back to article Microsoft vacates moral high ground for the data slurpers' cesspit

A funny thing happened while I was reinstalling Windows 8 over Windows 10 yesterday morning. There in front of me, halfway through the installation process, were two full, clear pages of privacy toggles. Every toggle was set to not send private information to Microsoft, or anyone else. In addition, Windows 8 created a local …

  1. Vimes

    Instructions on how to increase privacy in Windows 10

    https://fix10.isleaked.com/

    1. yossarianuk

      Re: Instructions on how to increase privacy in Windows 10

      Also here (apart from Ubuntu)

      distrowatch.org

    2. adnim

      Re: Instructions on how to increase privacy in Windows 10

      Thanks for this, I have sent this link to my clients.

    3. fung0

      Re: Instructions on how to increase privacy in Windows 10

      Nuke it from orbit - it's the only way to be sure.

  2. BobChip
    FAIL

    Win 10 - no thanks!

    From what I can see so far, Win 10 is basically a decent OS, UNTIL you take privacy and data collection into account. With some effort you can disable most of the objectionable settings, but in doing so you significantly cripple many of the "features" that make the OS attractive. I can see why it is "free", but not even I want to sign up to a free system only to have to cripple it in order to use it safely.

    I'll keep a copy of Win 7 alive in VirtualBox on my work Linux machine, but that's about as close to MS as I am willing to get. Oh, and it has no internet access, ever, unless I decide to download some useful update.

  3. Nanners

    You have three options.

    Become one with the Borg or find a way to turn off the internet (google).

    Or start building robots to fight our computer overlords and send them back in time to stop it before it starts.

  4. Zog_but_not_the_first
    IT Angle

    Secure, or insecure?

    I'm testing Windows 10 on an old machine, just for the fun of it really. Today, I noticed that Edge (the new browser) doesn't show the protocol tag (http or https) in the address bar. There may be a display option setting I'm missing, but it makes it harder to tell if you've logged in to a secure or insecure site.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Secure, or insecure?

      Secure site? Is there anything anymore? Sure the site might be, but your doings about that site aren't private. Just ask Google, the 5-Eyes, and now MS.

  5. Arctic fox
    Windows

    Whilst I do not disagree with the criticisms of the privacy issues regarding Win 10............

    ..........I would have been much more supportive of this line had you and other authors been a touch more critical at a significantly earlier stage in the context of Google/Apple etc with regard to precisely this issue given the comprehensive hosing you are now giving Redmond (literally on a daily basis). Yes, MS must be challenged over this but I am left feeling that it is only because MS is now climbing on this bandwagon (more shame on them) that El Reg has suddenly woken up. I am not impressed.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Whilst I do not disagree with the criticisms of the privacy issues regarding Win 10............

      The difference is that I use Google/facebook/twitter/Android for fun - at home.

      I use Windows at work in the defense/healthcare/government/police/banking/legal industries.

      Industries where I go to prison if it turns out that the data I control has gone to some foreign company/government because of an operating system I installed.

      1. Adair Silver badge

        Re: Whilst I do not disagree with the criticisms of the privacy issues regarding Win 10............

        Point taken, but you have to live with the reality of using a system that is fundamentally screwed.

        Windows has always been a security cesspit, but previously at least it was a cesspit anyone who was interested could more or less call their own.

        But no longer.

        Methinks Windows truly has 'jumped the shark', and the shark are the rapacious corporates, starting with MS itself, but feeding on through to the other parasites, plus agencies of state who make sure they get what they need.

        Very sad, at least it's not the whole story; but more sad for the majority of users who haven't got a clue (and why should they, any more than most people want/need to have a clue what goes on under the bonnet of their car), they/we are just fodder, and they have no idea, and don't even care what the implications are.

        'Big brother' may turn out to be, not an authoritarian state, but a sleazy oligopoly; or to put it in Biblical terms, we sold our birthright for a mess of pottage.

        Have a fucking nice day!

        Sorry, I'm normally quite a happy chap.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Whilst I do not disagree with the criticisms of the privacy issues regarding Win 10............

          The big difference was that before we could claim we were "following industry best practice" by using Windows with anti-virus, mandated long passwords, password aging, compulsory security updates etc

          Not perfect, but for anything less than a targeted attack on our little practice by state level actors - we could reasonably argue we weren't negligent.

          But we can't stand up in court and claim that although we knew Windows10 was sending unknown amounts of data about our clients to an unknown recipient for unknown purposes we believed that we were acting within legal guidelines.

      2. Kev99 Silver badge

        Re: Whilst I do not disagree with the criticisms of the privacy issues regarding Win 10............

        You don't go to prison for disclosing sensitive data. Hells-bells, just read army-technology, naval-technology, air-technology, AP, Reuters or any other web site. The US trips over itself to make sure sensitive information about its weapons and disposition of forces is spread across every media outlet it can find.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Whilst I do not disagree with the criticisms of the privacy issues regarding Win 10............

        Nah you wont 'cause it takes the Goverment years to catch up, some places still use XP, so Win10 isn't likely at a least for a year or two

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Whilst I do not disagree with the criticisms of the privacy issues regarding Win 10............

      We were told that the phoning-home capabilities would disappear when the beta was over, so basically we were lied to.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Whilst I do not disagree with the criticisms of the privacy issues regarding Win 10............

        "We were told that the phoning-home capabilities would disappear when the beta was over, so basically we were lied to."

        Is this not the same corporation that tried to force Xbox One users to have an always on Kinect and to phone home every 24hrs before they quickly retracted on the idea?

    3. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: Whilst I do not disagree with the criticisms of the privacy issues regarding Win 10............

      "had you and other authors been a touch more critical at a significantly earlier stage in the context of Google/Apple etc"

      That's hardly justified. Andrew has been critical about them for years, and still is. Often drawing lots of ire because of it.

      Today is Microsoft's turn to get bitten. No discrimination whatsoever.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Arctic fox

      He was critical of Google, but the article would have been long indeed if he'd laid out all of Google's privacy problems. The big difference though is with Google, you're trading your privacy in exchange for free stuff. Free search, free email, free maps, free smartphone OS, etc. It may not be a trade most consumers are conscious of and make willingly, but it is there.

      But what are you talking about with Apple? Where are Apple's data slurps and pushing ads in your face? Yes, Apple's record is not spotless (i.e. the collection of location information on the phone back in the iPhone 4 days....but which was never sent to Apple and was fixed in the next iOS release) They've never pushed in that direction and have been actively moving away from it the past couple years and highlighting how they are different - i.e. how they do not get any information from your purchases made with Apple Pay, for instance. More and more they are marketing themselves as an alternative to the privacy invasions of the Googles and Facebooks of the world. This is as it should be, since Apple makes plenty of money off my purchase of an iPhone, they do not need to nickel and dime me for additional revenue by selling off my personal information.

      I figured Microsoft would end up in Apple's camp here, since they make plenty of money off each Windows license. OK I grant that it is possible the "free" Windows 10 upgrades have different privacy defaults than the ones you pay for in the form of a new PC, but I doubt it. They're trying to stick their snouts in the trough on both ends, making money on your purchase of Windows and then making more money selling off your personal information when you actually use it.

      That is what is particularly galling here. Google has to do this, advertising is their only revenue stream, the money they make selling your personal information goes to support all their servers, and all their engineers developing search, Android, and so forth. Microsoft sees their income from selling Windows licenses dropping due to the falling number of PCs sold, and the new CEO apparently decided it was time to look for additional revenue streams - and hey, look at what Google is doing, we should do that too!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Arctic fox

        The big difference though is with Google, you're trading your privacy in exchange for free stuff. Free search, free email, free maps, free smartphone OS, etc. It may not be a trade most consumers are conscious of and make willingly, but it is there.

