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Windows 10 Is Just 'A Vehicle For Advertisements', Argues Tech Columnist (betanews.com) 353

A new editorial by BetaNews columnist Mark Wilson argues that Windows 10 isn't an operating system -- it's "a vehicle for ads". An anonymous reader quotes their report: They appear in the Start menu, in the taskbar, in the Action Center, in Explorer, in the Ink Workspace, on the Lock Screen, in the Share tool, in the Windows Store and even in File Explorer.

Microsoft has lost its grip on what is acceptable, and even goes as far as pretending that these ads serve users more than the company -- "these are suggestions", "this is a promoted app", "we thought you'd like to know that Edge uses less battery than Chrome", "playable ads let you try out apps without installing". But if we're honest, the company is doing nothing more than abusing its position, using Windows 10 to promote its own tools and services, or those with which it has marketing arrangements.

The article suggests ads are part of the hidden price tag for the free downloads of Windows 10 that Microsoft offered last year (along with the telemetry and other user-tracking features). Their article has already received 357 comments, and concludes that the prevalence of ads in Windows 10 is "indefensible".
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Windows 10 Is Just 'A Vehicle For Advertisements', Argues Tech Columnist

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  • Google envy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Monday March 13, 2017 @02:39AM (#54027201)

    A new editorial by BetaNews columnist Mark Wilson argues that Windows 10 isn't an operating system -- it's "a vehicle for ads".

    Sounds like Google envy to me.

    On the other hand, I don't actually recall seeing a lot of ads in my Windows 10 installation. Maybe Mark Wilson is just installing the wrong kind of software?

    • I have not seen many ads either. Maybe one ad for Onedrive and one for Edge, over two years.

      Maybe it's the Home edition displaying a lot of ads? I'm running Pro.
      • Re:Google envy (Score:4, Interesting)

        by fazig ( 2909523 ) on Monday March 13, 2017 @02:57AM (#54027251)
        I run Windows 10 on my notebook. First of all, I do not like it very much, but I can second that statement. At least if you have a Windows 10 Pro, turn off all the information sharing through the group manager, turn off Cortana and probably most importantly use Classic Shell [classicshell.net] there's practically now advertising.

        Although I've seen popups that urge people to use Edge over Chrome of Firefox on Windows 10 machines of other people.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          That's just ignorance if you think turning off those settings visible to you stops Windows from Spying on you.

          • by fazig ( 2909523 )
            Why would I think that?
            There's huge and ugly text box [imgur.com] when you set the telemetry value in gpedit, stating that you can't really turn telemetry off. It even states that setting it to 0 won't work on non Enterprise machines.

            All those things including Classic Shell only hide some the issues, they don't fix them.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Yeah. It's a two-position radio button, with the overall label "Spying Theme" and the two choices "Shameless" and "Discreet".

      • Ad Blindness (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 13, 2017 @03:09AM (#54027273)

        Are you sure about that? Both myself and my coworker were given Windows 10 Pro laptops, fresh install, no third party bloat. I started to complain about all the adverts and set about turning telemetry and ads off by any means neccessary. Meanwhile he says "I don't have any ads on mine". I walk around and there's literally big blinking animated squares advertising computer games on his monitor. Some people are so desensitised they can't even identify adverts that are staring them right in the face.

        • Re:Ad Blindness (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Cederic ( 9623 ) on Monday March 13, 2017 @05:22AM (#54027619) Journal

          Yep, sure about that. Windows 10 Pro here and after I disabled the 'base installation' panels I've seen almost nothing that would count as an advert.

          I did spend a couple of hours configuring the system to minimise telemetry, disable automatic updates and generally stop it being obnoxious though. Most users lack the patience, knowledge or bloody mindedness to do that.

          • by Bigbutt ( 65939 )

            At best I got a "you need to log in to your OneDrive account" sort of message recently that implied to me that I hadn't logged in in a while and my session had timed out. I just clicked through it.

