Want to get me to try Edge? Great -- instead of a passive-aggressive ad, try telling me how it's better than Firefox and why I'd like to use it instead. What will it get me? Better privacy? Better performance? Better development tools?
Cynically, it's amazing that Microsoft collects so much personal data about each user -- and yet its "target" ads are hopelessly generic and tasteless.
Also, leaving the matter of whether or not I should even be seeing ads after I paid for the damn thing aside, the company that brought us Internet Explorer is the last one that should crack jokes about other browsers, even if they're good (which this one isn't).
>Cynically, it's amazing that Microsoft collects so much personal data about each user -- and yet its "target" ads are hopelessly generic and tasteless.
This doesn't surprise me. As someone else old enough to remember the Halloween documents, MS has long suffered from serious organizational incompetence. Just look at that whole debacle they went through with music players: "PlaysForSure", Zune, etc., where each one obsoleted the last one and screwed over any users who had bought into it. Exact same with their phone OSes.
Maybe it has to do with that funny org-chart picture with the different MS business groups pointing guns at each other. They collect a bunch of personal data, but can't look at things from a big picture and think "we collect all this data from our users, so maybe we could use a little of that to target our ads better". Of course, if you look at MS's marketing over the past 20 years, it should be readily apparent that they have some of the worst and most clueless marketing talent in the entire corporate world.
I guess linking to the web archive is just carefulness at this point.
It's a good idea IMO. Now that the web has been around for literally decades, I can't tell you how many times I've searched for something, found blog/forum posts to read, and then tried following links in those posts only to find they're dead, because they're so many years out-of-date.
Doesn't take much to put the shields back upto full.
I just don't understand why people run windows. Maybe I just use computers wrong, having been on linux for the last 20 years, but my family (who I refuse to help with IT needs) are all far happier on chromebooks than on windows
I've used Linux for about the same time and honestly, I understand it completely. I would switch, were it not for muscle memory and for the fact that at least 50% of my work involves systems-level development for Linux (mainly embedded stuff, so a lot of cross-compiling). In the last five or six years I've come to dread the Linux desktop and its constant churn of rewrites and UX "improvements".
I have a Windows machine that I use for work the other half of the time and honestly... it's great. Yeah, the occasional update breaks some fringe feature. But the chances of something like waking up to the announcement that Microsoft is removing desktop icons in the next update and you can just install this third-party application for it (which will break with every update) are practically zero.
Microsoft puts out a lot of broken stuff (some of which slowly morphs into non-broken, useful stuff over time, e.g. Powershell), but you can mostly be assured that, if something works today, it'll work ten years from now, modulo some registry hacks. That's incredibly valuable.
I really don't care about things like UI consistency and whatnot -- what I do care about is stability and functionality.
Edit: tbh, the main reason why I'm not switching today is that I don't really trust this whole OS-as-a-service model. If it were Windows 2000 instead of Windows 10, I wouldn't think twice before switching, but these are different times.
(More edit: please realize that I'm the same person who posted this reply: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22288917 , yeah?)
I just checked, and GNUstep is pretty much alive. Even that change was caused by me wanting to try tiling window managers, not support failure.
It's a little unsettling that there are two ways to get a stable experience: using window manager from 1998 (OK, ok, WindowMaker is still maintained-ish, in fact a very tiny portion of the code written after 1998 is mine :-) ), or getting used to a workflow akin to that of Windows 1.01 (i.e. a tiling WM).
On the bright side, though, yeah, at least we have a choice!
If you don’t like KDE then use LXCE or Enlightenment or any of the other Linux desktop environments that have been pretty static (and have been even longer than KDE).
So yeah, there actually is a lot of choice on Linux and not all of it looks dated.
Not really, unless it's a tong-in-cheek remark. Tiling window managers use virtual desktops and programmable positioning of windows to produce a predictable layout. Windows 1.01 had neither of those.
Add muscle memory to it and, if you can endure the learning/customization curve, you get a very efficient window manager. Whenever I'm alt-tabbing in search of windows in Windows or OSX I feel I'm using old software.
As far as windows being too small to read comfortably I'd advise you to place no more than 2-3 windows per workspace. For the benefit of those who don't use i3 workspaces are per monitor.
Given 2 monitors you can easily show 4-6 windows which is easily enough context for about any task.
As for this part:
> As far as windows being too small to read comfortably I'd advise you to place no more than 2-3 windows per workspace. For the benefit of those who don't use i3 workspaces are per monitor.
Yeah, this is pretty much where the fiddling comes from.
I don't want to use 2-3 windows per workspace. I sometimes have to work on a piece of code and have 8-10 PDFs open for it -- datasheets, reference guides, schematics and whatnot, at which I want to be able to look from time to time. Sometimes while I'm also looking at the code, sometimes in full-screen (because I'm looking at a big diagram). Sometimes I need to look at a part of a diagram while I'm looking at the code. So I need them to be in the same view as the code. All in all -- including specs, standards, the code window(s), a few xterms -- I easily have 12-15 windows open in order to work on one thing, and it's not really optional.
i3's tabbed view is sort of what I wanted for the PDFs but it's annoying that, if you want to switch to the right one using nothing but the keyboard, you have to go through all of them. You go back and forth, not to the Nth tab (or at least you couldn't back when I tried i3).
That's actually what I liked about ratpoison. Instead of trying to be smart, it just let me multiplex my screen, which is what I really wanted.
I could sort of bend my workflow around all this and, through a complicated set of chords, make use of the whole thing in a productive manner. However, it was anything but convenient. I'm way happier with a floating WM and do a lot less fiddling with the windows.
Of course, I typically end up sticking a terminal or editor or chat window or music player or something in there anyway, because why not?
I have 2x4K monitors at home. Moving to i3 is the best thing that happened to me.
You still have to open them and move them around, especially if you do change your layout eventually.
I actually didn't have that problem when I was using ratpoison, but some applications (looking at you, Eclipse...) don't really work with it. (I know about stumpwm, and I do know Common Lisp, but alas, we just don't get along too well). When I moved to i3, which is greedy with screen space, I actually wrote myself a couple of scripts to handle this situation "gracefully" (automatically pad the screen with empty X11 windows, automatically un-pad them when needed) and bound them to a couple of key combinations.
I mean it sort of worked but at one point I decided I want to spend more time doing fun/useful things and less time hacking on my window manager.
herbstluftwm also has containers something similar
I used to have a screen shot showing me running something like 5 different GUI apps on a Linux system, all of them trying to open a file, each with a completely different file chooser dialog. That's because one app used Motif, one use GTK, one used Qt, and I have no idea what the others used.
Odds that it's even worse since this was created?
It's nice, actually; it's finally making the file selection process feel uniform. Too many Java apps are still using random Swing dialogs though...
The push to force sandboxed apps to use the system dialog had the nice side effect of forcing many GUI APIs to actually use the native file pickers, which meant that a lot of non-app-store apps started to use the native file picker. But Java apps don’t automatically get that upgrade.
But they all perform the same function of choosing a file right? What does it matter if they all look the same? I don't understand why anyone would care so much whether the file choosing windows match eachother visually between different apps. As long as I can pick a file effectively, I wouldn't really care if the app had pink sparkles or something. As long as it does what it's supposed to.
File choosers typically allow one to bookmark commonly used directories unfortunately this is per chooser purely for reasons of lack of coordination.
Further despite people asking for it for the last 15 years the gtk version doesn't have a very good way to visually pick out an image in their picker. To date the only good way to pick out an image in a gtk app even GIMP is to open a file manager alongside the application and drag the file into the application or file chooser.
I find it unlikely that most people figure this out.
