Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Windows EU Microsoft Privacy

EU Privacy Watchdogs Say Windows 10 Settings Still Raise Concerns (reuters.com) 161

Julia Fioretti, reporting for Reuters: European Union data protection watchdogs said on Monday they were still concerned about the privacy settings of Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system despite the U.S. company announcing changes to the installation process. The watchdogs, a group made up of the EU's 28 authorities responsible for enforcing data protection law, wrote to Microsoft last year expressing concerns about the default installation settings of Windows 10 and users' apparent lack of control over the company's processing of their data. The group -- referred to as the Article 29 Working Party -- asked for more explanation of Microsoft's processing of personal data for various purposes, including advertising. "In light of the above, which are separate to the results of ongoing inquiries at a national level, even considering the proposed changes to Windows 10, the Working Party remains concerned about the level of protection of users' personal data," the group said in a statement which also acknowledged Microsoft's willingness to cooperate.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

EU Privacy Watchdogs Say Windows 10 Settings Still Raise Concerns

Comments Filter:
  • This is an OS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HalAtWork ( 926717 ) on Monday February 20, 2017 @09:34PM (#53903243)

    It shouldn't be collecting data of any kind unless you opt to submit crash reports

    • Maybe it has a virus that will kill 30 million users. I think I know who has the antidote... a vaccine for windows 10.
      • Maybe it has a virus that will kill 30 million users.

        "Kill all humans!" -- Windows 10 a.k.a Bender OS.

        (Blackjack and hookers sold separately at Microsoft Store for Windows 10)

    • It shouldn't be collecting data of any kind unless you opt to submit crash reports

      It should also know what version you are running so it can offer updates.

      That you choose to install or not.

      • It should also know what version you are running so it can offer updates.

        That you choose to install or not.

        If and when you choose to update it does need to tell Microsoft what packages (of Microsoft origin, not elsewhere) it has so that the appropriate updates can be installed. I do believe that the correct default option is for it to check for updates; many end users will not initiate update checks by themselves. If an update is needed: a red flag in a notification area should be shown; maybe getting bigger the longer that it is not clicked on -- but always performing an update is the user's choice.

        • I hate defending microsoft, however the problem is most users won't install an update. even today the average user is to stupid to understand how and why they should update.

          Look at ios and Mac OS . iOS achieves something like an 75% updates installed within 3 months of it being released.
          versus
          andriod or windows xp/7 which gets 25% of updates installed in 6 months.

          Windows 10 is microsofts attempt at getting updates installed in a timely fashion. the issue becomes they are also using it to make major chang

          • by Rhipf ( 525263 )

            I hate defending microsoft, however the problem is most users won't install an update. even today the average user is to stupid to understand how and why they should update.

            Look at ios and Mac OS . iOS achieves something like an 75% updates installed within 3 months of it being released.
            versus
            andriod or windows xp/7 which gets 25% of updates installed in 6 months.

            The problem with comparing Apple with any other computer company is that Apple fully controls their product line. When Apple pushes an update they know exactly what the base hardware is (since they make it themselves). When Android and Microsoft push updates they have to worry that the update may adversely affect machines made by numerous hardware manufacturers. In Android's case the manufacturer of the device may not even make an updated OS for their older devices and loading Google's base Android OS isn't

            • The problem with comparing Apple with any other computer company is that Apple fully controls their product line. When Apple pushes an update they know exactly what the base hardware is (since they make it themselves). When Android and Microsoft push updates they have to worry that the update may adversely affect machines made by numerous hardware manufacturers. In Android's case the manufacturer of the device may not even make an updated OS for their older devices and loading Google's base Android OS isn't something many end users can/will do.

              You know, once upon a time, Windows fans would brag About the great choice of hardware, as a much superior solution than that controlled Apple ecosystem.

              Ironic how a mark of superiority is now used as an excuse for Windows breaking systems with every update.

              Amazingly enough, Modern Linux doesn't have that problem. Just update, and don't even have to reboot 99 percent of the time.

          • I hate defending microsoft, however the problem is most users won't install an update. even today the average user is to stupid to understand how and why they should update.

            Look at ios and Mac OS . iOS achieves something like an 75% updates installed within 3 months of it being released.

            The reason isn't always stupidity. Its what happens when your computer hangs or otherwise gets screwed up when Microsoft updates it. I update my MacOS and Linux computers a week after I'm offered the update - just in case. Through Windows 7, it would be weeks before I updated it. Windows 10 only lets me delay it a little. Unfortunately, they don't often fix the problems the update caused, but there's no choice.

