Damn you Microsoft! How to remove the Windows 10 ‘free upgrade’ icon

From the don’t force shit on me I don’t want and prevent me from saying NO department.

Forgive my off-topic rant, but this will be useful for others having this same problem. One of the things I hate about Microsoft recently is the idea that Windows 8, 8.1, and the upcoming Windows 10 is the greatest thing since sliced bread. If you own a Windows based tablet, or a Windows phone, it probably is (I own a Windows 8 based tablet, and I’m able to use it just fine, because Windows 8.1 is a touch based operating system).

But a problem occurs with Windows 8, 8.1, and the upcoming Windows 10 as a desktop operating system. IMHO, it’s mostly useless as a desktop OS and gets in the way of working as I am accustomed to. I use a mouse and keyboard, with a 27″ monitor, not a touchscreen. I use Windows 7 because it works, is stable, and defensible from malware.

Imagine my surprise after recently doing “Microsoft Update” and I get this icon in my system tray:

windows-10-upgrade-iconClicking it gives you this advertisement:

windows-10-upgrade-dialogOK, I can forgive them for offering this free upgrade, but what I CAN’T forgive Microsoft for is the inability to ever opt-out of being notified about this. Why?

  1. You can’t remove the icon from the system tray easily,
  2. You can’t make it go away after “reserving” a copy of Windows 10,
  3. Average users can’t get rid of the notification process that’s running in the background called “gwx.exe” easily. It saps CPU and memory resources just so it can keep reminding you about Windows 10 and calling home to find out if Windows 10 is available yet,
  4. This advertisement was a “stealth” upgrade. It is almost like a Trojan in my opinion.

Sorry Microsoft, this isn’t cool, and if I don’t want to bastardize my desktop experience with an operating system designed with a tablet/phone user touch interface, I shouldn’t have to put up with continual reminders. Since this has done nothing but piss me off, it’s marketing FAIL as far as I’m concerned.

This sticky nature of this upgrade notice is by design, the average user of Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 that doesn’t have savvy skills won’t be able to make this go away, so I’m here to help with a simple solution:

Get rid of the Windows Update that creates the problem!

Here’s what it is, from Windows Update:

Update enables additional capabilities for Windows Update notifications in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 SP1

This update enables additional capabilities for Windows Update notifications when new updates are available to the user. It applies to a computer that is running Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1). Before you install this update, check out the Prerequisites section.

Source: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3035583

Note that they don’t really tell you what you’ll actually be getting, hence my opinion that it’s like a Trojan horse.

So, here’s how to get rid of the damned thing:

1. Go to Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features > Installed Updates

2. Put KB3035583 into the search box in the upper right of the dialog as shown below, press ENTER to search for it

windows-10-search-update

3. Click on the “update for Microsoft Windows (KB3035583)” to highlight it, then click “Uninstall” as show below.

uninstall-windows10-reminder

4. Unfortunately, you’ll have to Restart your computer.

5. Enjoy a hassle free desktop experience from now on.

By the way if you already have Windows 8 or 8.1 and you hate the fact that you are running a tablet/phone touch based operating system on your desktop, and you wish it would run like Windows 7, I have a solution for that too:

Classic Shell™ is free software that improves your productivity, enhances the usability of Windows and empowers you to use the computer the way you like it. The main features are:

  • Highly customizable start menu with multiple styles and skins
  • Quick access to recent, frequently-used, or pinned programs
  • Find programs, settings, files and documents
  • Start button for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10
  • Toolbar and status bar for Windows Explorer
  • Caption and status bar for Internet Explorer

Classic Shell has been in active development for 5 years and has over 25 million downloads.

Get it free here: http://classicshell.net/

In my opinion, Microsoft has erred greatly in trying to foist a tablet/phone touch based OS on desktop users. They should have allowed for some sort of retro experience in the GUI for people that want to use a desktop like they always have. Windows 8, 8.1, and 10 have speed and security enhancements, but they come at the cost of running a touch based OS on your desktop when you really don’t want a touch based OS on your existing machine.

Boneheads.

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352 thoughts on “Damn you Microsoft! How to remove the Windows 10 ‘free upgrade’ icon

    • G’Day Robert, have you tried Puppy Gnu/Linux? It is a bootable CD or DVD and works well on my 6 yo Toshiba Satellite Pro. Happy Trails.

      • I’ve got Puppy linux dual booted w/Win 7 — posting from it now. Win 7 is still the “main” OS, but linux programming comments are documented in the script files that give oppurtunities to tinker with.

        Getting it dual-booted was a bit risky, but combining several methods got it going.

      • @Beng135 — my hat’s off to you. I too have dual boot Puppy/Win7, but most of the time Puppy just hangs during boot. When it does work, I have no idea why, or why not. I am using Grub4Dos.

      • Dan, I had issues getting the dual-boot to work (first reboot windows disappeared!). Seems no single method got it to work, but a combo did. Look at below site:

        https://www.iceflatline.com/2009/09/how-to-dual-boot-windows-7-and-linux-using-bcdedit/

        That uses isolinux.bin copied to C: to act as a bootloader for linux. That worked, but Grub had no functionality in its “advanced mode” that appears after choosing linux (OK, just an irritant instead of a real problem). Experimenting, I used EasyBCD to make another boot option using legacy Grub that installs C:\NST\nst_linux.mbr. I had attempted that and failed before, but after using the isolinux method, the EasyBCD entry now worked! Not sure why — perhaps had something to do the isolinux method marking the linux partition as “active” (NOT BOOT!).

      • Depends on the applications one needs, and the support one needs.

        In the past, Windows has had most technical applications for many people, Linux has had ones in software design and perhaps data analysis, Apple in graphics work.

        I worked in development of high-integrity products when every SW engineer had two computers on their desk – one running Windows and one running Linux.

      • http://distrowatch.com/

        Thanks, Bjorn, that’s a very convenient site. I still have some leftover space on my harddrive for another linux distro to try. Already tried Mint 14 & Ubuntu, but they were slower than windows 7 or puppy-linux.

      • You can also run Mint and other flavors of Linux from a live USB stick with persistence enabled. Not so long ago we booted from Linux CD/DVD. Now, with bigger and bigger USB sticks, it may be possible to forego partitioning the hard drive, so you may have your cake, and eat it too.

      • Linux Mint is the most user friendly Distro that is the closest to Windows in form and function. However, you are severely limiting yourself with the amount of applications available and VirtualBox is not a solution IMO.

    • Fedora 16, 17, 18, 19,20, 21 & 22 user here. With Windows XP and Windows 7 on the side for emergencies. I’m putting my relatives slowly onto linux :)

      Regards
      Climate Heretic

    • Please do not use windows XP for anything that involves money and the Internet. E.g. online banking, paypal or even buying stuff where you enter a credit card. Why? because Win XP can be infected in seconds if you get the wrong ad in your browser and YOU CANNOT PATCH IT TO STOP THIS and no AV can stop it either. Once it is infected with any one of half a dozen strains of banker malware you’ll likely end up giving your passwords to the criminals when you login to your bank and so on.

    • I like Peppermint Linux, a Ubuntu based Distro that runs well on older PCs and laptops. “Mint” is good too

    • Its not so much that you can’t use it with M/KB but that the UI ‘panels’ is [snip] to use on a desktop. There’s just a ton of mouse movement from one side of the screen to the other that is unnecessary and is only there because of the tiling (instead of listing).

      http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2013/06/28

      • incunabulum, there are a lot of issues with Windows 8, but Windows 8.1 created a fairly large improvement in the keyboard and mouse department. I can’t tell my 7 / 8.1 computers interfaces apart, except when I go to the start menu, where it’s in a list format that’s big enough to punch with a finger (and not the tile format, which you can swap between).

        I will admit that I’m lucky, though. I muscle-memory my applications so that I launch almost all of them with +first three letters and don’t even use the mouse. :)

        Windows 10 makes the distinction between touch and keyboard/mouse better, as I have been using the previews for unimportant things.

        The icon, as far as I understand it, is there because it will download the large (~5GB) over the next month so that everyone can get a copy of Windows 10 on the release day without destroying the content servers at Microsoft. When it installed and first ran on my computer, I noticed it was accessing BITS.

      • None for me. I switched in 1998 and haven’t looked back since. When I have to run a windows only program ( very few ), I run VM Ware Fusion and Windows XP. I do not go on the internet from windows and get along quite well. And no, I’m not an Apple Luddite running OS 7.3.

        Having said all that, Apple has delusions of control and omniscience, just like Windows. I just find work arounds for the most egregious intrusions and stupidity from those who think they know more about how I want to use my computer than I do.

        pbh

      • My ipad uses Safari, which is wayyyy slower than Firefox. I have given up on my ipad now, and use my laptop instead (when I am away from my Windows 7 PC) which runs Windows 7. Whenever I use my wife’s ipad (and Safari) I find it infuriating – that damn blue bar and the stupid gear turning. A mouse is so much easier too.

      • I wonder why?
        My experience, and that of all the people I know that have made the change, is that there isn’t enough money in the world to persuade them to go back to Windows.

        VMWare Fusion is relatively cheap, and allows you to run Linux and Windows VMs.
        There is also a tool that comes with it to create an image from your existing Windows system that you can run under VMWare. I tested tis on my old XP laptop. It runs faster on the Mac/VMWare combination than it ever did on its native hardware.

        I never use that any more, I have a Windows 7 VM that I use for things for which there is no Mac equivalent (getting more and more rare).

      • This is being typed on an Android tablet that has become my major browser. My daily driver for typing and posting is a Chromebox. I am very happy with both.

        The spouse, 2 kids ( in their 20s…), niece and her Mom all use Macs and would never think of using Micro$oft unless required by management that is a bit slow…

        I have 2 PCs with Windoze on them that will never be upgaded (one w7 and the other XP Pro IIRC). They sit mostly unused for weeks on end. Mostly kept just for legacy data access…

        I also have dual boot Linux on one of them and use Puppy Linux (or several others) to boot the other one for internet use. Mix of CD, DVD, and USB Thumb drive Linux versions for various uses. (Hard to get more secure than a fresh boot of a Read Only operating system…).

        I have near zero use of or need for Microsoft and will never look back.

        While I would buy a Mac if I had the kilobuck… I find the Chrome fine for things I don’t mind being shared with Google (and through them via PRISM program, the Feds), while the tablet is addictive for mobile or couch potato use. In those few time I want security for internet things (security beyond just not being hacked) a quick Linux boot gives me a hardened environment. All up about $600 spent on the whole lot.

        Splitting use types across machines also enforces a kind of air gap security between use domains that is impossible to break.

        Oh and a $35 Raspberry Pi provides things like local DNS cache, time server, and serves about 30 GB of bittorent files. I can reflash that system from a stored copy as desired.

        Microsoft? Just say no.

      • If the useless iPhone that management foisted upon me in lieu of my Android Samsung is anything to go by … iApple? I’d rather use a banana.

    • I have 2 desktops and 2×24″ screens. One desktop running Linux Kubuntu and the other desktop running Win7. I have a single keyboard and mouse shared on the two systems using synergy software (a version from before they started to charge), it is very convenient.

      Now I got the Win10 thing thrown on me, just like Anthony explains. I have been preparing to phase out Windows over a number of years and I can manage just fine with Linux only. Maybe this is the final blow.

      If Microsoft messes up my Windows box in a way I am not entirely happy with, I can simply erase Windows and go for Linux only. It isn’t unrealistic that it will happen, since I have converted to using open source programs for quite some time already.

      I expect Microsoft have some spyware in there, which makes it even more tempting to finally erase Windows for good.

    • Tried microsoft twenty years ago and gave up, apple tends to be a bit more honest in their dealings, and gives no pain, thus all my stuff is apple. I also like apple pie and ice-cream.

  1. My solution is to not use any Microsoft product.

    Apple products work well. My 90+ yr. old mother uses a Mac with little trouble.

    I use Linux. The beauty thing about Linux is that you can choose your user interface. That means you don’t have to learn a bunch of new stuff every time you upgrade your system. With Windows it’s like: OK now the steering wheel is in the back seat and the brake pedal is in the trunk. Oh and you have to open the glove compartment to get at the rear view mirror.

    • One of the sad aspects I have noted emerging in Linux is that apparently Windows programmers are beginning to emigrate to Linux. It is not too unusual any more to have Linux notify you that the system has to be rebooted following updates. That is strictly a Windows practice and properly done Linux should never require a reboot unless you are installing a new distribution. For years I ran my Linux systems continuously for months at a time with ever needing to restart them aside from when I replaced the distribution entirely.

    • When Ubuntu wend from 12.04 to 12.10, they moved everything. The went tablet format. That was the last time I tried regular Ubuntu (though derivatives like Mint are still good).

  2. Ditch Windows for Mac. Problem solved. Shame on Microsoft for forcing a mobile OS on everyone. Your computer’s stink, Mr. Gates.

      • Actually Gates does neither. He does philanthropic work full time now. Satya Nadella runs the company.

      • Actually Lauren, Bill Gates is back at Microsoft working something like 1 / 4 full time. Before Satya Nadella, Ballmer was CEO.
        I have been using a Microsoft Surface Pro for almost 2 years now. I connect it up to a USB 3 Workstation device and have 3 external monitors to help me develop code. I am working now on climate software that I will only be providing to Windows 10 devices. So ya better upgrade to 10. I’m not going to sprinkle :

        #if (!(NETFX_CORE || WINDOWS_PHONE))
        throw new NotImplementedException();
        #endif

        throughout my code.