It's that some have a file type filter and some don't. Some show all files while others hide dotfiles and provide a checkbox to show them. Some show files and directories in the same pane while others show directories in one pane and files in another. Some show ".." in their directory list and you go up by opening that, others do not show ".." and provide a button for going up.
With windows you have an API provided by windows for ui programs, there will be more consistency between apps because of this.
Linux providing a standardized ui API would go against the core philosophy of it and you're not likely going to be able to convince every developer making gui apps for linux to agree on and use only one graphical toolkit.
Like with anything, every os has tradeoffs and downsides, personally I prefer modularity and control over my system to ui consistency.
You do this by having several available implementations of the API as dynamic libraries--one using Motif, one using GTK, one using Qt, and so on.
There would be a per user config setting specifying which implementation the user prefers. If a program wants to put up a file chooser, it can read that, then load the right library and use the API. A program might also have per program settings to override that, to handle the case where a user really does prefer, say, GTK file choosers for most programs but Qt file choosers for some specific programs.
This gives you more UI consistency, makes things more modular than having every program include file chooser dialog code, and gives more control to the user, and doesn't interfere with the developer choosing whatever toolkit they prefer for things other than standard dialogs.
OK, now who's going to do this? At what level would this be implemented at? Would this be at the windows server level? Would I have to pull in GtK, motif, qt and every other library that this API will rely on just to install Wayland or xorg? Will it be at the window manager level? Will I need to pull in GfK, qt, motif etc. for every desktop environment and window manager relying on this API? Which versions of these libraries will this API rely on?
The last graphical app i wrote, I used dlangui for a GUI, should I have been forced to use Gtk or qt despite them being heavier and more complicated than what I needed?
char * result = dlangui_choose_file(...)
char * result = 0;
char * (*standard_choose)() = get_standard_choose();
result = (*standard_choose)(...);
if (result == 0)
result = dlangui_choose_file(...)
1. Check a standard set of configuration locations to see if the system administrator or user has configured a standard file choose dialog .
2. If a standard file choose dialog has been configured, the configuration information includes the path to a library that implements it. get_standard_choose() loads that library, gets a pointer to the standard_choose() functions from it, and returns that pointer.
3. get_standard_choose() returns 0 if no standard choose dialog is configured or it runs into problems trying to load it.
If the user wants GTK or Qt file chooser dialogs instead of dlangui file chooser dialogs, you don't have to use GTK or Qt. The user installs a GTK or Qt file chooser library and points to it in their standard dialog configuration.
(I'd expect at some point that toolkits like dlangui would incorporate get_standard_choose() functionality themselves. After that, you'd then just
Same idea for other common dialogs, like color picking, printing, and font selection.
 Probably something like check an environment variable first. If it doesn't find a match there, probably then a config file in $XDG_CONFIG_HOME. If no match, then something in /etc.
Inconsistency comes not from modularity but rather from incompetence.
Everyone doubleclicks anyway though.
Overall I'd never claim that a Linux desktop is a "Just Works" proposition, but judging from the issues my colleagues have with macOS, I wouldn't trade my Linux problems for their macOS problems. I can't speak much to Windows anymore, but I can't imagine it'd be all that much better.
(Full disclosure: 2004-2009 I was a core Xfce developer.)
- oh look, apple decided to change their security model. Now old apps don't work. (necessary to prevent malware).
- oh look, no more 32bit programs.
- oh look, you plugged in a monitor CRASH.
- oh look, you plugged in a charger... CRASH.
- oh look, a touchbar.
- let's all pay a $1000 premium for hardware.
On OSX backwards compatibility isn't a concern apparently.
Windows problems range from:
- Who installed this thing? And to where? WTF is it?
- Why is there 2+ interfaces for all system configurations. 1 of which is pretty but incomplete, and the other hidden and terrible but complete?
- Why does it insist on using edge and bing for fucking everything?
This is one of the most absurdly awful things in Windows 10. Trying to disable a network adapter requires navigating a maze of useless New Design(r) config pages (where, for example, the ONLY interaction is "set connection to Metered mode"), complete with broken back buttons that take you somewhere arbitrary.
Worth it IMHO. I have a Mac mini that I bought on a whim while a Windows desktop was in the shop.
I’ve had it six years now, and in that time I’ve had three Windows machines die.
I also use a Linux laptop which runs great and "just works".
Of all the complaints, that one I totally understand the rationale for. It's an iterative design, they simply haven't finished building the new one yet. Until they do, I ignore it.
Xfce allows me to mimic XP quite well. Drag the bar to the bottom of the screen and setup a dark blue background and I felt at home. I like feeling in control of my desktop experience.
The switch to GTK3 was not better but GTK2 is getting stale so I understand..
I was on Linux for about 20 years, and now I've been on Mac for 6. Of course, I've had to deal with Windows all this time, too, for gaming and work. (I was even certified on NT.) Anyway, I've no doubt that Windows is pretty stable by now, but the glorious configuration that my company sets up on their laptops starts bugging us to reboot after 5 days, just because it's been "a long time." I blame Microsoft for making their software cater to people who cut-and-paste from Google results to create IT policy, and creating an ecosystem which leads companies to do things like this, and, say, locking the desktop background, of all things.
And you can keep Powershell, along with WSL.
Sure, Apple doesn't play well with enterprises, because they start with the fundamental assumption that the device is PERSONAL, and you're not using someone else's loaned device. I'm very glad for this. (And I'm never giving my company permissions to remotely wipe my devices with Mobile Iron.)
I'd really love to see OS usage percentage numbers with corporate use factored out. My gut feeling is that Windows has absolutely nosedived for personal use over the past few years, and it's only corporations that are keeping the numbers in the air. Half the people I know don't even have a computer, and are just using their phone or an iPad.
Well, it plays too well actually. At my current job and at previous one we had a choice Mac or a Windows laptop.
Mac ones were alway much more rigid with restrictions, less hackable (e.g. Installing Linux side by side was impossible on Mac, because it broke macos somehow as a result of enterprise drive encryption).
As for installing Linux, that should be fine as long as you're not pulling company data on that - and it should be gated with whatever endpoint protection there is for Linux.
Not like Windows is especially immune to this, either, though in Microsoft's defense they actually listened to the users somewhat and backpedaled to a proper Start Menu instead of continuing to shove Metro down everyone's throats.
For example, I don't want GTK-3, I only have GTK-2 installed. It could be all fine and dandy if, one after another, year after year, applications wouldn't give up their GTK-2 backend to only maintain/develop their GTK-3 one. The set of (up-to-date) applications I can run decreases, despite the fact that, as Alxlaz, I still run WindowMaker :-)
On Qt side, there are applications which requires an exact version of Qt (not only the main version Qt-3/4/5, but the point version), or require KDE, or require an exact version of KDE. If you want to install a new application, you have to go back in its history and find a version of the application that matches your installed library version. Or install another Qt version and hope it doesn't break other programs.
A bit different, but many years after my last try, I tried to use Scribus. I quickly remembered why I had not really used it long the previous time: text input is still convoluted and not WYSIWYG, which is a bit annoying (understatement) for this kind of program where you precisely want to see how text flows. So I gave a try to the new branch (which BTW required a new version of Qt, if I am not mistaken), hoping that they finally did something about it after all those years this program exists. Alas! Apart from the underneath Qt version change, the visible changes were: icons are now flat and monochrome (i.e. you cannot recognise one from another), keyboard shortcuts have been slightly and viciously modified (what was F3 is now F4, stuff like that... but why, oh why? what is the freaking point of doing that?), and it crashed on me after 5 minutes.
So basically, even if you'd just wish to have a few bugs fixed, and possibly a long-time missing feature finally added, by getting the new version that does this, you are forced to follow the crazy flow of adding or updating all libraries/toolkits/environments, because maintainers have decided it was way more interesting to rewrite their stuff for the umpteenth time with a different/new back-end (toolkit, environment), rather than polishing their existing, mostly fine for the job, code base.
