Most everything I use runs in Linux, and for the few things that don't I can spin up a VM. But there's the caveat that is as old as Windows itself ... gaming. Dual booting isn't an option for me, because I tend to run various server VMs 24/7. I also didn't want a second tower just for Windows; that's non-ideal. But wait! Apparently modern CPUs have this fancy thing called IOMMU I never knew about, which lets you give direct access to PCI-E devices, like GPUs, to a VM.
So I bought up a 5820K, a X99 motherboard, and an extra graphics card, and away I went. I now have Arch Linux running as the host system where I do all my work. Windows 10 sits in a VM where it's given direct and exclusive access to a GTX 970 for graphics. So far, things are working well and Windows runs the benchmark apps just fine.
The end result is that I can use Linux as my daily driver, but flip over to my Windows VM whenever I want to game. It keeps Windows isolated, which is great from a privacy/security perspective, I don't have to dual-boot, and best of all I can spin up different VMs if I want to use the beastly GTX 970 for other work like machine learning. Thanks to using the 5820K which has a few Xeon features in it, the entire process when smoothly. The biggest caveat is I haven't found a DisplayPort switch yet, so I can't hook up the Windows VM to my primary Cinema monitor, and I haven't nailed down the mouse+keyboard thing yet. QEMU's virtual mouse+keyboard doesn't normally work with these kinds of VMs, so you have to hack it in, and even then it likes to randomly stop working. I could just grab a second set of physical mouse+keyboard but that's not ideal. Steam Steaming will probably be the best option for now.
 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXOaCkbt4lI (14:57)
 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lThX7UovKCc (1:35:15 - really long stream of him disassembling it live, so forgive me for not finding exactly where he said each thing).
Then again Nvidia cards have their own set of horrible problems too, although theirs are somewhat on the side of malicious intent rather than incompetence.
 - https://github.com/qemu/qemu/blob/master/hw/vfio/pci-quirks....
 - https://github.com/qemu/qemu/blob/master/hw/vfio/pci-quirks....
Right now I am basically running a windows pc for gaming and a linux laptop for work. It seems IOMMU is compatible with all my gaming tower, and with many modern cpus/chipsets. I will make a test over a live CD anb if it works migrate my whole pc and blog about it.
Thanks very much for the ida
vanilla skyrim never required a good computer... its a different story if it's fully modded, but i doubt you've done that, as you'd be pushing 30 fps with a 290 in that case
Is it as simple as it seems? I'd love to switch over to a VM for windows games backed by vtx and vtd, but I've been worried that it'd be waay more work.
The largest problem is that the NVIDIA driver refuses to work when it detects that it's in a VM. The workaround is to hide the VM status for the guest os, by using -cpu host,kvm=off and disabling the tweaks that makes windows work better (hv_time,hv_relaxed,hv_vapic).
I've seen research that shows the GPU being 98-99% when using QEMU/KVM. I haven't used the system long enough to accurately quantify my personal experience.
> Is it as simple as it seems?
For me getting the GPU working was the easiest part. It worked on the first try. The hardest part was finding good docs (Arch wiki & VFIO blog), trying to understand their little ecosystem, and finding the right compatible parts (hint: besides the CPU, it's really easy). I'd never used QEMU/KVM before (I used VirtualBox previously) so that was a big learning curve. It seems like things have matured quite a bit since the VFIO blog wrote its articles, as a number of things had changed and become easier.
I'd love to, say, run a Hackintosh setup with Windows 10 in a VM that could fully utilize it's own GPU + external ports -- this way I could use a modern VR setup (Oculus or Vive) without having to use Windows full time!
You can also route USB hubs to it the same way, sound cards, etc.
For the past few years I've been running two desktops side by side (one with Windows and one with Linux), then use Synergy to get from one to the other painlessly.
When I next upgrade, IOMMU might let me consolidate the number of PCs available, but only if it's relatively painless to get from one OS to the other.
1) Virtualized Mouse+Keyboard. If you've ever used a VM before, this is what you most likely are familiar with. You click within the VM's window, it captures your mouse and keyboard, and then everything is like normal within the VM. To release, you hit some special key combo and your mouse+keyboard is released back to the host. The VGA Passthrough setup that we're talking about doesn't normally support this method in QEMU/KVM, but you can hack it in. For me, it works as expected, except the mouse+keyboard randomly stop working for brief periods of time every so often. So... not great.
