Microsoft downloading Windows 10 without users’ consent

21 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Microsoft designed Windows 10 to pull users into Windows Store, and it might be working.

After all, Windows 8 and 8.1 were such disasters that a smart company such as Microsoft knew it had to hit a home run with the next version of Windows.

Windows Spotlight is one of the new features added by Microsoft in Windows 10, but previously, this feature was only available for Home users due to an odd decision of the company to remove it from the Pro SKUs during the Windows Insider program.Microsoft announced in a blog post Thursday evening that Windows 10 users are downloading apps at a vigorous rate. “The average Windows 10 customer is downloading six times more apps than the average customer on Windows 8,” said Microsoft’s Todd Brix, who authored the post. Microsoft confirmed to the Guardian (a news service): “For individuals who have chosen to receive automatic updates through Windows Update, we help upgradable devices get ready for Windows 10 by downloading the files they will need if they decide to upgrade. But the latest version of Windows 10 that Microsoft has released as part of the same program has finally brought it back to Pro users after months of absence.

When the upgrade is ready, the customer will be prompted to install Windows 10 on the device.” Like a lot of gaffes from Microsoft, this one may have been well intentioned but it is really a bad time for this action. Because we have recently discovered that all along, Microsoft has been sending Windows 10 bits to those of us who have Windows 7 or 8.x on our PCs, whether we asked for them or not. In the Start Menu, a Live Tile is available that shows you snippets of the latest new email (Just “pin” the Yahoo Mail app to the Start Menu to enable the Live Tile). Windows Spotlight is a new Windows 10 feature that Microsoft introduced earlier this year as a way to get a more personalized experience on the lock screen.

Generally, it’s a feature that automatically changes your lock screen wallpaper using the Bing homepage photo of the day, but also lets you choose which one you like and which one you don’t. If people truly believe that Microsoft is working with the NSA or cannot be trusted, people will ditch Windows 10 as fast as they are adopting it now. The new update includes a brand new user-interface and a whole bunch of performance enhancements which will make the Xbox One experience a lot better.

On the other hand, Redmond claims that users are allowed to control what they want to see on their lock screens, so depending on their votes, they can get suggestions that are more relevant for their activities. It all started when an Inquirer reader found, hiding in the hidden directory $Windows.~BT on his PC, all of the Windows 10 installation files, even though he had not “reserved” a copy.

Microsoft also published a number of new app updates for the Mail and Calendar apps, improving their user-interfaces and overall experiences dramatically. It is this disconnect between fighting for our privacy and then trampling down our garden fence and leaving a large pile of garbage on the lawn that makes you wonder what Microsoft is thinking. The updated apps now include a new and improved dark mode, with the ability to have a wallpaper within the app, and new icons which make the taskbar a lot more detailed.

While the headlines about this latest privacy and user choice saga are overblown – does around 6 GB of space on our 500 GB or terabyte drives, and a chunk of bandwidth cap really matter? Brix added that the user-hooking techniques are broadly deployed, incorporating “features both inside and outside of the Store that are fast becoming part of people’s daily lives.” Brix went on to describe how Microsoft designed Windows 10 to drive those users to the Store. “For example, Cortana provides app recommendations based on the customer’s personal interests. The issue relates to automatic Windows updates being enabled by the user, which Microsoft thinks is good enough to download the whole Windows 10 installer. For one thing, operating systems are enormously complex beasts, and even the best of them are filled with more bugs than a rotten log until they’ve been on the market for a while.

I also really don’t like Microsoft telling me that automatically downloading a new, radically different operating system “is an industry practice that reduces time for installation and ensures device readiness.” Because it’s not. I’ve been working in IT for closing in on 30 years now, and writing about it for almost as long, and never once has any company pushed a new operating system on me in the normal course of business.

Microsoft has since retracted that “industry practice” line, but it still rankles, and I’m still annoyed at having Windows 10 forced into my machines. Unlike the guy at middling restaurants, the waiter isn’t going to pull up a chair while you are eating and tell you about Uncle Earl’s fishing trip.

Even at home, though, when I enable Windows Update automatic updates, I just want the top security patches for the operating system I already have, not a whole freaking operating system. When my computer starts up I get — whether I want it or not — tiny windows filled with add-on services that offer up the weather, try to sell me movies and software, and tout various Windows services. If you use Google to see what others are experiencing you’ll find many others who had trouble installing it, had trouble with hardware and software compatibility. Several months ago when a transformer went out and we were told we’d have no electricity until early morning, I started gathering up my “emergency lights.” Then I stepped outside and saw my cheap solar lights stuck in my outside flower pots.

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