            If they dodn't consistently bollix up the system, I'd update the same as the other OS's.

            Micro

        • If and when you choose to update

          If your computer is connected to the Internet, and you choose not to update, and a computer intruder takes advantage of this choice to surreptitiously install a botnet worker on your computer, how shall users of computers other than yours be protected from attacks originating from your computer? Automatic updates provide the counterpart to herd immunity [wikipedia.org].

          • If and when you choose to update

            If your computer is connected to the Internet, and you choose not to update, and a computer intruder takes advantage of this choice to surreptitiously install a botnet worker on your computer, how shall users of computers other than yours be protected from attacks originating from your computer? Automatic updates provide the counterpart to herd immunity [wikipedia.org].

            If your computer is so unsafe that one update missed makes it a menace to everyone on the internet, it is not even remotely the users fault. If many of the updates make your computer inoperative, or it stops doing what you bought it for, It isn't much of an operating system.

            People buy computers to do thing on, and the main purpose is to do those things, not receive updates because the OS is inherently non-secure.

            I update my Linux and MacOS machines soon after the updates are available. I hold off on W

    • Re:This is an OS (Score:5, Informative)

      by yuvcifjt ( 4161545 ) on Monday February 20, 2017 @10:12PM (#53903335)

      The same can be said about any Google product from Android [slashdot.org]/ChromeOS to Search/Maps/Mail to Doubleclick/Captcha/Analytics/Tag Manager/APIs/+1/etc [softpedia.com].

      I'm not defending MS doing it so openly, but we should put things in perspective and realise how powerful Google is compared to any other company. They even have their hands dirty in the system behind tax and health in various companies and governments, not to mention corporate email systems!

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Wish i had mod points but yes. Google keeps "updating" tools that require the latest browser so "older" browsers get phased out. Then they jump in bed with the makers of the browsers to whittle away your ability to stop being tracked or defend against seeing ads.

        +1 insightful for you.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        The difference with Google is that you can turn it all off and opt out of everything. With Windows 10 it is mandatory.

        Hopefully the EU will require them to make another "N" version of Windows, without the spyware.

        • That's not exactly true.
          Although Google provide a nice little re-assuring interface, the fact their entire business model depends on gathering as much data about an individual and going deep into their lives*, I don't think it's exactly turning off data gathering, but rather not providing tailored ads. I believe Google also sells data to the highest bidders, especially governments and insurance firms.
          Because if their entire revenue was based on ads, what is quite interesting is that Google isn't fighting ha

          • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )
            I'm currently blocking quite a few google sites by default. No real issues here, other than a certain subset of videos don't play. This is perfectly fine by me, as I generally don't watch videos in a web browser anyways. I also don't use google search, and regularly clear all cookies.
        • Try deleting all of your Google cookies and visiting YouTube. You can't even watch a video until you've clicked through a bunch of T&Cs explaining that you agree to their data collecting and sharing. There's a button at the bottom saying 'I agree' and another saying 'other options', if you click on the second one, then you get to a big page full of text that basically boils down to 'sucks to be you.' If you create a Google account, then you can somewhat restrict what they'll collect to anonimised, bu
      • Yes, Android also does it and it's also wrong.
        What I'd like every OS to have is an option of turning off all gathering of data for money making purposes (i.e. paying the OS with your data) and to pay instead with money. You know, like Windows used to be.
        I'm not sure if that should be legally required (I'm not sure either if I want governments putting their noses so deep in everything) but it would be nice.
      • but we should put things in perspective

        Indeed and for the most part many people have. I give data to Google because I get something tangible in return. Better traffic through location information, automatic destinations in maps, flight reminders based on emails I receive, etc. For the most party I share information willingly when I get something in return.

        Which is why in Windows 10 I also tick the option to "learn" handwriting which I know full well is being sent to MS for analysis. That's the only thing I tick, because it's also the only one th

      • Agreed as far as it applies to OSes, free services online not so much, you get what you pay for

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Microsoft has stated that they think of Windows 10 as a "service". So you're not buying an operating system you're buying a service that MS is allowing you to use their software in exchange for money and privacy.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Yes, *Microsoft* thinks that an OS is a service. No one else does. What they are forgetting is that the "P" in "PC" means "personal". It is *my* computer, not theirs. I control the horizontal. I control the vertical. I use a PC *specifically* to keep my data safely *off* the cloud. Building in channels that open my personal computer to the internet whether I want to or not runs contrary to the purpose of having a PC. This is why I use a PC and not a cell phone or a tablet (which are nothing but excu

        • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          It is *my* computer, not theirs.

