In general I have a positive opinion about what MS is doing lately, but Windows is a glaring exception, it’s getting worse and worse at an alarming rate.
In the last two months we had two consecutive updates that broke basic functionality for users who disabled web results in Windows Search (which is a very common setting among those who care about privacy) https://www.zdnet.com/article/windows-10-1903-microsoft-deta...
Now, MS is trying to force upon customers this cloud login garbage, which is obviously not acceptable if you are privacy conscious.
I build my own PCs and have spent hundreds of dollars in Windows 10 retail licenses, I pay for the service so I don’t want to be the product.
I’ve always assumed that I’m locked into using Windows but after all this crap I’m starting to look into alternatives even though they’v got shortcomings on their own.
(Edit: replaced Amp link with real link, sorry I didn’t realise it was Amp)
Some would consider this one a dark pattern, I would agree in this case.
It would mean the death of Windows.
Not necessarily. Remember that Windows is an Azure product now. They want employees in the cloud paying for Office 365 anyway.
I bet some companies will end up doing exactly that. For others there will probably remain an exception that will cost extra.
(I may be saying this as if it's normal, but I need to turn up my cynicism quite a bit to fit this reality.)
Not that it makes it better.
Edit: the HN comment I’m talking about is this one, you can see from the timestamp it's older than mine https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21104074
It's actually quite a helpful option to have, but it's completely absurd for the only way to create a local account to be via the domain join option.
You think that joe mechanic who just bought his daughter a new machine has any of this lexicon.
Whomever is responsible for all of this bullshit at MS should be hit in the face with a shovel.
Recently, and I’ve been in tech since 1997, I bought an office lic at Costco because I needed excel on a machine...
You know what a pain in the ass it is to install office on a generic factory machine with the new bs. They want to tie that install to an outlook account.
Nope. I just want excel this machine won’t even be connected to the internet. But MS says fuck-you-because-thats-why.
To print barcodes and labels in serial with an ODBC connection... so libre won’t work
I have a bug filed with them where if you build a thing in google sheets and export to xlsx and attempt to connect to that data source it crashes.... (but if it is native xlsx it works fine) hence my need to install excel on that particular machine, as the bartender software can take tabular input for varying data for each sticker printed ( cannabis compliance labels, which I have now mastered)
They are a great company though, and bartender is an amazing program. I suggest everyone download their free version and learn it.
It doesn't. It means, or at least it should, join the PC to a Active Directory/NT4 domain.
It doesn’t normally mean “create offline account”, but domain accounts are not the same as Microsoft accounts, and domain accounts are a normal part of enterprise deployments. So it does normally mean that you can create a non-Microsoft account. Yes, it’s stupid. Not defending it, just trying to explain what “join domain” means.
That's why MS renamed the button.
> or care
They do, else MS would not need those dark patterns.
No, typical end users do not care what “domain join” means. They only care about creating offline accounts. “Domain join” isn’t supposed to mean “create offline account”, it’s supposed to let you join the computer to an AD domain. Or at least, that’s what I’d expect.
Some of this I guess is semi-intentional dark patterns , but it's also a complex space where explaining the trade-offs to "typical" end users would involve a ton of wasted space and increasingly local/offline accounts aren't what a "typical" end user wants, because they aren't an IT Admin and don't understand the trade-offs and probably don't care to. Given no one seems to have a good name for them other than "offline accounts" or "local accounts", which would imply "can't connect to the internet" to "typical" end users, it's hard not to feel that it really probably is a Power User feature and it's as much an unintentional dark pattern simply because we don't have a good name for it and no one wants to explain the trade-offs to "typical" end users.
 Though I'm more willing than most to ascribe at least some good intentions to it: settings synchronization is more useful to typical end users than local sandboxes and devices that don't roam basic settings. The ability to recover logging into a device when a user forgets a password is also a huge necessary deal in 2019 because passwords are broken and typical end users have far too many of them. Microsoft also wants to kill the password as a thing in lieu of other factors. Getting end users out of daily password input would be good for us an industry.
(Yes, yes, I know the next three commenters will complain that it's all just for telemetry and surveillance, and I understand where y'all are coming from, but you are also not-quite-correct and it's a debate I'm tired of. Windows 10 has been increasingly better at allowing you to explore all of its telemetry collection and better with each update at providing tools for opting out of individual telemetry. Windows 10 and macOS/iOS are at the same levels of telemetry collection and accountability of such today. The telemetry debate is increasingly not productive nor interesting in the comments on HN and elsewhere.)
Still none of this really justifies burying the option deep and using vague terminologies to hide this feature. Case in point: I had to google search the procedure to create a local account when I wanted to create an account for guests/others that use my laptop.
The pain point about telemetry is that Windows is a paid product and there shouldn't even be such a thing in a product that people pay for. And although there might (now) be settings to control telemetry, what good are they when Windows updates reset all settings regularly?
You have a higher opinion of the "typical" end user than I do. "Local" invites the question "local to what?" and "as opposed to what?". When the other option is "online account", then yes even "local" leads to "can't use on the internet" to certain types of users.
