* Posts by Sandtitz

1660 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Oct 2010

Why Chromebooks are the new immortals of tech

Sandtitz Silver badge

Re: Dafuq?

"As for ads, Windows has had them for years, like in the Bing Widget sidebar"

That "B" button one in Edge? No ads there. Perhaps you meant something else since I don't have any Bing desktop widget and don't even know how to get one.

"and in search, and the ad platform uses user telemetry data for targeting".

Perhaps this is regional? The (rather useless) Windows 10 search does not show ads, so I'm not certain what targeting there can even be?

"Windows also pushes Microsoft subscriptions to its users left, right and center"

They are pushing the Micros~1 account which still isn't mandatory, and is free.

Comparing Chromebooks against Windows PC's, the difference here is: Chromebook requires Google account.

"Edge has monetization built in (Shopping with Microsoft)"

I tried it and looks like it tries to find cheapest prices and such. How does that 'monetize Windows users' and do you find it detrimental?

"and users of standalone Office are also shown various MS365 ads and nag screens."

That really is indefensible.

"As for AI integration (Copilot), I guess you have been living under a rock or in a cave for the last couple of weeks as this was mentioned everywhere"

I took offence at the Anon Coward's comment of "so it can better lie to you", and called it FUD, because that's what it was. Do you disagree?

Sandtitz Silver badge

Re: Dafuq?

"You might be surprised how much data Microsoft Office slurps from your computer and stuffs into telemetry.."

How much?

"On top of that there are all the ads and other monetization features in Microsoft's software and Windows."

I think you need to be a bit more specific here.

I see no ads at my household nor at my clients' computers. I think Onedrive UI has an ad for higher tier with more storage space, and Win10 also had (a removable) O365 link at Start menu, but the system is not showing advertisements nor asking to fork out for subscriptions.

"And, very soon, there will be "AI" to exfiltrate your data so it can better lie to you."

FUD is the best you can offer?

Sandtitz Silver badge


"Besides, most Windows and macOS users don't use local software anymore."

Spurious claim with zero references. Unless author's definition of local software only includes office products?

PC/Mac users still actually DO use local software beyond word processors and email.

"Take Microsoft Office 2021, the standalone, old-school PC version of Office. It doesn't even show up in office software market studies. The top office program today is Google Workspace, with 50.3 percent, then Microsoft 365 with 45.4 percent"

Eh... Does that statistic, include businesses, home users or education? If most/many basic and secondary education pupils in the US alone are enrolled into Google education account, that surely amounts to several millions "users".

I'd also say that a local office installation trumps browser apps in usability and availability. Not to mention confidentiality. I'd say >99% of those MS 365 users have also installed Office into their PC, Mac, phone or tablet.

"yet in practice, we all know they tend to slow down from cases of what I call Windows cruft."

"yet in practice, we all know Google looks at everything you do at Google Workspace".

And everyone believes that too.

"Major macOS versions are only maintained for three years."

So? Then you upgrade to a supported major version for free as long as the device is supported. Granted, Apple still lacks in the total life time support vs others, but even unsupported devices can be patched to later macOS versions.

Pot calls the kettle hack as China claims Uncle Sam did digital sneak peek first

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Re: Article 7 of China's National Intelligence Law @A.Coward

"Do you seriously believe that the US, UK, China, Russia and various other major countries aren't all at it?"

No. I haven't stated anything like that.

This thread is about China's National Intelligence Law and how it compels Chinese businesses anywhere in the world to provide all data the Chinese spy agencies ask for.

Sandtitz Silver badge

Re: Article 7 of China's National Intelligence Law @A.Coward


CLOUD act is certainly not the same, and it does mandate anything like "citizens and organizations are required to function as covert operatives of the state" as mentioned in the article.

In fact it does not concern individuals at all, it is only about mandating companies to provide requested data stored on servers if a warrant is served to them. It also provides mechanisms for the companies or the courts to reject or challenge these if they believe the request violates the privacy rights of the foreign country the data is stored in.

"Also you can't even say that they requested information from you, else you get canceled, banned and destroyed."

