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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is windows 10 worth downloading? For now it's free, so if anyone has any experience using it, your input would be greatly appreciated.

The Future?
2,400 Posts
Is windows 10 worth downloading? For now it's free, so if anyone has any experience using it, your input would be greatly appreciated.

759 Posts
I jumped on it last week and have had only one glitch, so far. When I close the lid on my laptop, it goes to sleep as it is set to do but, will not "wake up" when I open the lid, as it used to before installing Windows 10.

There are still some minor glitches, search "Windows 10" here on the forum to find an earlier thread that lists where to look for info. to opt out on most of the tracking features.

4,581 Posts
I won't be using it. I'll use Windows 7 for as long as I can.

Friends of mine in government, in law offices, or in doctors offices often have a work/personal email that comes with a disclaimer. "This communication is confidential," etc, and is intended only for the recipient. It's a bit of legalese, but it's necessary, especially for people who work in law or medicine, who have to comply with some pretty strict confidentiality laws and agreements.

If you have any job or work which requires some kind of legally or professionally-mandated confidentiality, whether it's Doctor-Patient or Attorney-Client, you should not use Windows 10, even on your home machine.

That's because by installing Windows 10, you're agreeing to an End User License Agreement which gives Microsoft permission to read your emails, record your location and activities, log your browsing history and what programs and applications you run, and share these with "trusted" sources. You're also agreeing that Microsoft can turn over the content of those emails along with data about you mined from your computer, to any trusted partner, or to any law enforcement agency based on a "good faith" determination by Microsoft that the content is needed by that agency.

There is no way for an ordinary user to disable these settings. Unless you're familiar with group policy settings, using an elevated command prompt, and editing the computer's registry, there is simply no way to disable Microsoft's data mining system. If you don't have a "Pro" version, you won't even have access to gpedit, and so there will no way for you to fully disable the pre-installed spyware.

If you don't believe me, here's a direct quote from Microsoft's privacy policy:

Finally, we will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to:
1. comply with applicable law or respond to valid legal process, including from law enforcement or other government agencies;

2. protect our customers, for example to prevent spam or attempts to defraud users of the services, or to help prevent the loss of life or serious injury of anyone;

3. operate and maintain the security of our services, including to prevent or stop an attack on our computer systems or networks; or

4. protect the rights or property of Microsoft, including enforcing the terms governing the use of the services - however, if we receive information indicating that someone is using our services to traffic in stolen intellectual or physical property of Microsoft, we will not inspect a customer's private content ourselves, but we may refer the matter to law enforcement.

In addition, there's a new telemetry system called "Asimov" which can be used to monitor the usage of any Windows 10 computer in real time, and if you agree to use Windows 10, you agree to let Microsoft monitor your computer at any time, for any reason, and to share any data they gather with their trusted partners. And no, you don't get to know who those partners are. They might even let law enforcement have access to what you're doing in real time. That might include access to your webcam.
For those technically inclined, there's a post over at reddit which outlines how to partially disable Microsofts snooping system.] There is no guarantee that updates to Windows 10 won't reactivate that system, and no guarantee that the backdoors built into the OS for Microsoft's can't be accessed by government agencies or hackers.

Folks, if this scares you, it should. By using windows, you are asked to agree to the windows privacy policy. By using Windows 10, you're asked to agree to the statement I quoted above.

And if that means that your private files regarding a client end up in the hands of someone else, you're the one who can be sued, because you agreed to the windows 10 EULA.

It's not Microsoft's fault. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure that you, the user, are the one who can be found negligent in a court of law should Microsoft seize one of your clients' confidential data and share it with one of their trusted partners or with law enforcement in a way that does harm to your client. That's because by simply using Windows 10, you agreed that Microsoft was allowed to spy on you, and through you, your client.

If this scares you, it should. I'm absolutely terrified, and I'm one of the few people who knows how to dig into the registry and at least partially excise the pre-installed spyware.