It is exhausting, I am, too, really tired with that churn and constant breaking.
gtk2 is deprecated, so it makes sense that any actively-supported applications are moving to gtk3, which is still supported. By refusing to use gtk3, you're locking yourself out of not only newer applications that were only written for it, but older ones that have moved to it.
Why do you think an actively-maintained application should stick with a deprecated toolkit?
>On Qt side, there are applications which requires an exact version of Qt (not only the main version Qt-3/4/5, but the point version), or require KDE, or require an exact version of KDE.
In all my years, I've never seen this with an actively-maintained application. Of course, I generally stick with stuff that's available in my distro repo, so I never have any trouble.
Also note that with both gtk3 and Qt5, both these toolkits have been around for something like a decade now. Looking at Wikipedia, gtk3 3.0 came out exactly 9 years ago (10-02-2011), and Qt5 came out on 19-12-2012. Neither of these is at all new. I will grant you, though, that gtk3 is now already headed the way of the dodo, since they've announced gtk4. Personally, I'm not a fan of gtk and prefer Qt as it seems much more stable and better for GUI development anyway, and I don't see anything about Qt5 being phased out. Qt is also used a lot in embedded systems in industry, unlike gtk.
>the visible changes were: icons are now flat and monochrome (i.e. you cannot recognise one from another)
That's all the rage these days. I'm not a big fan either, but it's what most users want. This isn't a brand-new fad either; it's been going on for years now. I do wish I could try living in the alternate universe where UI design mostly stuck with way things were done in the mid-2000s.
I understand the frustration with tech , I also went for a short while to Windows10 then I went back to Kubuntu and not even dual booting anymore, the largest frustration I have at this moment is sometimes my video card crashes and I am not sure if is the NVIDIA driver fault or is an hardware issue and on top of it people would say "Why did you bought NVIDIA ?, AMD is better" but at that time I bought my card AMD drivers were shit and most Steam Linux games only supported NVIDIA.
I would also blame developers, the open source and proprietary software developers want to use latest and coolest thing, then sometimes they are forced by deprecation of old tool kits to change (at least sometimes GTK2 apps are ported to the better Qt toolkit)
Linux desktop is a horrible UX. But is also an amazing server environment.
Also windows can run on partially broken hardware and still not crash. Which is incredibly impressive.
Honestly, its DPI scaling and windows management with 4K monitors. Both Microsoft and Apple are still not perfect in this area so I assume its an extremely hard problem. The other issue is not all programs, like Daws and video editors, have a Linux version.
I get your point, but I do think this has actually occurred. Remembr when 7 updated to 8, and when 8 updated to 8.2 (I think) and when 8 updated to 10? I didn't use Windows much back then, but I really remember those three updates.
I forget which, but one unexpectedly took nearly 4 hours. Like an entire morning waiting for updates to finish, unable to use that computer, which was the one computer hooked up to the beamer, but it had to be updated at some point. I actually wrote a "windows update game" during that time, where you had to play a platforming hourglass, collecting percentages of progress. If you got to 100% it said something like "Restart to finish upgrading", then it started at 0% again, and you got ONE point. I think somebody got a high score of three.
And the first update completely changed the UI, removed the Start Menu (or hid it?), made icons into "tiles", some of which were "active" (?), which is to me a lot like you're describing. I was truly lost in Windows for a while. On all sides, not just the UI, but the settings, the folders.
And I still don't know what I have to do in Windows to disable ALL the telemetry and advertising in menus. Is it still possible? It's probably about as hard as setting up an Ubuntu install. And it's keeping me scared away from Windows, just like setting up Ubuntu seems scary to some other users.
It's not that I don't like Windows, like you say, if it were 2000 (or XP, or 7, I've also gotten used to those) ... actually you're right that 2000 might have been the last Windows that I wasn't slightly scared about (spying on me, even though what we considered "spying" in the days of XP, are like Tuesdays now).
There's this one thing that will always make me go back to Linux, however. And is that (perhaps the way I use it?) Windows has a "honeymoon" period that is one or two years, after that it just degrades in quality, responsiveness, just getting slow. And I have no idea how to fix that, clean it up, or whatever, besides installing Linux. Which makes the thing run smooth again. The only thing that seems to slow Linux down after a while, is the browser because the web just keeps getting heavier.
But I don't hate using Windows for those 1-2 years :) Especially now they got better command line stuff, who knows.
I do. And just a disclaimer, I am using linux 100% on desktop (and prefer freebsd on servers). Where I run firefox, i3, terminal, evolution (as I am forced to use it due to Exchange support, while I actually prefer mutt) and this is it. I rarely run anything else that is windowed.
The reason is simple.
Linux desktop really sucks. Instead of whole community stepping together and make ONE well made, bugless desktop, where most of people wouldnt need to install 3rd party hacks, edit config files and do everything using mouse, you need to fight which one is better and you end up with 20+ desktop enviroments that all sucks one way or another. Linux would have edge over windows desktop if there wouldnt be higlanders fractions fighting which half finished desktop is better. And I am observing this for 20 years.
Same goes with binary compatibility.
Personally I dont care but for ordinary "dumb" user it is revolting. And immidiately when freebsd will give me working hw support, I will move away from linux too. As it is a mess since systemd came, where more and more non existant problems are beeing solved while you still cant clean dhclient mess from the system without killing it (-r? -x? Only in man pages.)
It is a sad story of egoism and vanity where something that could be great, never was.
I almost wish we could get all Linux users to verbally agree to something like the following:
"I will not trash popular Linux desktop environments to outsiders. Ubuntu is fine. GNOME is fine. I understand that for the sake of the Linux Desktop's survival, it is more important that I be helpful and supportive of people's choice to use Default Ubuntu, rather than telling them that my Arch/Xfce/i3 setup is The One True Path."
Use whatever you want in private. Just shut the f--- up about trashing Ubuntu/Mint/Manjaro at every opportunity because you disagree with some decision of theirs. It makes us all look bad.
OTOH, yes, the rest of Ubuntu is fine, and to anyone fed up with Windows I gladly recommend anything else based on Ubuntu LTS. [LKX]Ubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Mint — they are all really fine.
I don't use GNOME, but I've noticed switching keyboard layout in Fcitx being slow. This is especially annoying since I have four different layouts and switching back-and-forth requires cycling through all the others.
I wonder whether this is actually a problem at a deeper layer. (Possibly that layer was originally created for GNOME.) Do you happen to have a link to a bug tracker for this issue?
2) It belongs to the part of GNOME that exists solely because GNOME decided to reinvent keyboard input.
3) Google shows lots of people aware of the problem (bugreports, stackexchange, whatever) — of course it does, see (1) — but not only no solution, but also I couldn't find any workaround short of using another DE, although — see (2) — disabling the feature altogether would be a decent workaround.
Of course all programs have bugs. Do other free programs tend to have bugs of this lasting quality?
At first my jaw dropped on your comment, but then I thought, maybe we non-latin-writing people are just abusing a feature meant for something different? Do you use several layouts, but switch between them infrequently?
It's not bad if you focus on one or the other. But when you combine the two, (talking about techical stuf, tickets, code reviews, ...) I often have to switch.
I'd say i switch on average few dozen times per hour.
And why would Linux need Such desktop-to-end-all-other-desktops? It would be a trashy configure me only with mouse desktop. Let such users stay at Windows or Mac and allow power users to have their choice if 20 desktops with majority of them allowing at least a text configuration.
Linux desktop really sucks.
