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Why Windows 10 Sucks or Everything Wrong with Microsoft Windows (itvision.altervista.org)
173 points by dadt 22 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 309 comments

I'm no Windows fanboy but there's a lot of misinformation here. In the spirit of bullying the reader with a big list of points, here are some examples of incorrect claims in TFA:

1. It's not hard to disable Cortana and internet-assisted start menu search completion. I assume that's what they mean by "keyboard scanning and voice recording" because I don't think there's anything else like that in the OS. It is possible to disable telemetry. In general Windows 10 does come with a ton of cruft but it can be disabled with e.g. https://github.com/Disassembler0/Win10-Initial-Setup-Script

2. Disk fragmentation hasn't been an issue for awhile. Defrag runs as a scheduled task in all versions of Windows 10.

3. I like UAC. The article claims that giving users a dialog box to permit admin access is good for malware, but the alternative is taking admin away from users altogether on their own computers. I don't think this is an acceptable tradeoff.

4. Windows has arguably the best plug-and-play driver support of any operating system. It's not hard to find drivers as the article claims.

5. The article claims that it's difficult to figure out why your startup is so slow, but task manager has a "Startup" tab now which tells you which startup items are consuming a lot of CPU at login.

6. The article claims that you can't disable Windows Store apps, Windows tips, and ads in the start menu. That's untrue. I don't even have Windows Store installed as a Windows component, I have no idea what "Windows tips" even is, and my start menu is devoid of ads https://i.imgur.com/xy69BWe.png

I think Windows is pretty bad and most users would probably be better off running Lubuntu or something, but there's no need to resort to exaggeration to make that case.

1. Forcing people to use registry edit hacks is not an acceptable UI. There's no guarantee that those registry hacks won't stop working tomorrow. There needs to a real documented way to do it.

I have Windows 10 Pro. I used to disable Windows search doing web search with the Policy Editor (forcing me to do that was already boarderline unacceptable). Now that has stopped working, and even though I enable/disable many things in the Policy Editor, web search still happens. I will be switching to Linux.

I agree with much of what you say but I wanted to clarify one point.

> 3. I like UAC. The article claims that giving users a dialog box to permit admin access is good for malware, but the alternative is taking admin away from users altogether on their own computers. I don't think this is an acceptable tradeoff.

The UAC is about persuading legitimate developers to do the right thing. In that respect it has been successful. Many developers have learned they should not be annoying users with the admin dialog unless they really do need enhanced privileges.

The UAC has no other benefit. It's not a security barrier (malware can bypass it, or get the user to). If you're running on an admin account you are admin and all win32 programs running on your desktop have admin rights. They just need an elevated token to make use of them which, as I said, is easy enough to gain. The exception is if programs create their own sandbox to run sub-processes with limited rights.

UWP is an attempt to sandbox applications by default and thus allow the user to be admin without programs being admin by default. However its uptake has been slow.

In short, it's not the UAC that's the issue. It's Windows permission model. Microsoft is aware of this and is attempting change.

I've always been skeptical of the Windows security model as a user but I didn't think it was that porous. Thanks for setting me straight. I found these articles explaining why it's so bad:




For enhanced security you can run as a "standard user" then switch users whenever you need to run something with admin privileges. And by switch users I mean literally go through the login screen to change desktop to an admin user.

Obviously this isn't ideal. I've been using this set up for awhile and mostly I can live with it but installing/updating programs is a pain. Especially if they bizarrely don't expect to be installed from a different account then the one that runs them (games can be particularly bad about this, even modern ones).

Of course there's a lot a malicious application can do even with standard user privileges (e.g. it has access to all your files and the internet). It's easier to get rid of though.

You don't have to switch to an admin user account. You can provide admin credentials when needed or right click an installer and run as admin manually (and provide the credentials then).

No. That causes a process with admin rights to run in the context of your desktop session. This is exploitable by non-admin processes running in the same session. The inter-process security in Windows is unfortunately weak when they share a desktop session.

You're assuming at that point that you're already compromised or running malware, though. If you aren't already infected with malware, this is not a problem. If the installer itself is malware, then switching to an admin account to install it obviously offers no protection.

> It's not a security barrier (malware can bypass it, or get the user to)

All it needs is the user to have one of many buggy programs installed on their computer, for example Steam. If you're doubtful of this, replace the steamservice.exe executable with one of the same name that does whatever you want (doesn't require a admin privs and can be done by any user on the machine) and then reboot - it will run as admin with no prompt. Source: https://nvd.nist.gov/vuln/detail/CVE-2015-7985

I'm not a fanboy of any OS in existence but

1. Most tech-illiterate people are afraid of using regedit and/or GPO to disable Cortana so the point is valid.

2. Disk fragmentation has become an even bigger issue since Windows 10 doesn't defragment SSD disks.

3. It's not an argument.

4. The article talks about laptops specifically and the issue is still there and it's huge even for Windows 10 which often installs Microsoft drivers which do _not_ work.

5. You must be joking about the startup tab of the task manager. Looks like you've never had this issue or you've only used SSDs in your life. Also discover Autoruns by Mark Russinovich.

6. The Windows Store app canNOT be disabled. Read carefully. Also after each major Windows update all apps are reinstalled.

There's no exaggeration - the author is an IT specialist with a lot of experience.

> Disk fragmentation has become an even bigger issue since Windows 10 doesn't defragment SSD disks

Defrag on SSDs in Windows 10 runs Trim. And it does do that automatically on a schedule if you don't change anything. Actual defragmentation on an SSD is way less useful because SSDs don't have killer seek latencies like spinning rust plates did, and it would be small-scale harmful because of write wear. And your SSD's onboard controller would likely thwart your efforts anyway, because of wear leveling.

That’s 1/2 right SSD’s do have fragmentation issues, but it’s about IOPS not latency. http://www.dbta.com/Editorial/Trends-and-Applications/Does-F...

TRIM is also important, but it’s a different issue.

That article makes claims of 25% reduction in perf with no data to back it up, then mentions fragmention leads to system instability, requiring reboots... What? Again no data given to back up these claims. It's also SAN/Enterprise-centric. Even if you lost 25% perf, you're going from 200,000 IOPs/sec to 150,000 IOPs/sec. This is still plenty fast.

There is no out of order seek penalty for SSD drives like traditional hard drives. In fact you cannot guarantee what the SSD does to your logical blocks underneath the hood (they are mapped in indirect tables). You do not want to do defrag an SSD due to adding necessary erase cycles, that is why Windows has it disabled.

That's only partly true, fragmentation can and does massively effect SSD performance both on read and write, can effect write latency, but not read latency.

(think of it in terms of an SSD being a huge pile of 4MB blocks where each block needs to be completely erased to clear out old content to get a clearer picture)

From what I understand, the blocks are just "marked" as being deleted, the TRIM command erases/wipes the content. Windows does this [TRIM], in default setup, once a month.

5. I police my startup items so that's correct, I've never had this issue. But yeah I know about Autoruns; that's an option too. Are you saying that since it's not built into Windows then it shouldn't count? I don't really agree. It's not like other popular OSes have such tools built in either. And Autoruns is even first-party since Sysinternals was acquired by Microsoft.

6. Yes it can. My current Windows 10 system has been installed since March. I disabled the store immediately and no update since then has restored Windows Store or any Store app. You can uninstall the Store (https://github.com/Disassembler0/Win10-Initial-Setup-Script/...) or just disable access/updates through group policy (https://i.imgur.com/ZRxbwNt.png).

5. It's not about policing - it's about knowing what's being launched on startup and at least being able to disable items one by one to understand the root cause of your slow boots (and even that doesn't always help since some slow downs are caused by bad/misbehaving drivers). The startup tab in the task manager is absolutely insufficient as it shows pretty much nothing.

6. Random scripts from the Net to "improve" Windows 10? What could possibly go wrong? ;-)

And you're kinda neglecting the elephant in the room: you cannot uninstall apps in Windows 10 at all without using Power Shell. For some reasons Microsoft decided not to include the apps anywhere in GUI, e.g. in Windows Components which if I remember correctly were/was created exactly for this purpose.

In short the apps and how cryptically they are handled is one of the worst "features" of Windows 10. And don't get me on how they are handled in file system: it's a huge effing mess. And how you cannot really access/edit/remove apps data even when you're an administrator.

In short, UWP is an alien technology to Windows 10. UWP should have been a new different OS altogether (and probably that was the plan).

I'm completely tech literate and I STILL am afraid to use regedit. There are so many gotchyas, so little documentation, and many many side effects.

It would help if regedit had some confirmation dialog as opposed to the current 'direct' editing. An undo function [possibly persistent] wouldn't go amiss either.

> 1. It's not hard to disable Cortana and internet-assisted start menu search completion

Uhh, you have to go into the registry to do this. Not really easy. It should be an option in the settings, not something I need to go under the hood to do.

Also from the README for that script to disable telemetry:

> Q: Can I run the script safely?

> A: Definitely not

> It's not hard to disable Cortana

Wrong. For people who disabled Cortana, it kept re-enabling itself automatically after updates. I think that problem is mostly gone now, but it was definitely an issue all the way up till earlier this year.

> Disk fragmentation hasn't been an issue

The article has one tiny line-item about fragmentation and it was about architecture. I agree that it's not an issue for most people, but OP is making a comment about a design problem. You are mis-representing the argument by talking past it.

> I like UAC

That's a personal preference, and that's fine. I have mixed feelings about UAC.

> Windows (10) has arguably the best plug-and-play driver support

Again you might be talking past the issue. When Windows 10 first came out there were a TON of devices, including very popular printers and scanners, which had no support. It was a huge problem as the large number of news articles on the subject would indicate. It's mostly a non-issue now, but there are some devices that are still not supported. I consult for a cancer treatment facility and they have some not-terribly-obscure equipment that still doesn't have Windows 10 support. I agree that things have changed, but when the author wrote this, it was true. He should probably update the site.

> The article claims that it's difficult to figure out why your startup is so slow

The tool you mention is typical Microsoft. It blames the 3rd party and doesn't provide any info on Microsoft-internals stuff, which is where the problem is most of the time.