2) Synergy. I've seen this method mentioned a lot, so I guess it works. I haven't tried it. I've heard there are occasional issues, and sometimes Synergy will stop working so you need some kind of fallback method to get back into the Windows VM to get it working again. Probably this method plus method 1 above as a backup will work well.
3) USB passthrough. You could get a second mouse+keyboard, and then use USB filtering to pass them through to the VM. I haven't tried it; it probably works fine if you're okay with having two mouse+keyboard sets on your desk.
4) IOMMU USB passthrough. Similar to #3, but you use IOMMU to give an entire USB hub to the VM. This is likely to have the least number of issues, as it gives direct and exclusive control of a USB hub to the VM. Whether you can do it or not depends on the USB hub configuration on your mobo or whether you feel like adding a USB PCI/PCI-E card.
5) KVM + USB passthrough. Use a KVM and then USB passthrough of some kind (#3 or #4 above).
6) Steam In-Home Streaming. Steam In-Home Streaming can be hacked to share the entire desktop of the target machine. So you could use this to not only handle keyboard+mouse, but also video if you don't want a second monitor and/or don't want to use your existing monitor to switch HDMI/DisplayPort. Since the streaming will be done locally, latency will be very low, but this will burn some CPU/GPU resources. VNC is also an option, but will likely fallover for video games/watching videos/etc.
But yeah, modern synergy crashes pretty often. There was a lag in development a few years back when it looked like synergy was dead, but the most recent version at the time was sooo stable. Now synergy has more features but tends to crap out or start dropping your clipboard every few hours or days.
If you're connecting multiple Linux machines (I suppose it would work for Mac too) then you can hack in this fix that I came up with:
Have a once-a-minute cronjob on the server tail the synergy log. Grep the tail for "server dead" messages and restart the server. Grep the tail for "client dead" messages and ssh into the client and restart synergy.
You have to use commandline synergy for this to work of course, but you probably want that anyway - otherwise you have to log in to each machine with a physical mouse and keyboard and manually start synergy at each boot. synergyc and synergys are your friends.
However, my main reason for needing Windows is for music recording and mixing via Cubase and other DAW software. This requires really low-latency access to my USB and PCI sound cards.
Does anyone have experience with running applications like this in a VM? Is it feasible?
I would be thrilled if I could finally move to Linux or FreeBSD entirely and just keep a Windows 7 VM, all sandboxed up with no Internet access, just for the music recording.
That said, "really low latency" is relative. Device assignment will give you excellent I/O performance in terms of sending data to/from the device, particularly for bulk DMA transfers. Where you (likely) still pay a penalty is in terms of interrupt delivery, as on most chips these are still routed through the host even in "passthrough" mode. Even so, you're looking at delays at the outside on the tens of microseconds scale, depending on which microarchitecture you're on and how well tuned the fiddly bits of your hypervisor (presumably KVM for most users) are. Some configurations will be much better behaved here. If your audio hardware goes into polling mode (or can be made to do so) when it is recording you can potentially avoid the interrupts entirely.
(source: I work on Google Compute Engine, in particular on virtualized networking, historically on performance. Virtual interrupt delivery latency is a topic near and dear to my heart, although I don't know a damned thing about audio gear and its tolerances there :)
What you need:
Wineasio (for Wine support in FL Studio or others)
I/O performance is a whole other story, dependent on many workload and hypervisor specific factors.
Otherwise, check the forums. This has been done many times over the years, and there's no shortage of existing information.
You were allowing Bing to show you random photos by enabling this feature. If you didn't want that, then disable it . . . give a break. Ads on installers have been common for ages. Ubuntu shows advertisements . . . this is out of control with the fear mongering.
The whole KVM/Qemu ecosystem is great.
I'd wish virtualbox would support pci pass-through.
Virtualbox being the default and most used vm with vagrant it would be awesome to spin up a linux vm with pci pass-through, so you can have a machine learning vm with cuda.
I would prefer to drop Windows entirely though and was looking forward to SteamOS making strides in this area but it doesn't look too promising.
WINE solves a lot of problems but it's not perfect, and a lot of games still don't work with it according to its compatibility database.
