back to article Cortana threatens to blow away ESC key

Toshiba USA has revealed that it will add a key dedicated to summoning Cortana, Windows 10's digital assistant. Toshiba's Jeff Barney, the company's veep and GM for all things PC in North America, says the new button will appear on every keyboard the company sells. PCWorld reports that “the key will sit in the upper left area …

  1. Phil Kingston

    Engage

    Sultry

    Cortana

    No need to change the key. Which means it's good for the majority of the world where Cortana doesn't exist.

  2. Christian Berger

    Well Toshiba firmly establishes itself in the consumer section...

    ...where laptops are just fashion toys and people gladly give away one of the most important keys on the keyboard for a gimmick they will tire of within a week.

    I mean even if you live in the Microsoft bubble the Escape key is important. It's what gets you into the menu of Word and Works.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Well Toshiba firmly establishes itself in the consumer section...

      Perhaps more importantly it's the accelerator key for the 'Cancel' button. In a properly written application that is.

  3. Loud Speaker

    Do people actually use these "digital assistants"?<p>

    I thought Clippy had demonstrated it was a dead end. Or do we now need an Emacs vs Cortana flame war?

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Nope

      Not after the first 10 minutes. Had a daft conversation with an IPhone toting friend about Cortana on my phone vs Siri on iPhone.

      Ground to a halt when we both had to admit that both Cortana and Siri were unused after the novelty value wore off.

      I don't think my wife even knows she has similar functionality on her BB.

    2. Mint Sauce
      Thumb Up

      Or do we now need an Emacs vs Cortana flame war?

      I know right? Who needs Cortana when you've got ELIZA :-)

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. dan1980

    Funny - my 'Escape' key is, thanks to Microsoft, now enjoying a great revival following a long period of disuse. It's the key that gets me out of that blasted full-screen "hey - your server has a touch screen interface, right? Well here are some tiles!" start menu.

    Being a Sysadmin, I am on dozens of MS servers daily, ranging from 2003 up to 2012 R2 and I now understand my father's constant grumbling at his cars - one with the indicator on the left of the steering column, the other with it on the right. He was always going around corners with his wipers on, just as I am constantly right-clicking the start menu on Win 2008 R2 servers and then left-clicking it on 2012 R2.

    Hence the newfound utility of the ESC key.

    1. VinceH

      "Funny - my 'Escape' key is, thanks to Microsoft, now enjoying a great revival following a long period of disuse. It's the key that gets me out of that blasted full-screen "hey - your server has a touch screen interface, right? Well here are some tiles!" start menu."

      It's also jolly handy as part of the Ctrl-Shift-Esc combo to conveniently call up the task manager. Replacing it is "a bit silly"(tm).

      Mind you, it's just an assumption that they're going to replace it - on a decent keyboard, there is enough space between Esc and F1 for another key (though whether that's the case on gubbins supplied by Toshiba is another matter).

      1. jonathan1
        Happy

        Vince,

        Wow thanks for the PSA, I did not know about Ctrl-Shift-Esc combo! I alway right-clicked on the task bar...

        Love you guys. Always new things to learn :o).

        1. Haku

          Also try Alt-Esc and Alt-Shift-Esc combos :)

          1. Annihilator Silver badge
            Happy

            "Also try Alt-Esc and Alt-Shift-Esc combos"

            I'm style over substance - it's the Win+Tab combo for me every time. I'm a sucker for Aero.

  5. frank ly

    I'm in awe

    "... you'll prise my ESC key out from under my cold, dead, left pinkie."

    When I started using either thumb to press the spacebar, I thought I was advancing in my abilities but you're way ahead of me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm in awe

      I use either my ring finger (on combinations) or my middle finger to press the ESC - my pinky is reserved for typing or CTRL/SHIFT (i.e. combinations including the lower part of the keyboard). I can't see how using the pinky to hit ESC works - maybe with really large hands, where you can hit the ESC with the pinky without moving the hand from the typing position - that requires a pinky the length of the distance between the lower row of keys and the ESC...

  6. oldtaku
    FAIL

    These are the same dumbasses who thought it would be great to put the Fn key where the Ctrl key should be, so I'm not surprised at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      my L430 thinkpad has the same problem

      I have a Logitech keyboard that fits nicely on my open laptop.

