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If you must run Windows 10 (tinyapps.org)
161 points by _o-O-o_ 54 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 205 comments

I see a lot of angry posts like this, but fail to understand how it's reflected in reality in 2019—I agree that Windows 10 was a little messy at launch, but it's come a long way from where many of these complaints seem to stem from.

Yeah, Windows has a bad rap, but in the last 2-4 years has come leaps and bounds from where it was—implementing great, thoughtfully designed features on a regular basis, for free. With WSL2 and the other developer-focused improvements in tow, most of these are a shitlist of nitpicks, than things you'll run into every day. I switched from macOS about two years back, and couldn't see myself going the other way anymore ever again. But, that said, I can see why people want to stay there! That's the beauty of choice.

These types of posts are based on historical grudges, rather than modern experiences with Windows. Sure, there's going to be annoying things to change out of the box, but every machine, with any OS, has that.

Some people are tired of an OS that by default phones home about actions you do on it, include advertisement in your start area, and regularly push updates to add new features that also break existing software.

The 'phones home' argument doesn't really add up—there's plenty of control over this at this point, and every OS is calling home, macOS included, to some degree. The advertisements thing happens out of the box, and is trivial to remove (if my memory is correct, Safari harasses you about being the default browser, too, if you try to change it). The updates to add features thing.... isn't an issue for me, but YMMV.


My OS does not phone home.

It contacts package mirrors when I ask it to and only when I ask it to.

It contacts NTP servers because I specifically enabled that.

That's it. By contrast Windows is a black box of nonsense.

The copy I have running in a VM has the marketing name "Cortana" process running even though I specifically chose "no" at install.

I enabled a data limit the other day and played some games. The game used 30MB and the combined OS used >60MB doing who knows what despite the fact it tells me updates are not downloaded on metered connections.

Sorry, no, there is no excuse for this. If it's not opt in, it's malware. If it's opt in defaulted to yes and with no clear benefit to the user, it's malware.

The cortana process includes elements of local search indexing. Part of the cortana 'integration' included rebranding existing local functionality as cortana.

Obviously: we don’t care. Apple and Microsoft do roughly an equal amount of telemetry. Ubuntu has telemetry.

Obviously most people are fine with telemetry.

Apple charges WAY more for its OS than Microsoft does for Windows 10 Home Edition. Don’t want adds? Buy the Pro version.

This “apples are better than oranges” indignation about Windows 10 is getting old. Don’t like it? Fine. Let other people enjoy things they like.

Well, yeah.

Personally this is probably the process by which I become a luddite. You can pry my free OS from my cold dead hands.

For now, the server market is enough to keep general purpose computing going. In twenty years, who knows?

My friends and family who are not power users don't know enough to even understand what malware is or means. They likely never will, just as they don't understand all of the ingredients in their food.

This doesn't make it OK.

Things get pushed on people, and most are not even aware enough for the question "do they care?" to even become meaningful.

We're moving from sofware you run without any interference to subscription and surveillance models, and that's not because users want that, that's not "what they like", they don't have an easy way to get what they do like while also being treated ethically.

They have enough alternatives. Free alternatives at that! If they don’t switch, then that’s their choice and they are obviously fine with it.

The whole “Windows telemetry bad” meme is mostly just an excuse for a flame war.

No, being aware of something is the prerequisite of being fine with something. And for people who just walk into to a store and buy a computer with preinstalled OS, telemetry is pretty much the default, as you said previously.

I guess you could say companies are obviously afraid of offering the choice, of offering the same product with and without telemetry, clearly labeled.

> The whole “Windows telemetry bad” meme is mostly just an excuse for a flame war.

Why are you putting such mocking words into my mouth? I'm not saying "Windows telemetry bad", I'm saying what I'm saying.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to say you were mocking. But the whole narrative on HN does feel like that and is essentially a tribal, condescending thing.

I would think differently if I saw the same amount of criticism towards other products which commit similar if not worse “offenses”. MacOS does a comparable amount of telemetry. Ubuntu does telemetry (albeit presumably less).

If telemetry as done by OS providers is an offense, then half the tech industry is built on top of even more severe privacy offenses. Can you imagine any serious digital product NOT doing what is essentially telemetry? Imagine online ad companies NOT spying on you? I mean, if it offends you, then sure, voice your discontents. But if a collective in aggregate constantly criticizes minor offenses by one player but lets other players off the leash for way more, it’s not about privacy, sorry.

Also, I don’t agree that people are ignorant. Most of media coverage about Windows 10 revolved around its telemetry. It’s asked when you install it. It’s in the settings. I mean, if you don’t care about it after that then you don’t care.

Personally, I think telemetry is OK. So I’m not bothered, as long as it’s not outright spying. I’m also OK with paying more for Windows 10 Pro to not have the stupid ads.

Please tell me how much Apple charges for its OS

Some part of the ridiculous margins they put on the hardware you're required to have to legally run the OS.

> Safari harasses you about being the default browser

But does it advertise to you by default? This seems not comparable at all. Pretty much every browser will want you to set it as default (and at least the option to stop the nagging is usually front and center).

Maybe this is just me, but advertising by default in something as basic as a start screen seems very user hostile....

Every time you go to check updates for macOS you have to see ads in their app store. Not only that, but Apple installs a ton of apps I don’t need, which are essentially advertised by simply existing on my launchpad. Things just show up after an update and I don’t see a difference between that and some third-party apps that Microsoft puts on the start menu for you.

This is no longer true on the latest macOS; OS updates are no longer delivered via the app store. (You get to it via settings, or you can get to it via the apple menu in the top bar.)

But anyway, I figure the app store is a place I go to get apps, and if the app store chooses to offered paid placement in that list, at least that's sort of relevant. My start area... is a place I go to use basic functionality of the machine. There is no implication that I want to install anything, or buy anything.

Has Apple ever installed a third-party app on your system? macOS is a batteries-included OS, I think most people consider the wide variety of first-party apps to be a feature not a bug. And if you want a specific app, type its name into Spotlight and you don't even have to hunt and peck through all the icons.

1. Updates are done through settings.

2. Advertising is communication about a product or service. A product is not advertising in itself, logic doesn't work like that.

It's also worth differentiating what one gets: free, quality apps with a decent privacy policy vs. pay to win games in Windows.

You're trying a too hard to excuse customer-hostile behavior and it's embarrassing.

> You're trying a too hard to excuse customer-hostile behavior and it's embarrassing.

That was rude. I’m telling it like I see it. Did I offend your favorite OS or corporation or something like that? Why get personal with me??

1. OS updates had not been done through settings for a long, long time. However updates to Apples preinstalled applications are done through the App Store... Anyway, if it was OK for Apple to do through their store for 10-15 years, then it should be fine for Microsoft to do something comparable now. Right?

2. There are no ads in the Windows start menu according to your definition either then because Candy Crush simply exists as an icon there. As a matter fact I just setup a new Windows laptop last night and I didn’t see one ad. Just some preinstalled apps.

Are you sure that you know what you’re talking about?

I did a brand new Windows install recently and it had all sorts of icons for apps in the Start Menu that aren't made by Microsoft. Candy Crush, some racing game, some other game, Spotify. In fact, some of these "pre-installed" apps weren't even installed (like crapware is) at all. They were icons that install the apps (or take you to the store) once you click them.

You honestly don't think those are ads? It's Microsoft pushing "install this!" icons for third-party apps from the store in your face in a non-related UI place in the OS, that you have not chosen to install. There is no other proper name for that than an ad. The apps are not even remotely related to Windows as a product and you don't have to even go to the store to see them- they are in a standard OS menu.

To be fair- I don't (as much) mind some Microsoft products being treated this way (OneDrive, Skype), because I would expect the creator of the OS to push their own stuff.

There is zero comparison to the MacOS App Store (where obviously there would be ads for apps... because it's a store... for apps.) If Apple started putting Candy Crush, Racing Games, and Spotify in my Dock on a new install- I would have just as much a problem with that.

Wayneftw does think those are ads, and argued that they are ads when Apple installs not-requested software. Then blub argued that Apple is different because products aren't ads, so wayneftw said that if they're not ads when Apple does it, they're not ads when Microsoft does it.

You honestly don't think those are ads? It's Microsoft pushing "install this!" icons for third-party apps from the store in your face in a non-related UI place in the OS, that you have not chosen to install. There is no other proper name for that than an ad.