I hope business will take a look at Windows 10 and start screaming bloody murder. That might make Microsoft wake the hell up. If you work for Apple, now is the time to steal all of Microsoft's business clientele by promising to protect their trade secrets and their customers' data. That might also make Microsoft backpedal.

Til then, I'm jumping ship for Linux, and I suggest that you come with me. There are some easy ways to install that OS, (Ubuntu, Debian, and Linux Mint come to mind) and with WINE, you can run almost all of your windows applications on Linux anyway.

If this is how Microsoft handles privacy, I'm not going to stick around and get spied on.

11:22 AM PT: A question has been asked several times, that I wish to answer.

What does the privacy statement on Microsoft's website have to do with using Windows 10?

It's part of the Windows 10 licensing agreement:

3. Privacy; Consent to Use of Data. Your privacy is important to us. Some of the software features send or receive information when using those features. Many of these features can be switched off in the user interface, or you can choose not to use them. By accepting this agreement and using the software you agree that Microsoft may collect, use, and disclose the information as described in the Microsoft Privacy Statement (, and as may be described in the user interface associated with the software features.
That privacy statement applies to everything you do.
Oh, and if you live in the US, by using the Windows software, you agree to arbitration, and never to sue Microsoft for stealing your data.

You can read the license terms for Win 10 here, if you like:



Comic Relief Member
980 Posts
Either upgrade or downgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate and stay there. It's the best operating system Microsoft ever made.

I love the smell of Argon in the morning
2,850 Posts
This computer has been upgraded from windows 8.1 to windows 10. Windows 10 has been much better then windows 8.1. I have 2 other computers with windows 7 and one with windows 8.

I'm aware of windows 10 security issues, but hated windows 8 so much that the upgrade was an easy decision. The 2 computers with windows 7 will remain windows 7, but not for the reason most think. When I upgraded to windows 10 it took about 2 hours of down loading and it took my time and it's tough for me to sit there that long.

The one issue that every one should be concerned with is when Microsoft stops supporting windows 7 and windows 8, those operating programs will become easier to infect.

My answer is that windows 10 has so far been a good system on my computer and has been easy to use. I'm happy I upgraded.

Scavenger deluxe
6,697 Posts
Going back to XP myself. W-10 is 100% spyware! it records where you go and what you do, even down to any pictures you might click on, so if you're on a spoof site and get redirected to kiddy porn, guess what? you're now in a pedophile database! sites like this likely get you put on a terror watch list or sent to the Southern Poverty Law center for scrutiny.

Here, let Unkle Mags fix that crap for you IF you were dumb enough to believe in a free lunch:

For Enterprise users, Microsoft has put this in place to ensure that IT in companies can test and then stage upgrades across the PC population. This new upgrade reservation icon came as part of KB3035583, delivered during Patch Tuesday as an optional but recommended update. Some have taken this new icon intrusion to be an advertisement for Windows 10. But, as Rich puts it, this is not the case. It's merely an upgrade notice, giving everyday users the ability to take part in a better PC and device experience for free when Windows 10 releases to the masses on July 29.

But, what if you're not part of the aforementioned list and also don't want to see the icon or be reminded that Windows 10 is coming?

You can uninstall the update. Rich provides the steps to do that HERE.

But, there's also another way. You can block the icon from showing and disable notifications. Using the Windows registry editor, do this:

Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Gwx

Create a new REG_DWORD registry value called: DisableGwx

Give it a value of: 1

The truth about Windows 7 and 8.1 'spy patches' KB 3068708, 3022345, 3075249, 3080149
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The truth about Windows 7 and 8.1 'spy patches'
The patches are opt-in, easily turned off, and part of a long-established campaign of gathering data under the CEIP