Burying a power user feature to avoid confusing inexperienced end users is justified. The argument over whether or not "local accounts" or "offline accounts" are a power user feature is a more interesting argument. I do think that if we can't come up for a name for them that isn't confusing to inexperienced end users, than that's at least one indicator that it may be a power user feature.
> The pain point about telemetry is that Windows is a paid product and there shouldn't even be such a thing in a product that people pay for.
People want data-driven improvements in paid products, too. (Would you rather Microsoft just blindly make changes? What are the alternatives? Go back to waterfall and nothing but overly detailed and over-engineered specs of what some PM thought was a good idea because they heard it from some rich Enterprise client at a tech conference three years ago?)
There are tons of paid products with telemetry. It's been highly upvoted advice here on HN, to do things like A/B testing, and metrics-driven development. Lots of paid products have telemetry (including Apple's and Google's).
"Paid products" is another amusing double standard I'm going to add to my list for telemetry complaints. "What's good for the startup goose, is not good for the old tech gander." --HN commenters, probably
> And although there might (now) be settings to control telemetry, what good are they when Windows updates reset all settings regularly?
There were always settings since Windows XP. The only thing Windows 10 did was change them from opt-in to opt-out by default. Microsoft then responded to arguments that the settings weren't granular enough, so now there's dozens more settings with pages of documentation each (and an explorer tool to log and examine collected telemetry data, if you wish).
The resets were bugs in the upgrade process that have generally been fixed since. Microsoft has been taking settings resets seriously, and absolutely considers them bugs. The way in-place upgrades work, migration scripts missing settings is a problem. Microsoft's "Beta" program (Insiders) is sadly not setup to find telemetry reset bugs because they need the telemetry most of all in Beta testing, so I feel it's understandably unfortunate that so many telemetry settings reset bugs have made it into production.
Local accounts aren't a "power user" feature either. I bet every person/household has guests over who might have to use the device (for work or something else). Whose Microsoft/Outlook Account should be used for such use cases? I hope you see the issue with considering local accounts a power user feature.
As far as changes to OS goes, MS should listen to customer feedback first and foremost. A minimal non personally identifying diagnostic information gathering would be fine too but instead you have this with Win 10:
> "This data is transmitted to Microsoft and stored with one or more unique identifiers that can help us recognize an individual user on an individual device" 
> It's been highly upvoted advice here on HN, to do things like A/B testing, and metrics-driven development.
Neither A/B testing nor metrics-driven development require overzealous collection of personally identifying data. You would do fine with anonymous data for such testing.
> Microsoft has been taking settings resets seriously
Not seriously enough it seems. The issues have continued throughout lifetime of Win 10 well into 2019 now. If it's a bug, it's easily longest running Win 10 bug now. My own settings were reset after the latest feature update. A google search shows that I'm not alone. I shudder thinking about the poor souls who disabled telemetry and failed to notice how an update reset their settings.
In the era when everyone has a computer already in their pocket? In the era when a Windows 10 laptop can be bought at Wal-Mart for $200 or sometimes less?
We're in an era of single user devices. Statistically the "household computer" is gone, the Desktop/Tower a legacy form factor used mostly just by gamers now, and most "computing" people need is just done on their phones they keep in their pockets. The need to borrow someone else's device today is mostly just to throw YouTube videos on entertainment center screens to share and we've got Chromecast/Apple Cast/Miracast dedicated tools for that today.
Having more than one account, itself, on a device is a power user feature in 2019. Having a distinction between types of accounts and whether or not those accounts are backed by cloud accounts, is probably no less a power user feature than having multiple accounts on a device is in the first place.
Yes. The form factor of a mobile phone is not at all conducive to productivity. You wouldn't buy $200 walmart Win 10 laptop for every guest that would like to work/create a word|excel|powerpoint doc/play games on your computer either.
The point I included was that Microsoft has changed the wording on it more than once because they don't have a good idea what to call them.
I’m not talking about people who happen to use Windows in a professional setting. I’m talking specifically about people whose main job responsibilities include Windows administration.
Given that your stated alternative was home users, you seem to have excluded just about the entire world of small businesses with that definition. They might not have dedicated IT staff, but they still need to be able to administer their systems and in many cases a designated person will still be responsible for doing so. They just need to be able to do that as well as fulfilling whatever obligations they have in their primary role. Issues like privacy and security apply just as much in this context as in a large enterprise deployment with a whole department of dedicated staff to run it, but they need simple, transparent mechanisms for setting up the office network, deploying updates to the OS and installed software, etc.
> Is there anyone that even knows what "Domain join" means?
And the answer is, “IT specialists supporting Windows in corporate environments.” Generally speaking. I honestly cannot understand the motive or purpose for the rest of your comment, which seems to be about the needs of small businesses, which is not germane.
> Given that your stated alternative was home users, you seem to have excluded just about the entire world of small businesses with that definition.
Right, because I am specifically talking about IT specialists, who “administer Windows professionally”. This is the usual definition of “professionally”, that you “profess” to do something. If I talk about people who “write professionally”, this also does not include people who happen to write emails, memos, and other ordinary correspondence at work.