> The article claims that you can't disable Windows Store apps, Windows tips, and ads in the start menu. That's untrue

To the best of my knowledge, it's impossible to get a start menu without all the tips and ads without using a 3rd party Windows-10-decrapifyer/debloater kind of thing. And if that wasn't bad enough: https://mspoweruser.com/ads-in-windows-10-mail-and-calendar-... https://tech.slashdot.org/story/19/12/17/2249238/microsoft-s...

> To the best of my knowledge, it's impossible to get a start menu without all the tips and ads

It's actually so easy I've forgotten how I did it, but I removed all of that stuff (including Cortana) within the first 5 or 10 minutes of booting into Win 10 for the first time about 3 years ago. I think you just right-click on it and remove it.

Much of the hate towards Win 10 is just FUD from people who didn't bother to try even basic things to customize it to their liking before claiming it can't be done. I let that get to me and held off on updating from 7 for awhile, but I've been on 10 for a few years now and it's been rock-solid and problem-free.

The biggest problem - automatic updates that take over and restart the computer without your permission, potentially bricking it - is something that I avoided by getting Pro. There is some merit to the argument that your OS shouldn't by default delete your work, run code without your permission, and possibly brick your computer unless you pay.

It is a very good OS worth the cost, and if you do pay for it then that's not a problem at all. But the fact that they take such a bludgeoning approach on the people who get it for free does still seem wrong. The reasoning behind it makes sense though (almost all users are online and need updates for security or else their compromised machines become part of the problem). And the solution, pay to control when updates occur, doesn't make sense at the technological level, but at the human level it does. Those who care enough about it to pay for that are the ones less likely to be security problems.

> Wrong. For people who disabled Cortana, it kept re-enabling itself automatically after updates. I think that problem is mostly gone now, but it was definitely an issue all the way up till earlier this year.

I'm pretty sure this only applies if you disabled it through the UWP configurator applet. I vaguely remember this happening to me once. I disabled Cortana in group policy or the registry editor and it never happened again. And you're undermining your own argument by admitting that the problem doesn't actually exist anymore anyway...

> The article has one tiny line-item about fragmentation and it was about architecture. I agree that it's not an issue for most people, but OP is making a comment about a design problem. You are mis-representing the argument by talking past it.

The article's brief mention of fragmentation issues was wrong. It doesn't get a pass just because it was a brief mention. A huge list of issues looks impressive until someone breaks it down and points out how many of the issues aren't valid.

I have no idea what you mean by "architecture" or "design problem." The article claimed that disk fragmentation is an issue, and it's not.

> When Windows 10 first came out there were a TON of devices, including very popular printers and scanners, which had no support.

This was a big issue with Vista, but much less so with 10. Even at its absolute worst, Windows 10 was vastly better than Linux for driver support on the desktop. MacOS doesn't really count because of all their first-party hardware. If there's no superior alternative I don't see a valid point against Windows here.

> when the author wrote this, it was true. He should probably update the site.

Oh... I was assuming it was just published since there's no date in parens in the HN story title. I felt like the article was being disingenuous in repeatedly mentioning old issues that have since been fixed, but if the article is older then that changes a lot.

> To the best of my knowledge, it's impossible to get a start menu without all the tips and ads without using a 3rd party Windows-10-decrapifyer/debloater kind of thing.

I wonder how I did that. I never install regcleaners or similar tools. I disabled some setting and manually right-clicked and deleted a handful of tiles in the start menu. That was many Windows 10 updates ago. I have never seen anything in my Start menu that I didn't expect to be there since.

Just right-click and unpin each item, and there start menu won't even show the panel

The problem is they could come back (depending on your region) and advertising settings are spread out so you may have to go through the settings disabling them all. Basically any option that's labelled as a "tip" or "suggestion" might be a license to advertise. The start menu one is:

Settings -> Personalisation -> Start -> "Show suggestions occasionally in Start".

There was also an issue with a feature update that reset some settings. Feature updates basically do a reinstall of the OS and then copy your settings back over so sometimes things get missed (accidentally or on purpose, whichever explanation you prefer). The solution is to delay feature updates for at least a week or two. By that time these issues should have been fixed. Personally I delay feature updates for 30 days.

The tricks to getting a tile-free start menu is to remove every single tile. The start menu then collapses down to a more simple list of programs. I've run with this for years, and no tiles have ever appear, or tips

It is possible to disable telemetry.

Please go on. Having no officially supported way to completely turn off phoning home if we want to is one of our deal-breakers.


Lots of utilities which disable telemetry automatically are invasive as hell and sometimes break your Windows installation.

Sure, but for professional use I'm not very interested in unsupported hacks that are liable to break things and/or be overridden and reverted by Microsoft in some future update. We deal with various kinds of sensitive and confidential information, and we have legal and contractual obligations to protect it, and so we need the ability to control where it goes on our terms. It's really as simple as that. If Microsoft won't give that to us, then we won't be Microsoft customers.

If it's for professional use, then you can use the official non-hacky method of disabling telemetry with the group policy editor available in Win10 Enterprise, server, and education versions.

Only if you have those editions, though, which typically no small business or independent professional does (nor home users, obviously).

Windows 10 Enterprise is, as far as I can see, essentially a different OS to Windows 10 Pro and the lower editions, presumably because Microsoft knows very well that its big corporate customers wouldn't stand for the kind of behaviour it's trying to inflict on everyone else but the big customers have enough money/lawyers/etc. to escape the trap.

The big change from earlier versions is that there used to be a mid-range Pro edition that was aimed at the smaller-scale professional market, with some of the more advanced features and without some of the restrictions, but also without the emphasis on having to centrally manage everything the way a large organisation usually wants to. In contrast, with 10, the Pro edition appears to be as broken as the Home one for professional use. I'm not really sure who the intended target audience of Windows 10 Pro is or why it exists at all.

If you are running Windows 10 home for professional use, you’re at best being negligent.

I run win 10 pro, just as I ran win7 pro before, for home use. A small business has no excuse to do otherwise.

You missed my point. Windows 7 Pro made sense in that market. Windows 10 Pro does not. You are literally relying on a system where you cannot maintain both proper control of your own resources and good support for things like security and compatibility updates.

You can do exactly that with Windows 10 Pro.

How do you turn off all phoning home and run a stable system with only security and essential compatibility updates applied if and when you choose in an officially supported way with Windows 10 Pro?

In regards to no. 3: I recently set up a new Win 10 laptop and was super impressed by the automagical driver installation.

A few days later I went on a work trip to somewhere where internet connectivity is a luxury and discovered basically all of the drivers were crap. Intel iGPU drivers didn't support QuickSync, trackpad scrolling worked in only half of my applications, the NVIDIA GPU was burning battery on idle and instead of even just using it in standard HID mode, it made my MX Master mouse switch over control of advanced features to the software, while not actually installing said software and opting to rather pop up a big ugly green dialog every 5 mintues, prompting me to install Logitech's garbage software utility.

I actually really like Windows 10, a huge portion of this list could easily apply to any modern operating system that isn't Linux, and even there some of it applies. So OSX, Android, iOS, etc.

The section "Now the second kind of issues is intrinsic to Windows 10 only" is full of things that are literally applicable to all the OSes I listed above. I had some laugh out loud moments reading it. Are people just blinded by rage against Microsoft? I don't see how anyone could type that section in particular out with a straight face while knowing about all the other major modern OSes.

I use Windows for work. My setup is a bit unusual, since I run Windows inside a hyper-V VM (itself running on Windows), but the performance gets abysmal between logins.

Whenever I unlock, everything grinds to a halt, applications shudder, even the start menu takes a couple minutes to activate. It spastically doesn't register window events and then suddenly 50 Alt+Tabs and click events burst through. After about 15 minutes it's mostly back.

I'd like to debug, but I have no clue where to start. I tried to follow Randomascii's examples and collect perf traces, but I have a hard time drilling that far in. Weirdly, the reported CPU usage is less than 50% but there's a flood of DPCs of some kind.

It wasn't always this bad. I think it's just Winrot. I'm thinking of investing in an unattended image building process so I can just keep swapping "fresh" copies of Windows in, but I shouldn't need to damnit!

(Disclaimer: I made the foolish decision to use Insider builds, and I work for MS so I might be eating some bad dogfood. Also, the outer Windows works fine, so it might be hyper-V issues.)

I understand that @randomascii is responsive, perhaps he could help with analysis. I see an email address on his site's About page.

Also, I got curious about the perf collection process, and stumbled on https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/yongrhee/2017/10/11/usin... - unsure if this will be useful.

Also found https://randomascii.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/etw-central/, for completeness

> The section "Now the second kind of issues is intrinsic to Windows 10 only" is full of things that are literally applicable to [OSX, Android, iOS, etc]

Yes, unfortunately, turning the OS into locked-down spyware is an industry trend that Microsoft just joined but did not start. That doesn't make the trend any better though.

Just because other companies are pushing out shoddy updates and other user-hostile measures, that doesn't mean we shouldn't criticise the one we're talking about for doing it.

My phone, which was top of the range when I bought it less than a year ago, has serious bugs in the most basic features, which have replaced other serious bugs in similarly basic features from the last software release. This was all essential stuff -- literally things like making and receiving calls properly -- that worked fine on a little Nokia block costing 3% of the price and available a decade ago.

The fact that both market forces and official regulation have failed so badly that my modern, four-figure-cost phone can't do what a Nokia block costing maybe 3% of the price could do a decade ago is hardly a glowing endorsement of our modern consumer-hostile tech culture.

So it is with Windows 10, and its obsession with spying on everything you do, and with updating itself without your knowledge or consent and forcing reboots at times it considers it necessary. Some of us don't work regular hours and do need to do long-running (multiple days) jobs fairly often, and there is just no way that a serious operating system should be interfering with that.

Are people just blinded by rage against Microsoft?

The first person quoted abbreviated Microsoft as “M$”, and AFAICT, within the past few years. We’ve seen that Penny Arcade cartoon from, what was it, ten years ago? That was a page-closer for me, I don’t think I was going to find useful commentary in there. And I loathe having to use Windows 10 at work. And I worked at MS a lot longer than the person quoted.

> what was it, ten years ago?

