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  • Windows 10 avoiders: What would change your mind?

    Posted on Ascaris Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums Outside the box Rants Windows 10 avoiders: What would change your mind?

    This topic contains 64 replies, has 24 voices, and was last updated by  Pointedly 1 week, 1 day ago.

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    • #1878319 Reply

      Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      I wasn’t sure if this would fit better here or in the Windows 10 forum, so I put it here, as it’s kind of ranty.

      For those people who, like me, are former or current Windows users, but have sworn off the idea of ever upgrading to Windows 10 (such that it is now), what is the least amount of change that Microsoft could make to Windows 10 to make you reconsider?

      This is a question I have asked myself lately, and I find that I have a harder time answering it now than I did a few years ago.

      When I first saw (and rejected) Windows 10 in 2015, I had a pretty firm idea of what MS would have to do with 10 before I would make the move.  I was completely satisfied by Windows 7 in its modified form (Classic Explorer, Classic Shell, 7+ Taskbar Tweaker, custom theme, and endless registry tweaks), so ideally, a move to that would have been great. Not likely, but great.

      I really expected that most of the things that many users objected to would be implemented in time in response to customer feedback, but after four full years, that’s quite obviously not going to happen.  Once I began to realize (by the end of 2015) that MS was steadfastly ignoring customer feedback and going full speed ahead on the same path, I ramped up my Linux efforts.  At that time, Linux was just a lifeboat, something that would be vital in the unlikely event that it was needed, but that almost certainly wouldn’t be.

      What started as a Windows PC with an added-on Linux installation in dual-boot gradually morphed into a Linux PC that still had a vestigial Windows installation, and one day I realized I hadn’t started Windows in several weeks, and I hadn’t even missed it or anything about it.  Once I installed Veeam backup for Linux, that period of time went to multiple months, and now I can’t remember the last time I booted Windows to use it (as opposed to using it as a reference to help others), even in a VM.

      A lot of people understand in a theoretical sense that it is possible to live (and use PCs) without Microsoft, but it’s different to actually do it, to actually see with your own eyes that Linux can meet your needs.  It had the twin effects of making some of the Windows 10 annoyances less galling (because I no longer had the sense that I had a stake in every decision Microsoft makes) and some of them worse.

      In the early days of my never-10ism, I considered the weird “neither fish nor fowl” UI to be one of the most galling features of 10.  I’m a UI purist; I have very specific ideas of how a UI should look and behave, and I am very intolerant of any UI that does not live up to my expectations.  The Windows 10 UI, for better or worse, does not live up to my expectations, and never has.  As long as it has those UWP or Acrylic looking bits that don’t follow the desktop theme and UI conventions, it’s substandard.

      KDE, the desktop I now use, just destroys the Windows 10 UI in nearly every way, but somehow, when I think of what absolutely galls me about 10 now, the bad UI isn’t at the top of the list.  Maybe that’s a function of not having had to use it.

      Right now,  the worst bit about 10 for me is the lack of control over updates, which is part of a broader issue of Microsoft trying to commandeer Windows 10 PCs to serve its own interests.  I used to consider this a serious but semi-tolerable issue, since I do know that I can ultimately defeat any effort Microsoft makes to update my PC without my go-ahead, but now the lack of control (even in the Pro edition), exemplified by the lack of update control, is just a deal-breaker.  If I can’t trust that 10 is designed to serve my interests and my interests alone, as every OS worthy of use would be, it means I can’t trust 10 at all.

      What changes would have to happen to give me the signal that MS had actually listened to Windows users and no longer wished to usurp control of PCs that do not belong to them?  I’m not sure what it would take.  I do know that the Linux bell is not going to be un-rung, and no matter what happens, I am not going back to a single-OS, Microsoft-only existence like I had from 1990 to 2015, and Microsoft has no one to blame for that besides themselves (not that they care).

      At the very least, MS would have to stop with the “updates are coming whenever we say unless” setup they use now.  Currently, it’s that “Updates are coming whenever we say unless we’ve permitted you to defer them for a length of time whose maximum length is determined by us.”  “Updates are coming whenever we say unless it’s during active hours, whose maximum limits are determined by us.”  “Updates are coming whenever we say unless it’s a metered connection, unless the updates are determined to be extra important by us.”

      The one thing you can’t turn off is the “Updates are coming whenever we say” bit, and the exceptions are always within limits determined by Microsoft.  If I could defer any update for any length of time, even fifty years if I desired, it would still be a bonkers way of allowing me to control my PC, but at least I’d have full control.  If I could set active hours to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365.24 days a year, that would be bonkers too (not to mention accurate– I want my PCs on call 24 hours a day, ready to use at a moment’s notice, always), but again, it would at least allow full control, even if through a needlessly bizarre and complicated process.  Microsoft, of course, won’t allow that.

      I don’t want to have to set a bunch of rules in the path of an otherwise unstoppable Windows update and hope it works, like some kind of non-graphical tower defense game.  I have no objection to that setup for those who want it, but any OS written by a company that understands who is in charge of my PC (hint: me) would not have that as the only choice.

      I don’t know that a change to the old update system would be enough or not.  It would be a start, and it might make me start thinking of Windows in more of the way that I used to from 1990-2015 rather than 2015-present.  Even a reissue of Windows 7, built on the newer Windows 10 platform but with the full Windows 7 UI and update system, would not get me back into Windows as a primary OS.  It might make me reconsider it for a secondary OS, but I’m struggling to come up with a use case where I would actually want that.

      MS has demonstrated that when you rely on a proprietary OS, they can use your acceptance of a nice, customer-friendly OS like Windows 7 to get you dependent on the platform, then use that dependence to force an abomination like 10, and they’ve already done it once.  I don’t know that it is possible to get that trust back.

      That’s not to say that Linux is universally better than Windows.  It isn’t.  There are a lot of areas where it needs significant work to get to where Windows is now.  A lot of it hinges on drivers or programs that exist for Windows but not for Linux, which is a function of Linux’s small desktop market share more than any inherent architectural issue, but not everything.

      Despite claims to the contrary, there’s a lot about Windows that is very good, like their memory management and virtual memory subsystems.  It’s almost a rule of thumb that Windows’ memory management is horrible, except that it really isn’t.  Its desktop compositor is quite excellent too, and the way it handles driver crashes automatically without bringing down the Windows session (usually) is very much appreciated.  Windows handles userspace file systems far faster than any bit of Linux I’ve tried thus far.

      While Linux will almost assuredly catch up on the areas where it’s deficient, Windows is there now, and that’s worth considering.  Still, none of it is worth having to tolerate Windows 10’s flaws.  It’s a shame, because Windows 10 fundamentally is a very good OS beneath all of the Microsoft-serving poison pills like WaaS and all that it brings.  If they would stop hanging all kinds of new features for the sake of change all over it and design Windows 10 to serve the interests of the PC owner (as defined by himself), it would be really what they claim it is now, which is “the best Windows ever.”  Unfortunately, they instead insist on making it the worst Windows ever by designing it to sometimes serve Microsoft’s interests over those of the PC owner.  No matter how fundamentally solid it is under the hood, it can’t be the “best ever” when it fails to meet even the most basic bits of fitness for purpose.

       

      Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.16.4).

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    • #1878502 Reply

      anonymous

      ? says:

      hell freezes over…

      • #1878504 Reply

        geekdom
        AskWoody Plus

        “Right now, the worst bit about 10 for me is the lack of control over updates, which is part of a broader issue of Microsoft trying to commandeer Windows 10 PCs to serve its own interests.”

        Lack of control over updates is my concern.

        Group G{ot backup} Win7Pro · x64 · SP1 · i3-3220 · TestBeta
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        • #1878774 Reply

          The Surfing Pensioner
          AskWoody Plus

          Lack of control over updates would be my main concern also. But I have long since stopped worrying about Windows 10, which I am beginning to find a very boring subject. My two Windows 7 machines are about to become Group W (I shall have no other option) and I have just purchased my first Chromebook for internet access. This is a little model, which I intend to share with my granddaughter, who needs it for homework; if it suits me, I shall splash out on a bigger machine for work purposes probably next year. In the meantime I am resigned to spending a lot of time transferring flashdrives from one USB port to another but, what the h**l, it’s home.

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    • #1878572 Reply

      Alex5723
      AskWoody Plus

      Lack of control over updates

      And lack of control over Telemetry/partial opt-out and not opt-in.

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1878573 Reply

      rexr
      AskWoody Plus

      A good to-the-point review of some of Win 10’s strengths and weaknesses, thanks Ascaris. The weaknesses being caused by poor Win OS releases that need constant fixes. Windows 10 is very time consuming to keep updated, beginning with weeding out the updates that break our machines. (Thanks to all here who troubleshoot and report on Windows problems.)