InfoWorld | Sep 9, 2015

Microsoft Windows


Conspiracy theories are gaining steam as accusations about Microsoft "spy patches" heat up. But a much larger part of the story may sound familiar to any experienced Windows or Office user.
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The tinfoil ball started rolling on Aug. 24, when Sergey Tkachenko at published an incendiary discovery: Four recent Windows 7 and 8.1 patches -- KB 3022345, 3068708, 3075249, and 3080149 -- were sending a potful of data to Microsoft's servers. In at least one case, the spying patches transmit data through hard-coded servers, bypassing the Hosts file and making it even harder to block their activity. On Aug. 28, Martin Brinkmann at posted a follow-up that confirmed several details.
[ See InfoWorld's "Windows 10 review: Hold off if you use Windows 7." | Stay up on key Microsoft technologies with the Windows newsletter. ]

What Tkachenko and Brinkmann revealed is, quite literally, true -- though many on the Windows beat have dismissed their claims as overblown or bordering on irrational. Others, including several widely read mainstream publications, have pointed to their statements and claimed or implied that the Windows 10 privacy-busting "disease" has been thrust onto Win7 and Win8.1 customers.

It's so bad that I'm deluged with emails and phone calls from readers, friends, neighbors, and family members, all asking if they should apply updates to Windows 7 and 8.1 because of the "spy programs." They're genuinely concerned -- and they should be.

Has Microsoft started running spy sorties on Windows 7 and 8.1 systems? Judging from the headlines, it seems a foregone conclusion, but the facts are a little less clickbait worthy.

Bogdan Popa at Softpedia received an official statement from Microsoft last week. He quotes it as saying:

This KB (3080149) was posted in May related to updates to the diagnostics service for Windows 7 & 8.1 systems that participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP), which is an opt-in, optional program… Our use of CEIP data to help improve and diagnose Windows 7 and 8.1 products has not changed from what is described in the privacy statements for those versions of the operating system. For Windows 8.1, CEIP is described in the Feature Supplement in the 'Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program' section.

Popa goes on to say that "according to Microsoft, [the four patches are] part of the Customer Experience Improvement Program and are only offered as optional downloads to users participating in this initiative."

Those statements confused me because they don't quite jibe with the way Microsoft usually works -- before or after Windows 10. So I went back to Microsoft and got official confirmation.

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To understand where all of this is coming from, you have to know about the CEIP. Long ago, Microsoft started two separate CEIP programs, one for Windows XP and one for Office XP. Since then there have been CEIP programs instituted for several other products, including Windows Media Player, Live Messenger, Defender, and others. They are, and always have been, focused on collecting data about what you do and how you do it. Does this consist of spying or keylogging? Not really -- depending on how you define those terms -- but telemetry, yes.

The WMP snooper was sending Media Player usage data -- lists of songs and videos -- to Mother Microsoft a decade before Groove Music was a gleam in any WinRT developer's eye. Heaven only knows what data the Windows Live Messenger snooper sent.

CEIP is definitely not designed to dish up personalized ads. It isn't there to swipe your passwords or reconstruct Ed Snowden's files. It's there to help Microsoft decide what's working and what isn't so that it can design improvements people can use and maybe help determine how to fix the stuff that's broken.

Every version of Windows since XP (and I believe, but can't immediately confirm, every version of Office since XP) has enabled CEIP by default. When you install Windows and/or Office, if you take the installation defaults, CEIP is turned on. If you've read any of my Windows books, going back to Windows XP, you know I've warned people for years that they should turn off CEIP. As far as I'm concerned, Microsoft gets enough telemetry without adding your information to the mix.

What does CEIP have to do with the four "spying patches"? Good question.
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KB 3022345, since replaced by KB 3068708, says, "By applying this service, you can add benefits from the latest version of Windows to systems that have not yet been upgraded." That looks like a lightning bolt to any tinfoil hat. Read further, though, and Microsoft says the patch "collects diagnostics about functional issues on Windows systems that participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program," which is a horse of a very different color.
KB 3075249, however, doesn't mention anything about CEIP. It's billed as an update that "adds telemetry points to the User Account Control (UAC) feature to collect information on elevations that come from low integrity levels."
The final patch of the bunch, KB 3080149, also mentions CEIP in much the same terms as KB 3022345.