        Could we then for reasons of accuracy (and to ram this home to people who don't get this) stop referring to those services as free? I've made this point often, but maybe you see now what I mean: that is NOT free. You pay for those services with personal details - worse, you pay for them with details they are under no obligation to delete afterwards. Not that they're alone in this, judging by how accurately LinkedIn suggests other people I ought to know it is clear it has retained all the data I once foolishly provided until I got privacy wise myself. Not even the search engine is free, because you pay for that with tracking (something, I should add, you did not agree to but happens anyway, pretty much like an email you send to a Gmail user gets scanned despite you not having given any permission for that).

        Stop helping their marketing departments, stop calling it "free". Because you know damn well it isn't.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @the ACs - Re: @Arctic fox

          Free services as in "you aren't paying any money for them". 99% of consumers will think of that sort of free meaning "free", so I think other than in a pedantic sense, that description is correct.

          As for whether Google has no choice but to make their money by trading on people's personal information....given that they don't collect any monetary revenue for use of search, maps, mail, etc nor licensing for Android (aside from the massive flop known as Google Glass) in what way exactly are you suggesting they completely reinvent their business model to start making money in another way? Or do you think Google's founders have made enough money and ought to start running the business as a charity?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @the ACs - @Arctic fox

            As for whether Google has no choice but to make their money by trading on people's personal information....given that they don't collect any monetary revenue for use of search, maps, mail, etc nor licensing for Android (aside from the massive flop known as Google Glass) in what way exactly are you suggesting they completely reinvent their business model to start making money in another way? Or do you think Google's founders have made enough money and ought to start running the business as a charity?

            Google has the best search engine, and slings ads on the results. There you go, poor lovely Google is making a profit already. It doesn't have to scan the email of everyone (especially of those who did not give their permission, which is anyone sending email to a Gmail user without a Gmail or Google account themselves), and more importantly, it doesn't have to delude people into thinking that is actually different to stalking people - if you read the help files they make it sound like it's for the good of humanity.

            Their T&Cs are simply excessive - there is no reason why Google needs to grant itself full access to your IP into perpetuity, sorry (ditto for FB in this context). So please don't try to give me the line that Google has to do it because it doesn't make a profit otherwise. If you decide to set up a business, you have to plan for what you are prepared to do for your customers. Google seems to have only planned what to do TO its customers and frankly, some of the scams schemes it dreams up to grab more personal data are seriously dodgy.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Arctic fox

          By that definition, nothing is free. For example, "free newspaper": you pay for that by being required to allow advertising in front of your face in order to turn the pages (which the advertiser pays real money for).

          I think people can understand that "free" in this context means "no money changes hands with the consumer, but obviously there is some other indirect consideration to the provider, otherwise they wouldn't bother"

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Arctic fox

            By that definition, nothing is free. For example, "free newspaper": you pay for that by being required to allow advertising in front of your face in order to turn the pages (which the advertiser pays real money for).

            Well, let me then add a discriminator which makes the crucial difference:

            "free" as wel as "paid for" in the context above share a very important feature: both stop when you terminate your use of the service. If I don't want the ads, I can stop accepting the free paper. If I want to stop a paid for service, I terminate the contract and stop paying. End of story.

            If I use the services I do not consider "free" although they call themselves that, I must commit to letting them use my Intellectual property and information forever, for free (<= that is a genuine "free", as in "without any residual obligations). I must commit to let them snif through my relationships and preserve that information, even though my correspondents never get to make that choice, I have allowed it for them when I start using Gmail. I also have no idea what they do with the data, although they are required to tell me this under EU law, their explanation and caveats are so vague and wide there is ever reason to suspect you can just translate it with "sell it to anyone who offers us enough of a profit for it". Well, that I do NOT call free.

            Try setting up a fake profile on LinkedIn, complete with fake history and company membership. Then delete the history, and leave the account alone for a few weeks. Log in, and see who it recommends you ought to connect with. Coincidence? I don't think so. You CERTAINLY should not allow them access to your email as they try to lure you into. That is the sort of non-free "free" that ought to be banned from using the word.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Arctic fox

        Google has to do this, advertising is their only revenue stream, the money they make selling your personal information goes to support all their servers, and all their engineers developing search, Android, and so forth

        Err, no. Google is acting in ways that has in many countries resulted in investigations and court cases. It does not HAVE to, certainly not to such a degree. Don't try to make out that it is forced to do what it does.

      3. P. Lee

        Re: @Arctic fox

        >Google has to do this, advertising is their only revenue stream,

        Possibly more importantly, you rather have an implicit understanding that you are accessing google's servers out on the interwebs. Google is an internet search company and you expect to be sending stuff to them and having them store it not least because that's what you do with google search and you know the phone is a bit small. MS is a bit different. I don't expect my PC to be too small and weak to process data so I don't expect any of it to disappear up to someone's cloud. If I'm looking for a document, on my PC, why would I need to search the internet? At worst, I might search my internet history, if that is cached locally.

        Everyone wants to become an indispensable service and tie users into their stack. I'm not onboard with that. I don't want to have all my stuff silo'd because MS won't play with Apple and Apple won't play with Google. I don't need "cloud scale" to do cloud, I just need a little bit of storage for my data, a network link and an old core2duo desktop which is quite happy running 24/7. I have Linux on the desktop and server, but my main problem is that I'm out of options for mobile devices. I just unplug. An old iphone 3g: total data usage rarely moves above 50mb/month. Newer ithingies are busy pushing all the data access into the application layer to feed Apple's cloud. When I had android, Google would at least permit me to install firefox and every now and then I would do a bulk copy of audo via usb. Books come from my home server (thanks calibre). In rare agreement with Orlowski, I thought MS should and would come out as the privacy advocates because they charge for the OS. I doubt the "free" option applies to that many people. Now, however, I don't trust MS any more than I trust Google to do a desktop OS for me. With that trust gone, the last reason I would ever have to buy an MS phone has just flown out the window with it. I'm sticking with Linux for a preference, Windows 7 for MS Office/Visio work and a hated but almost never used freebie windows 8 for the odd "windows only" home requirement.

        So now we look for either non-Google Android or something else. It appears something open-source is required because no-one can be trusted not to do something unexpected with my data. At least my time with an iphone 3g means that I can live without the apps. Is it time to bring some of the linux desktop APIs to mobile? QT? Hey Linus, can you have a chat to the chaps about creating some power-efficient kernel ideas? Mozilla, VLC, mplayerHQ, I think we'll need your help. Maybe a sugar-daddy with profits and nothing to lose in the game... IBM?

    5. h4rm0ny

      Re: Whilst I do not disagree with the criticisms of the privacy issues regarding Win 10............

      >>"..........I would have been much more supportive of this line had you and other authors been a touch more critical at a significantly earlier stage in the context of Google/Apple etc with regard to precisely this issue given the comprehensive hosing you are now giving Redmond"

      How about me? I think I have a reputation on these forums of being an MS fan. At least I've been called it repeatedly and had to endure endless accusations of bias.

      And I find MS's direction right now pretty poor (and yes, I've criticized Google for the same thing in the past). I'm happy to pay for software and I liked MS when they sold it and I gave them money in return. Now they seem to think they can have their cake and eat it and I'm not very happy about that.

  6. Andy Non
    Thumb Down

    The more I read about 10 the less I want it.