      Starting with v1511 and first wrestling it to v1607 manually with select good updates, I had hoped the Win10 coders would smooth out the update process  in their own shop and coordinating with 3rd-party app developers. Basic things, and many for them to keep track of. And of course the bad hackers and old script kiddies trying to worm their way in 24 hours a day. Can’t be easy.

      Fast forward, I just updated my sacrificial laptop to v1903 18362.239 after weeks of waiting for the updates to fix its problems. It’s been running well for three days, and I’m updating a desktop now.

      But I’m just a personal user, and would not enjoy having to rely on Win10 to keep a business running. Endless updates, fixes to updates, and fixes to fixes across the Windows landscape.

      Is Win10 and Office worth the hassle? When a customer like me has to spend as much time researching OS updates for which ones are “safe” and which ones will brick the box, compared to the time i can actually enjoy using the machine.

      Intel&AMD builds, Win10H v1903 18362.267
      2 parrots and a cat
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    • #1878585 Reply

      Charlie
      AskWoody Plus

      Nothing short of a miracle would change my mind about Win 10.  MS really shocked me when they came out with Win 8, and sadly things changed very little since then.  Like you I had hoped that they would eventually get back to a good computer type GUI (like Win 7 already had) but that didn’t, and hasn’t happened yet IMO.

      Then with Win 10 there’s that lack of control over updates that shocked me again along with so much more bovine excrement.  So, no I’m getting myself accustomed to Linux, and will use it for email and surfing the web.  My wonderful Win 7 computer will still get used, but for other things.

      Thanks for your excellent post!

      Win 7 Home Premium, x64, Intel i3-2120 3.3GHz, Groups B & L

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    • #1878597 Reply

      Sinclair
      AskWoody Lounger

      Windows 10 is spyware and the end user has only a limited say in how Windows 10 or any software that uses Windows 10 behaves. As such I will never use it since that overrules any good things it might do.

      Only a complete turn around by Microsoft where ones again the end user is in full control of both the hardware and software will make me reconsider. This does not have to come for free. I payed good money for my Windows 7 Licenses. I would do so again if this was an option. As such I will use Windows 7 for many more years to come even if there are no more future patches. I see no problem with this security wise or other if this is done in a mindful manner. That is a personal choice and anyone else should simple do what he or she is comfortable with in that regard.

      W7 x64 Pro&Home

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    • #1878620 Reply

      Microfix
      Da Boss

      I remember in years gone by, relishing the thought of a new improved MSFT OS, subscribing to monthly magazines, buying books and checking online reviews from Windows for Workgroups 3.11 to Windows S/heaven and enjoying upgrading hardware to match although I dread to think of the cost but, it didn’t matter, I enjoyed it!
      I didn’t mention the foundation OS for W10, Windows 8.1, primarily because it’s just a reliably bland/boring OS that just works, for now anyway, and is my current MSFT safety net OS of choice. (XP offline is also rock solid)

      I eventually reluctantly embraced W10, however, the OS now just leaves me empty, devoid of enthusiasm, curiosity and excitement. I did try versions 1511, some in between, through to v1803. Every subsequent ‘feature update’ felt more like a ‘creature update’ with more bugs and less interest value to me.

      These things MAY change my mind:
      1. Opt in telemetry for everything and strictly honored
      2. Less multiple stream connections within each SVHost
      3. An updated clean and modern PC GUI at install
      without crApps showing and the need for 3rd party GUI utilities and tiles are so yesterday

      None of these are likely but one thing for sure is, MSFT is killing Windows as we all loved/put up with or cursed at (BSOD), so what difference does it make?

      ********** Win7 x64/x86 | Win8.1 x64 | Linux Hybrids x64 **********

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      • #1879684 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        None of these are likely but one thing for sure is, MSFT is killing Windows as we all loved/put up with or cursed at (BSOD), so what difference does it make?

        Yes, this is my thought too.  When Windows 10 first hit the scene, and I first saw what Microsoft’s abusive “Windows as a Service” was really like, I wondered what kind of a company treated its customers like this and thought it would get to keep them as customers.  The only reasonable answer I could come up with was “none of them,” or that Microsoft had no intention or desire to keep Windows users long-term.

        Everything fits with that hypothesis… Nadella is a cloud guy, and Microsoft made him CEO for that reason, so it’s natural that they would consider Windows a symbol of their former, non-cloudy past, and wish to be rid of it, or at least rid of it as a general-purpose OS.  Windows is disproportionately resource-heavy for every dollar it makes, and that will continue to get worse if PC sales keep falling, since the development costs do not scale downward with number of units sold.  If PC sales keep falling, there will be a point where Windows crosses from profitable to break-even, and from break-even to a net loss.

        Microsoft’s making a fortune in the cloud, so it looks like Nadella’s vision is vindicated.  Windows, by comparison, is a boat anchor weighing them down.  One option to correct that would simply be to cut it loose… either to just cut Windows off and tell people it’s all coming to an end and letting them fend for themselves, or to open-source it as Netscape did when its days were numbered.  Those options get Microsoft out of the OS market, but they let a very valuable asset wither and die on the vine, and that asset is Microsoft’s 90% desktop market share.

        So how would a Microsoft go about liquidating this valuable asset?  If I were the person Nadella put in charge of that, I would do… pretty much what Microsoft is doing.  Monetize Windows at every opportunity!  All the things that Gates and Ballmer would not do because it would harm the Windows franchise long term… do them!  Fire the beta testers, which is guaranteed to cause a reduction in quality and to tick people off while it saves money!  I imagine Mel Brooks as Yogurt in Spaceballs saying “Merchandising!  Merchandising!” only now it’s Nadella as Yogurt, and he’s saying “Monetizing! Monetizing! It’s where the real money is made!”

        We haven’t really seen the monetization machine in full effect yet.  Microsoft has one more hump to get over first, and that’s the mass of people still on Windows 7.  If they go full throttle on monetization now, those users are even more likely to keep using 7 beyond the final EOL date.  That’s why we’re still getting these little bones thrown to us, I think, like the new limited deferral for home users… little hints that seem to indicate that MS is listening and that they care about the needs of consumers.  It’s my bet that this will end once the Windows 10 snowball absorbs enough of the Windows 7 holdouts.  Then, and only then, will we see what Microsoft has planned, and I sure would not want to be on 10 when it happened.

        There’s enough lock-in that many people will deny what they can plainly observe and let themselves be monetized for years to come.  Either way, it’s a win for MS… people stay in Windows and get monetized, MS keeps developing Windows while taking all of that extra monetization.  People leave Windows, Microsoft can finally be done with it.

        Of course, that’s conjecture, and I could be wrong… but then I’d be back in the situation of wondering how MS can abuse its customers so much and still plan to keep them.

        That’s why I began to suspect that after Microsoft kills Windows as we’ve known it, they will offer us Windows as we have not known it, based on the Linux kernel.  It’s not that the Linux kernel is better than their own… just cheaper.  A lot cheaper!  If Windows was reduced to a mere desktop environment with a Win32 compatibility layer (like WINE), a lot of the development costs would be reduced.  They just did that (adopted an open source backend instead of their own) with Edge, which would have been hard for people to believe just 10 years ago.

        That explains why MS seems to be courting the Linux community, buying GitHub and becoming a Platinum member of the Linux Foundation.  Ballmer wasn’t totally off base when he said that Linux was like a cancer in terms of its license (GPL) attaching to everything it touches, and some kind of conflict with the GPL would be inevitable if MS was to do what I have described.  There’s already precedent for the Linux Foundation pressuring lesser members into dropping suits against Platinum members, so for Microsoft, giving $500k to Linux could be cheap insurance, by their standards, against those kinds of claims.

        That, of course, would only matter if Microsoft actually intended to do something like what I describe.  As long as they release all of the code changes they make to the kernel, they’re in the clear in terms of their WSL efforts.  The GPL is very friendly and easy to comply with if you intend to release all the code anyway… it only gets hairy when you try to mix open and closed code on a given project, like a closed Windows desktop environment running on top of an open Linux kernel.  Specifically, there would be issues of distribution.

        The GPL does not, as far as I understand, allow distribution of open GPL code in the same package as closed code, so MS would have to employ some tricks to do it.  It’s not that different from Ubuntu and other distros providing closed-source drivers like Nvidia’s… the downloadable packages do not contain any closed source drivers, but instead downloads them from the Ubuntu servers during or after the Linux installation.

        By greasing the skids with Platinum membership, MS improves its odds of getting away with “gray area” stuff.  I could see a Linux installation that has an open (customized by MS) kernel and a version of WINE (also open and customized by MS) running under a closed desktop environment, where the Windows installer only contains the open bits and maybe a feature-limited open version of the MS desktop, which would allow things to run in a reduced capacity until the user agrees to the EULA for the full closed source desktop, which would then be downloaded and installed.  There’s no problem with commercial software on Linux, so long as that software is not bundled with GPL licensed bits, and in this case, it would not be different than downloading any other closed software on Linux.

