back to article Windows 10 paid downloads end but buyers need not fear ISO-lation

Microsoft has named the day on which it will end paid downloads of Windows 10 Home and Pro from its website: January 31, 2023. Microsoft launched Windows 11 in October 2021, and for months offered free upgrades to that OS for users whose PCs pack enough punch to run it. For those who prefer to retain Windows 10 – either out of …

  1. Pomgolian

    Show us the stats

    Windows owns 75 percent of the desktop,

    Last time I could be arsed to look it was hovering around the 90s. I can't believe 1 in 4 people are using Macs so this must mean it truly is the year of the Linux desktop. Or is there one Chromebook to rule them all?

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Show us the stats

      The numbers are:

      Windows: 75.34

      MacOS: 14.66

      Unknown: 4.78

      Linux: 2.93

      Chrome OS: 2.28

      FreeBSD: 0.01%

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Show us the stats

        That 0.01% of FreeBSD users must still represent a lot of people, I wonder what desktop they're using? Or is there some other OS that uses BSD as it's base, that's being reported here?

        I suspect that quite a few of the 'Unknown' OS's are Linux users who have disabled whatever method is being used here to detect the OS (eg messing with the user-agent string). Does Tails obfuscate it's OS?

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: Show us the stats

          MacOS, Playstation OS, and Horizon (Nintendo Switch) are all based on FreeBSD. MacOS is reported separately.

          The desktop I mostly use on FreeBSD is KDE.

          1. Benegesserict Cumbersomberbatch Silver badge

            Re: Show us the stats

            Как пропатчить KDE2 под FreeBSD?

          2. karlkarl Silver badge

            Re: Show us the stats

            macOS is not based on FreeBSD.

            Its kernel is XNU, based on Mach (albeit a different implementation to GNU Hurd).

            It does have a BSD subsystem in the same way that Windows has a Linux subsystem. But that it does not go further than that.

          3. MJI Silver badge

            Re: Show us the stats

            BSD - Gamers looking for hints on the current mission.

            I do use the browser on my PS4 for this, also seeing what Destiny updates are on the way when the servers are down.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Show us the stats

          Linux users ... messing with the user-agent string

          I'd be one of those. Google Maps shits the bed in Firefox when presented with a non-Windows UA. It does stuff like taking over a minute to complete a map, updating slow enough to see the tiles populate, flashing some sort of grid overlay, and just plain not working. All amazingly "fixed" by copying the UA from the same version of FF running on Win10.

          1. phuzz Silver badge

            Re: Show us the stats

            Might just be you. I'm running Firefox 109.0 on Mint 21.1 here, and Google Maps works just as well on my Windows machine.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Show us the stats

              "Unknown"...I'm a KDE White Knighter but there's more in the unknown than all of Linux... it is funny.

              That said, I think the Unkown numbers are not just MUCH larger, but forever the largest category. For instance, I believe if you ask all people which OS they run, the vast majority would answer with "don't know" or "what's that?" or "what's that... who owes us?"

              1. Stuart Castle Silver badge

                Re: Show us the stats

                RE: For instance, I believe if you ask all people which OS they run, the vast majority would answer with "don't know" or "what's that?" or "what's that... who owes us?"

                Depends how the survey results were obtained.. You are assuming the user was asked. If the survey queried the machines directly (e.g. the Browser agent string, or some sort of software running on the machine), the machines would know what they are running.

                Of course, they may not report it accurately because things like the Browser agent can be spoofed or changed..

        3. bombastic bob Silver badge

          Re: Show us the stats

          "That 0.01% of FreeBSD users must still represent a lot of people, I wonder what desktop they're using?"

          I use mate

        4. bombastic bob Silver badge

          Re: Show us the stats

          "I suspect that quite a few of the 'Unknown' OS's are Linux users who have disabled whatever method is being used here to detect the OS"

          Browser identification strings - for Firefox you can customize it to say what you want.

          It's helpful to limit "browser fingerprinting"

      2. Benegesserict Cumbersomberbatch Silver badge

        Re: Show us the stats

        Windows + Mac = 90.00%

        Is that coincidence or rubbery figures?

