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Avoiding Windows 10: Never10 from GRC

ewhac
  • 48 months ago

I heard about this only a few days ago, and it looks very straightforward: Never10

Microsoft published a confusing tech note describing how to prevent your system being pwned by Windows 10. However, it involves fiddling with extremely obscure settings deep in the bowels of Windows. GRC took that tech note and wrote a simple app that performs all those obscure operations for you -- and undoes them as well in case you later change your mind.

This is in contrast to the GWX Control Panel which, in addition to blocking Win10 pwnage, also works to block a pile of other updates widely believed to contain telemetry (read: snooping) components that report system configuration and behavior back to Microsoft. Never10 concerns itself solely with blocking Win10.

GRC (Gibson Research Corporation) has been around for what seems like ever; his stuff is quite solid.

Comments

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I got pwned, but I've gotten many performance increases...and I'm getting DX12

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

If you hate Microsoft that much and think their products suck, why are you not using Linux?

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

What made you assume I'm not?

See this build from last year? See the part where I fought the UEFI BIOS for two days to install Debian Linux alongside Win7? (Win7 is where I run games, you see...)

I also got a Lenovo X1 Carbon (Gen.3) laptop last ${WINTER_HOLIDAY}. That never got a chance to run Windows at all. The very first thing I had it do was boot a Debian netinst image, whereupon I obliterated the partition table and gave the whole system over to Linux. Easiest, most trouble-free install of Linux I've ever had in the 20 years I've been using it.

[comment deleted]
  • 48 months ago
  • 0 points

Disclaimer: I am an unabashed anti-Microsoft bigot. I've had nothing but antipathy for them from pretty much the mid-1980's onward. As far as I'm concerned, Windows should only be used for gaming, and even then only on sufferance -- it is completely unacceptable for any Real Work.

The issue is no longer about whether W10 is any good (and, as the above paragraph should make clear, I'm in no way prepared to stipulate to that). The issue has now become Microsoft's revealed contempt for its users by stooping to deceptive tactics to get users to "agree" to upgrade. Windows Update can no longer be trusted to provide only system security and stability updates; now we have to check for "telemetry" and other inappropriate forms of software. They installed spamware in your sys tray. They secretly downloaded the W10 OS image to your disk "just in case," causing people with metered Internet connections to blow through their bandwidth caps. Each user that said "No" to the upgrade was pestered with new dialogs offering the upgrade (again, all furnished through Windows Update). And with this latest measure, Microsoft have willfully chosen to re-interpret what the red "Close" widget in the upper right corner of the window means -- a widget which, for the last 30 years has meant, "Stop/abort what you're doing right now;" but which now Microsoft has granted itself permission to mean, "Sure, go ahead, pwn my machine."

If this was any other software, it would very correctly be called malware. Sophos, McAfee, Norton, and MalwareBytes would all blacklist it, and the FBI would have tracked down and detained the perpetrators months ago.

In fact, so convinced am I of Microsoft's perfidy, let me make a prediction: Some time in the next 6-24 months, Microsoft will attempt to revoke the Secure Boot key for Windows 7 and 8, and every machine still running 7 and 8 will stop booting. The only proffered "fix" will be a Windows 10 install.

The sickening part of it all is: I was starting to warm to Microsoft. I had thought they had learned their lesson and developed some measure of humility after iOS and Linux punched them in the throat and took the mobile/cell phone market away from them, and after the Windows 8 rollout was met with near universal shouts of, "DO NOT WANT!" Then this chain of underhanded subterfuge and deception emerged with Windows 10, and I thought, "Nope, they've learned ****-all."

So, frankly, it doesn't matter if Windows 10 is "good" (for extremely relative and flexible definitions of "good"). I will not willingly do business with an entity that regards me with such unvarnished contempt. I've sent back input peripherals for far less (I'm looking at you, Razer). Microsoft needs to remember whose machine this is: It's my machine, on my network, in my house. You're a guest under my roof, and guests who behave badly don't get invited back.

[comment deleted]
  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Some people just hate change :/ I personally love Windows 10

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Because people like whatever they think is familiar, and what they are used to.

It's one of the reasons why people freak out so much over things that are extremely stupid cough cough Instagram update. Everyone was freaking out because they changed the icon, and made the text black instead of the typical blue.

Yeah I don't know, I personally love Windows 10, it's a lot better than 8 and as good as 7, but looks MUCH better than 7. Sure, they spy on you and gather information but there are ways to combat it. Barnacles did a absolutely great video showing pretty much everything you can do to disable Windows spying, even going as far as registryedits and what not.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

So you really have no reason to hate W10 other than you don't like MS's business practices?

Oh, Lord, no! That's just icing on the cake. I'm a software engineer of nearly 40 years of recreational and professional experience. I despise Microsoft because their products suck, and have sucked all the way back to their first BASIC interpreter. And the reason I know that is because I've worked with products over the decades that were much better designed, easier to work with, and far more capable than whatever lump of poo Microsoft had kluged together that week.

I commend to your attention a long-ish essay written by Neal Stephenson in 1999 called In the Beginning was the Command Line, which has a lovely recasting of the OS wars of the time as four competing car dealerships. It neatly summarizes the bewildering experience of People Who Know Better when confronted with station wagon owners...

[comment deleted]
  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Does BeOS even exist anymore?

Alas, no. Be, Inc. died in 2001, a victim of Microsoft's criminally maintained monopoly. Be sued Microsoft, and eventually settled out of court for $25 $23.25 million, which was disbursed to the remaining shareholders.

I worked for Be for four-ish years. Absolutely brilliant people creating very nifty things.

[comment deleted]
[comment deleted]
  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

My experience from 8 to 10 went similarly.

[comment deleted]
  • 48 months ago
  • 3 points

As I said, GRC has been around for a long time. His SpinRite tool was, for a while, the de facto tool used to diagnose and attempt recovery of flaky/failing hard drives. He doesn't waste his time or your disk space with cutesy GUIs; he makes stuff that just works. I had absolutely no reservations installing it on my machine -- and I'm a guy who has Firefox's cookie preferences set to, "Ask me every time."

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