"Around 2014, over 93 million people were playing Candy Crush Saga[..] Five years after its release on mobile, the Candy Crush Saga series has received over 2.7 billion downloads, and the game has been one of the highest-grossing and most-played mobile apps in that time frame." - Wikipedia

Is there no way to explain this as "giving an easy way to find Candy Crush to the millions of paying customers who want that"? Isn't HN always on about "build things people want"?

You're playing some kind of game where me and others have to repeatedly explain things to you in detail, only for you to come up with yet another technicality to trip us up and waste our time.

A significant amount of people view games like Candy Crush as crapware and those so-called icons as ads. There are articles from multiple reputable publications discussing how to turn off start menu ads. Some Microsoft-developed Windows 10 apps also have ads and yes there's guidelines available on how to get rid of them.

It seems that many MS customers have spoken, and they think MS's approach to ads sucks. And we will continue to complain about that, even if those ads don't match your strange definition of what an as is or should be.

Huh? I made one comment and you immediately acted like I’d posted 20 times in this thread…

Anyway, as others have pointed out to you… Many many many people enjoy candy crush. Look it up pal :-)

Nothing, absolutely nothing that you’ve said to me has changed my view. Apple also puts crapware that I don’t want on my Mac and others in this thread have agreed with me. The fact that you don’t think it’s crapware has zero bearing on this conversation.

macOS is way more expensive as well. Compare it with Windows 10 Pro for a fairer price point and ads are not a problem all of a sudden.

How is it more expensive. The last macOS I had to pay for was mountain lion. That was 10.8. I get that I have to buy a mac to get the os but once I have it, I get the most recent version of macOS for free from the AppStore.


The overpriced hardware (usually the same of other OEMs, like DELL) is including the price of the OS itself.

Yes, but if I buy a dell with Windows 10, and MS releases Windows 11 a month from now, I will (most likely, based on each previous release), have to buy a license of Windows 11. Apple used to do that until 10.8.

The price is included in the price of the whole product.

I mean, it’s not the price of materials that dominate Apple’s pricing. And you actually have to pay money to people developing the OS. So no, it’s not free.

You're paying for the brand, design, etc. Yes, Apple funds OS development though other sales, but it's not sold separately and new OS releases are free. As far as I understand the law, I can legally install macOS on a machine that did not originally come with it installed (hackintosh), with the caveat that I violate Apple's EULA by doing so.

Microsoft bundles all sorts of software with their OS that can be installed separately for free, does that mean they're actually not free because development is funded through other product sales? A lot of their services have a free tier, are those services not free because there's a paid tier?

Apple's inflated hardware price certainly includes room for funding their OS development, but that doesn't mean the OS isn't free. Windows sales also likely go toward funding things other than OS development, but that doesn't mean that all of their products aren't free if you're running them on Windows.

That’s a bit of confusing things. My argument is that regardless of how these products are funded, they ARE funded and their target segment is different based on that source of funding.

MacOS is a premium product. Windows 10 Home edition is obviously not. You mention yourself in another comment that you estimate the cost of it to be around $40.

HN collectively throwing a fit because Windows 10 Home doesn’t fit their needs is silly, because they are not the target audience.

IF you intend to compare macOS with Windows, you need to compare same market segments, i.e. macOS and Windows 10 Pro.

Ads are always a problem because they're manipulative communication.

Forcing ads through the OS os is also very aggressive and rude, because there's no way to turn them off.

Well, you can get another OS, no? It’s not like it’s a monopoly.

I get semi-regular notifications in macOS telling me I should give Safari another try and I haven't found any way to turn them off.

I’ve been on macOS (OS X) for over a decade, never used Safari as the default browser, and have no idea what you’re referring to.

Ditto, and I get them occasionally.

I may have found what you’re referring to and how to disable it[1][2].

[1]: Original blog post: https://www.ctrl.blog/entry/how-to-osx-try-safari-promotion....

[2]: Archival link, for future-proofing: https://web.archive.org/web/20190814011835/https://www.ctrl....

That’s interesting, I switched to Chrome months ago and haven’t seen any — even though I might open Safari from time to time.

I have been on MacOS for a few years now and I have never received a notification about safari.

Oh yeah, plenty of control. Just book the afternoon off and follow this handy-dandy guide:


People follow dangerous guides like this and then complain Windows doesn't work well. For example, following this guide turns off 'Let Windows track app launches to improve Start and search results'. You then see loads of posts on hacker news complaining that start menu search doesn't give them their most used apps at the top.

Start menu search is garbage regardless of tinkering with those internals. Source: have had unmodified 10 for a couple of years.

> every OS is calling home to some degree.

It's funny to speak in absolutes. Plenty of operating systems don't phone home regularly, just not ones popular with consumers.

Is every OS running kernel traces and uploading them to the mothership behind your back? Have a look at C:\Windows\System32\SleepStudy C:\Windows\System32\LogFiles\WMI

You can also search for *.etl files to find what is traced. There are Autologger and GlobalLogger for live kernel tracing. Some of the tracing entries are present by default, but others are added by Intel's drivers! I could not control my anger when I discovered it. And it's not the .sys files, but the .inf files that add entries to Autologger. Now if I need to install Intel's drivers I first clean the .inf files. It ruins driver's signature of course, but at least I will not have any tracing sessions constantly written to disk.

There a lot of whataboutisms here.

MS shouldn't do phone home, OSX shouldn't do it, and I'm pretty sure my work CentOS doesn't do it. This should be the default, and you should have to opt in, preferably for some period, for it to happen.

For ads, this should be disabled by default, and the user should be compensated in some way for receiving ads on an OS they paid for. Also, these and Candy Crush seem to be re-enabled after some updates.

Counterpoint: users are mostly fine with telemetry on average. Users ARE compensated by a cheaper OS license in case of Windows 10.

How are users “compensated” with a cheaper OS licenses in Windows 10. Most everyone uses the OS included with their device and will rarely pay for an update.

It doesn’t mean it’s free.

When you buy a Mac Book you usually dish out around 1500 USD at the very least, where the cost of materials is at best 1/3 of that. You mostly pay for the design, the OS and the privilege.

You can get a PC with Windows 10 Home Edition for 400 USD or so. The implied price point for the OS is way lower.

The economic decision here (re ads) is to be able to make some money on the mass low-end market, while still being able to develop a decent OS.

Case in point: Microsoft Surface Book, which runs at about 2000 USD and is a product comparable to Apple’s has no ads.

Maybe part of that decision is because so many people pirate Windows and are unwilling to pay for it, they’re trying to earn money through advertising instead...

Very good point! Thank you, I haven't thought about it this way.

Afaik, Microsoft doesn't make much from large OEM sales since they give such a steep discount. I asked Lenovo to reduce the price on my laptop because I wouldn't be using Windows, so they gave me ~$40 discount and asked me to not enable Windows (which I didn't). This tells me that Windows for OEMs is around that price, which is less than half of the retail price.

Also, a $400 laptop is hardly comparable to a $1500 Apple laptop. I've had one of those, and the hardware really sucks, and stuff starts breaking within a year. It may have the same CPU, but the rest of the components are really crappy. If you want an closer comparison, compare high end laptops with the Apple laptops (Lenovo X- series, Dell XPS series, etc), which run at a much more similar price. If they're lower, it's because they have more competition than Apple does (Apple doesn't license its OS to competitors, so if you want their OS, you must buy their hardware).

macOS does not harass you about being the default browser. All it does is show a separator in the dropdown menu [1], which I've always assumed to indicate that it's "built-in". Meanwhile, Windows will show "Recommended" next to Edge, show a pop-up asking you to try Edge before switching the default browser, and then continue to harass you every time you use Bing from a different browser on Windows. Chrome does the latter on Google as well.

1: https://imgur.com/xqnueDe

That and for some reason it seems like Edge likes to try very hard to keep itself the default PDF reader. Very annoying.

Fortunately, it's not bad as a PDF viewer. That doesn't excuse it, it just makes it less annoying.

Oh, and then it will still open Edge from Cortana queries and other places.

and every OS is calling home

There's OSes beyond Windows and OSX.

Last I checked, my Linux and BSD systems don't phone home. I primarily use openSUSE, Arch, and FreeBSD, with some Debian thrown in, and I know none of those phone home by default (and I don't know if there's a way to ask them to phone home). There may be other OSes in those families that do (I've heard Ubuntu does), but that's completely fine since you have a choice (I can run any Linux or BSD app on another OS in the same family that doesn't phone home).

You cannot disable or control the phoning home. It’s pervasive. MS is obsessed with using telemetry to track everything you do, and they don’t believe users should have a choice.

they don’t believe users should have a choice.

