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Windows 10 - Deeper Impressions


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On the subject of "Deeper Impressions", I was thinking back on what made me stop trying to "find the good in Microsoft" and become convinced that there isn't any.  Seeing a recent comic about the "Internet of Ransomware Things" reminded me of it...

Overall of course it hasn't been just one thing that's molded my opinion - a lot of observations and experiences have gone into my current stance where I'm convinced Microsoft is basically evil and predatory, but looking back there was ONE specific event that served as the summit of the hill.  I've written about it here before, but I'd like to say it again, because clearly it was a foretelling of a predatory turn at Microsoft.

At the time of Windows 8's release, since I had been a pre-release tester, they granted me, via eMail, a free upgrade to "Media Center Edition" (MCE).  I filed the upgrade code away, since I did not choose to upgrade to Windows 8.0 (I stayed on 7).  As far as I could see, there was no mention of an expiration date with that MCE upgrade offer. 

About a year later I bought a retail "Pro" license for Windows 8.1 when I finally decided to upgrade from 7.  I paid a little less than $200 and got a box with a physical disc from Newegg.  I did a full, clean install.

Some months later, I found I wanted to be able to play DVDs on my computer - which I had been able to do with Win 7 Ultimate before - and so I decided to apply the "Media Center Edition" upgrade they had sent me more than a year prior.  This involved going through Windows Features and entering the upgrade code.  The OS told me all was well with the code (this was key) and I gave it the go-ahead to install the upgrade.  I always have multiple full system backups I can restore in a pinch.

The in-place upgrade went through smoothly.  And it appeared to work afterward, giving me the DVD functionality I wanted, so all seemed well.  But the system decided it was no longer activated

When I called Microsoft I spoke to someone with an Indian accent, and I explained everything.  They agreed that I had valid licenses on file.

In order to go further, I was required to grant them remote control of my system, then they poked around for a while (completely under my watchful eye, ready to pull the plug at any time).  After doing so, and trying the obvious things that I'd already tried, they informed me that I had two choices:

  • Restore from the full backup I'd made, which would leave me what I had before the MCE upgrade and no ability to play the DVDs I wanted to see.  I'd be on my own.
     
  • Pay $99 for a full-priced Win 8.1 Media Center Edition license and I'd be activated before the call was through.

If I had NOT applied the "free MCE upgrade" code, the upgrade from Pro to MCE would have been $9.99 - not $99!

They agreed that I had done nothing wrong, yet were absolutely unwilling to grant an activation.  The (weak) explanation was that the free upgrade to MCE had expired.

I was courteous and patient throughout the whole call, and I gave them every opportunity to do the right thing.  In the end I chose to pay the $99 (via my credit card number on the phone) after which they immediately granted me a full Windows 8.1 MCE license and activation.

Looking back, that was extortion, plain and simple, with the Windows MCE upgrade process serving as the ransomware. 

That was the moment at which I chose to influence as many people as I can to treat Microsoft with contempt, as well as to block the channels they have created for gathering valuable information and pushing ads.  I sell software myself to feed my family, so I'm a stickler about having proper licenses for every single piece of commercial software I use, and I even donate to others who create various useful tools - yet I have not bought anything more from Microsoft since the aforementioned incident.  And I won't, if I can help it, and I'll advise everyone else to avoid doing so if possible!  Yes, I know that I may ultimately have to pay them again for something (presuming they make something worth having).  I will likely buy from Apple when I need more hardware.

I was once a Microsoft and Windows advocate.  Then they chose to extort $99 from me.  Now I'll do everything in my power to cost them more than that.  It is NOT okay to do business their way.

-Noel

Edited by NoelC
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On 2016-12-09 at 10:33 PM, Mcinwwl said:

Considered using uBlock Origin? Previously I used AdBlock Plus with Ghostery, but this year I switched to uBlock Origin and, with 14 filter lists subscribed, I can only see commercials embedded into the webpage. Every popular ad provider is disabled, no social media plugins... ganerally barely any crap.

I'm pleased with uBlock, infact very pleased.

Edited by mikedigitize
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  • 2 weeks later...

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out, but it seems that MS finally did:

Microsoft finally admits that its malware-style Get Windows 10 upgrade campaign went too far

Quote

Microsoft changed course within a month, but the company took a PR beating. Now, even Microsoft executives are agreeing that their update was more than a bridge too far. In an interview with Windows Weekly, Chris Capossela, Microsoft’s Chief Marketing Officer, called the weeks between Microsoft’s initial patch update and the eventual decision to reverse course on the malware-like installer “very painful.” He continues:

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6 hours ago, JodyT said:

Is that a true story?  I'd post it at the Windows 10 Forums over at tenforums.com, if I knew it was legit. 

I doubt it. Things that look too good to be true, usually aren't, you know.

