@Trevor_Pott - Re Microsoft privacy abuse, etc.
I agree totally with your posts.
The question is what do we do about it? We've now reached the stage where the abuse of the Microsoft Monopoly is no longer just an annoyance or even a major inconvenience, what we are now seeing with Windows 10 is abuse that verges upon that of malware and virus writers.
Effectively, Microsoft is behaving like VW but we've no equivalent of environmental laws to protect us PC users. The next question is why not. Governments are forever getting in our way but never there when we actually need them!
There are millions of techies around the world who have been screaming about Microsoft's abuse of users for years but essentially they've done so in isolation, thus Microsoft just ignores them. We need to change this now! What we need is an organization with a well organized web site a la the EFF etc. whose sole purpose is to bring Microsoft's abuses to the fore and have them stopped, by force of law if necessary. As I see it, it should:
* Forcefully lobby governments to stop Microsoft abusing users, destroying their privacy etc., to seek much stronger consumer laws like the ones that are now protecting VW owners. Again, why are VW owners protected by laws and PC owners not? (Here's a first-class instance where our laws have irregular granularity, they protect one section of the community and not others). This organization would also lobby governments for better or stronger online privacy laws as well as strengthening monopoly and corporate abuse law.
* It should be a one-stop repository for what's wrong with Windows. Users would list by topic what they find wrong with various versions of Windows from basic design flaws, to serious feature omissions through to Microsoft privacy malware.
* The organization would highlight to governments, et al about Microsoft's bad behaviour, for instance that it has been spying on us uses in a serious way since XP. Here's just one specific example: users need to be told very explicitly that the Windows host file is completely useless for blocking certain Microsoft IP addresses, as Microsoft has hard-coded bypasses so Windows can always phone home irrespective of the user's wishes. Frankly, this is totally unacceptable. There ought to be widespread outrage over it; trouble is, few actually know about it. It needs widespread publicity.
* It should provide help and tips about how to minimize the damage Microsoft is causing. For example, the pros and cons about installing Microsoft updates through to providing info such as Microsoft server block lists and how to install them on external routers.
* Similarly, it would issue notification bulletins every time that Microsoft patched or updated Windows with code that spies on or otherwise breaches users' privacy.
[Remember, until recently manufacturers never knew when a customer used an appliance, it was always the user's prerogative to provide that advice, if ever. That's changed with online but customers were never asked about it beforehand. The fact that programs phone home has never been debated in the wider community, there needs to be wide public debate over the issue. Especially so with respect to operating systems. As I see it, we need laws to stop such abuse. To be truly effective they should both target corporations such as Microsoft and also those working for them–thus anyone coding spyware would know that he/she would be targeted automatically by the law for doing so.]
* The organization's website would welcome input from users, have a forum etc.
* Such an organization and its website would be structured in such a way that under no circumstances could Microsoft influence the organization's policy nor would it be able to change the contents of its website. It would be especially immune to Microsoft propaganda and lobbying.
So how do we begin such an undertaking? Are there any fledgling organizations/websites already out there with this objective that, with encouragement/force of numbers etc., could be developed into such an organization?
Any ideas, Trevor, anyone?