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Microsoft Businesses Windows

Hey Microsoft, Stop Installing Apps On My PC Without Asking (howtogeek.com) 511

Chris Hoffman, writing for How To Geek: I'm getting sick of Windows 10's auto-installing apps. Apps like Facebook are now showing up out of nowhere, and even displaying notifications begging for me to use them. I didn't install the Facebook app, I didn't give it permission to show notifications, and I've never even used it. So why is it bugging me? Windows 10 has always been a little annoying about these apps, but it wasn't always this bad. Microsoft went from "we pinned a few tiles, but the apps aren't installed until you click them" to "the apps are now automatically installed on your PC" to "the automatically installed apps are now sending you notifications." It's ridiculous.
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Hey Microsoft, Stop Installing Apps On My PC Without Asking

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  • by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @01:29PM (#56129264)
    I'm sure its there, in the EULA we don't read.
    • Of course it is. It does not mean that this is a good business practice. Things like this erode trust and perceived reliability. I know I look forward to the day when an alternative gaming operating system rivals Windows via Steam. Currently there's no comparison, which is truly sad.

      • Re:They did ask... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 15, 2018 @02:00PM (#56129586)

        Things like this erode trust and perceived reliability.

        Are you kidding? Trust in Microsoft vanished a long long time ago for most of us here, and "perceived reliability" barely ever existed. These are little more than expected amusements for those of us who haven't touched Microsoft in decades.

        All the remaining users don't have any trust, they either have stockholm syndrome or are fully aware of the level of shit they put up with but have no other choice for pragmatic or technical competency reasons (I say this with no judgement, you guys have been fucked for a _long_ time and I feel sorry for you). Even those who switch to Apple just have a different kind of shit to put up with these days.

        • Yeah, I didn't see any judgement on that. It isn't optional if you're a primarily PC gamer. I've installed Steam on MacOS and seen a pretty small selection of games, and those were mostly big enough to justify what was likely just a Wine compatible port (like EVE Online). I don't even know if they support Linux, but I imagine the selection is pretty slim.

          • Re:They did ask... (Score:5, Informative)

            by unrtst ( 777550 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @02:34PM (#56129888)

            ... Steam on MacOS and seen a pretty small selection of games ... I don't even know if they support Linux

            SERIOUSLY!?! Steam has been one of the biggest supporters of Linux. Their SteamOS _IS_ Linux. Their Steam Machines run Linux. They have over 1k games that run on Linux (probably most of the same ones that run on macs).

            • It's been a while since I checked. I'll have to take a look again. It's a shame I bet the files stored on my SSDs likely wouldn't share data and if I dual installed I'd have to pick between. I'll look into it when I get home.

              • Re:They did ask... (Score:4, Informative)

                by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples@NOSpAM.gmail.com> on Thursday February 15, 2018 @03:00PM (#56130106) Homepage Journal

                It's a shame I bet the files stored on my SSDs likely wouldn't share data and if I dual installed [the same Steam game for multiple operating systems,] I'd have to pick between.

                That depends on how an application's depots [steamgames.com] are configured. Each depot is a package that can be for one or many operating systems, one or many architectures, one or many languages, and either the base game or a particular add-on. A well-packaged Steam game would come as three depots:

                • Program: Specific to one combination of architecture and operating system but shared across all languages
                • Non-program localization: Those parts shared across all architectures and operating systems that pertain to one language, mostly strings, fonts, and pre-rendered signboard textures
                • Non-program, non-culture: Shared across all architectures, operating systems, and languages

                (Many developers refer to non-program depots as "assets", but others claim that the term "assets" devalues non-program works [gnu.org].)

                Thus you'd end up with a program depot per OS and non-program depots shared among OSes.

          • by arth1 ( 260657 )

            I don't even know if they support Linux, but I imagine the selection is pretty slim.