But this doesn’t really exclude small business, since it’s common for small businesses (and medium) to contract IT services.
Under "Domain join instead", I would assume that I could enter an appropriate domain credentials and the computer would join the domain. Essentially the same thing, that the OOB assistant in RHEL8/Fedora does, when choosing Enterprise login.
Since (I don't think) you can join Windows Home to a Domain, is that true? Is the option for a local account now only available in Windows Pro, unless you install Windows Home disconnected from the Internet?
(You should still be able to force an offline account by disconnecting for the internet during install, but, that requirement is terrible.)
This is terrible.
I think this is worth thinking about for a bit. The trope is that if you're not paying then you're the product.
But it doesn't follow that if you are paying you are not the product. That depends entirely on business decisions that customers have little visibility into.
For any product you pay for, there may eventually be a decision to extract additional revenue streams by monetizing your data or attention.
The fact that this happened with cable TV and advertising before the era of the internet indicates that this is far from a new pattern. I expect to see it a lot in the next few years.
Whichever corporations are paying for these revenue streams of monetized data and attention, they can (and do) easily outbid whatever a human customer is willing or able to pay for software or services that don't track you.
It's pretty obvious when you think about it. All the incentives for commercial software / services / sites anywhere are stacked against the user actually paying with money instead of data.
There isn't even a good infrastructure for getting/passing this money, unlike the giant system of ad networks passing tracking data back and forth.
People (complete idiots, IMHO) have been saying this is the transaction, you're paying with your data for the "free internet". But for starters, there is no choice. Also, nobody asked me. I've been "paying" with my data without consent for YEARS, even though I try not to.
And now we see it's not an either/or question. They can just make you pay for the service AND extract your data and track you. Because why not both? Again we don't have a lot of choice.
This makes no sense. Someone paying £43 a month for Sky TV in the UK is only worth another £5 a month in adverts. Maybe that works out fine, but I don't pay for Sky because of this. London Underground brainwashes millions of people every day. They spend £4.50 on a ticket, but TFL want an extra 15p from advert income. Passengers then spend the cost of that advertising and then some on products they see being advertised, a cost they wouldn't have born without the adverts.
Some businesses may make the bulk of their money from advertising other companies, but most don't.
Anyway, it was this comment, they explained the idea better than I did maybe: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20988742
Indeed. When cable TV started, it didn't have advertising. The premise was that you were paying for the service, so they didn't have to show you ads. That situation lasted as long as ice cream in the Nevada sun. Cell companies were capitalizing on tracking data we were providing them -- despite the high cost of cell service -- long before the general public got wise. Microsoft just took longer to get to the same idea.
Microsoft is going to double down on this, and make the consumer version "free" by way of explicit advertising. If they lose customers, they won't care. They've got corporations around the globe by the short hairs for at least another generation. Maybe two. They've been losing the consumer space for years, and they're just going to ride it all the way into the ground.
Look no further than TV manufacturers, the moment one of them decided to substitute below market prices with selling people’s data the others had to follow to stay competitive!
If anything, by now I'd say "smart TV fatigue" is setting in, much the same as "smartphone fatigue" a little while ago. Enough people have had these devices for long enough to see all the a-bit-too-clever software get out of date and stop working, and then they start to see the bundled online services and so on as a negative and start asking their more techie friends and family for advice on how to avoid the problems next time.
I can plug an Xbox if I want, or a shield, or a Roku, or an Amazon fire stick/tv, or an Apple TV, or a chrome cast
Just add a bunch of ports and KISS.
I don't understand why the same manufacturers/distributors offering these products don't also pitch them as TVs with well-defined specs and no junk, probably with some sort of "expert"/"pro" branding that makes them look like a high-end choice.
You could pitch one of those, a basic 2.1 home sound system or the like, and maybe a small control/switching box that everything plugs into and that also accepts your source feeds, and you've got a mini home-theatre-style arrangement that could be quite attractive to those who value decent gear but don't have the budget and/or space for a full home theatre setup that would cost at least 2-3x as much for entry-level equipment.
That used to be an obvious possibility, but recent products in this category tend to run variants of Android/Tizen/webOS complete with Wi-Fi to support remote management. There are still a few relatively "dumb" models of commercial displays out there, but they seem to be a dying breed.
The problem is the principle that it's OK for your devices to monitor you at all without your explicit knowledge and consent -- or even with those things, if the market leaves no reasonable alternative and so the consent isn't really consent at all.
I think the change we're starting to see among my group now is that the built-in software is starting to get out of date and not necessarily being maintained by the provider(s) of the service(s) affected, meaning from the user's point of view, the TV just turns on one day and can't connect to service X any more, with no way to fix it.
I'm not sure privacy has much to do with the discontent, because as you suggest, I doubt many people are even aware of the kind of tracking that is going on. When "smart" TVs or related devices get updated firmware and start doing things like injecting ads it really upsets people, but until they have some indication that any of this is happening, of course it doesn't really affect them or their opinions.
