in this instance, however, the issue was nothing more than a feature enabled by default with no straightforward way of deactivation .....
This thing that Microsoft has, "We like it so we'll stop you from turning it off" drive me nuts. And of course it's not just them. But Windows and Office are still the most prevalent bits of software for most users.
OK, provide a "feature". Fine. Good. But that's not the same as forcing the users to use it.
Removing control of how users operate their computer for no good reason is illogical and unreasonable. I don't mind making some things a bit difficult to find, to prevent ordinary users messing up a machine ( even though this should be controlled by a group policy in most cases) but changing something in the interface because someone thinks it's a nice idea and choosing to actively make it impossible to revert or avoid is unacceptable. I would not have minded the "Ribbon" in Office if they hadn't made it pretty impossible for me remove menus and organise others for my team to fit in with the kind of work they were doing. I don't mind a default start menu that is an alphabetical list of unidentifiable clutter as long as I can still sort it out into programmes by function so that I can find the bloody programme I want. I don't mind them defaulting to hiding user files in "documents and setting" buried inside Windows as long as I still can switch that to an actual files and documents folder on a (non OS) partition of my choice.
And being fair, it isn't just Microsoft. WTF are the Thunderbird devs doing making it impossible to sort folders in 115? I want my emails in subject folders- and it does that beautifully. Why suddenly are they forcing us to keep those folders in alphabetical order- so that little used folders can't be placed at the bottom of the list and the most frequently used at the top. Not even third party add-ons can get past that, apparently
This whole "Our way or go away" attitude is just so dumb.