Microsoft adds more telemetry in PowerShell 3: https://devblogs.microsoft.com/powershell/new-telemetry-in-p...

And there is an opt out. Guess they do believe users should have a choice.

Guess again!

OK. the .NET Core SDK includes telemetry, here's the official documentation: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dotnet/core/tools/telemetry

Section three, "How to opt out".

I guess the same way again.

You’ve found a way to opt out of one particular thing that they collect. This is irrelevant to the broader issue. You can’t opt out of all of the hundreds of other things they collect across the other products. There is no way to opt out entirely for Windows.

No fan of ads and stuff, but OSX is the "all you software is breaking by us" OS currently. Every major release breaks something.

A lot of it for good reasons, but the churn is very much there, unlike for windows.

As someone who has used Linux (with a few brief stints into macOS and BSD) for quite some time (since about 2012) coming from Windows before that, I don't understand the people who constantly defend Windows in these types of posts...

In principle, the feature set that Windows 10 ships could be useful. I don't find it appealing personally, but if it works well for you then that's great.

The issue that I have had is that every version of Windows I have used (from XP up to 10) has had serious reliability and performance problems.

As a specific example, it seems that the one Windows machine that I keep around to play games on needs a complete re-install every 6-12 months, usually because Windows tries to update and bricks itself so badly that even "Windows Recovery" cannot salvage the install. This is a relatively nice machine (Haswell i5, 24GB DDR3), and I tend to stay on the happy path of just running the vanilla install plus Steam and a small number of games (never any programming, web browsing, etc.).

In cases where I've had to use Windows for work, I've found that most of the built in programs lag and take a long amount of time to respond to keyboard or mouse inputs (in the specific cases I'm thinking of, this was on top-of-the line Dell Precision notebooks at the time). Most of my code seemed to run subjectively much slower natively on Windows than it did in a Linux VM running on the same machine.

I'm not trying to be a power user of Windows, as I generally try to avoid using it as much as I can due to the bad experiences I've had in the past. I'm not doing any crazy registry editing or anything like that. Just pretty basic development work and gaming over the years. In that time, I've never had a Windows install where the features reliably worked, and the install remained stable for any period of time.

This is all anecdotal of course. It's possible I've just be incredibly unlucky, or that I've had a string of a half dozen machines that have hardware that's somehow broken in a way that only affects Windows.

So what I'm wondering is: all you people who keep chiming in on these types of posts claiming that Windows works well for your use case -- what are you doing? What's the secret to having it actually function reliably? I've not been able to replicate any such success.

Anecdotally, I've had about the opposite experience. Never have been able to get a graphics card to perform well under any version of desktop Linux I've used, the sleep feature generally hasn't worked, fan control is all over the map, and I hate using terminal to configure everything. Windows has almost always just worked fine for me, as it does for ~80% of anyone using a desktop OS.

I'm not going to sit here and defend Linux on the usability front (from the perspective of usability to a typical layperson at least).

Laptop support is definitely hit-or-miss, though it's come a long way in the last few years.

But once it works, it generally stays working.

That's not necessarily true. I used Ubuntu for a year or two, and each release seemed to break something different (WiFi or sound usually), and while the fix was usually pretty easy, it still required fixing. I got fed up and switched to Fedora and ran into the same problem with release upgrades (and release upgrades seemed to take longer). After a year or so of that, I switched to Arch and have had fewer problems (the only problems I've had were clearly mentioned in the front page, with a working fix) and have used that for several years (5?).

Maybe that's because I'm better at using Linux now, or maybe that's because I have better hardware now. My point, however, is that Linux has its share of problems, especially if you do release upgrades. There's a reason LTS versions exist, and I haven't had anything break when staying on an LTS branch.

That being said, I've had fewer people since switching to Linux. On Windows, if something breaks, it's a royal pain to find the fix most of the time. Sometimes it's a bad driver, other times software needs to be reinstalled, and still other times a system file got corrupted and I need to figure out how to replace it. I've never had those types of problems on Linux, just configuration issues for hardware that isn't well supported anyway (can be solved by being a little picky about hardware).

The difference is expectations. When I pay for Windows, I expect it to work since the hardware all claims to have Windows support. I don't have the same luxury with Linux, so I expect problems. Maybe Microsoft needs a grade for hardware to determine how well it should work, idk, but having issues with "supported" hardware is really frustrating.

Agree a hundred percent! If I could get sleep/hibernate to work reliably, I would switch over to Lubuntu in an instant.

This is entirely hardware dependent, if you get a Linux-first/well tested laptop, it works. If you get just any random laptop, you'd likely hit some snags.

Whatever you're doing, it's not typical.

My main desktop has been upgraded from Windows 7, WIndows 8, 8.1, and now Windows 10. I've never have to re-install in all that time. It's stable and fast. No update issues.

This is really the norm. And I'm not particularly easy on Windows -- I have tons of development tools, games, customizations. I've changed hardware.

> This is really the norm.

Again anecdotally; most of my friend group (professional developers and CS students) who run Windows seem to constantly complain about performance issues and bugs (UI issues, not sleeping correctly on laptops, etc.). I don't think anyone has ever said "hey guys, come check out this slick new feature" or really anything positive at all about it.

> No update issues.

<insert anecdote about Windows 10 updates interrupting activity X and taking Y hours>

Which has happened to me. And seemingly many others on the 'net.

> Whatever you're doing, it's not typical.

That's what I'm trying to figure out. I was under the impression that running Steam games (on my personal machine) or Eclipse (in my professional Windows experience) were more or less the happy path for the use cases of gaming and development respectively.

People who don't have any problems don't shout it from the rooftops. They just go about their day quietly and contently.

And if you start looking around, you'll notice that people complain about Mac OS stability and Linux stability all the time too. It's pretty hard to gauge reality this way.

We probably have similar setups. Built my current desktop 6 years ago starting with Windows 7. Use it mainly for playing games, but also for hobby software developer (so a plethora of software dev software and virtual machines). I have a the exact same OS upgrade pattern as you and also never have had to reinstall or have an update fail.

It varies. I have two windows 10 machines that I use regularly. My personal desktop, which has been perhaps the most reliable and consistent computer I have ever owned, and my work PC, which recently attempted to update outlook, and in the process fucked my hard drive beyond recovery.

Your harddrive probably just died a while ago and nobody noticed before outlook started rocking the boat and found that the water is not there anymore.

> Whatever you're doing, it's not typical.

When someone's describing a completely untypical break scenario on a Linux desktop thread, it not being typical is dismissed by Windows users as not a valid response.

Funny how that works.

I really don't know, but I've done a lot of crazy stuff, including reg editing. I'm using it for all kinds of development, running virtual machines, web dev, game dev, music production, downloading and installing apps from unofficial sources. I use xshell for ssh stuff and cygwin (I don't like the regular cmd and powershell). The only time I had to reinstall it in the last 4 years is when I wanted to remove some bloat, tracking and uninstalling some default apps. I did it all at once and then restarted and I must've broken something. Other than that it's all good, everything works and I'm used to it.

I also have a macbook pro now and it's confusing to me still, but I'm willing to give it a shot. Either way windows 10 is more than adequate, as far as stability goes it's great, I can't say for sure about performance but looks fine to me. Or maybe I just won the win10 lottery or something, "it just works" for me. Either way it doesn't feel like there should be a better or worse OS, they just have somewhat different flows and each has their upsides and downsides.

Are you comparing Linux reliability to Windows?

I have a Linux desktop and a laptop (Linux preinstalled) and resume from sleep works about 50% of the time (usually GPU driver crashed during resume).

I've run normal updates that have broken the boot, or cause X to stop starting up. I get more nervous running updates on Linux than Windows.

At work a guy changed the password on his LUKS volume and it hosed his entire encrypted partition and he lost all his days.

Linux is very easy to break and very hard to fix.

Windows is definitely more reliable as a daily driver than Linux, in my experience.

> Linux is very easy to break and very hard to fix.

Funny enough as a Linux admin I feel the opposite. In Windows I'm using EventViewer and Procmon to try to dig through bullshit UIs to try to find events. Hell, lots of times Windows components and applications themselves are schizophrenic about how they log. Either zero logging, way too much logging, non-standard logging, or some other bullshit. Let me grep a text file or use a bpftrace instead!

> Windows is definitely more reliable as a daily driver than Linux, in my experience.

I support ~50 Linux desktops (you read that right) that are in use 24/7/365 and almost never have to intervene. If I do usually it's because of a change elsewhere that requires updates to a package (looking at you freerdp) or the Kernel needs to be updated. It's not out of the ordinary to see up times of months with no intervention required.

