mean that it will not, or that it will. But the world changes. A little, every single day. And, sometimes, it adds up faster than one might expect. Sometimes. So now I refer you back to Susan’s comment, further back.

        Just saying.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      • #2363825
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        They could also put in the EULA a clause stating that anyone who uses their software consents to having Microsoft agents come to their house and take all their stuff while they are at work. That doesn’t mean they actually have that power.

        Yes, they do and there is a clause in the EULA just for that.
        Ever heard of BSA (Business Software Alliance) ? They enter offices, enterprises… looking for pirated Microsoft software. No court warrant needed.

        “Many Microsoft EULAs include a clause requiring users to agree to audits by software companies.”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BSA_(The_Software_Alliance)

        • #2363831
          Ascaris
          AskWoody MVP

          That’s not what I wrote. Auditing is not the same as going in and backing up a moving van and taking all the stuff they want. If you don’t like my example, make up one of your own that’s outrageous and excessive, and consider whether it would be upheld just because someone put it in a EULA. The point is that putting something in a EULA doesn’t mean it is valid just because the text says so.

          Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.22.0 User Edition)

        • #2363964
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          People cannot walk into anyone’s property, be it a domicile or a business, without permission of the owner given explicitly, or implicitly (e.g., people walking in to buy something in a shop), directly or through a proper representative of the owner, unless they are agents of the law in some clear capacity, identify themselves properly as such and come with a search warrant issued to them by a judge.

          There are exceptions, for example when there is a well-defined emergency: police rescuing victims of a kidnapping from a house where they are kept; firemen entering a house on fire, etc.

          Any not so authorized entry is breaking and entering. There is a law, or even two, maybe  even three, about that.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      • #2363954
        Cybertooth
        AskWoody Plus

        I can control telemetry in the registry, no third-party software required.

        In the scenario we are considering, you would be in violation of the EULA if you tried to control telemetry, be it with third-party software or in the registry. Recall the provision that you quoted upthread:

        By accepting this agreement or using the software, you agree to all of these terms, and consent to the transmission of certain information during activation and during your use of the software as per the privacy statement described in Section 3. If you do not accept and comply with these terms, you may not use the software or its features.

        The scenario that we are discussing involves Microsoft’s extending the legally required telemetry (in the EULA and the Privacy Statement) to include all aspects of telemetry that you currently block. Arguments over the technical feasibility of such a prohibition are irrelevant. The question is whether one may do things with Windows that violate the EULA, not whether one can do these things.

        You have been very clear in this forum that running Windows your way involves limiting the telemetry that Microsoft collects from you. If Microsoft were to require you to stop blocking any telemetry at all, would you ignore that prohibition in violation of the EULA? Would you quietly comply with their requirements–or would you speak up, in a forum such as this one, against a policy that your previous actions to limit telemetry have shown that you dislike?

         

        • #2364024
          bbearren
          AskWoody MVP

          bbearren wrote: I can control telemetry in the registry, no third-party software required.

          In the scenario we are considering, you would be in violation of the EULA if you tried to control telemetry, be it with third-party software or in the registry. Recall the provision that you quoted upthread: “By accepting this agreement or using the software, you agree to all of these terms, and consent to the transmission of certain information during activation and during your use of the software as per the privacy statement described in Section 3. If you do not accept and comply with these terms, you may not use the software or its features.“

          Let’s look at Section 3:

          3. Privacy; Consent to Use of Data. Your privacy is important to us. Some of the software features send or receive information when using those features. Many of these features can be switched off in the user interface, or you can choose not to use them. By accepting this agreement and using the software you agree that Microsoft may collect, use, and disclose the information as described in the Microsoft Privacy Statement (aka.ms/privacy), and as may be described in the user interface associated with the software features.”

          I haven’t said that I don’t allow any telemetry.  I said I control telemetry.  I turn off lots of stuff in the UI under “Personalization”.  I allow Windows error reporting. I allow Security telemetry. I allow reporting of malware infection information. I allow automatic app updates. I allow automatic Windows Updates (except drivers). I allow updates for Office.  I use OneDrive.

          Of course I could be wrong, but to the best of my knowledge, Microsoft does not collect identifiable personal information via telemetry.

          The scenario that we are discussing involves Microsoft’s extending the legally required telemetry (in the EULA and the Privacy Statement) to include all aspects of telemetry that you currently block. Arguments over the technical feasibility of such a prohibition are irrelevant. The question is whether one may do things with Windows that violate the EULA, not whether one can do these things. You have been very clear in this forum that running Windows your way involves limiting the telemetry that Microsoft collects from you. If Microsoft were to require you to stop blocking any telemetry at all, would you ignore that prohibition in violation of the EULA? Would you quietly comply with their requirements–or would you speak up, in a forum such as this one, against a policy that your previous actions to limit telemetry have shown that you dislike?

          I would let Microsoft decide to what extent I might be in violation (they can rescind Activation at any time—that’s in the Services Agreement) via the telemetry they were or were not receiving.  There’s a gob of Advanced Settings that can be accessed via Group Policy, Registry etc. that Microsoft has already put into Windows, and of which I can make use.