        I do hope that’s the plan.  I use WINE, and one thing that has held it back has been Microsoft’s unwillingness to fully document its APIs.  A lot of WINE has to be done with reverse engineering, and that’s hard work, particularly with limited resources.  An injection of MS cash and knowledge could make WINE improve rapidly, and that would benefit all of us who use WINE on Linux.  It could also open Linux as a market for Microsoft Office.

        In the past, MS would never have done anything like this, as they seem to have been of the opinion that open-sourcing even a little of their code would be a disaster (hence Ballmer’s “cancer” comments).  Google has shown them otherwise– Chromium, of course, is open-source, but it’s still developed by Google to serve Google’s interests.  Opening up the code and letting anyone use it or fork it doesn’t mean they have to listen to the community about anything!

        Google is still in full control of what code gets into Chromium, just as much as they would be if they were developing it closed-source.  The only difference is that anyone can use or fork the code to build their own Chromium, perhaps with all of the Google-serving bits removed.  A few projects do just that… Opera, Vivaldi, Iridium, Brave, to name just a few.

        By far, though, most people still use the full-Googled Chrome, which is perceived by many as being “the real deal,” while the others are just second-rate copies.  All of those Chromium-based browsers still use Chrome addons and identify themselves as Chrome to websites, so even though they’re not contributing personal data to Google like the actual Chrome would be, they’re still boosting the Chrome ecosystem and market share, and all the while giving Google cover should any government decide to investigate them the way they did with Microsoft two decades ago.  How can it be a restraint of trade if they’ve given away the source to anyone who wants it?

        You could wonder if Microsoft had made that observation, but their choice to make Edge into one of those forked browsers kinda says it all, I think.  Why waste your time writing your own rendering engine and keeping it up to date and secure when it’s already being done by someone else, and is available for free?

        It could even get to a point where Microsoft would be willing to open source their “Windows” desktop environment, while retaining the kind of control that Google has over Chrome.  It would be the same situation… forks would be “fake Windows,” but most people would want the “real Windows.”  Businesses would demand the real Windows, the only one that gets Microsoft support, in the same manner as RHEL.  MS still gets paid, while reducing development costs significantly.  The MS critics would go for the de-Microsofted “fake” Windows, which would keep them in the MS ecosystem rather than escaping to “pure” Linux, and is the case with Chrome and its derivatives, it would count as Windows in terms of market share.

        I really hope this comes to pass. It seems like wishful thinking, but it fits what we’ve already observed from Microsoft.

        WINE has already made great leaps in compatibility lately, thanks in large part to Steam, but there’s more work to be done.  Personally, I don’t need MS Office or Photoshop.  It’s usually one of those two or Windows games that are cited as the things that keep people bound to Windows, and all of the games I have specifically wanted to play thus far have all worked well on Linux.  Most of the time, I don’t want to play a specific game… I just want something interesting, and there are plenty of choices available on Linux, both in terms of Windows games that run under WINE/Proton or that are Linux native.  The limiting factor is the amount of time I have and money to buy them, not the number of games that work on Linux.

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.16.4).

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        • #1892184 Reply

          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Ascaris,

          It would be nice, for me, to have a LINUX engine running at the heart of  your imagined “New Windows”, because then I could use the UNIX/LINUX command line and get a lot of my work done in this way, instead of using the old, diminished DOS commands (I never got into PowerShell) and relying on a LINUX emulation such as Cygwin to produce source code that can run in LINUX and macOS machines after being compiled there with the appropriate compilers.

          I agree with your other considerations, to the extent that, having never tried Windows 10 myself, I have to accept your arguments and similar ones from many others, here at Woody’s  and elsewhere, at face value. However, I have also a different and also deeper objection to using a post-Windows 7 (or perhaps 8.1, which I have not tried) version of Windows, whether it becomes largely LINUX based or not:

          Microsoft, in my opinion, as a company, is not very good at making things, be them software or hardware.

          As I have observed over a number of years, MS has embarrassed itself repeatedly with its various attempts to keep up with the rest of its competitors, both the old ones and those new ones it has gained with its attempts to get into their types of businesses where it can see a great sales potential; both types of misfirings include: cell phones, tablets, Surface… Web search engines, Windows ME, 8, Windows for everything, Windows updates… Now it has people working on quantum computers… Suffice to say that I don’t plan to buy my first quantum computer from MS.

          https://www.geekwire.com/2019/microsofts-quantum-computing-network-takes-one-giant-leap-startup-summit/

           

    • #1878840 Reply

      MrJimPhelps
      AskWoody_MVP

      I was a never-W10-er for a while. The thing that got me to start using Windows 10 was my job – they confiscated my Windows 7 computer and handed me a Windows 10 computer. Done. I had no choice in the matter, if I wanted to have that job. I figured I could use Windows 10 with no cost to myself, because my company’s IT staff was supporting it. In fact, I figured that this would be my chance to learn and become familiar with Windows 10.

      I do desktop support part-time at a local credit union; and the word came down from on high to get everyone a new computer with Windows 10 Professional on it. Now I am not only using Windows 10, but I am also supporting it. And I can’t bad-mouth it at the credit union, because my supervisor directed me to move them to Windows 10.

      After doing Windows 10 desktop support for about a year now, I can truthfully say that I like Windows 10. It is a well-designed system, if you have a modern computer. As for updates being out of control, I edited the group policy to block device driver updates and preview updates, to delay “important” updates for 30 days, and to delay upgrades for 360 days. Also, no automatic reboot for updates will occur outside of the hours 7 PM to 4 AM. So far, I haven’t seen any update-related problems in any of the computers at the credit union.

      Telemetry doesn’t bother me. I have it set to collect the minimum amount of information. My honest opinion is that Microsoft collects whatever information they need in order to make Windows more secure, so it doesn’t bother me. I don’t believe Microsoft makes much if any money off of collecting their customers’ personal information. The reason for my opinion is that, no matter which website I visit, I never find Microsoft scripts running in the background, except at Microsoft’s own websites.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
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      • #1879140 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        Also, no automatic reboot for updates will occur outside of the hours 7 PM to 4 AM.

        That’s probably something that can work well for a business that has well-defined hours of operation, but what about for home/personally owned PCs?  I don’t know about anyone else, but there’s no time of day that I am certain to be okay with my PC refusing to do what I want at a moment’s notice.  There are probably numerous posts by me on Askwoody for every one of the 24 hours of day, and each one is made from one of my PCs.

        You use Mint, so you know how easy updates can be… they go quite fast, and you can still work while the updating is being done.  When it finishes, you can put off a reboot (if one is needed) until you’re done working, then reboot whenever it’s convenient.  When you do, it’s just a normal, fast reboot, and you’re back to work.

        Windows isn’t like that, of course.  You get the part in Windows Update where you can watch the little progress meter moving, which you can do while working, but then it demands a reboot.  I have never experienced it while using 10 (the vestigial Win 10 installations I have on my Swift and G3, from which I sometimes ran Macrium Reflect to image my Linux volumes, are locked down with Windows Update Blocker), but lots of people, like Patch Lady Susan in her recent post, have reported Windows rebooting at an inappropriate time, and once it’s started updating, there’s no “abort” button.  You either give up the use of your PC for as long as Microsoft wants, or you risk borking the Windows installation by forcing it off during an update.

        There have been anecdotes of people having to wait for a laptop to finish updating before giving a Powerpoint presentation, or people having to force-off their laptops and hope for the best when the taxi was outside honking the horn and it was time to slip the laptop into the bag and head to the airport (which would very possibly block the vents and overheat the laptop if the updates were to continue).  ExtremeTech reported that a PC they were testing rebooted to update during a benchmark run.

        That’s the second part of the Windows Update two-step… the sometimes agonizingly long phase where it says “Installing updates.  Please do not turn off your computer,” or whatever it is.  It’s painfully slow, and you can’t do anything with the PC until it is done.  I’m not okay with that happening without my specific go-ahead on my personal machines.  It might be different if I was an IT person supporting an array of machines, where part of my job was to make sure those computers were updated, and where there were defined “no one’s at work” hours.

        Telemetry doesn’t bother me. I have it set to collect the minimum amount of information. My honest opinion is that Microsoft collects whatever information they need in order to make Windows more secure, so it doesn’t bother me.

        It bothers me because it’s part of the whole “let the paying consumers beta test Windows 10” monetization effort (a penny saved is a penny earned).  MS fired the beta testers to save money, then offloaded that duty to consumers, without their consent.  Regular consumers don’t know a thing about beta testing (or even that they are being used as cannon fodder at all), and they never indicated any desire or ability to file bug reports, so a huge telemetry apparatus is necessary to collect the bug data the “beta testers” generate.  It’s also important to make sure the “beta testers” are using the build that Microsoft wants tested, so there must be little or no control over updates.