    Sooner or later I'll likely "upgrade" my secondary operating system, Windows 8.1 to 10; but it looks very much like it will remain my secondary OS behind Linux Mint. I want an OS that doesn't get in the way and doesn't spy on everything I do. I don't want or need fancy clouds and Microsoft accounts or talking AI assistants. I also want my personal data to remain as that... personal. So, thanks but no thanks Microsoft. You can keep your shiny new operating system.

    1. fung0

      Re: The more I read about 10 the less I want it.

      Sooner or later I'll likely "upgrade" my secondary operating system, Windows 8.1 to 10; but it looks very much like it will remain my secondary OS behind Linux Mint.

      I'm starting to feel the same way. Linux Mint is looking better all the time. Reminds me of what I used to like about Windows. The tragic thing is, I was a huge fan of Microsoft through the 1990s and early 2000s. Now, Microsoft is literally driving me away, as hard as they can.

      The blame has to be shared by those nothing-to-hide sheeple who downloaded Windows 10 even before they knew if it was any good. And those who continued downloading it, even as it became apparent that it was the Spawn of Hell, a Trojan aimed at destroying the very concept of individual privacy. And especially those who, even now, continue to make apologies for what Windows 10 is doing, as if it was unimportant, inconsequential, nothing to be upset about. (In between gushing about how wonderful DirectX 12 is - despite the absence of any games that actually use it.)

      It's astounding what some people value... and what they don't.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    If you've done nothing wrong, you've nothing to worry about

    1. Nanners

      I'm sorry to say this

      But that is such a euro thing to say. There are several reasons to be upset.

      First: You are being studied like a zoo animal. Do you trust your overlords to do the right thing? or does absolute power corrupt absolutely?

      They aren't just trying to find bad guys, they are making a fortune off you. Targeting your children even. Influencing everyday life and stagnating the creative mind. Should we all conform? Unfortunately, we have little choice at this point. Welcome to 1984, you were warned 30 years ago this was the danger of technology. Next up is google ai overlords making sure you do what is expected.

      1. Nanners

        Re: I'm sorry to say this

        ...and I'm not even getting into the fact that you are out there now... everything about you. centralized and ready for the pickings. They WILL be hacked, only a matter of time before someone gets to the database they are creating.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Practicing for your NSA entrance exam ?

    3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Today, "worrying" IS doing something wrong. Be happy, keep shopping! ♪ ♪

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Be happy, keep shopping! ♪ ♪"

        I would.

        Except they sent my job to India so there's little brass for shopping any more.

    4. BobChip
      Holmes

      1984

      Really? What you have actually DONE may soon be irrelevant. I suggest you update your views by reading Orwell's 1984.

    5. Tokoloshe

      Upvoted

      I'm fine with any form of wit, even sarcasm. The downvoters will have a long wait for any other type around here.

    6. Woodnag

      Two good answers to that

      1. The Innocence Project https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Innocence_project shows otherwise

      2. Khow any suspect, who happens to be a law enforcement officer, who tells all rather than shuts up and demands a lawyer?

    7. hplasm
      Meh

      If you've done nothing wrong, you've nothing to worry about

      Where wrong == Installed Windows 10.

    8. captain veg Silver badge

      If you've done nothing wrong, you haven't lived.

      -A.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "If you've done nothing wrong, you haven't lived."

        I am certainly not going to die regretting the naughty things I did (that didn't harm other people). But in Cameron/May (and US corps.) new world of intrusive surveillance, I might be made to.

    9. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "@J J Carter

      Don't do that. The whoosh sound deafened me.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    10. Mutton Jeff

      Until "they" fit you up with something.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm really looking forward to this, aren't you?....

    - Now, how do I burn my house down, give away all my possessions and become a vagabond? Seriously, this is no longer a world I want to bring a kid into. I never expected to say that when I started out in tech a quarter century ago when IT held bright possibilities and was exciting and fun...

    - Why are all the tech gadgets we grew up with and loved from TV's to PC's to Phones to Home Gadgets now exclusively being used to fcuk us in the ass. Why are the Sheeple not up in arms as they are over other things? They still don't get it? Is the mainstream media to blame or is it just apathy?

    - Win10? No thanks! Best unplug it and use Linux boxes for the web instead.... Smartphones?... Definitely, no thank-you esp. Android! ...Smart TV's? Not if I can help it, but some stores refuse to sell anything else! ...IOT? Never, ever, ever!

    - Detractors please stop telling people that if you don't want to be slurped, you can just unplug, because that's becoming impossible advice... Sure, lets all sleep walk down the yellow-brick road to the privacy holocaust...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm really looking forward to this, aren't you?....

      No votes because: a big upvote for the rant - but a million downvotes for the use of holocaust

      And in answer to your opening question you just JFDI

      But something tells me you Just Fucking Won't. Because Sheeple are only ever Other People, aren't they?

  9. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Devil

    Looks like Microsoft's been Scroogled

    Shouldn't have bought that laptop.

  10. captain veg Silver badge

    as in free beer

    Thanks for that, Andrew.

    And this is why it's a "free" upgrade. Not as in free speech, but as in you-are-the-product.

    I've been known to bitch about RyanAir. I don't care about how badly they treat their customers because I will never again be one. I do care about what they have done to people's expectations and how the rest of the industry has responded in kind.

    I don't use Google (much) or Facebook (ever), but it looks like the same thing is happening.

    Thank Bob for Linux.

    -A.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: as in free beer

      "And this is why it's a "free" upgrade. Not as in free speech, but as in you-are-the-product."

      Its not really a free upgrade tho but peopel like to use that as a "look you are the product", despite most of the features being disablable.. disableable... you can turn them off, you have to have paid for it at some point, and if you don't claim it within a year they will charge you for it. You have already paid it for.

      Its like people who claim that the games you get with Playstation Plus are free games, despite having to pay for PlayStation plus and them being part of what you get for your money.

      I do wonder what the reaction from this place will be in a year when you have to pay for your upgrades, all of sudden it will be a travesty and everyone will forget that they have been told this from the start :P

    2. Wade Burchette

      Re: as in free beer

      Always remember: Just because something does not cost money does not mean it is free.

      1. beavershoes

        Re: as in free beer

        If it does not cost money then it is free. What kind of peculiar statement is that. Have you ever been exposed to normal people? they are your statements so funny. Not funny haha but funny, different? They don't sound like you. You sound LSGB or whatever it is called. You one of those LSGT types?

        1. kryptylomese

          Re: as in free beer

          Free can mean more than one thing - it can mean that it costs nothing or/and it can mean that you are free to do what you want.

    3. dan1980

      Re: as in free beer

      @capain veg

      "I've been known to bitch about RyanAir. I don't care about how badly they treat their customers because I will never again be one. I do care about what they have done to people's expectations and how the rest of the industry has responded in kind."

      Exactly.

      This is the problem right here and it extends across several industries. I am a 'gamer' and was one of the people who vowed not to buy an Xbox One after the ridiculous 'always online' requirements. But why did MS even attempt this? What made them think that people would accept that? Steam did. Steam and EA (Origin) and Ubisoft (Uplay) and Blizzard (Battle.net).

      Or take something otherwise unrelated to the topic - beer. In Australia, our standard size bottled beer is 375ml. Has been for yonks. With the rise of imported beers and craft beers, more traditional, standard offerings have been downsizing their bottles to the same 345ml, 330ml and even 320ml sizes that these more premium option come in. The price stays the same (or even increases), of course. It's the same thing - and, in the end, the same result: before too long you won't have much of an option as everyone follows suit.

      Someone might decide to refuse to fly with an airline that charges for baggage but what happens when they all start doing this?