            There are more than 3,000 games for Linux on Steam now.
            That said, very few of them are big titles, and a lot of them are Chinese/Japanese visual novels and girl-girl romance games, it seems.
            Also, Steam only supports Ubuntu with 32-bit. You can get it to work, of sorts, with some other linux distributions with 32-bit support, but then you're on your own, and some titles might not work, or might stop working when you update your OS.

      • just get a sony playstation console, save the PC for non-gaming stuff, thats what i did and i have less problems with gaming
        • Playstation is not a good system for my gaming needs. I had a PS3 and played a few games, but then most of what I kept it around for showed up on Steam (FFX, Tales of series, etc). I know the PS4 is better than the Xbox One, but I can't stand controllers when keyboard and mouse are there. Microsoft is showing they suck, but it's still superior for my needs.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Powercntrl ( 458442 )

        I know I look forward to the day when an alternative gaming operating system rivals Windows via Steam.

        Steam turned PC gaming into a DRM-laden dystopia. Add to it the drama* that comes with playing online, cryptocoin miners running up GPU prices, and most games being uninspired formulaic FPS rehashes, and it's no wonder the term "PC master race" was originally coined with sarcastic intent. By comparison, having to run Windows is a pretty minor fault.

        Besides, this article is a non-story. Every version of Windows has always shipped with a few annoying default settings, go in and turn that crap off - problem

        • Re:They did ask... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by adamstew ( 909658 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @03:42PM (#56130394)

          Besides, this article is a non-story. Every version of Windows has always shipped with a few annoying default settings, go in and turn that crap off - problem solved.

          RTFA. The point of the article is that you can't do exactly what you suggest people do. Per the article:

          There is, technically, a way to disable this and stop Windows from installing these appsbut it’s only for Windows 10 Enterprise and Education users. Even if you spent $200 for a Windows 10 Professional license because you want to use your PC for business, Microsoft won’t let you stop the “Consumer Experience” on a professional PC.

          The group policy or registry setting that disables this feature originally worked on Windows 10 Home and Professional in the November 2015 update when Microsoft originally added the Consumer Experience. But Microsoft went out of their way to make Home and Professional ignore this setting in the Anniversary Update. Now, only Enterprise and Education respect that preference.

          So unless you buy the enterprise edition of Windows (Cost: $84 per PC, per year, minimum 5 licenses), or are attending a university that will enable you to obtain the Education edition on windows (Cost: averages about $9,970 per year) you can't even do what you suggest. Windows explicitly ignores the settings that turns this functionality off.

          • Re:They did ask... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @04:39PM (#56130800)

            TFA is pointless. Windows 10 doesn't install any apps without your request if you turn off the settings "Occasionally show suggestions in Start" under the taskbar settings. Additionally the package responsible for installing these "suggestions" is called App Installer which you can simply uninstall and gone. You don't need any fancy educational or enterprise thing for it.

            The thing is if you do a search on this problem you'll find 100 different people suggest 100 different registry edits or group policy edits and 100 different people complaining that it doesn't work. Frankly I've given up on any article claiming you can't turn it off.

            Incidentally this single setting is also responsible for the suggestions to use Edge when you use Chrome, and also responsible for one of the two nagging OneDrive adverts.

        • Nope, it's not a "non story". All versions of Windows may have had some quirks but none before 10 has installed applications without the user's leave or forbid him from stopping the installation of updates, or displayed messages in the very same OS that are publicity for Ms' products or forced itself on users of previous versions without warning. Windows 10 is just user hostile.
    • I'm sure its there, in the EULA we don't read.

      If you take the time to read the EULA, Microsoft makes it perfectly clear that "your" PC isn't "yours" any more.

      So just ignore stuff that they are doing with "their" PC.

