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Windows 10 - Deeper Impressions

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It begins:

 

Brace yourself for a Windows 10 crapware explosion -- pre-installing TripAdvisor is just the start

 

Yesterday, TripAdvisor made a couple of announcements. The first was innocuous enough, letting people know that there was now a TripAdvisor app for Windows 10 available to download for free. Lovely stuff, if you like that sort of thing. The second announcement is less pleasing. It will be "pre-loaded on millions of Windows 10 compatible devices".

 

What really set off my alarm bells was the following:

 

One of the problems with pre-loaded apps (and the problems are plentiful), is that the apps tend to be hard-baked into the OS meaning that they're near-impossible to uninstall.

 

Maybe this has to do with what happened to @BudwS in another thread.

 

--JorgeA

 

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The force getting stronger with this one

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When anyone asks my opinion, I say: get yourself Win 7 FPP (on eBay or the like) and *NUKE* that bundled 10 which came with the PC !!! Then make sure to prevent that crappy "upgrade" and be happy! :yes:

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Brace yourself for a Windows 10 crapware explosion -- pre-installing TripAdvisor is just the start

 

What really set off my alarm bells was the following:

 

One of the problems with pre-loaded apps (and the problems are plentiful), is that the apps tend to be hard-baked into the OS meaning that they're near-impossible to uninstall.

 

I have successfully uninstalled all but two of the App packages Microsoft packaged with Windows, and I've managed to keep them from coming back. 

 

Apps20160129.png

 

I consider this a triumph (owing to the good work done by intika here), and frankly it needs to be done by everyone - but it's probably also a fluke.  I'll BET it won't be possible, or if it is it will be more difficult, after the next OS in-place upgrade, which I'm sad to say is JUST around the corner!

 

We need more sophisticated tweaking software to be developed, which will allow a savvy user to TAKE CONTROL and be done with the Windows Store crapware once and for all.  It needs to be easy to download and easy to use.  I keep hoping Classic Shell will make the logical leap to being able to REALLY uninstall things - since it generally tries to manipulate settings behind the scenes in order to accomplish a "user is back in the driver's seat" type operation.

 

Such tweaking software needs to be UBIQUITOUS - available everywhere, from multiple sources.

 

This "adware" business model really, really has to be stopped!

 

Of course, Microsoft's cesspool of lawyers will attack anyone creating such an application.

 

My recommendation to all at this point:  Just STOP using the adware in Windows 10.  Don't support this kind of business model.  En masse, it's the only approach that will really show Microsoft that we absolutely don't want - can't STAND - to allow them to do this kind of thing.

 

-Noel

Edited by NoelC
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My recommendation to all at this point:  Just STOP using the adware in Windows 10.  Don't support this kind of business model.  En masse, it's the only approach that will really show Microsoft that we absolutely don't want - can't STAND - to allow them to do this kind of thing.

 

Since they now seem to keep tabs on the apps people are using, they might actually notice if the apps are not being used.

 

--JorgeA

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An informative report that may shed some light on what's going on with the Win10 requirement for new processors:

 

Intel puts out ‘secure’ CPUs based on insecurity

 

Intel is doing a dog and pony show about vPro Security but their CPUs are fundamentally insecure. The problem is that all this user facing fluff and PR is built on an insecure and broken foundation whose problems the company is knowingly ignoring.

 

[...]

 

Starting with the hardware side, everything is based on what is called Secure Boot (SB) which has various components form the hardware TPM to firmware to software running on Windows, and sadly only on Windows. Starting at the beginning of the process gets us to SB, basically a chain of trust wherein the hardware can check its status at power on and verify that it is correct and secure. From there each step in the process can verify that the next step is the correct one, secure, and present. The whole process is done through cryptographic signing and is fundamentally based on the premise that the first step is OK.

 

Intel’s problem is that the first step in the chain is not OK and has not been for years. If the first step, SB, is not actually secure, the rest is meaningless fluff for uneducated consumers and corporate sourcing drones.

 

The Microsoft connection:

 

If you look at their so called secure offering for business, it is a marketing message at best, prevents security at worst. The SBA packages have been one of the worst offenders, promising security to buyers while in reality preventing it. Why? The package mandates Windows, an unsecurable OS. Go look at security appliances and devices, how many not directly made by Microsoft are based on that operating system? Think there is a reason for it? Intel is mandating insecurity to run their ‘valuable bundle offering’, and then basing it on a known insecure hardware platform.

 

With yesterday’s breathless claims about how “Intel Transforms the Workplace with Latest 6th Generation Intel® Core™ vPro™ Processors”, the talk was all about triple factor authentication. If one is good, three is better you unwashed consumer you, one is clearly more than three! Actually it is all built on Secure Boot which is not actually secure. If you can break the root the rest is meaningless. Intel could have a 17 factor authentication process including a note from the user’s mother, a Texas-style belt buckle with name and picture etched on it, and initials monogrammed on your socks. It would do no more good than a two digit PIN because the basis for it all is utterly compromised.