Ah, you're speaking again about the Chinese National Intelligence Law. They sure do have a habit of making people disappear for re-education.

Sandtitz Silver badge

Re: Article 7 of China's National Intelligence Law @A.Coward

"Stop speaking about this law, the same kind of obligations exist in the Western countries laws."

<citation needed>

Getting to the bottom of BMW's pay-as-you-toast subscription failure

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Re: if you tolerate this then your chilled air will be next.

"Struggling Acer pulls out Wang too late, then calls Wong number"

That's one title I'll never forget.

Windows August update plays Blue Screen bingo – and MSI boards got the winning ticket

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Re: Gee

This case is not too different from when Linux was bricking Samsung laptops.

Why would this case be any different when a rare CPU problem only affects select MSI boards?

Big Tech has failed to police Russian disinformation, EC study concludes

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Re: Disinformation?

"Perhaps it is not disinformation, just the truth"

In your mind, is the whole Ukraine war only about "de-nazification" as Kremlin and its adherents ludicrously claim?

US Air Force wants $6B to build 2,000 AI-powered drones

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Re: They are getting part of a clue @Anon Coward

"Maybe you should use your brain or maybe you could point me to this information where Russia says it's has lost lots of machinery. Note the "Where Russia says" because anything else is propaganda or speculation."

There is a web page which lists Russian equipment losses based on pictures or video available. The current total is a about 12000 land/sea/air vehicles. Probably many more vehicles have been lost. The same site lists about 4300 Ukrainian vehicle losses currently.

Isn't 12000 vehicles lost "lots of machinery" in your book?

"Note the "Where Russia says" because anything else is propaganda or speculation."

No, why do you consider only the Kremlin narrative to be perfectly factual and void of propaganda?

80% of execs regret calling employees back to the office

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Re: Meta chief and human being Mark Zuckerberg

I think he passed Voight-Kampff test on his second try.

Think International Space Station dust is obviously free of bad chemicals? Wrong

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Hexavalent chromium used in chrome plating is toxic - I'd go for gold plating everywhere for the heck of it.

Soon the most popular 'real' desktop will be the Linux desktop

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"Last time I looked Office 2019 was the last version you could install on your own computer."

Last time you looked was years ago? Office 2021 is the latest version you can buy without subscriptions.

Also, all but the cheapest 365 Business Basic edition come with locally installed full Office version (including version for tablets/phones).

Chinese companies evade sanctions, fuel Moscow’s war on Ukraine, says report

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"BlackRock's asset realisation team"

I'm sure you're backing these conspiracy claims with good references in your next post.

"Wagner's coup was defeated in <24hrs"

By negotiation, not by force. Wagner apparently had 2 casualties wherease the feeble army opposition lost several aircraft and many times more personnel.

"But Russia's using around 10-15% of it's military to demonstrate the impotence of the NATO collective"

For the last month or so Russia has lost ground to the inferior NATO collective and Ukrainian forces.

If you think that's the whole force of NATO, you are ludicrously mistaken.

"Zelensky, meanwhile still can't find a decent suit"

I see you're grasping at straws. Is attacking Zelensky's attire the daily missive you've given?

"'Arsenals of Democracy'

Sounds almost like the Soviet's very own "Weapons of Peace".

"It's still entirely at the mercy of the West though and will never be independent again"

Ukraine does need external help since Russia is much bigger and with lots more weapons. They truly are at the mercy of West to provide materiel. They are still independent, even though Russia has tried to make them a vassal state for more than a decade now. Russia likes to have their puppets working for them, be it in Abkhazia, Transnistria, South Ossetia, or Luhansk and elsewhere.

"The mighty NATO, defeated by convicts with shovels."

That's something Skabeyeva might say in her show.

Russia has had problems enlisting people so convicts were the lowest hanging fruit. FWIW, those convicts were cannon fodder and most of them dead already. Yet Ukraine is advancing.

"If only Russia had de-industrialised like the West has, it wouldn't have been able to produce as many shovels"

Russia was supposed to have over 2,000 T-14 Armata tanks before the war. They only have a handful because all money was embezzled by Putin's cronies.