  • Better yet... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Steve Jackson ( 4687763 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @01:36PM (#56129328)
    It UNINSTALLS programs without asking. About 3 months ago an update rolled out that Win10 said Quickbooks "Conflicted" with. So, without user interaction or ANY way short of pulling the plug to stop it, it Uninstalled Quickbooks from the users PC. Then did it to 3 more... Win10 Between the Spying "Metrics" it collects, and the Forced Auto-installs, and now it appears forced Installs, is by far the most "In your way" OS that Microsoft has ever produced. A STARK contrast to Even the Annoyances of Win7 and Win8.1.
    • I agree that auto installing or uninstalling apps is completely unacceptable. However, I've been using Windows 10 for about a year now and this has never happened to me once. Is there some hidden "stop being an arsehole" option which needs to be set?
      • Same here. I haven't had any problems like this. In fact the only uninstall I had was when I updated from Win7 to Win10.
    • by bondsbw ( 888959 )

      I really like many of the things they have done in the Windows 10 interface, particularly compared with 8. But controlling your applications, privacy concerns, and ignoring what the user explicitly selected is completely unacceptable.

    • Re:Better yet... (Score:5, Informative)

      by TechyImmigrant ( 175943 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @01:55PM (#56129534) Homepage Journal

      Today (Feb 15th 2018) is the day Microsoft has been telling me they are going to remove the PDF reader and I should use 'edge' instead. The singularity of stupid has arrived.

    • I've noticed that the annoyances under Windows 7 are starting to drift upward. My W7 desktop woke up from sleep mode late last night to install some system updates. Even though both Excel and Notepad++ know how to gracefully close when a shutdown signal is received, when I logged in this morning, neither app restored their previous state. So a couple hours of work went up in smoke. I can only guess at how those apps were killed to cause that behavior.

      I used regedit to add a key that disables automatic W

    • by Topwiz ( 1470979 )

      My biggest gripe is that on every major update it resets my security settings so I can no longer connect to other computers on my home network. I also have a script that allows me to use .hlp files. I have to re-run that.

  • Hey Samsung! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by war4peace ( 1628283 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @01:38PM (#56129348)

    Stop installing Facebook on my phone without me agreeing with that.

    But you know what? You can uninstall Facebook app from Windows. Hell, you can uninstall Windows altogether from your PC and still have a usable PC. But I can't uninstall Facebook from my Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) and I sure as hell can't uninstall Android from it.

    So who's the greater evil?

    • Nice deflection.
    • Still Windows. I need my computer for work, leisure, communication and lots more. I need my phone to make friggin' phone calls with people I don't like.

    • You can uninstall Facebook app from Windows.

      For now, anyway. If you've been paying attention it is clear that MS is warming up the water so they can be just like Samsung. To enhance your user experience, of course.

    • Windows. As a practical matter, it's easier for most people to get a different phone than it is for people to choose a different OS.

    • by nmb3000 ( 741169 )

      So who's the greater evil?

      Why does it matter which one is greater? Both are evil and should be stopped.

      We should have moved past this "greater of two evils" false dichotomy bullshit a long time ago. It doesn't matter if we're talking about computers or phones or politicians. Shit is shit and evil is evil -- how about we just avoid all of it and work towards a good alternative?

      Oh, that's right... nobody actually cares about good or evil - just whether it looks like their team is currently winning, or if it isn't, to throw shit at

    • But you know what? You can uninstall Facebook app from Windows. Hell, you can uninstall Windows altogether from your PC and still have a usable PC. But I can't uninstall Facebook from my Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) and I sure as hell can't uninstall Android from it.

      So who's the greater evil?

      Criminal A: Today I robbed two banks and stole purses from 5 old ladies.

      Criminal B: Today I robbed three 7-11's, deflated tires of 20 vehicles in a Walmart parking lot and jacked three Teslas.

      So who's the greater evil?

      As a factual matter you do have a choice. You could install Lineage OS on your A5 and be completely free of both Facebook and Google malware.

    • Hell, you can uninstall Windows altogether from your PC and still have a usable PC.

      That's true of select PCs. But good luck getting usable suspend on something like a ASUS Transformer Book T100TA after installing a competing operating system [debian.org]. From that page: "Closing the lid triggers automatic suspend to RAM, which causes a full freeze."