That's because Windows Division does not exist anymore as a separate business unit within MS. It's now a part of Azure. And Azure doesn't really care all that much about making desktop excellent. It'll just keep it good enough for you to buy more Azure, but not more than that.
Windows still claims nearly 80% of desktop market share, while OS X has less than 15%. Linux is around 2%.
Assuming people in any significant number care about having to use an online account is naive. Apple requires it. Google requires it. Amazon requires it. Xbox Live requires it. Facebook requires it. Sony requires it. People are used to this. If you think this will affect Windows in any way, you probably read too much HN.
macOS does not require a cloud account. Technically you don't even need one for iOS, but most people will create an Apple ID for the App Store (and I hope this distribution monopoly on iOS will eventually be broken up).
Neither Mac or Windows really requires an account but they make it an inconvenient path.
Well, kind of. It seems to prompt me once per service, more or less. If I keep closing them, I've found that macOS does eventually shut up.
Isn't that more for security reasons? Apple doesn't want users enabling the root account unless they know what they're doing, so they make it hard to find. (And, really—coming from someone who runs with SIP turned off—there's very little reason to enable that account.)
Desktop OS and apps won’t go away for the next 10 or 20 years by sheer inertia of the corporate market, and the halo effect on home users.
And I guess the past month/years issues don’t affect business users (corporate managed desks will have any problematic feature disabled from the start)
“Everyone” migrating to OSX/linux won’t happen for many many years, even if they keep screwimg up home and hobbyist market. Corporate market is also their strong point, so money wise they’ll be fine with that.
Some of that software is Windows-only. There are quite a few good products that run on Mac. Relatively little runs on open platforms like Linux. And for now, macOS has its own issues for long-term professional use, starting with Apple's reluctance to give any sort of concrete guarantees about support longevity. So that can be quite a barrier to migrating away from Windows for businesses.
It would be nice to think that in time Linux or other free platforms would fill the gap, but it's a chicken and egg problem. As an interesting contrast, within a very short time after Adobe went cloud/subscription with the dominant package of graphics/publication software, we had several smaller and more agile competitors entering the market at much more attractive (and non-subscription) price points: Sketch, the Affinity products, etc. We don't know to what extent any of these might already have been in development before and how much they were motivated directly by the shift to Creative Cloud, but we do know that the closest OSS equivalents have been around for years and made negligible impact, which doesn't bode well for the viability of Linux desktops as an alternative platform for "normal" business use (as opposed to, for example, specialist work like software development).
The sheer intertia in businesses of all sizes using Excel will probably never completely go away. It will fade out over decades.
And proper excel (excel 2007!!!) is not on Mac OS , Linux or in the cloud.
On the other hand, IME this is more of an enterprise-scale thing. Smaller businesses tend to be less firmly tied to existing software packages, and do less heavily customised work with Excel specifically, so there's likely to be less of a barrier for them to migrate.
Would you see a future where gamers would embrace linux in enough numbers that it becomes a main platform ? I see their communities as willing to bear with some level of technical complexity as long as there are clear results, I was seeing the driver issues as the only real showstopper to have them move out of windows.
The corporate "reason" is that a new CEO must be seen implementing dramatic changes (activity > progress).
In this case I'm not sure if Satya the Saint [tm] started this roadmap, but for sure he managed to associate himself with it and take credit for it.
As others said, a new CEO can easily reverse the whole process in order to have a "new" little triumph.
It is all meaningless...
To be fair to him, from a business perspective, look at Microsoft's share price since. As long as the cloud hype continues and no-one is looking too closely at where Microsoft's money is (and in some cases now isn't) coming from, the stock is likely to keep going up and he probably has free reign to do almost anything he wants. What is anyone going to do about it?
I'm still a little surprised that none of the other IT giants appears to have identified the Windows 7 EoL next year as a rare opportunity to grab a significant chunk of the desktop market and been building a credible competitor. Even with the current trend for shifting things online, local computing isn't going anywhere any time soon, not least because many people and businesses want a level of security, privacy, longevity and reliability that online services simply don't offer. We've seen many times that a new, significantly different platform with enough "killer apps" to gain a foothold can then grow and do well, from mobile devices to games consoles and of course the whole world of cloud computing and SaaS, all of which have disrupted traditional desktop/laptop/server markets significantly while creative very lucrative new industries in themselves. I was wondering a few years ago as the intended strategy for Windows 10 was becoming clear whether an Apple or a Red Hat or even a traditional heavyweight like IBM might have stepped in. I guess no-one thought the cost/risk was attractive enough.
Who, exactly, would be positioned to do that? Apple's not interested. RedHat/IBM I guess I could see, but their customer base is very different.
They have relatively little skin in the game in terms of online services. They have credibility in both mobile and laptop markets. They have at least some expertise in related areas like server, workstation and networking products. Perhaps more significantly, historically much of their success has come from making big plays that created new markets, and their current golden goose is looking a bit tired.
I could have imagined them offering an antidote to cloud-everything for businesses, particularly smaller ones that have more flexibility and less lock-in with their current brands, that wanted good centralised management of both static and mobile devices under in-house control.
