There are two kinds of people in this world: people who hate Microsoft and no others ... so, actually, there are one kind of people in this world. The company has dreams of Windows 10 being installed on 1 billion devices worldwide, and though that sounds kind of like a made-up child's goal, it's actually a real possibility, as more and more users are upgrading to get the bad taste of Windows 8 out of their mouths.
This universal acceptance of Windows 10 is especially bizarre since it seems like people are forgetting all the shady shit Microsoft has already pulled in their short history of updates. Well, I haven't forgotten, and I'm a little amazed to find that not too many people are talking about it. There's a huge list of things Windows 10 tried to trick you into and a slightly shorter list of shit they're still getting away with. For instance ...
#4. They're Making You Foot The Bill For Their Server Space
Have you ever run into a film like American Ultra, one you were kind of interested in but not quite enough to buy a ticket -- and also, morals aren't really an issue with you? If so, you're probably familiar with torrenting. The way torrenting works is by connecting your computer to anyone running the software and downloading a file piece by piece directly from their computers, essentially treating them like teeny, tiny servers connected to other teeny, tiny servers. Microsoft saw that idea and thought to themselves, "Let's do that, but with our updates. And we'll make it a default feature!" Then they laughed maniacally as lightning struck outside Microsoft HQ.
Frederic Bisson/Wiki Commons
"We'll also get rid of Solitaire! MUAH HA HA HA!"
They're calling this fuckery "Windows Update Delivery Optimization," or WUDO. I initially figured this couldn't be a real thing. No company would be that fucking bold to think their users would be cool with their computer connecting to random, unknown sources -- especially since that's one of the first things they teach you when you get your first computer: DON'T FUCKING CONNECT TO COMPUTERS YOU DON'T COMPLETELY TRUST, DUMBASS! So I made my way over to WUDO.org, which turned out to be a German site for the World Unimotorcycle Dragrace Organisation (sic). So don't bother going to that site unless you want to see the raddest shit you've ever seen!
This is like 100 percent the opposite of Windows 10.
The real WUDO site is much more disappointing after seeing that, but I still found myself muttering, "What the fuck?" a whole lot more on Microsoft's site. It's bad enough that they thought we would ever be cool with footing the Internet bill to distribute their updates for them, but it was an option that was turned on by default. In a stupid decision (that, to be fair, Microsoft has since remedied), Windows 10 installed itself with the option to "get and send updates to PCs on my local network and PCs on the Internet."
Also, the fine print mentions "Skynet" a few times.
You may be asking yourself why this matters. "Just turn the option off, doofus!" you might say. Well, first of all, the option to turn that off is buried several clicks into the Windows Update options, which is not intuitive at all if you're a casual user. And second, if you don't specifically know it's an issue, you're probably not going to go rooting through the update settings. Contrary to what you might think, most people just turn on their computer and start using it. They don't automatically assume that the operating system they paid for is doing shady shit behind the scenes.
This isn't just a nitpicky complaint. This costs people actual money. A lot of Internet service providers enforce a data cap on your service that limits how much Internet you're allowed to gobble up each month. And I'm not just talking about shitty rural connections, either. Even if you live in a larger city, you likely have a data cap without even knowing it. In many cases, if you exceed that limit, you have to pay the overage, sometimes as much as $10 for every 50 gigabytes. This is all assuming you're lucky enough to live in an area that gets decent Internet in the first place, because you may not have considered just how bad most of the country has it when it comes to Internet speed. And that's just in the U.S.! So, yes, unless you know how to dig through settings to stop Microsoft from dishing out your monthly bandwidth without even asking you, you're getting fucked. Not even malware has the balls to do that.
Yes, I just said that Windows 10 is worse than malware.
#3. Windows 10 Watches Everything You Do ... EVERYTHING
As is the case with any major update, whether it be a massive Windows update or even a Facebook newsfeed revamp, users love to freak out over every little change that is made to their privacy. You really can't blame Windows users for being sketchy about privacy, either, especially since Microsoft is still messing with the privacy settings in Windows 7 and 8. As soon as Windows 10 began distribution, handy users dug through its privacy settings to make sure everything was on the up and up. Unfortunately, they discovered that pretty much everything was on the down and down.
In addition to the same privacy settings you can find on your mobile phones, like tracking your location to customize your search queries and targeted Start menu ads, resolute users also found some not-so-standard features that needed to be addressed. You may have heard talk of Windows 10 switching on a keylogger that tracks your every keystroke and that Cortana, the Windows 10 digital assistant, is watching everything you do. Everything.
Which, honestly, I'll bet more than a few dudes would be into.
As unnerving as it may be, Microsoft has been upfront about these types of settings for a long time. Honestly, you can't expect to have a robot assistant who helps with your everyday tasks if you don't give her access to where you are, what your schedule is, and who you're trying to contact. What is a concern for most users, though, is that it shares all of this information with Microsoft, a feature they have no problem setting to "automatic."
Luckily for those of us wanting to keep our horrifying computing habits a secret, all these features have an off switch that you can spend your precious free time configuring. I should mention, however, that it's been found that switching most of these features off does diddly-squat; your Windows 10 is still talking to Microsoft about what you've been up to. So, as long as you don't like using the Internet or typing or even speaking while around your computer, Windows 10 should be a home run for you.