  • What to do? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ( 4475953 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @01:41PM (#56129384)

    I haven't noticed this behavior yet and don't use any apps on my new machine. (Since it's new, it comes with Win 10. Of course, I'm using Linux for work.)

    Do the apps run in the background if I never open them and use Classic menu? Do they show notifications if I turn notifications off?

    • Re:What to do? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Skuld-Chan ( 302449 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @01:47PM (#56129462)

      They don't - the guy who wrote this article has no idea what he's talking about.

      I suspect what happened is they installed facebook via the windows store on another PC and the default behavior is to sync/install apps (kinda like Android/iOS). And since store apps use oAuth 2 which Windows 10 supports - it can chain the authentication.

      • They don't - the guy who wrote this article has no idea what he's talking about.

        Yes they do the same way candy crush was being installed via the "suggested apps" auto install malware of the windows store.

      • Re:What to do? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Whorhay ( 1319089 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @03:55PM (#56130516)

        I suppose that could be happening. However just last night I setup a brand spanking new computer for my kids to use. I installed Firefox, Minecraft, and Steam. I was switching between the children's profiles to set things up when I noticed that the start menu was now showing some new games that weren't there previously. Games that I've never heard of let alone purchased through either Steam or the Windows Store. I also didn't configure the Windows 10 install using any external accounts like email or Microsoft. From my perspective it appears entirely as if Windows just decided that I'd like some games and installed them on its own.

        • The first thing you need to do in any windows 10 installation is turn off Settings > Personalisation > Start > "Occasionally show suggestions in start".

          That controls the installation of suggested apps.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 15, 2018 @01:42PM (#56129396)

    When you install Windows on a computer, it becomes a Microsoft managed computer.

    You simply pay for the bandwidth, pay for the hardware, pay for the software, and Microsoft controls 100% of their computer that you simply lease, and use whatever Microsoft gives you permissions to use.

    There is a reason Microsoft went from "My Computer" to "Computer", and it wasn't about people getting confused.

    Thats why "your" files are in the Microsoft owned cloud, on a Microsoft owned hardware. You are just using a dumb terminal, and granted permission by Microsoft to use it.

  • by toejam13 ( 958243 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @01:42PM (#56129398)

    The main issue here is that there are few repercussions for Microsoft doing this. With no suitable alternative in the marketplace for running Windows binaries (WINE is very hit or miss, OS/2 eComStation hasn't seen improvements in years), you're stuck eating whatever Microsoft wants to feed you.

    We really need to update our consumer protection laws so that we can opt-out of shovelware. Even better, require us to opt-in. I've lost track of how many hours I've spent over the years removing sketchy apps from laptops and smartphones. Not to mention the extraordinary efforts I've sometimes been forced to take to do so.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      We really need to update our consumer protection laws so that we can opt-out of shovelware.

      In the past, the only way I've found to do this is have a system builder make my machine, and insist on a full retail version of the OS which has no additional stuff on it.

      OEM installs usually are full of that additional shit, and I don't want it. I don't want the manufacturer's wizards, helpers, games, or anything else .. I just want the OS.

      The problem is now, the OS is full of its own kind of crapware, and you can'

  • What a crapshow this OS has become. I'm running enterprise and blocked windows update, but it still sucks. I loved win7, but if you want to play the latest games, and run the latest CPUs youre screwed.
  • Found the LUDDITE! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Only apps can app apps, and Appsoft apping apps while apping other apps just makes Appdows 10 even appier! Only LUDDITES hate apps, because they're too stupid to know how to app apps while apping other apps!

    Apps!

  • How do you mean? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jawtheshark ( 198669 ) * <slashdot.jawtheshark@com> on Thursday February 15, 2018 @01:45PM (#56129426) Homepage Journal
    How do you mean? "Your Computer"?!? You misunderstand, if you run Windows 10 it isn't your computer. It's a machine you may be allowed to use, perhaps, and only the way Microsoft likes it.
  • (howtogeek.com)

    What sort of "geek" is it, that installs Windows in the first place?

