It's funny and equally sad that year 2015 marks the end of the Windows OS for a lot of people. There are several issues with Windows which, at present, make Windows 10 inappropriate
and even outright dangerous for a lot of people. The most egregious, of course, is a total abandonment of any form of privacy and control.
Firstly, Microsoft openly stated that pervasive data
collection will be present in any Windows version starting from Windows 10 and as a host of research on the Internet shows, this data collection cannot be disabled using official means. If
you decide to disable total tracking (including keyboard scanning and voice recording) you'll have to disable over a hundred different Internet addresses and then no one guarantees that a
new Windows update doesn't add new hosts because Microsoft surely is not interested in losing such a lucrative feature meant for Big Brother agencies. Read the rest of the article for
official Microsoft statements and for various information on how Windows breaches you privacy and how you might try to control it (it's almost futile btw).
Secondly, Microsoft has stripped us of controlling Windows updates. It was ostensibly done to improve the user experience by keeping the system up to date and perhaps malware free, but
the truth is that a built-in antimalware protection in Windows is simply horrible (according to various AV comparisons Microsoft Essentials misses over 20% of in the wild malware) and said
updates mean nothing for security because over 90% of infections happen due to the user actions (like downloading and installing dubious applications). No Windows update can prevent such a
Thirdly, as Microsoft has stated multiple times, Windows 10 will not have any service packs, Windows 10 is the final version of Windows, because Windows 10 has become a service, it will
be updated over time to bring new features and remove the old ones. Windows 10 you might have updated to in July 2015 will be a different OS than Windows 10 plus all its updates a year
Let me say that I've always been a big fan of Windows because Microsoft does care about compatibility vs. many other tech companies which break backward compatibility all the time. However
I've always felt that there are no resources or articles on the web which dig deep into Windows' problems and therefore I wrote this very consise essay. Mind that it was not
created to say that Linux is better (it's definitely not). It was created to stop Microsoft
fans roaring in regard to Windows 10 and how it's better than Windows 7 in every regard - it's actually worse in most regards aside from DirectX 12 (which is actually hidden from the user
and it's only exposed in games).
So, there are two kinds of issues with the Windows operating system created by Microsoft. The first kind is the issues intrinsic to every Windows version starting from Windows Vista (XP is out of circulation and support so let's forget about it).
Problems which are present in every version of Windows for PC
- Devastating Windows rot.
- No enforced file system and registry hierarchy (I have yet to find a single serious application which can uninstall itself cleanly and fully). The $USER directory in Windows, specially in Windows 10, is an inexplicable mess.
- svchost.exe (the whole philosophy of preserving RAM this way became outdated years ago).
- No true safe mode (rogue applications may easily run in it).
- No clean state (for most OEM installations out there).
- The user as a system administrator (thus viruses/malware - most users don't and won't understand UAC warnings).
- No good packaging mechanism (MSI is a fragile abomination).
- No system wide update mechanism (which includes third party software).
- In certain cases it's extremely difficult to find or update drivers for your hardware devices.
- Windows is extremely difficult to debug (e.g. try finding out why your system is slow to boot).
- Windows boot problems are too often fatal and unsolvable unless you reinstall from scratch.
- Windows is hardware dependent (especially when running from UEFI).
- Windows updates are terribly unreliable, very slow (to install) and they also waste disk space.
- Windows keeps trying to reinstall failed updates over and over (in certain cases every such cycle of "updating" can render you PC disabled for hours!).
- There's no way to cleanly upgrade your system (there will be thousands of leftovers), etc.
- Windows OS installer doesn't give a damn about other OSes installed on your PC and it always overwrites the MBR. In case of already existing Windows installations, it sets the newly installed Windows as the default OS - no questions asked. In case of UEFI booting of other non Windows OSes is unsupported and Windows actively prevents this.
- WinSxS, though a neat idea, turned into some madness: Windows keeps the versions of files the user won't ever need: for instance the English version of Windows will have copies of files for many other languages irrespective of the chosen locale or MUI.
- Cryptic error messages (considering the size of the OS, >9GB as of Windows 10, this practice is simply ridiculous).
- Most malware writers target Windows as the most popular desktop OS, so it has the biggest number of viruses among all other OSes (over five thousand new viruses daily).