            The only sidebar messages I get are the occasional Windows Defender, everything's okay, and the occasional "you have x nextdoor messages in your gmailbox" from Google. I have an asus popup on the lower right about checking my bios for upgrades that's annoying (nothing like having the stupid thing kill my gaming se

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          90% of that crap is controlled by the "Notifications" settings. If you turn off "Windows Notifications" then all that shit stops too. Windows runs a hell of a lot faster with that crap off, and if something important happens (virus, etc.) your software will still tell you using its own interface.
          • Sure, you can turn the ads off, but you really shouldn't HAVE to. If you paid for your copy of Windows, the display of advertising should be disabled by default. Make that shit Opt In, not Opt Out.

            Now, if it's one of those "free" upgrade installs to Windows 10, I guess that I'm OK with that. Anyone with half a brain should know by now that nothing that Microsoft makes is truly free.

            • Re:Ad Blindness (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Monday March 13, 2017 @08:47AM (#54028571)

              Now, if it's one of those "free" upgrade installs to Windows 10, I guess that I'm OK with that. Anyone with half a brain should know by now that nothing that Microsoft makes is truly free.

              It's not Okay even then. People should have everything spelled out to them upfront. Donations are completely voluntary in my Linux distros, but I don't get served ads if I don't contribute.

        • Windows 10 is possibly the worst spyware ever made. [networkworld.com]

          Quote: "Buried in the service agreement is permission to poke through everything on your PC."
        • That might tell you something.

          For some people it's so out of the way they don't give a shit. Seriously, if I don't notice the 'blinking squares' and go on with my normal activities am I damaged? Did I get harmed somehow?

    • by Threni ( 635302 )

      They certainly dropped their Scroogled campaign just in time, didn't they!

    • by Dracos ( 107777 )

      Not just Google envy: everyone envy.

      Google has Android and all their consumer products. Apple has their vertically integrated fandom. Every social media platform is their own thing.

      What do all those things have in common that MS has never been able to cultivate on their own? User data. MS decided to capture it by buying Skype and LinkedIn, both highly strategic because MS only understands business customers: those buys made sense to MS. What they don't understand, never have, and likely never will, is

      • Re:Google envy (Score:4, Insightful)

        by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday March 13, 2017 @06:46AM (#54027921) Journal
        And it's a stupid business model. Microsoft could have made a big deal over the fact that you pay for Microsoft products and so you're their customer, not their product. They could have used Azure for hosting, but allowed you to run the exact same server components on your own Windows Server machine or private cloud. They could have spent a big chunk of their ad budget on pointing out how much everyone knows about you from using free services. Instead, they decided to try to turn the company into a crappy copy of Google.
        • by nomadic ( 141991 )
          Microsoft routinely brings in more than $10 billion NET revenue a year. Whatever they're doing, it's working fine.
          • Microsoft routinely brings in more than $10 billion NET revenue a year. Whatever they're doing, it's working fine.

            So do Drug cartels. You made your point.

      • So basically for Microsoft in this day and age, the end user is not the customer? The end user is a commodity that Microsoft sells to other corporations who are the customers?

        Gee, that sounds familiar. I left Microsoft for Linux in 1999 because of it. I have never looked back.

        --"Windows is not the answer. Windows is the question. The answer is 'No'." As true now as it was then.

    • Who needs criminals hacking into the box when you got Microsoft? Seriously, with ads I get, it's obvious Windows has 'Googled' where I go - even my personal data too. Microsoft has turned control over to their sales department. And now, I'm beginning to I suspect I'm an unwitting beta tester for their updates. I'm not their customer, I'm their victim.
      • Re:Google envy (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Monday March 13, 2017 @06:51AM (#54027939)

        At this point, basically you're their hostage. And until the critical mass of non-Windows programs that can replace their Windows counterparts, which would allow you to leave Windows for a superior OS, has not been reached, you will remain in that position.

        • Re:Google envy (Score:4, Insightful)

          by penandpaper ( 2463226 ) on Monday March 13, 2017 @10:03AM (#54029165) Journal

          I tried to switching to Linux but went back to windows on my main machine because gaming. If I spend money on the latest graphics card I want to be able to use all the new features. With Linux, I always had to fiddle to get things to work, which is fun and dandy sometimes but after work I just want to play a game that runs/looks well with minimal fiddling.