        I agree that MS does appear to be using the telemetry data for what they claim, for now at least.  That doesn’t make it okay to make consumers beta test the software they paid for!  The telemetry is an inextricable part of that cynical and IMO highly unethical move.  The telemetry is not so much for “making Windows better” (which it does, at least on the surface) as it is for conscripting consumers into service to Microsoft so Microsoft can save money.  I don’t wan’t to be an enabler for such bad behavior.  If I were to agree to telemetry, it would be to assist Microsoft’s QA department, not to replace it.

        For years, I voluntarily allowed Mozilla to get telemetry data from my installation of Firefox.  They wanted end users to help test Firefox and make it better, but it wasn’t a move they made to save money on development of a commercial product.  Mozilla still beta-tested the software to the best of their ability before release.  The Mozilla telemetry was, and is, more like the Windows CEIP (Customer Experience Improvement Program), an optional telemetry program that worked in conjunction with Microsoft’s professional testing, not instead of it.

        Now that I use Waterfox, there’s no more telemetry for Mozilla (that code is removed from Waterfox, not just turned off).  While I still hold Mozilla in far higher esteem than I do Microsoft, they’ve really done a lot to inspire my anger ever since the announcement of the “Quantum leap backward.”  That’s another topic, though.

        I’d have much less of a problem with telemetry if there was a real, global OFF setting that, once set, would never change on its own.  Even for enterprise customers, the lowest telemetry setting is “Security,” where it still sends security info to Microsoft (malware found, that sort of thing).  I don’t have a problem with sending that data, but I do have a problem with Microsoft deciding for me that I am going to send it to them.

        If you ask me for a favor, I may or may not grant it, but if you demand that I do the favor or try to force me to do the favor, I will almost certainly resist to the limits of my ability, even if it was something I would have done if you just would have asked. I don’t think I am alone in this.

        It’s the principle– it’s my computer, so I get to decide what info leaves it, and it doesn’t matter how good anyone else thinks my reasons are.  When users told Microsoft they wanted an off switch for telemetry, what they got instead was excuses.  That misses the point!  It isn’t about whether the info being sent is used for ads or for more legitimate reasons.  It’s about a person’s ownership of the computer, which confers absolute authority over everything the computer does, including sending telemetry data.

        Microsoft doesn’t respect that, and as long as that’s the case, it renders Windows 10 unfit for use, in my opinion.  It means that Windows 10 was not designed to meet what I consider to be a defining standard for an OS fit for purpose.  An OS exists solely to enable the computer hardware to serve the interests of the owner of that hardware, as defined by himself.  That last bit, “as defined by himself,” is important, because Microsoft would (and probably did) make the claim that being forced to take updates and telemetry ensures the best experience, so it’s really serving the PC owner’s interests to violate his wishes.

        When there’s a conflict of interest like that, it’s very easy to define someone else’s interest in a way that just happens to serve your own interests too.  It’s a bias that is very human, and Microsoft is run by humans.

        In the American south before the Civil War, slave owners claimed that slavery was good for Africans, that it would gradually turn them (over generations) from savages into civilized human beings, like domesticating a species of animal.  Of course, that belief just happened to work out really well for those people who wanted to own other people to save on labor costs. It’s an extreme example, but it illustrates how far people can go to justify self-serving motives by claiming that it’s good for someone else.

        That’s why Microsoft’s arguments about how we should not fear telemetry miss the mark.  It never really was about the nature of the data being taken (for me at least), but of the nature of how Microsoft lays claim to that data.

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.16.4).

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        • #1879458 Reply

          Alex5723
          AskWoody Plus

          It’s the principle– it’s my computer, so I get to decide what info leaves it

          Just on this point : It IS your hardware but the OS is Microsoft’s OS. You paid for a lease on Windows and it is not your. Microsoft has the right, as appears in the EULA you signed, to perform any action on Windows : installing, deleting, bricking your OS from running,….wiping Windows…

          • #1879493 Reply

            Ascaris
            AskWoody_MVP

            I know what the EULA says.  It doesn’t matter.  I’m not talking about going to court with Microsoft, and outside of that, the EULA (a contract) is meaningless.  I own the hardware, and that means I, and I alone, have complete control over it, and that bit is non-negotiable.  Windows 10 doesn’t respect that, so it makes Windows 10 unfit for purpose.  That’s why I am a “Never 10” person who is using Linux instead of Windows, asking people who also vowed “Never 10” what it would take to move to “Maybe 10.”

            If I did want to pursue legal action against MS, there are some arguments to be made based on Microsoft’s monopoly status, and I’ve mentioned them in other threads, but that’s merely hypothetical.  Discussion of these has proven to be a distraction from the point I am actually trying to make, which is that in my opinion, Windows 10 is not, as it is currently constituted, fit for purpose as an OS.

            Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.16.4).

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            • #1879707 Reply

              jabeattyauditor
              AskWoody Lounger

              Discussion of these has proven to be a distraction from the point I am actually trying to make, which is that in my opinion, Windows 10 is not, as it is currently constituted, fit for purpose as an OS.

              Would it be fair to say that Windows 10 is not fit for your purposes as an OS?

              My guess (and it’s only that): MS is far more likely to be sued for NOT updating the OS by the clueless users who don’t even know how to maintain their coffee mugs (the vast majority) than it is to be sued by the remaining minority who’d prefer full control.

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            • #1893329 Reply

              Charlie
              AskWoody Plus

              Unfortunately that is so true.

              Win 7 Home Premium, x64, Intel i3-2120 3.3GHz, Groups B & L

            • #1896983 Reply

              Ascaris
              AskWoody_MVP

              Keeping in mind that this topic is in Rants, I’m going a little more esoteric and philosophical here than I usually would.

              Fitness for purpose is always going to be a judgment call, so opinions will vary.  If Windows 10 works for a given person, that’s great; after all, computers are tools, and if the person using the tool says it is up to the task, then as far as I am concerned, for that person, it is up to the task.  That’s at a one on one, nuts and bolts level, but my sweeping statement about its fitness for purpose is more of a big picture view, with a degree more abstraction.

              It is my view that any OS has one job and one job only, and that is to enable the owner of the hardware in question to use that hardware to perform tasks of his choosing, in a manner (and time) of his choosing.  Anything that adds to its ability to do that for a hypothetical person makes it more fit for purpose, while anything else makes it less fit.

              In order to enable the hardware to perform tasks of the owner’s choosing, an OS must necessarily have access to everything on the system.  Every video, every image, every document, every web site visited, every key pressed, everything copied or pasted… the OS is privy to it all.  As such, it is imperative that the “loyalty” of the OS, if I may anthropomorphize it for a bit, is without question.

              If a person was to apply for a job that involves access to every secret a given government has, he would certainly be subjected to a rigorous investigation beforehand.  Any evidence that the person may have divided loyalty would certainly be grounds for rejection of the security clearance, thus denying that person the job he wants.  It might only be an outside chance of divided loyalty, and there may not be anything but bare suspicion, but that’s enough when it comes to security clearances.  It’s better to be safe than sorry.

              My personal computer isn’t of the same level of importance as a country’s security, but it’s pretty important to me.  If my own government would deny me a job for the possibility of having split loyalty, why would I tolerate it in my operating system (only in this case, it’s not suspicion– it’s a known fact)?  If the OS is made to serve two masters, I can never be sure that it’s going to pick me when I really need it to.

              When an OS is made to try to serve its developer as well as the owner of the hardware upon which it is installed, there will always be the tendency for the developers of that OS to attempt to justify design features that are meant to serve the corporation as really being in the user’s interest, like when MS claims that it’s in the user’s best interest to be forced to upgrade whenever Microsoft demands, because that way they get all of the good stuff that much sooner. (If that were true, why give corporate users more leeway to decide for themselves?  Force it on everyone if you believe it!)

              The user’s interest is not defined by Microsoft, but by the user himself, and if he says he wants updates stopped, then that’s his interest right there– no ifs, ands, or buts about it.  The owner of the hardware is the final authority on the topic, not to mention the only one.  If the user says he wants telemetry off, then that is the final word on the subject, and it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t get why telemetry is important for Microsoft to be able to keep track of problems or security threats or any of that.  All of those arguments are only relevant if one supposes that there is some kind of balancing act between the interests of the PC owner (as defined by himself) and the interests of Microsoft.

              In an OS that is fit for purpose, there is no such balancing act.  It’s all about the user’s interests, as he defines them, and nothing else.  That’s why the arguments about how telemetry is really okay because [reasons] and how Microsoft forcing updates is really okay because [more reasons] fall flat, as they miss the whole bit about how Microsoft’s interests or opinions regarding what is in the PC owner’s interest do not matter in the slightest.  (Not talking about the EULA here; I am aware that they give themselves the right to all kinds of stuff, but I am talking about my definition of an OS fit for purpose).

