Is any of the hate towards Windows 10 justified? Things like claims it spies on personal information?
The “spying” stuff came from the mention of a “keylogger” in the EULA of the Insider Program of Windows 10. That specific “keylogger” was used by Microsoft in development and troubleshooting purposes to, at the users’ request, capture keystrokes and take screenshots when the user either reported a problem or completed a specific “quest” through the Feedback Hub to provide Microsoft with critical usage patterns and diagnostics data during problem reporting or feature development.
Beyond that, while Windows 10 early on in its lifetime had a few issues here and there, basically everything have been fixed up or tweaked since then – it was after all 5 years ago the OS originally launched.
Nowadays even Windows 10 Home users can supposedly lower the diagnostics and telemetry gathering of the OS to the limited level where Microsoft doesn’t even necessarily get enough information about specific issues that a user might be facing to fix them.
In general users misapply the wordings of the EULAs and whatnot in what basically amounts to a stupid attempt to validate whatever weird idea they have of Windows.
For example, a few months (or maybe a year ago?) I read someone calling Windows 10 “malware” because Microsoft’s general purpose privacy policies mentioned how Microsoft was allowed to access users’ personal files and whatnot in some situations. While it sounds horrendous in regards to Windows 10, that specific section pertained to the use of Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage and related services, and basically amounted to users’ granting Microsoft permission to access their personal files they uploaded to the service to, well, be able to provide said service to users in the first place.
Another example was when someone threw BitLocker’s drive encryption keys into the mix – claiming that since another licensing agreement and whatever gave Microsoft access to store said encryption keys in the cloud Microsoft “had to” use it to spy on people and whatnot. That specific section pertained to how using Windows 10 with a Microsoft Account can, if the user choses the option, store a drive encryption key in the user’s personal Microsoft Account for easily future retrieval – it’s an option that can be used during repair operations by the user or just to keep their BitLocker drive encryption keys gathered in a easily retrievable place without any manual handling required.
Both of the above was basic boilerplate service agreement stuff based around entirely optional user-facing features, but both was perverted and misapplied to fuel weird and misleading statements regarding Windows 10 as a whole.
And that’s a lot of the “hate” in a nutshell – it’s users misapplying stuff they don’t understand to continue to fuel their misconceptions and further spread misinformation around.
There’s also so called “researchers” fueling suspicion based on flawed testing methodology or misleading reports. A few years ago someone basically blocked all form of traffic for a Windows 10 installation and then monitored the attempted traffic. What he discovered was that despite blocking any and all traffic bound for Microsoft’s services, the OS still attempted to regularly “check in” with Microsoft’s servers. “Clearly malicious!”
What the guy didn’t know or realize was that all Windows operating systems rely on a few Microsoft operated servers to identify and diagnose network connectivity. Which was the traffic that stood out — Windows 10’s continued attempts to identify if an Internet connection was available or not.
That network connectivity icon in the notification area of Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8.x, and 10? It relies on continuous online pollers to identify the current connectivity status as well as identify when the Internet connection is lost. It does it through, I believe, both a DNS lookup as well as a HTTPS connection — both of which obviously points to Microsoft operated servers.
Again, nothing harmful and basically something you’d find in all OSes, but when viewed through the lens of “Windows 10 is spying on users” it suddenly becomes malicious in nature.
IMO 10 is a zombie OS and MS doesn’t give much of a shit about it anymore but if you want to play games you are stuck like always. As far as the telemetry, yeah its in there because its a service based OS now and you have to be comfortable with that. If any of that telemetry is malicious or not is up to the person and since it can never be fully audited, there will always be questions… but I personally doubt it malicious for what that’s worth. If you must use 10 and you desire the maximum “stock” control over it I would recommend a long term release.
Ubisoft games collect way more data about you than Windows does, and I’ve never seen a single soul complain about that :-\ Largely because they won’t STFU about Windows 10 long enough to learn that the software they’re running on any version of Windows is worth being more concerned about
Think the OS situation has also improved since the new lead took over, actual engineer so a lot more fixes are rolling into the OS updates around Patch Tuesday and the end of the month fixes usually a Friday but it’s varied a bit and of course the various builds and the revamp of the insider program as well.
Better structuring and planning though I’d like a return to the full once per year major updates focusing on several features and also testing and fixing so less of having the build “go RTM” even though that’s not an actual thing now since it’s this rolling deployment and continual servicing model instead and less hotfixes deployed during the period between the last major build rollout and the public launch of said build and then afterwards too.
.608 (And the current .610 with an extra fix on top.) fixed a bad one for networking for example and the updates since 19041/19042.508 (The current direct ESD or ISO for download.) resolves quite a bit too.
On that note:
It’s part of Microsoft’s larger effort to kill off memory-related bugs, which have made up about 70% of all patches Microsoft shipped over the past decade, in part because of Windows being written in C and C++. It’s also why Microsoft is exploring Rust to rewrite some Windows components.
Memory related bugs rule the day, basically.
Those claiming Windows 10 is pushing targeted don’t even bat an eye at the amount of tracking on today’s websites.
Also telemetry cannot catch everything; the past few Windows Insider Preview builds Visual Studio has been causing the entire system to freeze with no bugcheck, so it may be hard for Microsoft to debug my Feedback Hub report.
I did notice in today’s Windows Insider Preview notes that a crash involving opengl32.dll was fixed, wonder if that could be the issue I was experiencing?
It wasn’t just debugging a project that happens to use OpenGL that has been freezing my system but also sometimes when refreshing objects in Ultimaker Cura imported from FreeCAD.