          Many of the Linux drivers were a generation or two behind so they couldn't take advantage of a lot of new feature. I like Linux, still use it on my secondary machine but there is still one dominate OS for gaming and it isn't Linux. I am no more a hostage to windows than a victim of Linux being perpetually behind the times.

          OpenGL had a hiatus of development and support until recently (few years). The new stuff is good and look forward to more support but too many games I play would be unplayable. Especially when I want the most performance out of my hardware (looking at you wine).

    • by Zocalo ( 252965 )
      Maybe it's down to whether or not you signed up to (AKA, "didn't opt out of") the "Customer Experience Improvement Programme" or not. I mean, seriously, even the name reeks of something cooked up by a marketing weasel somewhere and, let's face it, what marketing droid doesn't see selling more product as "improving the customer experience" (AKA, "meeting my targets and getting my bonus")?

      Microsoft is run by marketing flacks, not by developers. It's been that way since Bill Gates handed over the reins.
    • I installed Windows 10 Pro the other day for testing - the Start menu is filled with ads - Candy Crush, Facebook, Minecraft, Bing, Office265 just to name a few and those apps aren't even installed, they take you to the ad-riddled package manager where you can pay for more ad-enabled things. When you start Internet Explorer you're taken to an ad about IE vs Chrome and Firefox. OneDrive pops up at every file operation "this would be easy with OneDrive" "share with your friends through OneDrive"

      • I installed Windows 10 Pro the other day for testing - the Start menu is filled with ads - Candy Crush, Facebook, Minecraft, Bing, Office265 just to name a few and those apps aren't even installed, they take you to the ad-riddled package manager where you can pay for more ad-enabled things. When you start Internet Explorer you're taken to an ad about IE vs Chrome and Firefox. OneDrive pops up at every file operation "this would be easy with OneDrive" "share with your friends through OneDrive"

        Right, but you wouldn't have that user experience with a lesser Operating system.

      • When you start Internet Explorer you're taken to an ad about IE vs Chrome and Firefox.

        I assume you mean Edge, not IE, and ALL the browsers out there hit you with pages re: how they're better than every other browser out there. It's been that way for years. Choose a browser as your default and stick with it, and this problem will go away.

        but File Explorer and the Start menu is another thing entirely. Live Tiles in particular have been click-bait advert vehicles since their conception. You can manually remove them all, but it's quicker to simply install ClassicShell and you'll never have t

    • Sounds like Google envy to me.
      On the other hand, I don't actually recall seeing a lot of ads in my Windows 10 installation.

      Between uBlock Origin and NoScript, I don't see ads on Google services, either. Not even Youtube, usually. Occasionally they slip a video ad in, and I skip it in five seconds, but I've gone to their site. It's not something that just popped up on my PC while I was doing stuff.

  • Not true! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 13, 2017 @02:41AM (#54027211)

    TFA is false and absurd! Windows 10 is not 'just' a vehicle for advertisements.

    It also spies on you.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It was also never "free". It cost users a perfectly usable Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 OS.

      There were people warning about how Microsoft would quickly start tossing advertisements everywhere. I'm surprised people didn't believe them. Especially with how deceptive and dishonest they were in their tactics with trying to force everyone onto Windows 10 with their "Free upgrade" for a year. (Resetting user defined system settings, removing cancel buttons on the install, changing the meanings of the cancel button on

    • by rakslice ( 90330 )

      You're right it's a brain-wash! And it's good for your hair, too!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 13, 2017 @02:48AM (#54027233)

    Microsoft has lost its grip on what is acceptable

    I agree.

    In fact, they lost the grip when they first shipped MS-DOS that was a decade behind other operating systems with its single tasking and lack of memory protection and small memory limits and being a decade late to the internet and subsequent security clusterfuck when legions of insecure machines finally got online. Culminating now with spyware and adware built right into the OS itself. That does not even talk about their unacceptable business practices and abusing their monopoly to damage open standards and hold back personal computing. This is a company of foul colour.