              That’s the philosophical basis behind my assertion that Windows 10 is not fit for purpose (the purpose of being an operating system, in other words), in a broad sense.  It’s my opinion, obviously, about what makes an OS worthy of being called an OS, but the way that I define “fitness for purpose” at that level isn’t about my specific needs or desires… not yet.  First I consider whether the candidate (for anything… in this case, the OS) meets the “ballpark” definition of fitness for purpose, then I think about whether it is suitable as far as the nuts and bolts (fitness for my purpose).

              When I rejected Windows Vista and Windows 8, it was on the nuts and bolts level; they were not fit for my purpose.  Windows 10 is different.  It doesn’t even make it through the preliminary filter… if it were a candidate for office, it would have failed to gather enough signatures to even be on the ballot for the primary, whereas Windows Vista and 8.1 lost the general election.

              That’s why it is difficult to know exactly what would make me reconsider 10, in answer to my own question.  What would it take to make me believe that Microsoft had abandoned the strategy of one OS to serve two masters?  I’d have to see it first and evaluate it in light of the facts at hand.  I can’t even begin to think of a litmus test that would spell it out in advance.

              Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.16.4).

    • #1878841 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      The lack of choice to users of Windows to opt out, regarding the new “telemetry update”, is discouraging. But for me it is even more bothersome the fast pace of system “upgrades” and, beyond that, how quickly a particular version of this operating system runs out of support compared with the 10 years that used to be the case until Windows 10 came along — and even with the 5 years of effective support for each of the versions of macOS:

      https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/13853/windows-lifecycle-fact-sheet

      A system “upgrade” means a new operating system, even if the changes, comparing it with the old one, are apparently trivial. It means that people stuck their fingers into the heart of the software that is used to make the computer work, and there is no end of things they could have messed up while working on building whatever new features they were trying to bring in, or on modifying older ones they were trying to improve. Everyone of those changes is an added possibility of introducing a bug, or else making things awkward for the user (“not a bug, but a feature”); then one has to change the way of doing things to work around the bug, or feature. In other words: one is tooting reasonably happily along, doing whatever one needs a PC to do it with, and one good day, boom!: things stop working, or are no longer working the way one needs them to. It has happened to me every time I upgraded Windows, from 98 to XP, from XP to 7. But that was after no less than six years using the same system, so it was a very now and then kind of pain and, while I was not happy about this, at least could handle it in an orderly way, as the transition was not unexpected, but I could see it coming a good long time before it arrived. And I was already informed on at least some of the quirks of the OS that I would have to deal with — and even, sometimes, on how to do that.

      My plan after Windows 7 EOL in January: apply only super-critical updates MS might still provide now and then, as it has been doing with XP. Otherwise keep Windows  7 off the Internet and use Linux, that I have installed in dual boot, for that. And continue to use, as already I am doing, the Mac as well as the Linux side of the PC for most work, particularly anything requiring the use of browsers. There are, in the PC, some applications that only run with Windows 7 and those I shall be happy to continue to use for as long as possible beyond EOL.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1879419 Reply

      Alex5723
      AskWoody Plus

      Microsoft would have done a huge service to home users by selling LTSB/LTSC licences. The chnace for that to happen is slim at best.

      Microsoft says Windows as a Service has major advantages

      Martin Brinkmann at ghacks.net has a post regarding an article by Microsoft’s Sean McLaren at the end of May 2019 in which he highlighted the advantages of Windows as a Service.

      Improved stability: With Windows 10, we work to deliver monthly quality updates to over 800 million active Windows 10 devices, 35 million application titles (with more than 175 million application versions), and 16 million unique hardware/driver combinations. Staying current means your devices benefit from the latest features and enhancements as well as fixes for known issues.

      More secure: Staying current in the age of the digital transformation is the best way to protect against threats. A regular rhythm of monthly updates shifts control away from potential attackers and in your favor.

      More productive: Don’t take productivity for granted as a “nice to have.” In addition to the hundreds of Windows 10 user-focused features introduced over time, there have been countless additions designed specifically to make the life of the IT professional easier and more manageable.

      Lower total cost of ownership (TCO): Staying up to date with the latest Windows feature and monthly updates will not only improve productivity, it will ultimately lower the total cost of ownership by helping you focus application compatibility testing, reduce security risk and remediation costs, reduce support costs, and enable more effective employee-customer interactions.

      The article reads like an advertisement for Windows 10 and the new release model. If you ask users what they don’t like about it you may get “forced upgrades”, “too many feature updates”, “too much telemetry”, or “not enough controls” as answers.

      https://www.ghacks.net/2019/07/22/microsoft-says-windows-as-a-service-has-major-advantages/

      • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by  Alex5723.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1879704 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        Yeesh, what a bunch of marketing speak that is.  None of that actually explains how WaaS is any better than what they had before.  They’ve merely extolled the virtues of staying updated, which was something that it was possible to do long before WaaS existed.

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.16.4).

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #1879718 Reply

          b
          AskWoody Plus

          They’ve merely extolled the virtues of staying updated, which was something that it was possible to do long before WaaS existed.

          Possible, but unlikely for the majority.

          Knuckle dragger Cannon fodder Chump Daft glutton Idiot Crazy/Ignorant Toxic drinker Blockhead Unwashed mass Seeker/Sucker "Ancient/Obsolete" (Group ASAP) Win10 v.1903

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #1897150 Reply

            Ascaris
            AskWoody_MVP

            Unlikely?  The default was to download and install updates as soon as they were available.  The only time they wouldn’t auto update was if someone changed the setting, or if something went wrong and it failed (which still happens with WaaS).

            Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.16.4).

            • #1900101 Reply

              jabeattyauditor
              AskWoody Lounger

              Unlikely?  The default was to download and install updates as soon as they were available.  The only time they wouldn’t auto update was if someone changed the setting, or if something went wrong and it failed (which still happens with WaaS).

              Except this wasn’t the pattern, which is why so many systems fell victim to malware for which patches had been offered months beforehand.

              I’ve worked at firms where servers were never updated beyond the initial install package – “we don’t do updates here. <smirk>”

              2 users thanked author for this post.
              Lugh, b
    • #1879913 Reply

      mn–
      AskWoody Lounger

      … I’m probably not in the relevant demographic here, but…

      Given that I never actually liked Windows 7 either, and the last version of Windows that I thought was relatively well designed was NT 3.51 …

      So yeah.
      1) stability… like graphics back out of the inside ring, preferably.
      2) sane disk and filesystem semantics, like being able to replace a system file without rebooting. It should be possible on NTFS since VSS is possible… also actually usable logical disk management, like LVM or some such – with snapshot/CoW capability especially for the system files.
      3) Reasonable update management, with dependencies and install batch ordering. And preferably hierarchical software packaging with ability to repackage patches and such.
      4) Patches tested and documented properly prior to general release.
      5) Proper ways to opt out of the snooping.
      6) Actually working device and driver management, including USB devices.
      7) Affordable ways to get a reasonable support period. Even the Enterprise/Education 30 month lifetime is ridiculously short.
      8) Would prefer to be able to properly tune the system scheduler and memory management for different workloads, especially for servers…

      Wouldn’t say no to UI improvements and such either but that part is now good enough to be lived with… well at least right after a reboot it is, see 1 for stability…

      I mean, sheesh, none of these would be anything new as such. The hierarchical software management and packaging could be bought as a third-party product for Windows NT by 1993 at least, for crying out loud… AIX had LVM in 1989.

    • #1880032 Reply

      sgt173
      AskWoody Lounger

      Ok, the lack of control over Telemetry/partial opt-out and not opt-in. Is my next move I just got out out Micro c***, but I had to make an account to get out of it.

    • #1889452 Reply

      Elly
      AskWoody MVP

      @ascaris has done an excellent job of detailing problems with Windows 10. From my point of view, all of those problems can be summarized as Microsoft being run in ways that are unethical.

      In business there is a difference between what is legal, and what is moral. Microsoft’s EULA covers them legally. However, it isn’t ethical to subvert a person’s computer so that it doesn’t do what the person who owns the hardware wants it to do.

      It isn’t ethical to have people purchase one product and replace it with another, no matter what the marketing speak is. It is a slimy, underhanded way of stealing the time, energy, money, and focus of the person who bought the computer.

      Microsoft has not balanced their efforts by providing adequate, informed, user choices. They were unethical in using ‘errors’ like the red X to push an unwanted and unasked for operating system. They are unethical in saying they are providing more control of telemetry, while their three levels do not include a way to turn it off completely. They are unethical in pushing unwanted apps and services onto other people’s hardware. They are unethical because they are using updates not just to provide security fixes, but to fundamentally change the operating system and bring it under their control, in actual opposition to what end users may want and need. They are unethical because they give word service to addressing the concerns of end users, without providing the necessary information and/or ways for end users to implement or choose options that actually eliminate the identified problems. They are unethical because they are an organization that has been unable to promote and retain women, silencing voices from the get go that would have supported more cooperative, mutual values rather than pushing for more power, and more control, with the power and control being forced on others from the top.