Double that and you’re closer ;)


Microsoft has been an oppressive troll since the 80s. Forty years.

The fact there are terms of phrase to encapsulate frustration and anger with that isn't some disqualifying marker to someone's opinion.

Unless of course you are partisan in opposition to those views.

Which means you are the ones with the invalid arguments

You're reading way too far into a throwaway comment about a twenty year old webcomic.

M$ was a staple on Slashdot in the late 90s, along with the Bill as Borg icon.

MacOS doesn't have 95% of the listed issues.

And we don't have any other desktop OSes which are ready for prime time.

And we don't have any other desktop OSes which are ready for prime time.

People keep saying that, but how often is it really true these days?

As a professional software developer, the tools available on UNIXy platforms are already much better in many cases than the Windows ports.

For a typical home user who is mostly interested in things like email and social networking, and maybe needs to write up some notes or do a quick household budget spreadsheet or basic photo editing, there is capable software available on any serious desktop platform today.

It's true that gaming lags behind, though there has been useful progress there in recent times, but lots of people game on dedicated consoles or on their mobile devices anyway now.

Are you sure you're not just repeating dogma that is well out of date by now?

I'm a systems administrator for a small MSP. I've used Linux as my primary OS for 9 years, despise using Windows, and I can tell you with 100% confidence that nothing but Windows is ready for prime time, and for one major reason: _ease of administration_.

Think of the growth cycle of the vast majority of businesses. Almost all businesses are started and run by non-IT people. They buy Windows machines because they're simple(don't have to worry about OS installation, chosing a distro, etc), have Microsoft Office, and work with any and all enterprise software they use. This gives them a key advantage for small businesses. Like it or not, Linux is just relatively hard.

Where Windows _really_ shines, though, is when a small business transitions to being a big-small or medium-sized business. If you have a couple dozen computers and a couple dozen users to manage, do you think it would be worth it to have a linux admin spin up an LDAP server with kerberos and all the bells and whistles needed, then be hired to manage that infrastructure? No, they're going to contract someone to spin up a windows server to manage user logins, create a network share, and call it a day. The infrastructure is super-stable, and when the cost of labor is considered, it is considerably cheaper than letting the system be the plaything of a local Linux zealot.

It's only when you consider big and massive businesses that Linux can really be viable, and even then it ain't cheap. Most big businesses grew in a Windows environment, and switching the core of your IT infrastructure sure as hell better be worth it to warrant the massive labor costs, IT fire fighting, and drop in employee productivity that will result.

No, Linux infrastructure and desktops really only make sense for companies that are either highly technical, need absolute control of their hardware, are _extremely_ price sensitive, are (or hope to become) massive, or a combination of these.

FWIW, I mostly operate in the world of small businesses, and in tech and creative sectors.

Anecdotally, the majority of the small businesses I deal with don't fit your characterisation there. For example, MS Office is far from universal in this market now. Online collaboration and document editing tools are displacing applications like Word and Project. We're being forced to switch to online management and accounting systems because of issues with interoperability and government regulation, which makes Excel much less useful. Outlook/Exchange is giving way to Google Mail and similar services. I'm not saying any of these is necessarily an improvement or has no downsides, but it's clearly the way the industry has been moving. The specialists doing things like CAD or DCC still need the 800lb gorilla software in many cases, but those are niche markets.

The biggest problem with Linux on the desktop today is no longer application support, IMHO, but rather the lack of off-the-shelf PCs you can buy that way, with proper tech support and so on. We tried buying one of the Dell laptops that was sold with Ubuntu preinstalled, and it was one of the most disappointing and troublesome purchases we've ever made, largely due to the abysmal support when basic hardware failures occurred. (Also, the hardware itself appears to be pretty poor quality.)

If you could buy decent laptops with Linux preinstalled from the usual big name brands or off the shelf at your local bricks-and-mortar store, I suspect a lot of people would barely notice the difference any more, because so many of their software needs are either very basic or using online systems now.

Why do your employee's systems need to be "Administrated" in the first place?

Why do you need Active Directory or LDAP? Why do you need group policy or anything else? Why are your endpoints not as close to vanilla simple desktop/laptops as possible? Is it that employees can't handle using a computer?

I've worked in one of the largest businesses in the world for many years now, and I don't think we even have an IT department that manages desktop installations. I've certainly never interacted with them. You either figure out how to use the computer they give you, or you don't, in which case why should they employ you? Computers are a basic skill.

> Why do you need Active Directory or LDAP?

Primarily authentication, authorization, and accounting[0]. Setting up a new user account on every single computer that an employee may at some point sit at gets very expensive. Many businesses (if not immediately then eventually) have security concerns that require Administrators have the ability to immediately lock users out of the system or be able to audit recent activity. AD/LDAP facilitates this. It can also automate standard settings like network drives, screen lockout settings, homepages, and all sorts of other settings.

> You either figure out how to use the computer they give you, or you don't

Standardization of processes and training can reduce training time considerably. For industries with high turnover, this can make a difference. You've gotta remember, not everyone is a knowledge worker. Tons of people are more like cogs in the machine of the company, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

[0] https://www.techopedia.com/definition/24130/authentication-a...

> Primarily authentication, authorization, and accounting[0]. Setting up a new user account on every single computer that an employee may at some point sit at gets very expensive

Why are people using more than one machine?

> Many businesses (if not immediately then eventually) have security concerns that require Administrators have the ability to immediately lock users out of the system or be able to audit recent activity.

Why are the network services tied to login sessions on my machine? I mean, login token invalidation is an interesting problem in general, but every place I’ve worked in the past 10 years, my desktop is not the place where secure things are stored, the services I access are. (And those services are increasingly SaaS and use something like SAML with the directory server for the company.) None of which needs a login token associated in any way with my desktop login.

Perhaps a better phrasing of the question is, why is the demarcation line between the untrusted world and the things you’re protecting on the desktop? And not at the services themselves?

> It can also automate standard settings like network drives, screen lockout settings, homepages, and all sorts of other settings.

Sounds like a bunch of solutions to problems you’re creating for yourselves. Why even do any of these things?

Perhaps an analogy would be helpful:

Say you required all your employees to have smart phones so they could (for instance) get email, log into the timecard/accounting service, etc. You’d need a pretty huge justification to require all of the phones to be managed centrally by your company. Why are desktops different?

(Or perhaps you’d defend even the central management of my iPhone too, in which case I think our perspectives are so far off, I don’t think there’s much convincing either of us can do at this point.)

I used to be an AD administrator for a university and had to manage hundreds of lab machines (maintaining a central hardware-independent image, group policy, tons of settings), so I’m aware of what tools are available for Administration, I’m just saying 9 times out of 10, the best way to administer lots of systems is to not administer them at all.

> Why are people using more than one machine?

Ever been in a meeting room? Most companies have shared PCs for meeting rooms. Logging in gives you access to your documents so you can hold your meeting and take your notes back to your workstation.

I'm really surprised you worked in a large business and haven't experienced any of this or the need for standardisation. We use a bunch of systems that all work with AD, it's really a solved problem in a Windows based environment.

Most companies have shared PCs for meeting rooms.

Are you sure that's not overgeneralising from your own experience? After all, most companies don't even have dedicated meeting rooms, because they aren't big enough. Of the ones that do, I have rarely seen a dedicated PC in there, and that spans the full range of businesses from five guys in a single office through 200+ person medium enterprises right up to some of the largest companies in the world. Most people just take their own laptops, IME. So while I don't doubt that you may have come across this often, it's not necessarily the way everyone else does it.

In any case, basic AAA for organisational user IDs is hardly rocket science, whether you're running on Windows or Linux.

The OP mentioned working in one of the largest companies in the world I find it hard to believe they have no conference and meeting rooms. I think you are over-generalizing using startups as a prototype; the enterprise world is a different beast.

As I wrote before, I've also worked in some of the largest companies in the world. Obviously those do have meeting rooms in their offices, but IME people typically just bring their own laptops/devices to a meeting. I can't remember the last time I saw a dedicated PC that stayed in a meeting room, other than maybe ones used to run projectors and such in a conference centre that was hired out.

Man you're practically one step away from saying "Why even have a business? It just creates more problems."

edit: I mean are you really asking why not have network shares or screen saver timeouts for your environment? It's a bit hard to take you seriously saying things like that.

> As a professional software developer, the tools available on UNIXy platforms are already much better in many cases than the Windows ports.

This is because everyone keeps trying to make windows unix/gnu. Embrace powershell it has everything GNU binutils does, but built in. As a professional software developer I NEVER have problems developing except when unixy devs don't test for windows or don't use cross platform tools.

This isn't just about a convenient shell, though, is it? The state-of-the-art in compiler and other tool development in a lot of languages is hosted on UNIXy platforms. Many of the developers are there. Much of the attention and research and new work is focused there. Many of the tools for hosting online applications as a server are there. Windows simply isn't the dominant platform for most of this kind of work, and using Windows for software development sometimes feels like using Linux for gaming, for much the same reasons.

You have a point, and its one I didn't really consider (community). I was mostly looking at mature things.

Are you unfamiliar with MSVC and Visual Studio?

No, I used them professionally for years, and still do for Windows development. What's your point?

Your comment makes it seems as though people don't develop software on Windows.

That's a fairly normal thing that happens quite a great deal, and it's arguably the best software development experience because of Visual Studio.

I'm sorry, but I don't see how my comment reads that way at all. I was careful to qualify all of my statements so they were not overly general for exactly that reason.

In any case, while Visual Studio is a decent IDE, I don't see how it's exceptional as far as developer experience goes. It has an OK but somewhat underpowered editor, an OK but somewhat overcomplicated project system, etc. It feels quite "heavy" compared to a lot of other tools these days, IME.

"Heavy"? I guess if you like writing code in VI that would be true.

Otherwise, Visual Studio is the best IDE on the market hands down. There's simply nothing else that can touch it.

Using an IDE like Visual Studio is helpful if you're developing a native Windows application, but what if you're writing embedded code for some new device and need cross-compiled C and assembly language, or you want a workbook-style presentation of data processing you're doing in Python, or you're writing some fancy isomorphic SPA for a new website, or you're researching new proof techniques for high reliability systems in Idris? The world of programming is far, far bigger than just making native applications targeting desktop OSes, and the tools that are useful for different kinds of programming go way beyond things like editors and debuggers.