While I am as idiosyncratic as anyone about Linux desktops (I run the Trinity Desktop Environment, which is basically the old KDE 3 kept up to date), and I am no fan of systemd or hw support problems (amdgpu, for instance, insists on locking up my laptop every so often), I don't think any of these things are the primary reason people run windows. I think the primary reason people run windows is that they have to use it at work and so they're familiar with it and don't even bother considering other alternatives.
> Instead of whole community stepping together and make ONE well made, bugless desktop
The reason this hasn't happened is simple: there are no market forces driving it to happen. What would create such market forces would be for large corporations, or governments, to abandon Windows for Linux. It would probably end up cheaper, since the cost of development of a well made, bugless Linux desktop would probably amortize to less than the Windows tax per unit. But it would require someone to be willing to do something different from what everyone else is doing, and that's not a way to get ahead in a large corporation or government.
I think this is slowly changing. I'm seeing more and more people who have given up Windows and moved to 1) Macbooks, 2) tables, 3) Chromebooks, or 4) just using phones.
I agree that the Linux desktop failures aren't the primary reason people run Windows, but it hasn't helped.
>It would probably end up cheaper, since the cost of development of a well made, bugless Linux desktop would probably amortize to less than the Windows tax per unit.
There's no "probably" about it. We already have fairly decent Linux desktops (just use Ubuntu: for most people, it "just works" most of the time, and it costs nothing). The Windows tax is already the largest BOM item for a PC. The additional cost needed to make Debian or Ubuntu into something even more bug-free and fully-featured wouldn't be that much. In fact, this was basically the whole idea behind many Linux distros: give them away for free to the masses, but sell support contracts to large corporations and governments to finance it. Unfortunately, that didn't work out so well. It's worked for Red Hat, but that's about the only company that's done well in this space, mainly because of US Government contracts.
EDIT: For which I am extremely grateful BTW. I love to see experimentation in the UI space. Just pointing out a reason we got here that I don't see mentioned often.
Nobody has achieved or will achieve that. Moving between macos, windows, and Linux - all have their issues.
> where most of people wouldnt need to install 3rd party hacks, edit config files
It's pretty close. Using either Fedora or Ubuntu, I didn't need to tweak anything in years to make normal desktop experience work.
On a more serious note; I could not believe how little, at least from looking over my roommate's shoulder, Linux desktop experience improved since I last used it in 2005.
So the reason people are still using Microsoft: You HAVE to unless you explicitly buy hardware for Linux. It's just unusable otherwise and the trajectory is getting WORSE, not better.
Ultimately, Linux didn't make enough of a dent in the desktop hardware space in the 90's/00's. The level of interest from hardware vendors (ODM/OEM/component manufacturers) has gone down - that's why things are worse.
If you don't use non-preloaded hardware you are NOT signalling to anyone that desktop Linux is important. This reduces overall interest - vendors think that no-one uses Linux - over the long run this reduces the amount of work done.
The take-away is please buy a DELL Sputnik with support - you are signalling to the market you want desktop Linux - and if it breaks you can complain!
I confess I only partially practise what I preach - I'm on a thinkpad =-)
 https://certification.ubuntu.com/ and there are other sites
That said.. even though I'm pointing out hardware issues I don't think the free software world should get a pass on these things. I get that a lack of corporate sponsorship can make things hard, BUT, a lot of the issues I'm running into are things that are just about having decent project maintenance.
Like, if my touchpad stops working after I close the screen, clearly they had enough info to actually make a working touchpad driver, but not enough to actually, uh, make it reliable. In most companies you have the concept of "alpha" or "beta" level of software, and I feel like EVERY component in Linux is alpha level. As long as you're 100% on the happy path your experience will be perfectly mediocre, and otherwise it's going bad VERY fast. Like I mean, it's pretty sad that the login screen is broken. I can't be the first person that plugged their laptop into a monitor! And it recognizes the monitor and works fine with it! So it's just an issue of kdm (or whatever the hell it is now) not actually being able to handle a multi monitor setup in... 2020? This shit has been old hat for 15 YEARS.
I don't know what it will take for free software to produce a decent desktop system, but I think blaming it on 3rd party companies is off the table at this point, there's obviously something not quite working with this model when it comes to producing software people can use.
A bunch of work happens for things like wifi and cpu because of Android and ChromeOS.
But, the number of professional paid developers doing "desktop Linux" drivers is probably fewer than 10 right now .
The number of full-time paid developers on "desktop Linux" itself is probably under 100? ... probably more like 50 honestly.
Drivers are of alpha quality (using your definition) because they are not written by the manufacturer. The reliability of drivers is down to the lack of availability of information. The bottom line is that the lack of access to information about how the hardware works means it's hard to make reliable drivers.
Your trackpad example is perfect because AFAIK synaptics had to reverse engineered.
Microsoft doesn't write drivers, the hardware vendors does. And Microsoft runs a test, if the hardware works then it passes the test and gets a sticker on it's butt. HP can only ship hardware that has the sticker. This outsources the cost to the manufacturer and the testing to the OEM.
Whereas, in Linux land those economics don't apply.
I get your points but if you actually want to use desktop Linux then this is one area where you have to go with the grain - buy a PRELOADED certified system because that's going to be built from the smallest set of hardware that the vendor knows is compatible.
 meaning there is no-one paid to work on monitors, there is no-one paid to work on that trackpad. What is being paid for is so that Android or ChromeOS can work.
I support desktop linux up to the point where I'm willing to use it, and contribute if I am using, but, I'm not replacing everything I own for an experience that's already proven to be bad. I'm not really convinced the problem is hardware, I think there are cultural/organization/design problems here. It shouldn't be hard to have multi-monitor support for a login screen 15 years after it's been a common setup. I shouldn't be battling with ACPI issues when ACPI is a standard that's been around since like 1996. I'm willing to be forgiving about things like graphics drivers or other things that are on the cutting edge with manufacturers that are mostly indifferent, but we're talking basic functionality. Even though I'm sympathetic to the manpower issues it doesn't change the fact that it's not really usable and telling people to buy new computers isn't a good solution.
Also I think you are underestimating how crappy and broken a lot of hardware is. See eg. https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/libinput/libinput/tree/master...
or read some of the comments here, lots are about ACPI https://elixir.bootlin.com/linux/latest/source/drivers/pci/q...
Has anyone bought the libinput maintainer your laptop hardware so he can work out why it doesn't work? You can see from the commit log that it's mainly developed by one person, who also developed the previous Linux (synaptics) touchpad driver for years before that.
It's an early attack toward making the PC platform move toward ownership and control of Microsoft, well before UEFI or Secure Boot.
Combine this with the modern trend of some hardware manufacturer's refusing to release details needed to create drivers unless NDAs are signed, which wasn't something commonplace in the early 90's when Linux (and Windows NT) was born, and this creates the situation where things don't "just work" on Linux.
With the proper hardware information and without a bad firmware interface like ACPI in the way of the hardware, the only limit is whether someone is willing to write and maintain a driver for it.
It might be that the model is never going to provide the financial incentives to work perfectly on every random Windows laptop, which is what you seem to mean by 'producing software people can use'. Meanwhile, plenty of people use it just fine - your laptop not working hardly invalidates the whole desktop Linux concept.
I'm sort of surprised the Linux community didn't put more effort into a compatibility layer so that Windows drivers could be used on Linux, or something to make it easy for vendors to quickly port their Windows drivers to Linux.
On the other hand, large drivers like NVIDIA use their own blobs which likely share a lot of code between systems.
I chose a Dell XPS 15 two years ago (although with Windows installed), and have had no driver issues beyond what was known at the time of purchase (no fingerprint sensor driver, some problem with chip that switches between Intel and NVidia graphics). Dell have updated the BIOS about once every three months, and there is usually mention of fixes for BIOS for Linux (none that have affected me AFAIK) - helpful BIOS fixes which you don’t get on most other laptops - a very clear indication that there is effort by Dell to support Linux.