      At this point, for all the wonders of the Cloud and Windows 10, Microsoft’s consistently unethical behavior demonstrates to me that they are a company to be avoided. When I invite somebody into my home I don’t want to have to worry that they are going to give themselves the right to move the furniture around, and replace it when they deem it no longer stylish. If I hire a security company, they don’t have the right to walk in the front door any time they wish. If I hire someone to do housekeeping, I don’t want to have to worry they are going to throw things away because they’ve decided I don’t need them any more, and they’ve hidden that option in their contract somewhere. No service I hire gets to lock me out of an area of my house, so they can access it at their convenience, and use it for their purposes. My computer is as personal and private as my house, my home. Microsoft, or any business, needs to respect that, not through lip service or marketing speak… but in its actions, its products, and its services. Until such a time, they are simply offering malware to be avoided, not to be invited in for the foreseeable future. I tolerate toddlers that are oblivious to appropriate boundaries, when there is a parent to guide and limit their behavior… but not adults that deliberately violate the same boundaries. Windows 10 is supposed to be a better behaved, maturing product, and needs to stop acting like a disruptive toddler or sneaky criminal con artist before it is allowed into my home.

      Win 7 Home, 64 bit, Group B

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    • #1891922 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      What will make me change my mind and embrace Windows 10?

      Let’s see, the following points in this list may give you a hint:

      (1) Major system releases every 5 years.

      (2) 10-year support for each of those releases.

      (3)  Tiles: None, or as an option.

      (4) Allowing MS telemetry as an opt-in choice.

      (5) A GUI similar to that of Windows 7.

      (6) No Cortana or similar distractions.

      (7) A more user-friendly user support.

      (8) Fewer patches.

      (9) Patches that work out of the box, so to speak.

      (10) Eliminating the word ‘Quality’ from everything, patches in particular.

       

      Windows 7 Group B (till January, then we’ll see), plus macOS+Linux (Mint)

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      • #1892304 Reply

        joep517
        AskWoody MVP

        (1) Major system releases every 5 years. – Never going to happen. Never has happened in the history of Windows.
        (2) 10-year support for each of those releases. – What kind of support? Probably not going to happen anymore.
        (3) Tiles: None, or as an option. – Tiles appear to be going away. Good idea but better for mobile than PC/Laptop
        (4) Allowing MS telemetry as an opt-in choice. – Microsoft needs at least basic telemetry to fix errors. Otherwise, people would complain even more.
        (5) A GUI similar to that of Windows 7. – Use a third part to get close to what you want. UI design is going to continue to evolve as hardware advances
        (6) No Cortana or similar distractions. – Cortana is slowly being removed from Windows and will be a store app. Don’t install it or uninstall it if it comes preinstalled.
        (7) A more user-friendly user support. – Define what you want.
        (8) Fewer patches. – Less frequent? Less volume? Don’t want fixes at all?
        (9) Patches that work out of the box, so to speak. – I’m sure that is what Microsoft wants too.
        (10) Eliminating the word ‘Quality’ from everything, patches in particular. – OK

        --Joe

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        • #1892773 Reply

          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Joseph517:

          To be clear: I wrote the list above in answer to Susan’s question as to what I would need to see happen to change my mind about not using Windows 10. It is my personal list of preferences, so nobody has to agree. I am sorry, but really there is nothing to discuss here. If you have a different list, by all means, post it.

          • #1892782 Reply

            b
            AskWoody Plus

            There’s no point in posting a list of preferences on a discussion forum if you’re not expecting some discussion. It wasn’t a poll for Microsoft.

            Knuckle dragger Cannon fodder Chump Daft glutton Idiot Crazy/Ignorant Toxic drinker Blockhead Unwashed mass Seeker/Sucker "Ancient/Obsolete" (Group ASAP) Win10 v.1903

            • #1892786 Reply

              OscarCP
              AskWoody Plus

              Perhaps I did not express this well enough. So let me try again: I was answering Susan’s question, not MS inquiries. People can discuss as much as they like, at the moderators’ discretion, anything and everything, including my list. But I feel no obligation to join in, unless I consider some comments to be both relevant and of particular interest to me. This is no the case here. These are my personal preferences, no more, no less.  That’s a fact. I seek no agreement. In my previous entry, I was merely trying to make this clear.

            • #1892787 Reply

              Kirsty
              Da Boss

              Thank you for sharing your responses. You are quite right, having posted your personal preferences, you are not required to justify your wishes. However, it is to be expected that others may respond. It’s your choice if you wish to respond to those responses.

              That said, I believe this part of the discussion thread has come to a natural end. Let’s get back to discussing preferences… 🙂
              Thanks.

              4 users thanked author for this post.
        • #1896569 Reply

          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          (5) A GUI similar to that of Windows 7. – Use a third part to get close to what you want. UI design is going to continue to evolve as hardware advances

          The GUI hasn’t changed because hardware has advanced.  Windows 7’s Aero interface was more taxing on hardware than the huge blocks of gray and white of Windows 10 (prior to Acrylic, anyway), which were meant to be easy to render on low-spec phones that would also be running the same UI, if MS had succeeded.

          It’s the job of the UI to adapt to the hardware of the human being, and that hardware has not changed since Microsoft got it just right with Windows 95.  MS did a lot of research on usability back then, and all that they learned back then is just as valid now as it was in the mid 90s.  Microsoft learned that a lot of their assumptions of how people would think about the options presented in Windows 3.x were wrong, and they put a ton of subtle and a smaller number of not so subtle fixes into 95 that made it a real game changer when it came to UI quality.  Windows 95 was the first version of Windows that I actually thought had a solid reason to exist other than the hardware abstraction, which was completely lacking in MS-DOS.

          By contrast, the messy Windows 8/10 hodge-podge of half phone and half desktop (with the controversial ribbon tossed into the file manager with no option to use the traditional menu bar) wasn’t designed around any kind of usability concern.  It was designed to help speed the creation of an app store for Windows phones, without which few people would even consider a Windows phone, even if its OS was far better than iOS or Android, as its fans have claimed.  If the 8 or 10 UIs were designed around the needs of Windows PC users rather than Microsoft’s marketing ambitions, Windows would look a lot different than it does now.

          That’s at the core of all that is wrong with Windows 10, as I see it.  Windows 10 is not designed to serve the PC’s owner unequivocally.  It’s designed with divided loyalty, where sometimes it will deign to do what the hardware owner wants, while at other times it serves its other master back in Redmond.  That’s not acceptable.

          By my definition, any OS worthy of the title exists, once installed and agreed upon as the official OS of that machine, only to serve the hardware owner, in a manner defined by himself, and no one else. That’s not to say that Windows as a whole doesn’t serve Microsoft’s interest; clearly, it does serve Microsoft to make all of the money they do selling Windows and all that surrounds it.  What I mean is that each individual copy of Windows, once lawfully installed and activated on any given person’s PC, has only one acceptable boss, and that’s the hardware owner.

          Previous versions of Windows met that requirement quite well.  MS was clear in telling you that it was not recommended, but the PC owner was free to reject all updates.  The PC owner was free to disable the Windows firewall and to not have any antimalware program, if that was his wish.  He was free to not participate in CEIP.  Microsoft respected that ownership of a PC carries with it certain inherent rights, including the full control over that PC even if MS thought that the choices the owner of the PC made were unsound.

          All of the things I dislike about 10 stem from some design feature that was put in place to serve Microsoft rather than the PC owner.  From the inability to control updates to the lack of an OFF switch for telemetry to the bonkers half-and-half UI to the unwanted app downloads to the inability to remove all of the apps, everything that’s wrong with 10 stems from Microsoft’s desire to use my PC to serve themselves directly (rather than allowing themselves to be served indirectly by the Windows on my PC, by virtue of Windows licensing revenue and my contribution to Microsoft’s huge market share).

          That’s the thing I’d have to see changing to be willing to give Windows 10 another shot, I guess.  I don’t know exactly what it would look like, but I would have to have some kind of evidence that MS recognized that my PC is mine.  I don’t mean in terms of it being allowed because the EULA pretty much says “all your PC is belong to us,” but in a sense of understanding basic right and wrong.   Microsoft has decided that it no longer needs to respect that which other people own.

          As long as that’s the case, I’m not going to use it or recommend it to others.  I’ve actually recommended Macs to people since Windows 10 hit the scene, and that’s just weird when you’ve spent as much time seeing Apple as the bad guys as I have (starting in the days of the Apple II).  I still don’t like them or many of their business practices, but they’re the lesser of all evils now.

          Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.16.4).

