"Wrong - just don't sign in with a Live ID - hey presto - App Store disabled."
Microsoft has made it difficult and confusing for users to bypass creating a Live ID during the installation phase of Windows 8.x; I know because I've gone through the install phase and have read posts online about frustration surrounding this issue. Microsoft is trying to lock down Windows 8.x in a purely feudalistic manner and sway consumers to get apps through the Windows Store; therefore, that is why I use the word: "foist". Did I use the word "force"? No, I didn't.
They want to get to a point where the conventional desktop is completely gone, and everybody has to ask permission to deploy their app: purely Orwellian. Because most users feel forced to create a Live ID during the installation phase and don't know how to bypass it, and due to the fact that the writing is on the wall in terms of how Microsoft wants Windows to function, app store and all, your comment above is really shortsighted. Not only that, but even if a Live ID isn't created and the app store is disabled, it still resides on the hard drive. What if a future Windows update enables the app store without a Live ID? I guess I just blew your argument wide open.
"Yes they can. You can sign and distribute your own apps if you want to."
I'm talking in terms of the average user; you're taking this out of context to fulfill a point of view which very few people are going to understand in technical terms, and in one instance requires buying a license from MS. So here we are again, asking Microsoft permission to do things with your own device: hardware which belongs to you. This is straight from stackoverflow.com:
"One basically has two options to perform sideloading:
1. Windows 8 Pro and Windows Server 8, if they are joined to a domain, are directly ready for side-loading.
2. Windows 8 and Windows 8 RT, as well as the above-mentioned systems without domain, require the activation of a special Sideloading key, which can be purchased by enterprises only and usually available in 100 packs (priced at $3000 per pack, $30 per licence).
The installation of the app can be done either by using the application image and DISM or in runtime by add-appxpackage PowerShell CmdLet."
So what you're suggesting is that a user or developer has to jump through hoops and potentially pay money to do what they want to do. I don't agree with your argument.
"Secure boot makes it potentially more secure than any other OS on the market."
Oh yeah, you're right! Secure boot, which is part of the UEFI specification, which, just for the record also works with other OS's, is what will make Windows 8.x the most secure OS on the planet. In fact, with secure boot, all of Windows' malware issues will be eradicated. That combined with the Orwellian app store with its backdoor will assuredly make one rock-solid system.
"Windows sales and revenue are up! Again."
Right, and Pamela Anderson is a computer programmer. We need to take a look at the big picture, not quarterly blips that get shareholders all excited. Take a look at these numbers:
"WP already hit 10% market share in the EU big 5 - inc the UK - and has a 17% share of enterprise phone sales in the UK - largely replacing BlackBerry! And remains the fastest growing mobile OS."
I had to travel to the inner city a few days ago, and noticed quite a few call girls using Windows phones. Therefore, it must be growing, so I do see your point.
"They finally provide basic features like proper ACLs that Windows has had for well over a decade....and ReFS on Windows is way ahead of those...."
ACL's worked right out the box with ext2, ext3, ext4, XFS, and other Linux filesystems. I'm not sure what you're even talking about.
Here's some info on how ReFS is _not_ up to par in the filesystem world, and this is just from one site of many: "ReFS does not support data de-duplication, copy-on-write snapshots (a ZFS and Btrfs feature, but ReFS snapshots can be done when paired with the Microsoft Storage Spaces), file-level encryption (dropped from NTFS), or compression (Btrfs can now do Gzip, LZO, and Snappy). "
I haven't used ReFS, but all it is is an improvement on NTFS, which frags itself within minutes of use, and makes the heads of a drive seek all over the place during reads due to how it's designed. Even with ReFS, Microsoft is behind in the filesystem world. And why shouldn't they be, when the world's servers primarily run on Linux? How does the proprietary development model compete with open source projects that are being rapidly developed, even with billions of dollars? Are those billions of dollars being directly funneled into filesystem development? Why would MS funnel more money into filesystem development to improve it to a level comparable with Linux/Solaris, when internet backbones, banks, cloud storage and file hosting services, etc., are all running on Linux or BSD? Wouldn't that be trying to design something for an uninterested, and already saturated market that already has a free product that works better than anything else? Do you know that OneDrive runs on Linux servers?