As I said, if you like writing code in VI.

The vast majority of what I do is C or C++, and I do as much of it as I can in Xcode or VS even if I have to cross-compile it later to run on the machines it's written for. A good IDE is worth its weight in gold, and VS is the best.

The vast majority of what I do is C or C++

Given your comments here, that makes sense, but there is a whole world of other programming languages used in other ways out there, and what you use to edit your code or even debug it is far from the only tool that matters. In many of those languages, the best tools and newest developments typically happen on UNIX first. I'm not sure why this is such a difficult thing to acknowledge, but anyway, this discussion doesn't seem to be going anywhere useful so perhaps we should stop here.

It makes little sense to talk about other languages in discussing VS, given that C, C#, and C++ are the primary supported languages there.

Obviously if you're doing other things you're doing other things.

Think about putting a non-tech person on linux and that whole thing just grinds to a halt. There is a lot of fiddling.

What fiddling do you think is involved in running a typical Ubuntu desktop these days?

Hardware mostly just works. Plug in a USB stick or a camera or phone, see your files, like any other desktop.

You've got web browsers and basic office software and communications tools and all the rest.

The OS can automatically update for security issues, and that takes care of much of your installed software as well if you're just using the default option of getting things from your distribution. Almost anything to do with this is qualitatively better than modern Windows systems.

Sure, the look and feel is different and it takes a few minutes to find your way around, but then the look and feel is different moving from Windows to macOS, or even from Windows 7 to Windows 10, too.

Ubuntu is a controversial example. Probably better usability than most linux distros, but it collects a lot of data (lots of telemetry, amazon app, etc)

What do you think Ubuntu collects without an explicit option to turn it off, or even having it off by default? Canonical have had a couple of mis-steps in that direction over the years, but the Ubuntu community has pushed back consistently against intrusive measures and Canonical have typically backed down very quickly when they overstepped the mark.


There is loads of must-have proffeshional software that doesnt work on linux.

Photoshop, illustrator, autocad, solidworks, etc.

As someone who has used that sort of software professionally in various capacities, I think "must-have" is a strong term these days. A lot of everyday software at work is no longer the massive-cost, massive-installation, licensing-headache behemoths of yesteryear.

Also relevant, we do have some software along those lines on our Windows 7 machines that are about to run out of support, but the only way to get them on new machines running Windows 10 is to jump on the subscription bandwagon and deal with all the incompatibilities with the older but stable versions we've been using effectively until now.

I'm a professional and I don't need those tools. Most people I know do not use those tools either. Some people need them, sure. But the number of people who do not need those tools is certainly larger than the Apple market share.

In my company on the other hand IT banned macos and we only run windows and Linux, because administration of those operating systems is far superior.

The fact is millions of businesses run on Windows and I would say most of the world economy relies on it.

Truth is that the world economy relies more on linux-based systems than anything else, even in microsoft’s own datacenters

Not all business is happening on the server side. A lot of business happens at the workstation where the tools are Outlook, Excel and Word.

Stop it with the drama. There are millions of people (billions?) using Windows to do stuff every day.

Just an example: do you know who Hans Zimmer is? You have most lilely heard his music in countless films. Yeah, he uses Windows.

I think he’s probably more invested in Cubase than Windows itself, which I’ve heard is the better of the two platforms to run it on.

Totally, but my point is that if Windows wasn't "ready for prime time" how come there are tons of people being productive with it.

Plus, the confusing control panel.

Everything is flat, with no color distinction, that I must scan every single stupid grey icon, and memorize or guess, what the icons mean. Before, some of the icons would have colors, like the defrag program, where I can quickly identify the program, because the icon has a touch of red in it. This slows me down, and it increases my cognitive overhead to look for things in Windows. And often times, the icons no longer have names on it, so it's a total guessing game what this flat abstract icon even means!

The on and off buttons look alike! Often times, I can't figure out which it is. Light switches in the real world, is up and down, so this is easy to remember. But side switches, left or right, are confusing. Was it left to turn on, or the other way. I can't figure it out.

Also, this problem plagues the stupid new iPhone designs too. I miss the skeuomorphisms.

The icons and colors don't matter to me at all. Because it finally has search within control panel. It even seems to index some terms used inside the modules.

Also, these are included in the regular start menu search.

So you can hit windows key and just start typing for 95% of what you need.

For example, hit "windows key" and type "path" to get to the "edit environment variables" menu.

What are you talking about? In setting every icon has text describing what it is. On and off buttons have text that says On and Off.

Fork that "control" panel. Use the old one.

Most things in Settings aren't in the Control Panel and a lot of what is in the Control Panel opens the Settings app (e.g. Control Panel -> Default Programs -> Set your default programs)

It's worth a mention just how buggy win10 has been for me. I don't spend much time working in windows, but every time I do I encounter one issue or another.

File explorer freezes / crashes.

There is that one empty folder on my desktop that I cannot delete because it is in use, but there is nothing in the folder and no program is conceivably using it.

There are occasional glitches with git. It wouldn't let me clone a git repo somewhere because it said the folder already existed. No such folder existed. Changing the destination name did nothing. Restarting fixed it.

There was a bug which kept rearranging the order of desktop icons, which was actually pretty annoying.

There is a bug that they seem to fix and then break with every other update. Basically, if I go fullscreen with some programs and two monitors set to mirror, the resolution zooms in and it's unusable. This is currently broken in the latest stable release.

Installs from the windows store almost always fail for no obvious reason.

I updated to 1909, or w/e the latest is, hoping that some of the isues I've encountered would be fixed. I've reinstalled the driver and tried fixing it but the USB wifi adapter that I have now no longer works (still works fine in Linux).

I could go on. That is with me going out of my way to not install much at all on the pc, because I know that installing things like tweaks to stop telemetry like the author suggests will lead to even more issues.

Contrast this to the experience I've had with Linux the past few years. It never crashes. Core programs like nemo (file explorer) do not freeze / crash. It updates without issue. I cannot think of a single issue i've had. The computer does exactly what I expect it to do. Stability is vital if you want to be productive.

I'm sure other folks have had the opposite experience. For me though, I am done with Windows.

> File explorer freezes / crashes.

It's been happening to me too, but it's unclear to me if it's one of my shell extensions or Windows itself. Do you run any shell extensions?

> There are occasional glitches with git. It wouldn't let me clone a git repo somewhere because it said the folder already existed. No such folder existed. Changing the destination name did nothing. Restarting fixed it.

That's mind-boggling. Were you using WSL at all, or just vanilla Windows git? WSL can have these types of issues if you try to mess with its file system (I think due to POSIX deletion semantics), but they shouldn't occur on your desktop...

> It's been happening to me too, but it's unclear to me if it's one of my shell extensions or Windows itself. Do you run any shell extensions?

only shellex here is 7zfm integration and I get occasional explorer.exe crashes. Also I had an install where edge just wouldn't start. At all.

Good to know, thanks for the info! I do have 7-zip too, so I'll try to see if it might be related if it happens again.

I don't think I have any shell extensions installed. I did allow git, 7zip, and clion to add themselves to the right click context menu, but I don't think that counts as a shell extension?

I do have WSL installed, but only for curiosities sake. I messed around with it for a few hours and have not used it since.

I'm using git with the terminal editor that they recommend to you in the git for Windows installation, I think it's called git with bash? It could have been some type of issue there rather than Microsoft being at fault. But that terminal editor is (or at least was) the recommended option presented to you in the git installer, so shrugs

> I did allow git, 7zip, and clion to add themselves to the right click context menu, but I don't think that counts as a shell extension?

They do count, but whether or not they're relevant depends on whether they're triggered. e.g. if you never right-clicked, then 7-zip probably doesn't count. Although 7-zip also installs drag-drop handlers, so it's not just right-clicking, and I'm not sure when the others get triggered.

> I'm using git with the terminal editor that they recommend to you in the git for Windows installation, I think it's called git with bash? It could have been some type of issue there rather than Microsoft being at fault. But that terminal editor is (or at least was) the recommended option presented to you in the git installer, so shrugs.

Hm, somehow I feel neither of them is related. How likely is it that the name wasn't unique after your rename? Did you type in gibberish or something that could plausibly exist?

Note that if you were ever trying to remove e.g. a directory that was the current working directory of any running program (like your terminal or anything else), that'd fail. It's possible that there's some bug that makes you think it's succeeding, and therefore making you think that the folder no longer exists. But hard to say with the current info.

> Hm, somehow I feel neither of them is related. How likely is it that the name wasn't unique after your rename? Did you type in gibberish or something that could plausibly exist?

I only have my memory to go by so this could be faulty, but if I remember correctly I was trying to copy a public repository into an empty folder. I simply called git clone url. When that failed, considering the error message I got, I then entered in the clone command with a random string of characters for the destination name, again in the same empty folder. When that failed, I closed the terminal, opened a new one on my desktop, and that failed, too. Restarting fixed it.

I encounter a lot of weird issues with Windows. I'm not sure if it's my hardware combination, or what. The hardware itself contains my Linux install, which never gives me an issue, so I doubt it's faulty hardware. At one point I assumed I had installed from a corrupted ISO or something, so I downloaded a new ISO and reinstalled. Problems persisted.

It's entirely possible that some program that I typically install causes issues, but I can't imagine what program that would be. Practically the only thing on my Windows partition is visual studio (c++ and c# tooling), clion, 7zip, WSL (could be this, I suppose), an installation of ruby, and Sublime Text. I know at one point Microsoft was saying that CCleaner was causing problems, but I'm not using anything like that.

I see, thanks for elaborating! Yeah that's really bizarre. Especially because, if you give a random destination name for git clone, it shouldn't matter at all whether the current folder is empty or not -- the repository's will be in a subfolder after all. The question here is what is the actual error you got in that case -- was it again something about the target folder not being empty (despite being random), or something else entirely? If it's the former, then I have no clue haha. But if the error might've been different this time, then that might explain it.