        1. deadlockvictim

          Re: Show us the stats

          I'm more surprised that Mac OS usage is above 10%.

          1. loops

            Re: Show us the stats

            MacOS is predicted to be the dominant business endpoint in 2030.

            1. deadlockvictim

              Re: Show us the stats


              By whom?

              Would you supply some evidence to back this up please?

              And what exactly do you mean by 'business endpoint'? MacBook Pros? Some new class of cloudy offering? Are Apple planning to take the IoT world by storm with a cutdown version of MacOS devices everywhere?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Do they even use GUI's?

        and also, there is probably a slice of them over in "other" as there may not be enough surface for the OS detection to work.

        Also also, telling them from servers may another mathematical anomaly.

        The low numbers for ChromeOS are a bit of a surprise, though it might make sense that the traffic is low because most chrome books are low duty cycle, if not actual paper weights.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 500+ million PC's obsolete in 2025 unable to run Windows 11, 2026 might just be year of Linux

      Careful, savvy Windows ditching, converted Linux users might just get the last laugh....

      Windows 10 reaches end of support in Oct 2025. At which point there are 500m+ PC's obsolete, unable to run Windows 11 due to not having TPM 2.0 and a 7th Gen+ Intel Processor.

      Yet, importantly all these 500m+ PCs are fully capable of running a Linux + LibreOffice 7, and will do 'the drudge' perfectly well for companies.

      That's an opportunity the Linux community needs to start targeting, so that 2026 IS the year of Linux, because there won't be a better opportunity than that to take market share.

      The biggest handicap Linux has, is it doesn't have the massive unlimited marketing budget and sheer stranglehold of market share like Microsoft.

      There's no love for Microsoft, the last few weeks? sorry-decade, of rolling out update mishaps, shows they don't deserve to be the market leader, and if even just 50% of those ex-Win10 machines end up running Linux instead of becoming Landfill Crud because of Microsoft fake-forced obsolescence, that's no bad thing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC - Re: 500+ million PC's obsolete in 2025 unable to run Windows 11...

        And what exactly the year of Linux would bring to Linux users ?

        Seriously, I've been using Linux for decades without seeing the need for the so called, always elusive, almost magical year of Linux. So if this happens tomorrow, what will it change ?

        As for the handicap, the biggest in my opinion is that most of non-Linux users would like to see it as a free (as in beer) Windows i.e. to run Microsoft Office. WSL makes sure this will never happen.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: @AC - 500+ million PC's obsolete in 2025 unable to run Windows 11...

          >And what exactly the year of Linux would bring to Linux users ?

          A massive increase in market share and user-base.

          Whilst Linux desktop has been growing by large percentages to get to its current position, it really needs to somehow get to 15% (parity with MacOS) or greater to be taken seriously. Given current revenue levels this could mean a five-fold increase in money flowing to open source...

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: @AC - 500+ million PC's obsolete in 2025 unable to run Windows 11...

            >A massive increase in market share and user-base.

            So if a billion obsolete office desktop Dells became Linux terminals running office365/teams/edge would that make advance our plans for world domination?

            It might be more aecure

        2. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

          Re: @AC - 500+ million PC's obsolete in 2025 unable to run Windows 11...

          It would bring another "September that never ended" I guess.

          I'll get me coat.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 500+ million PC's obsolete in 2025 unable to run Windows 11, 2026 might just be year of Linux

        This is why there's such a large number of people using Linux on the desktop today, because of all the people with Windows 7 PCs who couldn't upgrade to Win 10. (Or XP to Vista etc.)

        Oh wait. That never happened. They just kept on running Windows unsupported because that meant changing absolutely nothing.

        1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

          Re: 500+ million PC's obsolete in 2025 unable to run Windows 11, 2026 might just be year of Linux

          Windows 11 is making me very much appreciate Windows Vista! So what's going to happen by 2025, will I be getting updates for Windows 12 but worried that Windows 13 will be released?

        2. bikernutz

          Re: 500+ million PC's obsolete in 2025 unable to run Windows 11, 2026 might just be year of Linux

          Windows 10 works, I wouldn't say run, definitely not sprint on Pentium 4 laptop with 1.5GB RAM. Painfully slow due to software rendered graphics.