I have a 5820K as well, with a GA-X99-UD3P motherboard and 32 gigs of quad-channel DDR4 RAM, and I dual-boot Linux and Windows. Windows just has Steam, and I do all my work on Linux. It would be wonderful to not have to reboot and switches OSes and just run Windows off a VM with full graphics performance! :)
since switching to VM based gaming about 6 months ago I've played and completed: SC2 LOTV, Bioshock Infinite, Crysis 1/2, and The Talos Principle and have not had a single problem.
I splurged on an M.2 PCI-E drive. 2 GB/s read!? How could I turn that down? No way I'll ever use that drive to its full potential, but I love the M.2 form factor.
Only thing I'd change is using AIO cooling for the CPU and the S340 instead of the H440 case. I had to use the H440 for the air cooler, and that was not an aesthetically pleasing choice. The H440 also has a number of obnoxious problems.
Another similar resource is overclocking https://www.reddit.com/r/overclocking
(It feels weird to have to explain that.)
However, it's important to note that you don't need Windows 10, or Windows at all, to play good video games. All the best games play using emulators, since they all came out in the 70s-90s. And Linux supports emulators like MAME and MESS just fine.
It does start explaining some of the highly controversial telemetry MS was collecting in Win10 - turning everyone's PCs into billboards.
Not sure how I'd feel if it started showing me blatant ads. I'd probably just turn it off. And if they annoy me too much, well, hello Mac or Linux.
I'm going to give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt here, they're still trying to figure out what "Windows as a Service" looks like. Note that Google has ads on its homepage and even Apple delivers ads via push notifications, breaking its own rules in this regard.
It's such a fine line between delivering something people want without them having to ask for it (nifty feature), and shoving things down peoples throat (ads). I really hope they address this properly.
It's just like the old adage about boiling a frog. Except that in reality, frogs aren't actually that stupid, and will jump out of the pot when the water gets too hot. Humans aren't that smart.
I'm so glad Win7 will be supported until 2020.
It was either the Economist or FT that did a cost/benefit analysis of removing those inserts for their already-subscribed customers copies, and found that it would cost more in lost new subscriptions to remove them.
How does that make sense?
I dunno if it applies to me since I would habitually forget to resubscribe until they sent me the YOUR LAST ISSUE wrapping like an invasive Santa Claus.
Force the publishers and advertisers to pay the postage for them with the idea of making it less profitable to include them with the magazines in the first place.
Years later, on the internet, I remember seeing some article about people doing this, and they had pictures of things like business-reply envelopes attached to bricks, which the USPS had received. IIRC, they said that the USPS didn't actually send these or charge the business for them, unfortunately.
So stick with just dropping them in the mail as-is, to make sure the business gets charged for it.
They had been told that each application cost a dollar to have mailed and processed.
I was a child so I never cared enough to ask about the details of the dispute and I don't know how long they did this, only that they did.
But for something like QST (a ham radio magazine) where almost every advertiser is offering something I have an interest in, and where there are no physical stores in my area where I can go to browse the merchandise in person, the ads do a great job of keeping me current on what is available but are easy to ignore when I'm reading an article. I'd be disappointed if QST was ad-free.
Possibly the only more annoying thing in TV is when some totally out of place, usually bright and animated logo pops up a couple of minutes before the end of the show I'm actually watching, usually with a boxy ad for some other show on the same channel next to it. Way to completely ruin the ending of the current show.
From where did this implicit expectation come from?
Windows 7 mainstream support ended in Jan 2015 and that was known since forever.
Extended support implies:
>Microsoft no longer supplies non-security hotfixes unless you have an extended support agreement
>All warranty claims end
>Microsoft no long accepts requests for new features and design changes
Even a very old system image of windows 7 will run on the very latest skylake. It doesn't need the very latest updates. I doubt they will create a kill switch in a windows update that refuses to boot if the system detects a too modern CPU.
Still better than Chrome endig support for Windows Vista this upcoming April...
but I see a ton of paid cars driving around with advertisements stuck on the back too
The entire Internet has gone down this road since it's very hard to compete with someone who is giving something away for "free" (note quotes). Free has given us George Orwell's bidirectional it-watches-you TV set.
Free didn't ruin the web, advertising did.
It seems like the only sure way to avoid all this tracking crap in Windows 10 is to pony up for the Enterprise version (which is basically impossible if you’re not a business).
I used to think PCs that were sold had some vendor bloatware, but now the OS itself is bloatware.
Were Stallman & Torvalds simply precient for their viewpoints 20+ years ago?