      • Yes – as Anthony says Microsoft do make computers now. I have a Surface 3 Pro and it is the best/most useable personal computer I have ever owned. I can run all the legacy software that I need including Solidworks CAD which doesn’t run on Linux or Macintosh – and would be a dog in a virtual machine because it needs direct access to the hardware. It is easy to make Win 8.0 look and operate like Win 7. It boots faster than any earlier Windows versions is more secure etc etc. Anyone who is still using XP is living in a dream (probably a nightmare).

        I support (usually pro-bono) many seniors on a range of platforms – it is horses for courses. If you think people have no problems with Macs then you are soft in the head. There is no way I would support most of my users on Linux or Open Source – have tried but usually ends in disaster.

        I am just waiting for the worm that gets through the Apple Store and takes over all the iThingys out there. IOS is a joke of an operating system as far security is concerned. Android has the opposite problem – it is sitting in a pool of sharks with little protection for naïve users – not to mention the forking problem. Pick your poison they all have problems.

        It bemuses me that US citizens love to slate Microsoft and Bill Gates (who no longer “runs” MS) – you would think that they would have some understanding that that is where a significant slice of their export income comes from (read wealth, pensions, health services, etc).

    • Amen! When I got my first MAC, I called my “computer guru” and complained that there was no user manual.
      His answer, “You don’t need one. If you want to do something, just think, ‘How would I like to be able to do it’ and then do that. It will work.”

      He was right.

  3. Whoa! You don’t countenance the S-word here at WUWT except for can’t-really-grab-a-better-term-than-that situations, Anthony.

    When I saw that up front in your article, I knew Windows 10 must have really jumped the shark.

    Thanks for the sneak preview of the fun that I’ll be having. (Or not!) Maybe it’s finally time to close the Windows and go elsewhere.

    • I suspect that MicroSoft has now had its Richard Stallman “enlightenment” and intends to make all its future income from paid support. The OS will be “free,” but you’ll be paying for plenty of support.

      Either that, or they’ll make the monthly subscription model the only way to get Windows. Which is just like the paid support model except that they don’t have to support you worth a d___. What a great racket!

    • Here’s the official and easy way to turn off the button-

      Can I turn off the notifications?

      Yes. Click “Customize” in the System Tray [that’s the area in the lower right where the upgrade button appears] and turn off the Get Windows 10 app notifications in the menu that comes up.

  4. Interestingly, I’m running Windows 7SP1 the update is installed but I don’t have the notification. Not that I would want it anyway.

      • I have 7SP1 (after booting Vista to the electronic nether regions.) and I have the 10pox..
        We hates Microsoft….
        Thanks Anthony..

    • Same here, tho I had previously uninstalled several updates that were causing sfc /scannow errors (corrupted files in some of the updates). Turns out one of the uninstalled updates was the one Anth*ny identifies.

      Still, getting a free download of Windows 10 is tempting, but not sure I want to interfere w/my customized/tweaked, solid Windows 7 installation. If it ain’t broke…..

  5. I’m an EE working as an IT guy. I run servers and general network admin stuff…

    I normally just install Ubuntu, Debian, or Trisquel and promptly forget about Microsoft altogether.

    However, it’s a really good idea for most Windows users to *not* uninstall updates. Many of the these include security updates, which if uninstalled may leave your machine vulnerable to attack in various ways.

    Anyway… infoworld [several other places] has an article on KB3035583:

    http://www.infoworld.com/article/2906002/operating-systems/mystery-patch-kb-3035583-for-windows-7-and-8-revealed-it-s-a-windows-10-prompter-downloader.html

    Microsoft probably has this ‘nag’ update because the official end-of-support has already occurred for Windows 7:

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/lifecycle

    OS End of Support
    ————————————————————–
    Windows 7 * – Service Pack 1 – January 13, 2015

    • Microsoft is still selling OEM Win 7 Pro (as of earlier this year when I built a machine), so that puts the end support date in 2020.

      • True. But I think that only ‘officially’ applies to system running the ‘Pro’ version. Someone running a five year old Staples special priced laptop will probably not have the ‘Pro’ version.

        I definitely don’t like ‘nag’ updates or the idea of a ‘forced’ update — but when my servers get hit with a DDoS attack, it’s generally an army of un-updated Windows XP or Windows 7 machines. Although, the most recent hit was a coordinated Android botnet attack from compromised WiMax nodes.

      • The end of life for XP just hit industry with everyone writing updates to run in W7 – had to be finished a couple of months ago. No one in their right mind would put production equipment on W8. W7 works, at least. W8 turns your laptop into an iPhone.

        Yuk.

  6. I have been testing/using the preview Win10 on a old machine at home for some time now.

    It is far more friendly for mouse/keyboard users that Win8x is. You do NOT have to have a touch screen to make full use of it and it is not clunky to use with a mouse like Win8x is.

    MS has been taking user feedback on desktop view and implementing it quite rapidly in their iterations of the preview.

    Trust me, the Win10 ‘Desktop’ mode will be similar in function and ease, but not the same, as Win7.

    Ex

  7. Have been using Windows 10 Technical Preview for a few months and it’s more like Windows 7, if you don’t have a Touch Screen. The start button/menu has returned and so has the program listing – no touch screen panels. However I understand if you do have a touch screen, the initial installation will give you the choice of the desk top view or the touch screen view.

    • Yep, same here. Been using Windows 10 Technical Preview and it is more of a return to desktop oriented UX. Anthony is spot on with the commercial ad placed by Microsoft, but he is absolutely incorrect in his assumptions on what Windows 10 is. I would suggest anyone who is currently on xp, 7, 8.1 to install the upcoming Windows 10 OS. It is far superior in every way especially in security.

      • I’ve been using Win 10 Tech Preview also and will definitely be upgrading my Win 7 Pro desktop computer.

      • Agreed. This article is nuts given all the “install by default” sneeky crap bundled with third party products by the likes of Google, Adobe et al.

  8. OSX.

    Other than at work (Windows is mandated due to my reliance on MSProject in the performance of my duties), I have not had any of these MS woes. Not on my iPads (x3), iPhones (x3), MacbookAir, AirPort, or MacMini; ever. Never caught a virus either, now that I think of it, and I don’t run anti-virus; yet my Windows computer at work has caught three viruses (while running McAfee) and crashed, hard, twice.

    Huh. Is correlation causation in this case?

    :)

  9. Three years ago I defenestrated M$. There is not an iM$ app or program on my linux computer and I am happy! But now I have to buy a Windoze dedicated industry specific compute ’cause they looove security through obscurity. Just damn.

    I feel your pain AW.

  10. I agree, and I think Microsoft has made a serious mistake in the move. Microsoft has always had a core customer base of business desktop users, and they seem to have abandoned that to what will always be a recreational market of touchpad users. All they really need to do (if they insist on using the same os for both) is let the desktop user hide the touch features so they dont get so badly in the way.

    • It’s all there, you can even tell Windows 10 to always start in desktop mode. Millions of preview users had the chance to contribute their ideas and suggestions for a better Windows. But then, nobody has to buy Windows.

  11. Just get a Mac.

    Seriously, it’s the 21st Century. There is no reason to conform to cheesy government-monopoly computer systems any more. So there is no reason to be a 2nd class citizen or complain about it.

    • Of the Macs we have installed only two have gone wrong, and both issues were user-induced. So basically that’s zero breakdowns. Though, you could by three PCs for the price of one Mac. You pays your money…

      One nice thing about Macs is that you can always ask their support centers for help with clients’ issues even if you aren’t an official dealer. That, and there is no computer age limit on asking for help or advice.

  12. Well, on the plus side, Microsoft may have learned from the Win8 debacle and is offering platform dependent UI’s – meaning that their should be a somewhat different UI for desktops and mobile devices rather than the touchscreen-centric UI of Win8

  13. I bought a Macbook Pro in 2010 and it still works great on Yosemite (after memory added). All our products are Microsoft .NET based and our shop runs only MS Servers .. but the Mac OS is still superior IMO for personal use. The only real issue has been MS Office for Mac, which has the usual MS glitches from time to time.

    To get around the MS application requirements I need occasionally, I installed VMWare fusion and have Win XP, Win 7, Win 8 and Windows Server 2008 R2 virtual machines I can start on the Mac anytime I need them.

    Never had a blue screen of death on the VMWare either.

    Was going to add an internal SSD to my Mac, but will probably get a new one and keep this one as a spare.

    • The thing that bothered me the most about windows was that you cannot install any program without the risk of having toolbars installed in your browser. That was the case some five years ago when I decided to move to linux. And you may think that the toolbars and programs are easy to unistall, until you dedide to have a look at your regedit and windows.ini files just fo find out that many programs leave some code in there that slows down your computer.

  14. Who benefits when less sophisticated users are forced prematurely to buy a new PC in order to deal with the accumulated junk and speed brakes on their “old” PC? This relates to all of the other unwanted add-ons and features while ignoring other basic productivity flaws. There is an incentive here to bog down users as much as possible. Call it Microsoft’s anti-Moore’s Law.

    • Odd you should mention that…

      In the ’90s I ran a Cray Supercomputer shop. As of now, you can buy a loptop for about $500 that is faster. Yet put MSoft on it, and it is “too slow”.

      At that same time my Brother In Law (Ph.D Aeronautics Stanford) was doing computes at NASA on air flow simulation. He shared a graph. One line was rising at about a 30 degree angle (log graph). That was compute increase from Moore’s Law. Another line rose at about a 45 degree slope. That was improvement from better code / algorithms.

      The meaning? Better code can improve things faster than Moore’s Law. The correlary I saw was that crappy code can consume ALL of Moore’s Law and then some. Thus the Windoze box today running just as slow to simply edit a text file… no gain to me in 30 years…

      On my Linux box I avoid similar code bloat releases like Ubuntu laden with cycle sucking eye candy. On 10 year old hardware it is still faster than MS on new hardware. For much basic Linux software, it is just damned fast. FORTRAN too. I ported GIStemp to an old Pentium class machine with about 256 Megabytes of memory and it was way more than fast enough under Red Hat 7.2 (yes, ancient but fast and stable release with the FORTRAN I needed… and no bloat…). As it doesn’t talk to the internet, no need for updates. Using Puppy from CD, the whole OS get loaded into RAMdisk on my 2 GB machine. Just flies for speed with eye candy graphics and modern browser.

      So if you want fast computes, dump the code sucking pig… You don’t need a new computer, you need a new operating system…

      • EM, puppy is also very fast as a seperate-partition dual-boot. The only issue so far is the very useful “puppy package manager” that links to secure repositories for puppy “pet” files (hundreds of ’em), which install like any other .exe file — no compiling necessary. It can be buggy, tho, can even freeze the desktop. Solution, save any data and close every other program when running it, and browse slowly & carefully thru its menus.

    • No one is forced to prematurely buy a new PC. I can restore any PC to its original performance and usually faster relatively easily.

      • I agree with poptech. There are many free tools to fix slow Win PCs.

        It is Google, Adobe, Oracle(Java) and others that just load cr@p on PCs without folks realising.
        Microsoft almost always has any downloads as opt-in choices. Google etc are all opt-out.
        I wrote a complaint to the ACCC in Australia about this issue and their response was “they are not breaking the law” – that was my point, I want to see the law changed so that all piggy back software installs are opt-in!!

        This Win10 update is unfortunate and here is where I agree somewhat with Anthony – it should be easy to remove the update.

        But I will be updating all my win8 computers to10. Not sure about the Win 7 ones right away though – don’t know how the drivers will go. I won’t be upgrading my Linux boxes to Win 10 though ;-). Don’t have any Macs – don’t care. Might have to buy an Android tablet for my EFB (electronic flight bag) and not happy about that.

      • Could you or Poptech please tell me how to speed up my (relatively new) laptop ? It seems slower than my old laptop.

      • “Arding Thoughts

        June 4, 2015 at 6:53 pm”

        I agree, there are plenty of tools and utilities around to “fix” a slaow running Window$ PC, and it does not take too long for Window$ to be bogged down. The only issue in my experience is that most people simply don’t know they exist, don’t realise their PC is running slow nor how too use them. I alway have friends knocking on my door to help them with PC/Mac issues and even peripherals.

  15. Windows 8 has some issues, many fixed in 8.1 but it is entirely configurable for desktop use. It’s just a little different despite behaving similar to win7 under the hood. The problem users like you and I using 7 is that OS is now at end of life. I tried 10, I could live with it if I had to but as yet I don’t have to. It’s much faster than 7. You have to take the plunge at some point.

    I think that there are still free 60 or 90 day versions available. Stick a virtual desktop on your machine and install 10 there. Give it a go, you may be surprised. I would not adopt it yet, i don’t think the current build is quite there yet. What i would do in your case is ensure that I reserved my free upgrade license. It is only available for 12 months from the end of this month. After that you would have to pay. Reserving your copy now will give you a license key, you don’t actually have to install it. Once reserved your icon goes away. ( I think )

    23-27 inch touchscreens are quite reasonably priced now, the trick is instaling them in a way that they can be swivelled and tilted around your workspace for ease of use. Personally hooked up to my PC I have 3 37″ screens on my desk and a 47″ screen on the wall for video so won’t be adopting touchscreens any time soon.

  16. I just bought a new HP printer after the “programmed obsolesence timer” in my 9 yr old OfficeJet forced a hard kill on it. HP only offers a driver installation for Mac OS 10.7 or higher. (my printer diagnostics included taking the power supply apart, checking internal fuses, checking voltages on the printer’s controller board, everything seemed ok, but was still dead. Now it’s just a pile of eWaste.).

    So I also have a 2008 iMac that was running Mac OS 10.6.8. I didn’t want to upgrade to 10.7 or above, even though they were free because my copy of MicroSoft Office For Mac wouldn’t run on 10.7 or higher. Which would cost me $100+ to upgrade Office while still getting no increase in functionality.