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I'll have to disagree with you on this one, @NoelC. Microsoft clearly stated that the Media Center redeamable key was only valid if you activated it before January 31st of 2013. In fact, I have an e-mail to prove this. It's in portuguese, but it clearly states in there that you need to activate the key before the specified date.

media center.PNG

Also, the issue with the activation box saying that the key is valid, but then saying that it didn't activate also happens with Windows 7's Anytime Upgrade. You can input a pirated upgrade key to the Ultimate edition, and it will say the key is valid, but then it won't activate.

Although that 99$ you paid does seem like a scam to me... I mean, I remember seeing the Media Center upgrade on sale at Retail stores for 10€.

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It's possible I missed the expiry notification. 

But the important thing here is that when I started the upgrade, using that product key, it both accepted the key and gave the indication that all was well to continue with the upgrade.  Just because it happens elsewhere doesn't make it right.  And I have had experience with a lot of things, but trying to use pirated keys isn't one of them, so I didn't know that keys can be accepted as valid but not ultimately be good.  That's just ridiculous.

EVEN THEN, after it really wasn't able to activate, I'd have been willing to pay the $9.95 to make it right, but nooo, that was no longer the price.  Once the ransomware-like in-place upgrade had been completed, the price became $99.95, and the folks on the phone would not budge.

-Noel

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1 hour ago, NoelC said:

But the important thing here is that when I started the upgrade, using that product key, it both accepted the key and gave the indication that all was well to continue with the upgrade.  Just because it happens elsewhere doesn't make it right.  And I have had experience with a lot of things, but trying to use pirated keys isn't one of them, so I didn't know that keys can be accepted as valid but not ultimately be good.  That's just ridiculous.

EVEN THEN, after it really wasn't able to activate, I'd have been willing to pay the $9.95 to make it right, but nooo, that was no longer the price.  Once the ransomware-like in-place upgrade had been completed, the price became $99.95, and the folks on the phone would not budge.

Yeah, the fact that the key entry only verifies if the key corresponds to a Media Center key, but doesn't verify if it's genuine or not is really stupid...

And yes, as I've said, that 100$ for a 10$ Media Center key was really a scam. It would be cheaper to go to eBay!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, here it is. Another MS design idea that looks worse than the last.

Microsoft Makes Significant Windows 10 Design Changes

Quote

In recent years Microsoft has talked a lot about how it ‘cleaned up’ Windows. How Windows 8 then Windows 10 successively cut back on animations, shadows, and transparency effects introduced by Windows 7 ‘Aero’. Well now the company is taking a trip back to the future…

MSPowerUser has managed to attain an upcoming build of Windows 10 and it contains the first changes introduced by ‘Project NEON’ - a user interface upgrade. And guess what? They look a lot like Windows 7 Aero (NO THEY DON'T -rn10950) with a dash of Windows Phone and Android’s Material Design thrown in for good measure.

Here is an example of their new design for Outlook:

qFkjmG.jpg

Thoughts?

(also notice the convenient lack of Start on the taskbar...)

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How, exactly, does that look anything like Windows 7? Maybe they were referring to something not in the screenshot.

For Outlook, I would never use app version or .exe version. It has been many years since I used an actual email client. It is much safer to use web based in comparison. But that Outlook has a lot of extra space in it.

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2 minutes ago, Tripredacus said:

How, exactly, does that look anything like Windows 7? Maybe they were referring to something not in the screenshot.

For Outlook, I would never use app version or .exe version. It has been many years since I used an actual email client. It is much safer to use web based in comparison. But that Outlook has a lot of extra space in it.

I have absolutely no idea. The other screenshots in the Forbes article are the same way.

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38 minutes ago, mikedigitize said:

May 25???

In alternate realities everything is possible ...

Quote


Significant changes in Outlook Mail as part of the Windows 10 user interface overhaul. Image credit: MSPowerUser

You wouldn't really expect Gordon Kelly or any web journalist (or any journalist for that matter) to double check or verify anything they post or write, would you? :dubbio:

The source is here, however:
https://mspoweruser.com/project-neon-windows-10-first-look/

which very likely gets the source from:
http://www.windowscentral.com/new-design-language-windows-10-project-neon

that actually gets info from here:
http://www.numerama.com/tech/212129-en-2017-microsoft-va-retravailler-toute-la-charte-graphique-de-windows.html

and  back to the circular:
http://www.numerama.com/tech/222885-project-neon-des-premieres-images-pour-la-nouvelle-interface-de-windows-10.html

to:
https://mspoweruser.com/project-neon-windows-10-first-look/

This stuff is not entirely unlike (please read as exactly like) gossip papers, some info is true, most is not, and around them everything (and the contrary of it) can be (and actually is) written ...

jaclaz

 

Edited by jaclaz
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