          Not if you use Windows, Android, or IOS it's not.

          BSD yes.

          Linux, maybe. Mostly?

          If you want it to be yours, then use software compatible with that outlook.

          Or, continue to support software that transfers control of your system to somebody else, but then don't act surprised when you get what you are supporting with your purchase dollars.

        • I don't want to pay MS to fix security bugs that are still on the OS they made. they released the OS knowing full well it was full of known and unknown security bugs they should be forced to fix them IMO. win 7 and below were not free or sold as a service.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I consider all Windows 10 installations forced, as the user didn't get a chance to decline until it was already installed!! And when you consider the spyware that can't be turned off (M$ even admitted it!)and the trickery and malware tactics M$ used to trick users into the downgrade to Win10, if anyone trusts anything M$ says at this point, they have to be an idiot!

      • My windows 10 installation was by no means forced, but when setting up a new ssd after the previous one died, i had the choice of installing windows 7 and spend two days applying patches from the horribly broken windows update or just installing windows 10. Yes, nowadays there is that patch rollup, but not back then.

    • It shouldn't be collecting data of any kind unless you opt to submit crash reports

      20 years ago, humans used computers.

      Today, it's the other way around.

      If you're looking for the activity that shouldn't be happening, perhaps we need to start looking at the people who legally allow corporations to make humans the product, which is buried inside every EULA targeting people that don't give a shit about privacy.

  • by Zombie Ryushu ( 803103 ) on Monday February 20, 2017 @09:35PM (#53903247)

    The only way for the Privacy of EU Citizens to be assured of Privacy in the EU is for EU Governments to ban the Use of Windows 10. The entire OS is Spyware. Full stop.

    • by xlsior ( 524145 ) on Monday February 20, 2017 @10:11PM (#53903333) Homepage
      If they were to ban the sale of Win10 in the EU, Microsoft would magically have a non-privacy-violating version read the next day.

      The EU is a much larger market than North America, Microsoft couldn't afford to ignore it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        If they were to ban the sale of Win10 in the EU, Microsoft would magically have a non-privacy-violating version read the next day.

        And pirated by us US-ians the day after that.

    • The only way for the Privacy of EU Citizens to be assured of Privacy in the EU is for EU Governments to ban the Use of Windows 10. The entire OS is Spyware. Full stop.

      Are you seriously claiming that that the citizens of the EU should prohibited from loading a particular piece of software on my personally owned computer?

      • by rastos1 ( 601318 )
        Absolutely. You are banned from a ton of things for safety of yours and everyone around you. Starting with explosives, toxic compounds, biological weapons, ... Windows 10 fits right in.
      • They don't need to go that far. Simply banning Windows 10 from government computers would be a significant dent in Microsoft's sales.
    • by 4im ( 181450 )

      That's one point. There's quite some domains where it's illegal to send production data across a border, especially if the target country has lesser protections (think safe harbor). I can't see how that's magically not going to happen if Win10 is used with its spyware in place.

      Let's not forget professionals with obligations of privacy, such as lawyers, attorneys, doctors etc. I don't know how e.g. hospitals can go down the Windows road, or how medical equipment can be run with this OS.

      And let's not forget e

    • Include smartphones, which are just as much of a privacy problem, and you've got my support.

      I find it unbelievably hilarious that Apple and Google, Facebook, etc. are not under the same scrutiny.

      As it is it looks like a witch hunt to me right now.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft's refusal to allow us to turn off their intrusions smacks of incredible arrogance but their 90% domination of the PC market means most of us are stuck with them anyway. It's time for the EU to step in with a bat and end the Microsoft Monopoly with a Ma Bell style break-up.
     
    When consumers can pick between a Windows that's riddled with spyware, and one that isn't, then they will finally have a choice.

  • by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Monday February 20, 2017 @09:48PM (#53903277)
    My #1 complaint on Win10, over the telemetry and touch oriented interface, is the fact that whenever I open my laptop I never know if it will have rebooted or not.

    I don't understand how M$ can think it's ok to reboot my laptop without first getting my consent. If it weren't for a couple programs I need Windows for I'd have 2 laptops running Linux, instead of just 1.
    • That's not just an "only" complaint. That's a HUGE fuckin' complaint.

      I sure-as-hell love to find out that EVERYTHING I WAS DOING the last day at work is completely wiped away. It's fucking infuriating. And I maintain Microsoft products for a living.