On the other hand I am touching the other ~40 W10 laptops multiple times a week.

I subscribe to the conspiracy theory that there is a concerted effort from within microsoft to "engage in the community" where they encourage their developers and customers to respond to online posts that may be considered "anti-microsoft". Read everything with scepticism and check posting history.

They don't really need to. Honestly a large chunk of Windows' usage, aside from "mandated by IT" is video games. This is a use case that Apple is disinterested in and Linux supports poorly.

I’m currently an MS employee and use Macs whenever I can, just as I spend more time inside WSL than anything else on Windows 10 except probably Firefox, and it all works well.

We use computers to achieve goals. What they run tends to be, more often than not, merely circumstantial.

Sorry, no, not an MS employee. I use MBP at home and would use it at work if I had the choice. But, the Win10 engineers did a nice job in making the os usable. I haven't once had a BSoD that wiped out my setup while testing software. I can go weeks without rebooting and don't experience a slowdown.

"Company encourages employees to be helpful"

Linux users: "It's a conspiracy!"

If it's pushed by your employer, you aren't "conspiring" in any normal use of the word. And even if they are "working together" to respond to anti-microsoft posts, ... what are you suggesting they are conspiring to achieve?

I can't figure out why you would need to re-format that often. Perhaps you have some kind of esoteric peripheral with a bad driver? I've never had such issues, even though I tinker with mostly-hidden settings and break things I'm not supposed to. It's not perfect, and I hate the telemetry, but it's not nearly as bad as it used to be.

A GTX770 is the only special peripheral. I guess I can't rule out motherboard issues though, other than that when it used to dual boot Linux, the Linux side always ran just fine.

I've been using Windows 10 as my daily driver for web (PHP/Node/JS) development for over two years without the need to recover/format/reinstall at all. This is the exception, rather than the rule, at this point: https://char.gd/blog/2019/the-state-of-switching-to-windows-...

My employer mandates it so I use Win10 at work. At home, I'm macOS.

I replied elsewhere in this comment thread that Win10 is the first Windows version that I found usable.

I don't game. So, I probably don't stress the os the same way you do.

I run Eclipse, an Eclipse-based tool called Anypoint Studio, Netbeans, PyCharm, various developer tools like Git, Toad, etc. Also, I run various MS-based tools due to employer mandate. Overall, it's a pretty vanilla setup but it's all that I need to write software for my employer.

We don't run VM's or containers of any kind.

My main problem with Windows in the past has been BSoD happening in the middle of testing software, wiping out my entire setup. Win10 hasn't done it even once to me. So, I'm happy with it.

WSL2 is going to cement this episode of Embrace, extend and extinguish, in part as it requires Hyper-V and therefore prevents the use of VirtualBox, VMware Workstation/Player etc. The freedoms of Linux (such as not having a boot loader assume it's the only OS on the disk) will be forgotten as people take the easy path of running WSL2 on the OS their computer came with. Is this a sufficiently-modern criticsm for you?

A blog post from late 2018, which references things like an October 2018 Windows update, counts very much as a modern experience with Windows. I don't think it's fair to try to smear the author in that way.

VirtualBox can use the Hyper-V/Windows Hypervisor API to create full speed VMs even when Hyper-V is active.


I did not know that. However, a couple of caveats (from your link):

> This is an experimental feature

> When using this feature, you might experience significant Oracle VM VirtualBox performance degradation on some host systems.

> this episode of Embrace, extend and extinguish

Hyper-V is over ten years old. If it hasn't killed VirtualBox in that time, Microsoft offering a convenient Ubuntu VM is not going to be the death knell, trapping people who don't want to use Hyper-V in a nightmare situation of "having a removable Linux VM".

> The freedoms of Linux (such as not having a boot loader assume it's the only OS on the disk) will be forgotten

I've never noticed this as a complaint about developers using macOS for its Unix underpinnings, that they and Apple are not giving sufficient weight to the importance of a Linux bootloader.

I did a fresh windows 10 install on a brand new machine within the last month.

There is advertising in the launcher (can't remember what windows calls it but the start menu). There are popups on the desktop from Microsoft that I haven't been able to stop. (Something about "Teams" and it's tied to having installed MS Office).

I had to be sure I bought the Pro version, there are a lot of skus that don't include full disk encryption built in. Setting up bitlocker is not nearly as easy as setting up full disk encryption on Apple or Linux. I don't really consider that an optional feature so I don't understand why it's considered some kind of premium thing.

Did you see in the linked article what it takes to turn off telemetry? Are you saying that this is not longer necessary and now it can be done in an easy, convenient way?

It took me a while to clean up all the garbage apps MS bundle into it.

The things that I see listed in the link are current and real.

I'm glad you like it, but I use Windows 10 daily and I have a bunch of ongoing issues with it.

I had to have IT reimage a Win 10 Enterprise machine because Cortana had somehow gotten so screwed up (how? I turn it off) that my Start Menu stopped returning results and I couldn't launch anything by typing.

On another Enterprise machine, my Start Menu periodically starts coming up black and then disappears. I have to force kill the Cortana process to get it working again.

When I switch from corp to outside networking, DNS and routes often stop working correctly and I have to run a magic dance of network reset commands to get things going again, unless I want to reboot. Which I don't.

A few months ago I started up a batch job to run overnight on a Win 10 Pro box. A Windows Update dialog popped up saying it was going to reboot my machine. I clicked the button to reschedule it for the next day. An hour later I passed by the machine and saw it rebooting and applying updates. (After that user hostile experience I switched the machine to Mint and haven't looked back. It ain't perfect, but it's much better, and I actually feel like I own the OS now.)

To stop the telemetry I have to use a Pihole-like setup, which is great ... until I take my laptop somewhere else.

Let's talk maintenance. When something goes wrong, Windows can be brutally complex to troubleshoot. That's why when you start having non-obvious problems with a Windows machine, most IT's knee-jerk answer is to reimage. And that's not even irrational. It's a rational response to the difficulty of diagnosing problems occurring in a complex black box. It ain't worth the time, so just wipe the thing. In contrast, I've never had to reinstall a production Linux machine due to misbehavior -- troubleshooting has always solved the problem.

And force installing Candy Crush?! https://www.howtogeek.com/342871/hey-microsoft-stop-installi... No no no no. Microsoft's treatment of their OS users can feel so exploitive.

For me I place high value on feeling like I own my OS, and that includes requiring a modicum of stability and troubleshooting ease. For my sample size of however many Win10 machines I've dealt with over the years, that bar has not been cleared.

That was my experience for the past 25years. I was the IT for quite a few friends, family and others. Back then I even troubleshot machines for some pocket money. The main solution was to reinstall Win. Usually a system became something beyond recognition so ressurrection by sacrifice was a viable means.

While I agree with some points, the computer restarting, DNS not working, etc seem like restrictions implemented by your corporate IT - not issues with Windows 10

The computer restarting was my personal machine at home, running vanilla Pro, no IT policies applied.

The DNS/route not working issue was run up through IT, who checked Group Policy and found nothing they could see that would interfere with it. Not to say they're right, but if they're wrong, maybe it should be easier to use...

From a feature standpoint, Windows has definitely improved in the last few years, however, I don't see much improvement in terms of UX. To me, Windows development was always about "let's get this feature in so we can claim that we do X" but Microsoft has never proven themselves in terms of providing a cohesive experience in terms of inter-app behaviors or just UI/UX streamlining. This is extremely apparent when you look at their office apps (Outlook, Word, etc).

I can certainly notice a lack of polish. As someone who is now considering win 10 over ubuntu, I can spot many minor annoyances, for example can't change volume by scrolling on the taskbar speaker icon, or ctrl-w doesn't close the settings window. Then, apart from games, windows surprisingly doesn't have that many mid-tier apps, unlike mac os, so not much better than ubuntu in that regard. Such a sad state of affairs.

(FYI: Get 7+TaskbarTweaker if you want to change the volume by scrolling anywhere on the taskbar.)

The UX is incrementally improving in every release. Through just the last few major releases, you've gotten Airdrop-style sharing (the new Share menu), full system-wide indexing and instant search, a unified control panel and a ton of other things. They're moving fast, but incrementally enough that it may not be noticable—but I vastly prefer the fast-follow improvements over the 1-3 yearly 'big bang' releases Apple has done with macOS.

> full system-wide indexing and instant search

We have been promised this since (at least) Longhorn. It's never materialised. I don't see it in my W10 machine (it reports the latest feature update as v1809 2019-06C).