    There is a simple solution for all of these problems. Do not use their OS, if you find it unacceptable. It is unacceptable to me, so I don't use it. Problem solved.

    • In fact, they lost the grip when they first shipped MS-DOS that was a decade behind other operating systems with its single tasking and lack of memory protection and small memory limits

      IBM went out shopping for an OS that would run on the more or less affordable commodity x86 PC hardware available in 1980 and provide a natural upgrade path for developers and small business users familiar with CP/M.

      Bonus points for being priced at 1/5 the cost of CP/M-86, retail list. The MS-DOS PC was a viable commercial product before the cloning of the IBM PC BIOS.

    • by Megol ( 3135005 )

      Microsoft has lost its grip on what is acceptable

      I agree.

      In fact, they lost the grip when they first shipped MS-DOS that was a decade behind other operating systems with its single tasking

      What are you comparing to? Can't be something realistic anyway...

      and lack of memory protection

      The hardware didn't support memory protection and the hardware wasn't fast enough to do that protection in software. That wasn't in anyway unique to MSDOS and several later unrelated operating systems also had no support for memory protection, in some cases even though the hardware supported it.

      and small memory limits

      Again MSDOS supported what the hardware provided. While 640KiB is the "accepted" limit in the IBM PC due to hardware design MSDOS and the IBM derivativ

  • by upuv ( 1201447 ) on Monday March 13, 2017 @03:10AM (#54027277) Journal

    Ok this is going to sound like a shameless plug for Linux.

    Win 7 was my last used OS from MS. I do have a win 8.1 VM I use on very rare occasions. ( Win 10 won't install as an upgrade on it. ) Win 8.1 was possibly the worst operating system I have ever worked with. What's with these invisible hot spots on the screen that you must magically know exist. Hot spots that just happen to be where the close on a window is. The tiles that are of No use to anyone that every used a computer. And the nightmare navigation of tiles menus and dialogues that essentially have no flow. The command line still after all these years is so utterly broken that only professional that live in the OS would understand it.

    Now you have a Windows 10 that is like the article points out is simply and ad machine. Ad's which I expressly do not want to see. Do not want to have at all. Ads that eat resources. Ads that are yet another vector for infection and attack on my computers.

    I want none of this garbage. Over the years I have used well probably all the major OS's out there. Some minor forks probably not. I have basically migrated everything to a Linux OS of some flavor. ( Some BSD in there ) And I've automated all of them. All my hosts do automatic updates, All hosts are scanned for the bad dudes. Even my routers and modems are now Linux. I've implemented a DNS blackhole for ads and malware. I've implemented backups and snap shots of all hosts. And I have built a central Network/Device health status that monitors basically everything.

    All for the cost of the hardware alone.

    Most of the shops I work in the first thing I do with the corp issued laptop is to clone the horrible MS OS nightmare they have on it to a VM image and run it as a VM on the same host. I then replace the original OS with a Linux variant. Now all of a sudden I have the ability to do all the corp BS stuff but I also have the ability to run my own development and test lab on that corp issued laptop.

    Windows has gone down this path of making my computing life a royal pain in the backside. Where as Linux in the last few years has become fantastic OS for small tasks, server tasks, and even as a desktop. It's almost like MS doesn't want our business. Without MS as the OS there is very little if anything compelling me to purchase and use the other MS office tools. MS office tools are pretty horrible but since they don't play well at all with the whole computing eco system these days I really have no need to use them. So if the OS is annoying as hell and the alternatives aren't and the apps I use run on all OS's and/or browsers why do I need MS anymore?

    ( Excuse the typo's I'm dyslexic so it's difficult to see errors. )

    • by rastos1 ( 601318 ) on Monday March 13, 2017 @05:58AM (#54027751) Homepage

      The command line still after all these years is so utterly broken ...

      But ... but ... you can now resize the cmd window by dragging the window border! Isn't that amazing?!

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      All for the cost of the hardware alone.

