In some ways, this is worse than Superfish. Superfish was at least not deliberate; it seems pretty clear that Lenovo really didn’t understand the full implications of what they were doing by installing it on their laptops. There’s no way that Samsung doesn’t understand that by disabling Windows Update they are trading off their customers’ security against the cost of a hardware recall.
(It wouldn’t surprise me to discover that Microsoft actually has ways of blacklisting driver updates under Windows Update & will liaise with OEMs to help them sort out problems like this - it wouldn’t be that hard to maintain a list of 'if the hardware looks like this then install that driver instead of the standard one'. In which case Samsung is simply trading off a bit of management time against their customers’ security which is even more unacceptable.)
still incredibly dodgy though.
Samsung's terrible engineers coupled with a proprietary OS means users lose.
Microsoft has spent so much time abusing their market dominance, trying to cripple linux on the desktop that it's kind of funny for once to see a company which they can't strong-arm doing the same thing back to them.
For example, if OSX was an OEM offering, companies would disable services and make unsavory modifications.
The reality, is like Lenovo, we have a bad vendor here and probably think twice before buying PCs from Samsung.
I'm aware that Microsoft is a giant corporation and there are many different people employed. The amount of people who support Open Source most likely increased in the last years. But as long as they're doing the public "we love Linux and Open Source" and try to lobby Open Source away in the background, I have no reason to trust them.
No joke but this sort of stuff makes a mockery of the positive things they have done recently. Ao much positive spin hiding the same asshattery.
However, it says in the article: A Microsoft spokesperson said: “We have looked into the nearly decade-old matter and we don’t recognise these claims. Fundamentally, it is not how we operate as a business. We have an honest and open engagement with the government and this is how we will continue to work with it.”
I think microsoft has make many good moves recently because the public interest and its business interest are converging. Microsoft is in a hard fight to avoid becoming irrelevant. It has to lobby governments for commercial interests and at the same time, it has to seduce developpers by open sourcing (and leading technical innovation).
> It has to lobby governments for commercial interests and at the same time, it has to seduce developpers by open sourcing (and leading technical innovation).
Well, that's the very problem for me. As long as it is only PR to catch devs, I don't care. Opening .NET was great, but honestly I'm accustomed to open languages (or open compilers), such as Go, Rust and C (including the whole GObject ecosystem). It didn't make .NET better, it made it equal to things I'm used to. And in contrast to .NET, these languages are truly governed / developed by a multitude of developers.
To me it's more important to stop ambushing Open Source / Free Software (like the blackmailing I linked above). If Microsoft's products are better, they won't have to fear Open Source at all. Fair play is all I want.
Their recent "good moves" (open sourcing .NET, etc.) are simply an attempt to maintain relevance in the face of declining market share. If it results in regained market-share, they will likely bait and switch, and of course, they might as well get some good PR out of it.
Second, Why is Microsoft lobbying for non-restrictive purchasing standards bad?
It's very clear to me that this has little to do with weather the competition is FOSS - and more to do if the competition can only be indian made software. Buy $country First laws have long been recognized as anti-competitive, protectionist and generally a cause of increasing acquisition costs.
FOSS of more often then not superior on its merits alone, why does it need a protectionist anti-competitive law to help it compete?
Because people generally don't choose the superior product?
If proprietary software is more often then not superior on its merits alone, why does it need a protectionist anti-competitive law (Intellectual property, reverse engineering forbidden by EULAs) to help it compete?
I wouldn't expect Microsoft to not lobby because I don't believe their PR that says that they've "changed" and are now "pro open source".
>It's very clear to me that this has little to do with weather the competition is FOSS
So which part of the Indian policy that (briefly) favored open source was not about favoring open source software?
>FOSS of more often then not superior on its merits alone, why does it need a protectionist anti-competitive law to help it compete?
This should be made policy because this is a long-term strategy to prevent lock in, and because it's much harder to bribe a high level official than it is a low level official.