      Also, for all I care they could split the space bar and put the key there, since I only ever use my left thumb for spaces

    2. GrumpyOldBloke

      Fn key where the ctrl key should be - wasn't that Lenovo?

      Toshiba were reported as dumbasses that supported SOPA

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Not to mention HP, who decided it would be great for users to put another row of keys down the left hand side of the keyboard for quick access to things like calculator, print and a whole host of other stuff that we don't need keys for.

        And to top it off they put the print one beside the left hand shift key, so at least 4 times out of 5 when I'm typing on the wife's HP laptop and I want something in upper case, I almost end up printing the damn document out instead (or occasionally do so, if I'm not quick enough to catch it)...

        1. brotherelf
          Coffee/keyboard

          Depending on how it's done, it can be really nice, but I've never seen it done right (with proper keys) outside of Sun keyboards (and mmmmaybe in the middle-to-upper-range gaming keyboard sector).

          I know my "Help" key (conveniently located in the top left near the function keys), configured to spawn a terminal emulator, gets a lot of workout.

        2. VinceH

          "Not to mention HP, who decided it would be great for users to put another row of keys down the left hand side of the keyboard for quick access to things like calculator, print and a whole host of other stuff that we don't need keys for."

          Not their only dumb mistake. My HP laptop came set up so that the Fn key was needed to use the actual function keys F1-F12, rather than Fn being used to access the extra functions such as volume up/down, wireless on/off, etc - those were the default actions.

          A pain if you use software in which the F1-F12 keys are actually used, as I do. If it wasn't just a BIOS change away, it would have been given a lesson in how easily glass breaks, what gravity does, and how hard concrete is*.

          * Umm. Or it might have gone back for a refund. On balance, in fact, this probably more likely.

        3. dc_m

          You missed the other important side effect there that really gets on my nerves. They shrunk the ENTER button to make the space.

          That was just rude.

    3. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      In Lenovo systems this is somethign you can change in the BIOS.

    4. Siv

      I am so pleased it's not just me, the Fn key in the bottom left corner causes me so much grief!

      Let's hope you can re-map the Esc key as serious users will hate that being used for Cortana.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ah, the mysteries of the keyboard in the 21st century.....

      "To start, press any key. Well where's the any key? I see Esc, Catarl, and PigUp. There doesn't seem to be any any key! All this computer hacking is making me thirsty. I think I'll order a Tab."

      1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Ah, the mysteries of the keyboard in the 21st century.....

        +1 internets for the Homer Simpson reference.

        Reminds me, must get a nodding bird toy for working from home. Not connected to any nuclear power stations so we should all be safe from catastrophic meltdown. Should be...

  7. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Cortana ...

    Go and delete yourself.

    I'm sorry Dave I can't do that.

    IMHO, this is another example of Microsoft fiddling while their empire burns all around them. (see icon)

    This tool might be useful on a phone (at least that's what the adverts tell us) but on a desktop? WTF?

    At least Apple haven't unleased Siri to the Mac users yet (AFAIK). now that would result in a lot of Fanboi gnashing of teeth and a hundred blog posts about ho to remove it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Re: Cortana ...

      How to remove?

      Click the button to turn it off....

      But I guess your used to a 3000 word cmd line?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cortana ...

        It's easy. Download 46 new utilities then pipe their outputs into some obscure configuration file.

        One kernel rebuild, recompile all your software and away you go! Who needs 'checkboxes'?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @AC - Re: Cortana ...

          Obscure configuration file ?! You make me laugh! Have you actually seem something more obscure than Windows configuration files ?

    2. Wade Burchette Silver badge

      Re: Cortana ...

      In my beta testing of Win10 I have found that you cannot use Cortana without surrendering your privacy. I will not do that. I really have found that Win10 is mostly Win8.1 with a start menu that is like a mini start screen, multiple desktops, and even less respect for your privacy.

  8. Shadow Systems

    I'll remap that key.

    You screw with a bog standard key to install a gimick in it's place, I'll remap it back to what it's been since before your company came into existence.

