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02.05.16

Maybe It’s Time for Class Action Lawsuits Against Microsoft for Forced Vista 10 ‘Upgrades’, Which Were Definitely No Accident

Posted in Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 7:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Computers with Windows on them non-consensually morphed into real-time spying machines (and keyloggers) by Microsoft, so victims should rightly go ballistic

War machines

Summary: The sheer arrogance of Microsoft, which silently changes the operating system on people’s computers (without their consent), makes lawsuits imperative, not just a possibility

TECHRIGHTS isn’t interested in pursuing Microsoft for its abuses, except when they involve the company’s attacks on GNU/Linux, usually by means of entyrism/EEE, patents, or both. But Vista 10 abuses have been rather difficult to simply ignore and weeks ago we explained why Microsoft's forced 'upgrades' were not an error or an accident as Microsoft had claimed (the tune changes for the worse over time, so it seems like a gradual, phased-in introduction of the intolerable, or the unacceptable).

People now have to work pretty hard in order to prevent Microsoft from totally hijacking their PC that has Windows on it in order to change the entire operating system. Well, Microsoft appears to have just been caught lying (yet again) about what it did. These ridiculous claims of “mistake” or “error” or “accident” were just a lie all along and as IDG has just put it in its headline, “Microsoft pushes Windows 10 upgrade using tactic it once called ‘a mistake’.” To quote the article.

More than three months ago, Terry Myerson, the executive who leads the operating system and devices group, said that the Windows 10 upgrade would be pushed to users via Windows Update, the primary maintenance service for its OSes.

At the time, Myerson said that the upgrade would first appear under the “Optional” section in Windows Update, then later transit to “Recommended.” The difference is more than labeling: In Windows Update, “Optional” is supposed to be just that; customers must explicitly check the box for an item for it to automatically download and install. “Recommended” items, on the other hand, will be retrieved and installed unless the user has changed the default settings of Windows Update.

In the past, Microsoft has issued updates and upgrades in that two-step process under which bits first appeared under Optional, then after a month or more — a span Microsoft used to digest diagnostic data from affected PCs to ensure things worked as expected — the same update shifted to Recommended, and reached the majority of users.

It’s unclear whether Microsoft is following the plan it laid out in October: While several prominent bloggers who focus on Microsoft — including Paul Thurrott and ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley — said that the Windows 10 upgrade had been deployed as Recommended in Windows Update, there was no explicit evidence that that had, in fact, begun.

But the Windows 10 upgrade has appeared under Windows Update’s Optional list, according to Josh Mayfield, the creator of GWX Control Panel. The free utility made Microsoft’s Get Windows 10 (hence “GWX”) upgrade reservation app go away, purged the system of upgrade files, and blocked the automatic upgrade.

Those who don’t wish to have their computer controlled by a company of fraudsters and crooks, who help the NSA spy on everyone and everything, may wish to explore GNU/Linux, but those unfortunate enough to have been subjected to forced ‘upgrades’ have the right and the ability to unite and sue Microsoft (class action). The EULA does not permit non-consensual ‘upgrades’, just updates, and Microsoft’s claims that this was a “mistake” or an “accident” would not convince a judge.

“This anti-trust thing will blow over. We haven’t changed our business practices at all.”

Bill Gates, 1995

01.21.16

Microsoft’s Force-feeding of Vista 10 Continues to Upset Even the Biggest Fans

Posted in Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 8:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Treating users like babies isn’t helping Microsoft

Very delicious

Summary: Aggressive parental tendencies from Microsoft, such as the imposition of unwanted ‘upgrades’, don’t go down so well

Earlier this month we showed that even Microsoft boosters had become fed up with Microsoft’s force-feeding of Vista 10 (see January articles). Even Microsoft proponents at IDG are now openly complaining [1], calling this “strong-arm upgrade tactics” right there in the headline. “Beware hidden costs of Microsoft’s new Windows Server licensing,” says another IDG headline this week (there is also the hidden cost of NSA surveillance) and another new article explains why “you should not develop apps for Windows 10″ (“apps” usually means software with surveillance these days).