      • That's not just an "only" complaint. That's a HUGE fuckin' complaint.

        I sure-as-hell love to find out that EVERYTHING I WAS DOING the last day at work is completely wiped away. It's fucking infuriating. And I maintain Microsoft products for a living.

        Rebooting a PC won't lose a damn thing, unless you're too ignorant to save your work. Ever heard of a hard drive? You can save things semi-permanently there. Just like magic, what gets saved to your hard drive is still there after a reboot!

        The only thing that rebooting would lose is your "current desktop", such as which apps are open and where the windows are located. And of course anything in-progress that hasn't been saved yet, but only idiots work in an unsaved Book1/Sheet1 in Excel all day.

        It soun

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          Rebooting a PC won't lose a damn thing, unless you're too ignorant to save your work. Ever heard of a hard drive?

          Ever heard of regulations banning its use?

          Sometimes people call an insurance agency to inquire about insurance, but they don't have all their necessary paperwork at the moment. So the agent keeps the incomplete information in an open Windows Notepad document. The agent is prohibited from saving this document, or from using an editor that automatically saves documents (such as Don Ho's Notepad++), because writing personally identifiable information (PII or "dox") to nonvolatile storage invokes regulatory com

    • by The_Noid ( 28819 )

      Run windows in a VM, for those times you need those couple of programs that only have windows versions.
      That way you can even make snapshots of the VM state in case something gets messed up.

    • is the fact that whenever I open my laptop I never know if it will have rebooted or not.

      Really? Because I never need to guess. Set your setting correctly so that you know when it would reboot and be done with it.

    • Well they do think it's ok, what are you going to do about it, pipsqueak?

      I know, it's a rhetorical question. The answer is suffer :(

  • by Anonymous Coward

    There are many tools to help with this... Spybot has a nice one (anti-beacon). There is also a plethora of information of Microsoft's telemetry targets that can be zero-routed to take care of most of it but yes it is a lot of overhead for the average person or small/medium business. Sadly it isn't just Windows 10.. its office 2016/365 as well and I'm not sure how much is scraped from Cortana and Edge.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      There are many tools to help with this....

      you had to get a harley davidson, so you tore down the whole house and rebuilt it so that you could have a garage capable of containing the continuous oil leak

  • by yuvcifjt ( 4161545 ) on Monday February 20, 2017 @10:01PM (#53903307)

    Interesting to note [duckduckgo.com] how much Google is spending on bribing [theguardian.com] (aka "lobbying") the EU.
    Not to mention the US [dailydot.com].

    But of course, both Microsoft and Google should be publicly shamed for using their users and leaching them of their private lives.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The EU is just mad that they're too stupid to know how to use appy Appdows 10, the appiest apperating app, so they want to force people to use LUDDITE Windows 7 and LUDDITE Linux!

    Apps!

    • LUDDITE Linux?
      You can't drop a nugget like that without link to an ISO or a torrent!
      I can't wait to see the version names...
      Awesome Antique
      Busy Broom
      Cheerful Churn
      Delightful Duster...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 20, 2017 @10:32PM (#53903373)

    We need to create an app called "GIGO". We'd give it a mascot, maybe a big yellow friendly llama, with a long tail and pointy ears grinning. Make it look like some poindexter that cannot shut the heck up.

    Upon installing, it asks you for a personality; neurotic Nancy, paranoid Paul, Bodacious Bob, and so forth. It then turns on every conceivable tracking option and signs up for every account Microsoft wants you to like a good little MS Drone.

    It does bing searches for random key words, logs into random websites, turns on every conceivable tracking option, it browses sites like Salon, looks for sentences with a ? at the end, then copies and pastes them into Cortana then randomly clicks on a link, over and over and over again. It brings up youtube videos, enables audio loopback, and plays speeches back to microsoft off of youtube. It would browse twitter, and reddit, and 4chan, and and wet sweaty armpits of google image search, download random pictures, then rename them similar to digital camera files, while changing the color, pitch, resolution and so forth slightly each time, and upload them to onedrive; if it's neurotic nancy she uploads and deletes a gig of crap every week. If it's paranoid paul, he only puts a few images a day up, and also copies and pastes random sentences from books together.

    In other words, we'd build a bot to harass Microsoft. A team of people would get together and determine what the next thing to feed Microsoft would be. Every month we'd do another kick starter; vote with your dollars to hire people to find and photo shop pictures of Microsoft employee's as Borg drones and upload them to the mother-ship. Upload tons of cat picks to Microsoft but in every conceivable spelling and mis-spelling of pussy.