Can't disable unless it's Win10 Enterprise or Education editions (does any PC sold come with Win10 enterprise or education editions)?
There's at least one very promising competing model: give something away for free (note lack of quotes) and offer people the option to pay.
In the software world we usually do that by using the free version as advertisement for a better paid version, Patreon (and Dwarf Fortress etc) show that the model can even work if paying offers no notable advantages.
Edit: if it were open-source and they paid some people to work on it still, that would be...interesting.
Both aspects are a challenge for software: most people see software as a mere tool, and most people don't see the need for updates (and in fact see them as annoyance).
That's why a twitch streamers or youtube creator can easily get decent amounts of donations while donation buttons in software go completely ignored in almost all cases.
Open source is the one existing model in software development where donations work with some consitency (though donations are mostly in terms of development time, and some widely-used projects still go completely ignored).
For closed source there's are a few working examples with passionate fanbases (mostly games), but for the most part we haven't figured out how to do this well yet.
Websites, TV, radio, print media, billboards, sides of buses, posters in public bathrooms, Disney-branded kids' food at the grocery store, product placements embedded in actual Hollywood movies, desktop search in freakin' Ubuntu...
I didn't sign up for seeing ads in any of these. They're just an implicit part of the social contract in 2016.
In many cities you’ll even find that bus advertisements are toned down, and in public bathrooms there are no posters either.
I don’t remember when I saw or heard an ad the last time, but it was not this week.
Edit: I see "want" in there now..
Microsoft had over $12BB in net income last year, so I'd hardly say the "only" way to make money is through invasive ads like this. I can't really explain why they do this (other than "why not?"), but any revenue from this is sure to be a drop in the bucket.
It has upfront fixed costs and variable costs to maintain, which need to be covered by the developers, users, advertisers, or some combination of the three.
Which is the point in context to someone saying "If only there really was universal expectation of free software...". With IP, the costs are hidden and it's easy to fall into the trap of expecting it to be totally free.
If I give you a lunch without asking for anything in return, and without inconveniencing you, that's a free lunch for you. Of course somebody paid for it, but that doesn't stop me from giving it to you for free.
>Which is the point in context to someone saying "If only there really was universal expectation of free software...".
"I get my software for free but be offered the option to donate" is the model that's giving us Dwarf Fortress. It's free (as in beer) software in any useful sense of the word free.
I don't think they meant "universal expectation of free software with donations only".
I'm not sure if this is a default (I thought it wasn't; it certainly wasn't when I bought a Surface a couple of weeks ago). If this is a default then I think that should be changed but beyond that? Not a big deal. Let's focus on other Windows 10 issues that should be addressed versus this.
I feel like advertisements as a direct component of an operating system have crossed a line. This is like when Ubuntu started advertising amazon products in their launch bar. It crossed a line.
¹ — http://www.microsoftstore.com/store?keywords=windows+10&Site...
Granted, as I said before, this wasn't a default on my Surface but if it was then that's not cool and they should change it. But as far as its existence goes? I don't see it as an issue. Honestly if it let me filter to a crazy degree I would love cool images for some of my favorite or upcoming games. I could be in the minority with that last point I'll admit :)
There is also advertising on-by-default on the full-priced Kindles, but they call it 'Recommended Content' . It takes-up a chunk of the home screen.
Easy enough to disable but it's still advertising.
“Exact same,” my ass. You ought to be ashamed.
I think this is somewhat less intrusive than the Kindle Special Offers, which is already not very intrusive, but both are still advertising.
It isn't that I hate the Internet or anything like that; I've certainly spent long hours online visiting various sites. Nonetheless, the idea of some parts of the OS that --- by default and with no explicit action of the user --- at some undisclosed time, reaching out somewhere to some server that I have no idea of, and retrieving content to be rendered on my machine, just doesn't feel right to me. If some of that "promiscuity" resulted in malware being installed, it would be extremely difficult to determine the cause; according to the list in https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10053622 , Windows 10 by default contacts a rather large list of domains, many of which are third-party and not even Microsoft-controlled.
As I write this post I have a total of one network connection from my machine, an IM client; and at all times I am aware of what connections it's making, and which processes are doing it, so there is nothing unaccounted for. That's the way I like it --- my machine does not "talk to strangers" without me being unaware.
Since customers have shown over and over that they're willing to accept any amount of abuse by MS, I think MS should just go for the gold and screw their customers over as hard as they can think of.