          It runs much better on single core Atom netbooks, It is usable, I use it specifically for the OBD tools for my cars. They also run Win 7, which has same basic hardware requirements. But what can pass as acceptable performance (Considering the age and hardware) slows to molasses if you have fully bloated windows installs.

          The only time Win 10 wouldnt install on an atom netbook that I tested was the beta version, all publicly released builds have. The beta would if you connected an external monitor as it didn't like 1024x600 resolution.

          So there are many reasons not to run Win 10 you could give that are valid for you or other users, however, They have had the option of using a 'supported' OS by upgrading. My purchased Win 7 keys even activated the Win 10 installs. My netbooks still get used and all have at least triple boot options. At least one flavour of Gnu/Linux and two Windows versions. They each have useful tools on them that work better on specific OSes.

          Hang on, that's what an OS is for to run programs you need. It should get the hell out of your way at all other times!

          This was posted from my 10 year old quad core desktop running Debian 10, my left leg to its right, to the right of my left leg sits my 10 year old quad core desktop running Windows 10. The Windows box will even run Windows 11 (As a win2go ddrive), Now that is running Win 11 on unsupported hardware.

          The last time the Windows PC was booted was to play around with dosbox-portable version and a menu system to allow a Ukraine teenager to play the original Lemmings, Lemmings 2 and other really old games. He has been complaining a laptop he was given by the hosts of one of his relatives was too slow. Too slow to boot, too slow to play anything, too slow for him trying to use Roblox to develop his own game. After giving him all my original CD's of old games and suggesting he tries some of them to learn about playability and keeping the gamer interested. It isn't all about eye candy graphics. I've sorted out the slow booting and miraculously he thinks his laptop is usable. He still wants a new Ryzen computer - his parents cant afford. But at least he appreciates playability and games that make you think.

          So oddly enough a supported OS sometimes needs a 'leg up' to run programs that users try and run but get pop up messages saying their computer doesnt support it

          Where there is a will there is normally a way.

        3. MJI Silver badge

          Re: 500+ million PC's obsolete in 2025 unable to run Windows 11, 2026 might just be year of Linux

          7 works well when locked down I find.

          Can't stand 8, 8.1, nor 10.

      3. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: 500+ million PC's obsolete in 2025 unable to run Windows 11, 2026 might just be year of Linux

        I don't think that's going to happen. How many places still used XP or 7 machines after those versions went out of support? Of those who care about software support, how many will balk at buying replacements for computers, which while quite useful, will be at least seven years old at that point? I keep mine around longer than that, but think of how many broken computers are replaced frequently by IT departments and that many of them will have machines from the 2020 pandemic laptop purchase extravaganza which will all run 11. It probably won't be any easier to just swap Linux for Windows in 2025 than it is now, and companies that were willing to try it have had a lot of chances already.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 500+ million PC's obsolete in 2025 unable to run Windows 11, 2026 might just be year of Linux

          You're still missing the 'elephant in the room', dumping 500+ million PCs to landfill, that problem isn't going away, Microsoft's policy isn't changing.

          That's a lot of waste to deal with globally all obsolete in the same year, it's never happened on that scale over such a short period as a result of one software company's policy - Microsoft.

          Running out of support software is just not acceptable in terms of company public liability insurance policies, and it'll be the same with home policies soon enough.

          The choice company's have will be Linux or Landfill. In short, Companies should be testing Linux now, because Landfill could become an expensive option by 2026.

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: 500+ million PC's obsolete in 2025 unable to run Windows 11, 2026 might just be year of Linux

            I'm not missing it; I'm disagreeing with you about how it will go. I think a lot of those machines won't go to landfill or use Linux because the users will be using them without security patches, the way they did with earlier versions. I won't do that, and I would advocate for an alternative path, but people don't automatically listen when I say "Try Linux. It's great" or "Stop using Windows 7 already because there are zero-days in it". I've even received complaints about that latter one here, where you'd think more people are familiar with computer security.

            Similarly, I expect a large chunk of the machines owned by businesses to go to landfill before the switchover anyway simply because businesses replace machines more frequently and break them. Again, something I would prefer they not do, as repair is often worth it and recycling is better than trashing, but they do it anyway.