      Likewise, related to another article on Samsung 'Smart' TVs inserting ads and collecting data. Sure, you can say: "just don't buy a Smart TV" but what happens when they are the only ones available?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Meh

        Re: as in free beer

        As for SMART TV's either keep the non SMART one or disable the SMART side - why "upgrade" if you dont need to?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: as in free beer

          why "upgrade" if you dont need to?

          Because you sometimes don't have a choice. I got a Samsung for my parents, and the reason I got it is because it's big enough for my father to read subtitles without glasses. The issue is that it is flat out impossible to buy a large TV of a decent quality that does NOT come crammed to the gills with all this crud, and worse, makes it impossible to delete it.

          The only useful thing on that TV was Skype, because it can run in the background for inbound calls so I can get hold of them without a separate computer involved (although Samsung naturally implemented it in a way that needs their expensive webcam to make it work), but every so often it wants to upgrade. There is no way I have found that makes that silent or kills it off, and God help me if they touch any of the Smart Hub buttons because it confuses the heck out of them.

          I would welcome it if a company made a TV for seniors where you could lock out all that crud or (better) delete it altogether.

  11. Adair Silver badge

    Correct, but money rules...

    and this is all about money---shareholder's money, short term money, money as a stream from users to owners. Forget 'computing', don't even dream of 'responsible computing' or 'service to users'.

    Windows (10) = EAAS (Extortion As A Service)

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Correct, but money rules...

      Oh it's all about the money, no doubt there.

      But just for one second imagine the situation if WinSlurp 1 0 fails as spectacularly as Vista did.

      I'm pretty sure that would be one hell of kick to Micrsoft's bottom . . line.

      But yeah, I know, I'm dreaming again. Nurse ! Bring me my pills. The red ones.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Correct, but money rules...

        I'm pretty sure WIndows 10 will fail spectacularly.

        Windows 7 users have no reason to "upgrade". There is nothing tempting about Windows 10 for them.

        Only Windows 8 users have a real reason to "upgrade", but Windows 8 doesn't have a large market share. Windows 10 GUI changes should really have been a service pack for 8, as an apology for its clumsy GUI.

        PC sales are down, and probably mostly bouyed by corporate sales. Corporations have only just transitioned to Windows 7, if that. No way will they transition to Windows 10 as it looks at the moment.

        MS tries to charge you for an OS that is essentially a tool for MS to monetise you. Not a good plan.

        The "free" version of Windows 10 is essentially a conversion of another OS (Windows 7 or 8) into an operating system where control of it has been transferred to MS (via the mandatory update path).

        The new version you get is tied to the hardware. It is unclear what happens when the motherboard dies, or the harddisk needs upgrading, etc. If you previously had a fully payed for version of Windows,

        with installation media, installable on the PC of your choice, you would be MAD to swap that with a Windows 10 version! (I can see lot's of back pedaling by MS in the future when angry hordes have finally discovered what they accidentally have agreed upon.)

  12. Aoyagi Aichou
    Thumb Up

    Yep.

    I feel pretty much the same, data harvesting should be opt-in, not hidden opt-out.

    Additionally, I believe this is against some (?) EU regulations on data protection and I still believe someone whose self-expressive skills aren't sub-turnip should write a petition since I haven't seen any sign of any EU organs noticing what's going on, as usual.

    However, I find the number of people ignoring, accepting, or even defending these practices rather disturbing. Has the 'civilized' society completely given up its demands for privacy and not being datamined for no benefit to it? Most of the apologists would respond to this something along the lines of "If you want privacy, don't upgrade" or even "Don't use the internet"... Oh well.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Yep.

      Has the 'civilized' society completely given up its demands for privacy and not being datamined for no benefit to it?

      Short answer.. yes. Just look to the comments sections on any article about privacy, be it companies or agencies. There's a hard core of "this is neat that I get this but I don't have anything to hide" for companies like Google to "we need to stop terrorism and paedophiles". And the list and acceptances of this go on. The IoT with all of its intrusiveness is seen by many as a "good thing".

      Let's face it, we've been sucked in. It's only a matter of time before we get chewed up and spat out once our usefulness the data hoarders is used up.

      1. ratfox

        Re: Yep.

        To be honest, this concept of privacy is almost recent. Only a two hundred years ago, you wouldn't have dreamt of hiding your secrets from your neighbors. People mostly lived in small towns, and had no anonymity, and not much privacy either.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Yep.

          "People mostly lived in small towns, and had no anonymity, and not much privacy either."

          From their neighbours. But their lack of privacy had a small radius, perhaps a mile or so. The cottager or smallholder only knew about the outside world perhaps through visitors or a newspaper that might be weeks out of date, and the outside world didn't know about him at all. A lot of people still fundamentally don't get this; that in the small town people know who you are and you know who they are, but on the Internet, many people can know about you and you do not have a clue about them. What's more, in those small communities there was a web of trust; everybody knew who could keep secrets and who couldn't.

          The modern concept of privacy is only necessary because previously unimagined ways of invading it now exist.

          1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

            Re: Yep.

            Add the fact that most of the villagers were probably cousins. Most of the snooping and sharing was in the extended family. Outsiders would often have a difficult time getting information.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Yep.

          "Only a two hundred years ago, you wouldn't have dreamt of hiding your secrets from your neighbors."

          I don't believe that. A former neighbour of mine had a cellar in his house which had been used for secret religious meetings several hundred years ago.

        3. h4rm0ny

          Re: Yep.

          >>"To be honest, this concept of privacy is almost recent. Only a two hundred years ago, you wouldn't have dreamt of hiding your secrets from your neighbors. People mostly lived in small towns, and had no anonymity, and not much privacy either."

          Actually, I'm pretty sure people hid their information going back as far as there were those with power and those without. Every village hid information from the visiting taxmen. And if you think there weren't secrets in even small communities then you've never lived in one. In short, you're talking bollocks.

        4. Frank N. Stein

          Re: Yep.

          "Hiding your secrets from your neighbors"? LOL!!!!! There are "neighbors" on my block who's names I don't even know, whom I know nothing about. My neighbors know nothing about me. I plan to keep it that way.

        5. Mutton Jeff
          Trollface

          Re: Yep.

          What, like Josef Fritzl ?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ka Blam! There goes the other foot.

    And this data slurping "it's not your machine" stuff started a while back, first, when MS decided to keep Windows Updates a secret until they were released, followed shortly thereafter by all the "important" updates that turned out to be nothing more than data grabs and ads to get you to install Windows 10. No wonder they stopped telling you what was coming! That was a watershed moment for our organization, when we knew instantly that ANY trust we had in MS was gone.

    It's stunning to look at how badly they want to destroy their Enterprise business. Almost like those in charge have always hated the company-provisioned desktop and now they're going to liberate us all with something "fun". They blew it with Windows Phone - imagine what they could have done if they had targeted the Blackberry market with Enterprise features and real MDM - and they've been destroying the desktop market since Win8. Win10 looks to continue that tradition.

    I was happy to see Ballmer leave, but I'm starting to wonder if the cure is worse than the disease.

    1. Aoyagi Aichou

      Re: Ka Blam! There goes the other foot.

      SatNad's motto is "Cloud first, mobile first", so the cure for flu is plague.

    2. adnim

      Re: Ka Blam! There goes the other foot.

      Actually it started a long time ago perhaps as long as 15 years ago... The moment that setup/install programs began to phone home to report that they were being installed or to check for updates on install.

      I remember when setup/install programs did not access the Internet and one had to visit a website to check for updates. Yes a little inconvenient I will admit. But at that time the only data one shared was what the browser used to download the update leaked. Nowadays without using Wireshark and being able to decrypt the sent data one does not have a clue what data is being sent.

