I spent a month like this, on an always-on system, trying to shut down the upgrade downloader from the task bar whenever I can after failing to stop it from settings, group policy, horsing around in powershell etc. Before that, I had also tried to make the upgrade work by doing it manually, updating drivers, unplugging all the peripherals etc. but it kept getting stuck halfway through. So I couldn't upgrade, and I couldn't not upgrade.
Well last week there was an update to the update so I hoped at least the upgrade would work now and I would be done with this charade. Nope, it crashed again while upgrading, except this time there was no way to roll back and use my system. I am torn between cutting windows out completely and going back to windows 7.
Compare this with most linux distributions. The updates can run in the background, the update process is often significantly faster and finishes in a few minutes and finally I don't need to reboot unless the kernel is updated.
Windows update is definitely my #1 reason to switch to linux.
FreeBSD forever :)
And it's stuff like this I'm thinking of when I say "taking for granted." Telemetry. User-hostile update policies. Minecraft in the start menu. Pushing a Microsoft account for desktop login. These things are not office-user friendly, they do not say, "we take your need to do work on this computer seriously."
There are still huge numbers of casual and home users who are much better off with automatic updates and the reflex to disable them due to being a minor annoyance has to go.
Outside of gamers, though, most of them couldn't care less about Windows and continue to use it because it's what came with the laptop. This is an irretrievably shrinking market. I admit Microsoft is in a bind here. A huge legacy install base that refuses to apply updates when asked nicely is a recipe for another Conficker. Their previous success in the consumer market has turned into a huge liability. But they can't fix that by having a punitive update process in Windows 10. All those old unpatched Windows 7 machines are still out there. The same users who don't apply patches opted out of the free windows 10 update.
"OMG OMG, there's a completely different thing in the computer than there was yesterday! Make it go away!! I didn't touch nothing this time!!!" And lo and behold, there was indeed a completely different OS, without any attempt at obtaining user consent (or, even worse, against the expressed denial of consent). Are you surprised that the users "opted out" of further violations of expectations?
TL;DR: nonconsensual "upgrade" bad; perhaps the tea analogy didn't quite register with MS? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQbei5JGiT8
Not in the least. Like I said, I think MS is terrified of another Conficker, and they reacted in the worst possible way by trying to coerce people into applying updates. Worse, not all of those updates were truly for the users' benefit, and some of them rendered the user's computer inoperable. The not-unexpected result is that people, especially the less sophisticated userbase we're talking about, have moved from total indifference towards updates to moderate distrust.
Yes, those qualifications being: 1) Have a browser. 2) Be able to type your words.
> By pushing to make Windows as idiot-proof as possible... They've basically lost the mass market. The e-mail checking machine in the kitchen has been replaced by a tablet...
I've never known anyone to have an "e-mail" checking machine in their kitchen. I do know lots of folks who work at home though and they all use Windows.
> Their only hope is to position Windows as the OS for people who want to get serious work done...
OK, done and done.
> ...because it's never been easier to find an alternative...
Go ahead, find one. I'll wait. Please tell me what OS is going to replace Windows??
> Telemetry. User-hostile update policies. Minecraft in the start menu. Pushing a Microsoft account for desktop login. These things are not office-user friendly...
Telemetry, updates and games have been part of Windows since forever. None of this is new. Search for: Office 2000 Customer Experience Improvement. You'll find people asking how to turn it off.
I saw a lot of that in years past. Seems that there was a trend for awhile to have a builtin desk in the kitchen, and that desk typically had a Windows computer on it. I doubt many of these people used it for more than email and basic stuff.
> Go ahead, find one. I'll wait. Please tell me what OS is going to replace Windows??
I'm seeing Linux slowly take over on workstations, both at home and at the office. I'm no longer surprised to find Linux installed where previously it would have been unheard of.
These are just my observations, though.