    And, after they do, "blogs" about it?

    And what sort of a "news for nerds" web-site publicizes such nonsense?

  • On the bright side, its still not illegal to uninstall them... For now...
  • that you are owned by corporations, that's a fact and it's great that you complain about it but it is also useless.

    Corporate goons are programmed to implement this kind of shit and the one's having to deal with complaints fear for their jobs if they miss-behave and criticize what is corporate culture if they are even aware of it.

    Often they work out of sweatshop calling centers in far away countries and are not familiar with laws and regulations in "here" countries and need the income to get by.

    What would be

  • And this time, don't check the "Enable Windows Customer Experience" box without knowing what it does. In fact, don't check any box you don't understand.

    • by sgage ( 109086 )

      You know, at this point I'm not really sure it matters whether you check the box or not. They are just going to do their thing - that little check box isn't connected to anything, as it were.

  • Yep, it's 2018 and 2 years and a half after release I still haven't heard or read one bit of info or news story about W10 that makes it seem like a good idea to upgrade.
  • by Jody Bruchon ( 3404363 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @02:06PM (#56129650)
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\CloudContent]
    "DisableWindowsConsumerFeatures"=dword:00000001
  • I tried installing Win10 on a blank computer yesterday and the BS mobile app game crap installed at the same time as windows update, there seemed to be an app indexing conflict on the app list, and when I rebooted the start menu wouldn't open. Even the app reset script couldn't fix it. I had to reinstall Windows and it happened again.
  • by necronom426 ( 755113 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @02:21PM (#56129784)

    I set a PC up for someone at work a week or two ago, the next day it put an update on and reset the entire Start menu tile configuration I'd spent about 15 minutes sorting out, so I had to set it all up again.

    A couple of days later my Dad said "I don't know what happened to this laptop. All my programs have gone and I have to manually search for everything now." Yes, it had deleted all his Start menu, too. What a total F#'#'*&$£ pile of $#!t3. This should be illegal. If I went into someone's house and re-arranged their rooms without asking I'd expect the police to be knocking on my door.

    I only moved to Win 7 because of the end of life with XP, but I can't see me moving off Win 7, ever.

  • by FudRucker ( 866063 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @02:23PM (#56129800)
    dump windows, and use Linux

    just as soon as I can get Linux to be stable on this brand new hardware i am wiping windows 10 off and running Linux exclusively, i agree with you on windows, i find myself hating it more & more and especially since it has turned in to a platform to spam you with crap you dont want
  • by tstrunk ( 2562139 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @02:38PM (#56129930)

    To everyone calling bullshit:

    This really happens, but it is assumed that Microsoft is doing some kind of A/B testing, similar to when they roll out updates:

    I've never seen it happen on my PC (besides Candy Crush, which I could easily delete), but on two completely fresh / no MS Account Windows 10 Installs at my in-laws. The following games kept getting downloaded and reinstalled. It was really without user intervention on a completely fresh machine.

    https://i.redd.it/5uvjgiyc7l50... [i.redd.it]

    It amounted to roughly 1,2GB traffic on a 4mbit connection. Only disabling cloud content via registry allowed this to stop. Uninstall led to reinstall.

  • Windows Bonzi Buddy Edition, aka Win10, is a slow-moving corporate suicide by Microsoft.
  • by e r ( 2847683 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @06:18PM (#56131210)
    I hate to blame the victim... but you did it to yourself by continuing to use Windows after all this time and after all the abuse and after so many warnings. You really need to either stop complaining or switch to an OS that doesn't do crappy things to you like advertise to you on your desktop.
  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @07:14PM (#56131484) Journal

    This is why MS was giving 10 away for free, often without asking. It's not an OS, but a Spam Engine, with an OS in it.

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