    Anyway I was forced to update my Mac to Yosemite (OS 10.10) to get the printer working on that iMac. Now I have to shell out money to MicroSoft for a new MS Office. sigh.

    At least my trusty old 2008 Lenovo Thinkpad running XP is still supported with my new HP printer and it runs fine as I have fervently kept malware and assorted junk software off of it. My Dell desktop running Win7 Pro 64 bit version is my workhorse. I only let it update MS updates after releases have been out at least 3 months and the MS user community reports no major issues.

    • Macs run a print server called ‘CUPS’ … I’m surprised you couldn’t manually install the new print driver via the local web interface at:

      http://localhost:631

      Anyway, you should check out the latest release of LibreOffice [4.4] … it has served me very well so far… no issues at all with return trips to docx formats in shared documents.

    • You don’t need to upgrade Microsoft Office for the Mac. Get NeoOffice. It runs well and does everything most people need. I started transitioning my business from Microsoft to Apple in 2007. I started buying Macs for my employees and running Windows on the Macs, so I could keep using my Microsoft Access database while working on a pure Mac database solution. The computers are more reliable than anything I’d used before. The Mac Minis are very robust. And they easily run Windows.

      I finally ditched Microsoft altogether in 2012 when I ported the data from my Microsoft Access database to Filemaker Pro. Now my whole business runs on Macs, and the Filemaker database runs from a real database server. No more worries about file corruption, viruses and the like. Everything just works.

      Life is good.

  17. I gather one of the new “features” of Windows 10 will be a complete loss of control of system updates (at least for non-business versions), which will mean you get no choice when the update required 30 mins of download and reboot to install the latest trap door from NSA/GCHQ – and no ability to disable a feature such as this.

  18. Please take into account that there are still vast numbers of people who object to coarse language, and that many of us belong to your target audience.

    Thank you.

  19. I lucked out. When I was offered this “high priority” update for download, I was curious why this “off-cycle update” was so important. When I googled it, I became aware of the dastardly deed it does. So I hid it from my system.

  20. Thanks for the tips. I agree.. I am still trying to get used to Windows 8.1 on my laptop and I’m merely a ‘just find the time to install classic shell’ away from continuing this. It is so profoundly irritating to be zipping along with mouse and keyboard and then “BAM!” you slam into a brick wall and the only way out is to touch the screen. I can’t imagine how AWFUL Windows 8 is for users who do not have a touchscreen enabled screen! But, although I can see the system probably would work fine on a tablet or phone, as you note, it SUCKS on a computer!
    Thanks for reminding me of Classic shell – I had made a note of it before and was just on the verge of installing it.
    PS: I was intrigued it was that particular KB file that has to be uninstalled – that same file has been giving me issues with my sound (if I pull out my headphones, the speakers don’t work without me rebooting) and the solution is to uninstall it…

  21. I switched to Mac a year ago.
    Sadly there are still a few areas where only Windows applications are available and it is necessary to keep one foot in the Windows camp with a small Windows 7 computer for the more esoteric things I like to do.
    I have also been trialling Windows 10 under Parallells Desktop which allows concurrent OS/X and Windows.
    I have to agree with others that it is a user friendly and robust version that is a joy to use, not that I could ever go back to having system control taken away whilst a seemingly endless stream of system updates are applied to the OS.

    • As I mentioned above, VMWare is an option for the Mac where you can run Windows Virtual Machines on your Mac and even a second OS/X device. You do need a valid Windows Key to install, but other than that it works flawlessly. You can even copy your current Windows image to a VM and run it inside OS/X.

      On the printer discussion.. we have a variety of printers as do our clients and the best one have seen are the Brother’s. Long toner life and robust paper feeding.

  22. Haven’t used winblows since win95. Free yourself get rid of it.

  23. To keep it off your computer, you have to check for updates, find the update, uncheck the box next to it, right click the update and choose ‘hide’. Otherwise it will return the next type your computer auto-updates.

  24. OK, next on the list of removing annoying MS ‘features’. Is it possibly to disable the random upgrades that is the new model, away from the Monthly Update Tuesday? John Dvorak recently wrote about it, but gave no solution.

  25. “But a problem occurs with Windows 8, 8.1, and the upcoming Windows 10 as a desktop operating system. IMHO, it’s mostly useless as a desktop OS and gets in the way of working as I am accustomed to.”

    Reviewing a product (Windows 10) without trying it is beneath you and representative of similar activity you have complained about from others in the past. As others have noted Windows 10 has a desktop compatible interface available.

  26. “Anyway I was forced to update my Mac to Yosemite (OS 10.10) to get the printer working on that iMac. Now I have to shell out money to MicroSoft for a new MS Office. sigh.”

    No, you don’t. I haven’t run MS-Office on my Macs for over six years, and I do writing on a professional basis. Just download and install Open Office. The learning curve is very shallow, and it won’t cost you a cent.

    • I agree wholeheartedly. Although I use LibreOffice… which seems to be getting more developer attention.

      I can’t imagine going back to trying to figure out what’s the difference between a section and a chapter break… and how to renumber pages based on a logical flow of document… styles for everything make things so easy… And then frames… how could Office exist without frames? In order to make graphics appear logically on a page, I need to use ‘tables’ so that MS Office users can see the graphics.

      Anyway, done with mini-ranting for the day.

    • True! However if you save the .doc file in the default format, many users of Word 2010, for instance, cannot open the document, or if they can, there are compatability/format issues. I suffered this recently with someone who uses Macs.

      • True!

        However, the Office user can simply download the freely available LibreOffice package from their website and edit the shared document in a fully compatible environment.

    • Whose desktop it is – user’s or Microsoft’s? If you claim you own my desktop, I’ll make sure I’ll stop using it.

  27. I bought a new laptop with Windows 8, and the first thing I did was to install Classic Shell. As I recall, it was very easy, and it looks just like Windows 7. I wouldn’t touch touch screens with a barge pole.

  28. travelblips June 3, 2015 at 8:54 am
    Thanks for the tips. I agree.. I am still trying to get used to Windows 8.1 on my laptop and I’m merely a ‘just find the time to install classic shell’
    ==========================================================================

    Five minutes? Two at most!

    • You don’t even have to do that. Follow these directions and then pin your most used programs to the task bar. Since that’s what I do with Windows 7, using it is pretty much just like Win&

  29. Unfortunately there is no escape.

    You need to update to a version of software which is maintained. You can choose to use a hard core linuxish os and maintain it yourself, or one of the commercial products, including Ubuntu. They all have nagware features resembling to Adobe’s well known security hole rich products.

    Even Android forces people to UI changes without requiring the user to actually ask for those. Suddenly you just notice notice your keyboard is missing a tilde key and you are unable to type your passwd.

    It sucks, really.

  30. I just finished restoring my system to the state before the last Windows Update — after the addition of the thing Anthony is complaining about — I could no longer access the Internet with a browser (oddly, Thunderbird email had no trouble). Restoring my system setting to before the latest update eliminated the Windows 10 Upgrade icon, and my restored my ability to use my browsers.

  31. Windows: forces you to upgrade OS and applications frequently to keep cash flowing in to Microsoft. Full of bugs and vulnerabilities. Internet Explorer has been the #1 choice for malware/spyware/virus insertion for years by hackers and national intelligence agencies worldwide.

    MacOS: forces you to buy new hardware because of their short software compatibility lifecycle, which keeps cash flowing into Apple. Claimed to have fewer vulnerabilities but hard to tell.

    Linux: new versions remain compatible with very old hardware, but tend to be slow supporting the latest hardware, especially 3D graphics. Comes absolutely free with advanced security software developed by the NSA, which protects you from ever getting any useful work done. But you really want it and it’s impossible to remove anyway, so you just disable it so it does nothing (really, you can believe that because the NSA would never lie to you).

    Regardless of platform, anything that uses Adobe Flash or Java is unstable and insecure.

    Hillary’s email server was running Windows, which is why everyone in the world except the US State Department and the general public have all her emails — including those boring ones she deleted about uranium minting shares as a wedding present for Chelsea.

      • Because sadly not everything works with fox, including (surprise) a lot of stuff developed in .NET. If you ship stuff via FedEx (www.fedex.com/us), some things (updating payment info, address book) do not work with Fox. I haven’t tried Chrome, mostly because I view Google as the new über-evil empire — worse than Microsoft and Apple together. Sort of like TPC in “The President’s Analyst” (a movie everyone should see).

    • The NSA developed security spyware is embedded in both Mac and Windows too. However, those companies are not required to give you the source code proving that fact.

      I prefer to run an OS that keeps me fully aware of which NSA spying package is running.

    • What are you talking about, re Mac? I know many still running Snow Leopard (OS 10.6.x) on their old machines – sort of like all the WinXP types here. It works fine. If your hardware is 6 years old, then it won’t run OS 10.10 Yosemite, but if you aren’t wanting to interface every form of mobile equipment (iPhone, iPod, iPad, Apple Watch) then you can do just fine. Apple is pretty easy on forcing hardware upgrades – 2 or 3 generations at the least. And nowadays, the OS upgrades are free. The mobile interfacing, however, does have some costs. For example, Pages (Apple’s MS Word-lite) in the older version was a potent page layout program. The newer Pages, meant to interface with mobile versions, lost a huge amount of capability. But, I can still run both old and new on my current Yosemite platform, and make beautiful catalogs with the old one, and word processing documents that I can trade back and forth with my iPad with the new one. And never once having to buy Norton/Symantec anything. Life is good.

      • That all depends on your notion of expected hardware lifecycle. Since Apple depends on hardware sales, they pay little attention to maintaining compatibility beyond a few years. As I detail below I am still running current Linux on IBM hardware I bought cheap in 2006, and it was probably new around 2000 or earlier. Works fine and has all the horsepower it needs.

        Personally, I think Windows is great because its ongoing bloatware expansion causes perfectly good server hardware to depreciate to the point I can afford it after only 4-5 years, and then run Linux on it for the next 10 or so.

    • Actually, Debian, and it’s derivatives such as Ubuntu, stopped working with older Pentium chips several years ago. If you have older hardware, don’t even try the ‘buntus.

    • Yeah sure I could, but I wanted an idiot proof solution for everyone. And I wanted to get rid of the damned thing from my PC.

      • Why ? Nobody is forcing you to click on it. If you hover over it, it says ‘Get Windows 10’ so you can just hover away again.

      • Richard…

        it is just more clutter, more nag. Who needs that if you can just get rid of it?

      • Anthony with windows 8.1 you can boot right into the desktop you don’t need classic shell or any add ons.
        I have Dell xps laptop which is touch and mouse and 8.1 works just fine on that too, its the best Windows OS Microsoft have ever produced.

  32. Thanks for the heads up, AW, and for finding the fix.

    Yea, this upgrade business is an ongoing headache. Valuable, even critical programs may not run under newer versions of the MS operating system. Some may need DOS. My old version of 3DS Max requires a parallel port to mount a dongle. Win XP isn’t perfect, but I could live with it forever, especially when I have a long list of applications that run in that environment just very fine, thank you.

    I run Win 7 on this laptop, and also Linux. I will dodge or eject this upgrade if I stumble onto it.

    The answer in my view is to have the operating system in ROM, just like the old Apple II. By now, it should be possible to design an unbreakable but powerful computer with o/s, graphics and other subsystems right on the main board that would be good enough.

  33. Duh .. uninstall .. why hadn’t I thunk of that before?!!

    But …

    If you’re set to receive automatic updates, in a day or so, it’ll be back, as KB3035583 is listed as Important and will automatically reinstall.

    So I just reset my system from automatic to one which lets me choose which updates install.

  34. Thank you – thank you!!!!
    Maybe off topic, but since I was a child, I’ve always had a knee-jerk reaction when told I have to do something – which probably explains why I resent “government” making more and more laws – Don’t smoke – Don’t drink – Don’t do this and don’t do that. Hey – that reminds me of an old favorite of mine.

  35. Yeah, I dislike the way M$ does things these days. Window$ 7, Home Edition, works well for me, even the x64bit version. Personally, I prefered Window$ XP, because it simply worked and worked well on a small, x32 bit machine. Windows 8, like 98 and Vista, was a disaster, 8.1 was better, but now 10 (Apparently as a result of millions of user’s feedback from Window$ 8 and 8.1 users)? Come on M$, users want something that works. That’s all I want. I do not like the Window$ 8, 8.1, 10 GUI either.

    Having said that, I have reserved my copy of Window$ 10 (And I will install it in a VM to evaluate) but I read on a M$ blog that it is free for 1 year only, after that you have to buy a copy. Well, M$ I won’t be doing that, I purchased Window$ 7 with my laptop. If this is a “free” upgrade to those valid Window$ 7, 8 and 8.1 users, then it should be free for the life of the device. Also, there does not seem to be a way to migrate currently installed applications. I simply do not want to re-install *ALL* of my apps, and I am not sure *ALL* of them will run under Window$ 10.

    So, I won’t be going to Window$ 10 until I replace my laptop, when it fails. I am looking at Linux as an option to Window$ because, like The Simpsons, its getting tired IMO.

    Thanks for the useful tip!

    • Please leave a link to where MS has stated you have to pay after the first year.

      The only place I found a year mentioned MS Q&A:

      Is the upgrade really free?

      Yes, it’s free. This is a full version of Windows, not a trial or introductory version. It is available for a limited time: you have one year from the time Windows 10 is available to take advantage of this offer.

      So you have a year to get your free upgrade once they release it.

      • What they said was NOT that if you upgrade for free you’ll have to “buy” it after a year.

        It’s NOT a “1-year ‘free trial’.”