- Windows loves thrashing your HDD.
- Microsoft programmers are still unable to cope with NTFS fragmentation 25 years after its introduction. To make things worse most Windows applications do not preallocate files thus they contribute to fragmentation even more.
- Microsoft has gone crazy: KB3083710 which is a prerequisite for Windows 10 upgrade is being foisted on Windows 7 users as ... a security/mandatory update.
Now the second kind of issues is intrinsic to Windows 10 only
- Windows 10 spies on you and even more so on your children aka phones home (welcome NSA/CIA/thoughtcrime/1984)! Microsoft added spying features to Windows 7/8 as well (more general list).
Microsoft officially admits that automatic spying cannot be disabled in Windows 10.
- From comments: Windows 10 features an EULA which grants Microsoft the rights to use any content found on your PC: "you grant to Microsoft a worldwide and royalty-free intellectual property license to use Your Content". You can read Microsoft's response here which paints everything in a positive light however after Snowden's leaks it's hard if not impossible to take them seriously.
- Windows 10 is a beta quality release (at the time of writing, i.e. as for August, 2015):
- Microsoft hides the information about Windows 10 updates, so oftentimes you won't even know what certain updates are aimed to fix or improve. Also Windows 10 updates may have unintended consequences and unannounced changes in behaviour (it's already been confirmed).
- Many users report that their sound card stopped working after upgrading to Windows 10.
- Windows 10 updates/upgrade can send your PC into an infinite loop.
- In certain cases Windows 10 may kill your display if you are an unlucky owner of a laptop made by Alienware, LG or Samsung.
- You've got no real control over crucial features of the OS:
- Windows 10 will have no service packs which means it will always be a work in progress and you are a perpetual beta tester.
- Forced upgrades you cannot opt out of (and Microsoft have borked quite a lot of them recently so prepare to see your Windows die after installing a new portion of updates - actually Microsoft has already borked one update, read horror stories about KB3081424).
- Safe Mode has become impossible to access unless you've booted into ... the running OS which totally defeats its purpose. Also Safe Mode is hidden behind almost a dozen of steps vs. a single F8 key press on boot in every Windows version from 95 to 7.
- Windows 10 features terrible UI inconsistency, not limited to:
- Two kinds of fonts antialiasing (ClearType v2 for classic applications and some awful dirty grayish shit for Modern apps).
- All kinds of varying visual decorations and styles (some people have discovered up to seven varying styles in Windows 10).
- Absolutely dissimilar classic and modern (PC settings) control panels.
- Different fonts faces and sizes all around.
- Different styles of settings for modern apps.
- Absolutely different context menus and their appearance in different applications and apps.
- Terrible hardly configurable appearance, dubious design choices and extremely limited functionality (vs Windows 7/XP):
- Two Control Panels with absolutely zero thought given to how they differ and why each one should be used.
- Some Control Widgets are spread between the two Control Panels which is utterly confusing (e.g. Users Management).
- No Windows classic UI for windows decorations. Windows decorations can hardly be configured at all in Windows 10.
- An awful choice of colors/palette.
- Absolutely awful, childish and amateurish icons as if we live in the era of 8bit displays (only rivalled by those in Windows 3.1 from 1992). Windows 2000 in 1999 looked better than Windows 10 in 2015.
- A big number of Windows 10 apps are still NOT on par with their classical counterparts from Windows 7/Vista/XP (many features are missing or many options are not configurable).
- The start menu is an unusable abomination. Applications are listed as a list which is nigh impossible to scroll.
- Windows 10 sucks terribly if you are an unlucky user of a metered Internet connection:
- It features huge mandatory system and apps updates (you cannot disable them, you can only postpone the system reboot after their installation).
- As if it wasn't enough, Windows 10 gets downloaded automatically if you run Windows 7 or 8.1. We are talking about 3 gigabytes of data some people absolutely do not need.
- It uses your free bandwidth to distribute updates to other users nearby you.
- With Wi-Fi sense enabled anyone you have in your Skype, Outlook or Hotmail contacts lists — and any of your Facebook friends — can be granted automatic access to your Wi-Fi network as long as they're within range.
