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Monday, 25 January 2016 15:39

Microsoft putting users at risk by forcing Windows 10 upgrade Featured


Microsoft is forcing Windows users to upgrade to Windows 10 by quietly slipping in code through its regular updates. This has been confirmed by multiple sources.

But what of those Windows users who want to stick with a known devil — in this case, their own versions of Windows, be they 7, 8 or 8.1 — until a little more is known by the public at large about the strengths and weaknesses of Windows 10?

Ordinary users have no option but to turn off Windows updates altogether, and then manually update when they find out about any urgent updates.

That is the only foolproof way to retain the Windows installation which a user has. But it puts a user at risk because it blocks out even important updates.

Else, if one keeps the recommended "install updates automatically" setting on a Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 installation, there is a danger that one will end up with Windows 10 without even realising it.

Many technology writers have been lauding Windows 10 as though it is the next best thing after sliced bread. I doubt very much if any of them have actually used the operating system.

For one, the hardware needs are incredible. I have a test PC running Windows 10; it has an i-7 processor and 16 gig of RAM. Yes, 16 gig, the maximum that anyone would need even for the most demanding of games.

But still the performance of Windows 10 is, at times, pathetic. I have two GNU/Linux distributions, Ubuntu and Fedora, running on the same machine and the speed at which both these distros run could not be any faster. (My own workstation runs the Debian distribution and it has much lower specs: an AMD Phenom and 8 gig of memory, but again it really flies.)

There are indications that Microsoft is reaching the point of desperation to regain its marketshare; the problems with the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book that were recounted by my iTWire colleague Alex Zaharov-Reutt are illustrative of a company that is trying, at a speed it cannot manage, to corner markets.

The Windows 10 push is also slowly turning into a disaster. There are constant updates to the system which grab a lot of the bandwidth that one has and that is a pain in the nether region when one lives in a country like Australia where there is no broadband, only fraudband. Additionally, the process of updating is following the torrent model so you will be sharing updates from your personal machine with numerous others around the world.

Now Windows 10 — and many earlier versions — have a large number of very fine granular controls which can be configured to make one's workstation much better than what it is in the default state. Alas, all that remains the domain of the experts and one has to pay a pretty penny to get it all done.

Ever since Satya Nadella took over from Steve Ballmer at the helm of Microsoft, we have been constantly sold a tale of a company that has changed. This myth has been cultivated by the mainstream technology media and is just that – a myth. You cannot change the culture of a company overnight; indeed, it is unlikely that you can do so in a decade when there are so many employees.

Microsoft is still that old sneaky company trying to sell you snake oil. It might be time to think whether you still want to swallow it.


You cannot afford to miss this Dell Webinar.

With Windows 7 support ending 14th January 2020, its time to start looking at your options.

This can have significant impacts on your organisation but also presents organisations with an opportunity to fundamentally rethink the way users work.

The Details

When: Thursday, September 26, 2019
Presenter: Dell Technologies
Location: Your Computer


QLD, VIC, NSW, ACT & TAS: 11:00 am
SA, NT: 10:30 am
WA: 9:00 am NZ: 1:00 pm

Register and find out all the details you need to know below.



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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.



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