      The cost in time is one of the biggest reasons I stick with Windows for now. I'm not a Linux noob, I've done Unix shell scripting and can find my way around a Linux system, but because I use Windows at work I am far more knowledgeable about it. For example, I can knock up apps very quickly in Visual Studio, even full GUI stuff or device drivers for custom USB devices, because I'm familiar with the process. I'm sure I could learn how to do it on Linux, but then I'd have to invest time doing that instead of j

      • I can knock up apps very quickly in Visual Studio, even full GUI stuff or device drivers for custom USB devices, because I'm familiar with the process. I'm sure I could learn how to do it on Linux, but then I'd have to invest time doing that instead of just writing the thing I actually want.

        Microsoft has finally got themselves the bad reputation they have long deserved, and it's probable that their stranglehold on the industry will continue to relax from this day forward. Perhaps this is a good time to explore the use of a more cross-platform toolkit? Your primary familiarity with Windows will serve you well here, because it's the odd OS out where everything is strange and annoying. Everything is both easier and more similar (to one another) in the rest of the computing world.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          It's definitely time to start making the effort to move, I just don't because I want to dedicate my time to other things. Work will never change because all our clients use Windows and require Windows software, unfortunately.

  • I have 2 PCs running Windows XP.
    Where's *their* free upgrade?

  • Ads.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Altrag ( 195300 ) on Monday March 13, 2017 @03:41AM (#54027353)

    And there's ads on the internet.. and on TV.. and at the bus stop. Its almost as if advertisers want you to see their ads all the time!

    Meh. Sure its a bit annoying to get ads in software you pay for but that's hardly a new phenomena -- pay $20 for a movie and enjoy 15 minutes of ads for future movies, cars etc. Buy the dvd for $40 and get the same treatment. Yadayada.

    I'm not saying its a good thing. Or even something we shouldn't complain about. I'm just saying its systematic everywhere. To the point that its more surprising that they waited this long to toss advertising hooks into Windows.

    That said, I never see ads. Its not that hard to find the option to turn them off in the start menu (though I don't recall where off hand.) And I turned Cortana off after the first time it took 10+ seconds to find a program in my start menu (ie: the first time I tried using it) since it feels like it needs to search the entire interwebs first Using Bing no less. And I do many if not most things through the start menu (though I imagine I'm in a small crowd on that one) so I didn't even get to the point of considering the privacy implications -- the sheer inconvenience of the "improved" search function had me running for the "off" slider on day 1.

    Disable Cortana. Disable the "suggested content" in the start menu. Disable a few of the "notifications" that spam you to buy Office or whatever every other day, and install Spybot's Anti-Beacon. Its certainly more steps than necessary but once done, you have a reasonably decent and usable OS again.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      ... pay $20 for a movie and enjoy 15 minutes of ads for future movies, cars etc. Buy the dvd for $40 and get the same treatment. Yadayada.

      Torrent it.. and.. you don't.

    • by Bigbutt ( 65939 )

      I rip mine to my media server. No ads there either.

      [John]

    • It's probably not surprising they "waited" this long to bring ads. This is probably a violation of their monopoly restrictions. However, MS probably feels that with Android and iOS doing the same things AND Android now having a larger marketshare than Windows, that they have a good case to make that they no longer have a monopoly position.
    • That said, I never see ads. Its not that hard to find the option to turn them off....

      Statements like this just astound me. It's as if you've just been raped with a spintered stick for the hundredth time, keep begging for more, all the while justifying the perpetrator's behavior by saying, "it won't happen one hundred one times.

      Wake up and smell the delusion.

    • To me, that's a little like getting your wallet stolen and someone saying, "Yeah, there are thieves all over the place. Maybe if you put a chain on your wallet, you won't have that problem again." Which is to say:

      A) The fact that it's "all over the place" doesn't excuse it.
      B) Yes, obviously if you're more careful it will be less likely, but...
      C) I'm not sure how careful I want to have to be, and...
      D) Your advice won't keep it from happening in the future, so...
      E) Maybe we should think of some other s

    • pay $20 for a movie and enjoy 15 minutes of ads for future movies, cars etc. Buy the dvd for $40 and get the same treatment.