In fact I just tried going to C: and searching for the word "journal". I am greeted with the familiar crawling green progress bar and "Working on it..." which has been there now for a full three minutes without showing me a single result. I'll cancel the search now.

There is so much else that is beyond broken. Layers upon layers of UX to peel back when you try to change something. Start in W10-styled "PC Settings"->"Accounts", end up in WinXP styled lusrmgr.msc to accomplish what I want.

Every time they add a feature, it doesn't get integrated with the old ones, so the old ones just live alongside. It's bloat upon bloat on the back of a snail riding a tortoise.

The MS corporate experience is just as bad. We have multiple coexisting Sharepoint versions, because the porting of workflows from the old one was too much work and too expensive, as they were not internally compatible. The other day, my colleague was trying to open a PowerPoint from a Sharepoint workspace, and was met with the error message

"(Dogfood only) An unexpected error has occured."

Then there is OneDrive, where you can also create shared folders, but they are not the same as Sharepoint. Except if you access them through Explorer, where they look the same. Except that in OneDrive you can create a folder in the root and it syncs, but if you do the same in the Sharepoint it just makes a local folder on your machine without any feesback. If you want to share a OneDrive folder with someone in another org, 95% of the time it fails. For obscure reasons, frequently that the two orgs' sign-on methods clash.

For communication there is Yammer, and Teams, and Skype4Business, and Skype, none of which can cooperate. Oh, and apparently one more called Kaizala. Oh, and there is chat inside all Office documents, which is separate. And if you reply to people's comments in documents, they get email notifications for those. Sometimes you need to use the web app to make teleconferencing work. Other times the web app fails.

You can assign yourself or others tasks in Teams, or in Outlook, or in Planner, or in ToDo, or in a separate Tasks app. None of those work together.

If Douglas Adams were still alive, he'd be paying Microsoft for inspiration for new material.

Yes this! This is exactly my experience in an enterprise environment.

Also the little things like taking my laptop, plug it into a monitor and Skype is silenced. Popups about blurry fonts. Files that cannot be deleted because they are busy. Slow performance when manipulating many files.

There is no soul, or perhaps that is Conway's law...

That's basically the problem: If they stay on cours improving the UI, in 5 years or so we reach the consistency, polish, performance and usability that windows 2000 used to have.

There are some nice improvements since then too, but also a lot of user-hostile functionality. It doesn't seem wort the trade off to me.

The most obvious change right now is Microsoft slowly changing over to the Settings app from the Control Panel. It's really interesting how many more items it gets with every release.

Sure, maybe the control panel was "consistent" in 2000 but it was always user-hostile. The settings app, when finished, will be much better for users. And if they keep the Control Panel around for power-users -- all the better.

I appreciate that Microsoft is doing good software engineering here; they aren't trying to replace everything at once but instead moving things over and releasing it to users early and often. This is the right approach. And yes, maybe it will be 5 years before it's consistent and polished but at least it will get there.

Honestly if you're a power user, powershell is where the control is these days.

I’m not following the reasoning here. macOS is delivered anew once per year with more often than not big new feature (like a new File System). Those last year, macOS was released for free - and without tracking or ads. Windows is evolving twice per year, for the same free price, or at least till a new major version is out. The two update more or less offer big change in only one of those. For me, it feels the same at the end, with the exception of ads and tracking - that is a major difference.

Sounds like something macos had for the last decade or so, or is my memory deceiving me?

I really wish developers at least would be more indignant about Apple's closed ecosystem. The fact that you can't run OSX VMs, can't run iOS simulators anywhere but OSX, can't run builds without OSX. You have to pay Apple to deploy software to your Apple phone from your Apple computer. Microsoft was never this bad.

Well, at least for OSX, you can technically run VMs, I've been doing it for a few years now (I needed one to troubleshoot CMake issues specific to OSX).

For iOS, I would grant that.

One last point is that OS X is partially Open Source (at least Darwin is) even if in actuality, nobody really cares about it (like building something on top of Darwin).

In the end, neither of MS or Apple is my preferred choice anyway. I much prefer an OS I roughly understand (at least to some degree) each pieces and on wihch I could generally troubleshoot things (Linux, *BSD), even if I do acknowledge I'm far from your typical user being a "dev/sysadmin/devops/whatever it's called these days".

He meant that you can't run OS X inside a VM.

I'm not a real power user - so my only real grudge with Windows 10 at that moment is the fact that control panel is a bifurcated mess - I really just want to get back to the classic window control, but I have to fight through the windows 10 UI until I get there.

A serious and legitimate gripe with windows is how messy it is to automate things. It's hard to look at the command prompt the same way I look at bash. I resort to almost anything other than batch when I can.

You can automate things with Bash now, too, if you like ;)

If you are using batch scripts on Windows in 2019 you are most definitely Doing It Wrong. PowerShell (which for my money is better than bash) is the "official" scripting environment on contemporary Windows and batch file support is only included for backward compatibility with legacy scripts. Don't use it, ever.

As Joel Spolsky put:

> What are the cultural differences between Unix and Windows programmers? There are many details and subtleties, but for the most part it comes down to one thing: Unix culture values code which is useful to other programmers, while Windows culture values code which is useful to non-programmers.

See https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2003/12/14/biculturalism.

> Unix culture values code which is useful to other programmers, while Windows culture values code which is useful to non-programmers.

I don't even know what that's supposed to mean.

Is this a rhetorical question or a real one?

Have you not tried PowerShell? You can automate pretty much anything you want in Windows with it. I made a career out of it.

Also try JScript. It's underrated.

It's hard to look at Bash the same way as I look at PowerShell. I resort to almost anything other than Bash when I can.

Many of us don't want new features, we want a stable OS that we control that stays out of our way. Windows 10 is not that.

I don't think the issues with Windows 10 bloat is historical. In fact, I recommend removing 10 and using 7 instead. 10 is just a bad joke that makes a brand new PC look like times square.

I bought a new HP Envy for 900€ but spent more than an hour getting rid of all the bloat. There's McAfee and HP stuff due to McAffee but it's my first new win10 laptop (previously just upgrade 8->10 and I am utterly appalled by the amount of crapware Microsoft included. Pre-installed MS software, and ads and unwanted products everywhere. Candy crush and similar junk included in a fresh clean start menu. Microsoft OneDrive in autostart. Cortana permissions pretty much make you agree to ads and constant listening (no thanks!). Lots of telemetry. Self-installing updates that reset settings. Nags to use Edge and Microsoft services everywhere. It took me far too long to even find (and even recognise) all the different always-hidden and ambiguously phrased buttons to switch all these features off - and the next update will turn them on again.

Why do I pay around €80 of the sales price for a license and still have to deal with all this intrusive upselling and ads?

The main pain points for me come from Windows not being Unix-y enough (or at all). WSL2 will probably help with this. I am still at 1803 on my work computer so not holding my breath for WSL2 any time soon.

It isn't really Windows' fault that my work computer has an i5-8500 six core processor coupled with a single DIMM of 8 GB and a $20 hard disk. I won't blame Windows for that. I won't blame Windows for Symantec Endpoint Protection that just has to check every single file just as I need to do npm install. My manager is sympathetic but we are powerless.

I want to say something good about Windows as well: as far as I can see, there is no memory leak in Windows. Windows 10 is pretty solid.

I still think there are two very low hanging fruits:

1. Prohibit OEM partners from shipping Windows 10-based PCs booting from a mechanical hard disk (yes even "SSHD"). Vendors can add a mechanical hard disk but may not boot from it.

2. By default, no automatic reboot without manual consent especially for consumers.

Long term, look very hard into what kind of update requires a reboot and why. Be willing to break compatibility where required.

I use macOS at home but have Win10 in the office. I've been using Windows in some capacity since 3.1. Win10 is the first one I've found usable.

Going from Win XP at home to OS X, I found it astounding that my PowerBook could go months without a reboot. Likewise, my MBP astounds me daily that I can't remember when I last rebooted.

My employer's Win10 laptop is like that as well: I don't think about rebooting it anymore.

MS is on a good trajectory, finally, with its os.

A substantial portion of requests blocked by my pi-hole is Windows telemetry. And I can't turn it off. That alone justifies a high level of righteous anger at Microsoft. And then, in the last update, it installed Teams, and caused it to always open on startup. Never did I agree to that installation. How can one trust a company that does that?

>...implementing great, thoughtfully designed features on a regular basis, for free.

Haven't we already learned the underlying issue with the moniker of "free" from the likes of Facebook and Google?

I think my main gripe with Windows is that it has one less app-accessible modifier key. As a power user, this is invaluable to me and Mac has it.

