Archive for Microsoft

Microsoft’s “Get Windows 10” App Is Back

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 27, 2016 by itnerd

I’ll give Microsoft points for persistence. But I, along with a lot of other people think that they should really chill out when it comes to getting people to upgrade to Windows 10. Those feelings are only going to increase as news has filtered out that the “Get Windows 10” app which is also known as GWX is back:

Once again, Microsoft has unleashed the GWX Kraken, with no explanation and no description. The latest KB 3035583 appears as a “Recommended” optional patch for Windows 7 and 8.1. Those with Automatic Update turned on and “Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates” checked — the default settings — will see the patch as a checked, optional update, and it will be installed the next time Automatic Update runs. If you previously hid KB 3035583, it’s now unhidden.

That’s just amazing. What Microsoft has done is actively circumvent the choice that some people have made to explicitly chose to deny the Windows 7/8.1 update KB 3035583 that installs GWX (“Get Windows 10”). If Microsoft really wants to anger those users and send them running to the Apple Store for a Mac, this would be a great way to do it. In the meantime, prepare for the backlash from angry Windows 7/8.x users.

Microsoft Claims To Have Walked Back Windows 10 Dialog Box Change

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 26, 2016 by itnerd

Microsoft must be feeling the heat when it comes to their attempts to get you to upgrade to Windows 10 by any means. You’ll recall that they changed to the pop up box that annoys you into upgrading to Windows 10 so that the red cross on the right hand corner of the pop-up box started the upgrade instead of closing the box. Here’s what Microsoft said to the BBC:

Microsoft told the BBC it had modified the pop-up two weeks ago as a result of criticism: “We’ve added another notification that confirms the time of the scheduled upgrade and provides the customer an additional opportunity for cancelling or rescheduling the upgrade.

“If the customer wishes to continue with their upgrade at the designated time, they can click ‘OK’ or close the notifications with no further action needed.”

Honestly, I don’t know what difference that makes. This is the same behavior that people are complaining about. From what I see, if you close this second-chance notification by clicking on “x” then it will still install Windows 10 according to the schedule. Thus nothing has really changed. It’s still as sleazy as ever.

#fail Microsoft

Microsoft Pulls The Plug On Consumer Phone Business

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 25, 2016 by itnerd

It’s official. Microsoft is out of the consumer phone business that it got when it bought Nokia. After dumping some Nokia related assets last week, Microsoft has laid off 1850 people according to The Verge. None of this is cheap. Noika was purchased for $7.2 billion in 2014. This announcement will see $950 million written off, adding to the $7.6 billion the company wrote off last year when it cut 7,800 jobs to refocus its Windows Phone plans.

Talk about a #fail. It’s a safe bet that shareholders will not be happy.


Microsoft’s Windows 10 Upgrade Tactics Have Truly Become Sleazy

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 24, 2016 by itnerd

I have been writing about how aggressive Microsoft is in terms of getting you to upgrade to Windows 10 for a while now. Now they have truly hit a level that quite honestly I didn’t believe that they they could go to. Microsoft has apparently changed the infamous pop-up box that tells Windows users to upgrade to Windows 10, Now in the new version of this pop up, clicking the red cross on the right hand corner of the pop-up box now starts the upgrade instead of closing the box. The net result is that people thinking that they are getting rid of the box will now get Windows 10.


Microsoft of course says that this is for your own good. But a writer at PC World says something different:

So after more than half a year of teaching people that the only way to say “no thanks” to Windows 10 is to exit the GWX application—and refusing to allow users to disable the pop-up in any obvious manner, so they had to press that X over and over again during those six months to the point that most people probably just click it without reading now—Microsoft just made it so that very behavior accepts the Windows 10 upgrade instead, rather than canceling it.

That’s gross.

And if you don’t find that small link to reschedule or cancel the Windows 10 upgrade—or, say, if the pop up appears while you’re away from your computer—your system will begin the process at the scheduled time. In other words, your PC can potentially upgrade to Windows 10 without you asking it to or explicitly approving the upgrade.

