MMS on Windows 10
by A. Richard Miller
visits since 150825; last updated 150902.
(This page was adapted from our MMS Client Message of August 25, 2015.)
On July 27th, we warned you to cool it regarding that week's release
of Windows 10. We've been watching Microsoft's new OS closely for the
past month, and our concerns have escalated. So much so, that we
now recommend against its use. Period. That won't make us popular
in the stores, but it's the truth.
Bottom line: Just Say No. Beyond the usual reasons to wait out the inevitable early bugs (and there are plenty of them), this OS doesn't just have bugs; it's bugged! Yes, it will cause your computer to spy on you - and on the web pages and friends with which you connect.
A few days ago, I added a new section to our MMS home web page: NSA-optimized Windows 10. Read it and weep. One of the linked articles lists thirty ways that Win10 reports home - and to NSA. Another is about Russian lawyers asking for Win10 to be banned there, because its use means they no longer can guarantee client confidentiality, or the privacy of others they message with, from the various others who may be listening in. You'll read about the three major updates that Win10 force-fed to all in short order, the 45 pages of user agreements that make you agree to share all your information, the way users already have been obliged to accept further and undocumented changes - both the ones that spy, and the ones that just mess up.
If you use Linux, congratulations! But, upgrading your computer to Windows 10 also may damage your existing Linux installation (most commonly, the GRUB boot manager), and Microsoft does not offer support for that. I've now asked three Microsoft techies. Each said Win10 Enterprise and Win10 Professional would coexist nicely - and I'm not surprised, because Microsoft's big-iron Azure sales depend upon that. They couldn't say as much for the Win10 Home Premium that ordinary users will get, but two of the three promised to get back to me with help. I'm still waiting. (The third told me not to bother asking Microsoft higher-ups, because "They already are well aware of that issue.")
Others have more bad news to report. I sense that this new section
of our web site will grow.
So, what to do? For those who are ready, Just Say No. MMS recommends Linux and, for most users, Ubuntu Linux. It's an excellent OS, it makes older computers run better, it and its vast collection of application programs (many of which you will love) are free to use and free to share. Most important of all, they are open-source - which means that programmers world-wide can keep us free of those Windows problems. Bugs don't last long under open-source software, because "There's no hiding place, down there!"
It's called FOSS: Free, Open-Source Software.
Unlike proprietary software, which is about user lock-in, which
monitors your computer for others, and which can shut it down for
licensing transgressions real or imagined, FOSS turns your computer
back over to you.
If you're not ready to go cold turkey, MMS (and some of you) can install Linux side-by-side with Windows as a multi-boot computer. Or, you can run your Windows (and more) as a virtual OS within Linux, using a hypervisor; MMS likes KVM and Gnome Boxes.
MMS, and others world-wide, are here to help.
But what if you feel that you must use Windows? If you are contemplating a new computer purchase, consider moving quickly while good Windows-8.1 (or better in our opinion, Windows-7) computers remain available in the stores. Or buy one used. Again, MMS can help.