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Why Friends Don’t Let Friends Run Windows

Perhaps this is not nearly as motivational as it’s supposed to be:

Win 10 Upgrade Popup

Win 10 Upgrade Popup

A friend sent that along after reading my efforts to squelch the Windows 10 nagware on an off-lease Dell Optiplex that will never, ever be updated.

She just turned off automatic updates, which means she must examine all the updates and manually install ones that don’t download Win 10 (which she doesn’t want), forevermore. Unfortunately, that means she won’t automatically get all the security updates that help make current versions of Windows much less hazardous then in The Bad Old Days.

Talk about a Hobson’s Choice: in practical terms, you must decide between automatic updates or not getting regular updates. OK, that’s actually a false dilemma, but you get the idea.

If you run automatic updates the way Microsoft recommends, you’ll soon be running a free operating system that tracks and reports your every move, so as to deliver precisely targeted advertisements right on your desktop. What could possibly be better?

Come the middle of next year, we may see an uptick in the number of people using Linux or running unpatched Windows boxes to cut down on nagware.

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  1. #1 by Red County Pete on 2015-11-29 - 10:55

    From what I’ve read, Windows 10 can set to turn off tracking and spying, but they don’t make it easy. Still, it doesn’t seem to have enough benefit over Win 7 to make it worthwhile. (I’ve noticed that 10 is supposed to be substantial improvement over v8.0, though.)

    My update policy is to manually screen everything, defaulting to installing the important updates, and reviewing the optional ones. Microsoft’s descriptions got very uninformative about the Windows 10 time, so unless I find something that I know I need, it gets delayed or hidden. This strategy works for an old geek like me, but MS is blowing it big time.

    The next laptop will be a “new” one, probably an off-lease Dell. Then I’ll decide on a distribution. Maybe Slackware again or something a bit zoomier. I’ll have access to broadband for this one.

    • #2 by Ed on 2015-11-29 - 11:59

      Microsoft’s descriptions got very uninformative

      “Install this update to resolve issues with Windows” covers pretty nearly all of them, doesn’t it?

      Even the “additional information” in their Knowledge Base doesn’t say much, but anything having to do with improving the customer experience or simplifying the upgrade process raises a flag…

      This strategy works for an old geek like me

      Techies sorta-kinda enjoy that stuff, but it gets really tedious really fast: hence the GWX Control Panel thing.

      • #3 by Red County Pete on 2015-11-29 - 13:47

        GWX Control Panel thing

        Yeah, that got tedious, with the nagware running even after I downloaded a copy of the Win 10 setup (sitting on a DVD, in case MS does something awful to Win 7).

        The advice on askwoody.com is to install anything labeled “important” and to delay the optional stuff. Beyond virus definitions, I suspect 5-10% of the optional stuff is actually worth installing. The red flag stuff gets hidden immediately. If MS deprecates Win 7, I’ll use your approach of a legacy machine.

  2. #4 by Trudi on 2015-11-29 - 12:45

    we may see an uptick in the number of people using Linux

    I doubt it. Many people are either unaware of the tracking or are resigned to it. There is no privacy on or off line anymore… and that’s the truth. Do you believe that the gumment turned off their tracking programs? Right. Secondly there are a lot more interesting things to do with one’s allotted hours than trying to figure out Microsoft’s updates… and when or if to apply them. Using Linux means signing up to be a sys-admin. Do I want to do that or do I want to watch cat videos?

    I turned the auto-update on.

    • #5 by Ed on 2015-11-29 - 15:55

      Do I want to do that or do I want to watch cat videos?

      This is America! You can do both!

      Granted most folks neither know nor care about privacy, so the tracking will proceed unhindered. Enough botched Win 10 upgrades, however, might get some attention, even if there’s no real alternative.