My observation is more and more people are trying linux, probably because of Win10 stuff. But they all say they don't like it, and go back to Win or to Mac. I heard yesterday one diehard linux fan pondering going to Mac ... If Apple did not let quality slide they would have be the windows-replacement, but we are stuck with 2 bad options and one funny-bad one. And Windows is still the most convenient and easiest, even if only because of history and inertia.
Arguably that's what they are doing by making Windows as idiot-proof as possible. For all their accidental botnets, the home users forgetting or not knowing to keep their machines updated are one problem, sure, but let's not forget that the real villains in not keeping Windows machines up to date are all in Enterprise IT. There are so many people actively working to keep machines out of date in the name of keeping their jobs "easy" or "stability", and that should be a staggering statistic.
I've got a feeling the number of Fortune 5,000 companies that have contributed to botnets is incredibly underreported, and I've got a feeling the number of Fortune 500 companies that have only avoided that fate by raw luck and bubble gum is a lot bigger than people think.
Enterprise loves Telemetry. They want your machine to spy on all your activities. They want to complain that you spend too much time on HN and accidentally glance at articles related to "Gaming" during work time because they have a cool HN discussion thread.
Admittedly, some are overtly mad at Microsoft for getting access to that data themselves and trying to use some telemetry to improve their products, but how many of those complaining are covertly excited that they get access to the same data in tools like System Center?
> User-hostile update policies.
Per above, Enterprises have shown they need to be forced to update too.
> Pushing a Microsoft account for desktop login.
Enterprises love accounts. It helps keep things accountable. (Terrible pun intended.) Your Microsoft account gets to connect to your Office 365 work account. They can send you reminders to your personal Microsoft Account via the Microsoft Graph to your home computer to get back to work, if you let them. With BYOD workplaces, your home computer can double as your workplace computer and you can be so productive with all your accounts communicating together in "harmony", personal and work.
For the users used to using an AD domain account every day at work, a personal Microsoft Account can make their home devices feel like a "real boy" with the nice things like profile roaming that their Enterprise AD accounts get (assuming the Enterprise doesn't turn off nice things with Group Policies and mismanagement, of course).
> These things are not office-user friendly
Except for Minecraft, these things are extremely office-user friendly. These are things Enterprises love. These are reasons why most Enterprises couldn't quit Windows if they tried.
(Even forced updates; as much as some companies are griping right now, soon it will be the new normal and corporate ITs will adjust. They'll continue to complain, having a nice scapegoat to blame in Microsoft for update failures, but they'll also likely enjoy the perks of the new regime eventually as they realize that tech debt of not updating was its own misery and less "easy" than they thought it was.)
Those were a lot of "accidents". Some of this behavior was on par with most viruses I've come across...
Seems MS were really desperate to get this update out.
Will be upgrading to windows 7/8.1 as soon as I get the time(until I am hopefully able to jump ship to linux).
The drivers do not work, i have no control over my system, the options they offer you- are like a toddlers toys- nice buttons to push, which the 'adults' can safely ignore on every update.
The only thing still keeping me in windows is the ecosystem of software, they have held hostage. But there is a exit sign glowing brighter every thursday:
I need security and no random shutdowns. I switched to linux about a year ago. Lots of complaints, yes, but no auto-updates.
Example scripts (haven't used any):
Win10 is inherently more secure because of these forced updates. Think about WannaCry... it only worked _because_ people (and organisations) don't update.
Now I understand that some people apparently need a system that will never update, but I agree with the policy of simply forcing the updates for 99% of the people.
I believe Microsoft wants two things: A more homogeneous installation base and the beloved walled garden with phone home capabilities. Both are directly adverse to users interests. Therefore people don't want to update.
I think it's that Microsoft still hasn’t figured out how to do updates without requiring a reboot. Nobody wants to lose their working state or wait minutes to begin working to what appears at first glance to be pointless computer housekeeping.
If security researchers refuse to protest publicly and loud against beeing taken for a ride, then this hostilitys between users/powerusers will escalate further.