    Oh, and I'll be uninstalling that bitch so fast it'll make her subroutines collapse, because I don't want her, don't need her, & won't touch that rotten twat with a 3.05Meter pole. My desktop doesn't have a microphone attached, webcam, nor any means of you detecting what I'm doing except what I type in on the keyboard. MY keyboard, the one that I paid for. The one with the ESCAPE key that allows me to bring up various Windows systems without having to bounce through the Control Panel or the Start Menu.

    So add another key if you like, but don't remove one that is useful for one that is not. It annoys the hell out of us, makes you look like a diseased douchebag, and may make folks avoid your "broken" keyboards.

    1. TonyJ Silver badge

      Re: I'll remap that key.

      "You screw with a bog standard key to install a gimick in it's place, I'll remap it back to what it's been since before your company came into existence..."

      Really? https://www.toshiba.co.jp/worldwide/about/history.html

      We had escape keys on keyboards prior to 1873? Wow

      On a less pedantic note, I remember Toshiba laptops fondly from the mid-late '90s when I worked as a repair bod and although the hardware, build quality and customer support back then were first rate, they did have a penchance for dicking around with non standard keyboard layouts.

      1. Shadow Systems

        @TonyJ re the Escape Key.

        The first mention of computers from the page you linked to is in 1984. Wiki claims that the Escape Key was present on TeleType Machines as early as 1849. So to answer your question, Yes. =-)

        Not that it matters to me actually (if Toshiba remaps the keyboard) since I use an external USB bog standard Desktop style keyboard even when using a laptop. Given all the permutations, possabilities, mutations, & variations between laptop keyboards, it's not worth the massive migraine it causes me to learn where they've hidden all the bloody keys from machine to machine. Far easier to plug in the external, close the laptop lid (I'm Blind & don't use the screen anyway), lay the keyboard on top, & go on about my merry way. Sure it takes up room in the laptop bag, but since it's one of those roll up, rubber membrane, floppy things it can be literally wadded into a ball & stuffed down into a corner.

        Besides, I love listening to folks wonder aloud just what the hell I'm doing when I've got the keyboard on my lap, the laptop still in the bag, & no visible computer nor monitor to interact with. Earbud in the ear to hear the Screen Reader, clicking away on the keys, and laughing to myselves at you poor Sighted Bastards whom need a Screen. Neener Neener Neener. =-)p

        1. TonyJ Silver badge

          Re: @TonyJ re the Escape Key.

          "...The first mention of computers from the page you linked to is in 1984. Wiki claims that the Escape Key was present on TeleType Machines as early as 1849. So to answer your question, Yes. =-)..."

          Do you have any evidence of this? Because according to these sources, it was invented in 1960 by Bob Bemer:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esc_key

          http://www.bobbemer.com/ESCAPE.HTM

          http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/07/magazine/who-made-that-escape-key.html?_r=0

          I am genuinely curious if there are documented uses of it prior to this.

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: I'll remap that key.

      Hey Shadow Systems, don't sit on the fence, tell us what you really think.

      1. Shadow Systems

        @Terry6 re my feelings.

        I tried to but the InterGalactic Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Sentient Beings keeps interdicting my signal & erasing it before I can hit the Submit button.

        It's almost as if they're afraid that my desire to have Cortana used as a-

        [The screen turns completely black with cool & calming green text that reads "This post has been deleted by the InterGalactic Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Sentient Beings to preserve your sanity. Nothing to see here, please move along."]

    3. Annihilator Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: I'll remap that key.

      "You screw with a bog standard key to install a gimick in it's place, I'll remap it back to what it's been since before your company came into existence."

      Or, you could just not buy a Toshiba. Not sure what's stranger, Toshiba mapping the Esc key to Cortana, or you buying a Toshiba just to angrily re-map it.

      "Hello Tosh, gotta Toshiba?"

      "Yes, to keep my wrath warm for some reason"

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. grumpyoldeyore
      Coffee/keyboard

      Old Time Escape Key Placement

      Seem to recall it was in the top left corner on the ADM3a, but I confess I never really got on with those new-fangled numeric keypads....

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cortana lived a VERY

    short life on my Lumia.