I could also have imagined them offering some sort of home networking hub where everything from your Macbook to your iPhones and iPads to your TV and media streaming could talk to a centralised box that offered media storage, a controlled way to use online services for things like backups and media streaming, and even some sort of remote/VPN access so you could connect into all your normal facilities over a mobile network while out and about.
Given the pressure they're increasingly coming under with their traditional strategy of trying to promote expensive, high-end mobile devices and a closed ecosystem, I wondered if they might see an opportunity and commit some serious resources to making a play for that hybrid/combined/in-house market. Apparently not.
I also wondered whether there might be some sort of grand coalition among the big Linux players, which probably means Red Hat, Canonical and possibly Valve. There's probably enough money and enough potential upside there to fund the creation of rival "killer app" level software for Linux desktops. And again, then you have both client and server side expertise and some experience building custom hardware as well, which opens up a world of possibilities if you can generate a critical mass of interest.
Then you have the likes of IBM, who have been riding the waves of changing infrastructure and local/remote pendulum swings for many years, and certainly have the resources to build a viable new platform if they wanted to. It's not as if they're strangers to either corporate strategy with enterprise customers or building a solid desktop platform, after all.
And finally, there's always the chance of a dark horse. There are a lot of people out there who used to work for big name companies that are no longer with us and who have developed solid products that ultimately didn't make it for mostly non-technical reasons, and there is a lot of VC money around. I didn't think it was inconceivable that someone would put together a credible executive team and raise a lot of early funding with a prize this big at stake.
App Store, iTunes Music Store, iTunes Book Store, iCloud, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, etc.
Apple has been making as much of a PR stink about becoming an online services-focused company as Microsoft has. Arguably Apple has been doing even better in direct-to-consumer online services than Microsoft has in the same time period (their app store underperforming; their recent shuttering of an eBook store; etc). Apple just doesn't have (or seem to have interest in) the "big iron" side of Cloud services like AWS/GCP/Azure.
These are generally not the kind of SaaS online services that compete with desktop software, though. Rather, they're primarily ways of delivering software and media content that is then used locally. That actually fits very well with a model of promoting local devices, local networks and centralised access to online services, which is one of the reasons I thought Apple might make a move in that direction. The notable exception is iCloud, but if you consider that this one is primarily about sync and backup facilities and if you're promoting some sort of office server or "home hub" to centralise storage and connectivity to things like offsite backups, again that would fit quite neatly.
But still, if all those .9 billion Windows users still decide that FOSS is too hard, who am I gaf?
I think following the money shows part of why this is true.
It used to be that MS had three cash-cows: Windows, Office, SQL Server. Everything else, even Exchange, sharepoint, etc, on their own, made relatively little or a loss but were part of the larger ecosystem and therefore used to sell the other three.
It is now the case that the cash-cows are Azure (including AzureSQL), Office, SQL Server (on-prem). Windows is very much off the top list and is there mainly to sell the rest of the ecosystem and the fact that dumping it (or even just de-prioritising it too far) would look very bad.
That MS ecosystem is increasingly OS-agnostic and going forward this is going to continue to be the trend. SQL Server runs on Linux too now. VSCode is cross-platform and either that will continue to grow more of Visual Studio's features of VS itself will start to become cross-platform. Office has online versions which while having many notable feature gaps are pretty useable for many tasks and are getting more so. Much of what runs on Azure is not Windows either very much so (i.e. is running on Linux in VMs) or effectively so (running as app services where neither the dev nor the admin cares about the OS underneath as long as the right APIs are available).
Given the amount of effort desktop Windows must take, I'm sure they'd be happy to dump it sooner rather than later: let someone else deal with all that hardware compatibility faf and all those "real" man-on-the-street demanding-but-clueless end users on the desktop and all the security issues that come with them, keep server Windows going for Azure/similar (where the range of virtual hardware can be nicely constrained compared to real hardware variance and the security surface can be easier to manage too), and support other OSs in VMs as well as possible to make running them on Azure resource as friction free as it can be (aside from the friction of needing to pay!).
Ayup. Win10 finally broke the camel's back and I started the process of figuring out how to transfer as much as we can to Linux.
The hardest part is that our embedded development stuff is all Windows. :( I've been trying to get VSCode, Segger, and embedded boards to play nice together. I haven't been sufficiently successful that I could start pushing it onto the dev team yet.
Your overall point is stronger than you think: Xilinx's FPGA toolchain  has official Linux support, and their embedded software toolchain (based on yocto and gcc) actually depends on Linux!
 Xilinx is the market leader for general purpose and high-performance FPGAs. The situation is slightly different for space-grade and very low-power FPGAs, although Microsemi has been supporting Linux for many years as well.
Source: buddy worked as sw QA for xilinx.
Vscode is available as an official snap (on Windows you need to download and update it manually), Segger tools and openocd are fully supported. GCC cross-compiler and even some flashing tools are part of the distro and just an apt-get away.
This also means that everyone get the same tools (same version, same bugs). Which makes collaboration much easier.