"Yes, well, there was the small matter of the civil war"

Again with the Russian propaganda viewpoint. It wasn't a civil war - hybrid war with Russia provided money, weapons and personnel - including Wagner mercenaries to fight war the separatists.

"and ethnic cleansing that started in 2014."

In 2014 Russia invaded Crimea and among other things jailed Ukrainians who didn't kowtow to the newly installed puppet regime.

Russia then started their persecution of Tatars, the titular people of Crimea.

"Again, we destroyed Yugoslavia"

You are telling revisionist garbage. Yugoslavia dissolved because Slovenians, Croatians and others wanted indepence, and Yugoslavia was already broken up when NATO came there.

"so why shouldn't Russia to the same to preven ethnic cleansing in Ukraine?"

There isn't ethnic cleansing going on by Ukraine, no matter how many times you write it.

Sandtitz Silver badge

"now this war must be fought to the last Ukrainian."

If only Russia had actually funded their military properly, they could have fought the last Ukrainian already. Their troll army is better equipped.

Instead, as their army was deemed second best in the world early last year, it was actually just second best in Ukraine and for awhile it was second best even in Russia when Wagner rebelled and met only puny resistance.

"intervene and invade sovereign nations, why the suprise when other countries do the same thing?"

And you wonder why "Russia could look like the agressor" when you are admitting in the next paragraph that they are intervening and invading.

Logic isn't you forte.

Sandtitz Silver badge

Re: Boo hoo hoo

"That one's rather ironic given the drones aren't flying over California, they're flying over Syria-"

Russia already downed one US drone over Black Sea over international waters.


Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's pop artifact stash now heads to a museum

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"How would Microsoft have turned out if Gates and Bullmer had not tried to shaft Allen?"

Tried to shaft - how? IIRC, Allen resigned to deal with cancer.

Allen was the one who bought QDOS; whenever QDOS topic comes up here, most seem to view the deal with derision.

How would Micros~1 have turned out if Allen had remained there - who knows? Better or worse.

Apple patches exploited bugs in iPhones plus other holes

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Re: Its also the not-early adopters

"apple don't release patches for ios15 (or 14 etc)"

iOS 16 has worked well for all iPhones in my household, what's the issue you are having?

Microsoft’s Dublin DC power plant gets the, er, green light

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Re: Potentially greener?

"In both cases I'll believe it when I see it: there is presently no bulk source of Green Hydrogen"

That is true, but... as more and more demand grows, I'd expect the supply to grow as well.

Similarly when cars were invented, gasoline was bought from pharmacies (and elsewhere) before dedicated gas station started appearing.

Microsoft kicks Calibri to the curb for Aptos as default font

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Re: ...Segoe, the font of the Windows 11 system UI

"That fugly monstrosity was baked in Windows 7."

Damn it man, when were you born?

That fine font was baked in Windows Vista.

Sandtitz Silver badge

"Sans serif fonts are the triumph of form (for some values of form) over function."

My handwriting(*) doesn't contain serifs, and I don't think adding them would ameliorate the readability one bit.

(* it's more Comic Sans, really)

Methane-spotting satellite that gives true readings of industry emissions hits skies in 2024

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Re: The usual misinformation and obfuscation

"There are already carbon sensing satellites that measure CO2 concentrations. Oddly enough, they're high over the Amazon and Africa."

Nonsense. All CO2 sensing satellites seem to be on low Earth orbit and therefore cannot be parked over Amazon and Africa.

Many of these satellites (and ISS) have an inclination that takes them over most of the globe.

"Good luck convincing India to slaughter all their cattle"

Why single out India? Russia is world leading methane emitter.

Fedora Project mulls 'privacy preserving' usage telemetry

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Stats please

"The Mozilla Firefox market share is now down to about 3 percent, and yet we are willing to bet that many of you will be reading this article in some variant of Google Chrome —- despite Google's well known data-collection habits."

No need to bet - perhaps El Reg could just share the browser stats.

Free Wednesday gift for you lucky lot: Extra mouse button!