Which brings us back to Popa's comment about how the patches are offered. At this point, all four patches are optional -- which means they're unchecked in Windows Update. You can install them if you specifically seek them out, check the install box, then run Windows Update -- an activity I recommend only to those who love to watch their foot being shot.

The CEIP status on a machine doesn't make any difference in how the patches are offered. Here's what a Microsoft spokesperson told me:

Windows updates KB3068708, KB3022345, KB3075249, and KB3080149 are all either optional or suggested updates regardless of if the customer is opted in to the Windows CEIP or not. If you are not opted into the Windows CEIP, the functionality of diagnostic services within each update is regulated accordingly.

That confirms what I would expect: These four patches change the kind of data collected by CEIP, but you have to manually install them. Believe me, if you've installed all optional Windows patches, you have much worse problems than CEIP.

What about turning them off? In response to my question, "If a customer receives KB3068708, KB3022345, KB3075249, and/or KB3080149, and turns CEIP off, will that prevent all of the associated programs in the KBs from sending info to Microsoft?" the Microsoft spokesperson responded:

Yes, if the customer receives updates KB3068708, KB3022345, KB3075249, and/or KB3080149, but chooses not to participate in the Windows CEIP, the related Windows telemetry will not be sent to Microsoft.

That, too, is exactly what I would expect, having worked with/around CEIP for a decade or so.

Can I prove, definitively, that what the Microsoft spokesperson avers is in fact true? No, I can't. But I see no reason to doubt the statements. They're certainly in keeping with all I've learned about CEIP, and they mesh with both the Microsoft corporate structure surrounding CEIP and Microsoft's long history with telemetry.

So the next time somebody sends you an article that says "The Windows 10 spying stuff is going to Windows 7 and 8.1," you can counter with a few facts, instead of a lot of hand-wringing. There are two old-timer lessons to take away from all this, which I've repeated indefatigably since the arrival of XP:

Don't click to install optional updates
Turn off CEIP

Turning off CEIP in Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8.1 is not easy.

In XP and Vista, click Start > Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Problem Reports and Solutions. On the left at the bottom, click Customer Experience Improvement Program Settings. In the resulting dialog box, check "I don't want to join the program at this time" and click OK.

In Win7, type "Experience" in the Start menu search bar; in Windows 8.1, type "Experience" on the Metro Start screen. In either case, click on Change Customer Experience Improvement Program Settings. In the resulting dialog box, check "No, I don't want to participate in the program," then click Save Changes.

Turn off CEIP in Office 2010 (desktop) and later by starting an Office program, then click on File > Options > Trust Center, click the button marked Trust Center Settings, Privacy Options, and uncheck the box marked "Sign up for the Customer Experience Improvement Program" or (depending on version) "Send us information about your use and performance of Office software to help improve your Microsoft experience."

If you're using Microsoft Security Essentials, bring up MSE (icon in the system tray), click Help > Customer Experience Improvement Program and check "I don't want to join the Customer Experience Improvement Program."

If you're using Windows Media Player, switch to VLC Media Player, fer heaven's sake -- it doesn't collect any information. If you have to stick with WMP, start it up and click Tools > Options > Privacy tab and uncheck the box marked "I want to help make Microsoft software and services even better by sending Player usage data to Microsoft."

I don't know anybody who's still using Windows Live Messenger, but if you are, start WLM and click the button with your name on it, choose More Options, then Privacy, and uncheck the box marked "Allowing Microsoft to collect data about your computer and how you use Windows Live helps us improve our products and services. It may also be used to personalize content for you, but it won't be used to contact you."

If you know of any other Microsoft programs with CEIP settings, please contribute in the comments!