Everywhere I've worked solved this by having the toolchain available via a network share that you would mount/copy, or checked into p4 so that everyone would be on the same version and you would know what compiler version was used to build a particular release. I suppose you could achieve the same thing by building in a Docker container..
This is kind of the idea behind the hermetic environments that Bazel enforces, and is essential if you want bit-for-bit reproducible builds.
We have used Docker images in past but it gets really annoying with large code trees and access permissions for programmers and debuggers...
>on Windows you need to download and update it manually
you don't need to update it manually, it will show a popup that an update is available and will update itself once approved.
If you have the money and the space for a second computer, use the computer with Windows for that specialized task and use a real* computer for everything else? We've been whining about this nonsense for over two years now and I think we need to take a hint.
* that does not force you to restart at its whims
I prefer buying a 2nd flash drive and dual-booting across different drives entirely, so that Windows / Linux don't even share the same bootloader. Its not like $200 for another 1TB Flash drive is expensive, and apparently I need the space anyway.
It's actually a tiny industry with a revenue of Oracle.
Amongst people most likely to care about the concerns raised here, the proportion is likely even larger.
Although the trend appears to be changing with the likes of Proton, the lack of Linux compatibility for games keeps these people tied to Windows, and keeps them from adopting Linux.
>I’ve always assumed that I’m locked into using Windows but after all this crap I’m starting to look into alternatives even though they’v got shortcomings on their own.
Yeah, I really wish there was an alternative I liked better.
Different (key)strokes for different folks.
Hit a key combination, GUI launches, you type.
So, have you followed the advice in the support document? Did it help?
Come the 2nd update that borked the start menu, I suspected that it might be because I restored the cache and so the "fix" was not applying correctly. I then proceeded to wipe the cache altogether and it simply rebuilt itself.
Protip: If trying to delete files using windows built in tools throw up errors (mostly permissions related. this will not help you delete a file whose file handle is locked though.), trying using rm from cygwin. Works every single time.
I'm something of a security expert, having consulted on architure implemented by several of the largest anti-virus distributors and retailers in the world. My honest opinion is that people need a dramatically better understanding of how domains work. If they want the increased privacy they should need to understand how to setup and use a local domain well enough to find the new location for creating a local account.
For those who cannot do this, their device security and therefore personal privacy is far better served by registering a microsoft account.
Any privacy concerns stemming from trust should be addressed by laws governing the acceptable use of user data. California is already pursuing such laws, and we should be supporting those efforts because they are addressing the true root cause of most modern privacy issues.
A. Being able to use some proprietary software not available on Linux
B. Being able to self build so I can select the HW that works for me
With Linux I lose A and with Mac I would lose B. I’m thinking that a combo Mac Mini + Tower PC with Linux could work, but using two OSes at the same time, even with shared NAS, KVM switch etc., would not be the best in terms of UX
(Edit I had mixed up “A” and “B” in my sentence)
Edit: besides the VM, I hear Wine supports many apps nowadays so it’s worth trying as well
I'd like to achieve sub 10ms latency and I feel running in a VM would make that very difficult?
Did USB passthrough for MIDI devices work well?
I've considered bitwig for Linux production but a big issue is you end up losing a lot of VSTs that aren't native to Linux (Serum and Massive, both wavetable synths, are a good example).
iMac for everything, including development and music production; Windows and Linux virtualised and resumable in a few seconds if needed.
I know there are plenty of things that don't work with wine, but realistically, how many of them does each person need to work, and how many are "defaults"? For example if you spend 90% of your time in illustrator, do you need excel specifically, or "an app with text in cells"? And if you're crunching market data in excel all day, do you need Adobe, or just something to draw an arrow on a screenshot?
* No, I don't consider having to search bugzilla 'documentation'.
Edit: Note that I'm talking about Wine here. When wine is wrapped by people who know what they're doing it works well - Crossweavers/Proton etc. - for the specific subset of programs they're tuned for. Otherwise you have all the wine-typical issues outside that subset.
"The test results for this version are very old"
"What works: "Basic editing of the slides (inserting and formatting texts, images)""
"What was not tested: "Advanced functionality""
Nobody has tested it recently, nobody knows if "advanced" features work, and they think it's PowerPoint. What does 'Gold' mean?
Whatever worked is highly unlikely to stop working. You can expect better support than in past test.
> What does 'Gold' mean?
New to software development, are we? That is such a laughably bad assumption that I’ll assume what I think you meant to say is not really what you meant to say.
But I’m glad to know that editing slides works just fine in Excel. From the link, “Gold” means: “Works as well as (or better than) on Windows with workarounds.” The test results say online login crashes. That tells me their certification program doesn’t mean shit.
And yes, it is what I meant. For software like wine, if something works in version X, you can expect it will work in X+1. Sure, there will always be some regression from time to time, but wine's whole existence is based on the idea that they support Window's APIs. These are not random features they'll decide to remove from time to time.
Anyone that expects this is setting themselves up for disappointment.
My actual experience with this has not matched yours. Wine is extremely fragile. There is a reason why things like winetricks and using dedicated wine prefixes exists, for one.