The previous 5 years I used boring business Toshiba laptops and had a lucky run of few problems with Linux drivers.
For me the main reason is games. Dual booting is really annoying and jumping through the 15 hoops it takes to run games on Linux doesn't seem worth it considering how poorly games seem to run natively on Windows already. It's not a question of "there are no games for Linux" but rather "the game I want to play is not on Linux".
This one point is basically the anchor that all the other usage is centered around for me. Linux simply doesn't offer something amazing enough over what Windows does to warrant all this trouble for games. If the games I wanted to play ran decently on Linux with few problems then I'd probably switch over. But considering that MS is now doing that Xbox game pass subscription even on Windows, I think the chance of switching is becoming less and less likely.
Yet, a large majority of computers are running an operating system that spies on you and serves ads to you. Not just personal computers, but most businesses too. Buying a computer that doesn't come with windows on it is difficult for the average person who isn't trying, I don't mean Chromebooks or those system76 type computers, I mean walking through best buy or something the way a lot of non tech people end up buying computers. I mean i've had windows restore itself on my hardrive after a boot issue despite formatting it away years ago. Or at least try to, I was really confused when the windows recovery prompt popped up. As far as I.knew it had been gone since the day I got my laptop.
Not to mention, thanks to Microsoft, I now essentially need their permission to install anything other than windows on modern hardware(I know it's not quite that simple and kernel modules can be self signed etc.), but effectively, at least from the issues i've dealt with...and continue to deal with, the most recent being with virtual box and having to self sign kernel.modules to make it work, uefi really feels like Microsoft trying to keep whatever bit of control they can over every computer whatever you decide to do with it.
I'm not trying to start a uefi debate, I know there's work arounds and other things ways to deal with it, but since it's existed, it's been nothing but hassles for me and it's something I never asked for or wanted in my computer.
My main priority is to give my family technical solutions they could manage if I were to kick the bucket, and to ultimately own their data they need.
Between my wife and I we have 1tb of photos and videos. We could store it all in the cloud, but then if they shut her account down for whatever reason we would lose them all. Maybe I'm paranoid, but I don't find this acceptable. I do seem to be in the minority here, everyone I know just hosts all their files at a single cloud provide. It seems nuts to me.
And I haven't found an off-site backup solution that works with Linux. CrashPlan used to offer family plans but they got rid of them. Backblaze only has B2 for Linux - not really acceptable given my requirements.
So my family runs Windows. I run Linux.
There are many, many products that either run significantly better on windows (Office) or are completely unavailable on other OSs (many video games).
That's changing, for sure. But there's still a long tail of products that semi-necessitate windows.
I get a chuckle whenever I realize how things have changed.
In the early to mid-80's, there was a popular mantra that the IBM PC ecosystem was for "serous work," and anything else was "just for games," which was a slap at Apple (then dominant for business, but rapidly slipping) and the other alternatives.
Today, it seems that for the majority of ordinary people, the only reason they stay in the Wintel ecosystem is for games.
Seems simple enough to understand.
The mind boggles.
I think you've just outed yourself as someone who wasn't alive or awake back then.
Is it still "Wintel" when a lot of gamers are going AMD now?
Excel is so powerful that people are doing with it stupid things and than their businesses rely on them. That stuff will never work in Docs.
Office is a killer product, with extremely rich feature set that works very well. Sadly, there is nothing in the market that even close. It is the main (perhaps only) reason I still have to use a Windows VM.
For detailed and powerful spreadsheet use there is nothing that compares to Excel. This coming from someone forced to use Google Sheets at a former company, after having Excel.
As much as it pains me to say it the power of excel is uncomparable, especially for people who can’t program and are never going to learn how.
For me, a common use case is to receive a large document from someone using MS Office, make small alterations or comments, and send it back... while being certain that I have not changed anything else (including formatting and layout of included illustrations) that I did not want to change. Neither Google Docs nor OpenOffice currently support that, simply opening and saving a nontrivial Word document changes the layout.
But, a lot of people are forced to use office for various reasons - trying to edit a docx in Docs/Pages/LibreOffice, for example, can be really frustrating for any number of reasons (fonts, margins, etc. all sometimes break spectacularly).
So if you're using office quite frequently, windows can be very appealing.
For example, my in-laws got a Chromebook a few years ago. My father-in-law definitely liked it better. For my mother-in-law, it was an unmitigated disaster. He really only uses the computer for watching Netflix and reading the New York Times. She, a teacher, also uses it for work, and she found that most of the programs she used for classroom prep simply weren't available for ChromeOS, and didn't have any equivalent. So I ended up helping her give her old Windows desktop a nice deep scrubbing, put some more RAM in it, all that good stuff, and that's now what she uses when her iPad won't do.
My own parents prefer Windows, too, though that's a more fuzzy situation. Basically, it's just that it's what they've always used. They've tried other platforms a couple times, and quickly found that it just wasn't even remotely worth the hassle of learning all the differences. That's down to differences in file sharing, printer set up, all that good stuff.
Me, for a while I was thinking of switching back to Windows at home for a while, simply because I used Windows at work, and I was getting sick of having to remember two different sets of keyboard commands and suchlike. (Then I went to a shop where all the devs were given Macs, so I ended up there instead.) For my purposes, running some other OS as the host and Linux in a VM is plenty good enough.
I like gaming. That's pretyty much all I do on Windows. I have a macbook for work because MacOS gets out of your way and just works. I have a linux server and a linux workstation for other stuff - the workstation for coding, experimenting etc, the server for VPN endpoint, gitlab, time-machine and various other servery things.
But for games, if you're wanting to game on PC, windows is King. And that's why my workstation has windows installed too.
(My mother and my brother still use it because I can't be bothered to try to teach them anything else)
I can go out and buy any high end laptop and be confident it will work well with windows. similarly, if I want to throw some random hardware in my desktop, I don't have to worry about whether drivers exist for my os. all this stuff requires an additional research step with linux.
in short, if you're a power user (and especially if you like choosing your own hardware) and you want your os to "just work", windows is the best of few options.
And I live in a house where the only other person has only ever user Windows, and hates change. Like even desktop icons shouldn't relocate unless she does it herself.
She fights every application update unless there's a clear reason, then there better not be any more differences than the ones indicated.
Unless you are in the IT industry or at least an enthusiast, this is a rational approach.
On the other hand:
Your USB ports stopped working? You should've been updating the bios. You got breached via the browser or email app? Should've been updating them.
If I were a marketer, which clearly I am not, I would think it would be bad marketing to have your computer constantly be telling you "HEY, you need to drop what you're doing to apply this fix for me at random, because if you don't someone is going to install ransomware. Oh and by the way, we're going to install Candy Crush Saga with this, because fuck you."
Maybe the person not updating isn't rational, but if every update is fucking candy crush I couldn't blame them for saying "maybe microsoft is worse than the hackers"
My use of my home computer mostly consists of making/learning music and playing games. Both of these activities pretty much require Windows. There are some ways around it, like I could be running games under Wine and use a Linux DAW and use something like LinVST to get my plugins working, but it requires a lot of effort and the results are not guaranteed (people seem to have mixed experience running Kontakt 6 under Wine and not all games run equally well). Or I could go the money route and buy a console for games and a Mac for music, but it seems like an overkill and I would be exchanging a nasty proprietary system that is Windows for two separate nasty proprietary systems of Mac and PS4/Xbox.
- Chromebooks don't meet my needs and Macs are incredibly expensive.
- There's a lot of software I care about which is Windows-only and doesn't have a good Linux alternative, especially games.
- I have not had great experiences using Linux. I still run into lots of dumb little issues that make me feel like I'm back in the Windows XP days, except this time I have to enter mysterious terminal commands I found on Stack Exchange to make things work right.