      1. 404

        Re: Ka Blam! There goes the other foot.

        'one had to visit a website to check for updates'...

        Remember 'Oil Change'? Little program that scanned your machine and checked for any of your installed software required updates. Saw it at COMDEX back in the late 90's, sat on one of the booth chicks until she gave up a couple of copies..

        I thought it was pretty cool at the time - reckon it just opened the door. Damn shame really, too bad we can't have nice things anymore, eh?

    3. fung0

      Re: Ka Blam! There goes the other foot.

      And this data slurping "it's not your machine" stuff started a while back...

      The first inkling I recall, that things were going bad, was when Microsoft infested Windows XP with Windows Genuine Advantage DRM via Windows Update. (I never trusted them again.) The next big milestone was video DRM baked-in to Vista. After that it's hard to pick out individual instances.

      Clearly, the moral decay is accelerating on some kind of exponential curve.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ka Blam! There goes the other foot.

        The first inkling I recall, that things were going bad, was when Microsoft infested Windows XP with Windows Genuine Advantage DRM via Windows Update. (I never trusted them again.)

        That "Windows Genuine Advantage" was also the first really clear hint that they have no problem with feeding their customers any line of BS to get their way. There was no "Advantage" there for anyone except MS, for the people just trying to run a box this &^%$ thing was forever in the way when changing hardware or recovering from the many crashes it was prone to.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ka Blam! There goes the other foot.

          Judging by the downvote the Microsoft marketing team has finally shown up.

          I am curious, do you guys work from Redmond or India?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    To badly quote South Park...

    Stage 1 - Collect all personal data...

    Stage 2 - ?

    Stage 3 - Profit!

    I wonder what the Microsoft gnomes are cooking up for stage 2. The only thing we can rely on is that today's Microsoft is too crap to every get it right. But I'm still not going to touch Windows 10.

  15. Esme

    Microsoft? High morl ground?!

    ISTR from my readingof Groklaw over the years that MS was behind the SCO farce.

    I agree thought tht El Reg has been slow at criticising Google for its failings, too.

    And I pointed out 5 ays ago somehwere in the commentard stream that MS likely now see its users as the product. They're probably seeing if they can head Facebook and Google off at the pass.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft? High morl ground?!

      ISTR from my readingof Groklaw over the years that MS was behind the SCO farce.

      Only tangentially. That guy from SCO (Daryl McBride I presume) wrecked the company all by himself.

      1. Esme

        Re: Microsoft? High morl ground?!

        The farce I was referring to was the attempt to throttle Linux, using SCO as a front, on entirely spurious grounds. That SCO itself was a farce wass, as you correctly say, down to Mr McBride.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Microsoft? High morl ground?!

          I'm glad to be reminded of that wonderful saga. Especially the guy who worked in an office opposite McBride's and used to report on his comings and goings, and how he appeared to be enjoying his day.

          Sadly since then PR has become much more professional, and we probably won't see his like again.

      2. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

        Re: Microsoft? High moral ground?!

        One part was quite clear - MS (and Sun) felt a sudden urge to buy 20M$ 'Unix licenses' from The SCO Group. Who didn't even have a proper right to sell them.

        But ties between MS and other TSCOG investors were elusive at best.

        techrights.org/wiki/index.php/SCO

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The last Windows Version?

    I think the model is now to continuously upgrade Windows 10 (as a paid-for service of course) so it could be seen as the last Microsoft Desktop OS.

    I would suggest that as far as Microsoft is concerned, the last Desktop Windows OS was Windows 7.

    In future, the desktop will merely be there to provide support to the App layer and any other uses people have (maybe not even gaming, since they seem to have got XBOX-PC streaming working) at the moment don't seem to figure in their plans.

    This privacy bullshit has, for me, totally and contemptuously discarded decades of trust people have had in Microsoft.

    Next year - Linux On The Desktop, by default.

  17. GregC
    Big Brother

    The thing that I find the most disturbing is the lack of both awareness and, once that's sorted, concern about this among my technically literate, otherwise intelligent colleagues. We've been discussing Win10 today and I've been dismissed as paranoid when describing the defaults.

    The only machine of mine that's getting Win10 is a cheapo crappy laptop that currently has 8.1, on the basis that it will rid me of 8.1, and that machine hardly ever sees the internet anyway. For my work and gaming machines it's stick with 7 for the foreseeable future.

    1. Teiwaz
      Unhappy

      Yup, I'm getting the same vibes...

      The tech-unsavy love the XboxOne integration, the tech-savy are happier with the ui, and even the IT workers like the new ui, and are recommending it left right and centre.

      I think prolonged exposure to google has resulted in numbness to privacy concerns, and prolonged exposure to MS marketing has resulted in a numbness and softening between the ears.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yup, I'm getting the same vibes...

        Huh? Nobody owns Xbox one, just like windows phone, back storerooms and shipping containers around the globe are stuffed with unsold ones.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The problem with your approach has already been demonstrated. Microsoft is more than willing, definitely able, to insert anything they want into the Windows Update stream. Keeping your machines on Windows 7 isn't going to amount to any kind of protection. Simply rolling a telemetry tool into a security patch (the telemetry being, just sayin', monitoring the patch) is enough. I have no idea if this will ever happen though.

      I'm taking a different tack. Android tablet and Windows 8.1 laptop are going to be the internet facing machines, my serious hardware completely off the grid. Even ignoring the the privacy threats (my privacy is long gone), the internet is getting much more crazy than even the Wild West reputation to date. We've seen limited forms of blow-back already. Won't prevent everything but I'd like my archives to have a reasonable chance to survive intact at least until I'm gone.

      I might even update the Asus laptop to Windows 10. Google at least seems to have a clue about me, I check regularly. Microsoft given past performance on the advertising and data collection end, well they aren't so good.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Holmes

      and again

      Yup, me too!

  18. Gene Cash Silver badge
    Terminator

    Where's Dr. Theopolis?

    Seems strange to see Twiki without him!

  19. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Windows EOL?

    Windows 10 looks a lot like Windows Vista with a new shell and a warm, fuzzy, Mark Zuckerberg sugar coating. We're evaluating it at work but it's not looking good at this point.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cortana

    ...Hit the nail on the head right there.

    Microsoft have in recent years got caught up in some stupid race with Apple to provide the best 'digital assistant'.

    Such a service does require deep integration with the entire operating system and application environment combined with a high degree of connectivity with supporting cloud processing and storage to make it all work.

    It really hasn't occurred to them that a lot of people like myself really DON'T WANT a digital assistant.

    1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: Cortana

      "a lot of people like myself really DON'T WANT a digital assistant."

      Indeed. It's a lousy substitute for the butler.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cortana

      My problem with a digital assistant has nothing to do with being an expert system, that's nearly ideal, especially for those times I am out of contact for whatever reason. My problem has everything to do with the system (potentially) being under the control of others be they corporate or government. I've circled the problem many times as I'm very predictable so having some autonomous software that lives immersed in the internet wouldn't be at all difficult to engineer. Securely by design, given. I'd go so far as formal verification being as if it screwed up, well identity theft would be mild by comparison. None of the pieces are hard given how many different fields I've done predictive analytics in. More applying the right model for each dataset.

      Cortana, Siri, Google Now, none of them in any way, shape or form resemble how I'd do things. All have been DOA here, will always remain so.

    3. h4rm0ny

      Re: Cortana

      >>"It really hasn't occurred to them that a lot of people like myself really DON'T WANT a digital assistant."