    In a nutshell, you wholly surrender ANY privacy by using it.

    Besides, it's more effing trouble than its worth.. Novelty value only.

    And if Toshiba decide to surrender one of the more useful keys (unlike "F-Lock") then Toshiba is now struck off my ever shortening list of laptop manufactures i will use.

    FFS MS....Wake Up!!!!!!

    1. auburnman

      Re: Cortana lived a VERY

      It's the nature of the beast that if you want a digital assistant you give up privacy. Not just because the corporate monoliths want to know everything about you, but an assistant will HAVE to track your speech patterns, habits, friends and generally 'know' a ton about you to even get close to being as good as a human PA.

      The cynic in me wonders if the big 3 are pushing assistants so heavily precisely because you can't have a good assistant without surrendering data.

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: Cortana lived a VERY

        an assistant will HAVE to track your speech patterns, habits, friends and generally 'know' a ton about you to even get close to being as good as a human PA

        But why does it need Internet connectivity to do all this? Modern computers have plently of local storage. This is especially annoying on phones:

        Cortana, how do I get a network connection?

        I'm sorry, Dave, I can't tell you that without a network connection.

        1. auburnman

          Re: Cortana lived a VERY

          As I understood it voice recognition is not quite ready to be standalone with the oomph available on portable devices, although this information might be out of date. But if you were serious about using it as a personal assistant you'd have to tolerate Siri/Cortana/whatever having network access if only to answer questions like "Find out when the local B&Q shuts tonight".

          1. Sandtitz Silver badge

            Re: Cortana lived a VERY

            "As I understood it voice recognition is not quite ready to be standalone with the oomph available on portable devices, although this information might be out of date."

            I had a somewhat working speech recognition in OS/2 Merlin almost 20 years ago. My desktop back then was a 100MHz Pentium and while the experience could have been smoother it worked once you had taught it your speech patterns. Maybe it was handy for slow or disabled typers, the novelty soon wore off on me.

  11. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Windows

    Keyboards were fine before the Windows key (now redone in the Tiles styles) and the Menu key were grafted on the left and right of the spacebar.

    Now keyboards are smaller and seem to be made for the asian hand-size. The decent ones for people other than weak-willed office point-and-clickers where you don't accidentally hit F1 and keys actually "click" are sold as "gamer keyboards" and cost $$$.

    When will it stop....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why not just use the Windows key?

      For people who want to look like a dick talking to their computer, just remap the existing Windows key to trigger Cortana.

      I have no idea what the Windows button actually does normally, because I don't run Windows on any PC.

      However it works for the iPad, which has only one button: press and hold to summon Siri.

      1. StephenD

        Re: Why not just use the Windows key?

        Personally I find the Windows key useful for a variety of shortcuts: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/keyboard-shortcuts#keyboard-shortcuts=windows-7

        But I doubt anyone who will use Cortana is using any of those shortcuts (and vice versa) so your suggestion is sound.

        1. Little Mouse Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: Why not just use the Windows key?

          Lucky me - My Dell keyboard has TWO Windows keys. I'm sure one could go and I'd never notice.

          Two Ctrl keys as well. What's going on there? The world's gone mad.

          1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

            Re: Why not just use the Windows key?

            Two Ctrl keys as well. What's going on there? The world's gone mad

            I think most keyboards have two control keys. VirtualBox uses Right-Ctrl to control window capture.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't think so!

    There are a few programs out there which use the ESC key...

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Yeah, one or two.

      Million.

      Or is it billion ?

      Because the ESC key is part of the Windows UI. It has a very specific function, coded into the Windows UI and should be automatically understood by every program using said UI - which is pretty much every application ever written for Windows.

      We have been using the ESC key since Win 1 and now they want to replace it with a bloody fake helper designed to hoover up even more private information ?

      Thanks for the warning - I'm staying on Windows 7.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Even Matrix Neo knows how to use the ESC key in case strange crap appears on a suspiciously black screen.

      2. AndrueC Silver badge
        Boffin

        It has a very specific function, coded into the Windows UI and should be automatically understood by every program using said UI - which is pretty much every application ever written for Windows.