The old New MSFT made some good moves too. Then they went back to being the Bad MSFT. I hope that the company has figured out how to break the cycle of abuse, but I'm not going to be holding my breath.
or have they just let the open source folks continue to talk and talk about "YEAR OF THE LINUX DESKTOP" while releasing software that is different combinations of buggy, ugly, or a terrible UX.
according to what I hear year after year again ('still not the year of desktop linux') they even succeeded. lol.
By users I mean the core market of Windows - the business desktop. How often did linux outreach staff come to a large business and listen to the concerns of the customers? Never (in my experience). How often did Microsoft do this? Often (again in my experience).
The only distributions that can do that are the enterprise paid ones, and those are mostly meant for the server side. AFAIK there isn't really an enterprise desktop distribution of Linux really intended for that kind of use. Linux on the desktop is what it is -- it's an option for those who want it. Market share is not a big consideration at all.
MS has in the past bent over backward to maintain binary compatibility.
Some of the same attitude is present in the kernel mantra of not breaking userspace, but userspace devs seems all to happy to break stuff at the drop of a hat.
Or do you propose a solution that gives both freedom to the user while also not allowing something like this to happen?
Yes, there are whitelisting solutions (built into the OS by MS, btw), but they are a real pain in the ass to use - there's just too much stuff running on your machine at any given time.
Today, we have systems which are mostly single-user, but where the applications are incredibly untrustworthy. Hence the popularity of jails and app-store systems. You can't easily retrofit this on Windows because there is very little security between windows running on the same desktop, but what I think we'll end up with is each application having its own SID and a default-restricted view of the user profile.
But in this case it's a hostile OEM, and there really isn't much that can be done in software against that.
I've thought about this for a while, and honestly, for desktops/notebooks/tablets? Yes. Maybe not just one App Store like iOS, but at least sandbox all possible non-os code similarly to ChromeOS, in a way that's on by default and requires a boot-time flag to disable (and users should be allowed to do this, but OEMs shouldn't.)
Recently my dad bought a new $300 toshiba laptop because his old machine was just "slow", as in he had so much spyware on his computer that it was easier to just buy a new one than going through the hassle of cleaning up his old one. Even though his old laptop was perfectly good and of a recent hardware generation.
I'm 100% positive he's going to have the same issues on his new laptop, and his response was that he uses his iPad so much that it doesn't matter anyway.
The role of the modern day OS has changed immensely over the years. Nowadays there's simply no reason for legitimate applications to have the level of access to the underlying system that they used to have. Apps really don't need arbitrary filesystem access. They don't need to be able to overwrite core system files. They should be run in a sandbox or a container with as restricted of a set of permissions as possible.
For servers and development workstations the story is a little bit different, but those are exceptions to the rule, and with the proper release hatches like boot-time enabling of un-sandboxed code it's a good tradeoff IMO.
Because the fact remains - computers have been a difficult thing for many people to use and maintain reliably. The "Windows has been historically shitty" point might be a reason this problem has been worse than it needed to, but it's hardly a compelling excuse.
When people—and not just Grandma—point out that their iPads don't have the same problem, then we should take that on board, rather than telling them that they're stupid for not listening.
And on Windows, this is the oldest trick in the book - in order to sell something people don't want, you first need to create the demand for it.
I'm hearing this argument from time to time. But I'd like to know what exactly changed. I can think of a dozen use-cases for which a shared, system-wide filesystem would be absolutely necessary (yes, especially with computer-illiterate friends and relatives, as "files" is pretty much the only abstraction besides "web" that is widely understood even outside of "geek"/"power user" circles).
So, what exactly has changed between then and now that made those use-cases legitimate in the bast but not anymore now?
Add the capability to do network communication and suddenly the all wolrd has access to $ HOME.
This is why in the container model of mobile OS and Windows/Mac OS X sandboxes, applications only get to see file handles to files choosen by the user.