        What they *ACTUALLY* said was that you may reserve a copy of the upgrade to Windows 10 for free for an entire year. If you reserve the upgrade during that year, the OS is FREE. Period. You don’t have to pay a dime for the upgrade.

        If you have not reserved or upgraded to Windows 10 within that 1 year period and wish to upgrade AFTER that timeframe, you would have to pay for the upgrade after that time.

        Basically they’re just encouraging early and uniform adoption during the first year by offering the upgrade to users for FREE during that time.

        Upgrade from Win7 or Win8 *during* the first year of availability: Free. Period.
        Upgrade *after* the first year: you have to pay for the upgrade.

        That’s all.

    • Win10 is free because otherwise Mac and Linux would take over in the long run. I don’t think MS will ever be able to charge for the upgrade. If they try, just install some Linux distro. Kubuntu (=Ubuntu with KDE desktop) should be rather familiar to existing Win7 users.

      I would suggest those who have not tried Linux yet, try it now. It is free as in libre (not just as in free beer) , and if you don’t like it it isn’t forced upon you.

  36. Don’t like or use touchscreens of touchpads. Don’t have a smartphone. I’m not leaving Windows, it’s leaving me.

    • Error: ID10T.

      Silly statement is silly.

      Windows 10 will be a desktop operating system by default on desktops, not a “tablet” interface like Win8. That’s largely the *point* of Windows 10: to correct the perceived inadequacies of 8 and make it more typically “desktop friendly” and “keyboard/mouse friendly” like Win7, etc.

      It will still have the ability to make use of touch interface(s), of course, if you have one. But it is no longer intended to default to a “touch” / “tablet” interface on the desktop, though it still supports the functionality, and can be switched to a touch/tablet interface for actual tablets or 2-in-1’s where a “touch” interface may be appropriate in some situations.

      Please, do your homework before making silly statements…

      • The last I checked, I’m free to say what I like within the ground rules of WUWT, even if it may be “silly”.

        If that upsets you, it’s your problem.

  37. I have the latest version of 10 with Visual Studio 15RC including the ARM compiler. No Touch screen on my 30″ display just a G7 mouse and MS keyboard. I signed up for the FREE upgrade since they screwed me on the OS before 7, the OS I will not say its name. Windows 7 has worked nicely but 10 on the same hardware works better and that isn’t just a little better. The method of making money has moved to the ‘online store’ and MS seems to be embracing this methodology. It does take ten minutes to learn to use 10 but it is a time well spent.
    The main reason I’m moving is my CAD/CAM software runs 17% faster, the new release of VS 15 is shoehorned for 10 & ARM + x86 development. I have 7 Ultimate on three machines.

    • Its name was Vista… Adequate OS but not perfect. Perfected (somewhat) in Win7.

      The typical M$ production schedule:

      1) Release “revolutionary” OS [warts & all] to the wild ecosystem.
      2) Public “beta tests” it (“in the wild”) and screams about all the stupid shit it does.
      3) M$ fixes all the stupid shit it does in the next “Special Edition” of the OS: 95 –> 98/98SE, ME–>XP, Vista–>Win7, Win8/Win8.1–>Win10.

      Don’t know why folks are surprised by this. It’s pretty much been M$’s M.O. for the last 2-3 decades.

      • That ain’t right… ME was intended to be EOL for the 95 codebase. They deliberately sabotaged it to force everyone to NT (2000/XP). I was on beta for ME and all of us who refused to sign off on it for all of its problems were kicked from the beta program.

        IMO the best Windows were 2000 (the first completely stable version) and 7 (all of the good parts of Vista, none of the negatives).

        The guy in charge of 8 was fired for it. 8 was the death of Windows, 10 is their last chance to fix it. Their plan is to make it the last version of Windows, with a pluggable architecture that can be modularly upgraded. It sounds ambitious to me, but I’d say they’ve seen the light about how bad the damage was from 8.

      • CodeTech, that is pure nonsense ME was not sabotaged and worked as well as any of the other Win9x variants – I know I sold hundreds of those systems before XP came out without issue and less support calls than Windows 98.

        Windows XP was superior to Windows 2000 in all ways, especially in performance.

  38. Actually you want W10, only not now. Wait until the end of the free upgrade period in about a year’s time; by then most glitches and compatibility issues will have been ironed out.

  39. Like I tell most people when they bitch about Microsoft BS. Just buy a Mac. Went back to the Mac about 10 years ago and haven’t regretted it once. I started at OS X 10.2 and have migrated up to the current 10.10. Best part is that you don’t have to re-learn a new look and feel with every OS upgrade, and BTW, OS upgrades are free and painless. Hardware migrations are just as easy.

    I still run MS XP on my MB Air in virtualization mode. Loaded Win 8.0 on my home Max and still haven’t really figured out how to change settings, etc. Totally unintuitive with extra steps and menus thrown in for the fun of it. PS: what the “H” are charms, other than something a woman wears on a bracelet.

    MS needs a big lesson in KISS. They have the last letter down. Just need to work on the first three.

    • I think software developers like to impress people with how many lines of code they can write.

      • That is not true. A good day is when you leave the office with more powerful software, but fewer lines of code.

      • So why is software always getting bigger ? Is it because the marketing people want to add new features all the time ? Does this even apply to free software like browsers and email clients ?

    • But if you click on the little icon for “Show Hidden Icons”, there it is again.

  40. I ave used Windows software from Win 95 up to Win 7, the only ones I missed out were 3.1 and 8. I don’t know what it with Microsoft: 3.1 bad, 95 ok, 98 excellent, Millennium ok, XP excellent, 7 better still, 8 poor.
    According to the computer magazines 10 is the best yet, so I will be upgrading on all my machines.
    From what I can understand 10 will run with my current hardware unlike previous versions where a new machine was needed with higher specs. I will of course back up my current OS first.

    • Disagree Andrew. I have an old Dell tower (circa 2008) with about 2G RAM and it runs Win 8.1 fine. I use it as a backup server, print/scanner server no worries. Tried Ubuntu – couldn’t get the file serving or printer stuff happening (sudo &%&^$ &&* gobldygook ^& ^ ^* &^*^*&^(8678& cxg*&*&*&^ nnnh** *uywehgjg**( *( ) so went back to Windows – don’t have that many grey hairs left.

  41. I have been a mac user from the first year they came out. HOWEVER, having a new intel mac is very bad. Specifically, the apple spreadsheets are nothing but trash, apparently designed for graphics & music users. My mac power pc was great, but the intel mac is very, very poor. Something that was really terrible, is that none of my powerpc files (several hundred) could be transformed for use with the intel mac. How about that! None of your documents could be used!

    I do use OpenOffice, but that isn’t as good as the old powerpc files. When my next computer is purchased. I may decide to not use a mac.

    • @old fella:

      Your example shows why it’s so important to save files in well documented standard formats that have multiple independent programs to read and write the format.

      People should avoid saving files in proprietary formats, because in some time frame that format will become unreadable by anyone including the creator of the file.

      Formats for long term retrieval purposes:
      ODF, PDF 1/A, and Plain Text [this includes csv for spreadsheets or database information]

    • old fella: Don’t know what “PowerPC files” you are talking about, but assume you mean documents created in now-orphaned PPC applications. Generally Intel versions of the same applications (e.g. M$ Office) will read the older files (though Office in particular has always had compatibility problems with older versions); I’ve got M$ Word documents created on twenty-year-old Macs that I can read with Office for Mac 11, or with free word processors like Open Office or Bean. I can generally read my old Adobe PageMaker files with Adobe InDesign, with a little tweaking.

      That said, it hasn’t been very long since the OS X stopped supporting PPC applications; so pick up an inexpensive used Mac running, say Tiger (10.4), and use that to access your old files. Then save them in formats that are readable by newer software, e.g. text RTF (or Word RTF) or PDF, etc.

      Try the Apple Support Discussions for more advice, or the MacResources Forums, http://forums.macresource.com/list/1

      /Mr Lynn

  42. I have a problem with Word starter in Windows 7. The ad for Microsoft office keeps running and does the same thing. Nothing I do will get rid of it. I’m sure it, too, slows down the computer. It’s always freezing up on me.

  43. Anthony, this the first instance that I have ever disagreed with you. Windows 8.1 works fine as a desktop, Windows 10 will be better as a desktop. The last thing I want is a rotten Apple.

    IMHO

    • Well, to each his own, I think Windows 8 is a crappy desktop. Obviously, at least 25 million other people who have downloaded classic shell think so too.

      • I consider classic shell a “survival kit” also on Win7. Even with it installed, there are things I hate in Win7, such as “libraries” etc. in Windows Explorer. I never asked for it, I never use it, I cannot get rid of it and it uses up a lot of screen space.

  44. Oh Pulleeze! all of you MS bashers grow up.
    It took less that three minutes to complete (my coffee didn’t lose one degree of mug-warmth). and it leaves behind an itty bitty icon in the task bar. This CTA niggle must have the marketeers green with envy at the ‘fruity computer company’ and the “feed ’em or take away anything we like mob” at ‘the chocolate factory’ I for one find it ironic..

  45. ‘From the don’t force shit on me I don’t want and prevent me from saying NO department. Forgive my off-topic rant, but …’

    Off topic? Sounds just like climate policy to me.

  46. Remember the ads that said, “this is going to put Bill Gates and desktops out of business forever.” That stuff was put out by Microsoft. They want to get away from desktop software. Everybody in the industry wants everything to go to handhelds, and new handhelds that are limited in the user’s ability to control content. This is old news. I’m an old tech. We talked around the water cooler about this for years now. It’s coming. Your ability to control your “computer” (gadgets) are coming to an end. Everything will be “smart.” Even my excellent internet HDMI TV is loaded with content I cannot get rid of, and it wants to update constantly, offering me a whole new slew of apps I will never ever use. I have no control over it. This is not a trend. This is a decadal business paradigm that has been in works for a long time.

  47. It’s not just Microsoft. I was appalled when the operating system I use at home, Ubuntu, tried to force everyone to use their new Unity interface. The icons could only be large because that is the size of resolution a finger would have. When I’m on a desktop with a mouse that has 100 times better resolution why can’t I use it?

    I switched to the KDE version (Kubuntu) and haven’t looked back. Lots of others went with Mint or some other Linux distribution. At least in the open source world there are lots of choices.

    The stupid thing is that on a tablet it makes sense. But why mess with a perfectly functional desktop? I like the Windows 7 / KDE layout on a desktop.

  48. Those of you who follow along know that I am perfectly happy writing long posts. Some of my posts are novelette length and maybe 20K words. I type like the wind, and like to be precise.

    But not even I will tackle the subject “What I hate about Windows/Microsoft”, because there isn’t enough room, or time, to do the subject justice. Also, there are probably still some epic rants I wrote out there in internetspace on the old beowul list archives, written when I had more time (although now somewhat out of date and too short).

    The simple solution is: Use Linux Instead. Exclusively if possible (and it is almost always possible). Use it as the toplevel OS otherwise and run e.g. WinXP or Win7 as a VM otherwise. Windows XP was the best of the many sucky Windows incarnations, although by the end getting a naked install through all of the updates and service packs was excruciating. Still, a VM doesn’t really wear out, and I still have fully functional XP VMs. Windows 7 was and remains the second best incarnation — Vista was a nightmare, Win 8 was and remains a symbol of Microsoft’s innate desire to commit public seppuku, and pre-XP was DOS with ugly Window dressing (and who has even heard of Windows 9)? 7 at least wasn’t overtly broken and Microsoft hadn’t yet copied Gnome by breaking a perfectly functional interface in stupid ways out of sheer boredom.

    But still — how often does one really need >>Windows<< nowadays? Almost never. Software is almost not a sold commodity any more. I remember when Best Buy had aisle after aisle of software for sale. Now, it has what, maybe half of an aisle (and nearly all of that games). Linux comes with an unclimbable mountain of free software. The game software problem is largely history with Steam. Office, which used to be Microsoft's only reason for existence, is now trumped by Open Office and more. The only reason Microsoft lingers is that they still have their (IMO anti-trust illegal) armtwist of all vendors that requires them to sell “all” their systems with Windows pre-installed in order to get the discounts that allow them to sell with Windows pre-installed at all and make any money. But as Microsoft is now screwing up device drivers (where this, along with games, was its real advantage over Linux) we might well be in the long awaited twilight of Microsoft as a company. Apple already eats half of their lunch, and Linux has taken another big bite out of the side. Laptops and desktops are increasingly rare (and increasingly Apple), and they are actively losing the tablet and phone races and are unlikely to come back from behind.

    So, the best way to get rid of the upgrade button is to install Linux right over the entire OS. That way I promise, the upgrade button will disappear.

    rgb

    • I go all the way back when Excel first shipped and it had a runtime version of windows built in so that you could get the GUI experience of Excel. How time flies when you’re having fun :)

      I load up Windows 7 at home once a year. Tax time. Everything else I need runs fine under my Kubuntu distro. LibreOffice is the one I use.

    • They skipped Windows 9 because they discovered a slew of old apps that checked the version string for “95” and “98”, and in order to make that work simply checked for “9”.

      I suspect not many of those apps are still in use… but apparently enough are to justify a jump to 10

    • If we went with your suggestion the unemployment rate for IT support staff would skyrocket faster than Obama’s proposed electric rates. All those jobs keeping patches and virus checkers up to date would become obsolete — can’t have that.

      My main home server to this day is an IBM Netfinity-5100 (dual 667 MHz PIII) which I bought in 2006 for $80, plus if I recall correctly $45 to ship it. It’s been running CentOS from the day I unpacked it and runs my home email server, caching web proxy server, file server, backup server, and a bunch of other stuff. The only reasons it ever comes down is loss of power and booting a new kernel. I finally got motivated to start working on a replacement earlier this year after I determined that spare parts availability has become quite uncertain.