 

--JorgeA

 

 

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Someone please define "fundamentally insecure".

 

Secure from what?  Running anything the user wants or allows?

 

Inasmuch as EVERYONE would emotionally agree with the comment "more security is better", there is a very real possibility that we could "secure ourselves to death" and end up in a place we REALLY don't want, all to thunderous applause along the way.   Let us never forget that.

 

-Noel

Edited by NoelC

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Since they now seem to keep tabs on the apps people are using, they might actually notice if the apps are not being used.

 

No doubt they track how many have seen ads and how many have purchased and/or downloaded Apps from the App Store.

 

I'd be the first in line to download good Apps, and I'd even pay to be absolved of having to see Ads in an otherwise valuable piece of software.

 

We just don't have that situation yet.  The App Store software simply isn't valuable enough to endure any kind of intrusion.

 

-Noel

 

 

 

P.S., Food for thought:  Do you pay through the nose for cable TV, and do you still see commercials?

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Someone please define "fundamentally insecure".

 

Secure from what?  Running anything the user wants or allows?

 

Inasmuch as EVERYONE would emotionally agree with the comment "more security is better", there is a very real possibility that we could "secure ourselves to death" and end up in a place we REALLY don't want, all to thunderous applause along the way.   Let us never forget that.

 

-Noel

Secure from everything Microsoft don't want or allow. That's the whole point.

 

Alternatively, they may push this whole security hype so aggressively so that people at some point would burst into "enough with this, we don't want any security anymore!", at which point… well, feel free to improvise on the rest of the scenario.

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Someone please define "fundamentally insecure".

 

Secure from what?  Running anything the user wants or allows?

 

Inasmuch as EVERYONE would emotionally agree with the comment "more security is better", there is a very real possibility that we could "secure ourselves to death" and end up in a place we REALLY don't want, all to thunderous applause along the way.   Let us never forget that.

 

-Noel

 

Here's a link leading to the detailed report on what Charlie Demerjian was discussing.

 

If this is in fact a flaw, and if Intel has in fact not fixed this in the years since it was disclosed, then we are basically witnessing an example of "security theater" -- for the sake of which millions of users and non-Windows OS developers are being inconvenienced with this Secure Boot stuff.

 

--JorgeA

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You and I are mostly of a like mind on this, Drugwash, except that I don't really anticipate users saying "Enough!" 

 

They are bred to be passive and accept that Mother Microsoft knows best about things for which they are ignorant.

 

It's hard to fix ignorance in a world where ignorance is highly valued by corporations seeking to separate the ignorant from their money.

 

-Noel

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we are basically witnessing an example of "security theater"

 

Yes, indeed.  And it's nothing new.  It's a herding tactic (and strategy).

 

What's sad is that any system can be made MUCH more secure from practical threats with just a few tweaks with almost no downside.  And yet it's not done, and is not widely known.  It's even challenged by so-called experts!

 

Further, as an example Microsoft has been releasing Internet Explorer with the ability to run ActiveX since the beginning, and that's STILL the default setting today!  How could anyone begin to hope that a company that does something like that has any security expertise whatsoever, or is looking after anything like the user's best interests?

 

Not long ago I asked for folks to comment on whether they're seeing Windows 10 systems infected in the real world.  I didn't get a lot of responses, but from what I did get, and from everything else I'm reading, Windows 10 isn't really any less apt to get infected by hapless, ignorant users than any other version.  In short, its practical "security" level is no better, and in fact Microsoft may well be running headlong into creating any number of heretofore unexploited new ways for security to be breached.  A breakneck pace of change does not a secure system make.

 

-Noel

 

 

P.S., let us not forget that there is a whole realm of "security flaws" that we DON'T know about.

Edited by NoelC

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True that, sadly! :(

I'm only hoping enough people will escape the "program" and start using their brains so they can emerge as a true power and set things on the right track, not only software-wise.

I also am a huge fan of science-fiction. Actually was, because reality is now beyond comparison.

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I have been thinking about Windows 10 and its 'apps' lately, and I recently came to a conclusion: this is just history repeating itself. In the 90s, Microsoft wanted to dethrone Win32 with ActiveX, Active Desktop and embedded IE engines. Some developers bought into the hype and released their new ActiveX-inspired software, but most just kept using Win32 like they have been always doing. Shortly after, Active Desktop was killed off and ActiveX is on its last legs, while win32 is still around. I see the same thing happening with Metro, right now it's the "in" thing and the "trendy" devs are using it, while all the developers that produce software that actually gets work done are still using the tried-and-true Win32. I can predict the same thing will happen to Metro in the near future. Whenever it isn't trendy anymore, people will stop using it, while the real applications will still be using win32, and rightfully so.

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