This is not a knock on wine really, but the complexity of the problem at hand.
> These are not random features they'll decide to remove from time to time.
Emulating windows APIs is extremely complicated. Even with the best intentions of not breaking something it happens, quite a bit.
You are extremely naive.
Photoshop and Illustrator and Premiere are not “defaults” on any system I know of.
If you need to draw an arrow on a screenshot, there are ironically more free beer and open source programs available on Windows to do this (even gimp). If someone wants to pirate adobe that isn’t an aspiring designer (which is sort of a rite of passage), and has it just to collect that’s cool, but irrelevant... but I assume if someone has the CS on their machine it’s to do actual work with industry standard tools - that certainly is the case for me.
There are plenty of things to do in Excel that are best served by excel and not crunching market data. I have tried libreoffice calc multiple times in the past. Google sheets is also cool for certain things, but no excel killer.
And here’s the kicker:
If you need to just put arrows on screenshots or an app with text in cells (and you’re not a dev), then you don’t need a desktop running Linux or windows... you can do with an iPad.
A garbage rating for the latest installer also means that even if you could run things, the workflow is not seamless.
You can get very far with Gimp and or Inkscape. I'm going to suggest that the majority of Adobe users will get by just fine with Gimp.
> I'm going to suggest that the majority of Adobe users will get by just fine with Gimp.
Well, frankly, your suggestion is useless. Not even the maintainers of gimp have the temerity to suggest that Gimp is a suitable replacement for Adobe photoshop. I don't care about the "users" of Adobe that pirate it. The tools are expensive and people pay for it. The majority of people that pay for Adobe Photoshop have very good reasons for doing so.
You are clueless if you think Gimp can replace Photoshop. You can do a little research to see why, it's well documented. Morons have been suggesting Gimp as a PS replacement since the late 90s and there is now nearly 20 years of responses for why that is untenable.
If you do this (as I did in the past) you're now juggling N Windows VMs to avoid ONE Windows host system..
You're right. One VM could work for office and other utilities. Unfortunately for me it grew into a mess of VMs, fast.
By the way, it doesn’t support discrete GPU, but Nvidia GPU performace in the XPS 15 is horrible due to heavy throttling anyway.
Also expect learning new things and spending several evenings trying. Compared to hackintosh, installing Linux on random hardware is a walk in the park.
I've been a Hackintosh user for the past decade.
I've not done it yet, but the next time I need to do a brand new Hackintosh setup, I'm planning on using ESXI. It seems perfect—you're getting very little performance loss in exchange for a setup which is (kind of) officially supported by Apple.
Maybe when I actually do it, I'll discover some terrible downside, but it seems incredibly appealing.
Wrt ESXI - are you aware, that with ESXI you will lose local console (and all the GPU-goodness)? After ESXI boots, it has only text-mode notice, how to connect remotely and that's it. You will be stuck with remote access. For things like build machine or test-runner, that's fine, but if you want to run something interactive... well, let us know about the experience ;)
I’m interested in a new XPS 15 but prefer Mac OS.
What software is this? Perhaps it runs under Wine?
Use latest PS and Lr.
So here’s the thing. Even if you’re right (and not confusing some older version as the latest.. that often happens in these discussions... what do you think is the latest version of adobe CC?), this is a terrible support story and not something that most pros that rely on adobe tools want to mess around with.
One of the winedb reviews says this:
“adjusting parameters in some effects such as lens blur makes program unusable (must kill app)”
playonlinux is dead last two years, authors decided to rewrite it.
> what do you think is the latest version of adobe CC?
About 1star reviews - guest mostly people are confused about installer, it doesn't works for years.
Additionally what of the various bugs that are filed and comments about missing or broken functionality.
This is not something that most professionals want to dick with.
Or you could prefer to play games and recognize there’s only one real option for playing the new ones
Or you could hate them, but you work at a Windows shop.
Please don’t assume everyone forced to use Windows enjoy Microsoft’s practices.
Do you eat Nestle food? Are you aware of the evils of that company? Are you in support of those evils, despite being a consumer?
Yeah. A PS4 for all those amazing exclusives ;-)
very, very few people are going to implement everything you suggested. Please don't assume your one anecdote is relevant for everyone else.
> Do you eat Nestle food?
No, I do not.
b) if true as claimed, why would such people as you imagine being here ever experience "unemployment" in the first place?
Dont get fooled. They got better because they have competition. The company is still mostly a marketing firm longing for the days when it could abuse positions of monopoly.
There has been no changes in their structure that would change their core ethics.
Here’s a true story that happened to my family. My son is the only person in the house who uses Windows. For his game machine. He set up a Microsoft online account. It got hacked - someone set up a fake family and managed to get my son’s account listed under it as a child. As a consequence, he couldn’t install any new software. I’m not sure what the point of this particular hack is, but that was the result.
So we called Microsoft customer service. It turns out that there is no way to get an account removed from a family once it’s listed there. The Windows rep we talked to had a recourse, though. He proposed that we, the three of us, attempt to reverse-hack the fake “dad”’s account over the phone by trying to guess his password. I had to explain to the gentleman that, even though we were within our moral rights to do this, a) it was almost certainly illegal, and b) doomed to failure.