Other patches have been implicated in "spying" activities -- including KB 2505438, 2670838, 2952664, 2976978, 3021917, and 3035583, among others -- with little or no justification that I can find.

I don't mean to tell you that the new reach of the CEIP in Windows 7 and 8.1 is innocuous. Clearly, Microsoft is gathering more data. But it's more of the same-old, same-old: The "new" CEIP in Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 isn't much different from the "old" CEIP. It's hardly the stuff of mainstream newspaper headlines or threats to boycott older versions of Windows.

Windows 10's a different story. As I've explained repeatedly, Win10 is starting to collect data for the purpose of targeting ads -- not unlike Windows Live Messenger, years ago, and Google and Facebook and many others, for as long as they've been around. You should understand the privacy implications before you decide to upgrade (or not) to Windows 10. The fact that Windows 10 continues to leak information even after all the CEIP/Cortana/Bing settings have been shut off does not instill confidence.

But the Windows 10 data-scraping approach is not moving down to Windows 7 or 8.1, no matter what those headlines and experts may say.
[Which is a lie, I found out different.]

4,581 Posts
The end of extended support for Windows XP was April 8, 2014. For Windows 7 it's January 14, 2020. We have a lot of time yet.

10,753 Posts
I upgraded to Windows 10 back in September on most of my PC based devices. I like it. Works well, looks good, is very functional and I have had no issues whatsoever. I upgraded from 7 on some devices and 8.1 on others. I liked 8.1 too (but would not have liked it as much without a touch screen). I am not worried about Microsoft collecting data on me, everyone else already is (Apple, NSA, your ISP, your cell phone provider, Adobe, Google, etc.). Does not matter what OS you're running (unless of course you are 100% off grid and not reading this anyway). Windows 10 definitely runs faster and cleaner than 7 did.

Scavenger deluxe
6,697 Posts
The end of extended support for Windows XP was April 8, 2014. For Windows 7 it's January 14, 2020. We have a lot of time yet.
Indeed so, however I know something you might need to, there is a "stripped and gutted" version out there built for gamers which is nothing BUT an O.S, not even a media player! it will never be updated because the update system is gone as well. you'll need a damned good firewall and antivirus to run if you decide to go that route, it's called "Gamer's XP/game XP 64 and similar such, BUT the only way to get it is downloading it from a pirate site such as Pirate bay or KAT, burn it to disc, using magic ISO and then install it, or so I'm told.:rolleyes::teehee:

NOT that I or this site would encourage you to steal software from a multi billionaire who hates America and white people in general, BUT the option is there. ALSO...If you were good with Windows 95, I might suggest Linix, it's free, legal, virus and hack proof and most business programs or their Linux alternative run quite well on it, not so much for games, but some exist!
an added bonus is you can burn it to disc/DVD with all the programs it uses, and run it as a second OS, and when you're done, pop out the disc and NONE of the Linux programs you used can be accessed without another linux disc.
Also..Linux will run on a machine windows says is dead and will boot up when Windows goes to the BSOD,so you MIGHT be able to salvage data from a dying computer that way.

Supporting Member
692 Posts
I'm going to do my part to stop the spread of misinformation...

ALSO...If you were good with Windows 95, I might suggest Linix, it's free, legal, virus and hack proof...
1. You are technically correct (Hermes Conrad would be proud of you) that Linux is free. However, there are distributions such as RedHat where the software is free, but you pay the company for support.

2. Linux is NOT hack proof. I will explain without delving too deep into the technical details. Fundamentally, the majority of security breaches come from what's called "buffer overrun." Programs may request space in memory, and it is hoped that they stay within their allocated space. However, whether inadvertently or intentionally, a program may try to write information outside of its space. This can obvious have some (un)intended side effects. For instance, if you know (or can guess) where the operating system is keeping some bookkeeping information, you can overwrite it. With hacking, the goal of creating a buffer overrun is so that when a program returns from a function call, the operating system will try to return to the previous function, but that return address will be overwritten. The effect is that the operating system will run unintended pieces of software.