What’s most notable here is that even those whom we typically expect to bless everything which comes out of Microsoft are upset. It speaks volumes.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. You will upgrade to Windows 10: Inside Microsoft’s strong-arm upgrade tactics

    Microsoft wielded the latest stick just last week, when it declared that buyers of Intel’s new Skylake processors have to upgrade to Windows 10 in the next 18 months, or forgo all but the most critical security patches—and those will be available to Windows 7 and 8.1 users only if said patches don’t “risk the reliability or compatibility” on non-Skylake systems. Future processors from Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm will only be officially supported by Windows 10, not 7 or 8.

  2. Beware hidden costs of Microsoft’s new Windows Server licensing

    If you thought Oracle’s licensing practices were bad, Microsoft is preparing changes to its licensing that are nearly as unfriendly.

    Texas law firm Scott & Scott analyzed the changes Microsoft is making to licensing for Windows Server and found most troubling the switch from a per-processor licensing model to a per-core model.

  3. Why you should not develop apps for Windows 10

    I wrote a couple of apps for the Windows Store (I also blogged why it sucked, but I did it anyway). Most people never heard about it, but yes, there is an app store for Windows. It is quite empty, and IMO, most apps are low quality. My apps are in there since Windows 8, I then upgraded them to Windows 8.1, and now also one of them to Windows 10′s universal app platform.

01.20.16

Microsoft’s Campaign to Force Everyone to Use Vista 10 Should Drive/Motivate Immediate Escape to GNU/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 7:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“When it comes to software, I much prefer free software, because I have very seldom seen a program that has worked well enough for my needs, and having sources available can be a life-saver.”

Linus Torvalds

Linus Torvalds

Summary: Microsoft’s push to impose malware on everybody and news about Windows virus infections in Australian healthcare ought to remind people that Microsoft’s customer is the NSA, users are just products

WHILE the EPO protests go on (right at this moment) we wish to get out of the way some other important news. Microsoft’s anti-choice campaign, for example, is now widely covered in the media. Richard Chirgwin from the British media wrote two days ago: “In a stunning example of consensus-building, Microsoft has somehow persuaded the big names of silicon that it would be better for all concerned if they quietly euthanize Windows 7 and 8.1.

“According to this report from today, about 15,000 people in the [Munich] administration now use GNU/Linux for everything as the migration is nearly complete (to the very last desktop).”“Accordingly, Redmond, Intel, Qualcomm and AMD have occupied the same room without injury long enough to promise that future products like Kaby Lake (Intel), 8996 (Qualcomm) and Bristol Ridge (AMD) will not be sullied with Windows 7 or 8.1 code.”

Given what we know about Vista 10 and given such arrogant denials of choice we urge everyone to seriously consider migrating to GNU/Linux. It has worked well for Munich. According to this report from today, about 15,000 people in the administration now use GNU/Linux for everything as the migration is nearly complete (to the very last desktop). Microsoft’s strong relationship with the NSA makes this a matter of national security, more so with Vista 10 (which is a keylogger, like PCs at the EPO in Munich).

“Vista 10 would only make such things worse, not better.”“Similarly,” Michael Justin Allen Sexton wrote about hardware-driven pressure to 'upgrade', “Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and Windows 10 all received updates related to Intel’s new Skylake processors, but when Skylake’s successor, Kaby Lake, and AMD’s Bristol Ridge processors are released, Microsoft will update only Windows 10 to support them. If you are still using an older Windows OS, you might be able to use these processors, too, but you may encounter instability, increased power draw, and lower performance relative to Windows 10.”

Incidentally, see what has just happened in Australia due to dependence on Windows in a hospital [1-3]. Vista 10 would only make such things worse, not better. It’s designed for “national security” (i.e. back doors and real-time surveillance), not for security.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Royal Melbourne Hospital hit by Windows XP virus

    Work at the pathology department of the Royal Melbourne Hospital has been hit for several days by a virus which has infected computers running Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system.