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"we all know the mouse wheel is the middle button."

I have to agree. This is a ZDNET article.

"I had a 3 button mouse for my Spectrum in the '80s"

I had a 3 button Genius mouse for my PC in the 80's - hideous in both aesthetics and ergonomics, no rounded corners there!

IIRC the middle button was supported in very few applications anyway, so kinda pointless. (Zsoft Paintbrush? Harvard Graphics? All forgotten!)

Sandtitz Silver badge

Re: shift-insert for paste

"you can use shift-insert to paste"

CTRL-Insert and Shift-Insert has worked since Windows 2.0 (at least) and was typical in many other DOS era software. Still works on Win11.

I think CTRL-[X/C/V] became preferable (and dominant) during NT4/Win95 years because CTRL and Insert are not as close to each other.

"I have long looked for a mouse that has a non-wheel middle key"

Perhaps you could look for a setting that completely disables the wheel?

Hacking a Foosball table scored an own goal for naughty engineers

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"My somewhat thrifty in-law decided to keep the coin action for parties, and it was a nice little earner."

Any relation to J.P.Getty who had all telephones physically locked and a separate coin-op telephone installed for guests?

Dialup-era developer writes ChatGPT client for Windows 3.1

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"How does it know to provide answers to 1995 era questions?"

That's the easy part:

Me: "Let's pretend it is 1993."

ChatGPT: "Sure! Let's pretend it's the year 1993. How can I assist you in this imaginary scenario?"

Google asks websites to kindly not break its shiny new targeted-advertising API

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Re: This is a fig leaf for advertisers

"The thing that Google really wants is to kill third-party cookies in Chrome."

3rd party cookies should be declined by everyone. I have blocked them for many many years now.

Is it a drone? Is it a balloon? Whatever it is the US warns locals not to let them fly in Iran

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Re: Beware drones carrying genies

"Recent events have shown that drones are a more effective terror weapon than they may be a weapon, ie the attack on the Kremlin's flagpole"

The Russian drone terror campaign on Ukraine would be far more representative of the last year, some did significant damage at Kiev and elsewhere.

Last year you were adamant that the Iranian drones were fake news, Russia would never acquire such things. How wrong/naive you were.

Windows XP's adventures in the afterlife shows copyright's copywrongs

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"Even though Microsoft stated loudly that 7 was a complete rewrite"

Please provide a reference for that statement.

"Borkzilla has never written anything from scratch since XP."

What makes you think XP was written from scratch. Hint: it wasn't.

What's the last time Linux kernel was written from scratch with zero code remaining from the previous version - v0.1?

CERN spots Higgs boson decay breaking the rules

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"Is there a "non-standard Standard Model"?"

There is the standard Standard Model, things we know we know.

We also know there is a standard Non-Standard Model, that is to say we know there are some things we do not know.

But there is also non-standard Non-Standard Models - the one we don't know we don't know.

Finally there is the non-standard Standard Models - the thing that you know, that you don't know you know.


Mars helicopter went silent for six sols, imperilled Perseverance rover

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Re: In Praise of AI, but not as you were expecting it to be* We are where we are**

"Be honest, you've had access to ChatGPT years before any of us, right?"

Looks more like Google Bard to me.

Lenovo Thinkpad Z13 just has this certain Macbook Air about it...

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Re: Another Liam's Windows rant

"Ubuntu is about 1/3 of the Linux market, as best as anyone can measure.

The various RH distros & rebuilds are 10% or so.

The rest are all down in the single digits somewhere.

How did you come up with those numbers?


1. Ubuntu 34%

2. Debian 16%

"Please do me the credit of assuming I know what I am doing."

Now, that sounds something Sledge Hammer might say. :-)

Sandtitz Silver badge

Re: Another Liam's Windows rant

"And all of the major distributions worked."

Except Debian is not a niche distro.

Debian comes with a tried-and-tested kernel 5.x (LTS), so it probably will have problems with latest hardware, be it the storage, GPU and such.

Perhaps Liam also used the original 2021 version of Windows 11 for installation and for some reason it didn't contain the driver for the wireless that was released afterwards.

