Reply to post: "Personal" computer no more

Don't want to upgrade to Windows 10? You'll download it WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT

David 132 Silver badge

"Personal" computer no more

I've been struggling to articulate just what it is about Windows 10 that bothers me, without seeming like a total luddite. But I think it's this: their default assumption seems to be that it's not my computer, it's their computer, that I'm allowed to use according to their whim.

Up until about 2-3 years ago, my computers were under my control - a small oasis of control in a world in which I'm largely powerless and my ability to live my life as I see fit is being systematically stripped away. I want to uninstall an app? "No problem." Decline an update? "No problem." Delete the entire C:\windows\system32 folder? "Dumb, but hey, if you're determined - no problem, we won't stop you." Point was, it was my computer, and I could do what I wanted with it. Technology was an enabler and the possibilities were endless.

But from Windows 8 onwards, it seems that the entire direction of computing is moving back to centralized, paternalistic, "we-know-what's-best-for-you" control. Cloud storage. Cloud logins. UAC. Administrator-doesn't-really-mean-Administrator. Enforced updates. Downloading a whole new OS just-in-case-you-want-it-but-if-not-we'll-continue-to-nag-you. Secure Boot that somehow only seems to benefit Microsoft. Constant logging - sorry, I mean "telemetry". Safe Screen a.k.a. "we'll inspect everything you download to make sure we approve of it". Technology seems to be defined in terms of what it grudgingly allows you to do, with the approval of the Powers That Be. And it's a whole lot worse with Windows 10.

It's not just Microsoft; Google, Apple, and pretty much all the big players seem to be enthusiastically moving in this direction. An analogy would be: we've moved from the traditional liberal "everything is permitted unless it's expressly forbidden" model of rights, to the totalitarian "everything is forbidden unless it's expressly permitted". And I hate it.

Pardon my rant. Dismiss it as hyperbole or pretentiousness if you wish. It's just my primal scream of rage and frustration against an IT world that I no longer fit or understand.

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