That’s gross, too.

The net result of this according to this writer:

Sure, she has 30 days to roll it back to Windows 7, but she feels so betrayed—like Microsoft forcibly removed her control over her own PC—that she’s strongly considering embracing the Dark Side and buying a Mac, instead.

In case you’re wondering, the “she” in this story is the wife of the writer. But the feeling is not surprising. My experience has been you either like Windows 10 and are happy to upgrade, or you like whatever version of Windows you’re on and you can’t stand how aggressive Microsoft is about upgrading you. And if you’re ticked off enough, it’s off to the Apple Store you go. There really isn’t any middle ground and that’s the problem for Microsoft. If they continue these sorts of tactics, they may find that their user base shrinks. That would be a #fail for them. Perhaps they should rethink this whole upgrade strategy. As in right now.


Windows 10 Update Scheme Has Hit A New Low

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 17, 2016 by itnerd

Microsoft has really hit a new low when it comes to their efforts to force get you to update to Windows 10. What the software giant is up to this time is that it not only prompts you to update to Windows 10, but it arbitrarily sets a date and time for the process to start.


Here’s proof of this:

Now, you can reschedule this or cancel this. But users may simply click OK and begin the upgrade process as they feel that they have no other choice due to the fact that it isn’t crystal clear how to cancel it. By that I mean that the OK button is huge, and the option to cancel the upgrade isn’t nearly as big. I’m sure that’s not done by accident.

The bottom line is that this is yet another example of Microsoft doing what it thinks is right for users rather than users making that decision on their own. Not only that, If Microsoft wanted to frustrate their users and send them running to the Apple Store to buy a Mac, this would be one way to do it.

Microsoft Deep Sixes WiFi Sense In Windows 10 Beta

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 12, 2016 by itnerd

When Windows 10 first appeared, a feature called WiFi Sense got my attention because of the following reason:

Here’s my concern. Microsoft does say that your contacts will only be able to share your network access, and that Wi-Fi Sense will block those users from accessing any other shared resources on your network, including computers, file shares or other devices. However, a skilled hacker is going to find some way to make all of that invalid and then they pwn your network and anything on it. But there’s more. This feature, if you want to call it that, integrates with Google Maps by letting Google index the location of your WiFi Network.

Holy lack of privacy Batman!

Well, a Windows Blog post by  Gabe Aul indicates that WiFi Sense is going into the rubbish bin as of the latest Windows 10 Beta (build 14342 for those who want to know). Here’s why:

“We have removed the WiFi Sense feature that allows you to share WiFi networks with your contacts and to be automatically connected to networks shared by your contacts,”


“The cost of updating the code to keep this feature working, combined with low use and low demand, made this not worth further investment. WiFi Sense, if enabled, will continue to get you connected to open WiFi hotspots that it knows about through crowdsourcing.”

The removal of WiFi Sense is interesting, and you can read into the reasons that Microsoft gave however you want. I know how I’m reading it, which is that people didn’t want this feature.


Microsoft Windows 10 Nagware To Be Deep Sixed In July

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 7, 2016 by itnerd

I’ve been writing for months about the nagware that Microsoft forces upon users to get them to upgrade to Windows 10, including the fact that the nagware has a tendency to pop up at very inconvenient times. Well, Microsoft has told The Register that the nagware is going to be terminated on July 29th.

A spokesperson for the software giant told us on Friday:

Details are still being finalized, but on July 29th the Get Windows 10 app that facilitates the easy upgrade to Windows 10 will be disabled and eventually removed from PCs worldwide. Just as it took time to ramp up and roll out the Get Windows 10 app, it will take time to ramp it down.

After that date, you’ll have to sort yourself out, or breath a sigh of relief in the ensuing silence if you’re holding out on Windows Vista, 7 or 8.

That does sound good on the surface. But July 29th is also the day that free upgrades to Windows 10 stop. So clearly, Microsoft isn’t really doing this because they are sorry. But at least the nagging will stop.


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