- A newly created user profile weighs over 300MB (!) while containing zero (!) information about the user.
- A newly created user profile is populated with all the default apps instead of giving the user a choice.
- Microsoft has lost its mind and they now desperately try to foist/force Windows 10 on unsuspecting users. Oh, it's now official: they will forcefully install it everywhere they can in 2016.
Some ways to fix/configure Windows 10
- Do not install it or upgrade to it if you're running Windows 7/8.1. If you did, read further:
- Install Classic Shell aka Windows 7 (XP) Start Menu for Windows 10.
- Uninstall/remove most built-in Metro/Modern apps in Windows 10 (quiet a lot of them are immutable and cannot be uninstalled no matter what):
- Fire up administrator's PowerShell (Start -> Search -> Power -> Right mouse click -> Run as Administrator).
- Run (copy and paste):
Get-AppXPackage -User | Remove-AppxPackage (remove the user's apps)
Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Remove-AppxPackage (remove all system wide apps)
- Disable Windows 10 most spying/tracking/call home features (you may also try the DoNotSpy10 application but I don't recommend it).
- You can disable built-in torrent-like/bandwidth sharing feature by going to the Start Start button icon ˇ, then Settings > Update & security > Windows Update, and then select Advanced options.
- The other things mentioned above cannot be fixed unfortunately (UI inconsistency, two Control Panels, very little UI customizability, disabling of updates, etc.).
Busting Windows 10 myths
There seems to be a good number of myths which are spread on pro-Microsoft forums and websites and I want to take a bit of your time to debunk them.
Windows 10 is more secure than any previous version of Windows
Um, sorry, this is pure BS. Windows 10 offers exactly zero new protection mechanisms to the end user vs. Windows 7. I haven't forgotten that Windows 8/10 apps run a sandbox and they are all
verified by Microsoft, that's true, but most of them are made purely for content consumption (so they won't cut it for power users), besides people will still download executables from the Internet and run them relentlessly. Normally
you should never run Windows without a decent antivirus installed (Microsoft Security Essentials is not an AV your can rely on, in fact you're crazy if you believe it protects you).
Head to av-comparatives and check out their real world tests to see what's best for you. According to various AV comparisons MS Secruity Essentials misses over 10% of in-the-wild viruses (i.e. over five hundred new viruses every day).
The truth is there are some new security features but they are invisible for most users out there.
Windows 10 is a more modern OS
Hey, what does it mean it's more modern? How exactly do Windows 7 and 8 differ from Windows 10? This is yet another BS claim from the Microsoft fanboys. DirectX 12? There are just
two games being developed for DX12 right now. 99.99% of the games which are being published at the moment will be DirectX 9/11 games so your Windows 7/8 system will perfectly
run them. Of, course there's the Universal Windows Platform but if you're not into Metro apps it means nothing to you.
Windows 10 is faster
According to this, this and this
there's no discernible difference between Windows 7, 8 and 10. Windows 10 features an improved memory handling for certain multithreaded applications like WinRAR but most other
applications have the same performance.
"I have installed Windows 10 and it feels faster", right, like with every Windows release it feels fast when you install it from scratch. Then, strangely, it slows down significantly.
Just before you call me anti-Microsoft, a Linux shill, zealot or fanatic, here's a wonderful list of Linux problems that I've been compiling over the past six years. The truth is I don't plead allegiance to any OS on the market. So, sorry, Windows 10 sucks no less than Linux sucks, it just sucks differently. So far, Microsoft has two great modern OSes: Windows XP and Windows 7 (in the past they had rock solid Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000).
I have no attitude towards MacOS X, because I've never had a chance to use it, however from what I've seen on screeshots this OS has the worst fonts antialiasing among any existing OSes - I actually refuse to try it because I don't want to hurt my eyes.
I'm not a journalist and I've never been one.
P.S. If you want to reinforce your love towards Microsoft and Windows 10 go to neowin.net - this website has thousands of raving idiots who dribble and moan with excitement from everything made by Microsoft.
Leave your comments, additions and hatred below.
All rights reserved. You can reproduce any part of this text verbatim, but you must retain the authorship and provide a link to this document.
If you want to thank the author or if you want this document to be regularly updated, please, consider the ad at the top of the page. Thank you!