- You can easily avoid this kind of nonsense in Windows 10 with like half an hour of setup after your initial install.
Because not everyone wants to get things to work through command-line especially Broadcom drivers.
I've seen so many good answers but to me, the main one is that people don't know there are alternatives.
I know virtually no one in "real" life that knows what Linux is. Windows is pre-installed and people just roll with it. Some are aware there's this thing called "Mac" that it is more expensive and that's it.
Software that doesn't exist elsewhere (maybe OSX).
Microsoft bought Github for the data set. To mine code to train models to write code to put developers out of business. Microsoft is coming for all of your jobs. They aren't investing billions in AI research and Open AI for philanthropy. The sooner people realize this the better.
Sure it's tin-foil, but it's a hill I am willing to die on.
I've seen "deep dream". You'll get models that produce stuff that locally looks like code but doesn't actually make sense. Code-like extruded product. People will waste careers on the "steering" and "minor fixups" necessary to make it actually work which will be orders of magnitude larger than the work needed to just write the software in the first place.
That's the cost of giving up symbolic AI in favour of pattern recognition.
Are they working on something like that? I'm sure that there are people doing so. Will it eventually trickle in some limited way as a productivity enhancement into Visual Studio or VS Code? Probably. Is it going to be some kind of magical no-code silver bullet that obviates the need for programmers? Not a snowball's chance in hell.
The bad thing is the non-stop messing with standards and EEE. Because it makes existing jobs unbearable.
In fact, plenty of humans do stop working by choice; we call this "retirement". It tends to be a highlight of life as long as a retiree can maintain their health. Yes, it is a challenge to find purpose outside of work for some, but many people rise to that challenge: many retirees pursue hobbies, arts, athletics, and social functions with at least the same vigor that they once applied to work. Other people work their whole lives at unfulfilling jobs due to real or imagined pressures around making money, despite other interests which they would prefer to pursue.
Your second paragraph is correct. In the short-term, technological elimination of jobs will cause great disruption and misfortune to certain workers (and we should implement policies that assuage the damage). We may have to adopt dramatically more progressive government services. The social vacuum once filled by professional relationships will need to be filled by new, different social institutions. But that's the nature of creative destruction; sometimes getting to a better global state causes local pain.
What you're suggesting (if they could pull it off) I would welcome. Either it turns into (an even worse than now) corporatist dystopia and there's turmoil before a reset, or it opens up for "everyone" and we're closer to post-scarcity.
But most likely they'll automate some stuff, because this isn't real AI, and I can adapt faster than they can and do stuff their models can't.
I don't have the same laptop so I can't comment on your exact situation. That said, I have a Windows machine and I am not using a Microsoft account to log in so your experience is not universal.
Isn't this exactly what Microsoft is doing? Clicking on the ad leads to the product download page which also describes the features.
In most cases, average users like to try software by feel, not by looking at a technical spec sheet.
Is there anything that the dev tools will allow me to do that I can't with FF Developer Edition?
In any case I'm mainly a MacOS user, but still.
If people want to "ban" something, they should ban "browser detection / user agent" and targeted ads based on that.
If some state in "middle america" ran an ad targeted at users in SF stating "move to xyz, your life will be better", is that intrusive too? Well, then ban all targeted ads.
Does anyone who uses Firefox realize for a long while they were primarily funded by having Google pay them to be the default search engine?
The difference between using an application that prompts "make this default?" and a specifically targeted ad showing up on your start menu is that the user used the application that threw the prompt...That might actually be helpful.
The fact is, if Microsoft wants me to switch to Edge, they need to tell me the benefits. A chart will do fine comparing it to other common options. I don't need a targeted ad that proves they know and keep track of what browser I'm actually using. That's literally ridiculous.
I just want a “no never” button.
the idiots are winning.
Thank you for giving a example of why we can't use the term "free software" any more. Also fuck Ubuntu.
I stopped using Ubuntu a while ago due to a large number of individually minor "missteps", so I don't have any equally blatant/memorable (or particularly recent) examples, but there were enough of them to be a constant hazard of updating anything.
(For similarly large, there's systemd and wayland, but neither those are specific to Ubuntu.)
Also, someone (for analogy) dumping toxic waste into a drinking water supply, and then listening to feedback and ceasing to dump toxic waste into the water supply, still seems like a damn good reason to say "fuck those guys in particular" to me, and that's what shipping malware in a software update amounts to.
Same thing. Abuse of monopoly.
I turned the ad off... there's nothing but 32 pixel icons in my start menu.
I simply never see the outrage, customize your Windows install and move the fuck on.
That's why Linux gets jacked off all the time right, customizability?
(that was rhetorical, I support Linux and realize the most beneficial aspect is it's open-source nature)
But that's not what this article is about, it's a Microsoft hit-piece. That's all journalism is nowadays, mercenaries for hire.
And final point, if the ad isn't for me or anyone else here for that matter, why are we seeing an article about it? And why did noone else here mention you can turn it off?
Microsoft is not the harbinger of ads and they never will be, Google was and is. If you want to war ads, take it up against Google, their browser, their OS, and their search engine.
Ironically MS put an adblocker in Chromium by default.
You people and your biases...
Also saying "oh all corps do stuff like that calm down" is a really bad defense IMO.
This is pretty harmless in my opinion.
But I think it's just post purchase rationalization.
Microsoft’s behavior is like taking a stroll in a forest or open field and suddenly having walls erected around you and cameras pointed at you.
Concerning at best, since they're using first party grounds for advertising but that does not make it harmful.
I'm also using a stock Android and have never used Chrome on it. Play Store, Play Games, Find my Device, and the Google app work just fine and haven't tried to push Chrome either.
I guess I should prepend these observations with "Yet", as I'm not at all of the opinion that it'll never happen.
What's even worse is that their CAPTCHA stuff prefers chrome/chromium users off the bat with reliability scores.
Historically Google has relentlessly advertised Chrome to Firefox users on Youtube and their main search page ... probably the most valuable advertising space on the Internet. Maybe they've cut back, for some or all users.
For your comparison to be valid, a Linux distro would have to be showing antagonistic adverts when its mandatory telemetry gathering detects that you are not using Firefox, and doing so to increase their market share. They do not and distros are not Mozilla, so the comparison falls flat.
What is funny in this case is that Microsoft is going after Firefox users, specifically, so, similar to how an HN commenter would ask "Why is Microsoft being singled out?", we could actually ask, "Why is Mozilla being singled out?" Why not target the users of some other browser.
It should be obvious that this type of question is not aimed at producing a useful answer. I predict we will see this suggestion of "unfairness" again in the next heavily-commented, front page item that is critical of Microsoft. It has been remarkably consistent.
It is completely reasonable to be skeptical of Microsoft's actions here, as they have a history of anticompetitive behavior in the web browser market.
GitHub is doing the bare minimum to compete while relying on network effects from its existing user base - better than nothing, but not enough to justify showering Microsoft with praise.
No, it's one thing (OS) pushing another (browser). The equivalent would be opening chrome and it popping up a message, "Still using Windows? Click here to upgrade to ChromeOS!"
I'm not defending this behavior, but unfortunately the norm has been set.
When Microsoft does these things, it's not just a matter of "well go with someone else". There is no-one else, a lot of times. So we're trapped, and Microsoft says: by the way, now you have to deal with advertisements in your operation system. And we're going to do one that totally tweaks our nose at the antitrust issues of the 90s just because we can.
None of that is ok! It's not an overreaction to say, hey guys, knock it off.
If this is just a general suggestion that gets pushed out to all Windows computers, then it's not so much targeted as merely questionable use of platform.
When you switch browsers for the first time, Win10 will ask like a whiny little bitch, "Are you sure you want to not use Edge? It's really nice."