    The processing of blood, tissue and urine samples has been done manually due to the infection, causing massive delays, according to reports on a number of websites, with The Age leading the way.

    These reports were confirmed by the hospital when it issued a terse media release on Tuesday afternoon.

  2. Royal Melbourne Hospital attacked by damaging computer virus

    A virus has attacked the computer system of one of Melbourne’s largest hospital networks, causing chaos for staff and patients who may face delays as a result.

    Staff at Melbourne Health – the network which runs the Royal Melbourne Hospital – are urgently trying to repair damage to its IT system after a virus infected Windows XP computers.

    An email sent to staff today said the virus had hit Melbourne Health’s pathology department, causing staff to manually process specimens such as blood, tissue and urine samples instead of computers aiding the registration, testing and entry of results.

  3. Windows XP Computers Cause Havoc In Hospital After Getting Virus Infection

    Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia was still running Windows XP and little did they know about the upcoming havoc that was going to haunt them forever. The virus which hit the Windows XP machines almost crept down the entire hospital and its different departments. However, to make things look normal, the hospital kept on claiming that everything was almost under control now, and the IT team was working day and night to get rid of the virus.

01.17.16

Anti-Competitive and Anti-Choice: the ‘New’ Microsoft Reveals New Abusive Policies

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 6:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Can’t compete? Then cheat…

“I’m thinking of hitting the OEMs harder than in the past with anti-Linux. … they should do a delicate dance”

Joachim Kempin, Microsoft OEM Chief

Two locks

Summary: After scheming to make new hardware incapable of booting GNU/Linux (in the name of UEFI ‘security) the company now attempts to tie up hardware (processors) with malicious new malware called Windows 10 (more like Vista 10, with the user-hostile ‘features’ of Vista)

“Want Freedom To Choose Your Hardware? Choose GNU/Linux.”

That’s the message from Robert Pogson. Some days ago we became aware of a nasty little scheme from Microsoft. The abusive monopolist, Microsoft, is calling monopoly abuse “innovation”. In additional to more DRM and antifeatures, including mass surveillance in real time, the company goes further as “Upcoming Intel And AMD CPUs Will ONLY Support Windows 10,” to quote FOSS Bytes. “In the latest change to its update policy,” wrote the author, “Microsoft has announced that older versions of Windows like Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 will lose support on the Intel 6th generation Core processors, also known as Intel Skylake. So, if you have just bought a new PC, you should consider upgrading to Windows 10 within the next 18 months.”

“Does anyone really think there is a ‘new’ Microsoft which is benevolent?”And Microsoft later expresses shock that people generally dislike it, some more than others.

Microsoft Peter shows how, after UEFI lockout of GNU/Linux (which he wrote about last year, arguably breaking the news), the historically abusive Intel helps Microsoft impose NSA-friendly spyware on everyone. “Microsoft Will Not Support Upcoming Processors Except On Windows 10,” says another report and “New hardware must have the latest Windows,” wrote a Microsoft booster. Microsoft’s influence over OEMs may be diminishing, the development teams may be shrinking (based on our confidential sources they are!), so the company is now limiting the scope of its operating system using hardware manufacturers/chipmakers, i.e. doing exactly the opposite of Linux (whose hardware support is always broadening).

Moreover, as revealed by this new report from The Register, Microsoft is really trying to piss people off and make Vista 10 synonymous with malware. Watch what they are doing right now:

Microsoft’s relentless campaign to push Windows 10 onto every PC on the planet knows no bounds: now business desktops will be nagged to upgrade.

When Redmond started quietly installing Windows 10 on computers via Windows Update, it was aimed at getting home users off Windows 7 and 8. If you were using Windows Pro or Enterprise, or managed your machines using a domain, you weren’t supposed to be pestered with dialog boxes offering the free upgrade.

[...]