      At work we have a DNS server which has been up for 2474 days (6 years 9 months, 7+ days), basically since we moved it from the former data center. It’s running Solaris 10, still my pick for the most stable of the *NIX family.

      OTOH, try getting an out-of-the-box Linux distro to play DVDs and you can spend days chasing down all the rabbit holes of which player requires which plugins and which libraries … I don’t bother trying anymore and just take the DVD to the Mac.

      Linux is great for backend server-type stuff, and liveable for most desktop stuff, but I would shoot myself before I tried to get my wife to use a Linux system instead of her iMac.

      • True story:

        I had just been hired by a small software company as the IT guy in charge. Walking the computer room, where they had White Box PCs running BSD, I trailed the back of my hand behind them as I habitually do. One was not blowing hot air over the hairs ….

        Turns out it was their main build server and product code archive…

        I issued an emergency shutdown notice and downed the box in under 5 minutes. The power suppy fan was so filled with / covered by dirt and grime it was only sporadically turning from time to time. Clean out and a new fan later it was back up runnung fine. The BSD UNIX on it was so stable it had not been shut down for years… the computer room was clean, but not HEPPA, and dirt gradually defeated the fan. It was still running two years later…

      • E.M. Smith:
        FreeBSD/NetBSD are also extremely reliable, but more of a pain to develop on. I have a FreeNAS system at home (hosted on a recycled Dell server) that has been absolutely solid.

        That said, nothing will survive lack of cooling — sometimes you gotta shut it down …

  49. I don’t have much to say considering I’ve been ticked off at Microsoft lunacy in everything they’ve released since Windows 98SE.

  50. Microsoft has changed the world, but they’ve too often branded themselves as thieves and liars in the process.

  51. Oh yeah, Anth*ny, if auto-updating, the update might get reinstalled. You have to right-click the update when it again appears in windows-update window and mark as “hide” so it won’t keep appearing there or get reinstalled.

  52. I don’t get it. Does it mean you can upgrade totally free, from Windows 7 to windows 10?

    • Yes, for a limited time. But if you don’t want it, the offer (prod) won’t go away.
      When my XP PC died and I had to buy one fast, I bought one running Win7Pro because I DIDN’T want one running Win 8.1. Too much was different and some features were lost.
      I suspect going to Win10 will be much the same.
      (Someone told me that to play a DVD in Win10, you’ll need to buy 3’rd party software. I didn’t have to do that with Win7Pro. I don’t know if it will make some hardware artificially obsolete like Vista on did but I suspect it will.)

  53. Not sure what you are running but I run windows 8.1 from the desktop with no problems with a mouse even though I do have a touch screen no there is no real start menu but there are simple ways around that as per win 10 I know a few people that have been using it for several month and they are nothing but impressed they use it on both a non touch screen laptop as well as their phone and they seem quite impressed my wife’s cousin in particular is not easily impressed and he seems quite pleased with it.

  54. Here is an option that doesn’t require uninstalling the update.

    Click the ‘Start’ icon
    Click ‘Administrative Tools’
    Click ‘Task Scheduler’
    Click the little triangle next to ‘Task Scheduler Library’
    Click the little triangle next to ‘Microsoft’
    Click the little triangle next to ‘Windows’
    Click the little triangle next to ‘Setup’
    Click ‘gwx’
    Select ‘refreshgwxconfig’
    Under ‘Actions’ -‘Selected Item’ click ‘Disable’
    Close Task Scheduler
    Right-click the Task Bar and click ‘Start Task Manager’
    Under ‘Processes’, find gwx.exe, select it, and click ‘End Process’
    No need to reboot.

    Latest on Windows 10:
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/2928286/how-to-upgrade-to-windows-10-what-you-need-to-know.html

  55. Great post! I sympathize. The blame lies not with programmers but with Microsoft marketing and project managers; pencil pushers who need to justify their jobs by coming up with the latest crazy ideas. I knew someone who worked at Microsoft and told me about a meeting with programmers a while back about removing the Start Menu in Windows 8. There was unanimous objection. It was the most contentious meeting this person remembered. Ultimately the programmers were overridden and the Start Menu went away. It angered users so much–as programmers knew it would–that they’re bringing it back in Windows 10.

    Average intelligence of programmers: practically brilliant
    Average intelligence of marketing: dumber than a sack of hammers

  56. The Windows 10 interfaces for phone and tablet will not be running on your desktop computer. Get a grip Anthony.

  57. Just so you know.. Bill Gates, is one sharp cookie. Back about 17 years ago, Microsoft Stock was heading towards $200 a share. (I think it topped out about $177.) Good old Billy “walked away” from Microswarf, cashing in his “founders shares” to the tune of what, a mere $9 or $10 BILLION. He promptly set up the “Gates Foundation”. With himself as the head, his father, brother, wife, etc as board of directors.

    Now he get’s “paid” what he determines is a “good salary” (and the Board agrees). He managed to escape either income (no income involved, only capital gains) and capital gains taxes.

    Now, in juxtaposition to the CLINTON (MONEY LAUNDERING) FOUNDATION, the Gates foundation actually puts out 200, 300, 400 MILLION per year in monies for world wide health projects for the “third world” countries.

    I DON’T HAVE THOSE RESOURCES! Bill does, and a LAUD him for what he does!

    But, alas, what, 10, 12, 14 years ago…when someone saw my Bill gates doll on the top of my monitor, and filled me in on the “rest of the story”, I had to dispose of the Voodoo doll, and become a “Gates Fan” and realize that, despite his flaws, BILL was NOT responsible for the various screaming flaws in WINDOWS which we’ve been cursing for about 15 years.

  58. I use a mouse and keyboard, with a 17″ diagonal monitor, not a touchscreen. I use Windows 8.1 because it works, is stable, and defensible from malware.
    I have installed the free IObit Start Menu and free AVG antivirus (some speed penalty).
    I am eager to install Windows 10.

    • Free AVG is incomplete and does not update. You need to purchase the full version of AVG to receive signature updates. Windows Defender is not an AV engine, it’s “spy/mal” ware!

      • Last time I used the free version of AVG (OK, it was some time ago), there were no updates available. To receive updates, one needed to purchase a full copy. That’s certainly what i recall on the website at the time. I don’t know anything about Window$8 other than, agreeing with Anth*ny, is crap! I don’t use ANY M$ “security” engines on my system.

  59. “Sorry Microsoft this isn’t kewl” ?!?
    Wow, you’re just figuring this out? Ralph Nader explained this more than a decade ago. Say what you will about Nader, you still gotta listen to what the guy says and judge for yourself. Bill Gates is not a reasonable man on the subject of Bill Gates and Microsoft Inc. …. Plus he has this annoying laugh he injects into his conversation.

    • Because they learned from the fruit computer and android that the REAL money is from small payments per function (app store). Win10 has “app store” functionality built in on every level.

  60. If you are annoyed by them promoting Win10 (interesting side joke…why was there no Windows 9? Because 7 8 9….seriously that’s geek humor for you, and the devs in Redmond thought that was very funny), wait until you get wind of what is next.

    MS’s grand plan may be to go to “as a service”. They aren’t talking about it because they know nobody wants to “subscribe” to their operating system and make trickle payments for life. But based upon how this is being deployed and supported, you can see the writing on the wall. What your plan might include:

    • Cloud storage – For thin machines (i.e. tablets and phones) that need to economize on storage, the world is going this way anyway. No need to lug your machine around to have your files. You can access your desktop from anywhere that has web connectivity.
    • Media service – want to stream movies or music…this will be all part of your desktop experience
    • Security – all the latest in anti-malware and anti-intrusion will be deployed constantly.
    • And of course lifetime updates to your environment…no more “versions”, they simply keep coming out with updates, improvements, etc..

    OS as a service. For a monthly fee, all this and more will be wrapped together. So no longer will you “buy” an operating system. You simply subscribe and the latest is given to you, along with whatever other “features” come with it.

    So this is why they are “giving” it away to all users of Win 7 & 8. Read the fine print…it is “Free for a year”. What does that mean? How do you put a time limit on something I’ve installed on my machine? What if I don’t pay a year from now? Does it roll back to Win 7? What if my machine isn’t going to be constantly online?

    It’s an interesting concept. It changes the dynamic between OEM hardware makers and MS. It changes the relationship with the “user” and MS. You no longer “own” your operating system…you’re renting it.
    I’ll be playing the wait-and-see game. This is going to get interesting. ZDNet article on it:

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/windows-as-a-service-whats-threshold-got-to-do-with-it/#!

    • > You no longer “own” your operating system…you’re renting it.

      You didn’t own the OS with DOS 6.22, Win95, Win98, WinXP, Win7, Win8 either. You purchased a license to run the OS. This license is non-transferable BTW. You actually can not legally donate an old computer and also leave the Microsoft Windows software on that computer. Software ownership was never on the Microsoft table, and the license can be revoked at any time by Microsoft.

      > • Cloud storage
      > • Media service
      > • Security
      > • And of course lifetime updates

      Yes… and if you are running:

      -Android these exist and are paid for through transfer of personal information.
      -MacOSx these exist and are used to place you firmly in the Apple ‘walled-garden’ — loyalty is enforced.
      -Ubuntu these mostly used to exist, but Ubuntu One is now gone…
      -Whatever OS + personal rented server ==> best option for technically minded person with some free time.

      However you slice it, payment is made for the services you listed. I don’t use Microsoft products, but if they offer a paid version and also *don’t* sell your personal information — I would then have to say that the MS version would be preferred to some other ‘free’ options.

      • “You actually can not legally donate an old computer and also leave the Microsoft Windows software on that computer”

        Not true if it was purchased with Windows installed. The operating system installed on a machine by a MS licensed OEM builder is supposed to stay with the machine, (that why the license sticker is right on the box).

        PC transfer to another end user
        The entire PC, however, may be transferred to another end user, along with the software license rights. When transferring the PC to the new end user, the following must be included:

        http://www.microsoft.com/OEM/en/licensing/sblicensing/Pages/transfer_oem_licenses.aspx

      • @ The Original Mike M:

        Some MS licenses may transfer with the computer under certain conditions. However, most MS licenses do not or did not transfer – it’s been a long time since I really cared, since I don’t use or need Microsoft software. There are many licenses, each applied in different ways at different levels within the product lifecycle and use. OEM does not mean distributor and distributor does not mean end-user. Also, the difference between transfer with a computer and transfer to a person is difficult to define. It’s likely that Microsoft could legally claimed an unauthorized transfer if – say – the amount of RAM in the OEM machine was changed after sale from the OEM to the distributor…

        The point is: You, the Microsoft Customer, do *not* own the software. It is not *yours* to give away or to install on a friend’s machine or to disassemble or to do anything that violates the EULA. You purchased a non-warrantied, limited, and revocable – for any reason- license to run the software in a limited way on a limited number of machines for a limited amount of time. And Microsoft has been known to sue non-profits over donated computers with MS software on them… I’m not sure if any lawsuit ever succeeded, but I do remember reading about at least one case which may have been withdrawn due only to public outcry…

        In general, it’s best to wipe all software off any computer you may want to get rid of… both for your own security/privacy reasons as well as to remove any possible liability on the donated party for incorrect licenses.

        Microsoft is not your friend. They are in the business of making things as confusing as possible so as to get people to pay them in as many ways as possible with as little work as possible. But that’s America.

        Also, I strongly repeat, -for anyone out there to which this applies- it is a very bad idea to continue using Windows XP.

        –I don’t want a pickle, I just wanna ride on my motorcycle.

      • As for your gripe about “not owning the software you buy”, that’s true for intellectual property in general such as patents and copyrights. If you actually owned the software then you would be free to sell it. It’s only only fair that whoever writes software should be able to choose to remain the owner of it and choose to control how the software is used via a license agreement – whether you are some developer working out of your basement or a mega-billion dollar company.

        (BTW, this comment was written on a 12 year old Toshiba laptop running Windows XP. )

      • @The Original Mike M:

        (BTW, this comment was written on a *compromised by Russian script kiddies* 12 year old Toshiba laptop running Windows XP. )

        There, I fixed that for you.

        If you were using FOSS instead of Windows OS V.xyz — you would need to worry about the end of lifecycle. And, yes, you would – for all intents and purposes – own the software you are running. And you would be able to pay someone to fix, update, change, and redistribute the software, legally, if the provider of the software choose to no longer produce it or update it.

        I prefer not to run an non-updateable, non-patchable OS, especially one that routinely hits my servers in armies of botnets even as the unsuspecting end-users of that OS has his/her every key stroke sent to at least three separate criminally controlled databases.

        However, to each his/her own….

    • Your link is 9 months old. Try this:
      http://techcrunch.com/2015/06/01/microsoft-wraps-its-windows-10-pitch-heres-what-you-need-to-know/#.63lyos:7j2c

      I agree there is still a large population that doesn’t want to subscribe to software. I will never rent Photoshop in ‘the Cloud’. But my take on “free for a year” is that Win 7-8 users have one year to upgrade to Win10 for free, after which it costs about $119 for the home version and $199 for the pro version.

      There’s probably government pressure to force security updates. Who knows how many botnets are waiting to be called on for denial-of-service attacks?