      I would be fine with it if I could choose the aspects that I want. It would be nice to use it for appointment's management. But MS want consent to scan my txts and emails. I'm perfectly happy to accept a compromise and not have it auto adding things because it found an email from an airline in my inbox. But compromises don't seem to be on offer. There might be a setting to turn it off but as far as I can see you can't even get to that part without first going through the consent agreement part.

  21. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    So... you set everything to 'OFF' Then what?

    Have you checked that is is keeping quiet about what you are doing on your device?

    Or is it still phoning home every nano second.

    It would be nice to know if these settings actually mean what they say or are they just window dressing?

  22. disorder

    Why even patch when privacy invasion itself has become the feature.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    8.1 starting to look more atractive

    when i have to upgrade the win7 in 2020 its looking like i will upgrade to 8.1 (with classic shell) until it is EOL in 2023 unless something privacy focused and decent from microsoft comes out between now and then.

    my compliance officer would have a heart attack if i allow windows 10 on the corporate network in its current state even with all switches turned to "Do NOT send Data" as with updates who is to know what will be slipped in or turned back on. even reading the description of each update before putting on WSUS is risky as Microsoft's recent from shows that the description is rather vague or downright misleading.

    Personally and at work I would pay a premium to have a privacy based version of windows with no tracking tools. "I know sod all chance of that" but without it work will NOT deploy windows 10

    Has any one turned everything off to make windows 10 less key logger esque and set up network logging to see if data is still transmitted?

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: 8.1 starting to look more atractive

      I never expected anyone to refer to 8.1 as an 'upgrade'.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 8.1 starting to look more atractive

        nor did I until last month.

        I have avoided 8 & 8.1 like the plague until i had to help a friend out and my usual protests about not working on it failed. (owed them a favour so couldn't just say "NO") and was pestilently surprised how usable it was (after classic shell had been installed!!!)

        i still prefer win7 but when its EOL need to change to something supported and win8.1 with classic shell or start8. as compliance wont allow me to run an unsupported OS at work and at home i want a secure os with as small a footprint as possible but looks like what im used to.

        I do now run 8.1 with classic shell as a test OS on some machines at home and work.but not ready to move over totally yet.

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: 8.1 starting to look more atractive

      Given MS is really an enterprise oriented company, W10 may be a bigger disaster than W8 or Vista. Many organizations have legal obligations to protect much of their internal data. Any OS that consistently phones home by default jeopardizes data security. If I were asked what to do in the future my likely recommendations would be a Linux distro (probably Linux Mint) or Apple. Linux would be attractive because no new hardware would be needed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 8.1 starting to look more atractive

        Thats the problem we have the compliance officer would not allow Windows 10 on the network due to statutory legal obligations over security. so unless they bring out a "NO !!!" spyware Enterprise edition,

        Linux may be the only option after 2023, "I" would need to retrain to admin it :-( i run a linux box as a user as a test box but i have no admin experience where as I have been using windows since 3.1 and being admin since NT4.

        the company may also not want to move to Linux due to user training costs but with more and more of the tools they use becoming web based (running on web servers on the company network) I hope the base OS will become irrelevant, as long as the users can log in, get the rights they need to access the relevant files they need and can fire up a browser they can get their mail (OWA) and their office tools etc that they need. finance would be the main sticking point as their main tool is windows only.

        here is hoping someone at Microsoft has an epiphany moment and realises they have a problem and bring out a paid for secure version, and hope users dont keep sleepwalking in to the data belongs to the corporations mindset, be it Google, Apple or Microsoft. - but unfortunately i dont see either of these things happening. - EU investigation?, doubt it :-(

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To the mass-media & bloggers / reviewers who only see a bright side to always-on slurping...

    Rest assured, you'll be the first ones into the gas-chambers when the privacy holocaust arrives...

  25. W. Anderson

    Mediocrity and poor secutiy are Windows middle names

    There are no Windows 7,8 or Windows 10 users who have a legitimate reason to complain about computer and Internet user privacy - at all.

    It has become tiresome to an extreme to hear constant moaning and complaining from Windows users, who all the while are kissing Microsoft's anus for crap software they are receiving as simple-minded, slavish minions.

    The article author's reverting to Apple Mac Pro was wise although late, or he could have moved some time ago to one of the world class GNU/Linux distributions, even for running some Windows specific applications via VMWare Virtuaualization. Fortunately companies like Valve with their Steam game engine have moved to porting more than 1300 "games" to Linux environment as of July, 2015. Others are apparently following suit.

    There should be no sympathy for the Windows supporters mired in everlasting whining, mental confusion and mediocre technology.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mediocrity and poor secutiy are Windows middle names

      "There should be no sympathy for the Windows supporters mired in everlasting whining, mental confusion and mediocre technology."

      Nice for you that you obviously have a complete pick of jobs and no boss to worry about, but most people are not so lucky.

    2. fung0

      Re: Mediocrity and poor secutiy are Windows middle names

      Windows 7 is actually a pretty reasonable system. There are faults, but they're well-known and manageable. Most importantly, it has a library of software unmatched by any other platform. Including applications that many of us came to rely upon, decades before GNU/Linux came close to being a viable alternative. Sure, I'm working more and more in Linux Mint. But if Linux were a perfect solution, I'd have abandoned Windows even before Windows 10 descended upon us.

      I do agree that Valve offers a ray of hope. Gabe Newell foresaw the coming win-pocalypse, and did the only thing he could: started to build a viable alternative. SteamOS could be a turning point. Microsoft continues to undervalue PC gaming. If a significant fraction of PC gamers moves to SteamOS, it will do more to validate Linux as a platform than anyone expects.

    3. The Real SteveP
      Unhappy

      Re: Mediocrity and poor secutiy are Windows middle names

      "Fortunately companies like Valve with their Steam game engine have moved to porting more than 1300 "games" to Linux environment as of July, 2015. Others are apparently following suit."

      And of course, EVERYONE knows how safe and secure Steam is, don't they?

    4. Turtle

      @W. Anderson

      Having read about Windows 10 I am considering moving to some flavor of BSD. I would never, ever use Linux. And do you know why? It's because I've had two decades of reading ads spammed from scumbag Linux evangelists like you.

  26. Zog_but_not_the_first
    Windows

    The Omega Man

    I'm starting to feel like the Omega Man. Just like the eponymous character who battles the vampire plague all around him, then suddenly realises that the "vampire plague" is the new normal and he is the odd one out (or worse).

    I keep expecting people with smiling faces to start rummaging through my pockets as I walk down the street saying things like "Everyone else is OK with this. We're doing this to serve you better" and, of course, Noting to hide, nothing to fear".

    [Based on I am Legend, of course]

  27. Teiwaz

    Depressingly...

    > "In fact, I think the consumer has swung much more towards the enterprise values of strong data protection and internalised them... only to see Microsoft pass it going in the opposite direction. "

    Not that I have observed. The tech-unsavy people I know like Win10 for the Xbox integration, the tech-savy like the speed increase. Even the people in IT seem quite happy with Win10.

    I think people have become numb to the slurping, they've resigned themselves to google in exchange for android and the convenience, and governments certainly aren't helping with their own moral bankruptcy.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Depressingly...

      Just mention that Windows 10 comes with a 45-page privacy policy which can change at any time, that seems to make even the most privacy-unconscious person pause for thought.

  28. RonWheeler

    Yeah but

    To most poeple it is slightly less blocky and ugly, and it has a Start button. Job jobbed.Never underestimate the stupidity or lack of privacy concerns among the common man.

    To me the whole thing backfired - I can't install from the App store without it wanting my hotmail account details and automagically switching my primary account over to that. Naughty and sneaky, and means I now ignore the MS app store. Own goal? Who knows.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yeah but

      Never blame the ordinary person for stupidity when plain ignorance is the true default. And never expect a non-professional to know what you know.