Microsoft claims it’s doing this because many small businesses – the sort of organizations that run Windows Pro, use a domain, but leave automatic updates on – want an easy way to install the new operating system. If companies really want this software, you’d think they’d install it themselves – or opt in for it, rather than having to opt out repeatedly.

You can try your luck following these instructions to halt the upgrade – until Microsoft changes the rules again. Windows Enterprise edition in large corporations will avoid the automatic, virtually mandatory, upgrade.

Does anyone really think there is a ‘new’ Microsoft which is benevolent? iophk has been writing to us for a number of days about this kind of topic. He said quite a lot of things about what Microsoft plans to do to R right now (or some time in the near future).

“Attacks against R continue with “Microsoft R Open {sic}”,” he said, “with the announcement of vaporware” (we wrote about this some days ago).

“Stewart Alsop, industry gadfly, presented Gates with the “Golden Vaporware” award, saying, “The delay of Windows was all part of a secret plan to have Bill turn thirty before it shipped.”

Barbarians Led by Bill Gates, a book composed
by the daughter of Microsoft’s PR mogul

01.14.16

Resistencia a Vista 10 Crece Con la IMPOSICION de ‘Upgrades’, Muchos Sugieren GNU/Linux como Alternativa

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 5:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

English/Original

Publicado in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 5:25 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vista 10 spying

Sumario: Los esfuerzos de Microsoft para FORZAR a todo el mundo a usar Vista 10, sólo esta causando cólera y desconfianza, llevando a mucha gente a GNU/Linux

Como MUCHA gente ya ha notado (no es dificil hacerlo), más y más gente se esta dando cuenta de lo que realmente Microsoft quiere, cual es su modelo de negocio, y por que está tan ansioso de que todo el mundo use su última versión de Windows. A media que más gente se da cuenta, definitivamente vemos creciente protesta de muchos y varios grupos, incluso aquellos que son rávidos hinchas de Microsoft. Esto es muy significativo.

Bogdan Popa es un Microsoft vocifero fan que todavía defiende la AGRESIÓN de Microsoft con Vista 10 (con un anzuelo que menciona ¨Linux¨), a diferencia de otros fans de Microsoft quienes están preocupados (Microsoft muestra signos de desesperación y riesgo de alienar usuarios). Ayer encontramos más ejemplos de eso. Es una ampliamente discutida materia como un sitio que algunas veces promueve Microsoft y Apple. Es una realidad establecida que Microsoft esta DESESPERADO por instalar Windows 10 en tu ordenador. Para lograr su objetivo de un billón de Windows 10 máquinas en ¨dos o tres años¨, la compañía ha estado AGRESIVAMENTE impulsando su nuevo sistema operativo. En las últimos ocurrencias, Windows 7 y Windows 8.1 usuarios están viendo a pop-up que les da una ´opción´ de ¨Upgrade Ahora¨ y ¨Comienze a bajarlo, Upgrade más tarde¨.¨

“Microsoft está básicamente disparándose en el pie derecho ahora mismo.”Alguien nos dijo ayer acerca de su ¨artículo [el cual] está designado a colectar asuntos específicos a Microsoft Windows 10 de los expertos y de las noticias tecnológicas¨ (principal wiki aquí). Lo que estamos viendo en nuestros canales de IRC, media ´social´ etc. es que hay mucha gente ya preparada a mudarse a (o ya hicieron los primeras mudanzas) a GNU/Linux. Microsoft está básicamente disparándose en le pie derecho ahora mismo.

01.13.16

Resistance to Vista 10 Grows With Imposition of ‘Upgrades’, Some Suggest GNU/Linux as an Alternative

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 5:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vista 10 spying

Summary: Microsoft’s efforts to force everyone to use Vista 10 are only causing anger and distrust, leading some people to GNU/Linux

AS SOME people may have already noticed (it’s hard not to), more and more people realise what Microsoft is really up to, what its business model is, and why it’s so eager to get everyone to use the latest version of Windows. As the awareness grows we definitely see increasing backlash from wider and broader groups all across the spectrum, even people who are traditionally raving fans of Microsoft. This is very significant.