He didn’t understand the issue. Eventually we had to agree to disagree, and hang up on him. We never got my son’s account back. We wiped his computer and installed Windows via “use offline account”. I’m glad this was last year and not today, I guess?
I'm not convinced that their offline security is good, either.
I sometimes will pick up my Surface Pro 4 and disconnect it from the charger. Disconnecting from the charger usually (but not always...not sure what determines it) wakes it. It then turns on their equivalent of Apple's Face ID, and tries to log in.
Sometimes I don't actually want that yet, as I just picked it up to take it somewhere else. So I'll hit the power button to put it back to sleep. The screen blanks...and then sometimes it quickly comes back, logged in.
The thing is I've sometimes had it do this when I've been careful to have my face out of view, holding it so I can only barely see the screen around the edge to see if disconnecting power will wake it up and I'll need to hit power to put it back to sleep.
This doesn't happen all the time, but it has happened several times, leading me to wonder if there is some sort of glitch if you interrupt a face-based login attempt at just the right time via the power button causing it to think it logged in.
Anyone else seen this?
If they have physical access to the device there isn't much you can do anyway.
Windows will otherwise use hsm to store your key (as evidenced by eg face unlock working) - it's not at all clear how that could possibly be secure if an attacker steals your device?
Booting an alternate OS, or removing the media will result in the HSM not giving up the key, and rendering the drive unusable for all attackers except those able to physically probe the HSM chips and extract keys. (theoretically)
For example i have trouble trusting pin login against brute force when the attacker has unrestricted physical access - including the possibility of replacing/manipulating the ram chips etc.
There's something weird and shady going on: I did created MS account to get this "marvelous" free Windows 10 offer once the update was smuggled on my Windows 7 installation and in subsequent buggy releases I had to reinstall the OS from scratch. So I had to login to activate this thing but I choose to not use the account later switching to local one (I did created an offline one during OOBE) and yet, Windows is still holding credentials to the online account somewhere because Activity section of the MSA Privacy page is still registering OneDrive activity coming from my desktop. I am not logged anywhere in OS, credentials manager is cleared out, OneDrive application is removed but still, it happens.
My MS account had my desktop's Win 10 Pro N (the one with less crap) license attached to it. When I bought a new laptop with Win 10 Pro (regular, non-N), my desktop would suddenly claim that its license was invalid. Great. Called support, but nothing they could do except recommending to reinstall Windows. No guarantee the other system would then not go into that "your license is invalid state" if I use the N license again. Solution: Screw them, I'll install kmspico.
I'm probably lucky I use that sh*tshow of an OS only for gaming, and Linux for everything else (including work - we're essentially a Linux company even though most of our customers (embedded devs) still use windows.
Not sure what you mean by "less crap". The only advantage of the N versions is that it doesn't have Windows Media Player. You need enterprise to set telemetry level to lowest, and enterprise LTSC to not have Windows store (and a bunch of other UWP apps) installed by default.
And now you’re forced to use that as your computer password too, which you probably have to type multiple times a day.
(Okay, thankfully local account is still possible.)
For local login you can use a PIN, or set up windows hello, if you don't want to type in the long password every time.
I'm talking about the Microsoft online account, and I stand by my statement that I was limited to 14 characters until relatively recently (maybe not earlier-this-year recent, that part I'm not sure). Looking at my Microsoft password history, I've changed it five times since 2012 (when I started using a password manager), each one is 14 characters long; the last change was done in 2016. I've been using 32+ character passwords wherever possible since 2012, so the only reason I was using 14 characters for Microsoft was because of the artificial limit imposed on me. And I did check a few times after 2016 to confirm the limit.
Anyway, I just tried to change the password again and this time I was warned that my Microsoft and Skype accounts would be merged if I carried through with the password change, so something did change after I last checked.
> For local login you can use a PIN, or set up windows hello, if you don't want to type in the long password every time.
I'm aware, but I don't consider a PIN secure, and I don't think Windows Hello is an option for most desktop workstations.
It was 16 chars. And it hasn't been true since 2016.
However, it did give me a Business Idea; (this is for some hungry 20somethings out there):
Sell a machine image which is basically a windows VM on top of Linux with support, which can handle and navigate all this bullshit that MS is throwing at common users, instead of trying to force the population to become sysads themselves.
Shouldn't be able to happen, of course, but given it's Microsoft we're talking about, who would swear it couldn't?
This is no reflection on them personally, this is by design of their job role. They have metrics hanging over them to close calls as quickly as possible, without escalating. They are expected to handle dozens or hundreds of calls a day. There is no slack to actually try to resolve the user's problems in any way that requires more creativity than sticking to the SOP script, and moreover, they are usually mandated to stick to a very standardized procedure, with defined suggestions and language that they have to use, in a specific order. A good first-level support person would spoon-feed you the right incantations to get escalated, in a way that their cutthroat metrics aren't negatively impacted.
It's a fucked up system, but this is how call-centers work.