    The ultimate goal would be, since Microsoft has decided AI is the future and everything they do is pointless, we'll simply feed Microsoft a never-ending stream of complete, utter, and total dog sh!# data. We'd want to get to the point of ridiculousness where Microsoft has to sue the app creators for damages or ask the FBI to arrest them for hacking, but the only real hacking going on is they're enabling the automation of friendly GIGO, talking about whatever people wanted GIGO to talk to Microsoft about. We'd advertise GIGO as "A friendly computer use assistant that makes your computer feel loved by using it when you aren't".

    That's what needs to happen here. Fatten the hog on garbage, then slaughter it.

  • by FudRucker ( 866063 ) on Monday February 20, 2017 @10:36PM (#53903393)
    dont buy microsoft windows 10, buy a computer without windows that has Linux pre-installed or install your favorite flavor of Linux.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      dont buy microsoft windows 10, buy a computer without windows that has Linux pre-installed or install your favorite flavor of Linux.

      Yeah, or wipe it and install 7. I'm still running XP (with PoS updates) on many computers, having no problems. I don't know why so many techies like to bash XP - "it's an antiquated unsupported OS". I guess bashing anything is the current popular trendy thing. If 7 or 10 where so radically different I would understand. Right now XP is very refined. People should want a ve

      • A few months back I felt that I needed to try to tame at least one Windows 10 machine. Forked out $800 for machine and big monitor.

        Hacked it for a while. Had no reason to trust it. Got depressed and turned it off. Time went by. Then decided to go the XP/7 route. Found a guy refurbing old computers.

        Ended up taking back the $800 boat anchor, which completely paid for FOUR refurbed-to-my-spec systems, and one new LCD. Could not be happier.

        By the way, tried to downgrade the Windows 10 machine and ran int

    • It's getting harder and harder to purchase a computer that doesn't come with Windows (unless you get a custom build from the corner computer store) and it's almost impossible to get a laptop.

      And if you bite the bullet and pay the Windows tax to get a computer, it's almost impossible to get to a real bios so you can install something else on it. Windows Boot Manager, anyone? (Shudder)

      I would love to be able to zip into Staples and buy this week's on-sale laptop off the shelf and know that will work with L

      • by vux984 ( 928602 )

        It's getting harder and harder to purchase a computer that doesn't come with Windows (unless you get a custom build from the corner computer store) and it's almost impossible to get a laptop.

        I'd say its getting easier. Desktops are trivial from any decent small system builder.

        Laptops are harder, but Dell has some limited options, but they are nice systems -- the xps 13 and the precision line are available with linux.

        And there's a few dedicated linux laptop guys out there; system76, for example.

        I would love to be able to zip into Staples and buy this week's on-sale laptop off the shelf and know that will work with Linux. But it can't be done.

        Those are boat anchors at the best of times. And its not like its a conspiracy. Decent stuff is rarer. You want to buy a good router or wifiAP, same thing, its a crapshoot what's on sale on the shelves at

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          Dell has some limited options, but they are nice systems -- the xps 13 and the precision line are available with linux.

          And there's a few dedicated linux laptop guys out there; system76, for example.

          Anything smaller than 12 inches that's warranted to run GNU/Linux? Last time I checked System76, their smallest was 14 inches.

          Once you've accepted that you have to order it in, its easy to buy linux.

          If you "order it in", and you find that the laptop's screen or keyboard doesn't agree with you, what are your options?

          • by vux984 ( 928602 )

            Anything smaller than 12 inches that's warranted to run GNU/Linux?

            The 12.5" Lenovo Yoga 260 and X260 are both linux certified by Lenovo for Ubuntu 14.
            The Dell XPS 13 is 'linux laptop of the year' by most publications.
            That's all smaller than 14" (system 76's smallest offering).

            But you said 'smaller than 12'. There's not a lot smaller than 12 right now. Acer still makes some aspires that ship with linux in India, but probably hard to find here. (Although many of the models a few years ago were available in N/A with linux... just didn't sell well.)

            FWIW this is supposed to be

    • I don't want to arbitrarily limit myself to a small subset of available hardware options, and voting with my wallet includes giving some third party a bit extra to get the hardware I want.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Sorry, not insightful, IMO.

      Sure, you could stop buying computers with Windows on them, but like teflon-Trump, no one will blame Windows - instead, it will be "the market for desktop computers is collapsing".

      My computing history is apple/old macintosh then Windows. (i.e., not a Linux fanatic).