    • Here’s a short document that I’m sure will clear everything up for anyone interested in the easy to understand Microsoft license labyrinth:

      http://download.microsoft.com/download/6/A/1/6A1647EE-3FC7-47F2-9AFE-470AD5E5D856/OEMSoftwareLicensingRulesandRestrictions.pdf

      Microsoft: Get a new motherboard, purchase a new license.

      http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_xp-windows_install/after-a-motherboard-upgrade-xp-is-returning-a-xp/fd2161ba-cb64-4809-8d89-598c50472c49?auth=1

      *Generally* a user can replace all components … except the motherboard…

      Microsoft does not even commit to definitively saying that all components except the motherboard.

      It’s all about dollars and cents — and not sense.

  61. Great tip. Unfortunately, after rebooting, Windows Update will notify you (or at least it did me) that there is an important update that needs to be installed, “Update for Windows 7 (KB3035583)”. If you have automatic updates turned on it will probably re install it for you at some point. I wonder if there is a way to tell Windows Update that you don’t ever want this “update” on your Windows computer?

    • Before removing it, turn off automatic updates. Remove the offending update and reboot the computer. After you are logged back in, launch windows update and check for updates. Select the offending update, right click and select hide. Perform any other updates. After reboot, turn automatic updates back on.

  62. Is there a link to a listing of any program compatibility / driver issues reported by Win10 users that we should be aware of before we upgrade?

  63. Had to manage an office full of WinXP machines for a few years, but otherwise I’ve been a Macintosh guy since 1988. Apple is rather sneakily working to merge OS X and iOS together, but so far OS X is still a good desktop OS, and has always been far more user-friendly than any version of Windows.

    Unfortunately, my wife’s company uses online software that requires IE (not past IE9, either!), so she has to run Windows. I use Parallels virtual XP to access it, but I can’t burden her with another level; she has a Win7 Dell. So Anthony, I appreciate the tip about the update nag. I’ll write down the number and make sure Windows Update stops offering it (as I do with IE11).

    /Mr Lynn

  64. I haven’t read all the comments but in addition to what Anthony said, after uninstalling the update run Windows update again.
    The Win10Trojan (KB3035583) will likely show up again in the list of available updates.
    Right click on it and select the “Hide Update” option.
    If you decide later you want it you can always select “Show Hidden Updates” later.

  65. Just did a CTRL-ALT-DEL clicked the processes tab, and stopped gwx.exe process.

    If I restart the computer I will have to stop it again, but I rarely do a restart.

  66. Well, at least Microsoft-in-head is not automatically doing it to you, as they did with a big update about ten years ago. CIOs were probably phoning Bill Gates at home because it fouled up custom software due to small differences (and perhaps sloppy coding on both ends – “it takes two to tangle”). /sarc

  67. Thanks for the tip. You should also know that the update also created 4 file/path references in the registry which refer to autologger-diagttack-listener.etl.

    I repaired them on mine.

  68. theres actually 2 updates involved. one for the msg and 1 for prep work.
    those on enterprise versions or joined to domain won’t see the msg.

  69. Anthony

    I have been running Windows 10 in a VM for some weeks. It’s much more of a normal desktop OS that Windows 8 and 8.1 and should be seen as a half-way house between those and Windows 7. It’s certainly more intuitive to use that Windows 8 for us oldsters.

    The more important (for your business) news is that Windows 10 server has gone even more Unix-like with a micro-kernel approach which means that there is no GUI or even PowerShell interface unless you add them (It is commanded remotely since you ask). This should make Windows 10 server more like Docker in terms of performance and reliability especially as it is focussed (rightly) as an OS on cloud environments rather than physical servers.

    So yes, I will be upgrading to Windows 10 and so should you. And no, I’m not getting off your lawn!

  70. I have stock-piled this link for if/when the time comes Microsoft wants to screw up my computing.

    I use WIndows .7

  71. Ha ha, I was going to recommend to you Classic Shell, and there you are, you have it! My recommended site for downloading is https://ninite.com/ because it is a compendium of lots of useful Windows programs.

  72. “…especially as it is focussed [sic] (rightly) as an OS on cloud environments rather than physical servers.”

    5 TB hard drives are <$150. I fail to see any advantage to any cloud.

    • To lose 5TB of data on a single drive is a big risk. I lost 2TB once due to a head crash. The “cloud” and similar options removes that risk and you can access it anywhere any time.

      • I’d rather mirror/back up my own data than fool with the cloud. That’s why the low TB/$ makes backing up your own stuff a much more attractive option, imo, not least of all because you retain 100% control.

        What if you lose your connection? The cloud must reside on physical servers somewhere too, and any and all hardware can fail for one reason or another.

        It’s always important to have your important stuff in more than one place. Basic practice. Buy new drive, copy important stuff. Retain old stuff on old drive. I’ve never had an external drive fail, but it may happen, and I hope to be backed up if it does. But trust the cloud? Forgive me if I chuckle…ha ha ha.

        I’ve already spent more time than I care to remember backing up data to floppies, bernouli boxes, Zip drives, tape drives, CDs, DVDs, and external hard drives…now I’ve got so much stuff that I sometimes spend hours trying to find something I thought I was pretty sure I knew where it should be, but it wasn’t.

        The point is that compared to all those clunky old back-up systems I used in the past, copying from one external drive to another is a breeze, and while that’s running I can do something else.

        I think our bernouli cartridges were a couple hundred bucks for 60 MB. Zip drives came along a little later. I actually paid $40 for the first cartridge I bought, and I don’t they were ever much cheaper than about half that for 100 MB, but they sure were a big improvement over floppies.

      • Yes because the drive has to cater for bad sectors when detected and the data moved to a good sector. This is to do with ECC. Consumer electronics like PVR’s etc, have drives that do not have ECC.

    • I’ll tell you. Cloud systems use multiple technique to make sure that data is never lost, including RAID 5,6 as well as RAID 10 (mirroring), SAN mirroring both within sites and across multiple sites using deduplicated stores.

      So the answer is that yes you can get more capacity on a local drive but the risk of catastrophic loss is one or two magnitudes higher than a properly run cloud.

  73. With 8.1 you don’t need classic shell it will boot straight into desktop and you can work as though it was windows 7. I also use a 27 inch monitor and you can use the tiles with a mouse no problem whatsoever in fact access to the system can be easier once you get used to it.

    I use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop without any problems whatsoever the only issue I have is when I click to use the system just as it is going to sleep and the blessed thing just sits there so you just have to hit the mechanical start button on Dell workstations because their is no restart button.

    • I don’t know about the final release version but with the Win10 preview I was able to roll back to the previous operating system Win8.1 without loss of files, settings or applications. I ended up re-installing Windows 8.1 anyway though after downloading the setup media from Microsoft and digging into my emails for the code I needed from the purchase of the upgrade from Windows 7.

  74. I still use XP and still get security updates from Microsoft, thanks to a line of Code inserted in the Registry that informs Microsoft that I am part of the US Military and need 5 more years of security support. I also have Kaspersky anti-Virus for XP working for me. As soon as Microsoft brings out a BETTER operating system, not just a new one, I will switch, but so far I have not seen one yet.

  75. One of the issues many people are worrying about is what they think Microsoft may do to them if they do accept the free MS Windows 10 upgrade. Microsoft is following the Adobe service model where software such as Microsoft Office 360 is rented month to month and/or year to year for a recurring fee. Imagine where users will be if Microsoft were to solicit all of these “free” upgrades to MS Windows 10 and then insist upon an annual paid service update to continue to use MS Windows 10 after the first year of free service or to obtain continued operating system updates. It remains to be seen if and when Microsoft will begin using this sales model for the operating systems, Win10 or later.

  76. I looked at most comments but not all, none seems to show the easy way to remove the Windows 10 free upgrade icon in the notification area.

    Click on the small white triangle (show hidden icons), then click on customize… Scroll down to GWX and select “Only show notifications” in the Behaviors column. Press OK and you are done.

  77. Just skimmed though the comments. I’ve never read so much BS and conspiracies about PCs/Windows in one web page. I started with UNIX v7/BSD, DOS3/Win3/WinNT, now on Win7 and Android. Progess, mobility and usability over 40 years.

    I’ll get my real computer news from ZDnet and Paul Thurrott, not WUWT!

    • Eric Gisin,

      I’m not a Windows user. But I have a question: If you’re so knowledgeable, why don’t you contribute something worthwhile?

  78. Anyone who has used Windows over the years knows there have been hits and misses. 95 was bad. 98 was good. ME was bad (no, terrible). NT wasn’t great. 2k was pretty good. XP was very good, but it’s yesterday’s news. Vista was terrible. 7 was very good. 8 was terrible. 8.1 only slightly better. I’ve used the 10 preview and it looks pretty good. Definitely an improvement over 8.x. I’ll be trying it on one of my 7 machines. It’s pretty surprising that MS will be offering it for free.

  79. You didn’t think they were going to get rid of Clippy the paperclip without finding something else to annoy the snot out of you with did you?

    You don’t seem to understand. They’re sadists in Redmond.

  80. I saw a YouTube previewing Win 10 quite a while ago . Altho they tried to make is sound like they were fleshing out 8 to integrate mobile and desktop features , it came across as really being about reimplementing all the things from 7 they fouled up in 8 . The transition to 8.1 unconscionably trashed so of my important files . I think 8 was the end of the line for Ballmer .

    Here are instructions on http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-10-faq which sound like they get rid of your icon .

    Can I turn off the notifications?
    Yes. Click “Customize” in the System Tray and turn off the Get Windows 10 app notifications in the menu that comes up.

  81. I run win 8.1 on a 32 bit machine. I just checked, & update KB3035583 has been on it for 3 weeks. The icon you mention has never appeared, so maybe MS 10 is a 64 bit only OS?? And for all the XP lovers, 8.1 sh**ts all over it. No need to pay for security software, & it starts in 30 seconds flat instead of 2 – 4 minutes.

  82. My 6 year old MacBook Pro is still running well after the last upgrade to Mavericks.

    The word intuitive is used a lot with OS X and after 6 years I find it difficult to disagree. Yes, more expensive that a PC upfront but I find it easier to use and so I am more productive, plus it is much easier to install new software and upgrades. After the Mavericks upgrade every application on my computer worked fine with only a slight issue for an old version of Lightroom that I use.

    In the other camp I have a desktop running Windows7 but find the interface painful compared to OS X. It’s a lot of small things that each on their own wouldn’t matter much but together make it something I use only when I have to.

    • A lot of people think that ‘Intuitive’ means you can buy a Mac and ‘just use it.’ Not so. The learning curve is much the same as with Windows for the first-time user. The difference is that Mac apps are much more consitent in the way they work, so once you have learned, then you use that knowledge productively instead of having to continually waste time relearning.

  83. Even the change fro XP to Win-7 drove me nuts. Linux. Crunchbang. Never looked back.

  84. Microsoft is desperate in trying to get people on to their next greatest OS. Microsoft knows people are not going to manually go and install their next Windows release so they are resorting to this automatic update thing and hope they will gain users. They seem to have no idea that this will only make users more angry at them for doing this. Windows 10 is going to be another fail just like Windows 8 and 8.1. Maybe a bit better than eight, but not by much.

    And that background running process is stupid and useless indeed, eating resources and sending data to MS. It’s spyware as far as I’m concerned.

  85. Having used Windows 10 since the first preview version I can say most of what you’re saying is unfounded. The start menu is back in 10, the metro start screen is gone. 10 is a happy marriage between the familiar UI of 7 and the increased performance that came with 8/8.1. You can use tiles essentially as much or as little as you want.

    It may be worth waiting at launch for a while in case some bugs show up, but you have a year to upgrade for free anyway so waiting six months won’t hurt anything… After all people forget even XP needed a service pack to make it a great OS.

    In either case the close minded nature, complete with an obvious lack of research, rant on the subject does more to hurt your credibility in my eyes then any attack from some Green Peace or WWF hack.

  86. Bought my wife a Macbook. After nearly two years I got tired of the swearing and I replaced it with a Levno Windows 8.1 Works like a dream, and no swear words. The Macbook died within days anyway, we were very lucky to get the files she wanted off it in time. Now we share the windows Ondrive, and upgrading is simple.
    My daughter started doing coursework postgrad this year. Almost everyone in the class (of 200) uses a Windows Surface Pro. It’s the windows 8.1 + cloud that makes it so good for an intensive Uni course. She used an Apple for her undergrad, and gave it to me within days of graduating. No-one wants it in the family.

    Love modern Windows, even if it is not fashionable. Steep learning curve, and a different way of thinking, but can I ever get some work done on it. I have to use XP or W7 at work, and its very difficult going back to them, they feel clunky and my productivity definitely suffers. Tried Linux. Just doesn’t do what I need, very inflexible.

  87. I think the word is “invasive” Anthony.
    I use a Macbook Pro laptops for editing (I have owned 3 over the course of 15 years without a glitch).
    I have noticed that the lifespan of EVERYTHING electronic has shortened since ROHS has been adapted worldwide.
    As the saying goes, “They don’t make things like they used to”!

  88. Hey you guys, all keep your hair on please !

    Remember these facts.

    Whilst MS Windows 10 might well be the best O/S since …. err the last one ;-)

    Old Hardware won’t run these new systems very well, if at all.

    If you have old hardware you might be best stick with your
    old O/S, even if it is no longer supported for “upgrade patches”.
    In these cases you must provide your own security, by way of a
    3rd party antispyware, antivirus, firewall package. There are very
    many to choose from, and they do a good job. It is difficult, if not
    impossible for an “attacker” to gain access to your PC if you have
    a good “watchdog” real time file and internet / browser monitor.

    PS/ Microsoft BoB is still alive on an IBM 80386 CPU machine,
    running at 16MHz with 8MB of RAM and a 60MB Hard disk.
    You couldn’t even get that to run Win98, let alone Win10.