The problem is, that microsoft doesent want customers anymore- they want facebook like subjects, and with every update these change in motives is becoming more transparent. There is no real opt-out, add-free, pay for, security only update edition. For now. My guess is that several linux distros are currently trying to fill that g-app.
After that- windows will go out the window.
1) "some people apparently need a system that will never update"... Didn't Microsoft literally ask to disable updates during install on every other editions? Whoops. Your statistics are really bad.
2) I see that WannaCry caused $130k in cryptocurrency damages. It's ironic because Bitcoin miners are the very users of these scripts.
3) Conversely, how much has this update policy lost in productivity? (the crypto miners lose twice I guess). It's insignificant to Microsoft's Telemetry and advertising profits. And hell, does Microsoft even need a support team anymore when you can provide it?
How much must I pay Microsoft to disable auto-updates? It's increasing every year. No I'm not going to run some rogue script. No I don't need any snake oil "idiot insurance". Yes this matters to a broke-ass business. No I can't afford enterprise support. Yeah I get it, just enable "metered connection" and ur gucci bro you don't need those updates.
I'm on Linux now, thanks for your concerns.
Profile of Nathan Myrvhold
Really, they also should be using erasure codes over UDP with TCP-friendly flow control in order to make more efficient use of noisy or high-latency channels.
What sort of protocols are used for this kind of thing, and what would I research if I wanted to do this myself?
How do I know? I was roaming and the data plan ran out, we caught it in the act.
If you are connected through a Bluetooth link to a cell phone, Windows will probably assume that it is tethered to a phone and therefore metered. Likewise, WiFi connections are probably assumed to be unmetered, for better or worse. But you can tell Windows that a given network connection is metered.
(I am not a Windows user 98% of the time and I find this behavior annoying too, FWIW.)
He didn't change it back. My quota was blown an hour later (I don't recall how much data I had left, but it was hundreds of MB). In spite of it being set to metered seconds after connecting to the hotspot.
Was a suggestion to null route all Microsoft domains, which is likely a decent option for an individual or small company. Cant see it going down well at large scale.
"I've tried to disable updates through the settings, and without fail a day or so later it's updated to the latest version again. Any thoughts?"
Optionally disable the update code first...
[ed: there's also Firefox esr for those that need an old (if not ancient) version:
With w10 there really isn't much of a real choice.
[ed: https://fsfe.org/freesoftware/basics/4freedoms.en.html ]
I can't tell if you are serious or not. Really, this is nice example of programmers living in their bubble ... Or excellent trolling.
With Windows, all I can do is suggest you switch to Ubuntu or something.
Our developers write exclusively Windows software (games company) and even though it costs us multiple millions of dollars in software licenses to run dedicated servers, the "cost of porting" is high enough to prevent people from doing it.
I'm not a developer myself but seeing how they work on Windows is definitely impressive.
I researched a little after I was told (while pushing linux) that things like epoll were why they would never use it.
I did manage to convince them to write their storage backend on FreeBSD because that uses kqueues and has ZFS.
- install a dev environment with all tools and transient dependencies with a single command
- install multiple versions of the same library and easily choose between them
- install the same version of a library but built with different compiler switches
The world of open source operating systems can accomplish all of the above (I use NixOS). And we get access to a repository of thousands of packaged tools. And we get fast Git.
I'm sorry but the general consensus is that Windows falls quite short of being a nice development environment, despite the existence of Visual Studio.
And your "general consensus" isn't as general as you think, look up OS usage among developers. I have never seen source claiming 50%+ usage of Linux, and "consensus" implies much more than simple majority ...
C libraries are often transitive dependencies of higher-level language libraries, e.g. for Haskell or Python. Using language-specific package managers often fails to properly handle such transitive dependencies.
> look up OS usage among developers
This doesn't indicate personal preference. My whole team is forced to develop on Windows at work, we would all rather use Linux, as we deploy to Linux and our tools, e.g. Git, work better on Linux. But such are the constraints of working in a corporate environment.
I use a Linux development environment for my personal projects.
It's still a better experience than Windows 10.