          3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1893199 Reply

      anonymous

      Besides what others have stated, how about not changing behaviors of even small things like grouping within folders. I have NEVER used this, and do not want it. The last update…here let’s change all your folder settings to things you never used.

      Nevermind that BIOS settings are changed everytime. Lost track of how many times I have had to reset things as simple as key delays.

      • #1893276 Reply

        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        Nevermind that BIOS settings are changed everytime. Lost track of how many times I have had to reset things as simple as key delays.

        Windows OS updates/upgrade change BIOS settings ? I was sure only OEM is able to update BIOS.

        • #1894983 Reply

          mn–
          AskWoody Lounger

          It is a “feature” of some systems that drivers can change firmware settings directly.

          Been around since… well the oldest PC where I personally saw that was a 1996 model.

          Also some of those have another feature where they can autoreset settings to a factory default or driver default if they’re outside of what the driver or firmware itself considers “known good”, even if those range definitions don’t match reality.

          HP laptop UEFI-mode firmwares of some years ago did that a lot.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1893268 Reply

      ScotchJohn
      AskWoody Plus

      OscarCP – like you, I didn’t much fancy the GUI of Win 10, or of Win 8.1 before that.

      Classic Shell was the answer, giving a Windows 7 like GUI.  Classic Shell is no longer being actively developed, but this has been taken up as Open Shell.

      Of your ten points, that deals with points (3) and (5).  Others may have offers for your other eight points.

      Dell E5570 Latitude, Intel Core i5 6440@2.60 GHz, 8.00 GB - Win 10 Pro

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1893731 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        ScotchJohn,

        Like you, I like the Classic Shell GUI of Windows 7. However, I had to switch to the, in my opinion, inferior and overly busy “Glass” GUI, because Classic Shell would make videos hard to watch due to frequent “screen tear”. Because of this undesirable effect, that was already known, as I eventually discovered, I made the switch to “Glass”, that is free of it. It is caused by a design flaw in Classic Shell. Now I wonder if it has ever been fixed. It has not been fixed, it certainly should be fixable. For all I know, there might even be some software tool out there that fixes this problem. Perhaps in the “Open Shell” version you refer to? If there is one, I really would like to hear about it.

        • #1896573 Reply

          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          However, I had to switch to the, in my opinion, inferior and overly busy “Glass” GUI, because Classic Shell would make videos hard to watch due to frequent “screen tear”. Because of this undesirable effect, that was already known, as I eventually discovered, I made the switch to “Glass”, that is free of it.

          Do you mean Classic Shell, or the Classic theme?

          The Windows 7 Classic theme used GDI calls from the applications themselves to update the screen, and there was no way that this could be done with vsync enabled.  Updates from each application were drawn aysnchronously, not even synced to one another, let alone to the vblank interval.

          To eliminate the tearing, a compositing display manager is used, and in Windows, it’s called DWM, for Desktop Window Manager.  Aero themes enable DWM, while Classic and Basic (and high contrast) themes use the GDI draws.  That’s why the Aero themes eliminated tearing.

          Windows XP used GDI exclusively, as did the versions of Windows before it, but somehow it was never such a problem as it was in Windows 7, where the tearing was really horrendous.  That tearing was why I quit using the Classic theme in 7, even though appearance-wise it was perfect for me.  I also had no fondness for the transparency effects of the Aero glass themes, so I found a port of the Windows classic theme for Aero, written by a third party, and I adapted that to my own needs.  In time, I changed it so much that not much of the original theme existed anymore (including porting it to 8.1 and 10, though it was an older build of 10 and it no longer works, as far as I know), but it was still very similar in its overall look.

          Classic Shell changes elements on the Start Menu or in Windows Explorer, and it works equally well with the Classic theme and with Aero themes.

          Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.16.4).

          • #1896581 Reply

            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            Ascaris: Yes, “Classic theme.” Got my terminology confused. Meant to tell the same story, with fewer details. Thanks for giving the full explanation of why screen tear happens in Win 7’s “Classic Theme”, so everyone who may be interested can learn about it.

    • #1893274 Reply

      ek
      AskWoody Lounger

      What would change my mind to motivate me to adopt Win 10?  Compensate me.  I’ll explain…

      MS is slow-walking Win 10 users to a fee-based subscription service.  A service that enforces unprecedented control of user PCs [OK, unprecedented except for maybe Chrome OS].  A service that regards end users and their PCs as the product, reaps user data and their PC CPU cycles, making revenue off them.  It’s moving to what looks to me as a very lop-sided business arrangement between the end user and MS – with MS eventually having all the leverage.

      So, to entice me to embrace Win 10 (and whatever it’s service model morphs to in the future) I need MS to compensate me for both the use of my personal/activity data, my PC’s resources AND the network bandwidth their business activities consume.  I think a fair trade would be Win 10 for free and a 75% subsidy of any PC I purchase to run Win 10 on… and NO monthly subscription fee.  If they do that I’ll play by their rules if I go Win 10.

      Otherwise, no deal.

      • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by  ek.
      • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by  ek.
      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1896066 Reply

      Pointedly
      AskWoody Lounger

      Now that Microsoft has decided to make the Start menu a separate process, give users a choice of what that process is. I would like to see a full implementation of the Windows 7 Start menu as an option. Many Windows 10 holdouts have very extensive and deeply hierarchical Start menus in Windows 7 for good reason. Yes, Windows 10 has Search, but searching capability does no good if you can’t remember the name of that seldom-used program that you suddenly need. With a comprehensive Windows 7 Start menu, it’s easy to browse and quickly find the desired program. I want to be able to accurately import my complete Windows 7 Start menu into Windows 10. I certainly wouldn’t want to have to recreate my entire Windows 7 Start menu in Windows 10 from scratch.

      Instead of making the Windows 10 Start menu better, Microsoft’s recent accidental release of a new and different Start menu shows that they’ve found a way to make the Windows 10 Start menu even worse. (I admit that I would like a desktop with no icons, since if I used icons for my shortcuts, I would need a screen a half kilometer wide).

      • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by  Pointedly.
      • #1896137 Reply

        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        Microsoft’s recent accidental release of a new and different Start menu shows that they’ve found a way to make the Windows 10 Start menu even worse.

        Here is a version with start menu no Live Tiles (Windows Lite ? )

        • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by  Alex5723.
        • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by  Alex5723.
        Attachments:
      • #1896577 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        (I admit that I would like a desktop with no icons, since if I used icons for my shortcuts, I would need a screen a half kilometer wide).

        I have a desktop with a lot of icons, a favorites section on the main menu (like the Windows start menu) for a handful, a Quick Launch area with several more icons, and the hierarchical KDE main (start) menu (Kicker) for the rest.  None of them other than the hierarchical menu has enough room for all of them, but they don’t have to!  The most used things get the icons in the Quick Launch area, slightly less used things in the main menu, and the desktop is mostly the home for personal files.  I launch applications by file associations from the file manager quite often, which reduces the need to have the room to launch those programs by name.

        The KDE Kicker menu has a lot in common with the Windows 95 start menu, which is still the standard by which the others are judged IMO.  I used Classic Shell to bring back the classic menu in Win 7 and 8.1 (as I would in 10 if I used it).

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.16.4).

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1896585 Reply

        DriftyDonN
        AskWoody Plus

        Now that Microsoft has decided to make the Start menu a separate process, give users a choice of what that process is. I would like to see a full implementation of the Windows 7 Start menu as an option. Many Windows 10 holdouts have very extensive and deeply hierarchical Start menus in Windows 7 for good reason. Yes, Windows 10 has Search, but searching capability does no good if you can’t remember the name of that seldom-used program that you suddenly need. With a comprehensive Windows 7 Start menu, it’s easy to browse and quickly find the desired program. I want to be able to accurately import my complete Windows 7 Start menu into Windows 10. I certainly wouldn’t want to have to recreate my entire Windows 7 Start menu in Windows 10 from scratch. Instead of making the Windows 10 Start menu better, Microsoft’s recent accidental release of a new and different Start menu shows that they’ve found a way to make the Windows 10 Start menu even worse. (I admit that I would like a desktop with no icons, since if I used icons for my shortcuts, I would need a screen a half kilometer wide).

        try http://www.classicshell.net

        win7 start menu!

      • #1900044 Reply

        Lugh
        AskWoody_MVP

        if I used icons for my shortcuts, I would need a screen a half kilometer wide)

        Do you know about Fences? I use it to neatly control maybe 100 icons. Some always visible, many in ‘roll-up’ fences where only the title bar is visible, one ‘New’ visible fence where new icons go automatically so no hunting for them, and a couple of folder views for WIP.