            People have had lots of chances to adopt Linux and it hasn't been considered by many of them. I think the above two reasons will mean that this cliff won't be as convincing to Windows 10 users as you or I would like it to be.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 500+ million PC's

        While that is an opportunity, the last decade of failure that "year of the linux desktop" has hanging around it's neck says pretty clearly the lack of user uptake had nothing to do with hardware costs or availability.

        It fails because efforts to close both the usability and utility gaps have failed. A non-technical user still isn't going to successfully install most distros on most hardware without hitting at least one major snag that for them will be a show stopper. (to be fair the same is true of windows, but most of them don't have to INSTALL windows. It's already on the computer.

        Even once that gap is closed, you still have to clear the utility gap. You can do a lot on Linux/*nix but most of that are silos of deeply useful niche functionality and a patchy veneer of stuff for general computing. Most commercial apps are unavailable and won't run. Plenty of "web based" apps really mean "Chrome under windows" and blow out for seemingly no reason.

        So the merits like stability, security, and privacy are invisible in the absence of problems to remind the user why they would care about them. What forms their opinions are the rough edges, inscrutable layers, and lack of familiar app support. Not that any of these problems are insoluble, just that no one that gives a shit that has enough money to get the job done at this point. Ubuntu made a decent go at it, and got pretty close. They managed to break through the attention barrier, and I was seeing peoples grandparents starting to run it before they started switching desktop environments every couple of major releases. Those new users gave up or stopped updating their machines in protest, fragmenting the community of users that had ported over.

        Outside the server arena, Linux will remain an absurd oddity, because the cats don't herd themselves.

        1. ecofeco Silver badge

          Re: 500+ million PC's

          Try a RECENT version of Linux.

          1. Tams

            Re: 500+ million PC's

            You lot always say that, and it's just the same old nonsense.

            For the average person, the only thing that has really improved on Linux is that WINE/Crossover/Proton lets you play most games and a fair chunk (but nowhere near all) of software developed for... Windows.

            And really at that point... why include a middleman, with the main form of technical support where much of the userbase either belittle you or go off about stuff far above the average person's understanding?

      5. Tams

        Re: 500+ million PC's obsolete in 2025 unable to run Windows 11, 2026 might just be year of Linux

        1. While computers can last a long time and increasingly there's less incentive to get a new computer if yours works fine, they do still break and wear out.

        2. Only TPM 2.0 is any real hurdle Windows 11 can be easily forced onto an older CPU.

        3. You assume people will change to another OS once their computer gets long in the tooth: most will probably just run the last update to Windows that they got. It happens all over the place, from Android to iOS.

  2. Roopee Bronze badge

    Bridge For Sale

    I have a bridge for sale - half price to anyone who has proof of purchase of paying over £100 for a copy of Windows 10...

    1. simonlb Silver badge

      Re: Bridge For Sale

      If I ever found myself in a situation where I had to consider downloading Windows 10 or 11 - paid or for free - I'd seriously be questioning my life choices.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bridge For Sale

        I had to consider downloading Windows 10

        I have to use it to connect to my machine at work. Given it lets me not have to drive in, and use my IBM Model M keyboard & triple monitor setup, I'll live.

    2. Little Mouse

      Re: Bridge For Sale

      If there are still hangers-on out there who want to upgrade to Win10, it can still be done for "free".

      When it first rolled out, Windows 10 was officially available as a free upgrade for a year, for users with valid WIn7 or Win8 installations. But after that year passed, Microsoft never shut down the free upgrade path - and it's still possible to upgrade for free even now* (well, this time last year anyway, which was when I gave it a go)

      There are plenty of How-to guides online to step you through the process.

      A legal grey-area maybe (Or not - heh), but Microsoft are definitely turning a blind eye.

      1. TonyJ

        Re: Bridge For Sale

        Funnily enough I had a Windows 7 key that had never been used so just over Christmas, as a test, I built a Windows 11 VM and activated it with the Windows 7 key - still worked.