    This discussion is analogous to the carping at Classic Autos
    websites, about the poor brakes on an old Model-T Ford, and
    so on. Hey guys and gals, if you have some old hardware, you
    can still use that, but realize its limitations. Take 3rd party
    precautions, and keep FULL Backups, and you will be OK.

    Thank you for choosing Microsoft in the past, even if you
    don’t like the current products, nobody is forcing you to
    have them. XP will keep on working until its hardware host
    finally burns out beyond repair, be assured of that !

    You can Still get Microsoft Bob for that old box in the garage
    and install it today, for a laugh maybe, but still there are fans.
    Click on my name to see independent download archive.

  89. I always update to the next Windows version. The new one is always better in several ways. But, “new” is also “different” in a few ways — takes a day or two to get used to “different”.

  90. You would have thought that Microsoft would have learned their lesson after all the flak they took over the Windows ‘Genuine Advantage nagware they installed as a Windows update. Seems not

  91. Linux is still not ready for prime time.

    Unfortunately the people here recommending Linux either do not work in IT, have never supported thousands of end users or have never supported them on the desktop with Linux.

    Unless you work in IT it is not recommended you move to Linux but if want to try it Linux Mint is the most use user friendly Distro currently available (Yes I have tried all the major Distros).

    Linux Distros are a convoluted mess of version incompatibilities. Imagine 100 current variants of Windows, each with half a dozen versions that are not 100% compatible with each other.

    If you want things to just work get Windows, if you don’t mind wasting hours trying to get basic things to function as they automatically do in Windows by all means give Linux a try.

    However, you should be aware of all of the major problems associated with using Linux that clueless advocates will not tell you about likely because they are unaware of them or pretend they do not exist,

    http://linuxfonts.narod.ru/why.linux.is.not.ready.for.the.desktop.current.html

    Summary:

    No stability, bugs, regressions, regressions and regressions: There’s an incredible amount of regressions (both in the kernel and in user space applications) when things which used to work break inexplicably, some of regressions can even lead to data loss. Basically there is no quality control (QA/QC) and regression testing in most Open Source projects (including the kernel) – Microsoft, for instance, reports that Windows 8 received 1,240,000,000 hours of testing whereas new kernel releases get, I guess, under 10,000 hours of testing – and every Linux kernel release is comparable to a new Windows version. Serious bugs which impede normal workflow can take years to be resolved. A lot of crucial hardware (e.g. GPUs, Wi-Fi cards) isn’t properly supported.

    Hardware issues: Under Linux many devices and devices features are still poorly supported or not supported at all. Some hardware (e.g. Broadcom Wi-Fi adapters) cannot be used unless you already have a working Internet connection. New hardware often becomes supported months after introduction. Specialized software to manage devices like printers, scanners, cameras, webcams, audio players, smartphones, etc. almost always just doesn’t exist – so you won’t be able to fully control your new iPad and update firmware on your Galaxy SIII. Linux graphics support is a big bloody mess because kernel/X.org APIs/ABIs constantly change and NVIDIA/ATI/Broadcom/etc. companies don’t want to allocate extra resources and waste their money just to keep up with an insane rate of changes in the Open Source software.

    The lack of standardization, fragmentation, unwarranted & excessive variety, as well as no common direction or vision among different distros: Too many Linux distributions with incompatible and dissimilar configurations, packaging systems and incompatible libraries. Different distros employ totally different desktop environments, different graphical and console applications for configuring your computer settings. E.g. Debian based distros oblige you to use the strictly text based `dpkg-reconfigure` utility for certain system related maintenance tasks.

    The lack of cooperation between open source developers and internal wars: There’s no central body to organize the development of different parts of the open source stack which often leads to a situation when one project introduces changes which break other projects (this problem is also reflected in “Unstable APIs/ABIs” below). Even though the Open Source movement lacks manpower, different Linux distros find enough resources to fork projects (Gentoo developers are going to develop a udev alternative; a discord in ffmpeg which led to the emergence of libav; a situation around OpenOffice/LibreOffice; a new X.org/Wayland alternative – Mir) and to use own solutions.

    A lot of rapid changes: Most Linux distros have very short upgrade/release cycles (as short as six months in some cases, or e.g. Arch which is a rolling distro, or Fedora which gets updated every six months), thus you are constantly bombarded with changes you don’t expect or don’t want. LTS (long term support) distros are in most cases unsuitable for the desktop users due to the policy of preserving applications versions (and usually there’s no officially approved way to install bleeding edge applications – please, don’t remind me of PPAs and backports – these hacks are not officially supported, nor guaranteed to work). Another show-stopping problem for LTS distros is that LTS kernels often do not support new hardware.

    Unstable APIs/ABIs & the lack of real compatibility: It’s very difficult to use old open and closed source software in new distros (in many cases it becomes impossible due to changes in core Linux components like kernel, GCC or glibc). Almost non-existent backwards compatibility makes it incredibly difficult and costly to create closed source applications for Linux distros. Open Source software which doesn’t have active developers or maintainers gets simply dropped if its dependencies cannot be satisfied because older libraries have become obsolete and they are no longer available. For this reason for instance a lot of KDE3/Qt3 applications are not available in modern Linux distros even though alternatives do not exist. Developing drivers out of the main Linux kernel tree is an excruciating and expensive chore. There’s no WinSxS equivalent for Linux – thus there’s no simple way to install conflicting libraries.

    Software issues: Not that many games (mostly Indies) and few AAA games (Valve’s efforts and collaboration with games developers have resulted in many recent games being released for Linux, however every year thousands of titles are still released for Windows exclusively*. More than 98% of existing and upcoming AAA titles are still unavailable in Linux). No familiar Windows software, no Microsoft Office (LibreOffice still has major troubles opening correctly Microsoft Office produced documents), no native CIFS (simple to configure and use, as well as password protected and encrypted network file sharing) equivalent, no Active Directory or its featurewise equivalent.

    Money, enthusiasm, motivation and responsibility: I predicted years ago that FOSS developers would start drifting away from the platform as FOSS is no longer a playground, it requires substantial efforts and time, i.e. the fun is over, developers want real money to get the really hard work done. FOSS development, which lacks financial backing, shows its fatigue and disillusionment. The FOSS platform after all requires financially motivated developers as underfunded projects start to wane and critical bugs stay open for years. One could say “Good riddance”, but the problem is that oftentimes those dying projects have no alternatives or similarly featured successors.

    No polish, no consistency and no HIG adherence (even KDE developers admit it).

    • This is complete nonsense. Talking as someone who does support Linux on the desktop for naive users, I get on average one or two calls a year, and they are all about stuff like how to do rareified things in word processing, or charts. Same problem would come up with MS Office. Every four or five years I go do system upgrade, and it works fine. Mostly by then we are replacing hardware.

      I put in Debian with Mate and using Claws for what its worth.

    • Linux and other Unix derivatives are dominant in the Internet server market. In terms of desktop productivity apps, OpenOffice with its conventional menus (on either OS) is now far easier to use than the horrid ribbon interface on recent Microsoft Office releases.

      The reason Linux is rarely found on the desktop is that special-purpose software almost always assumes a Windows desktop, and in some cases also forces the use of a Windows server. That is why most business users are reluctant to go the Linux route. Accounting and payroll software is probably the main offender in this respect, as there is rarely a Linux (or Mac) equivalent. I don’t know of any competent UK accounting packages that run on Linux. I guess you could use a VM for the accounts package, but then you still run into issues like the accounts package perversely demanding an Exchange client (and nothing else) if it is to send invoices by email. At the end of the day, it’s easier to write-out your check to Mr Gates than to battle with these issues..

      For younger home users games dominate, and almost all are Windows only.,VMs have too slow a display update for action games. For the mature home user, Linux is a good option though. Or, a Mac. Either will be far less troublesome than Windows.

      • OpenOffice and Libre Office continue to have compatibility issues with Microsoft Office especially with Word Documents, Excel and Power Point. Surprisingly most end users largely prefer the ribbon interface even if I am not a fan of it.

        Linux Distros like Mint can be a good option if you just want to browse the web with Google Chrome and do not work in a business environment.

        Windows is not troublesome and is very easy to manage.

      • Yes, people do have problems with Windows – in my experience, more than with Linux, though there is considerable overlap in the form of problems figuring out Office on either one. But, if you need some specific bit of software that only runs on Windows, you need it. And its also true that Linux is going to work best for the average user whose work pattern and application use is stable over time and consists mostly of web, email, office.

      • Do free versions of Office (Libre Office, Open Office, Star Office) have the same / as many features (functions, graphing options) as MS Office 2013 ?

      • I have yet to have a compatibility problem with Libreoffice and Mickeysoft. I exchange .docx files all the time. The people I exchange with don’t even know I’m using Libre.

        Next crank argument…

      • Harold, not even close…

        http://en.libreofficeforum.org/node/7505

        Microsoft Binary (97-2007) file format

        * The old binary specifications (DOC, XLS, PPT, et al.) are highly unlikely to ever be fully implemented, either by LO or anyone else.
        * These specifications are incredibly horrible and complex and that is probably me being kind. It is probably more accurate to state they are some special kind of nightmare that may lead to a zalgo situation. Implementing features takes time because of this complexity.
        * It is unrealistic to expect a free product to be 100% compatible with an awful and antiquated format that has no future. An expectation of 100% compatibility with a commercial product of any kind is unrealistic. […]

        Anyone that thinks they are 100% compatible using Microsoft’s document formats is delusional at best.

        http://ask.libreoffice.org/en/question/16247/why-does-libreoffice-still-have-such-poor-formatting-of-docx-and-some-doc-files-despite-the-claims-of-improvement/

        Why does LibreOffice still have such poor formatting of .docx and some doc files despite the claims of improvement?

        We never claimed that we can handle docx or doc files perfectly. This is actually nearly impossible as the OOXML standard has more than 6000 pages and the doc filter was written in a time when there was no specification of the file format available.”

      • Richard, Apache Open Office and LibreOffice have about 90-95% of the features of Microsoft Office. Both are very good free office products but if you need 100% Microsoft Document compatibility then you will need Microsoft Office. Home users can get away with OO and LO without much problem.

        Since they are free give them a try.

      • The only thing stopping me is the prospect of another learning curve (or two) with possibly no gain (or even a potential loss) in functionality.

      • Richard, the main reason to consider them is financial. If you can afford Microsoft Office then there is no reason to use them instead. However, if saving hundreds of dollars is important then they are excellent free alternatives.

        Regardless they are free to download and will work alongside Microsoft Office so download them and give them a try.

        Apache Open Office
        https://www.openoffice.org/

        LibreOffice
        https://www.libreoffice.org/

        As to which one is better? That is a whole separate argument.

      • Thanks, yes, I would expect different software to be better at different things.

  92. Windows 10 is actually a huge improvement for those hapless Windows 8/8.1 users out there. Though, it doesn’t offer much advantage to Windows 7 users so in their case I’m not sure I’d bother upgrading. In any case, Classic Shell is one of the best add-ons, giving you a more XP-like desktop with a sensible start menu. http://www.classicshell.net/

  93. Thanks Anthony. That’s one less unnecessary piece of crap burdening my computer. Much appreciated!

  94. Looks like there’s a fair number of Windeniers on this board. You could include me, too, for several reasons.

    I use a PC only for my personal finances, including taxes. The only websites I go to are banks, brokers, and the IRS (for forms. I prefer to submit my taxes on hard paper, not electronically. The IRS seems prone to too many hard disk crashes). I do all my surfing on an iPad (I’m on one now). I wish I could freeze the PC from any future changes. It does exactly what I want, and I desire no upgrades.

    I use my PC frequently, but for short periods. It cannot access the ‘net automatically. I have specified manual updates every place I can find. Nevertheless, invariably when I need some info quickly, it begins an auto-update of something when I boot up, keeping me from using my own computer.

    My primary complaint, though, are the machines Windows runs on. I have had more than my share of crashes, system failures, and hardware problems with PCs, regardless of the manufacturer. What I am typing on now is an iPad2. I also have a ‘new’ iPad and an iPad Air, shared with my spouse. This iPad has a cracked screen and been dropped more times than I can count. This is the one I toss in the car whenever I go anywhere. It works flawlessly.

    The old Macintosh Plus I have (yes, very ancient – more than twenty-five years old. The model number of the mouse is M0100) stll works, including its external hard drive. I have a half-dozen PCs in the basement, no longer functional. I could sell the old Mac for $50+. I would have to pay to get rid of the PCs.

  95. Well,I followed the directions and the icon did in fact disappear (windows 7 starter on a 5 year old net book). That is until this AM when I turned my machine on again and just like magic the icon was right back again. Will try the uninstall again

  96. PC interface design was never really about consumer needs or productivity. Now it is a distant side show with $5 billion spent so far on failed state health exchange software systems.

  97. If you want to lower your total cost of ownership, especially if you are a business, switch to Mac. I have been in IT for 30 years. The pain I see everyday mostly comes from the Windows side. And I also note that in general Windows end users are lower information, wait for things to “happen to them” and are therefore not as proactive or willing to solve their own simple IT issues, thus further driving up IT support costs. Even if you have software that only runs on Windows, you can easily run Parallels or Fusion to run a “throwaway” copy of Windows 7 within your Mac. The big benefit being that if you don’t use Windows to do email or surf the web, you are far less likely to get any corrupting malware, viruses, etc. and can turn off Microsoft updates or drastically reduce them and instead use that virtual Windows only for the productive purpose you need it for. On a modern Mac, the Windows VM will run almost as fast as it would natively on a PC.

    Another thing. You are wasting your money on Windows and PCs. I say this because after three years, a Windows box will be recyclable with little resale value, whereas I routinely get 2/3s or the original retail price when I resell my Macs. This allows me to upgrade every three years for a fraction of the cost of what it would take to do so on Windows. Apple hardware holds it value.