Bogdan Popa is one of the Microsoft boosters who still defend Microsoft’s Vista 10 aggression (with a bait headline that mentions “Linux”), unlike other Microsoft boosters who grew rather worried (Microsoft showing signs of desperation and risking alienation). Yesterday we found some more examples of that. It’s becoming a widely-discussed topic as a site that sometimes promotes Microsoft and Apple says: “It’s a well-established fact that Microsoft is desperate to install Windows 10 on your PCs. To achieve its goal of 1 billion Windows 10 devices in “two to three years”, the company has been aggressively pushing the new OS. In the latest development, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users are now seeing a pop-up that just gives you an option to “Upgrade now” and “Start download, upgrade later”.”

“Microsoft is basically shooting itself in the foot right now.”Someone told us yesterday about his “article [which] is designed to collect together identified issues with Microsoft’s Windows 10 from experts and the tech media” (main wiki page here). What we’re seeing in our IRC channels, ‘social’ media etc. is that many people already prepare to move to (or have already made the first moves towards) GNU/Linux. Microsoft is basically shooting itself in the foot right now.

01.09.16

Microsoft to Make Vista 10 ‘Upgrade’ Virtually Mandatory to Virtually All Windows Users (Unless They’re Technical Enough to Block it)

Posted in Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 7:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Force-fed like malnourished children

Baby squirrel

Summary: The same old vanity and the abusive behaviour of Microsoft is showing again, as the company disregards the will of users and essentially takes over their machines, putting Orwellian levels of surveillance on them (in the name of ‘security’, of course!)

THE WORLD’S most aggressive software company (which doesn’t even make all that much software, as a lot of the code gets acquired, not developed) is forcing people to change. It is imposing its spyware, Vista 10, on people’s PCs unless they’re savvy enough to stop it.

“Say goodbye to this abusive behaviour from Microsoft as it’s only going to get worse in future years.”According to this article, one needs to actually follow guides to manage to prevent Microsoft from doing this. “If you’re using a PC running Windows 7 or 8,” it explains, “you may be getting a little sick of endless popup screens telling you to upgrade to version 10. And you may be worried about inadvertently installing the upgrade as part of a security update. Microsoft will start pushing out a Windows 10 upgrade as a recommended, virtually mandatory, update very soon (it’s right now only an optional download). Some people are tempted to turn off Windows Update completely to avoid getting the new operating system – don’t.”

Well, don’t, indeed. Just install GNU/Linux on the PC. Say goodbye to this abusive behaviour from Microsoft as it’s only going to get worse in future years. Microsoft inadvertently made it known some days ago that it is stalking Windows users in real time. This one new article says: “We now know just how much Windows 10 is spying on everybody, and it’s all thanks to Microsoft itself. In a Windows Blog post, Microsoft details a number of stats related to Windows 10 usage. However, these usage stats inadvertently reveal how much data the company is collecting on Windows 10 users.”

“When North Korea does something similar by creating its own warped distribution of GNU/Linux the Western press jumps/capitalises on the old news to berate GNU/Linux, not when Vista 10 does the same or worse.”If it was some small company doing the same thing, there would be severe consequences, like having their offices raided by law enforcement and employees escorted into custody in handcuffs. Microsoft, however, is very well connected with the US government and with the NSA. Microsoft gives them advantage on the espionage front. When North Korea does something similar by creating its own warped distribution of GNU/Linux the Western press jumps/capitalises on the old news to berate GNU/Linux, but not when Vista 10 does the same or worse.

Microsoft has already kick-started FUD tactics, warning people that they’ll get hurt (in the security sense) if they don’t ‘upgrade’. Now is a good time to dump Windows altogether.

“You can get much further with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.”