An anti-Firefox ad on Win10 would not surprise me.
No longer in development but the latest version works fine. Anyone is welcome to take over: http://www.classicshell.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=8147
Haven't tried this fork yet: https://github.com/Open-Shell/Open-Shell-Menu
They still are.
First of all, this isn't just about this ad. As I said in my comment, it's "this -- and every other screw-up in the same vein". Like the other Start Menu ads, like the dark patterns in privacy-related config settings. But okay, let's talk about this one specifically.
The "old Microsoft" (specifically, to put it in context: the one with the Halloween Documents ) that I don't trust (I want to emphasize this part for reasons that I'll explain in a minute) is a company that:
1. Specifically used its dominating position in the operating systems industry to push its browser and eliminate competition in that space
2. Engaged in competition partly by spreading FUD about other products (note that this is not a post-hoc exaggeration: the internal memos specifically call FUD by this name, and refer to it as an entrenched, well-known internal technique)
3. Was deliberately dismissive of competing open source software in its public statements, even though it sometimes uses it internally
4. Set out a strategy to compete against open source (note though -- I think the documents predate the term "open source"?) that went beyond merely spreading FUD, and was based on embracing, then extending existing protocols in incompatible ways.
This "meh ad" is just the latest in Microsoft's constant, and extremely irritating push for Edge (e.g. see the system's behaviour when you try to change the default browser). It's the same stuff we've seen back in 1998 -- not as aggressive, seeing how Microsoft nearly got broken up when it tried something that aggressive, but it's in the same vein. And looks very much like #1 above.
It's also not happening just in the browser space. For instance, until recently, Windows wouldn't shut up about the damn OneDrive thing, either.
Things are different in the cloud and server space -- where SQL Server, Azure and .NET core happen -- because Microsoft isn't even close to being in a dominating position. Of course Microsoft can't elude competition there. They could ban Linux from Azure if they wanted to, but more than half of their marketshare would evaporate with it, too.
But I don't see any reason to think that this is part of some internal reform of some sort -- it's just the corner Microsoft painted themselves in. Of course they have to play the "Microsoft loves Linux" PR game, too: a whole generation of open source developers grew in a climate of mistrust about Microsoft, and it just so happens that the software written by this generation of open source developers powers much of the cloud space, of which Microsoft would reaaally want a slice. A long time ago, Microsoft also sold software for the Macintosh. Then it stopped. Then it started selling OS X software again. They aren't dumb, and they certainly don't lack good engineers -- Microsoft can compete on technical merit when it needs to.
Just like you, I don't generally care to support a large company, and while I do earn about half my yearly income writing or support Linux software, I don't really have a stake in it (honestly, I'd much rather write or support QNX software but that ship has sailed...). I'm not... OK, I'm no longer a Linux fanboy, which I definitely was twenty years ago but we all did a lot of stupid things when we were young. This isn't about "loving" or "hating" Microsoft, it's about whether or not I want to trust them with my stuff -- and stuff like this makes me not trust them :).
Edit: man, the last time I wrote so much about Microsoft I was fifteen, I think...
Even later edit: also -- as far as Windows 10 is concerned, save for the ads and data collection policy, I actually like it very much. I use it on one of my machines and I'm very happy with it -- so happy, in fact, that the moment this ads nonsense stops, I'll seriously think about switching to it :).
But your argument is a logical fallacy. The fact that people who disagree with me are not automatically “paid shill” doesn’t imply that “paid shills” aren’t there.
Of course I cannot prove it, but the signs are there. How else do you explain the sudden change of heart of the HN community overnight? Who usually have very strong opinions on this topic.
But I refuse to contribute to the Chromium monoculture.
> They should switch to Firefox or Safari.
There seems to be a disconnect here. You can tell people they should do something all you want, but if they've already shown themselves unable or unwilling to do so, you're better off putting that effort into something that might actually achieve something.
Are you assuming that the user is on Windows? In that case, Safari is not an option (Apple stopped working on Safari for Windows ages ago), nor is the Linux package manager an option (the closest option is Chocolatey, but most people don't use that). Since we're discussing Edge, it's probably safe to assume that they're running Windows.
Or are you assuming that they're running a Mac? In that case, the Linux package manager still isn't an option, and we're kind of off-topic because the original post was about Windows and its default web browser.
Or are you assuming that they're running Linux? In that case, you can't get Safari, nor can you get Edge, and you're probably running Firefox or Ungoogled Chromium already by default. So what's the problem?
It's really a shame. The engineering that the teams at Microsoft put to the kernel and the actual operating system at large is amazing.
But then some Product Management division decides to shove this shit down people's throat and, for me at least, ruins all the fun of what would is otherwise an amazing piece of an operating system.
I paid for an operating system, just let me use the damn thing in peace will you ...
This has been Microsoft forever. They have always made some good things, but from a business perspective, they've always been parasitoids. They infect you, then eventually consume you from the inside-out.
THAT is their DNA. And so far, I have seen zero indication they've changed.
But different corporations are selfish/ruthless/exploitative in different ways, and organizing our thinking about the ways in which a for-profit organization acts selfishly/ruthlessly/exploitatively helps us make our own decisions and craft our own strategies for getting what we want from them, or choosing with whom we do business.
I'm not a communist, but Microsoft is literally doing the (amoral) thing that is in their best interest. Hate the game not the player I guess?
Why not tell them why you think they're wrong (and leave it up to them to change), instead of making naked assertions and telling them to change?
Just auto-update edge and put it in a pinned taskbar position with a new icon and a notification bubble... no need to disparage anything, it'd be more assertive and less annoying at the same time.
It smells of desperation on the product management side of things. They can't show growth anymore.
I'm not saying they should just give up, but folks, be a bit more dignified over there. Your company's doing great and Windows still does a pretty decent job in many places, cut the crap... At some point you have to accept that Windows is the mature partner, not the hot 20-year old :-D
I have to disagree here. Messing with people's pinned taskbar icons is much more intrusive than a suggestion (which anyone sane has already disabled)
> why are they so heavy handed on the windows side of things
I'm sorry but that's pretty funny right before suggesting to literally change users settings without their consent.
It's easier to unpin a taskbar icon, than disable suggestions.
Ah, but some users don’t even use the taskbar. They want this ad to be visible to their tablet market, too. And for screen-reader users, presumably. Microsoft seems like the kind of company to be concerned about the accessibility of their ads.
The comment, and sentiment are imho very ignorant and childish. Beyond this, rarely can someone make effective change to a community you are not a part of, let alone disdain.
It's a matter of corporate strategy and has nothing to do with each worker.
It doesn't have to suggest all actions, only re-occurring behavior. Microsoft had a well deserved reputation as a grim reaper in the tech industry.
I am using Firefox because it doesn't belong to anyone. I have zero faith on the privacy of Chrome. I believe (haven't tested and I won't bother) that everything one does on Chrome ends up in Google's data-hungry machine. Microsoft is mirroring that. I find it disgusting enough that they "telemetry"-ze the shit out of everything one does with their Win10. Now they want to get that extra on our browsing habits to complete the tracking.
I don't know if it's just Microsoft's greed or the (proven) relationship with the 3-letter-agencies (not wearing tinfoil hat), but still, they become more intrusive and it is NOT for our benefit.
Others mentioned are in a different league, but even firefox is mostly developed for an organization, that seems to be pushing to enter the service industry.
Have you looked how many connections firefox makes without even opening a page? I tried to silence it, and it was a PITA - ended up using a firewall.
I'd donate to firefox development, like 3, maybe 4 digit numbers, but AFAICT they only accept donations to Mozilla, and don't let you specify types of activities you would like to support.