Regarding WSL, it shouldn't be related unless you'd actually launched it sometime between when the incident occurred and the most recent boot before then. But even then, I can't imagine how cloning into a new folder with a random name could possibly trigger a WSL issue of this sort.

Otherwise, the only things I can imagine are clion or Sublime Text (whichever have shell extensions)? Only because I don't use either, so I have no idea what functionality they might incorporate into the shell. If I had to take a wild guess, it might be auto-scanning inside folders (for whatever reason) and keeping handles open that prevent file deletion and such? But again, unlikely given that so many people use it, and given that even Visual Studio doesn't need to scan like that.

In terms of weird issues more generally -- yeah I think it's pretty unlikely your case is hardware-related. I do have to say Windows 8.1 seemed more stable than 10. Especially on 1909, I've gotten some 3-4 BSODs over the past few weeks, which is way more than I used to get since before the update, and I've been pretty clueless as to why. But on the other hand, I'm pretty impressed that the file system is still intact, and even completely unaffected by most BSODs, and so barring the inconvenience of the reboot, I rarely have problems. Whereas, with Linux, I have a different variety of problems :P like I upgrade the OS and my package dependencies break, or I upgrade packages and now have to figure out how to fix configs and services that broke, or I want to install an older version of some program and now my afternoon is gone, or I run a script and it suddenly wrecks my system because I happened to have a space in my path, or something goes wrong and the file system suddenly gets a ton of errors (generally the FS seems much more fragile than on Windows)... well I can keep going :-)

> It's worth a mention just how buggy win10 has been for me.

Is it though? I mean I've had none of these problems. You could literally have a bad RAM stick or a misbehaving piece of hardware.

For every one of these posts, are hundreds of thousands of people will no problems at all and therefore no reason to make a post.

It could be bad hardware, you are right. I doubt the issue is faulty hardware since the same parts work in Linux, but the ultimate point that it could be something else entirely and not Microsoft's fault is of course true.

This is a forum though. We're here to talk and share our experiences and anecdotes. We don't have access to any real statistical data regarding the amount of bugs and issues that people experience with Windows. What we can do is collectively share what we have experienced because we enjoy talking about it, or we want to try and see if things are getting better or worse on average. I think you can get a reasonable view of how buggy / how many issues people are experiencing for a given product by the ratio positive posts / negative posts.

I never had problems with Windows in the past. I now have a lot of problems with Windows. Take that however you will.

I've had problems with Windows in the past and now I don't. Does this information help you in any way? Does it contribute something of value? No. All the anecdotes about stability and usability are mostly just noise masquerading as useful discussion.

Even with potentially important issues, like privacy, nothing has changed in the last 2 years. The horse is so beaten to death it's unrecognizable. For those who really care, they've moved on and probably to an OS just as bad, if it wasn't Linux. There's no value to this conversation and even the original article isn't anything new or interesting.

I wonder exactly what you have done to windows to cause those problems - all these problems people mention here I haven't see any real problems.

Where you using the windows git client that plus atom with the right plugins is great

The only annoying one is the way Dell messed up its recent sound drivers - sound is one are which Microsoft needs good hard kick up the ass.

I wonder exactly what you have done to windows to cause those sound driver problems. I haven't seen any real problems with sound.

Brought dell -; relatek audio is shite

I've started a list since getting my Win 10 machine at work:

1. Sometimes when I select the titlebar of a maximized window to move it to my second monitor it somehow selects the window under the one with focus.

2. For some applications (including MS Office ones) text is blurry when I move from laptop screen to external monitor.

4. Windows 10 ships with a python.exe in the path that opens the MS Store. Figuring out which part of the path to fix to disable it was non-obvious.

5. VirtualBox is broken because of some Hyper-V settings. I still haven't figured out how to fix this one.

MS somehow shipped an OS with problems I've never seen before in any OS...

The first time I did an upgrade from 7 to 10 and I saw the horrible anti-patterns in the "opt-in" screens, I shut it down and switched to Debian Buster. No looking back.

How on earth are you avoiding things like #2 on Debian? The only OS I've found that properly handles arbitrary DPI since day 1 has been Android.

Also you skipped #3 in your list

:-) #3 is me complaining about the Ribbon and I figured that discussion has been done to death so I left it out and forgot to renumber.

echo "Xft.dpi: 120" >> ~/.Xresources

and be happy forever after (tested with i3wm, not sure with other environments which may do weird stuff to DPI handling like Plasma and GNOME)

I used to have anti-aliasing issues with linux. But since Debian/jessie it hasn't been a problem.

> 5. VirtualBox is broken because of some Hyper-V settings. I still haven't figured out how to fix this one.

This has been the way I've resolved this for many years with Windows:


Thanks. I looked into disabling Hyper-V but I think there is some IT installed spyware on this machine that squawked when I tried.

Windows 10 has virtualization based security which requires Hyper-V to function, sounds like that is being leveraged.

If that's an issue, I would see about making VirtualBox use Hyper-V for the hypervisor.

Heads up for anyone that uses Vagrant, don't do this because not all vagrantboxes support Hyper-V.

I've come to accept that there is no good OS (maybe iOS, but not really). You're just picking your poison.

Want to be spied on and have your system slowly accumulate cruft and grind to a halt over the course of a few years? Use Windows.

Want to be constantly fiddling with your system just to keep it running on a day to day basis? Use Linux.

Want to be constantly spied on and probably also hacked? Use Android.

Want to pay a bunch of extra money and still deal with a decent number of bugs¹ and atrocious default settings/annoying user-protection features you have to turn off? Use macOS.

¹All of them are riddled with bugs

Just because some Linux users do that does not mean it is a requirement. If it were, Linux could never have achieved server the server dominance it has. Fiddling is a side effect of Linux being too flexible, so you always have the nagging feeling you could be better with a different distro/window manager/shell/editor/file manager.

I installed Linux Mint on my parents' computer and it's been running rock solid for three years. And they appreciate not being tricked into updates they don't want.

This is fairly spot on though a bit overly generalizing perhaps (e.g. might be me, but 8 years of Win7 on work machine and it's still running completely ok and depending on what exactly you use Linux for there's only moderate amounts of fiddling, though fiddling there is :) I've used and still use all the major OS. There's no silver bullet and there's bugs everywhere, one more annoying than the other. Learning to use them properly (yes that sometimes means finding ways around annoyances) goes a very long way though.

On a long term Win install traditionally you have to pay attention to disk space, backups of patches pile up in the system folder until the disk is almost full. Which leads to more fragmentation, which leads to slowdowns. Which leads to anger and fear, then the dark side.

Has this been finally fixed?

As far as I'm aware Disk Cleanup gets rid of those backups. But this is a long term install and was properly planned to be one, so I started with plenty of disk space.

> Want to be constantly spied on and probably also hacked? Use Android.

Most of the spying is done by phone apps. This affects iOS and Android in the same way in recent versions. The extra bit that gets sent to Google directly seems like a small part of it.

In my experience it’s easier to manage permissions on iOS and it’s easier to see which apps used them. So while app vendors probably try to include the same spying software on both platforms I’m able to restrict their data access in a more straightforward way on iOS.

It sounds like they were referring more to the difficulty of getting timely Android updates—or getting them at all—depending on device.

For 95% of people that want to do what they want to do and not worry about malware or other nonsense? Use macOS/iOS. The little bit of extra money is well worth the time saved.

iOS: You'll still have a really hard time doing anything related to files, by design. Oh and didn't have a dark theme until VERSION 13! Sheesh.

And yet even though a perfectly usable Windows 10 computer which they used for years is available, my parents have not touched it in years after getting iPads and iPhones.

Yes, though I don't fiddle with things much day to day with Linux any more.

But I'll tell you what does happen: CADT and shit just randomly breaking from release to release. Fewer things work than did ten years ago as well.

Right now I have gargantuan indicator icons in my Ubuntu Mate panels. They worked fine for the last ten years previously. But here we go on 19.10. Has something to do with my 4k monitors but as mentioned, worked fine until this release.

> Want to be constantly fiddling with your system just to keep it running? Use Linux.

This may have been true 10+ years ago; the amount of fiddling required is pretty low these days.

I actually remember myself having to fiddle more with Windows than with Linux, in the Windows XP days. Windows would always invent some reason to require some reboot, or get random corrupted system files, or vcredist incompatibilities, or failed attempts at auto updates, or reinstall drivers for the mouse you just unplugged and plugged in a different USB port, or I don't remember what else it was with it all the time.

Linux (at least Archlinux) doesn't require much once you install it, are happy with the set-up and regularly update it.

Unless you're the kind of person who likes tweaking their Linux and trying out many distros, but if you do that means you like fidding with your system :) I personally just like an Archlinux installation that stays stable for 5+ years and actually use it.

> Linux (at least Archlinux) doesn't require much once you install it, are happy with the set-up and regularly update it.

Using Archlinux presumes you already know your system intimately and have taken the time to hand-craft it. That would make solving problems down the road much easier.

On the other hand, if you're like me and you want to just drop standard-issue Linux (i.e. Ubuntu) on a computer and then just use it, you quickly encounter gaps in the defaults/automatic setup and have to dig in and try to figure out where things went wrong. Your graphics driver gets confused when you plug in a second monitor. Your WiFi card isn't detected. There's no sound. Little things that kill your workflow in a death by a thousand cuts.

Windows has just as much intrinsic fragility, if not more, but through sheer economy of scale nearly everyone's real-world problems have been addressed by layer upon layer of defaults and automatic checks. That's how Windows manages to "just work" most of the time.

The thing about Archlinux is that apparently it requires constant updates or you won't be able to keep up with the current distro at some point. That's not really a recipe for stability, especially if you care about actively using the system and not just testing/playing with the bleeding edge stuff.

I update every few months and that works out fine. More than a year of no updates could make it difficult. All you have to do is pacman -Syu, and it doesn't really interrupt your flow since you can just continue working while it updates. The few times something doesn't work, you look at archlinux.org and the issue plus solution (usually remove some package or update in a specific order) will be described right there on the front page. Seems like a smoother experience than what I remember from Windows with autocountdown timers and what not...