      How is your astophysics lately? Do you really know how the economy works - you may believe you do but it is unlikely and the wool is well and truly over your eyes, sheepie?

  29. Nanners

    ...and while I'm at it...

    Don't go getting snarky MAC users (I am one). If M$ is successful apple will be next.

  30. David 132 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    I called this two months ago

    I posted on the Reg forums almost two months ago:

    http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2014/10/02/BigAndos_Windows_10_Preview_First_Impressions/

    ...about these very things. The fact that at every turn in Windows 10, if there's a "good, privacy-respecting" way to implement something, and a "sinister, scoop up all your data" way... Microsoft seem to have chosen the latter.

    I like some aspects of Windows 10. The UI, I must confess, looks smarter and cleaner than Windows 7. The underlying OS seems to be faster.

    But why the all-pervasive data-slurping?

  31. Teiwaz
    Coat

    Well, it is Microsoft Windows...

    It seems the name is even more apt now.

    When you install Windows, people are going to get to see inside.

    1. LDS Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Well, it is Microsoft Windows...

      And now Windows are fully open to let MS inside. Didn't people want an open Windows?

  32. Nanners

    Why is there a down vote button?

    Are we not allowed to think and feel freely anymore?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    10 is exhibiting virus like activity.

    Windows is silently trying to install Windows 10 to workstations in my workplace. Any that have optional updates ticked have been trying and failing to install it for a few days, at no time have I approved it.

    The failed updated show as "important" and the next day "optional". How the f*ck can a complete OS replacement be a non approved silent update? How can it change from important to optional from one day to to the next?

    Bearing in mind I'm not convinced the default settings are legal in Europe from a data protection standpoint this is serious risk to businesses and staff.

    Finding any valuable advice on this is hard due to the search engine pollution caused by the financial interest and probably "alogrithm leverage". Is that what others are seeing?

    1. Stephen Leslie

      Re: 10 is exhibiting virus like activity.

      Uninstall KB3035583.

      Reboot.

      Run Windows Update.

      When KB3035583 shows up uncheck it and hide it.

      Take full possession of the $Windows-bt folder and propagate ownership to all child objects -- give yourself full control over the folder and all child objects.

      Delete the $Windows-bt folder.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: 10 is exhibiting virus like activity.

      Take your pick, but it often comes back...

      https://superuser.com/questions/922068/how-to-disable-the-get-windows-10-icon-shown-in-the-notification-area-tray

  34. Chronos
    Thumb Up

    Why did you drive your business off a cliff?

    "The SatNad told us to!"

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    great article. I am just staggered that Microsoft could even dream that any serious business would go near this data breach waiting to happen.

  36. David 132 Silver badge
    Trollface

    This comments thread is missing something

    Where're the likes of 'Dogged' to tell us how we're stupid luddite reactionaries who are banging on about something totally inconsequential that only linux-loving freetards care about?

    But less facetiously... is there anyone around who would care to offer a thoughtful, reasoned, non ad-hominem argument as to why this data-gathering behaviour of Windows 10 is no big deal?

    I'd be interested to hear the counter-arguments.

    1. Turtle

      @David 132 Re: This comments thread is missing something

      "But less facetiously... is there anyone around who would care to offer a thoughtful, reasoned, non ad-hominem argument as to why this data-gathering behavior of Windows 10 is no big deal?"

      Here it is: Because everything that you want to protect has already been compromised by your smartphone and your favorite search engine, and by whatever web-based apps and email services and "social media" that you and your friends use. Yes indeed: you didn't do this all on your own: you've had some help from your friends. Because that's what friends are for.

      I'm still on XP and all that I know about Win 10 has gotten me thinking that maybe I ought to upgrade to Win 8.1 for the sake of running the latest games and the two mission-critical apps that I need and for which there are no alternatives. I use no social media whatsoever and do not have Facebook or Twitter accounts. I don't use a smartphone either.

      I haven't like the way the IT world it going since Windows Media Player 9 attempted to introduce a marketplace into my OS. (Oddly - to me at least - when Apple turned their desktops into storefronts via iTunes, Mac users loved it.)

      I might use Steam occasionally but I always use the Offline feature. Some years ago, EA tried to give themselves the right to index the contents of my hard drives and sell that information to third parties, so I have never and will never use Origin. Ever.

      For enterprise the matter might be different but the fact is that the privacy that most people will forfeit by using Win 10 has already been willingly abandoned long, long ago.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: @David 132 This comments thread is missing something

        iTunes is an application. So is Windows Media Player. As is Steam, surely?

        Windows is an operating system.

        See the difference?

  37. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    feint

    I'm starting to wonder if Windows 10 is designed to be dreadful. That it will make the users turn to 8.1 and like it.

    1. tempemeaty

      Re: feint

      Perhaps they plant to wait until people are screaming for a fix, then will introduce a reasonable OS, but with one condition. It's pay by "SUBSCRIPTION".

  38. moxberg

    Microsoft's radical shift (no, not the touch obsession) roots in eleventh hour panic. They must have concluded Windows 10 would be the last time they could use their leverage effectively:

    XP taught us very well business doesn't like change just for the sake of change. 8 was a disaster 8.1 didn't fix. As for 7 we're already committed to support it until 2020. 10 won't fly with businesses before then, while consumers turn, not away from Windows, but to devices it simply doesn't come with, in alarming numbers. While Windows has been "good enough" most of the time, it is nothing anybody actively chooses - neither businesses nor consumers, but for different reasons -, we just graze on there being no choice. Something has to be done before any alternative grows strong enough to make "good enough" not good enough anymore. Once our market share starts to drop, we're entering a death spiral. Any thoughts?

    Enter development: We could fix all the bugs and polish Aero and reduce the number of mouse clicks needed for everything and a modern file system would be very appreciated and ...

    WHO THE F..K ASKED FOR YOUR OPINION????? [yikes!]

    Enter marketing: bet on ignorance with consumers, let them be the guinea pigs for 2020's business challenge: deploy the next Windows or something else? Make sure these five years allow for large scale testing _anything_ fancy we might come up with, but haven't yet: make updates mandatory, even for new features. Make sure people start using it _now_: free offer, always makes people crazy.

    Enter accounting: We won't make any money, then, for five years. Look what Google does, can't we do the same? And make it a subscription some time later?

    Enter Balmer's breed: Yeah, but we'll take it to extremes, not like those Mountain View wimps. Full screen desktop ads, 24/7 speech recognition surveillance, fingerprints and mughots, log every site visited, every button clicked, every keystroke and the kitchen sink. Oh, and tag every _user_, that's something Google can't do. Sell to the highest bidder. Make that free offer only to those who paid us their tax already. We're not the salvation army, right? Them darn hillbillies won't be able to tell the difference anyway, but if they ever find out, it'll be too late. Windows forever. I think we're gonna call it SecureBoot. If only to tell them stinkin' Linux retards that they're insecure. Muuhahaahaha!

    [Black Books]

    Nick: Bernard. This new system. It's very closely modelled on the old one isn't it?

    Bernard: Well Nick I'd actually go further than that. I'd say it is more or less exactly... the same...

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Happy

      +1 upvote for the Black Books reference.

      "There was a little man in his hair!"

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE MS MEETING ROOM?

  39. Planty Bronze badge

    Gopgle

    I find them pretty clear about the deal, what I give up and what I get in exchange. Their privacy policy is the clearest of them all, and in my testing, the ONLY one of the big players that let you take away you data bd ACTUALLY delete your account. Facebook being the worst ( Facebook told me 5 years ago that they deleted my account, yet they still seem to know who people from my IP address might know....)