A better solution for this (and Facebook) is to physically block at the client. And rather than providing “settings”, Microsoft should proactively encourage this too: the official FAQ for disabling updates should essentially be specifying the domains and IPs to block in routers for example.
Research for the coming months: getting Linux running on my Surface Pro.
There. I've argued my points as well as you have yours.
You can't really make sweeping statements about large orgs.
After the next hardware upgrade, I'll finally be able to relegate Windows to a VFIO VM without network access. Looking forward to it more and more.
You have Linux left, but then again I accidentally removed the wrong package the other day and I made my system completely non-functional, to the point that I had to reinstall from scratch.
Microsoft doesn’t deserve 44th or 45th chances to get it right with decades of experience and billions of dollars. Does a law need to change here?
It feels like the primary focus of Windows is no longer to do what the user wants, but to do what Microsoft wants.
There are plenty of horror stories where the PC reboots at a very bad moment and then one is stuck without a computer for a couple of hours.
Windows 10 is an unreliable OS and I don't ever plan to use it. Both macOS and Linux get this right.
They delayed the webcast for about two hours, hoping it would come back, but the laptop didn't finish in that time so they just had to go without. "Funny" thing is that it was his reputation that took the hit, not Microsoft's nor the contracting company's.
Not to mention mundane stuff like broken display drivers that render machines unusable and so on.
It's insane not to disable automatic updates on Windows if you run critical systems.
I am expressly not saying that "forcing" Windows 10 updates on users is a good idea--but I'm sympathetic, and I'm not saying it's not--but if you are running something like "critical medical equipment", it should already be incumbent upon you to be doing it right.
No more forced updates. No more telemetry.
I've run packet analysis to confirm that the built-in firewall blocks, among other things, telemetry - what is your source for this?
Please stop spreading misinformation.
You then allow whatever you need for your trusted executables (not svchost.exe).
I guess I'm very hostile to that idea since I grew up in a time when my computer was my computer, not the property of an American software organization to decide for me what is best.
People have been saying this for years and there's never been any sign of it getting anywhere near a legislature. If someone's going to be made responsible it's going to be those that produced the product.
The users that do care, and want or need to opt out of the updates know what they are doing and can take responsibility for their actions to block updates.
At this point, Windows is going to end up just being my mostly-disconnected gaming OS when they stop releasing security updates in a little under 2 years.
Windows 10 needs to dump the animated ad tiles and allow complete removal of their remote-processed speech API. If they're going to continue with forced reboots, there needs to be some tech where apps run in suspendable containers, or something. I'm tired of picking up the computer in the morning and trying to remember everything I had open to work on whatever I was doing before the reboot.
Not going to happen unless MS itself shuts down or they decide to exit the desktop OS market.
If Microsoft only wants to support new software, they should make new software that people want to switch to without being tricked, forced, and coerced into it.
BTW, I'm hiding KB2976978 (still can do it) as I write this. If I can't block any update I don't like I'm not interested in your product. Life's too short for this kind of BS.
Oh, and the doctor administers it by sneaking into your kid's bedroom with a needle in the middle of the night, coming in through a window if you locked the front door.
Other than that, yeah, perfect analogy.
Unfortunately, software doesn't work like that. It's hard (if not completely impossible) to separate security from feature updates.
You'll likely need to cherry pick git commits and build the software yourself. I don't know of any sane person who would spend the time to do that.
Similar bugs with non booting PCs, display drivers not working, other hardware not working, performance loses happened many times after updates, so you need to allow the rollback functionality to work.
A solution that would help in this case is implemented in some major linux distributions where you can chose to install only the security updates, this means more work for Microsoft but if Red Hat and others can spend the time to backport security fixes to the Linux kernel then MS should be able to do the same. I am aware of the downsides of this, but enterprise customers should ask for the security fixes only and not for all the eye candy changes and if enterprise get this special security fixes then the other users should have the option to get them too, paid customers should not be forced to run on bleeding edge.