But it's actually also amazing how when you reinstall Linux, and copy over your home directory, everything looks like it was before and you can just continue on as if nothing happened.

Until you want the latest version of some package like PostgreSQL that isn’t in the yum/apt repos, and then some time after that you have to upgrade the base os to plug new security holes.

Run postgres in a container

Thanks for your input. So I recently looked at Vagrant and Docker and it seemed kind of like a deep dive and I couldn’t find any Clif notes. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks.

Agreed. Especially since I went to nix for my development tools.

Regular kubuntu install, updated in a single apt-get command once a quarter, and nix for adding/removing software with abandon. Quite stable and easy to work with (after learning nix).

It depends on your hardware.

If you have everything Intel based then yeah, it almost just works, except the i915 driver occasionally has huge regressions, Mesa sometimes has huge regressions, and the kernel itself oftentimes has huge regressions.

Run Debian Stable or CentOS and you won't have to worry about "regressions" for at least 2 years. If the hardware works when the system is installed or upgraded, it will work for the lifetime of that release (barring exceptional bugs).

Windows has nothing comparable, besides the LTSB/LTSC releases that people can't even figure out how to get legally.

There is less than there was 10 years ago but you have to be willing to give up a lot in the way of "I'd like something else than exactly how it comes out of the box" in order to avoid a large amount of twiddling.

I tried ~3 years ago, vanilla Ubuntu. Still enough fiddling that I had trouble focusing on my actual projects. At least there's decent app support now thanks to Electron.

With all the promise of computers being erased over the last few years I've always thought: this is a market opportunity.

But nobody has stepped up to the plate.

MacOS looks like the best poison.

Actually, even with apple's proclamation that "privacy is a right", macos phones home all the time too. ios compounds this by removing any real insight or control over your device or apps.

What do you mean by this? I have just as much control over my device and my applications on OSX as I do on any other OS.

If there were a proper framework for doing web development on iPadOS, I'd switch to using my iPad for a big chunk of my development. It's getting very close but still falls a bit short.

Apple hasn't done a great job of supporting MacOS over the past few years. Catalina in particular has been a bit rocky, but every time I look seriously at Windows as an alternative it falls short.

It's quite sad to me that my choice of OS has essentially boiled down to "Sucks less, costs more".

It's been a few years for me, but maybe time to start seriously looking at Linux on the desktop again.

I don't see how Apple hasn't done the best job in terms of operating systems. macOS hasn't changed significantly in the last decade; it's essentially the same interface, but less skeumorphism. The only bug I've experienced that's close to being serious is the touchbar freezing(seriously wtf).

Windows, on the other hand, has changed significantly. Sure, it runs 32-bit programs, but the interface difference between 7 and 10 is ginormous.

Linux, as much as I love it, is probably the worst offender. At one point we had GNOME and KDE as dominant desktop environments, and then we had Unity, GNOME 3, Cinnamon, MATE, etc. Now after years of forcing Unity on everyone, Ubuntu has switched to GNOME except now GNOME is in a worse state than it was back in GNOME 2. Most distros are still using X11, graphics card support is lousy, and horizontal display tearing is still a problem that every commercial OS has 100% solved.

macOS has at least remained fairly consistent compared to all the other competition.

> macOS hasn't changed significantly in the last decade

See, my problem with macOS is that it has changed far too much in the past decade. Mac OS X circa-2010 was stable, intuitive, robust, and beautiful. There was no need to re-architect anything.

I wish Apple had gone into maintenance mode. Patch security holes, add new drivers, and update your hardware. That's all I want. New features are okay if they address a real need, and if they can be fit into your (at the time) very strong interface metaphors and guidelines.

As a tradeoff, your users won't have their apps suddenly break, and your developers won't have to spend stupid amounts of time keeping up with unnecessary system changes.

This is what's most grating about the deprecation of 32 bit support—as a user, I don't feel like I'm getting anything out of it. Catalina is all downsides. In exchange for broken apps, I get an OS which is more buggy than ever and a bunch of ported cell phone apps. Just what I always wanted!

I am by no means against change, but I am 100% against unnecessarily change. From where I'm standing, the tech industry right now is full of unnecessary change. Why does Windows have two control panels? I'll admit the new one looks nicer, but I'd much prefer having just one, even if it looks slightly dated. Maybe that's Microsoft's goal, but why should we all have to deal with a UX downgrade in the interim?

> Why does Windows have two control panels?

Two? Try three. If you did deep enough the original System control panel from old will come up.

I prefer those actually, easy to understand and a lot less wordy. I don't come to the control panel to read a novel.

> macOS hasn't changed significantly in the last decade; it's essentially the same interface, but less skeumorphism

Apple hasn't changed the basic interface significantly over the past 10 years... but I don' think they needed to.

There have been a fairly large number of changes to the underlying operating system though. Everything from updates to Safari to the switch to APFS to completing the migration to 64 bit. Retina support, things like Airdrop and Handover which make interacting with my phone much better.

> Windows, on the other hand, has changed significantly. Sure, it runs 32-bit programs, but the interface difference between 7 and 10 is ginormous.

Microsoft seems to be compelled to change their interface significantly with almost every major update, but there is never any guarantee that the change is for the better. I have seem little about Windows 10 that makes me feel the urge to move away from MacOS.

> Linux, as much as I love it, is probably the worst offender.

I'm not sure it matters too much though because at this point the vast majority of the time I'm running a web browser, or editing code with either VSCode or VIM and modern Linux seems to be pretty good at that.

Most likely the biggest things I would miss running Linux would be the same things I would miss on Windows which revolve around iPhone/ iPad integration (AirDrop/ Handoff/ Copy Paste/ iCloud Integration)

The problem of Linux DEs seems to be that they're run by UX geeks. Which makes sense. Who else would be willing to dedicate the amount of time to get them working?

The downside is that utility comes in absolutely last place with UX geeks.

Ergo, you get a full UI redesign at every opportunity.

But... that's why you pay people: to do boring things. Like port an old UI into a more modern underlying framework without changing it.

I find plaingnome on top of Ubuntu not needing any feeling. My kids grew up on that and were really confused and found it hard when they had to use Windows and OSX in school.

I, for one, cannot get my head around the OSX UI, I find it impossible to use.

As a Linux / Windows guy, some of the metaphors are weird.

But at least it's mostly consistent.

> I don't see how Apple hasn't done the best job in terms of operating systems.

I just re-read this and I think I misread your comment the first time through and we're pretty close to the same page. I wasn't trying to suggest Apple's completely dropped the ball on MacOS, only that they've lagged on some features and had several fairly buggy launches over the past 3-4 years.

I used to automatically upgrade to the latest OS early in the cycle. This year I'm not even on Catalina yet. Too many bug reports with very few features to make it worth the pain. I think the current version has ironed out most of the issues.

Xubuntu has had the same look and feel for it's entire existence. Screen tearing is the only issue I've ever had with it on fresh installs, but that's easily fixed by a copy/paste.

As of Catalina, MacOS no longer runs 32-bit programs.

In the case of Linux, you can at least change the window managers and desktop environments. That is what I did; I installed i3-wm and removed the desktop environment entirely.

> touchbar freezing(seriously wtf).

Had mine taking 1.5GB RAM the other day. That was amusing.

Try Manjaro Linux. It's fabulous and everything just works! I've been running it on 2 or 3 workstations for over a year now with less hassle than I ever had on Windows or macOS. I also got a few juniors at work running it and none of us has had any problem doing exactly what we need.

I had to write a couple of xdotools shell scripts to do things I need, such as "move active window to next monitor", but just about everything I searched for, I found a solution for. On my laptop which had a "precision touchpad" (one that offered advanced 2/3/4 finger gesture support in Windows) I was able to get all of the gestures working just like they would in macOS. On my desktops where I use a wheel mouse, I had to install a Chrome extension called AutoScroll to get wheel auto-scrolling to work there.

Tweaking the system to make it behave just the way I wanted to was also a fantastically fun experience though and it brought the joy of desktop computing back in a way I never really experienced with Windows. Being in control is great.

When I mentioned this another time on here someone said they liked the sound of that, but they wanted to use Ubuntu for better compatibility with Microsoft .NET Core. So, I thought I'd compare the experience with Manjaro. Honestly, there's no comparison. Manjaro was so much smoother of an experience setting up things because all the software is available from one repo and it's newer so there's not 10 billion articles about old versions that don't apply anymore like Ubuntu. I also hated having to add repos to Ubuntus package manager for every new package. With Manjaro you just run the Add/Remove Software GUI and everything comes from the AUR (Arch User Repository). Also, my Ubuntu experiment ate itself after less than a week when it wouldn't boot one day after an update.

I've been using Linux since the late 90s when I started learning Red Hat to build DMZ and DNS servers for work. I've tried Linux desktops here and there since that time and nothing has ever come close to the stability and ease of running Manjaro. I highly recommend it for switchers.

I use both platforms regularly. Using dual screens, I have noticed many more bugs in MacOS graphics stack than Windows. From out-right freezes, to black screens, inverted colors, wrong colors, fuzzy fonts, screen glitches and more.

The best things about MacOS is its Unix underpinnings and general consistency. The flip-side also happens to be the two worst things about Windows.

Windows 10 is can be infuriating. But I can't find any other OS that is a good alternative. It's the worst OS, except for all the other OSes out there.

1. Best in gaming.

2. Engineering applications (CAD/Matlab/LabView) are usually windows-first

3. Good software development ecosystem. Now with Windows Subsystem for Linux, the need for having another OS is diminishing.

4. User interface is great. A lot of customization options (official and third party). It is not bare-bones like Linux but also not user-proofed like macOS.

#1 true. #2 yes but slowly moving to the web.

#3 Linux is way ahead. #4 There are quite a few distributions, I think you should look around. I use KDE happily. I frankly find Windows rather bare bones in what you get. It seems everything needs another app, and they're all a pain in the ass.

I don't know about moving to the web on #2. From what I have seen the web alternatives of those products, if they even exist, are tailored to the hobbyist, semi-professional market.

Things like Siemens NX _can't_ move to the web, since we are talking about entire development platforms, not just applications.

I was thinking about OnShape cad, Mathematica, and Matlab. Pretty major ones.