Windows 10 October 2018 update (1809) deleting users files from the My Documents folder hardly counts as historical.

See, your comment is the typical comment of someone who comes from macOS. The angry posts come from people who've been using Windows since forever.

I was historically a Windows user and started my career as a Windows sysadmin for a few years—I switched to macOS for a few years and came back as it became increasingly buggy and Microsoft's development story changed.

The complaints seem to come from heavily technical folks that think LTSB branches are reasonable things for normal people to run. I wouldn't want to run one on my own machine.

I've been using LTSC/LTSB for years. What's wrong with it?

Sure, it's Windows 10 without any of the cruft—but also, none of the good bits. Believe it or not, but the Windows Store is great; managed updates of everything from Slack to Spotify, without individual updater components. Photos app, with support for HEIC files and so on, built in. These things are actually useful!

The missteps were W8-8.1 and WS2012. W10 and W2012R2 and beyond have been much better. Not perfect, but leagues better than the those disastrous years between.

Remember when Windows Server 2012 didn't have a start menu button, but instead a pixel? I hope someone was fired for that blunder.

Oh man, I'll tell you—Windows 8 was a beast of its own. I think that is how people remember Windows, and assume that Windows 10 is the same. But god, don't remind me of that awful full-screen server start menu..............I remember that's when we actively started to try and go full headless with Windows Server, but it was also half-baked back then.

I was a windows guy, then did the "I got a mac and never looked back" and now I'm back on windows 10 and, yes I'm pissed off, but this comment is pretty well realistic. People have a tendency to say "never" when you really shouldn't say never.

I honestly miss actively using both. Better to be angry with everyone.

I've been using Win 10 on my main desktop for the past four years or so. I almost feel embarassed for saying so.

Microsoft definitely has a systemic "Software Quality Problem".

It does get really embarassing at times. Or, at least I would hope someone there is embarassed. I'm not sure. Maybe Raymond Chen is the single one embarassed person and everyone else are new recruits happy to be there?

Really, the only reason I run Windows 10 is that it's the fastest way to use the web, which is what I do all day long. The browsers are optimized for Windows in three critical ways:

a) general rendering speed

b) font rendering quality

c) site quality/functionality - a particular browser not working with a particular site is a much more urgent issue on Windows, where 90% of the users are than anywhere else.

Is this site saying that for 240 dollars I can buy LTSB? I've been trying to get a hold of a copy but unsure about the legality of those 30 dollar keys online since I don't understand licensing.

The site details the process and requirements pretty well, not sure if there is something in particular you are looking for it doesn't describe?

As for the 30 dollar keys you can find online they will activate Windows but it won't actually be "legit", the requirements listed in the site are correct and you need a VL agreement and a CAL.

Mis-reply or spam? I dunno.

Isn't ChromeOS faster than Windows in accessing the web? That's literally all it does, and it does it pretty well.

There is basically one reason why I use a Windows machine and that is games. I know linux has seen a lot of movement in that area (tks Valve) but I've tried it, and it works great, but performance is better in Windows for my machine. So I bought this machine where I can game (it is not anything fancy) and I would really like to work on it as well.

I have a notebook with Ubuntu installed and if you would ask me I would rather work on the linux machine, but I'm trying to push the envelope with WSL2 to develop with RoR... Weird bugs and slow sometimes (better than WSL1 tho). Oh well...

The sneaky bit about gaming is that it means your most powerful computer is reserved for Windows. I'd love to treat my Windows pc as a gaming console and keep a Mac as my personal computer but that would cost a lot more money so I just put up with Windows.

Ironically I do the same, work provide a laptop for us that you're free to choose within reason and comes with a mandatory MDM (enforce encryption, remote wiping) and an anti-virus and that's it. Besides that you can use the laptop pretty close to a BYOD model.

I sold my Dell XPS 13 and now I use my work provided MacBook Pro for nearly all other purposes besides Gaming. It's my first Mac and I've found developing on it to be a dream after 10~ years of Windows use.

I'd love to run MacOS on my gaming PC for when I'm not gaming. Unfortunately, Hackintosh' is possible but seems like a time sink and I'd rather spend that time you know, playing games, or working on my homelab (e.g. breaking it).

Why not dual boot?

Counter-anecdote: I'm the happiest I've ever been with Windows both as a development platform and for everyday use. The release of WSL has solved a lot of daily annoyances, and I'm hoping that the new Windows Terminal app will soon be usable so I can replace cmder which has been great, but a little clunky and slow in my experience.

Other new features that I enjoy: Windows Sandbox, new Snip and Sketch, the current iteration of OneDrive (though I think I still prefer SkyDrive from many years ago..), Your Phone app for sending messages, emoji keyboard, clipboard history, local PIN instead of password.. I could go on but those are all things I use on a frequent basis and they make for a great experience.

Spying on users through so-called telemetry and the silly games are a fact, not anecdotes.

I'd suggest that Windows fans should raise their standards a bit, otherwise for Windows 11 they will get a nice progress bar at each boot "uploading data to MS for mindcrime verification" and you have to pay for Windows in IAP gems you collect by playing games and watching ads.

The bulk of the linked page talks about aspects of Windows 10 other than telemetry.

If Windows 11 boots up with a progress bar that says "uploading data to MS for mindcrime verification", and requires me to play games and watch ads to pay for it, I will reconsider my OS choice. For now, I'm enjoying the OS and have dialed down the telemetry to a level that I am comfortable with.

Also the basic one that essentially all games work best on windows, if they even work for other platforms. And most applications have windows binaries keeps me using it at home. Love my mac for work dev, but once I'm home I feel very comfy with my windows 10 machine

This post recommends LTSC because it has been pre-de-crappified (e.e., no Candy Crush pre-installed).

However in January 2020 Microsoft will not support Office 365 (ProPlus?) on LTSC. This is because the 'official' LTSC use case is for things like medical devices, and not "regular" desktops. It's just that many IT sites got tired of the Windows 10 what-a-mole with non-helpful features, phone home stuff, etc, that they went with the cleaner version.

Doing a quick search, it seems people are saying "just buy Office 2019" to square this circle.

Can anyone comment the pro/cons of using Enterprise LTSC or not?

this is very informative. I work in a small accounting office (<10) and our main software is only available on Windows. In addition to this, all we use is Office 365 (Excel and Outlook) and browsers.

It’s an ongoing problem to keep these bog-simple machines running smoothly. Constantly slowing down, and under performing. What’s more—IT is the person who knows the most.

I imagine it’s the same for many small businesses. I hoped LTS was a solution. Evidently, to the detriment of users, MS wants one option (and all the telemetry. Haha.)

I'm facing this decision right now. To LTSC or not.

I have to build a virtual desktop environment for an isolated network that is almost-but-not-quite a SCADA system. It's the monitoring and management bits, without the direct control.

It's not ultra critical, but there's a strict uptime requirement, and a general preference for long-term service releases of everything where possible. Security and prevention of "data leakage" are also very important.

Windows 10 just. does. not. work. out of the box as a VDI operating system. It will absolutely massacre your shared storage subsystem (even if it is all flash!) because every now and then it just "decides" on its own that applying a 4GB update to Minecraft is the most important thing in the world right now.

For Enterprise editions there's on the order of 200 GPO settings and about 20 PowerShell scripts required to make it "behave", but these settings will break as soon as the next semi-annual release is applied because Microsoft is actively trying to circumvent customer controls over their own environments.

For example, did you know that they use deliberately misspelled domain names such as "microsft.com" for telemetry URLs to try and trick hapless firewall admins? This is to work around their desperate customers who resorted to blocking "microsoft.com" in order to prevent the endless torrent of information leakage out of their secure networks. But Microsoft just can't have that. No sir! Got to get that juicy telemetry out, no matter what.

I'm waiting for Microsoft to piggy back telemetry on DNS requests or use some other method that is indistinguishable from an Advanced Persistent Threat. It's just a matter of time, mark my words.

Check this horror show out:

Notice that the list keeps changing with each release?

You also can't block everything in those lists, because then legitimate functions such as Root CA updates will break. Sure, you can override that with a local Root CA update, but the complete workaround procedure for all such services is not documented in any one place, so you're looking at something like 3 months of effort. Enjoy!

Or you can just use LTSC and need only about 10 settings and a couple of days... guess which one I went with?

Microsoft "suggesting" to their customers that they should use the semi-annual channel is self-serving crap, and I'm not falling for it.