          The irony of my participation in this thread is that I have no complaints and do not block (other than drivers) nor pause nor otherwise hinder Updates or Upgrades of Windows.

          To be fair, I have not experienced any of the issues you’ve described in my five installations of Windows 10 across three machines (two of which dual boot). Upgrading my laptop from Windows 7 to Windows 8 was the only instance where I had to call tech support, and the issue was resolved in less than 10 minutes by some registry editing he did.

          The scenario you propose is extremely unlikely, but I dare say I could deal with it accordingly, and find Microsoft’s line-in-the-sand as per the EULA.

          Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
          "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
          "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

      • #2363956
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        On the matter of software ownership EU high court has ruled, back in 2018, that software paid for (that include Windows OS) is owned by the customer.

        https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-other_settings/why-does-microsoft-falsely-claim-that-windows-is-a/d5136a87-bcbe-44e7-a19f-cc609ae18fa1

        ..As the European Union’s highest court has ruled and which no country’s highest court has ever ruled to the contrary of, people own the software that they buy licenses for. They don’t own the software Intellectual Property, but they do own the non-reproduceable instance for which their license is, and they alone possess all property and decision-making rights over that non-reproduceable instance of software…

        https://www.publicknowledge.org/news-blog/blogs/eu-court-when-you-buy-software-you-own-it

        https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120703/11345519566/eu-court-says-yes-you-can-resell-your-software-even-if-software-company-says-you-cant.shtml

      • #2363975
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        I do not have a copy of the current MS EULA for Windows, so I wonder if the document has a clause where, at least in some parts of the world, users have to agree not to take legal action through the courts but, instead, to submit any claims against MS, in this case, to the decision of an arbitrator that is chosen by the party granting the license —  that would be MS here. This EULA requirement does not apply if the complaint is about a provable crime, for example breaking and entering to grab stuff in order to “audit.”

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

        • #2363979
          Ascaris
          AskWoody MVP

          I am pretty sure the MS EULA does have such a provision. It’s not unusual by any means, as a lot morc companies than MS have that kind of rule.

          Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.22.0 User Edition)

      • #2363990
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        I am pretty sure the MS EULA does have such a provision. It’s not unusual by any means, as a lot morc companies than MS have that kind of rule.

        “PLEASE READ THE BINDING ARBITRATION CLAUSE AND CLASS ACTION WAIVER IN SECTION 9. IT AFFECTS HOW DISPUTES ARE RESOLVED.”

        Binding Arbitration and Class Action Waiver Only if You Live in (or, if a Business, Your Principal Place of Business is in) the United States. Otherwise, Section 9 is inapplicable.

      • #2363999
        PKCano
        Manager

        I’ve been saying for years that this is the way things are headed.
        It should solve all the issues covered/mentioned above. 🙂

        • #2364010
          Ascaris
          AskWoody MVP

          On the one hand, it means that Linux (and Mac, as you use) PCs will be more viable than ever, since the means you use to get to the cloud will be largely irrelevant. On the other hand, there will be endless subscription models and less control for the end users.

          Google is trying to bring this same thing to gaming with Stadia. I have not tried it, but in a market where gamers buy monitors because they have a 1ms response time and can run at over 200 hz refresh (shaving the latency by literally milliseconds!), I don’t see how something with latency larger than, and on top of, that existing hardware latency would ever work.

          It seems like office work would better lend itself to that sort of thing, but even then, nothing beats the crisp responsiveness of having something right there on the device you are using, not in the cloud.

          Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.22.0 User Edition)

          • #2364015
            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            There is also stock-market trading with a similar requirement of speed. I doubt this will be ever made (except by some clueless brokers?) “in the Cloud”: to risky to put super-confidential business information in some stranger’s computer, besides being slower.

            Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

        • #2364027
          bbearren
          AskWoody MVP

          I’ve been saying for years that this is the way things are headed. It should solve all the issues covered/mentioned above.

          This thread (and many like it) is pretty firm evidence that Cloud PC’s are very likely not going to fly with the average consumer.

          Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
          "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
          "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

        • #2364043
          DriftyDonN
          AskWoody Plus

          nightmare

          • #2364053
            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            DriftyDon writes: “nightmare”  I write: “awakening?”

            Time to push harder on those that can make changes happen, for them to get up and do something practical and positive about this. This situation, obviously, needs to be changed. Also, obviously, is not going to change itself. The people at the top of some mega corporations, allegedly fulfilling a real need of society, should not be allowed to exercise their awesome power, unchecked, over society. To allow that is to accept that might makes right, also known as the law of the jungle.

            Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      • #2364183
        JLamede
        AskWoody Plus

        Hmmmmm… So my modest posting is classified as a ‘rant’? Could I have a rant about that………….? What would that be? A meta-rant? A mega-rant? A super-rant……………………?

        All the same, I’m impressed by the standard of all the responses. Fascinating and very stimulating.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
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