  40. DerekCurrie
    WTF?

    Yosemite: Also yuck, in its own special way

    "And the quality of Apple’s platform has fallen to abysmal levels recently – Yosemite is buggy and inefficient, and forces me to work in ways I don’t want to work."

    As an Apple fanatic and beta tester of OS X 10.10 Yosemite, I entirely AGREE! It's the first version of OS X I ever SKIPPED. I don't use it. The beta of 10.11 El Capitan is a bit more sane and enjoyable. I actually use it. So all is not lost.

    And yes, I warned Apple about Yosemite's problem many times. Apparently, they didn't care. That really was a new low for Apple. But now they're appearing to perk up, having figured out just how much Yosemite is hated by the cognoscenti. :-P

  41. pyhoff@gmail.com

    H8TRS - Hypocrites

    All I hear , waaah, waah penguin is better, bitten fuit is cooler, waaa, waaa, but all of you are going back to MS and/or google in the end.

    1. CAPS LOCK

      Re: H8TRS - Hypocrites

      O'rly. Why would that be then? Be specific, or be called a troll.

  42. zen1

    maybe it's just me...

    but it seems Microsoft is trying to keep up with the Jones's, ie google & facebook. My guess they're just now starting to realize there's big money in user data and it's the only way they can keep up with the likes of the two other companies. Here's some free advice... If you really wanted to stick it to Google and Facebook and curry favor with an increasing cynical customer base, why not just make it more difficult for Google and FB to plant crap on someones desktop or laptop? If google can't collect accurate marketing demographics and trends, what other products do they really have that's profitable enough to compete with the others?

    Windows 7 is the last MS OS I'll voluntarily use and they can kiss my back side if they think I'm going to waste one more second on Win10.

  43. Derek Kingscote
    Big Brother

    This is Priceless

    How many clueless politicians clicked for a "free" upgrade to WinTen.

    How much political "intrigue" is being slurped?

    All the talk here is about WinTen. What about the Office suite? And e-mail?

    Is all that stuff being slurped too?

    Two things with this - will Crapita "offer" the politicos a service to go and reset all the vacuum holes on all their machines- for a suitable fee, of course. [and they'll never get them all!]

    A bigger worry concerns how and where this stuff is slurped to. Is it possible to hack any WinTen machine and send the slurped data to :

    a) Somewhere else or

    b) Microsoft and somewhere else?

    [so to Microsoft, it all looks normal, and the user is oblivious to the fact that any rogue organization is reading their secrets/Love Letters/Porn habits/Official Secrets Act stuff/ Arms Trading details/ name your own dodgy stuff here... ]

    Microsoft say this'll be the last upgrade ever. They're right!

    This will create the final push to make Linux available on every desktop and the applications too, leaving Microsoft and their thieving charging model fading into the distance.

  44. RandiO

    What a vicious cycle security and privacy has become.

    It is like job security and planned obsolescence rolled into the same ball.

    You come up with a spiffy new OS, and you are forced to give it away FREE like everyone else. Then you try to monetize it by flushing all of the previous versions' security and privacy hooks down the toilet. Then when each new hook is found to be insecure or they each get hacked, you try to put fixes to repair them until the netizens start screaming bloody murder. Rinse, flush, repeat over and over again!

    Wait now, what is this: wsqmcons.exe? Oh, and what the heck is SIHclient.exe?

    WinPatrol just told me these 2 programs wants access. I blocked both of those mofoz!

    I think I may just go back to Win8.1 and be done with this crap that are way over my head and pay grade!

    Sheesh!

    I am so glad that I am still holding out on owning a smartphone!

  45. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Silence

    I'm more than a little puzzled at the virtual silence from people who make a living talking and writing about security matters.

    Plenty of people bang on about government surveillance and keeping malefactors out of your systems and networks, yet when it comes to the manufacturer of the OS used by billions of people in their homes and small businesses (and a whole host of other small operations holding personal or sensitive information) encouraging them to upgrade to a version which by default exposes their private information and activities to Microsoft and their 'partners', they seem to have very little to say.

    Isn't 'privacy' a fundamental part of Information Security?

    Apart from some notable exceptions (Krebs is one), the usual suspects seem to quite like Windows 10 and, if they say anything at all, it is to explain why we shouldn't be concerned.

    Perhaps I'm just not widely-read enough and I'm missing the hoo-hah.

  46. Zog_but_not_the_first
    FAIL

    Tip of the iceberg

    Of course, now that the "Big Boys" have demonstrated that data theft is OK, can you trust ANY Windows program that's written post-July 2015?

    The days when there was uproar when a tuppenny-ha'penny utility "phoned home" to report what you were listening to seem as distant as an Edwardian summer.

  47. David Roberts
    WTF?

    Privacy settings utility?

    It is getting pretty bad when the only utility offered to turn off Microsoft’s data slurping is itself data slurping adware.

    Where are providers of things like Classic Shell when we need them?

  48. Trollslayer
    Thumb Down

    Export control compliant?

    If Microsoft can change things then W10 cannot be secure enough for export control compliant companies.

    Add to the the cost of proving each rollout has all the nasty bits PERMANENTLY disabled...

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    W10 Spyware

    Windows 10 lasted about a hour on my notebook. This notebook is not my main system by a very long shot.

    I'll stay with my OpenSuse Linux boxen that you very much. There are good reason that I don't go near Facebook (who's slurping can make US's NSA blush) nor Google save for an occasional search. But in reality, that's what DuckDuckGo is for...

  50. Rallicat

    I'm not quite sure some of the conclusions that are being drawn in this article as on the sort of solid ground it implies.

    For example, a link is provided to another Register article that explains the 'full extent' of the privacy violations, and in virtually the same sentence goes on to assert that -for enterprise customers- home folders are sent to Microsoft.

    The linked article makes no such conclusion anywhere, but does refer to the wording in the privacy agreement that Microsoft may -for a number of reasons- share your personal data, including files stored in private folders.

    This does not mean that Microsoft have now granted themselves access to your hard disk or home folders. Indeed the context is actually data you have chosen to upload to Microsoft's cloud services. Which is manifestly not the same as the contents of your hard disk or corporate home folders.

    This kind of breathless 1+1=5 scaremongering is astonishing. Serious IT managers and consultants jumping to these kind of conclusions is frankly far more worrying! I know that a lot of people will /want/ to answer the question 'do you think Microsoft are that stupid?' with a resounding 'YES', but frankly I don't believe that to be based on any kind of logic. Microsoft /know/ that their business customers would avoid 10 like the plague if they thought everything it touched belonged to Microsoft. My answer to that question is no, obviously they aren't.

    Skipping to the end: clickbait.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Trust

      Rallicat

      So you're saying you completely trust Microsoft then!

  51. Badger Murphy

    >sheeple

    Please, guys, just stop using this word. You could make a Nobel Prize-worthy speech in your post, but if you use the word "sheeple", I simply cannot continue reading. You can just say something like "the general public", and we'll know what you mean without you having to discredit yourself.

  52. Vociferous

    The Win 10 privacy ̶t̶e̶x̶t̶ book is really interesting.

    In it, Microsoft gives itself the right to search documents in your My Documents folder, and use that to create a profile of what words you use, for identification purposes. Speaking of identification, Win10 by default lets website check your unique computer ID. It wouldn't do to have ad serving thwarted by people using multiple online identities, would it?

    Microsoft gives itself the right to install a keylogger on your computer. If Microsoft suspects you of being a pirate, Microsoft asserts the right to read your mails and search your computer for evidence.

    All your base ARE belong to Microsoft.

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