  3. Fred Daggy Silver badge

    .... so, I can stlll order it on floppy disk? Great. If so, I'll back up my truck to the deliveries door and get it ready.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      But does your account have sufficient funds for the media? are charging around 1USD per 1.44MB floppy. The Windows 10 ISO is around 5GB. Don't forget MS will charge a handling/production fee plus P&P...

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        And how long would it take to format those 5000 floppies?

        1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

          3-mm each

          Not to mention fetching them! You would need a 15-meters tray to hold them all. 5000 disks at an average round trip of 15 meters per disk is a lotta linguine! (535714.2857)

          C:> Please insert disk 4,999.

        2. doublelayer Silver badge

          If you can get this guy to help you out, your limiting factor would become the speed of picking up the floppies and stacking them in the right order. That is always assuming that you have a computer that doesn't have a problem addressing 512 separate drives simultaneously. Maybe get a group to spread the work out.

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      I don't think you can buy any actual new floppy disks any more? New old stock is available, but it is very expensive.

      1. Michael Strorm Silver badge

        Here's a link to The Register's own article on 'The Last Man Standing in the Floppy Disk Business' from last September. Which I note seems to suggest that floppy disks haven't been manufactured for many years now. (The business mentioned is selling existing supplies of floppy disks they reckoned would last another four years or so).

        I'm slightly surprised at that, as I'd have thought there'd still be a (very) small but viable niche market for those who still require them for use with legacy devices. Then again, even those who do wouldn't likely be requiring very many of them anyway.

  4. Annihilator

    Windows 7

    From memory, my version of Windows 10 (pro) is using my old Windows 7 Pro licence key (that came with a physical dvd - imagine!) that Microsoft allowed me to upgrade. Haven't rebuilt that machine in quite some time, but it's really not clear to me whether it would still allow me to activate a fresh Win10 installation on using that key... Sadly/thankfully, Windows 11 isn't available as an upgrade, due to my machine not having access to TPM2 - mainly because I disabled it as a handy way of preventing Microsoft "accidentally" upgrading me.

    1. 43300 Silver badge

      Re: Windows 7

      OEM versions of W11 come with a DVD! I had cause to buy one for work last year. Of course I had no use for ithe DVD of course and it remained in the packaging.

      If they are going to include any media, a USB installer would be more useful (the retail W10 had that - but the OEM version had the DVD). Don't think there is a retail boxed-product for W11.

    2. mark l 2 Silver badge

      Re: Windows 7

      It should allow you to do a fresh Windows 10 installation with the same Windows 7 key on that machine. I originally upgraded a PC from 7 to 10 when the free upgrade was offered and had to wipe and reinstall Windows after a borked Windows 10 'feature' update left the machine unable to boot. And the same Win 7 key still worked to activate the new install even though the free upgrade period had passed many years earlier.

      I believe if you login with a Microsoft account you don't even need to provide a key to active a new install on the same PC as the machines unique ID (M/board serial no, Mac address etc) are linked to your account, so once its unless you change the motherboard then it remains activated.

      1. 43300 Silver badge

        Re: Windows 7

        Once you've done 7-10 once on a machine, it will register the hardware hash with Microsoft's activation servers so if you later clean-install 10 on the same machine, selecting the same version during the install but skipping the enter key section, it will auto-activate once the installer has completed without any need to enter the key at all, assuming it has an internet connection. Done it lots of times.

        From 8 onwards, big-OEM machines had the key in the BIOS/UEFI, so the installer doesn't ask which version to install and doesn't ask for a key. I have noticed that evn with the latest Dells, if a motherboard is repalced under warranty it doesn't appear to have the key in the BIOS as it does ask for version / key in the installer. However, selecting the original version and skipping the key field does work - it auto-activates on completion so the hardware hash for motherboards sent out for warranty repairs must already be registered with the activation servers.

      2. Annihilator

        Re: Windows 7

        Given it's a proper retail Windows 7 Pro key, it shouldn't be tied to a specific hardware spec, although it's unclear to me whether the associated Windows 10 "key" (is it a separate key?) is locked to the machine or whether the original key is now just recognised as a Win 10 key as well as Win 7. Microsoft are deliberately vague on the matter it seems.