I don't understand. Why not just reinstall the operating system from blank media? If you get a new machine, you'll have to reinstall your user-applications and data anyway?
As for the "it's not something most people know how to do": Buying a new computer also requires you to transfer files from the old to the new computer. And requires you to install your software. I'd say that both tasks aren't significantly harder to perform than clicking "next" on the Windows install dvd.
Versign would by proxy, as one example. A certificate authorized to sign code was purchased from them. Samsung would directly, to prove that this shit software came from them.
Just like SSL/TLS. I could set up an SSL website that performs drive-by attacks, would Verisign sign that? Yes, yes they would.
Vericode isn't an gate keeper like Macs certificates are. It's designed to improve security: if I download a Samsung installer Windows will tell me that it is indeed from Samsung (during the UAC elevation) because the signature checks out. This means that I can be certain that unbeknownst malware won't be installed on my PC alongside the Samsung malware.
The story is different with WHDL (drivers), those are signed by Microsoft (in addition to yourself, I think).
Windows Update is a serious security requirement for any Windows install. Disabling it should clearly require explicit consent from the user.
That said, it's a difficult system to implement properly. Android went that route, and it almost works - almost. Android's available permissions are too plentiful, and yet certain permissions are too broad in scope. I wouldn't want a desktop application to have to ask for separate privileges for every little piece of functionality, but for certain critical actions it would be nice to have some clue as to what is going on.
Perhaps in another 20 years someone will finally invent a privilege escalation system that somehow manages to be both very specific and yet not time consuming for the customer to manage. What a dream. :)
1. Right click on the taskbar.
2. Click "Startup".
3. Disable what you want.
4. Click "Services"
5. Disable what you want.
This omits "Scheduled Tasks" (cron jobs) which can be set to execute on user logon. This is the single one that Microsoft still need to address.
Does whichever operating system you are comparing to Windows have a one-top-shop for the vast majority of startup configuration? Of the "big 4" (Mac, Linux, BSD, Windows) as far as I know this is a unique feature.
Proof-of-point: I have a copy of Linux, without telling you what the distro is, tell me how to disable the firewall (just an example of background software on most Linux distros).
> no notification or authorization
Does that operating system of yours do this? Which of the "big 4" do? I know that Linux and BSD don't.
> Microsoft is responsible for allowing such software to run in the background
So Microsoft is responsible for everything every Microsoft-stack developer on earth does? Does that mean that RMS is responsible for closed source software because some of it is made with GCC?
This isn't comparing operating systems to operating systems. "Linux" could refer to a number of operating systems, such as Yellow Dog, Ubuntu and Fire OS. The Microsoft version of this question would be more like: "I have a copy of a Microsoft OS. Without telling you what version it is, tell me how to disable the firewall."
Google has a similar problem with Android. They solved it by having anyone who wants to include Google services to fall into line.
Apple goes to extremes on iOS to prevent things like this.
So they "fixed" the problem of their driver getting overwritten by disabling all OS level updates? Oof. Screams shoddy development if this is true.
Whatever it is, it sounds really sketchy.
Faulty hardware like this goes out _all the time_. Eons ago when I sold computers, HP had a line of high end laptops (~$3500) with 2 slots for RAM (back when that was a big deal in a laptop...) and we found out that the second RAM slot's pins were not connected to anything on the motherboard. On every single laptop we opened (30+). Literally they had just pins on a board with no traces and advertised it as a 2-slot laptop.
HP stonewalled us (Circuit City flagship store, so we had corporate involved) and kept trying to get us to sign an NDA before they would confirm the problem or offer a solution. We said fuck that and shipped several thousand of the things (the chain's entire order) back to them as defective.
They caved, like they should have, but complained about it the entire time.
Disabling ALL of Windows Update for this questionable reason seems entirely out of line. If their own SW Update software is already present, why not instead track said drivers and simply alert the user that vendor specific drivers must be used, offering the ability to restore them?? Makes no sense...
