Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Is Windows 10 the new software "Borg"?

Borg, as in "resistance is futile":

Microsoft Makes Windows 10 Upgrades Automatic For Windows 7 And Windows 8
[...] In September Microsoft admitted it is downloading Windows 10 on every Windows 7 and Windows 8 computer. Then in October it claimed an ‘accident’ saw these downloads begin installing without user permission. Well this accident now looks to have been a secret test run because Microsoft has confirmed mass upgrades to Windows 10 from all Windows 7 and Windows 8 computers are about to begin…

In a post to the official Windows blog, Windows and Devices Group executive vice president Terry Myerson announced this will be a two step process:

Step One

Beginning now, Windows 10 has been reclassified as an “Optional” update in Windows Update for Windows 7 and Windows 8 computers. This means users who have set their version of Windows to accept all updates will find the Windows 10 installation process will begin automatically and they will need to actively cancel it.


Step Two

But in “early” 2016 things will become more aggressive and Microsoft will again reclassify Windows 10 as a “Recommended” update. Given the default setting on Windows 7 and Windows 8 is for all Recommended updates to install automatically this means the vast majority of users will find the Windows 10 install process starts up on their machines.

“Depending upon your Windows Update settings, this may cause the upgrade process to automatically initiate on your device,” admits Myerson.


For Most, Resistance Is Now Futile

While tech savvy users will find workarounds and hacks, quite frankly avoiding the upgrade process is going to become far too much effort for the average consumer.

Is Windows 10 worth upgrading? From the perspective of most mainstream consumers, I’d say yes. It’s slicker than Windows 7 and more intuitive than Windows 8. But it is also incredibly invasive and controlling, taking an iron grip on what it installs to your PC and tracking everything you do – something options let you minimise, but not stop entirely.

As such my personal objection to Microsoft’s behaviour is not that Windows 10 doesn’t represent a potentially valuable upgrade, it is that the company has forgotten the fundamental right of customers to choose. And dressing ‘choice’ up as ‘you can just keep saying No’ is a facade everyone should see through…
I had blocked it in my updates, but it keeps unblocking itself and adding itself back. This is really pushy, and I resent it.

It just isn't right, because in the end, you have to ask "Whose computer is this, mine or Microsoft's?" I bought it with Windows 7, because that is what I wanted. Offering a free upgrade path to 10 is fine, but I want the freedom to choose it. When I want. If I want. When I decide that I'm ready for it.

Do I actually have to seriously consider moving to a Mac, as my only option? Or moving to Linux Mint on my Windows 7 computer, before it "turns"?

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