This particular type of buffer overflow is typically called "stack smashing." I know it is possible on various Linux distributions because I have personally done it on Knoppix, early versions of Ubuntu, and Yellow Dog Linux. I have also taught college classes on this exact topic, both at the level of user programming (C, C++, etc.) and at the assembly code level (where you control individual hardware registers). In both classes, we always have students complete labs that perform this exact stack-smashing technique. Yes, operating systems are getting better at detecting buffer overruns, but they are still relatively common.

3. I hope that I've already demonstrated that Linux is not hack proof. Therefore, it should make sense that Linux is also not virus proof. What it is, is less popular than Windows, and thus hackers have historically spent less time trying to wreak havoc with Unix- and Linux-based operating systems. Just because there are fewer viruses, worms, and trojans out there for Linux doesn't mean Linux is virus-proof.

Also..Linux will run on a machine windows says is dead and will boot up when Windows goes to the BSOD,so you MIGHT be able to salvage data from a dying computer that way.
What you are referring to is a "live OS" where the operating system lives entirely on external media (DVD, flash drive, etc.) and in RAM. There is nothing special about Linux having this ability. I can do this exact thing in Windows as well with any live OS media. This is analogous to saying that if you have a dead Windows battery, you can only jump start the car if you have a Linux battery.

Now, a live OS (any live OS, including Windows, Linux, etc.) might not be able to access data from a dying computer. A trivial example would be if there was a hardware failure; no amount of software is going to fix a dead hard drive. Also, even if the host OS was the only issue, there still can be issues pulling data depending on file system incompatibilities between what the hard drive is and what the live OS is able to understand.

Hopefully this helps to straighten out some incorrect information. I've now done my cyber civic duty for the year and can return to hiding in the comforting anonymity of the internet :p

Scavenger deluxe
6,697 Posts
I stand corrected then.
I never claimed I was a "guru". Linux is still more secure than windows however.

The Black Pilgrim
1,339 Posts
I upgraded to Windows 10 back in September on most of my PC based devices. I like it....

Windows 10 definitely runs faster and cleaner than 7 did.
I gotta agree with Sentry. If you want privacy don't connect to the net!!! I used to be concerned with privacy (i.e. not from hackers and identity thieves but from governments and corporations) but revelations about the extent of spying going on has made me realize two things. I am not computer savy enough to be both connected and anonymous. B) that there is so much info out there that unless I have already been identified as a person of interest I can effectively hide in mountains of data from millions of people.

I compartmentalize my confidential data and try not to access it while connected to the Internet but I am not willing to use Windows 3.1 to keep my info private.

That being said I like 10 better than 8.

1,387 Posts
I gotta agree with Sentry. If you want privacy don't connect to the net!!! I used to be concerned with privacy (i.e. not from hackers and identity thieves but from governments and corporations) but revelations about the extent of spying going on has made me realize two things. I am not computer savvy enough to be both connected and anonymous. B) that there is so much info out there that unless I have already been identified as a person of interest I can effectively hide in mountains of data from millions of people.

I compartmentalize my confidential data and try not to access it while connected to the Internet but I am not willing to use Windows 3.1 to keep my info private.

That being said I like 10 better than 8.
You can get Zone Alarm to control exactly which programs are allowed to access the net and when.

The best way to protect confidential data is to store it on removable media like a memory stick and never have it inserted in your computer while it's connected to the net. Keep the programs you use to access the data on your computer so they can update, but make sure that the programs only store the data on the memory stick. That includes any automatic backups a program will sometimes make.

If you're concerned about your email, use a program like PGP to encrypt it before sending it.

1 Posts
Currently Windows 10 sucks because it's full of bloatware. Windows 10 bundles a lot of apps and games that most users here do not want. It is the so-called bloatware that was rather common among hardware manufacturers in the past, but which was not a policy of Microsoft itself.
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