This situation is 100% on Samsung. They've put hardware out there that they can't target properly to overwrite the generic version.
I did some searching and found this on Microsoft's own site:
Automatically get recommended drivers and updates for your hardware
Applies to Windows 7
In this page
Drivers and information
To have Windows automatically download recommended drivers and icons
To turn on and configure Windows Update
To install drivers and other optional updates from Windows Update
If Windows can't find a driver for your device
If Windows can’t find information about your device in Device Stage
You can have Windows automatically download recommended drivers and detailed information for your hardware and devices. This is a good way to make sure all your hardware and devices work properly.
Watch this video to learn how to automatically get recommended drivers and updates for your hardware (1:13)
Drivers and information
Windows can find and download two kinds of updates for devices connected to your computer:
A driver is software that allows your computer to communicate with hardware devices. Without drivers, the devices you connect to your computer—for example, a mouse or external hard drive—won't work properly. Windows can automatically check if there are drivers available for new devices that you connect to your computer.
For hardware that you've connected to your computer in the past, updated drivers might become available at a later date; but those drivers aren't installed automatically. To install these optional updates, go to Windows Update in Control Panel, check for updates, and then view and install driver updates that are available for your computer."
EDIT: has anyone confirmed if the USB drivers are in fact proprietary Samsung drivers as opposed to the generic Windows drivers? I'm curious if the support tech was merely stating a contrived example or if that is an real world scenario.
So it seems pretty clear they don't install automatically and in fact not even when you install (manually or automatically) the regular crtical updates they post - which is in line with my experience over the years. The one exception might be a service pack where non-critical fixes sometimes make their way into the release (though even these have recommended and optional categories for patches which you must manually select). Ironically, despite some confusing overlap conflating the drivers installed from Windows Update when adding a new device with updating drivers to newer versions as part of the regular Windows Update patching, there are some fairly simple directions to disable drivers sourced from Windows Update for both cases:
While still unacceptable IMO, using this method would at least allow users to still receive critical security patches and other recommended/optional updates. It even mentions how MS works with third party vendors in some cases to insure only compatible drivers are ever installed (as previously mentioned) which is really the only acceptable procedure.
It seems pretty clear that Samsung chose the absolute worst option of ask those available, though it remains unclear as to why. Given a simple Google search yields plenty of high level info on the subject, I can't help but wonder if this has some other more concerning justification...
Some of the things that really surprises me:
The voice recognition thing is that they outsourced the voice recognition, so are just piping all conversation to them.
The gamepad thing is "oh we need a gamepad, the 360 is popular right"?
the benchmark thing is "our manager wants us to beat these specific benchmarks, let's just overclock for the benchmarks the manager mentioned"
I mean, it doesn't excuse them of course, but I imagine this is mainly a consequence of a lot of people whose job it is to meet their manager's checklist of features, and not caring about the products themselves.
i expect amazon intends to obtain acceptance by not copping to the fact that it also has to be a microphone.
Samsung seems to have skipped the 'trigger phrase' part and just sent EVERYTHING and tried to see if it needed to be listened to.
But they're a hardware company first and foremost. Most hardware companies tend not to be great software companies. The company culture just isn't designed for producing great software. See also: Sony.
I can't think of a single piece of software made by Samsung that gave me anything other than a thoroughly negative experience. Even their phones function best when they are not burdened with a Samsung ROM.
They game benchmarks for sales.
They disable windows updates because they can't make USB 3 work with the drivers you get from windows update.
This isn't "Hey lets see if we can screw over our users", it's "This shortcut is easy (and I never even considered how it would effect our users)".
It is the rounded rectangle all over again.
The shape is totally different. I don't get it.
For example if there is USB 3.0 on laptop, the ports may not work with the installation of updates.
That's a pretty minor problem compared to what I've heard: automatic BIOS updates, which happen silently and brick the machine without any prior warning.