        Sadly not. Whoever writes the GUI application still needs to choose to respond to the key. In WinForms for instance you have to choose to specify which button is the cancel button. A lot of developers either don't know or don't care about accelerator keys or assume that everyone else can only control Windows using the mouse. There's also an accept button for Enter/Return..

        A well written Windows application doesn't require the user to use a mouse. Sadly increasing numbers today fail that test :(

      3. Mark 85 Silver badge

        We have been using the ESC key since Win 1 and now they want to replace it with a bloody fake helper designed to hoover up even more private information ?

        There's the answer. Right in front of us.... not only does MS want all your data (maybe they're trying to beat Google at that game) but all your applications/programs will need replacing. I can hear the board now..."We kill one key and make billions on selling new applications. Let's kill another key, shall we?"

  13. John Robson Silver badge

    At least replace caps lock...

    Then I can rip out and throw away cortana rather than caps lock...

    People get very confused by a keyboard with a hole in it - I'd map it to control, but I'm not allowed to at work :(

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    OK can I just explain Cortana to a few people...

    ...clearly, as always the case round here, people like to slag something iff they don't have a fuckign clue about.

    1. Cortana is EASY to turn of. You click the button.

    2. IT DOES NOT NEED YOU TO TALK TO IT. You can just type.

    3. IT DOES NOT NEED TO TALK TO YOU. It can pop up alerts or just sit there as a live tile.

    It is simply a organiser with a simple interface, so you can be reminded you need to go to a meeting in 30 minutes and you need to leave now, or pick up the milk on the way home, or the local boozer is doing a 2 for 1 on Loopy Jacks Ale.

    Don't like it, don't use it....it's that simple people.

    I like it, so I use it, but it doesn't spend half the day talking to me.

    1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

      Re: OK can I just explain Cortana to a few people...

      But since Tosh are including a button to *summon* it, the interface is obviously not as slick as ... "Cortana, you're always turned on so why have I had to press your buttons?"

      "Cortana, what's wrong with using an existing function key?"

      "Cortana, how much can I claim back from Tosh for the bundled copy of Win10 that I didn't want but Tosh are obviously dedicating their machines to run?"

      1. dogged

        Re: OK can I just explain Cortana to a few people...

        > But since Tosh are including a button to *summon* it, the interface is obviously not as slick as ... "Cortana, you're always turned on so why have I had to press your buttons?"

        Because no manufacturer ever decided to add pointless buttons to an otherwise usable keyboard, right?

  15. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    nope.gif

    Cortana, please send all my searches to the US of NSA to be datamined.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: nope.gif

      Semi-off topic: I installed 10130 last night (now deleted). In Custom Set-up is the on-by-default option "In Windows browsers, use page prediction to pre-load pages, which sends your browsing history to Microsoft".

      Says something that that's the first I knew about that one! Possibly about me, of course.

      Meanwhile it is much more obvious now how to sign in with a Local Account. And how to limit/disable Cortana. You can also now stop OneDrive auto-running. I guess 10 is settling into it's new role of 'the Facebook of operating systems', so we smart enough to opt out but figure the rest get what they deserve will be placated. The rest of us should perhaps get the KY ready though.

  16. John P

    "That Toshiba feels the need to do so also hints that perhaps Windows 10 isn't doing a great job of making Cortana attentive by itself"

    Cortana is already too attentive for my liking, I'm thankful you can turn it off.

    Given that MS seem to be trying to discourage OEMs from loading Windows up with crapware (about time), is this the new way for OEMs to remove value?

  17. SecretSonOfHG

    Enough with fashion keyboards

    It gets the worst of me when I'm at one of those laptop keyboards and use any popular function key combination (such as F2 to rename a file, ALT+F4 to close a window, CTRL+F1 to get context sensitive help, etc, etc, etc) only to discover that some idiot keyboard designer has never actually used a computer effectively. This tells you clearly what the keyboard designer does think of laptop users: nannied by a mouse and GUI, ignorant of the multitude of useful key shortcuts, and busy all the time adjusting the screen brightness or speaker volume rather than doing something actually productive with their computers.