4. Sadly nowadays it's one of the worst UIs. It was great starting with Windows 95 and ending with 7. It all went downhill starting with Windows 8. Windows 10 isn't much better.

I've heard this often but never seen much justification for it besides things like buttons having less visual distinction from other content and the split control panel/settings app (which is pretty embarrassing). Was there anything else you had in mind?

Lack of color customization for the UI in order to facilitate vision disability/difficulty.

>Truth to be told it's not a problem with HiDPI monitors but few people own them.

It's almost 2020. Apple began shipping HiDPI in 2012. It's absolutely shameful that vendors are still shipping 1080p.

I'm glad that HiDPI monitors exist for people who value them. Personally, though, they don't bring me any substantial value, so I don't see the shame that lower resolution monitors still exist -- I'd rather save a few bucks by buying one of them over HiDPI.

I don't know, what I find shameful is the insistance on a 16:9 aspect ratio. I could care less for the dpi, but an efficient workspace is all I want.

Curious if you're of the square-er or wider crowd.

Lots of Windows apps don't support HiDPI correctly, and on many of them no matter what combination of workarounds you use you'll end up with some text being huge or some text being tiny.

Heck, even Perforce, a constantly updated app in use on millions of machines, just recently fixed this.

Where I have to use Windows, I always specify low dpi displays so I don't have to deal with all of that garbage.

It's honestly not that bad in my opinion. Most apps work fine, and those that don't are usually old games or something like that.

I've found an easy fix for them: Right click the executable and click "Properties" then go to the "Compatibility" tab you click the checkbox next to "Override high DPI scaling behavior". Then select the "System" option.

This way Windows 10 does the scaling itself. The app will just look a little less sharp because it will use a larger virtual pixel instead of the real display pixel size but the app will work normally and all text and interface elements will be a reasonable size.

Tried that, found the result gross to look at.

It’s sad when a 5k monitor works flawlessly under macOS and then you fire up a windows VM with the latest version of SQL Server Management Studio and then needing to squint at the text

I've wasted so much time making my WinForms app work well with high-dpi displays. Although I prefer high-dpi I probably shouldn't have bothered.

Arghhh I wish people would stop talking about DPI like it's a resolution. "I don't need a 4k monitor, my 1080p one is already too big!" and "<x> doesn't support 4k" are two types of comments guaranteed to come up during any mention of DPI (which is neither of these problems).

I wonder if it has an internet law already.

If at all possible, use Windows 10 LTSC/LTSB.

LTSC was exactly what I wanted from a Windows OS. No Windows Store, no Candy Crush, and—most importantly by far—only security updates.

It's the Debian model. Your OS stays secure, but the software will never change in a user visible way, unless/until you specifically choose to install a new LTSC release, which comes out around once every two years.

It's perfect.

LTSC sounds nice, but licensing it is not simple or inexpensive if you're just a normal person with a few computers at home.

Completely agreed, that's where the "if at all possible" part comes in. :(

And it's ridiculous! The next time Microsoft PR says basically anything about being dedicated to consumers, stop and consider: a significant* subset of consumers have been clambering for a product which Microsoft already makes anyway, but refuses to sell.

* (We'll never know how significant minus millions of dollars in market research. But it's clearly enough people to warrant adding some buttons to your checkout page. Again, this is a product that Microsoft already makes.)

If you're "just a normal person with a few computers at home", it is VERY easy to obtain secure copies of LTSC for free if you look in the right places.

And I can attest to how pleasant LTSC is to use as an everyday consumer desktop - I'm using Linux now, but I never had problems with drivers/hibernation/multihead/administration/updates/etc. (some common complaints people have with Linux and Win10 Pro/Home) on LTSC. It's especially good if you need big proprietary software packages, of course.

Windows Server 2019 is quite nice as a no-bullshit OS and can be bought for $350 on Amazon, but it has its own set of issues (compatibility, post-setup configuration to make it into a desktop OS, drivers).

One positive point as the article points out is compatibility. This is the single reason Windows remains the staple of industry software, across almost all industries. It's particularly relevant in light of recent Mac OS X dropping 32-bit support. There are a lot of professionals whose livelihood depends on these older apps that either will never be updated or will take a very long time to do so.

I bet Wine is actually more compatible than Windows itself. Especially if you just look at software up to the Windows 7 era. Can you run Windows 3.1 programs on a modern 64-bit OS? With Wine it can be done.

I think a bet you would loose :). Wine is an awesome project but 100 devs vs 10.000 devs is not fair on an API surface as big as Win32.

The Wine devs don't have to spend time on stuff like telemetry and ads. And they only need to replicate a tiny sliver of Windows' UIs.

This doesn't matter for 99% of the population.

Does not for 99% of consumers (only because of browsers) and does matter for 75% of business users (reduced by 24% because of browsers)

TBH, the majority of the laundry list in the original article is irrelevant for 99% of the population.

Windows isn't perfect on this, I've had to update software for the transitions from NT to 2000, 2000 to XP, XP to Vista and 8 to 8.1 and also for 64 bit support. Mostly because my app has driver level code.

I agree to an extent, but exactly how far back should we go in terms of backward compatibility? Should we expect modern software or hardware to support 16-bit?

For businesses, as far back as they need. Consumers don't care, and for consumer grade OS it's fine. Let's say I invest 1 million in machines that use 32-bit software for my professional studio, and it's working perfectly fine. Then Apple decides one day to remove 32-bit support. The vendor is small and can't easily afford to port their software over to 64-bit. And for what reason? It was working fine from the start. It makes me believe that Windows is the only real professional/industry grade OS.

Note that I am primarily a Linux user, but I know people in industries whose entire business relies on the fact that Windows will never brick their old software that has been going for 20 years. And if I was using that software, I would pick the Windows version any day.

The assumption here is that you have to upgrade to the newest OS (on your old hardware). I'd challenge that assumption. If your software is ancient and unsupported and you're willing to accept that security risk, using an unsupported operating system isn't going to increase your attack surface that much more than running out of date software was. OS level attacks are less common than serialization bugs in your client software leading to RCE leading to ransomware et al.

And if you're not updating your OS for security reasons, is it for feature updates? If your OS and machines are there any to run specific software, this shouldn't be a problem. If it's working fine, leave it be. Mitigate your attack surface through a number of schemes like physically isolating vulnerable workstations and disabling all unnecessary services.

I'm not advocating running unpatched OSes, but given how in my experience doing penetration testing most exploitable vulnerabilities are in some 3rd party client software (excluding OS misconfigurations), if your software is unmaintained, running the last working OS release doesn't seem like that much worse of a leap.

In Apple's case, if you're maintaining your software, making the 32->64 bit transition should be pretty painless in this day and age, unless you're using the Carbon API created as a way to port legacy Mac programs to the new NeXT based Mac OS X. It never received a 64 bit version since Mac went 64 bit in 2007 and has been officially deprecated since 2012.

Software platforms can't stay frozen in time and can't hang back forever. Microsoft struggles tremendously to maintain its tired backwards compatibility while juggling security and feature updates; see Google's project zero report on the CTF subsystem and how a fundamental design flaw in the Text Services Framework allows easy bypass of user sessions and sandboxes. Fixing the bug will invariably break correctly implemented old software.

Well, that's enough rambling for now...

I don't think getting updates for professional software has been a problem, it's mostly utilities and games.

For goodness sake, you can run classic Mac in the browser


What could prevent MS from developing an emulation layer?

Windows 10 is/was the slap in the face it took to finally migrate all of my development workflow to Linux, and my Adobe workflow to OSX.

Something small I like about Windows: when I plug in Ethernet, it actually shows an Ethernet connection in the system tray. OSX seems to have a special icon for tethering to iPhone, but not Ethernet of all things. It just show the wifi icon, even when Ethernet is connected. Grr.

It's also weird... it will use wifi (if connected) for some things and ethernet for others. It doesn't seem to matter which has priority in the network settings. I still haven't decided if this is a bug or a feature... So now when I get home I just disable wifi unless I need to use AirDrop. Bye bye unlock with Apple Watch! (Although the sheer range that it works at makes me not use it. That's a whole other thread I guess!)

I agree though. It would be nice to know which network was actually active in a dock/dongle situation.

It is physically plugged into the computer so you obviously don't need an icon cluttering your UI. This is the Apple design philosophy you paid extra for.

I'm glad that I can always see the other end of the ethernet cable, and therefore do not need a way to determine if there is an active connection.

Or it's physically plugged in, but the driver stopped working with the last OS update and it never bothered to tell you, it's just been using wifi and you never noticed, because there wasn't any indicators.

The cable being plugged in tells you nothing about the state of the connection at the upper layers. Also, the icon doubles as a shortcut to connection status and settings panels.

Do you think it's clutter? Drag the icon to the overflow menu, you won't see it again unless looking for it. This is why I value customizability and use Windows.

My computer has USB-C ports, not Ethernet ports. ;)

I’m a sketchy dongle away from a client zoom call going poorly.

Very valid issues here.

Although it has improved, Windows Update is still shockingly bad compared to any decent package manager used on Linux in the past 10+ years.

I'm perpetually shocked by how slow many of the loading / progress-bar screens are in Windows. Random operations taking 1-5 minutes without any visible change is routine.

Honestly, what the unholy fuck is actually happening behind these screens? The only thing that takes anywhere near that long on Linux is compiling.

I never got into an intractable package issue with windows, where the dependencies were broke in a way where I had to crawl through logs and manually delete things to get them working. That’s happened to me a handful of times with Ubuntu and bad package configs.

> I never got into an intractable package issue with windows, where the dependencies were broke in a way where I had to crawl through logs and manually delete things to get them working.

I cannot count the number of times that's happened for me on Windows, Linux and macOS. None of them are immune to this problem.

I've had numerous unrecoverable blue screens after Windows Updates.

I think this is inherently due to Windows registry and no enforced standards for Windows file system. In Linux, packages are generally reviewed to ensure they follow a set of practices to ensure that they use the appropriate directories. Then they simply have to extract the files/folders to install the application, and removing is as simple as deleting those directories/files. In Windows, you really never know what you're going to get when you run an install. You might get 1k registry keys created, and it is near impossible to monitor and replicate. They might install the App in Program Files, or if it is new Appx package it will be somewhere completely different. Some apps may install in AppData. It is completely unpredictable. Running an uninstall may call msiexec, or some other uninstaller.