Ironically it is the "update culture" that brought us this whole mess in the first place; pushing out software (and hardware) that barely works "because we can always update it later", patching around bugs, and then realising that your patches break if someone else changes a piece you depend on, and so forth, thus leading to ultimatum situations like this.
Is this a matter of Samsung not wanting to go through the WHQL process?
MS then sign the driver package and pass it back.
Don't think there are any humans involved.
Quite likely if those who would have the knowledge to look into such things are also those who would just reformat the drive and install a fresh copy of the OS.
Between Sony, Lenovo and now Samsung... I'm getting really sick of this kind of crap.
If I press the volume keys on my (i7, Ivy Bridge) Samsung laptop, I often have to wait several minutes before anything happens.
Better yet, a clean Windows install on that machine will always fail because for some reason the laptop lets Windows install the bootloader to the mini cache SSD - which the BIOS doesn't recognise.
I'm not going to be buying another Samsung PC.
> For example if there is USB 3.0 on laptop, the ports may not work with the installation of updates. So to prevent this, SW Update tool will prevent the Windows updates.
Pretty sure this sentence causes brain damage just by reading it. I hope this receives Microsoft's attention. They take Windows Update very seriously these days and will probably flip over this.
Jokes aside, this is ridiculously fucked up.
I built a fast but near-silent Windows PC for music a few years back and I'm still impressed by what a great system it is.
I think we should start focusing on a fundamental shift on what management means and how accountable that position is.
Of course it goes without saying that this isn't something most of the millions of unknowing Samsung customers are likely to be able to do themselves, let alone be aware it's even a good idea.
Is this one misleading? I can't say. In cases where we are in no position to judge the accuracy of a dramatic claim, we sometimes add a question mark. It's a lightweight way to make the title provisionally conform to HN's guidelines while the community sorts out what's going on.
If the article title makes a wrong claim, the comments and the voting mechanism will take care of that, does not seem to be the call mods should be making....
Except for all the cases that they are not expected to use the original .
* If you use the original title, that's wrong; you should use a less-sensationalized title.
* If you use a less-sensationalized title, that's wrong; you should use the original title.
I hope that clears it up.
Is it that the developer of the OS is offering users a free better version and the OEM is preventing its users from benefiting? Why would Samsung do this? What could their incentive be?
Would you like winodws xp blaster boxes to return.
OEMs should just throw their weight behind one of the commercial Linuxes and be done with the madness. They want to compete with Apple and OSX, that's their chance.
HP, Lenovo and Dell still rule the enterprise, but Apple does very well with consumers. And more and more enterprises are moving to cloud based solutions, buying tablets and negating the 'need' for PCs, even if for the time being they're still buying cheap PCs.
But real productivity is so much worse in line of business applications on a tablet vs. desktop. Screen size/space is king, and nobody is going to work on a 20" tablet... or give up half the screen to a keyboard. Let alone how tired will your arms be by the end of a day without a mouse for anything.
I know you can tap a keyboard/mouse to a tablet, but at that point, you've spent more money than a low end laptop or desktop, with worse productivity and output.
Can you clarify why big brands should switch to Linux for their consumer PCs considering that few consumers wants it?
Here in Europe, Apple computers tend to be above many salaries, forcing people that really want to have them to use leasing.
So healthy European countries do have quite a few. Not so healthy countries white brand PCs rule.
It replaces the Windows Update dialog with an Windows 10 advertisement and it adds a second start button to the startmenu that lauches an advertisement app. If you click the wrong button it will automatically download Windows 10 in the background - Microsoft's way to not repeat the Vista, Win8 and Win8.1 launch fiascos. To each their own, some also like the Ask toolbar that comes with Flash installer.
> Between reservation and when your upgrade is ready, the files you need for the upgrade will be downloaded to your PC to make the final installation go more quickly.
(from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-10-faq > What happens when I reserve?).