      You talking Australia or Canada dollars instead of US American? That seems like double the amount I pay in both cases.

  • Crapware. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr@@@mac...com> on Monday March 13, 2017 @03:43AM (#54027359) Journal

    I remember when it was the Dells and Gateways of the world who were so desperate to scrape any profit out of their razor-thin margins that they'd load their machines up with this shit.

    You get what you pay for.

    -jcr

  • by XSportSeeker ( 4641865 ) on Monday March 13, 2017 @03:49AM (#54027389)

    The worst part of Windows 10 is the telemetry stuff along with dial home crap.
    I don't know if this is a region thing or because I extensively thrawled configuration options, but I don't have any ads whatsoever on my Windows 10.

    But Microsoft needs to change direction on this urgently. Fire everyone involved with these hamfisted stupid decisions before they completely ruin the reputation of an OS that otherwise would be just fine.

    Ridiculous unacceptable stuff like the completely unethical forced upgrade strategy, all this crap about not being able to fully opt out of telemetry and dial home stuff, and now the ads everywhere where it does not belong. Hell, not even Chromecast would put ads on places like file manager, task bar and notification area. No sane OS ever would. This is pop-up ads with malware infected Flash stuff level.

    The worst part of it all is that aside from those, Windows 10 is actually a good OS. But whoever is dictating to shove so much unacceptable crap in it is risking not only to make this the worst most scummy OS in history, but also to completely ruin Windows and Microsoft's reputation. I know there are plenty of Microsoft and Windows haters here on slashdot, but whether you like it or not, plenty of people still use and like Windows. Now, stuff like BSoD, malware and virus can be acceptable to a point from a technical standpoint. Vista and Me had a whole lot of problems making them some of the most hated versions of the OS, but those problems are in a whole category apart from Windows 10 problems.

    All of the major problems in Windows 10 are not only intentional, they serve no other purpose than profiting from users. They have no other practical purpose than making money out of the misery, irritation, poor perception and degradation of user experience. It's like Microsoft is purposedly putting a BSoD scheme on the OS to take money from users. It's unethical, unacceptable and indefensible. It's abuse of power and they know it.

    A freaking scummy practice that I would've expected from some freemium mobile app coming from some unknown chinese developer willing to make a quick buck, not an OS used by a huge ammount of professionals in business settings. What value has the Windows name for Microsoft to risk making it look this bad just to profit some more from users? If things continue this way, I dunno why a huge number of users would risk going for a Windows 11 or so. It puts a whole host of things that Microsoft invested truckloads a money at risk. Should I even consider going for a Microsoft backed Augmented or Mixed reality device if it's expected from the company to shove intrusive ads and turn their hardware into spying devices? Should I buy a console system that will try to harvest all the money the company can from me? Should I buy into this Continuum concept of one device for everything if this device is expected to keep pestering me with ads and sending my data back for whatever purpose? F that shit.

    • is that why they have QR codes on BSOD now? Take you right to a "pay $19.99 to fix your windows problems" page.. all make sense now. Glad i crippled the install im on. Broke a few things real quick after install.. Been using the same windows 10 os since the "free upgrade" even used paragon to get it across 4 different motherboards and 3 processors.. never have i seen a BSOD. So, Word to the wise. INSTALL WINDOWS 10. BREAK ANYTHING YOU WONT USE THROUGH A LINUX CLI. Continue to use windows without issues.

  • As much as I like Windows 10 from a technical standpoint I read that entire summary and all I could picture was the Nicholas Cage meme "you don't say!".

  • I've been using win 10 since release and never seen any adds on it, Maybe because I have the Pro version?

    • I just posted the same question. I have been using Pro version at home since Win10's release and also on my work laptop for about 6 months now. I have never seen these adverts. At home it did auto install a little crap from the store, but after uninstalling those particular apps, they never came back. I purposefully bought Windows 7 Pro for my home machine as I make good use of the remote desktop feature.
    • There are ads in one of the tiles in the start menu that you'll almost never notice, and occasional system tray popups to point out that Office 365 would be an upgrade from 2007. I've not seen others. The write-ups on Slashdot make it sound like Taboola is built into the desktop background, but it has been more subtle and relatively easy to ignore since it is essentially pushing for app style purchases... but I can't think of the last time I bought an app for my phone or computer.
  • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Monday March 13, 2017 @04:44AM (#54027533)

    Dear 21st Century Society,

    So, Windows 10 is nothing more than a "vehicle for ads", riddled with telemetry that spies on you? That's funny, I thought that was exactly what the fuck you turned the entire internet into.