Al Capone

01.06.16

Microsoft Confirms Real-Time Spying on Vista 10 Users (Operating System as a Bug), Increases Pressure to ‘Upgrade’

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Vista 10, Windows at 7:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Don’t install, just antagonise the bugging

A microphone

Summary: Microsoft inadvertently reminds people who had Vista 10 installed on their PC (sometimes downloaded passively against their will) that it is spying on them all the time and a new kind of pressure is being used to create a panic for acceptance of any forced (remotely-imposed) ‘upgrade’ to Vista 10

TECHRIGHTS does not wish to be dragged back into Microsoft bashing (unlike direct attacks on GNU/Linux, usually with the aid of software patents and patent trolls), but readers probably know by now that Microsoft has been turning people who used to be called users or customers into subjects or products, to be spied on and be treated like a commodity whose amount need to be maximised for exploitation in bulk.

With the introduction of Vista 10, the latest and nastiest (more malicious based on rather objective criteria) version of Windows, Microsoft now spies on every person all the time. There is some good analysis [1] and criticism [2] of this self-incriminating propaganda-driven move from Microsoft, which is desperate to convince people whom it forces to move to Vista 10 that this forcing will be for their own good, not just the good of the NSA.

“Vista 10 is not an operating system but spyware pretending to be one.”Using ‘security’ as a reason, Microsoft is now bashing older versions of Windows. Low on resources, Microsoft leaves in tact even known (to the public) back doors in its Web browsers, as covered by Microsoft-friendly sites (as here) and FOSS-centric sites (well, FOSS-centric most of the time). Here is how to put a positive spin on Microsoft’s latest kind of pressure/demand for people to move to the latest trap: “This news has come as a breath of fresh air as it was considered a bane for many web developers, thanks to the endless security holes in the software.”

Well, Web developers whom I know and work with often complain about the latest Internet Explorer and “Edge” (new branding for the same rubbish). They’re more incompatible with even more Web sites, for various different reasons. So this excuse or optimism is misplaced. As soon as next week, based on Microsoft fan sites, Microsoft will have yet another propaganda by which to pressure people to install spyware on their computers. Now is a good time to move to GNU/Linux. Some high-profile journalists are doing so right now because they better understand the underlying reasons (they’re reasonably technical).

Vista 10 is not an operating system but spyware pretending to be one.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Massive Windows 10 Success Has Six Nasty Surprises

    Understandably perturbed by this BetaNews took Microsoft to task on these revelations and asked if it would like to “explain how it came about the information, and why it is being collected in the first place”. Microsoft’s official response: “Thank you for your patience as I looked into this for you. Unfortunately my colleagues cannot provide a comment regarding your request. All we have to share is this Windows blog post.”

    To which BetaNews makes a very fair conclusion: “Microsoft’s spying is intrusive enough to reveal how long you have been using Windows 10, but the company is not willing to be open about the collection of this data.”

    Consequently the next obvious point to ponder is: If Microsoft is happy to disclose this data without saying how it was attained, what else does it access and track without user knowledge? Given Microsoft already admits much of its automatic spying cannot to turned off, just how many more metrics and how much user data is it gathering from every Windows 10 device?

  2. Why is Microsoft monitoring how long you use Windows 10?

    The various privacy concerns surrounding Windows 10 have received a lot of coverage in the media, but it seems that there are ever more secrets coming to light. The Threshold 2 Update did nothing to curtail privacy invasion, and the latest Windows 10 installation figures show that Microsoft is also monitoring how long people are using the operating system.

    This might seem like a slightly strange statistic for Microsoft to keep track of, but the company knows how long, collectively, Windows 10 has been running on computers around the world. To have reached this figure (11 billion hours in December, apparently) Microsoft must have been logging individuals’ usage times. Intrigued, we contacted Microsoft to find out what on earth is going on.

    If the company has indeed been checking up on when you are clocking in and out of Windows 10, it’s not going to admit it. I asked how Microsoft has been able to determine the 11 billion hours figure. Is this another invasion of privacy, another instance of spying that users should be worried about? “I just wanted to check where this figure came from. Is it a case of asking people and calculating an average, working with data from a representative sample of people, or it is a case of monitoring every Windows 10 installation?”

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