I actually had Office installed and was STILL seeing those annoying as heck notifications. That was just blatant and annoying advertising.
All this is, is you're opting to receive dynamic lock screen images that rotate constantly, Microsoft threw in a few ads. It isn't ideal but you you get something in return (a constantly changing set of lock screen images from Windows Spotlight).
With the Office thing you get nothing in return, it is just irritating and pointless.
Same thing here. I don't see how hard could it be to verify that the Microsoft account I have used to create a Windows account has an Office 365 subscription.
But there's been a huge breakdown, I think, in realizing that it's not correct to treat all users the same way. The fact that my Pro-licensed, domain-joined PC auto-installs Candy Crush on it is kinda an indication they're missing this critical piece.
On the flipside, you don't "own" your software anyway, you own a license to use it (EULA).
The double-standard probably has something to do with the ability to block most of Google's ads and tracking, or use another search platform if you really want. This is the OS on top of which you'll be using all of your other software (web platforms included), and it's impossible to control what is going on in the background.
edit: I don't necessarily know about their legitimacy, and I've never used them myself.
Yeah, and I want a unicorn that farts rainbows.
If you continue to use Windows, you're going to get all kinds of uninvited stuff you don't want. The question is, what are you going to do about it? Sit around a whine?
Personally, I love this stuff, and I hope MS makes it so people can't disable it, and even requires that all Windows PCs must be connected to the internet at all times to phone home, or else they stop working.
Windows requires payment, just not in dollars. The data gathered from "telemetry" (spyware) is valuable.
edit: I'll assume from the downvotes that some people want to pretend that pattern-of-life data isn't valuable
I'm pretty sure it's from people who either payed for Windows and just got a free upgrade, or who directly bought Windows 10. Computers with "free" Windows obviously also have the price of Windows factored in. The closest you get to free Windows is with Dreamspark (their MINT student program), and even that costs money for the university.
Obviously Windows is sold in other forms, and new pre-built computers still have a Windows Tax.
Also, fuck buying games off the Windows store, Steam and any other service that locks you into DRM. My steam client in Linux is hopelessly broken due to updates. Some of my games will still play, but most require the stupid Steam DRM layer. I should have bought them off Humble instead.
Can't deny Humble have it right though. This war over DRM was fought with music and non-DRM has mostly won. Maybe something similar will happen with games.
The major benefit of owning music was that you could consume it easily on-demand. Since streaming services have expanded their libraries, delivery channels, and made songs available offline, there are less competitive benefits to actually owning a digital copy.
With the money saved you could always just purchase the songs if the service stopped.
Much cheaper to just buy it.
And that's neglecting the fact that my data connection is spotty anyway. Fixing that would require buying a new Verizon phone and subscribing to Verizon, so that's probably at least $150-200/month right there, plus whatever the phone costs.
This was already pointed out, so I'm beginning to think you have some sort of cognitive bias against streaming services. Who are you really trying to convince, me or yourself?
Games have also generally always put their saves in your documents folder.
I appreciate it might have been an easy assumption to make, but it's even right there in google searches instant answer thing so it must be a common question.
It obviously caused you a lot of hassle but steam's wildly popular and mainly loved, not total garbage. I'm really only commentating to make it clear to non-steam users that this poster has a minority opinion on the service, it's been years since there was any wide user dissatisfaction in steam (mainly when it first came out).
They even recently added a no-questions-asked refund system if you bought a game in the last 2 weeks and have played the game less than 2 hours.
Many games do, but there are still plenty that put them elsewhere. You probably want to use something like Gamesave Manager  to find them all.
This is not true. Delete everything apart from the steamapps and userdata folders (which contain all your games and related data) and the Steam executable.
Next time you click it it will redownload and install itself and all your installed games will be intact.
It seems the only sure way to avoid all this tracking crap is to pay for the Enterprise version of Windows 10 (good luck with doing that if you’re not a business though).
I like some things about Windows 10, for example the new snap features for programs is nice, overall the system looks quite nice as well. Their virtual desktop implementation is kind of lacking but at least it is there. Explorer is actually quite decent these days as well.
However it just keeps pissing me off. I use SumatraPDF as my PDF reader, it is a great program. I can't think of a time when it hasn't worked perfectly yet for the 5th time now Windows has helpfully informed me it had to restore Edge as the default PDF reader for "reasons", of course I have no idea what these reasons are!