    You love your always-on listening devices in your home. You love your telemetry-riddled smart phones, smart cars, and IoT. You love your "free" products and services, and your addiction to social media narcissism. A EULA never stopped you from clicking "I Agree", and you don't care about your entire online identity being bought and sold.

    You're proud to let the world know everything about you because you don't give a shit about security or privacy anymore. You haven't for years.

    Anyone who assumes otherwise at this point is an idiot. I don't give a shit how many comments show up in some "revealing" article. Nothing will change. If Wikileaks and Edward Snowden couldn't change public perception, you can bet your ass Microsoft won't either.

    • To be clear, people care about their privacy, but they are happy to sell it when deemed not important.

      A government pinpointing and knowing details about a specific person is frowned upon even by a person with the most Things connected to the Internet.
      A private organisation knowing some details about a random account number, that is anonymised in a database, sold in exchange for a discount on a product (e.g. Facebook), and used within a defined scope (anonymous targetted advertising) on the other hand is ver

      • by swb ( 14022 )

        Corporate data hoarding and surveillance is kind of scary, but I often think people think of privacy as mattering less and less the further away from their personal spheres it goes. That some details on them may exist in some database far away doesn't matter, but if their co-workers knew they smoked pot and enjoyed anal sex they would be mortified.

        • That some details on them may exist in some database far away doesn't matter, but if their co-workers knew they smoked pot and enjoyed anal sex they would be mortified.

          They don't care about the former because they assume that everyone has all their personal data anyway, and because they can't see it affecting their lives. Too bad they don't feel the same way about the other stuff. Then we could have some progress. They're actually only worried about that stuff because they know how judgemental they are, not that most of them would admit it if you asked them. Inside, they know. And they fear.

          Sadly, free information is the cure. If people had any idea what percentage of the

      • To be clear, people care about their privacy, but they are happy to sell it when deemed not important.

        To be clear, people are cheap as hell, and don't buy or sell anything anymore. They happily give it away for free in exchange for using a "free" product. And much like a drug dealer giving out free samples, product addiction plays a part too.

        A government pinpointing and knowing details about a specific person is frowned upon even by a person with the most Things connected to the Internet.

        Given what consumers happily give up, I'd love to see some proof of this. If they don't care about a capitalist corporation following their every click and move, I find it hard to believe they would care about their government doing the same.

        A private organisation knowing some details about a random account number, that is anonymised in a database, sold in exchange for a discount on a product (e.g. Facebook), and used within a defined scope (anonymous targetted advertising) on the other hand is very different.

        Ironically, targeted adve

    • I'm plenty happy with ads. Track me to hell, sure, but give me awesome free stuff. Heck, I would let you paint my friggin' house into one giant billboard if you paid my mortgage.
  • by Mortimer82 ( 746766 ) on Monday March 13, 2017 @05:45AM (#54027697)
    I run Windows 10 Professional on both my personal machine at home (I use remote desktop pretty often) and work machine, and I have never seen these adverts. Is it a home edition "feature" only?
  • by ytene ( 4376651 ) on Monday March 13, 2017 @06:06AM (#54027797)
    As someone forced to purchase new Windows 10 Licenses for 3 new-build PCs recently, I am extremely annoyed with Microsoft's strategy of using the Operating System to spy on and make money from their users. However, I don't see this situation changing - and here's why:-

    When Microsoft licensed copies of earlier editions of Windows to large PC manufacturers [the likes of Dell, HP, Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and so on] they would charge something in the region of $15 per copy of Windows. That amount covered the cost of generating holograms and tracking the number of licenses issues, as well as adding [given the volumes involved] quite a bit to Microsoft's bottom line. However, this was quickly offset the moment you moved away from these volume channels to smaller vendors, local "Mom+Pop" PC support shops - because even though this channels were charged an awful lot more per license, there was also much greater piracy involved.