        :edit: having said that, this seems "official"..

  5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Only 2 years?

    There's a lot of home users out there with no clue how to upgrade to Win11 due to it's hardware/security requirements and will end up either buying a new computer or running with no new security updates. There's still a lot of perfectly serviceable TPM1.2 based computers out there and the upgrade cycle seems to be getting longer and longer and incremental improvements appear smaller and smaller.

    Having said ,that I note that even MS give details on how to bypass the TPM limitation, but the process they describe is not "non-techy" friendly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      About those hardware requirements

      M$ has started treating those more like guidelines.

      I just spotted a remote workers older Dell that definitely wasn't Windows 11 certified that had tricked it's user into hitting the "update" button.

      (really should have said "click here to blow up your computer" as the only reason the laptop exists is to provide access to a legacy app that only supports win 10 at this point, gonna be fun rolling all that back. In the mean time they are on a remote link to a VM at the office and grouchy that printing to their home office printer is now janky. I'ts a paycheck I guess...)

  6. DJV Silver badge

    Re: shunting users towards Windows 11 on grounds that it's better for users (and for Microsoft)

    "better for users"?

    Citation required...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just Today I Bought A "Refurbished" Workstation With Windows 10......., to check it out, I booted it....and I got the helpful(?) M$ request to set up a M$ account.....before anything would actually run......

    No!! No!! No!! M$ accounts. One hour later, the workstation was cranking out stuff for me using Fedora 37.......

    ......Win10........completely erased!!

    Everyone needs to do this!!!

    1. AJ MacLeod

      Re: Just Today I Bought A "Refurbished" Workstation With Windows 10.......

      You probably made the mistake of admitting to having a network connection while setting it up. If you really did need Windows for some reason, just leave the network cable out (or refuse to give WiFi details) until the OOBE stage is complete. Doesn't work on Windows 11 unfortunately...

      1. DualPolarity

        Re: Just Today I Bought A "Refurbished" Workstation With Windows 10.......

        The fact that microsoft tricked us into thinking it's OUR fault for being online when installing the OS was one of the greatest tricks a company has pulled in recent years.

        Not anymore, it's not our fault. These software companies are malicious in their design. There is a reason techies are always at odds with Big Data, it's because Big Data wants the techies to disappear. If the knowledge of how a computer system really works were to be lost, and become a trade secret, that'd be the end of free information

        1. ecofeco Silver badge

          Re: Just Today I Bought A "Refurbished" Workstation With Windows 10.......


      2. FIA Silver badge

        Re: Just Today I Bought A "Refurbished" Workstation With Windows 10.......

        For Win 11 Pro (not Home): Set up for work or school -> Sign in options -> Domain join instead.

        That will create a local, non MS attached, account.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: With MS it's getting more and more difficult to distinguish real malware from MS 'features'.

          The To-Do App from the Windows 11 Microsoft Store, has just updated and is now cloud based, and requires an MS account log in, so MS are slowly locking down Windows 11, so that you must use an MS Account.

          (I just uninstalled the To-Do App from the start menu instead)

          My method (and good tip): I achieved a local account in Windows 11 by first installing Windows 10 with a local account then locking down all privacy settings, then doing an in-place upgrade to Windows 11. This method seemed easier than fighting the GUI in Windows 11, as all Win10 settings are carried into Win11.

          It's just a Windows 11 test machine, running Win11 22H2 (not insider), with a local account (no login MS account credentials) but concerning....

          Microsoft Store just automatically installed 'App Installer', which is for side-loading Windows Universal Apps, I found that of particular concern because why would MS automatically install a feature that could compromise the machine's security? Installing Apps outside the store?

          If I want to sideload Apps, under this setup, surely the permission for 'App Installer' should be explicitly made by the user not Microsoft?

          Anyone else seeing this'feature' aka. Malware characteristic in the Microsoft Store, last month it installed MSN Money without permission.

          With Microsoft, it's getting more and more difficult to distinguish real malware from Microsoft product 'features' in Windows 11.

      3. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Just Today I Bought A "Refurbished" Workstation With Windows 10.......

