Sunday, February 21, 2016

Windows 10 and why I change my recommendation

On 1/17/2014 I wrote on this blog a rant titled: Microsoft Accounts and Windows 8 – A Rant

For Windows 10 this article is just as valid today. I want to quote the main point (emphasis added):
Apple has made an incredible fortune "having access" to all this information about their customers and as I see it Microsoft wants to bake themselves a similar pie, not only get a slice [of this pie of advertisement money]. Once I realized this my reaction was "Big Brother. . . ".
IMHO Windows 10 is a masterpiece of a copy of that pie, even with some improvements; it's main objective is to gather information about and from the user; why else would Microsoft assign a unique "advertising ID" to  every email address that unsuspecting users give them?

As often in this life where there is light there is shadow and vice versa. And besides the "shadow" that I call outright spying there is light:

Technically Windows 10 is a really good operating system.

The main complaints can by now be alleviated with third party programs.
  • The data reporting can reliably be turned off (no more spying!) while the helpful reporting about the inner workings of the system (or failures to do so) remains active.
  • The main menu can look and feel just like your old version of Windows; it can look and
    work just like you were used to from Windows Vista or Windows 7.  
If you want to upgrade to Windows 10, go ahead!
But be warned: When you upgrade to Windows 10 IMHO you have to install and correctly configure the program that turns Windows 10's reporting features OFF! And do NOT give Microsoft your email address, it will be treated as a Microsoft account!

Again, if privacy is of any concern to you then DO NOT give Microsoft your email address! That includes that you should NOT use Skype! We have a free alternatives to Skype that does not require to give your email address to Microsoft.

Remember what I wrote in Windows 10 Settings - What I Recommend (August 8th. 2015):
If you gave the system on first start your email address Microsoft has created on their servers the storage for an immense wealth of information about you that Win10 and it's programs will collect from and about you; and that besides the fact that every email address will have it's unique "advertisement ID" assigned. Guess what that will be used for!

Should you feel asked a bit too much with all this please contact me by email, I can help. An email address to contact me is in non-computer readable format at the end of the Welcome paragraph in the left side bar of my blog.

And if you upgraded and don't like what you see you have four weeks to 30 days (conflicting info from MS!) to revert back to what you had before.

Stay safe.


Unknown said...

I don't know. Taking at face value that all privacy info can be turned off or nullified without a tracking email address, there is still the matter of automatic updates whether you want them or not. Only Enterprise version allows blocking them.

Eike Heinze said...

Thanks for reading my blog.
As far as Automatic Updates go: Most of my customers are, in their own words, "computer illiterate". For many years I recommend to have ALL updates installed that are being offered. That is the only way they can keep their OS up to date and that again is one of the three pillars of safe computing.
My customers and I have ONLY good experiences with this policy.

Eike Heinze said...

I want to add that we sometimes need to choose "the lesser of two evils".
SpyBot Search and Destroy, the "father" (or mother) company of one of the tools I use has a long standing positive reputation. Their tool to turn off Win 10's tracking even can check for tracking being turned on again, e.g. by updates.
AND: You could use Wire Shark to log the network traffic before and after turning feedback to MS off and then compare the before and after Wire Shark logs.
Please let us know your experiences with this. TIA

Unknown said...

You are quite correct. The vast majority of Windows users don't care about reviewing upgrades they just want the OS to work. And if you support their computers it is too much of a pain to have to keep track of them yourself if they are other than in your dwelling.