In order for Windows to have a Linux like package manager, they would have to re-define the install process completely to act like Linux and probably move away from the Windows Registry completely.

I'll take the Windows Registry over an OS that litters my home directory with dot files, or even simply force me to create my own format of saving my settings (even ~/.settings is barely an improvement).

Saving your settings should be an API offered by the OS and the Windows Registry is pretty good at that.

Have you looked in a Windows user's home directory?

What does this question have to do with the existence of the Windows Registry API?

Because you said that you’d take an OS with a registry over one with dotfiles, and his point is that these days you have both

The last Windows version where updates worked more or less OK was XP.

With Vista they introduced WinSxS and while in theory it was a great idea, it incurred some extremely heavy tradeoffs in terms of updates.

Recently I've upgraded 2 machines from 1903 to 1909 (aka the "semi-annual update"). Both times the process took less than 10 minutes.

Going from 1903 to 1909 is only a ~1mb enablement package [1]. It essentially changes the version number in the registry and enables several existing features.

[1] https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4517245/feature-upd...

Is there anyone who can explain why Windows Update is so much slower than running »apt upgrade« and similar?

Because apt upgrade, or pacman -Syyu is simply extracting files and using hooks to generate a new initramfs. Windows Updates has to do a lot of operations to ensure the registry is correct, and then batch upgrades to create and remove scripts to run after restart.

Part of the reason is what I described in https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20812142 and its child comment.

Interesting! Thank you for writing this up.

I have wondered whether the servers are overloaded, will maybe try logging the network traffic the next time I try to update.

What is this comment supposed to mean? How are you comparing the performance of updates across OSs?

The relatively common (?) experience that:

1. Running `sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade` is much, much faster than explicitly going to the windows update screen, checking for updates and then updating.

2. Linux OSs are usually stuck "updating" while shutting down and restarting, far less frequently and for a far shorter time (if at all), than Windows.

Obviously the comparison isn't entirely fair (though in some ways the comparison is biased against Linux, since its update also usually includes the vast majority of user-space programs), but comparing the percentage of "updating time" of two OSs (whatever the technical reasons) seems to be reasonable, to me.

Yes, this is a very good explanation.

Do you have any numbers for this? It doesn't match my experiences at all.

Edit: it's been my experience that most people who think Windows sucks think this because they use it exclusively at work where their IT department has gone mad with power and turned off all the good stuff, and the network is slow.

> Do you have any numbers for this? It doesn't match my experiences at all.

Sorry, no, purely "anecdata", mainly based on a variety of personal and family laptops and desktop computers. There have been occasional IT department-managed update nightmares, but I don't count these.

Just for the record, I didn’t say that Windows suck :-)◊

I mean of course it does since every OS sucks, but that’s a given.

There was a promise to make this magical and better apparently. I haven’t seen an improvement yet.

Edit: to the downvotes, sorry for being disappointed in having windows Update ram a whole core at 100% and eat up my AWS CPU credits to do precisely SFA.

Windows 10 is a service, i.e. where will Microsoft get its recurring income from. a) Marketing data, b) start charging monthly fees for OS features.

Surprised no one linked to his similar Linux list: https://itvision.altervista.org/why.linux.is.not.ready.for.t...

> The most egregious, of course, is a total abandonment of any form of privacy and control.

This is an issue for me, and it’s an issue you, but it is emphatically not an issue for the vast majority of windows users.

Do bloggers simply choose to ignore this fact when writing swan song posts about the “end” of this or that?

it is emphatically not an issue for the vast majority of windows users.

There is no way to know that unless they have been presented with a viable alternative that they understand.

I had a fascinating conversation a little while ago with some slightly younger friends who are very much of the digital native, smartphone-since-birth generation. They couldn't live without their social media and always-online everything. They still thought it was creepy that when they went travelling they started getting all sorts of ads about places they were going and so on because they realised it meant something on their phones was spying on them. They didn't like it, they would just tolerate it because they had no other way to stay connected to what is, for that generation, a normal life.

> but the truth is that the built-in antimalware protection in Windows is simply horrible (according to various AV comparisons, Microsoft Essentials misses over 20% of in-the-wild malware)

AV comparisons have to be normally taken with a pile of salt. There's rarely an independent one. And even once you start looking at 3rd parties, it turns out they enable attack surface on their own. Then there's a number of 3rd parties which rely on cloud scanning aka "submit it to virustotal".

Here's some more context for why the comparisons are tricky: https://www.mrg-effitas.com/research/stop-using-virustotal-t...

At this point I'm not sure that a desktop OS with this wide hardware compatibility and backwards compatibility can be written any better than Windows 10.

The thing is, if you are an experienced user with willingness to search for solutions, you can fix most of the problems. Disable updates completely, disable cortana, stop 99% of the telemetry, use alternative utilities instead of the built-in ones, fix security issues with network rules etc.

It takes time and patience, but in the end you get a good work environment that is relatively stable, compatible with literally every hardware and also has the absolutely widest selection of software available. That is all I want from an OS.

The fixes you've listed get overturned by Microsoft. Just because you can hack around windows to make it temporarily do the things you want, doesn't mean it's a resolved problem.

Microsoft only does this because they've been able to reduce consumer expectations. Being a part of that means the next version will be worse.

But this doesn't really matter as you can disable updates (group policies through WinPro). By the time someone is pressed to update for compatibility, there is already a solution to fix what the update broke. For the sake of enterprises, Windows will always have a switch to disable updates. And since it is hugely complex, and it needs to keep large portions compatible, there will probably be always ways to hack around.

Of course this state of things is far from ideal, and it's not easily available for everyday users. But I think an open source desktop OS could have never achieved the things that Windows is respected for.

it's funny to read a rant from a ex-Microsoft and sad that he doesn't know why Microsoft still have a vast market share.

I've been in the IT game for 10+ years. small/mid companies doesn't have the budget or man powers to leave the MS's lala land and they can care less. IT is a money losing dept and they need to make money by focus on what they do best.

Windows is a platform where most of their software work and their employees know.

do you think small/mid or heck the giant corporation have the money, staff and time to move their employees and operation out of Windows.

IT costs money yes, but it's not like there is ZERO ROI. Just because the value isn't immediately obvious doesn't mean it's not helping the business and it's bottom line. I agree that certain aspects of IT you should try to minimize cost because the value add is minimal, or because throwing more money at that aspect of IT does not help the business. But other aspects of IT that improve efficiency of the organization or even multiply the capabilities of the business will give you a significant ROI. Just to put it into perspective, is Marketing your business exclusively lose you money? Obviously not. There is an ROI, but it's not always immediately measurable.

I'm sorry whatever education or experience had failed you in seeing this. The successful business will recognize the value of every department and attempt to maximize the return where it makes sense.

I agree with your other points. The entire business industry is on Windows. Almost all applications work on Windows or integrate with Windows. Most employees are experienced with Windows. the cost of retraining, the loss of potential talent, the cost of not being able to integrate fully with other businesses that are on Windows are some of the reasons why they are entrenched.

I have a finance degree, business degree, comp sci degree, and run my own business plus have worked IN IT at successful multi-million dollar orgs and the most successful focus on IT as well as other departments to push value add investment in those departments.

Windows has been losing mindshare for years. That's why it is finally competing again. Maybe it will recover its super-dominant position but it's more likely to fade out slowly.

Wow, that's a very comprehensive list! I think it covers pretty much every item that makes Windows 10 unacceptable for my personal use (unfortunately, I'm required to use Win 10 in my workplace.)

My workplace is the same. Windows or Mac. I was on mac, but enterprise support for mac is awful and was limited to 16GB ram. I moved to Windows and installed Hyper-V so that I could have Linux VM's and have 64GB ram. That is where I do all my work. Hyper-V still needs a lot of refinement, but it works.

How do you keep windows from rebooting when it feels like it to install 'critical' updates? Id like to use windows as a linux VM host but every couple weeks my linux server is taken down because automatic reboots can't be disabled. Microsoft seems to actively prevent every workaround people find to disable this rebooting, no matter how difficult and arcane.

At work we are on Windows 10 Enterprise. Updates are installed by the business. I've only ever been prompted for a reboot once and it was for a 0-day mitigation that was deployed as an emergency change.

I'm a little lucky here. My job requires me to develop for a number of platforms, including Windows, Linux, various other Unices, and a few mainframe OSes. So I do have a couple of Linux machines at my fingertips. But I have to use Win 10 for a lot of company things, because that's what they've decided to require.

I see a few comments trying to forgive Windows 10 “now” because certain things aren’t true “anymore” or lousy features can technically be turned off, etc. but those excuses do not hold up:

- The initial Windows 10 launch and forced-update scheme was completely botched. It directly caused major problems and cost users incredible amounts of money that Microsoft didn’t have to cover at all! (Examples: Business interruptions. Personal data losses and/or broken apps. Data-plan costs for downloading and re-downloading bloated updates over slow and/or expensive connections. Buying replacement hardware if things are broken and people don’t know what else to do.)

- Terrible defaults are inexcusable. Most people will not know that they should change things, or know how. Windows Updates can reverse settings anyway so even if you get your friends and family to fix an obnoxious setting once, it may not persist.

- This was produced by a massive company that had the resources to spend to do this properly. They should have spent those resources.

When Win10 came out, we had several meetings about privacy concerns. I did not understand the concern. Smart phones spy on their users all the time, and no one really cares. Why, all of a sudden, is it an issue when desktops/laptops do the same thing that phones have done for almost a decade now? No one gave me a good answer to that question.

I believe iOS phones give users a lot more control over their data than Windows PCs do now.

When smartphones came out and were locked down those of us who objected were told that we should be quiet about it because we still have general purpose pcs. Now the BS comes for those of us running general purpose pcs and it’s ok because it was accepted for phones?

Business critical/trade/proprietary info is created/stored on desktops/servers. Having the secret sauce spied on is not in the interests of a company.

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