> I'm waiting for Microsoft to piggy back telemetry on DNS requests or use some other method that is indistinguishable from an Advanced Persistent Threat. It's just a matter of time, mark my words.

Wait until DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) takes off so it will be impossible to have any visibility into the track.

Paul Vixie, no DNS dummy he, thinks DoH is really, really dumb and is totally against it AFAICT. He's okay with DNS-over-TLS because it's a more service specific protocol and not piggybacking over something else.

Actually, there were comments on hacker news the other day about the domain, the most likely explanation is that is was too cumbersome to provision new things on microsoft.com so the devs went with what they could get their hands on instead.

Yeah I know, but from the perspective of a customer it sounds absurd.

Personally I'm fed up with single entities such as Microsoft using TLDs for every damned thing, it makes it very hard to identify what is and isn't legitimate traffic. It also makes it borderline impossible to configure "whitelisting" firewalls or proxy servers.

I got to wonder what fraction of this is incompetence ("we can't use our own domain because of bureaucracy") and what fraction is deliberate ("everyone has blocked microsoft.com so we used something else")...

Which is ludicrous in it's self that they set entirely new domains rather than using a sub-domain with delegated access. But, we know how Microsoft works. That would require some kind of communication between departments and delegated trust.

If you can afford it, it may be very helpful. However, it does have specific requirements for licensing and possibly missing components necessary for your applications or that Vendors will assume you have for theirs...

Office 2019 can be installed on LTSC.

LTSC is not intended as a desktop operating system. What people should be looking for is Enterprise: Which has all of the telemetry 0 options and such, but still works with modern Windows applications.

It's highly likely especially after Windows 7 goes EOL, you'll start seeing a lot more consumer applications that depend on Windows 10 functionality that's not going to work in LTSC.

> What people should be looking for is Enterprise:

Does it take more effort to de-crappify non-LTSC Enterprise? Things like games, Store, Cortana, etc.

Perhaps people are going with Enterprise LTSC because 'regular' Enterprise is still filled with too much garbage. Perhaps that should be telling Microsoft something.

The problem here is your misunderstanding that the store is a problem: Many drivers and Windows features are now available via the Store (Here's the Intel Graphics Control Panel: https://www.microsoft.com/store/productId/9NDLCLMMTMRC), and this will continue over time. Literally Notepad is transitioning to distributing via the store next year. I think even Apple transitioned to recommending the Store-based install of iTunes on Windows.

Cortana is being phased out of Windows 10 into a separate app, and eventually a replaceable component. Enterprise should install without any games/ads AFAIK.

The enterprise edition is not much better. The Dutch ministry of justice and security hired a company to investigate this and the conclusion was "New DPIA on Microsoft Office and Windows software: still privacy risks remaining".


Look at his list of terrible things in Windows, and compare to MacOS. Other than telemetry, MacOS is very similar:

* no Cortana (MacOS has Siri on all systems)

* no semiannual feature upgrades (Mac OS upgrades annually)

* not a single tile on the default Start menu (UI difference, mostly personal taste)

* telemetry can be set to 0 (the lowest level) (MacOS has some telemetry, although the specific amount is less, and Apple has been a lot less transparent about what they track)

* no "Show suggestions occassionally in Start" (This is stupid, but easy to turn off)

* despite some misbelief, WSL and Hyper-V work just fine (Apple doesn't offer virtualization at all, you have to buy a commercial product)

* receives security and stability updates for ten years (unlike Windows 10 Home & Pro versions, which reach "end of service" after just 18 months from their initial release) (MacOS only receives security updates for 2 years, approx.)

* no Metro/Windows 8-style/Modern/Windows Store/Universal/Windows apps like Store, Edge, Calendar, Camera, News, Weather, etc. (Apple has all of these apps in the App store too)

* no zombie games like Candy Crush Soda Saga, Bubble Witch 3 Saga, March of Empires, etc. that refuse to die (part of Microsoft's plan for "post-license monetization opportunities beyond initial license revenues" much like the recent Mail app debacle) (Plenty of these in Macos)

All in all, the differences here are pretty minor. Unless you're willing to run Linux on your desktop, your only options are pretty balanced in the unpleasantness they offer. MS supports Windows 10 for many years, Apple requires a full OS upgrade every two years. Both have App stores full of both good and bad apps. MS does a little more pushing of apps and suggestions, but it all can be disabled, and with Group Policies, it can be disabled centrally.

The main difference is in the telemetry, and MS gives you plenty of options (at install, even) to turn those down/disable those.

- macOS gets security updates for 2 previous versions usually, and Macs themselves get OS updates for 5 years (though sometimes longer)

- macOS isn't bundled with unkillable freemium games

This list is mostly manageable by capable IT or a power user willing to learn or find the right tools.

PoSh can remove built in apps and apply a clean template start menu and pinned apps. With MDT this can be automated and a deployment completed in under half an hour. A power user may need to log in as a default admin, set things up, then create and use a secondary basic user account for their regular use (the Start menu/pinned app changes only apply to new users when pushed via PoSh).

I have a short list/folder of tools and scripts to start a new build with at home mostly built and tested for the MDT system I used to manage. It's pretty slick.

I feel like there's this continuum:

Linux: Free, Doesn't spy on you

MacOS: Costs money, Doesn't spy on you

ChromeOS: Free, Spies on you

Windows: Costs money, Spies on you

Ubuntu, to livepatch the kernel between reboots, you need to sign in (== some kind of user tracking for free patching). After three machines you need to pay:


They advertise this paid service in the MOTD:


That's not fundamentally any different to Microsoft advertising Office 365 in Windows, is it?

Some points:

- macos phones home a lot (and this has increased release by release)

- so does ubuntu (snap)

You must be kidding on Linux not spying on you. The ubuntu start menu is sending everything you type to the internet and filling the menus with ads.

[citation needed]

Circa 2012, and disabled-by-default since Ubuntu 16, but still a system wide toggle instead of a per-use option:

> Ubuntu, a widely used and influential GNU/Linux distribution, has installed surveillance code. When the user searches her own local files for a string using the Ubuntu desktop, Ubuntu sends that string to one of Canonical's servers. (Canonical is the company that develops Ubuntu.)

> [..] Ubuntu uses the information about searches to show the user ads to buy various things from Amazon.



Microsoft needs to realize they are doing their name harm by not giving power users and evangelist-style technologists an obvious and easily-selected low- or zero-surveillance Windows version.

If this article is mislead to select LTSC instead of Enterprise as that option (as is suggested in this thread), the confusion of Microsoft's messaging is largely to blame. Microsoft should have marketing material aimed at individual technologists who want a premium Windows experience with ~0 surveillance.

> Microsoft needs to realize they are doing their name harm by not giving power users and evangelist-style technologists an obvious and easily-selected low- or zero-surveillance Windows version.

Why can't they do this for everyone?

Because regular users don't seem to care, and Microsoft obviously gets some value out of it. If it's easy for power users to do it, it should be pretty easy for regular users to do so as well, it's just that power users would think to check.

There's some really great info in here!

The school I work for has been pushing out an LTSB image to most of our PC's and I can attest that it is a huge improvement over Pro.

The article also recommends Optimize-Offline and O&O ShutUp10 for users who can't get a license for the LTSC image. I hadn't heard of Optimize-Offline, but ShutUp10 is great for making Windows 10 way less annoying and invasive. I'll be checking out Optimize-Offline tonight!

I had a good experience with "tronscript" found here on reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/TronScript/ It removes a lot of the crap that ships with windows 10 along with disabling telemetry. It was a decent place to start with a new windows computer.

github: https://github.com/bmrf/tron

Before I abandoned the Windows ecosystem, I loved Ninite (https://ninite.com/). It repackages most well known free software creating a single installer which will contain all of them, minus bloatware, adware, toolbars etc, so that one can replicate identical installs of the same software on several machines very easily and much faster.

Another interesting repository was http://www.aplusfreeware.com/last_freeware_versions.html It contained the last free version of lots of well known software before their makers decided to turn them commercial, add adware or discontinue them.

Ninite also has an updater.

It checks for all apps (that it knows about) and if they are out of date can silently install the latest version of all apps at once in 2-3 clicks.

Another option without Edge, Cortana and Candy Crush is Windows Server 2019 which is what I have on my Dev PC.

I’ve always run desktop server when I could - back to NT4 - initially to avoid any differences between local behaviour and deployed, though this is not really ever the case now. So now it’s for this reason - to avoid the cacophony of recent Windows versions, weird behaviour from updates and the like. I don’t know offhand how much a license is, mine is MSDN.