    Lastly, it is a fact that Apple owns the whole widget experience and focuses on both hardware and software quality. In the Wintel world, your mileage may vary a lot. And Microsoft often could give a rip if Dell produces bad hardware and vice versa.

    The entire Microsoft premise that software can exist in a vacuum without deep hardware integration is an anachronism and a fallacy.

    • “The entire Microsoft premise that software can exist in a vacuum without deep hardware integration is an anachronism and a fallacy.”

      This is funny. I spend much of my development day in a MS VM that runs on a linux box. What is this deep hardware integration requirement you speak of?

      Everyone should use what they feel comfortable with. But the reflexive windows 8.1 hate on this thread baffles me. I switched from windows 7 to windows 8.1 (I tried win 8 and it did suck) and I think it is an upgrade. Some things irritate me, sure. But most of the touch complaints can be customized away with little effort and other features are an improvement.

    • “deep hardware integration” is another bit of complete nonsense. Apple uses exactly the same hardware components as everyone else (though all too often budget versions at premium prices) and OSX has exactly the same relationship to that hardware as Windows and Unixes. Hardware integration? Its completely nuts. It was nuts even in the days of PPC, but its totally off the wall now.

      Or, if you think it really means something, just give an instance of how OSX relates to some bit of hardware, in a deeper and more integrated way than Windows. Like maybe when it writes to a samsung hard drive?

  98. Good discussion! My Win XP box is a standalone machine with no networking of any kind. Other than the addition of a graphics card, it runs now the same as it did the day it was unpacked 5 years ago, and that is flawlessly. Like all desktops/towers and such, my PC needs to be shut down and thoroughly dust sucked at odd intervals, your environment may vary, but all will have some level of dust, and gradually its accumulation will make your PC run hot.

    Most likely, my XP box will never be online, certainly not running Win XP – Danger! Will Robinson! (There is a good caution about the possible danger of using a Win XP online these days. See masgramondou June 4, 2015 at 8:11 am, and see *, below)

    Otherwise, my TBotF** is run-of-the-mill Athlon X2 PC that does pretty much everything I want to do with a computer, and I paid only $400 for it, much less than what I’ve shelled out for some of my software. My first PC set me back $3000 – Gateway 386/20, where we had Compaq 386/20s at the office that were 5 grand, about what Macs were going for at the time.

    Did I mention games? RGB did above, but I’m not joining anything online, Steam or otherwise. I’ll just keep my games offline, thank you. Win XP works great for that.

    For fantasy and escape, computer games beat the movies imo. With the latter, you just sit there and take whatever they dish out. You’ve got no say in what happens. Whereas with a video game, I mean, a whole lot Aons, Cybrans, and Saraphim are goin’ down hard, baby, before all my base belongs to them.

    Even the original DOOM could raise the hair on the back on my neck when one of those fireball slingin’ flame monkeys suddenly jumped out from a dark hiding spot…it could really suck you in. These days, Unreal Tournament 2004 is my goto first-person shooter for some quick action. It’s a little twitchy, and the AI makes many of the various monsters hop around like jumping beans, but it’s great to be able to create personalized enemies and allies (avatars) by pasting faces onto the game’s default creatures, and there are some truly awesome maps, or game models, where gravity has been reduced, Egyptian motifs have been created…a few of these virtual environments remind me of grungy industrial settings where I’ve worked, and it’s fantastic fun to blast away with the flak cannon at Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, if you need to work off a little aggression. No harm, no foul.

    And if you don’t have MS Flight Simulator X on your computer, you don’t know what you’re missing. I’ve added numerous aircraft to the default set-up, so it’s possible for me to dial time back to that day in 1966, for example, when my long, thin Flying Tiger DC-8 super 60 lumbered into the air way down at the end of the runway at Travis AFB, next stop Elmendorf AFB enroute Yokota AFB, and points beyond. I don’t have the Flying Tiger colors in there, but ‘close enough for government work, as they say, and Uncle Sam was definitely my co-pilot that day. Or you could hop aboard an Grumman F9F Panther and ride shotgun over the Bridges at Toko-Ri. Did I mention that Grace Kelly was in that movie?

    But the bottom line may be that computers are too powerful, especially in the hands of skilled users, so obviously the next step is for TPTB to limit, throttle, muzzle, dumb down everything so that it is more difficult for independent people to do their own thing, whatever that might be with respect to art, music, writing, editing, design, composition, video, engineering, simulations, and yes, even modelling.

    I came here this morning using my newly created Linux Mint 17.1 live USB stick, and it’s running smooth as the proverbial silk. Win 7 on this box has been getting very sluggish, and I use it almost exclusively for web browsing anyway, so Mint it is! At least for as long as persistence persists on this stick. I think it’s a very good idea to have some kind of live Linux media from which to boot in case Windows gets broken anyway.

    * It may be a viable solution for those with Win XP machines to create a live USB stick, or even CD/DVD, and boot into Linux before going online, but wireless intitialization headaches were a common issue with Win XP era machines booting into Linux, as I recall. I used Mepis and Mint with some success.

    ** Tin Box on the Floor. Actually, it rests on a step-stool for improved ventilation and reduced kickability.

  99. The beef I have with Microsoft is they do not grasp how to actually pay attention to users.

    They make improvements but also make changes gratuitously.

    (But many software outfits are troubled:
    – ESET has a bad attitude toward even hearing complaints about certain features.
    – Acronis’ support is stumbling, through a revolving door, and butt-headed, so we butted heads. ;-)
    – Adobe wanted to play a weak version of the “we can supplant Microsoft” fool’s game instead of reducing bloat and improving security (that cost them iPhone business and motivated Microsoft to provide an image print-to-file function).
    – Acro software has become unresponsive, and unreachable (they make CutePDF Pro pdf editor, which has promise).

    /rant off

    • Well, I should have said rant paused, not off. ;-)

      Now I’m searching for a web hosting service in western Canada that is easy to use and reliable.

      Too much hype, as with everything including climate science. One Vancouver BC outfit has very nice PR but no substance.

      InternetHosting.ca/.com is run by an arrogant jerk who blames customers for her problems.
      WhoIs does not respond promptly to my email being blocked because of spam behaviour of a customer hosted on the same server as my account.
      IslandNet/IslandHosting are sloppy, don’t update instructions, not easy to use.

      There was a reliable outfit in Calgary I’ll look up, IIRC Telus took them over which could be the kiss of disease.

  100. My problem is that I never update my OS to newer major versions. Windows becomes slower and slower over time. When a new upgrade comes along I wipe the drive and install completely new. I’m at 7 now. I want a 10 DVD and I will then wipe my drive and install new. Only real way to speed up your Windows back to normal.

    • In between reloading Windows, try running sfc.exe.

      Should be doable by finding the Run dialogue box, entering cmd, then running sfc /scannow after using C:\ to switch to the root directory of your HDD.

      Having backed up your data first, of course.

      (In Windows 7, Run is hidden under Start|All Programs| Accessories. You may get failure indications on completion if you are not online at the time, it gives you the name of a log to look in.)

      And defragging your conventional HDD is a VGI.

      • sfc standing for System File Checker, that essential Windows files are there and sound.

        Rather than “surface check” which is another recommended check, as conventional HDD platters can develop bad areas. Windows is supposed to then avoid the bad areas, I don’t trust it to do so early in the boot process.

  101. Another great article! Personally, I too hate the intrusive attempt that Windows update caused. However, from reading about Windows 10, it seems quite a viable system that will be quite good. So, I selected the free update offer, then uninstalled that update.

  102. Thanks for the instructions.
    My computer blue screened twice and Im having problems connecting to my cable modem since the windows icon appeared.
    Probably coincidence\,but I deleted the icon and my computer connected to cable instantly on startup.

  103. I really resent that Microsoft issued this optional update offering a free upgrade to Windows 10. There was no warning that this was going to happen. Seeing that Windows icon in my system tray and the Windows 10 logo on my updates screen felt like an intrusion into my work space, and there was no option to make it go away. Disagree if you want, but I like Windows 8.1. I am happy with the way I have it configured. I don’t *want* Windows 10. I don’t want incompatibilities and forced upgrades.

    Not only all of this, but here is the real clincher: The optional update that installed this Windows 10 offer causes integrity violations in my system files!

    If you run from the admin command prompt sfc/verifyonly you might see integrity violations are there.

    If this helps anyone, to fix this problem you have to uninstall the optional update (which is explained above) then you have to run sfc/scannow from the admin command prompt. Then if that doesn’t work run dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth from the admin command prompt and run sfc/scannow again. This fixed the problem for me on my Windows 8.1 PC.

    Thanks.

    • Interesting. I am not sure if my issue is a result of “reserving” Window$ 10 or not, but now the SFC utiliy finds corrupt files that it is unable to repair. Hummm…. I have not tried uninstalling the KB update yet because I am running Window$ 7. I will give it a go though tomorrow.

  104. The sooner you ditch Microsoft the happier you will be. Nothing Microsoft makes will ever be secure or user friendly. The whole PC business model depends on making your hardware and software obsolete. You can wonder how a company can release software requiring constant patches for security holes for 20 years or you can just reformat your drive and install linux.

  105. Scott Hanselman …

    Windows 10 is coming soon, and this little icon (the Windows icon) is stating to show up in folks’ taskbars. For the techies, it’s called GWX (Get Windows 10) and it’s there to prep your machine and possible download Windows 10 if you want to reserve a spot.
    [ … ]
    It’s amazing that Windows 7 users and Windows 8 users will all be able to upgrade and come forward to a single version of Windows. As a developer (both web and apps) it’ll be nice to have people on an “evergreen” Windows where I can do things like Feature Detection and not think as much about versioning.

    http://www.hanselman.com/blog/WhatsTheDealWithWindows10ForTheNonTechnicalFriend.aspx

    • So when will it be safe for naive users like me to install the upgrade, if we don’t want to lose everything ?

    • I don’t. I think their application software is very good, and improving all the time. I have the icon and it just sits there. What’s the problem ? A much bigger problem is popups on websites, especially those that obscure large parts of the screen, and those that you cannot close.

  106. Anthony, I would add a paragraph to your instructions. After you uninstall update KB3035583 and restart the computer, go into Windows Update and tell it to check for updates. KB3035583 will reappear in the list of “important updates.” View the list, right-click on it, and select “Hide this update.” If you don’t do this, the update will reinstall itself first chance it gets.

  107. jdgalt: yep, that nearly got me. I only noticed it because Windows 7 wanted me to shut down rather than sleep on exit, which is always a sign that it is about to install something, and that’s what it was (having uninstalled it earlier in the day). B***ards…

    Rich.

  108. Another point I’d make from experience is that automatic updates are themselves a bigger security threat than the vulns they purport to fix. That is because with modern browsers and css it is trivially easy to mimic an operating system dialog box, such that the user is unaware that the bogus ‘update popup’ is coming from a malicious website they accidentally visited (typo in URL for example) and not from software on their own computer.

    For most hackers, update spoofing is now the preferred method of attack, since it requires less coding skill than a buffer-overflow exploit or the like, and also beautifully defeats UAE, since the user is bound to elevate the downloaded malware on request if they have swallowed the bait.

    I have found over longstanding experience that if business users are told to always cancel any prompts to manually update software, regardless of where the popup CLAIMS to be from, this results in a substantial reduction in malware incidents. Better still, install a software policy that makes it impossible for an ordinary user to launch downloads.

  109. I am so glad that there are people who keep up with these little pieces of BS!! Thank you, the removal worked well.

    • I’m so glad you found this and passed it on to me!
      Some ‘Rants’ are necessary!
      Thanks to the Ranter!

  110. Update June 12: There are now three of these unwanted updates to avoid (or remove).

    KB2952664
    KB3035583
    KB3068708

    As before, you need to not just remove them (if already installed), but go back into Windows Update, “check for updates”, and expressly “Hide” all three. Otherwise they will auto-reinstall themselves.

  111. A nerd after our own hearts, and uncannily so. Thanks for saving us the time to track down this inane update ourselves and having to post a similar rant about Windows H8 and its equally retarded progeny that THIS productive computer user neither needs nor wants.

  112. Thanks dude – worked like a charm. Hated that icon. I couldn’t agree more with everything you said!!! What a bunch of bozo’s who work there at Microsoft…I love windows 7. I hated 8 and 8.1 was not that much better. You were being nice calling them boneheads. I have a few other words for them :)

  113. info yang sangat menarik, sepertinya harus dicoba :) , Affleck

    [“info is very interesting, it seems to be trying ” .mod]

  114. Anthony,
    A much easier way to remove the icon is: click “Customize” in the System Tray and turn off the Get Windows 10 app notifications in the menu that comes up. Granted it does not remove the update, but why would you want to?
    Quite frankly, I do not understand the desire not to upgrade to Windows 10, if for other reason than to have a very secure OS. I have been running both the beta and preview options on a dual-boot laptop that is also running Windows 7 Ultimate. The laptop is not touch-capable so I am using a bluetooth mouse and keyboard. Windows 10 is designed to take advantage of touch, but that does not mean one has to sacrifice a mouse or keyboard. Also, despite your concerns, the Windows 10 interface is not noticeably different than Windows 7 (and, unlike Windows 8 and 8.1, rightly relegates the Start screen to the background), and provides me with desktop options that are just not available with either Windows 7 or 8.1, such as the ability to add a virtual machine with two mouse clicks.
    I agree, Microsoft should have made receipt of the update an affirmative action; that is, you would receive the update ONLY if you wanted it. That said, I think you’ll end up liking Windows 10 even more than Windows 7.

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