        It still works for 11 Pro, Enterprise, or Education, but no longer on 11 Home. I have heard of some hacks to get around it, but no guarantee that any of them work. This annoys me, but given how few people operate Mac OS, IOS, or Android without signing in and how many features the latter two drop when you don't, I doubt it will be resisted much by the general public.

        1. Chet Mannly

          Re: Just Today I Bought A "Refurbished" Workstation With Windows 10.......

          I never sign in to my Android devices - don't really miss anything.

          I use Aurora store to access the playstore, and login to google maps in a browser for the odd occasion I need any saved locations.

          More people should do it...

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: Just Today I Bought A "Refurbished" Workstation With Windows 10.......

            Part of my comparison was thinking about Android from which Google Play Services has been removed, which I didn't mention. Even with those, though, there are a few features that people like which are unavailable without signing in, such as location or management of a lost or stolen device. I'm unaware of any third-party methods you could use to get that back and given Android's security model where you have to break your system to give an app root privileges, I can't imagine one working with certainty. I've decided just to live with the risk that if I lose my device, the most I can do about it is to send a SMS so anyone who picks it up can call me, but when I've listed features that people will lose without giving Google device access, this has been one of the least popular. There are also some applications that use the device's Google account as an identifier, either for antipiracy or just because the app forgot to delete that from the template. I choose not to use such apps, but it's annoying that they don't support an alternative identification method.

            If you use a version of Android without Google's extra libraries of undisclosed code with every permission possible, you lose even more. Prepare for most of your Aurora-installed apps to crash on startup or worse, at some point after you've used them for a bit. FDroid-installed ones tend not to use those APIs, which helps a lot with general functions, but not so well with anything specific to a service or some more niche requirements (I looked for a while for an FDroid app that could use an IR blaster before the friend who asked me went to the Play Store and found one in thirty seconds).

        2. X5-332960073452

          Re: Just Today I Bought A "Refurbished" Workstation With Windows 10.......

          When you get to the MS Account login / creation part, type in fuckoff as user, and microsoft as password, oops something went wrong. local user account creation dialogue (all versions, including Home) HTH

  8. Hubert Cumberdale

    "appears only to impact buyers who shop on Microsoft's website"

    Well that rules out anyone with any sense then. There are always cheaper ways to get MS software than from their website. Personally, I'm a fan of grey-market licence keys (though I suspect I'll get a barrage of criticism for that).

  9. jonfr

    Windows 11 is moving Microsoft towards subscriptions

    Microsoft is moving towards subscriptions only model. From buy once license model that current Windows 10 and Windows 11 have. That's why there's now a requirement for Microsoft account. I do have an Microsoft account for my Windows 10 computer and when I buy new laptop I'll be forced to use Windows 11 (with the same Microsoft account that holds the licenses for Windows that I have). Here's the thing though, I am moving everything important to OpenSuse Linux (rather than Gentoo Linux, since that's a lot of manual set-up I am not going to bother with) and only use Windows 10 Pro for games. I only play old games (while Windows works).

    1. X5-332960073452

      Re: Windows 11 is moving Microsoft towards subscriptions

      There is no 'requirement' for an MS account, they just want you to get trapped in their walled garden.

      Use fuckoff (user) and microsoft (password) when asked to sign in during initial setup, oops something went wrong, local account dialogue presented.

  10. Piro Silver badge

    If you don't like Windows 11, there's only one true version of Windows 10

    Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC 2021

    None of the garbage, extended support until Jan 13, 2032

  11. John70

    May be Microsoft should lower the minimum requirements to run it like remove TPM2

    Got a good few years left in my current rig before I need to change it.

  12. Tubz Silver badge

    If 2026 or whatever is the to be The Year of Linux, it has one big hurdle to overcome, too many flavours. Even in the corporate world, they are spoilt for choice, consumers are just swamped. Until a convergence to create the One Consumer Linux happens, it will never ever be The Year of Linux. As for these millions of non-W11 compatibles, would corporate IT be bothered if they used the proven and as far as I am aware, safe tricks to bypass W11 requirements if they saved ££££ on upgrading perfectly good computers?

    1. Hubert Cumberdale

      I thought everyone on here was unanimously agreed that Mint is the way forward [ducks and runs for cover].