    With Windows 10, Microsoft are charging $1.49 per month, or $9.99 per year to disable advertising just in their free desktop applications [i.e. Solitaire]. However, that payment does not stop your copy of Windows 10 from slurping vast amounts of usage data from your PC and sending it to Microsoft. Obviously, they then use that data to build detailed profiles which they sell to advertisers. Expect much more of this to happen in the future. The remarkable thing is, estimates suggest that Microsoft could be earning as much as $15 per year per user from this "sale" of their user base to advertisers and other consumers of bulk data.

    So if you were Microsoft, and faced with generating an average one-off fee of $15 per paid copy of your OS, or earning $15 a year from "giving it away", which would you choose?

    Much as I hate to say it, I think this is with us for good now. And, bad as it is, this isn't my greatest fear. No, what is worse is that my favourite GNU/Linux distributions could take a look at the Microsoft model and think, "Hey, we could do that" - and before we know where we are, everything has gone the Canonical/Ubunut route and all our favourite FOSS platforms are also shipping with spyware by default... Let's hope that doesn't come to pass...
    • Could you clarify the $1.49 per month to disable advertising? I must have missed something. Some sort of membership or something like that that is built into their games now?
  • by ScooterComputer ( 10306 ) on Monday March 13, 2017 @06:54AM (#54027949)

    I want Candy Crush gone from my Win10 box. I have no interest in it. Apparently all of my clients feel the same.

    But
    It JUST. WON'T. DIE!

    Worse, folks don't seem to associate that if they right-click and Uninstall, that next 10 minutes of slow internet/computer is thanks to background file transfer/install of Windows putting the crapware back on. They do it over and overand over in defiant hope it will magically disappear, under the mistaken impression they've done something wrong. (Along with Paid Wi-Fi, Minecraft, Twitter, etc)

    Whatever happened to the old skool idea that the USER controlled the computer? Where, oh, where is Tron when we need him most??

    • I've been ignoring that tile, but it occurs to me that the thing to do might be to find where it is and rename a text file to the executable, set ready only, and then hopefully they won't be able to overwrite it. Used to do stuff like that back in the day to kill banner ads in chat programs.
    • by brxndxn ( 461473 ) on Monday March 13, 2017 @08:29AM (#54028475)
      I don't understand how Microsoft hasn't been sued to oblivion yet by a big serious company, or maybe all the world's utility companies, or the defense industry.. Think about it.. You have a company with a monopoly on the operating system that is on damn near every desktop computer and laptop.. and that company decides they're going to send your data back to itself, update your computer whenever it wants, and now install advertisements and bloatware without your permission. Microsoft is either stupid or evil.. and it cannot possibly be this stupid.

      Industrial control systems typically run on Windows. WTF is gonna happen when they're running Windows 10 and the IT management people can't lock it down? Engineers and scientists use Windows.. and now they also get Candy Crush. Medical equipment and hospitals run on Windows.. and now Windows needs to update right now "FUCK YOU, I'M UPDATING."

      Yes.. I can run linux.. or Mac.. But where Microsoft is currently sitting, I don't know how anyone can say they haven't crossed the red line on abusing their monopoly.

  • Except for the occasional "recommended" app in the Start menu (and not prominently placed at that), I've not seen any ads from the Win10 OS.
  • by scorp1us ( 235526 ) on Monday March 13, 2017 @09:46AM (#54029017) Journal

    I realized this even before windows 10 back around the Vista era. All those stand-alone software updaters were starting to get out of hand. The Java Updater, The Flash Updater, and the various other updaters. What's more, about the same time they started to become marketing apps.

      Although you paid nothing for windows 10, and Linux, Windows 10 costs you:
    1. Bandwidth for advertisements
    2. Screen space for advertisements
    3. Privacy
    If you don't need Adobe, use Linux. If you need adobe, learn GIMP.

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