Sandtitz Silver badge

Another Liam's Windows rant

"We tried vanilla Debian 11.7, in the form of an Xfce live medium with non-free firmware, and FreeBSD 13.2, plus a couple of non-systemd distributions: Devuan Chimæra 4.0.3 and MX Linux 21.3. Not one of them booted successfully."

'Linux is over 30 years old now and has had over a dozen major releases. That this kind of fooling around is still needed is ridiculous.'

Cheapest, oldest, slowest part fixed very modern Mac

Sandtitz Silver badge

Re: Failover & forced reboots

"The solution was some mechanical light timers, set at 8-hour intervals. Firewalls had high-availability & load-balancing, so it was no problem to give them individually a 30-minute forced time-out once a day."

A perfectly fine solution ...until someone decides to upgrade the firewall firmware and is unaware of the timer - or just momentary forgetfulness...

Asahi Linux developer warns the one true way is Wayland

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Re: Nope

So the crooks are using crappy admin credentials on public RDP server? I count two faults there, neither of them Microsoft's, can't fix stupid.

An important system on project [REDACTED] was all [REDACTED] up

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Re: Security not

"Supplier of said router was taken over by a VC"

Were you working there? If not -> name and shame.

Of course Russia's ex-space boss doubts US set foot on the Moon

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Re: Whatever next?

"Nice little vatnik."

I'm quite surprised any sane person would even try such an obvious cause-and-effect switcheroo as Zolko did. "Of course Japan had to attack Pearl Harbor because US firebombed Tokyo"

While many go beyond the call of duty apologising for Russia's terroristic actions, I'm left wondering how many is posting the garbage just to avoid decomposing on an Ukrainian field.

Feds rethink warrantless search stats and – oh look, a huge drop in numbers

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Re: "an indispensable tool when it comes to fighting terrorism"

"You have had one terrorist attack in your entire history"


How would you classify the Oklahoma City bombing or Boston Marathon Boms? Unabomber? Wall Street bombing of 1920?

US has had plenty of terrorism, much of it domestic.

Intel to rebrand client chips once Meteor Lake splashes down

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Re: Marketing: why do we need it again

"I've seen benefits with renaming and rebranding. They've all been negative, though."

Goldstar monitors (and their other products) were on the cheapest, lowest rung but when the company rebranded as LG, most people didn't seem to make the connection to Lucky Goldstar. Whether LG still is or isn't a sign of quality I cannot say, but they've since had a much bigger presence on TV / Monitor market.

'Firefox' hasn't been a negative renaming of product, although I wouldn't really care if my browser of choice was named Firebird or Phoenix...

MacOS -> OS X worked also pretty well for Apple. Can't say the same about OS X -> macOS, which was pointless to me.

No more feature updates for Windows 10 – current version is final

Sandtitz Silver badge

"Many of mictosoft's sycophant software peddlers tweaked their products so they wouldn't function properly on win7"

What a load of delusional conspiracy crap.

Software peddlers do not really care what Micros~1 wants. The reason why they cut support for unsupported operating systems is because that way they can clean up codebase (right...), use more modern compilers, use new APIs of the OS, and lessen their help desk duties.

Another explanation is that Windows 7 usage is dwindling fast into the single digit "others" area on desktop market share.

Many software could be run on Windows 95 if push came to shove. Did you cry for them as well?

Sandtitz Silver badge

"But it won't even run Office, will it?"

It will.

LTSC does not run the O365 Office, but it does run the perpetually licensed Office editions, e.g. Office 2019.

Sandtitz Silver badge

Re: improvements?

"can anybody name one feature added since 2018 that improved windows?"

I named 6 things since 2018 or so. Actual improvements everyday users might actually run into.

8 thumbs down already, yet none have mentioned a single improvement in OSX and Linux. Too hard to answer?

Sandtitz Silver badge


Off the top of my head... Sandbox, WSL2, Chromium Edge, Terminal, DoH.

Just couple weeks ago LAPS was integrated into Windows 10, as reported by ElReg.

Which new features added since 2018 has improved OSX / Linux?