I'm asking about Windows upgrade SKUs-- the kind that you'd buy in a box someplace like Best Buy or Circuit City or Office Max back in the day, completely separate from a computer. Were those ever a meaningful fraction of sales? Or, phrased differently, is Microsoft actually leaving any money on the table by making Windows 10 upgrades (both the Windows 7/8 to 10 and 10 feature releases) free for consumers rather than paid?
Disclosure: I worked for Microsoft during Windows 8 through early Windows 10 development on related teams.
Do you mean to say that Microsoft clearly communicated Win8 EOL dates and OEMs choose to move accordingly? If not, can you cite a source?
Edit: after some googling, I think you mean - Microsoft didn't think it was worth the expense to pay engineers to backport processor support to Win8. Bit of a difference from "strong-arming" the processor companies
They can both be bad. It isn't either/or.
All the tech giants participate in this behavior.
That doesn't make it OK.
Largely because it's Microsoft.
Everyone else does cross promotion of their products but some people hold a special place in their heart for hating on Microsoft. It usually manifests itself with frothing at the mouth, exposition about how they were sued as a monopoly, and they're the devil. It's as if Microsoft was breaking into homes in the 90s and swapping your Macs out for PCs.
Someone will respond to this post with a laundry list of complaints about them that they've had saved off in a .txt to counter posts like this.
Conversely, I don't use the start menu. At best I hit start and type the application I use. But on my Windows machine I mostly live inside my browser and Steam / game libraries, which are pinned to my start bar.
That isn't a fair comparison because each company primarily advertises from their monopoly position. Google does not have a monopoly position on platforms, only services. Microsoft is the opposite.
If you flip it around, Microsoft shows you one advert if you haven't turned them off entirely. Where as Google shows you an advert every time you visit every service they have and you can't turn it off.
Is your desktop environment Chrome OS?
Do you get Microsoft ads whenever you visit google.com from the Chrome Web Browser?
It's always been about control. You can apply this to damn-near everything too. "I paid for an operating system, let me use it as I see fit" "I paid for an internet connection, let me use it how I want" "I paid for a laptop, let me upgrade the RAM" "I paid for a phone, let me install whatever apps I choose / let me replace the battery" etc etc.
It's everything infuriating about modern computing in a nutshell. Every company wants absolute control over everything you do. And if they can't have that, they want _data_ on everything you do.
Microsoft could probably charge an extra $60 for an ad-free, privacy-aware consumer version of Windows 11 and make a considerable amount off that audience. But right now, there is no choice.
This notably does not disable telemetry phone homes on either edu or Enterprise SKUs. It reduces it, but there is still an awful lot sent back to MS.
Mind you, most Windows home users haven’t paid for an operating system. Either because they’re pirating Windows (e.g. most of the Asian market) or because they’re using an OEM license that Microsoft sold basically at cost (after CapEx:OpEx conversion of R&D expense, ala pharma companies.)
The only profit “Windows” as a product makes, at this point, is 1. Whatever tie-in channel partnerships they can sneak in (like the Candy Crush ad in the start menu), and 2. The cross-department budget Windows gets from Azure as lead-gen revenue (given that Windows is gradually becoming ever more tightly integrated with the Azure SDK, such that it’s only natural to use Azure to build a backend for a Windows app.)
With you so far...
> because they’re using an OEM license
... which they paid for. If MS is undercharging for those OEM licenses (that is, sum of R&D costs/ongoing maintenance costs is lower than sum of sale prices), that doesn't mean the OEM (by extension, the user) didn't pay for it.
Seems anything but shady? On the start menu in full sight and just explicitly suggesting their browser over Firefox. Doesn't even claim anything about either browser, just suggests theirs! Seems as honest and upfront as any advertising could be? 'Try our band of coffee' effectively.
You better don't want your boss to know how much HN is stealing "hours of productivity" from you :)
I think an apt analogy would be the "Take a Penny, Leave a Penny" tray at convenience stores. Nobody cares if you take a penny from a gas station. But if someone figured out a way to take a penny from every tray in the world, that would raise some real questions about theft that would need to be answered.
I don't expect that I'll be able to get them to give me a top spot for an ad saying "Concerned about Microsoft's tracking policy? Mozilla Firefox is here", or "Still using Edge? Why not just get the original -- Google Chrome is here'.
Do you consider that shady too? If not, how do to you distinguish the Microsoft case?
But at least where I'm from, it's explicitly forbidden for radio stations (in fact it's illegal for any company) to run any kind of comparative advertising that denigrates a competitor's product. It's OK to show off your product, and it's OK to compare your own product to another company's, as long as you're transparent about what's compared and under what conditions. But an ad that mentions a competitor's product just to denigrate it would be illegal.
It would be okay for KBBL to advertise its news program. It would also be OK for KBBL to run an ad saying "Our program has the fewest fake news on the market", as long as they they tell you how to verify the claim (i.e. what numbers they used, who came up with them, how they came up with them, and how you can get them, too). But if they ran an ad saying "Still listening to WQHG-FM news? Tune to KBBL instead!" they'd risk having their license withdrawn.
It's definitely not pretty common precisely because it's illegal :).
The way your comment was phrased I thought that you were saying the shadiness comes from it being a Microsoft ad on a Microsoft medium which does not accept ads for competing products.
In wider terms, Windows is very much not like a radio station. A radio station doesn't broadcast advertising for their competitors' shows, but it doesn't broadcast competitors' shows, either. If we're to apply the same laws that apply for radio stations, then they should apply under the same conditions: Microsoft can advertise their programs all they want -- but then they shouldn't allow running their competitors' programs, either. Let's see how successful Windows is without Photoshop, AutoCAD, 3D Studio Max, Matlab...
Windows is marketed and sold as a general-purpose operating system. I think it's reasonable for users to expect that Windows will treat all legitimate programs the same, regardless of their origin. That should include access to the operating system's advertising channel.
Using your foothold in one industry (operating systems) to discourage competition in other spaces (browsers) certainly is a grey area. Microsoft has been through a pretty similar lawsuit before, on exactly this topic, and that didn't go very well.
So for example it's legal to show an ad saying that Edge is faster than its competitors, but you have to write a small note somewhere that says who measured that and how.
(Technically I think you can even call the competitors by name, but virtually no one does it because the public doesn't really appreciate that. Most companies will, at most, give a subtle hint).
It is, however, illegal to show an ad which simply says or implies that Firefox is somehow worse than Edge, or that no one uses it anymore, or that it's old, or whatever, without explaining how you got to that conclusion. It's fine to say that Edge is the most popular browser and link to a page about the study that showed it (or the study itself). But without the numbers, you're not allowed to do it. The studies in question are rarely truly objective, but they do offer useful data points.
That's intended to ensure that a company which is perceived as reliable or trustworthy cannot abuse that position and engage in false advertising.
This is a pretty good example -- among non-technical users, who make up the vast majority of computer users in the world, Microsoft is perceived as a solid and reliable company (and, the whole ads and data collection thing aside, it's perceived that way among technical users, too, yours truly included). Their word carries some weight, and non-technical users are likely to take their word at face value.
In fact Google did it worse by blocking browsers purely by user-agent to key google services like maps to block the entry or Fire devices or windows phone devices.
Both cases aren't acceptible and both should be punished imho.
I'm not sure what the adequate reaction here would have been. Should I have added a "P.S. oh yeah by the way Google is also doing this, don't forget to hate on them, too?" line in my original reply, for completeness?
Is something Google would totally do. They've been pushing Chrome with the search home page for years.
They can be shy to ask anyone if Firefox is viable in fear of being ridiculed and they might end up thinking that Firefox is bad for months or even years.
Perhaps they could have gone down a different road:
> Still installing browsers from internet ? Edgium is here, faster and pre-installed. Try it out!