The common advice to stop it before was "don't use IE". Everyone uses Chrome now, and so that's now where everything installs itself (check the extensions and there is usually something dubious). Google even have a tool to remove this stuff: https://www.google.co.uk/chrome/srt/
"You will loose precious functionality, your computer will get slower, the locusts will invade your country: Are you SURE to deinstall CrapToolbarAdMakeComputerFaster2000? [NO!] [NOT AT ALL!] (yes) [CONTINUE USING ADWARE]"
I guess it's done that way so that Microsoft would look like to impair a earnest software business' operation, would they choose to include it in their "evil monopolistic" antivirus software.
Once I installed Linux for my folks, all these problems magically disappeared.
There may be loads of OS alternatives, but unfortunately for people who can only just use a mouse and have invested years into learning that one package they just aren't going to be willing to invest a lot of time into exploring the alternatives.
I helped my parents switch to linux mint, and it's been fairly successful.
Even that's not much of a challenge. Many years ago when my wife started working at home on her mac (1st gen mac mini so this must be about a decade ago?) corporate IT had a few puzzles to solve, but even a decade ago everything was moving to either web or rdesktop or vnc. If you can get the corporate windows guys to implement a workaround or whatever to allow macs to be used, then its usually a very small jump indeed to linux or freebsd or whatever.
I'm struggling to think of a stereotypical desk job that can't be done with a browser and perhaps rdesktop on the side. The exceptions I can think of like 3-D cad would be a problem, but that's not stereotypical desk job work.
Also in my experience, school kids, volunteer workers, and grandma are google docs users not office 2010 users. Google is taking over that space quite effectively. The school system has a contract with google such that if you want to edit your essay in office on your computer at home, well, fine, but you'll be exporting into google drive to actually submit the homework, so save yourself some time and annoyance and do the whole thing online.
Totally agree. The situation has improved so much in that regard - even if you don't have native apps for your platform, there is good chance there's a bunch of online services that can help you do the very same thing.