        Lugh.
        ~
        Alienware Aurora R6; Win10 Home x64 1803; Office 365 x32
        i7-7700; GeForce GTX 1060; 16GB DDR4 2400; 1TB SSD, 256GB SSD, 4TB HD

    • #1896455 Reply

      deanwmn
      AskWoody Plus

      I’ll use Win 7 as long as is safely possible. I will then switch to either Chrome or stick with my Amazon Fire HD 10 with the keyboard. Small, but portable (which my PC is not) and I can do everything on it that I do on the 7. At this point in my life, that consists mainly of genealogy (Ancestry), email, and banking.  Amazon equips its  Fire HDs with its own anti-malware software and so far I have never had a problem. It’s smaller than I’m used to (I’ve gone from working on the big mainframe computers to a PC) but I like it, it’s easy to use and, as I said, portable. Plus I can read my books on it, lol…  So do your worst, MS – I’m ready to shut the door on you.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1896456 Reply

        Microfix
        Da Boss

        So do your worst, MS – I’m ready to shut the door on you.

        Oh PLEASE don’t encourage them further…
        Good to hear you are prepared for Win7 EOL and hopefully beyond where safely possible.

        ********** Win7 x64/x86 | Win8.1 x64 | Linux Hybrids x64 **********

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1896580 Reply

        The Surfing Pensioner
        AskWoody Plus

        That is basically my position also. I’m beginning to love my little Chromebook; I open it and it’s internet-connected and ready to go in two seconds (literally!) and to date has done everything I’ve asked of it unhesitatingly. In fact, it’s ideal for surfing! I can’t get on with the touchpad, but the cursor responds beautifully to a USB-connected mouse and I have found it easy to download documents to a flashdrive and then work on them when necessary on my Windows 7 PC . At the moment, I can think of no conceivable reason why I should ever have to negotiate the slings and arrows of Windows X!

        • #1896582 Reply

          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          That might well be a good, inexpensive and quick way to move on before January and avoid Windows 10 without losing the Windows 7 functionality. But isn’t the mass storage (hard, spinning disk or solid-state memory) of a Chromebook so small as to present a potential problem? Or is it possible to use an external drive to store more files in it? If so, that could be also an easy way to transfer files from the Chromebook to the Windows 7 PC, besides the USB flash drive.

          • #1896584 Reply

            The Surfing Pensioner
            AskWoody Plus

            I’ve got external hard drives to plug in if I need them, but to be honest I can get far more data on a little flashdrive than I’m ever going to need in one day. And as I’m already in the habit of backing up the day’s work to a flashdrive every evening – whichever PC I’m working on! – as well as the week’s work to a hard drive every Saturday night, one more flash-drive transfer is hardly noticeable. I normally live life with one in my hand.

        • #1896609 Reply

          anonymous

          Thread is headed off topic, but while it lasts:

          This is my solution as well. Air-gapped Win7 (can also be done as a local intranet, kept gapped from the system with outside access) where my already clean files are transferred to the Win7 and that system is kept backed up. Then Chrome has minimal files that I continue to clean up, minimizing cloud storage. I say minimize because I recognize the privacy risk and only attempt to manage it, not eliminate it.

          I did want to ask The Surfing Pensioner about the relative trust level between Alphabet and Microsoft. TSP was/is a firm adherent to Group B. I assumed this was to avoid the relatively benign telemetry on principle. To read that you have joined the Chromebook hordes makes me smile. How do you explain your comfort with Google?

          When I tell others I appreciate Google being open about their activity, the response I get is that I am fooling myself. Do you get much the same?

          • #1896684 Reply

            The Surfing Pensioner
            AskWoody Plus

            Hi anonymous, As I’ve said elsewhere, telemetry was never really a factor in my Group B adherence – I just like having control over updates and system upgrades, so minimising the risk of problems due to faulty patches. This is not a problem with my Chromebook at all, which updates discretely and invisibly without introducing system changes. People seem to get obsessed with telemetry, but I have never got caught up in the paranoia.

            • #1896786 Reply

              OscarCP
              AskWoody Plus

              If I may: What bothers me is not the MS telemetry-monitoring of how well my machine is working, but the fact that the July updates include this feature without, at least as far as I have read until now, an option to opt in, or even to opt out. If that is so, then why? To me that is the important question.

            • #1898758 Reply

              The Surfing Pensioner
              AskWoody Plus

              Hi Oscar, I shared your dilemma and have personally decided to opt out, simply because I am moving towards Group W with my Windows 7 PC and not fussed about updating till the last minute. It’s not the telemetry that bothers me, but the prospect of cluttering up an aging PC with patches I don’t want or need. I realise that at some point I shall have to disconnect the PC from the internet in order to stay safe, but am hopeful that my new Chromebook will bridge the gap until I decide what OS to invest in for the future – and when. At the moment, I am enjoying surfing with the Chromebook so the gap could be a long one; if my  Windows 7 PC reaches a ripe old age, a very long one! But I have at least managed to keep my options open.

          • #1896756 Reply

            Alex5723
            AskWoody Plus

            Hi anonymous, As I’ve said elsewhere, telemetry was never really a factor in my Group B adherence – I just like having control over updates and system upgrades, so minimising the risk of problems due to faulty patches. This is not a problem with my Chromebook at all, which updates discretely and invisibly without introducing system changes. People seem to get obsessed with telemetry, but I have never got caught up in the paranoia.

            With using Google’s Chromebook, Microsoft’s telemetry is the least of your privacy worries, if you have any.

            2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #1896811 Reply

              The Surfing Pensioner
              AskWoody Plus

              ……………..and Google’s telemetry worries me about as much as M/S’ ever did.

            • #1896979 Reply

              anonymous

              Thanks Surfing P, I did believe the principle involved was of permissions and encroachment rather than worries over how the data was used. And I am glad that your day to day experience with ChromeOS is good. Sorry to ask again, maybe rephrasing…

              You were reluctant to allow Windows full control over updating, yet enjoy ChromeOS updating discretely and invisibly without your intervention. Since privacy and paranoia are not involved, can you point to what makes Google more worthy of trust?

              For me, it is that I was informed and agreed at the beginning. It was an opt-IN experience.

            • #1897326 Reply

              The Surfing Pensioner
              AskWoody Plus

              Who mentioned trust? I have purchased a browser with useful additional features because it wasn’t designed to turn incrementally into a different machine at the whim of the O.S. developer. It does what it says on the tin, so I’m well pleased, to date. End of.

            • #1897395 Reply

              anonymous

              “Who mentioned trust?”

              Well, I guess I did in post 1896609 . In my effort to find a word that would describe the comfort/desire/ease of use (you are invited to pick) that you hold for ChromeOS in comparison to your long experience with Windows. Because it appeared you had made a similar decision to my own solution, I was interested in your point of view.

              Rather than use more words to clumsily explain why Alphabet has more control of your Chromebook than Microsoft ever had over your Windows 7, I will simply apologize for characterizing your choice in a way you do not appreciate. Then reply in kind, “end of [discussion?]”.

            • #1897495 Reply

              The Surfing Pensioner
              AskWoody Plus

              Oh dear, Anonymous, I fear that your desire to win the argument has caused you  to miss the point completely! I chose a Chromebook not because it has an OS made by Google, but because no amount of updates will ever cause it to morph into Windows X – it simply hasn’t the capacity to do that. And that it why I initially posted about my experience of it – which has been more satisfactory than expected – under this topic: “Windows 10 Avoiders”. I should have made exactly the same purchase if ‘Chromebooks’ were made by M/S (not that this would ever happen, of course, because all the PCs M/S produce these days are Windows X!) because my Chromebook’s limitations are one of the things I like about it: it hasn’t the memory to become much more complicated than it is now. And I think we should drop the discussion here, because we are obviously approaching the situation from completely different points of view, and I don’t get the feeling that you are really motivated to understand mine. Good luck with your devotion to Chrome.

            • #1897642 Reply

              anonymous

              There was no argument to be won. Only a sincere wish to read your view, as I had tired of reading others disdain for ChromeOS. I am not devoted. ChromeOS is my stopgap during a transition. But thank you for projecting those descriptions onto me.

              I am posting from my Win7, because I continue to use it while supported. I have failed to settle on a main system among Linux distributions so purchased my Chromebook as a reliable option that will be available after I separate Win7 from outside connection. Being inexpensive is a feature for the minor role I intend for it to play. Just in case my continued experiments with Linux goes temporarily crosswise, the Chromebook will be available for whatever period my skillset needs to sort things out.

              I still think we both like the predictable nature of our Chromebooks. It bothers me that we seem to disagree about what we agree. But I do not need to fix that either. Thanks for sharing in your own words.

            • #1898519 Reply

              jabeattyauditor
              AskWoody Lounger

              I chose a Chromebook not because it has an OS made by Google, but because no amount of updates will ever cause it to morph into Windows X – it simply hasn’t the capacity to do that.

              Why do you say that?

              Google has made no such promise – and there’s nothing inherently limiting about the Chromebook platform that would keep Google from completely changing the user interface.

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

    Reply To: Windows 10 avoiders: What would change your mind?

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