      My strategy now is that I'm loading Ubuntu Mate alongside all my Windows installations. I only boot into Windows when necessary. And you know what? It's not necessary. Looks like we will even have a tolerable version of

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 20, 2017 @11:43PM (#53903575)

    I was constantly fighting my computer when it was running Windows 10.

    Disabling annoying telemetry stuff (only to be re-enabled by some random patch), trying to constantly kill Windows Update so it didn't force a reboot in the middle of something important (only to have that re-enabled by some random patch as well), etc.

    I went from "hey, this is a pretty reliable machine I can actually rely on for daily use" to "what the fuck is Microsoft going to screw up today and cost me an hour or two of work to fix?".

    In the end, it wasn't worth it. Reverted to Windows 7, haven't looked back. I don't really know what I'm going to do when they fuck up Windows 7 just as badly or try to depreciate it, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. It'd sure be nice if ReactOS was capable and stable enough to run x64_64 applications, and enough of them that I could use it as a daily driver.

    • So you don't set your reboot settings correctly, then fight a battle completely irrelevant to reliability, and then complain about reliability? Good work.

      In the end I just set my settings the way I want to so the computer never reboots during the day, I let Windows Update run away in the background, and I have a perfectly reliable machine that I use for many hours a day that in the past year never once caused lost work.

      • So you don't set your reboot settings correctly

        It appears that for some, there is no "correctly". I've read stories of Windows 10 refusing to accept "active hours" that cross midnight local time or that span more than twelve hours, such as the sixteen hours from morning to bedtime when a home PC might be used by at least one member of the household.

    • I love what the ReactOS guys are doing but the OS is years away from being usable.
      I peruse the commit logs from time to time and they seem to have around 10 devs. You can't make much measurable progress with those numbers of people on a task the size of cloning Windows.
      To get a Windows clone good enough to be a daily driver would require tens if not hundreds of devs.
    • by StormReaver ( 59959 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @08:28AM (#53904645)

      I don't really know what I'm going to do when they fuck up Windows 7 just as badly [as Windows 10] or try to [deprecate] it, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

      You're at that bridge right now. It's time to start switching to Linux, while you still have some breathing room, and not wait until you're in a crisis.

      Windows 7 is already deprecated, though support hasn't been complete pulled yet (but all the copies of Windows 7 that will ever be provided to retailers are already in play). And ReactOS will NEVER reach API parity with Windows 7/10+. WINE has been chasing the Windows API for decades, with spotty success at best.

      I switched to Linux full time back in 1999, and haven't used Windows at home since then. I weathered the ups and downs of my transition, learning as I went along, but it didn't take long before the Linux way (I settled on Kubuntu) of doing things seemed more natural than the Windows way of doing things.

      But I didn't wait until I was at a do-or-die confrontation with life. I switched while I still had plenty of time to learn my new surroundings. This is where you are right now. Don't wait until you are under pressure. Start now by using the same Free and Open Source Software on Windows as you will be using under Linux (to the extent that it is available on Windows). Then, when you switch, you won't be under extreme pressure to replace your software and operating system at the same time.

      • And ReactOS will NEVER reach API parity with Windows 7/10+.

        Sure it will! Just give it 20 or 30 more years. ;)

      • Start now by using the same Free and Open Source Software on Windows as you will be using under Linux (to the extent that it is available on Windows).

        And often it isn't.

        Case in point: What free paint program for Windows or X11/Linux has a feature comparable to "adjustment layers" in Photoshop? An adjustment layer is a copy of the layers below it with some filter automatically run on it, which updates automatically whenever a layer below it changes. I couldn't find any way to make an adjustment layer in GIMP 2.8.16, which ships with Xubuntu 16.04 LTS.

    • by allo ( 1728082 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @10:37AM (#53905175)

      TL:DR: A OS should work for you, not against you.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Just Trust Us, Dammit!"
    -- Satya Nadella

  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @09:10AM (#53904785)
    Microsoft has re-purposed Windows. No longer is Windows main functionality an operating system. Windows has become the basis for egregiously extensive data collection. The sooner everyone who uses Windows realizes that, the sooner they will stop trying to keep Windows in the past when it was actually a useful operating system.
  • by kilodelta ( 843627 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2017 @10:38AM (#53905183) Homepage
    Microsoft is rather stupid. Everything to do with ads, spying etc. is run through Bing. So as a general principle I block Bing at my firewall. Of course the Windows 10 machine tries phoning home frequently and I see it in the firewall logs.

Lo! Men have become the tool of their tools. -- Henry David Thoreau

Working...