    This causes a LOT of hassle for IT people helping the blind, as the screen reader helpers usually are mapped to FN key combinations. Thankfully, there are still sane engineers working in laptop manufacturers (likely the older ones), as a friend of mine, one that routinely has to set up equipment for blind people and equally annoyed as me, discovered a BIOS option to disable that.

  18. Epobirs

    I've got this bridge for sale

    If you believe they'll eliminate the ESC key, I've got some investment opportunities to offer...

    This is going to be just another dedicated extended keyboard item that goes unused by a major portion of owners, due to force of habit as much as anything else. I've have had four laptops to date with dedicated media playback control keys and I'm lucky if I remember their presence 1 out of ten times that I want to manipulate the playback.

    1. d3vy

      Re: I've got this bridge for sale

      I'll buy your bridge only if you throw in the Eiffel tower (for scrap)

  19. DvorakUser

    Why replace the Esc key when there's a much more viable key to be replaced? I hereby vote they follow Google's footsteps and replace Caps Lock with the Cortana button.

    Another change that Microsoft and/or Lenovo did was replace the Context Menu key on their laptops (ex: Lenovo T430) with PrtSc. I - unlike some other users - actually do use the Context Menu key fairly often, even if it is mostly to double-check my spelling.

    1. Swarthy

      A viable, albeit less convenient alternative to the menu key is SHIFT+F10, although it does not seem to work in Chrome, it works everywhere else I've tried.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Nope, not CAPSLOCK. We have an old mainframe where the emulator to access it can only use all caps. One would think this would be coded in, but no.. got to have CAPSLOCK turned on.

  20. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    Stoopidz

    First MS decide that we no longer need the Start button that they had so assiduously trained us all to use since Windows 95/NT were introduced. Stoopidz! Now Toshiba want to add yet another key to bring up a talking filofax that hardly anybody wants. Stoopidz! It will go the way of the "Web" key and the "Email" key and so many others. The only really useful additional keys I have ever used are Volume +/- and Mute. I am also one of those people who removes the CAPS LOCK key as I hate it with a vengeance. Finally, does anybody know where I can get a FULL SIZED keyboard? Not these stupid shrunken pieces of crap designed for people with glove size Small and below. I take a 4XL glove and could use a keyboard about 25% wider than all the current ones so called full size ones.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > Kids these days probably don't know what the ESC key is for and may not lament its departure.

    Kids these days will be the first to complain should this come to pass. The Esc key is traditionally the button that brings up the menu in computer games.

  22. msknight Silver badge

    Oh well.

    That'll be the last Tosh I buy then. That just leaves Lenovo.

  23. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Meh

    Essential

    For many tasks, not the least of which is when hitting ctrl+alt+del to login and finding the login dialog completely unresponsive to everything else on Win 7. Besides, what will I use now to end my MAME emulation session and return to the game menu?

  24. Tim Brown 1
    Mushroom

    Wait.... you have to press a KEY to talk to your digital assistant?

    These Toshiba execs have obviously not watched enough Star Trek.

    Whenever did you see Kirk have to press a key before "Computer - initiate self-distruct sequence..."

  25. Hi Wreck
    FAIL

    How quaint

    i would have thought one would simply utter "cortana" to summon Cortana. A dedicated key? What were they thinking?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    An experiment for anyone with an early copy of Win10 and time on their hands.

    1. install Win10 & disable Cortana

    2. use system for your internet use for, say, a week

    3. enable Cortana and see how much it already knows about you & how you work

    My personal guess would be that the first thing it does when enabled is to scan all useful logs & cached data to build up a profile to inform its responses; said profile to be enclouded, of course. So if you can't actually remove Cortana from the system then any update or other action that re-enables it even temporarily will encloud you, foc.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Coffee/keyboard

      Or perhaps the only thing that 'turning it off' did was disable the 'launch user interface' feature? Or am I being too cynical?

      1. edge_e
        Big Brother

        Re: Or am I being too cynical?

        Not for these parts

  27. Zebo-the-Fat

    Tosh Laptops

    My (work supplied) Tosh craptop had the function keys turned on by default, so if I pressed F5 to re load a page it kindly turned off the wifi!

    I eventually found a utility to turn the function keys back to their correct function without having to bugger about with a FUNCT key every time.

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