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If the workload is browser based, easy to forget which underlying OS you are working with, in 2022.

      Bypassing the TPM 2.0 / CPU checks....

      The problem with that, is when a Windows 11 update doesn't play nicely because of those bypasses. Patch Tuesday become Patch Nightmare...(nothing knew you say...).

      You could gingerly upgrade some test machines each month, but if it's a large installation base, it seems risky to go down that route. You'd have weigh up the cost of new machines, over the potential downtime to the business from a bad update (but what's new there? The last few months (decade) of patch Tuesday updates have been shocking).

      I wouldn't trust MS not to throw a spanner or two, just so you don't try this method. Alternatively, Linux is peace of mind, in this regard, none of this nonsense, if it 'does the drudge' and for most it can, those working in a browser, using Linux over Windows, it's easy to forget the OS you are actually working with. (Linux / Mac or Windows) and has been for a good few years.

      Recent History / Get Windows 10 programme, shows the DNA of MS's approach, the full screen nags are going to start soon enough.

  13. Grunchy Silver badge

    Operating system isn’t even relevant anymore

    I think the most important thing that renders a computer obsolete (for most people) is the browser, and it’s tough to get a usable browser for XP anymore.

    Honestly more people are using the cellphone as an internet browser, and particularly if you’re out of the house. Dedicated desktop computers are becoming more and more irrelevant. I bet the majority of internet bandwidth I consume is with my T95Z Android 7.1 media box, running NewPipe as an alternative to the YouTube streamer.

    I’ve bought about 5 ass-kicking commercial servers, all of them for about $20 or less, simply because they are bulletproof industrial equipment with immense capability. This technology is literally worthless now, I’m never paying for it again!

    1. pompurin

      Re: Operating system isn’t even relevant anymore

      This is such a Millenial/Zoomer take comparable to the likes of Apples 'What's a PC?'

      There's a big difference between people who use a machine for work and for pleasure. The people who use a PC for pleasure is mainly the domain of Gaming Enthusiasts. But you also forget the numerous amount of people who use it due to a disability and those who just prefer a fixed PC in their house. The mass PC market of the 90s and 2000s has now moved on to Mobiles and Tablets.

      Dedicated PCs for work are still an going market and are not irrelevant.

  14. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    MS once again making it easier for the distributors of doctored malware ridden OS distros. Way to go MS!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah yes that unicorn Linux Desktop

    the one that doesn't know about Miracast and HFP for bluetooth. And hasn't for at least 5 years.

    Not fun when you turn up to do a presentation and the IT department have to dig a cable out to connect to the wireless projector.

    And I've run Mint at home for 10 years. But I would dream of foisting it on a user at work.

    1. Hubert Cumberdale

      Re: Ah yes that unicorn Linux Desktop

      Rule No. 1 of giving a presentation somewhere new: never assume that your tech will work with their tech. This has always been the case, and probably always will be, whether with Linux, Mac, or Windows. These days that means – as a minimum – taking a fairly long HDMI cable with you (and of course any crazy conversion dongles that your super-slim near-portless laptop might insist you need). And I still never trust wireless for anything critical (which includes the critical avoidance of embarrassment during a presentation). And if I'm feeling like things may be a bit behind, projector-technology wise (I'm looking at you, tiny random church I'm talking at for some reason), then I'll even take an HDMI-to-VGA converter...

  16. JimmyPage Silver badge

    never trust wireless for anything critical

    That's pretty much everything these days.

    I have had every single wireless shiny fuck up at some point. To the extent I wouldn't trust it with anything ?

    If it isn't the physical mount failing, and the phone crashing into your 'nads at 70 on the M4, it's whatever-google-maps-is-called-today* freezing and leaving you to guess the last 100 miles of your journey.

    Remember in the UK once it's mounted you can't touch your device without breaking the law.

    And that's before you factor in the Chocolate Factories fascination with breaking perfectly good apps with no warning.

    The only upside is I would like to see Elon Musk on the way to Mars when his navigation device just stops working and nobody at Google, or Apple or Microsoft gives a shit. Then he'll be one of us :)

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