Short Analysis: W10 versus Privacy

When you have an interest, even a superficial interest in all things computer and software Windows 10 or “upgrade Windows 10” must have been on your radar. W10 has been on my radar for months because I wanted to know whether Microsoft had learnt from its mistakes in the past. In light of this topic, namely W10 versus privacy it is relevant.

Think back to the massively loved Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. Vista is known as the P.C. crasher due to its badly timed market introduction and higher system requirements. Windows 7, in short W7 fixed what Vista did wrong. Windows 8, in short W8 while inherently beautifully designed omitted the start menu and had a mixed reception. Now Microsoft has released in steps the W10 upgrade to follow-up W8.

Yesterday one laptop has been upgraded from W7 to W10. My expectations were “we will see, woe you Microsoft if you bring another Vista.” The preparatory download and install went so smoothly that I hardly noticed a thing. All the while Microsoft kept me informed about the progress and after a few hours it was done.

I spend many hours behind interfaces, from my phones to my Windows laptops and when something does not work I will immediately try to fix it or locate the setting to change it. I grew up with Microsoft at home and digging for settings is second nature for me.

My W10 upgrade experience in short:

  • Clean interface, no clutter.
  • Start menu is back, thank you Microsoft.
  • Desktop is desktop!
  • No reinstalling of software, the upgrade felt like a “re-skin” which replaces the looks of W7.

Overall positive things in my opinion. Then I checked out the settings and I went whiskey, tango, foxtrot. I started digging and went whiskey, tango, serious, foxtrot. Microsoft in its vision of integrating internet, services and software does not care about privacy. If you do not disable them a built-in key-logger and Cortana A.I. application can track and monitor everything you do making you vulnerable.

I disabled almost all settings Microsoft assumed I would accept as an average “dumb” consumer. This makes me angry and realises my concerns of integration of everything over privacy. Big corporation is watching me, how pleasant.

W10 is beautiful as an operating system to follow-up W8. Out of the box it is a privacy disaster…