I have Office 2016 installed and yet the stupid "Get Office 365" bullshit constantly nags me and reinstalls itself when the Store does some background updating. I had to hunt down a bloody PowerShell command to force remove it.
Oh yes and in Microsoft's infinite wisdom they auto-install Twitter and Candy Crush Saga on my so-called "Professional" version of Windows which I paid for on a new machine!
Honestly it is a fucking horrible experience. Their own modern Universal apps are garbage. They release these totally shit apps with the idea that "oh we can update constantly via the Store!" but the apps they are releasing are just plain awful. I have used tech demos that work better ffs.
I honestly can't stand the Windows 10 experience. The new way of doing things is just horrible. I end up using Windows 10 just like I used Windows 7/8 with Win32 apps because there are still not any good Universal apps as the platform is just garbage by the looks of it. I mean if the maker of the platform can't even make decent apps what does that say about the platform?!
Ubuntu isn't perfect but at least it doesn't fuck with me every other day to the point where I just want to walk away from the computer.
Yes Linux still has some rough around the edges but I have found that installing Chrome makes everything web-related "just work" as well as on Windows. Netflix? Check! Flash? Check! Also TIS-100 has a Linux version so that keeps me happy :)
Totally agree with this.
For every modern Universal app there is an old Win32 desktop version that runs, performs and probably even looks better.
The only one I've use regularly is the Netflix app, because it seems to be the only way to get 5.1 surround sound on my desktop. The browser version does not seem to support it.
Still, the Netflix app UI is god fucking awful compared to the website. It's such a chore to navigate and find things.
Disclosures: I work at Microsoft and really don't like advertising-supported products.
1. What is happening?
2. Why is this happening?
3. How do I shut this off?
4. Who the hell decided this was a good idea?
5. Where's the nearest trash bin?
I personally would have just assumed the ad to be yet another random lock screen image. Which I like for the most part.
Pretty picture of a New Zeeland countryside? Ad for NZ tourism office.
Pretty picture of a data center chockfull of network equipment and mainframes? Ad for IBM and Cisco.
Microsoft have been doing that since Bing, show a pretty interesting picture with a little icon to know where that picture is from. It just happens that one is from a game.
People are so tired of obnoxious and disgusting ads that they tend to forget why they hate obnoxious and disgusting ads; because they are obnoxious and disgusting. Then they go on an irrational crusade about every picture, awesome viral video, mystery public campaign just because it originates from a corporation.
It's a very attractive piece of high quality concept art. It doesn't even have a logo.
Is it for a game that they sell? Yes. But come on. This is one of the least invasive advertisements I've ever seen.
This is product placement at it's best, really. It's subtle, attention-catching on its artistic merits, and stays out of your way if you're uninterested.
I'll even go as far as suggest that this is exactly the kind of advertising I'd prefer, if we must have advertising (that point can be debated).
And you know, advertising methods are starting to look a lot like pure rudeness to me.
It wouldn’t be socially acceptable to walk up to somebody sitting on a park bench and just start randomly bothering them. It wouldn’t be socially acceptable to just start dumping signs all over someone’s front porch and gluing them to the windows of the house. Why, then, aren’t companies downright ashamed (and publicly shamed) when they create a product that feels the need to periodically pop messages in front of the user’s face that are by definition completely unnecessary to the function of the product?
Build a product; make it nice; make it functional; and make it show things to the user only when necessary. Anything else is mere distraction, and frankly taints the product’s perceived value.
We are spiraling down into a cesspool of “free” products that tax users with a thousand needles every day.
We used to know how to pay $40 for software, or even $10, and demand better. We need to return to that.
If I went into a business meeting and Laura Croft showed up as my screen saver so MS could pocket $0.000001 for showing me an ad I would go ballistic. And I'm a MS guy. It's these type of shortsighted ad-in-the-os decisions which are making me doubt the future of MS as a serious company.
I really don't like this trend of turning your personal computer into a thin client, where its properties can be manipulated remotely by the vendor like if it was a web app.
This is why I stayed away of products like Windows 10 and ChromeOS.
Because, ChromeOS seems to be mostly about web apps, thus can suffer from the same issue that this post describes, for example.
One day it may be the only way to use Windows programs without this kind of end-user harassment.