There are a number of challenges with using Server as a desktop OS. Sometimes utilities I want to use are $20-40 for a desktop PC, and $1000+ to install on a server OS, even though they are the same software. Sometimes apps just won't work because they are checking what OS you are using and don't like it.

Recently I tried setting up a Windows Server 2019 install... to use as a home server... on my Intel NUC, only to discover that the Ethernet driver on the NUC has been intentionally omitted from Windows Server compatibility, because Intel wants you to use enterprise class hardware with Windows Servers. (If you plug in a USB to Ethernet dongle that uses a Realtek chip, Windows Server works fine on the NUC, but this is hilarious. There are also bad-hack ways to modify the Intel network driver so it installs on the Server OS.)

Last I worked on that, drivers had to be quite explicit about which OS version they support. Intel wouldn't be able to make drivers compatible with Windows Server 2019 given the OS was probably just released and the driver probably predates it.

The drivers won't install on any version of Server for this chipset. And Intel has stated the reason why, it is an intentional choice.

I have had a few issues like that with software over the years, but nothing that there weren’t alternatives for. Never on hardware though. But you’re right, it can be a challenge.

If Win10 would just let you do what you want instead of forcing you down various half baked paths it wouldn't be too bad. I ran Server 2016 for awhile, which had a few drawbacks, but overall was a much better experience. The lack of customization for basic stuff is obnoxious both in Win10 and Server2016, and third party solutions to core windows things (Start Menu is a good example) can be hit or miss.

I'd be a little more generous if this most recent round of Win10 update hadn't messed a bunch of stuff up which was working, and rather than spend 4 hours googling esoteric windows registry settings I think I'll just switch to Server 2019.

I would be all over LTSB for all the things except lack of support for Microsoft Store apps, which I consider a vital feature - because for some apps this might be the only distribution channel available.

I've tried LTSC, and to be honest, I prefer Windows Server 2019. It had the ability to set the Telemetry to 0 as well, and has less stuff pre-installed.

Indeed true, but Windows Server 2019 is more expensive.

[0] https://www.cdw.com/product/microsoft-windows-server-2019-es...

The investments I've made in learning Linux well have paid off so many times over. Like VIM, there is a hump, some annoyance and then you get all your time back invested and so much more.

At this point I find Windows so hideously unpleasant I believe if I were forced to use it as a daily driver I'd go into another line of work. Life is too short to be annoyed all day and not have control over your surroundings.

> If you must run Windows 10

I must, because it's the only viable choice for a blind, screen reader user (me) who wants to get real work done.

I’m curious about this in case you wish to expand on it, such as what you mean by “real work”. Perhaps there are no macOS equivalents to the apps you need for your occupation, but generically claiming one can’t get “real work” done on macOS is inaccurate for several jobs.

Unless you’re referring to the screen reader, but my impression is Apple is generally regarded as the best in what comes to accessibility features, and they keep improving. They’re so proud of it they frequently brag about it in promotional videos they present at high-visibility events such as WWDC.

Which makes me even more interested in your experience, since you live it.

> Unless you’re referring to the screen reader

I am. I would never claim MacOS couldn't be used by professionals in a more general sense.

> but my impression is Apple is generally regarded as the best in what comes to accessibility features, and they keep improving. They’re so proud of it they frequently brag about it in promotional videos

For screen reader users, they're the best in terms of what they ship with the OS. You get a fully accessible experience out of the box, which includes a tutorial for first-timers. You can even run with text to speech in the Recovery mode e.g. to format your disks.

Contrast that with Microsoft, with Windows 10 being the very first version to offer an accessible setup/installation process, no obvious way to use a screen reader in Safe Mode, and next to nobody using Narrator in their day-to-day computer use because it took so long to be developed to any usable degree. One of the most popular Windows screen readers (JAWS) also costs hundreds of dollars - thousands over a user's lifetime if they purchase upgrades along the way. Apple are definitely winning there. Everything is free and just works, and I'm quite happy for them to brag about it.

Where it starts to fall apart is when you want to actually get things done outside of a core set of Apple apps. For example, Office support is pretty lacking, with poor or no accessibility for advanced word processing and spreadsheet features. The terminal support is so bad that an enterprising blind user made his own terminal screen reader to combat it[1].

There are other problems, such as the screen reader's slow performance making the entire OS feel sluggish. Plus, if there are any bugs in it, you have to wait for an entire MacOS update before it gets fixed. That's annoying when it's a Window Manager bug, but can be completely disruptive when your only gateway to your computer won't read your email for a while without crashing.

There are also tons of more opinionated stuff that users can (and do) argue about, like the efficiency of the way you browse the web with VoiceOver on MacOS vs the way Windows screen readers do it. But once you've assessed that the core accessibility experience isn't going to work for you, debating the rest is pretty pointless. Plus (and this is entirely anecdotal) it can become exhausting trying to have a discussion about these problems, only to have hordes of users tell you that you're wrong even though they're unemployed (or employed in a different field) and don't have people relying on them to get anything advanced done in the first place. Sometimes I think there's a tendency to want to justify how much money they've spent on expensive Apple hardware which, realistically, they didn't really need, especially if the cost of a cheaper Windows laptop plus JAWS would've been less or the same anyway. And these days, there's a fantastic free, open source screen reader for Windows[2].

[1] https://github.com/tspivey/tdsr [2] https://www.nvaccess.org

I work for an MSP which supports Windows installs. The support teams apparently hate our LTSC customers because they require manual upgrades unlike the standard version.

I guess I'll just say it. I love windows 10. I tried a mac for a couple of years and it feels like the OS is stuck in circa 2008.

Maybe I just don't use Microsoft's built-in software that often, but I haven't had many issues with Windows 10.

Holy hell, I had no idea it was that bad over in PC land. I mean you _hear_ things, but jesus.

This is so tiresome.

I posted this to reddit:

I installed my first Linux in 1994, before there was a Linux 1.0. I use Linux to this day on my router and my server.

I have been using Linux as my daily driver 2004-2017.

You can't say I haven't tried.

I maintain anyone advocating to use Linux on a notebook has Stockholm syndrome or more amicably, uses a very narrow set of hardware and services ("plain" wifi, no bluetooth, no printers, no scanners, no Thunderbolt). Windows has a Linux subsystem, use it, it's great.

Your choices include using Ubuntu or a similar system where the six month OS upgrade will break your system so badly you won't be able to work for days. Or you can use Arch where at least the main body of your system will stay alive (most of the time but not always) during rolling upgrades but "insignificant" pieces like MFC devices or bluetooth will break all the time. Mind https://xkcd.com/619/

And if you ever need to work with enterprises, their wifi, their VPN... the company will have an IT helpdesk ready to help with any glitches if you are running Windows or Mac but if you are running Linux? Sucks to be you. And it does suck.

I now have an external GPU via Thunderbolt. I plug in, my monitor plugged into lights up, all my running programs move there. It's a nonevent. So is undocking. How would that work on Linux?? The hot-plugging-an-nVidia-GPU might be supported on paper but I am very happy not to need to configure that and even more not to need to keep that configuration working. And I don't think moving apps from one GPU to the next GPU would just work without an X restart.

Nope. The driver support is so far superior in Windows it's not even funny. Sure the command line sucks but oh well, just use WSL. Use O&O Shutup to kill the controversial reporting back features. Enjoy.

And then I got some answers and I looked up other Thunderbolt uses under Linux and the results... oh my. A quick check shows the Aquantia 10 GbE chipset driver [broke](https://bugs.archlinux.org/task/58174) from 4.15 to 4.16 fixed in 4.17 and then from 4.20 to 5.0 again and there is a patch but the [bug report](https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=202651) is still open (every affordable, single port 10 GbE TB3 adapter utilize this chipset).

> Your choices include using Ubuntu or a similar system where the six month OS upgrade will break your system so badly you won't be able to work for days.

Or Ubuntu LTS, where you only have to worry about things every five years (or two if you want to update).

This is what is used by my local helpdesk, and things generally haven't been a problem from what I can tell.

LTS has its drawbacks. For years I had to work with Ubuntu 16.04 I had to compile my own vim and tmux to have features I want. I have no problem doing that as a developer but it's not a very good replacement experience for end users.

There's a new LTS every two years, so I don't think things get too out of date.

Also, are you doing it by hand? Have you looked at either pkgsrc or spark.io?

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pkgsrc

* https://spack.io

Could everyone chill with this already? We get it, you’re super clever and super privacy conscious. Now let people enjoy the products they like.


Please don't do this here.

Holy hell did you just compare telemetry to rape?

Thank you!

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