Drones aim to undo Ukraine's landmine problem

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Re: War reparations

"Nobody is defending Russia's unlawful invasion"

What? Many have defended Russia's actions here. And continue to do so.

Mr. Eel there has several times told how Russia's actions are quite lawful, welcomed by the Ukrainians and it's only the glue sniffing nazis in Kiev that do bad things.

RIP Gordon Moore: Intel co-founder dies, aged 94

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Re: And I had just bought some more Xeons, too…

"Or full-height 330Mb MFM drives that needed their own controller card"

PC's until ~1995 didn't have hard drive controllers on the motherboard, so controller was always needed.

Also I think MFM/RLL interface drives were never made at even 200MB size. It was a cumbersome interface (3 cables per drive), and it was slow (<1MB/s), so manufacturers just went with SCSI, ESDI (same 3x cabling but way faster) and ATA.

"and were 10x the 32Mb limit for DOS/Win3.1"

DOS 4 came out late 80's and removed the 32MB partition limit. If you were stuck on DOS 3 you just created more partitions.

Sandtitz Silver badge

Re: And I had just bought some more Xeons, too…

"I remember selling PC ATs with 10-20GB drives for $4K or so in the late '80s during college."

Something's amiss. 10GB was something available in late 90's or so.

Hard drives for PC ATs in late 80's were confined to <500MB (ESDI) drives - which may have been around $4K.

Intel bumps up core counts for 13th-gen vPro chips

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Re: It's one thing to say "Buy my stuff because it's good"...

"I have perfectly good hardware that I can't use because I can't update the BIOS to get rid of Spectre/Meltdown/Zombieload vulns."

Can't update BIOS? I'd blame the motherboard or system vendor then.

I'm typing this on a 9-year-old laptop that received its final BIOS update three years ago and is patched against all those vulns.

Also, I'm not really the expert here - but won't the Microcode updates provided by most OS vendors be sufficient anyway?

Microsoft to give more than microsecond's thought about your Windows 11 needs

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Re: Edge

"Just because you're not seeing the pop-up Windows in the right hand corner with prompts to instead, "continue using Edge 'securely' " (rather than doing what the user requested, i.e. download and install, after clicking download and install), when an attempt is made to download Google Chrome, doesn't mean it's not happening elsewhere in the world, assuming you're based in Finland."

If I try to download Chrome on Win11 with Edge - Edge show an internal (non-HTML) popup asking me to reconsider.

If I try to download Firefox on Win11 with Edge - no such thing. You wrote that this happens when downloading either. Seems to not be so.

Also, I still see no code injection here. The HTML that Google serves on their Chrome download page is intact as far as I can see.

"Plenty of people including myself, experienced the modified Google Chrome download page using Windows 11 (and this wasn't specific to an insider preview build), with the top half showing a half page reference to Edge Edge modified, aka 'injected' the underlying code into the Google Download page."

That would be quite newsworthy and El Reg here would probably report and investigate.

"Downloading MSN Weather, XBox Game Bar, MSN Money, Microsoft Teams, One Drive to user's machine without the user's permission,"

Those are part of the default Windows installation. Yet none of them block 3rd party software from being downloaded and installed.

Many/most(?) Win11 users will use a MS account which includes free OneDrive space, surely it is in the interest of Win11 users that the Onedrive is already there?

"Things like Rewards, could in the future have an impact on UK cashback sites like Quidco and Topcashback, again it's an abuse of MIcrosoft's market position because neither company can advertise in that spot within the OS."

"could have and impact" does not equal to abuse of market position. More Google Shopping has more impact on those two.

Perhaps it's the OS localizations or my location but there's no Rewards app or any kind of mention of it on my Win11 machines, and the whole rewards concept is something I haven't bothered with.

You earn rewards (Micros~1 Store gift cards?) it you use the Store, Bing, Edge and Xbox? Doesn't look like it will make any dent on those cashback sites you mentioned.

IMHO: all those cashback companies are man-in-the-middle sites who skim from the retailers profits and return *some* of that money to the cashback users. Find a more sympathetic example, please :)