There's a lot of code sharing between ReactOS and Wine. For the most part, Wine works really well to run Windows software... there's no need to run an entire somewhat-Windows-compatible OS that has limited hardware compatibility when you're just interested in running a particular Windows application. 
However, I expect that you neither meant to imply that Wine wasn't a good option for running Windows software, nor that work on Wine was likely to stop before work on ReactOS stopped. :)
 Edit: To be clear, I'm quite aware that the task that the ReactOS devs face is monumental. I also acknowledge that those devs have put in a lot of good work over the past ~eighteen years.
Upload a booby-trapped image, let Bing categorise it and let the bombs start falling...
"Free" in that context is what I am referring to.
A more accurate lesson would be, "if the item is free, and often if it is not, you are paying for it in something other than money, or are receiving benefits incidentally to someone else paying for it."
Win 10 isn't free.
That doesn't make the software's user "the product" though. In your case the developer is making himself the product he tries to sell, not the users. This is really not comparable to advertisement and data collection.
Telling people not to trust anything they don't have to pay for seems a really obvious footgun for FOSS.
That's at least my way of looking at it.
HEY YOU GUYS LETS PLASTER ADVERTISING ALL OVER ALL OF THE THINGS!
Look at Gmail: http://imgur.com/M8RF1TV
Look at Yahoo Mail: http://imgur.com/Cjwxspc
Look at AOL Mail: http://imgur.com/ZeaIe1L
Which email product do you use?
Which would you rather use?
The advertising business that is sustainable is owning the user at a moment of high-intent, aka SEARCH.
Slapping ads all over my login page is a great way render the fat from brand advertisers into short-term revenue gains at the price of ENRAGING me.
MSFT get the tracking and the ads the fuck out of my kitchen and my OS or at least give me a REAL way to pay you for a clean, no ad version!
I was expecting your screenshot to show the minimized amount of ads within the inbox. But you could argue that Outlook is reasonably minimal, Gmail is only text, and Yahoo/AOL are panelled ads.
If I search "bike shop London," I want to find a bike shop in London, so if I see an ad for a bike shop in London, I'm ecstatic, and I'll probably go there.
When I go to check my inbox, on the other hand, that's because I want to see what email I've received. I don't want to see ads there.
This is the inherent problem with Facebook/Twitter- I go to Facebook/Twitter to find what my friends are up to, not to search for something. I have no interest in seeing ads in my Facebook/Twitter feed.
In your scenario, you've decided you want to 1) buy a bike 2) from a brick and mortar store 3) by going there and talking to them. Your mind is made up. Why does your local bike shop have to pay Google to show up in those results? What if a bike shop uses its budget to advertise on Google instead of training its employees, you'll go to the one that's advertising instead of the good one, because Google is playing middleman on intent. I don't like there being economic incentive to mess with my research when I've already decided what I want.
On the other hand, I like AdSense. If I'm reading an article about commuting problems in the Bay Area or on how to buy a car for cheap, ads for bike shops might be helpful. It turns out that SF is a good place to ditch the car and commute on your bike because the weather is so good. That's new information in the moment I'm making the decision, not re-ranking existing information when I'm trying to find something more commoditized.
The problem is the Google has built a legitimate monopoly on search, and they're extracting the value they can from it. Sure, it's based on being a better search engine than everybody else, but it still frustrates me that they're taking their monopolists cut.
The effects of this are subtle, but it could be that they are pretty big.
Just look at Google removing forum search from it's engine - so instead of reading discussions among people(and some shills, sure), most people often read commercial stuff or crap journalism.What does that do to democracy ? consumer choice ?
Yeah, well, I'm part of the 47% in this situation.
Exactly. And the advertisers usually don't benefit either. When I was looking for a password manager, I saw Dashlane listed and it looked like a decent product … but I didn't click on it or research it because it had kept showing up on my Firefox homepage, and I associated "ads in my Firefox" with "Dashlane". Sure, I had more brand awareness, but it didn't do them any good.
Although presently I just use GMail's https://inbox.google.com which hasn't shown me an advertisement yet.
Not to mention the fact that Gmail is valuable to Google because it gets people to sign in in all the browsers they use, allowing them to track them via cookies on all Google properties including search.
The "World's Most Valuable Advertising Business" does things like track which physical stores Android phone users and Google maps users on iOS visit.
Plenty of Android OEMs install adware and bloatware, sometimes which cannot even be uninstalled, so I guess people are already conditioned to this.