I think this rather droll post sums up my current feelings. Not being a computer expert, I don’t really have the time to mess around.
I think we’re breaking up. And it isn’t me, it’s you.
We started, when I got my first computer, with Windows 98 and Microsoft Office 2000. I got on well with you; I could do my university work, play my games and generally a good time was had by all. I was particularly fond of Outlook Express, which handed all my email requirements perfectly, and Microsoft Front Page, which I used for my websites. Life was good.
My first computer, eventually, passed away and I bought a new laptop. This one came with Windows Vista. It wasn’t too bad – I was a writer by that time and I was able to put Word 2000 on the new computer – but I couldn’t play my old games on it. I am no computer expert and every time I tried to get my games to work I failed. But I had little time for gaming then, so I more or less gave up. I only bought a handful of games since then.
And then I think we had our first real hiccup. The computer I bought after that had Windows 7 and … well, my copy of Office would no longer function. I found that rather annoying; I was used to MS Office 2000 by that time and I hated the thought of changing. I admit I messed around with Open Office before reluctantly purchasing a copy of Office 2007 to go with the new computer. But while it worked better than Open Office, I found more than a little frustrating. The basic settlings I had come to love in Office 2000 were complicated in 2007. Every little change required a considerable amount of work to input. I still loathe the simple fact that my preferred style needs to be selected again with every new document. AND you didn’t even let me have a CD copy so I could reinstall it if necessary.
And then … Windows 8. Oh, boy; did I loathe Windows 8.
Look, Microsoft, I understand precisely why you wanted to come up with a system that could work on either a tablet or a desktop PC. I just don’t think you could actually do it. Windows 8 certainly wasn’t a viable system for my desktop. The user interface was appallingly bad. I battered away at it for days, and eventually included Classic Shell, before I had a system I could use. But in sheer awkwardness it outdid Office 2007. (To add insult to injury, copying my spelling files from Windows 7 to 8 was very tricky.)
I’ll focus on one major problem; Windows Live Mail. I’m sure synchronising everything sounded good to your focus groups. However, the system is best described as flawed. There isn’t a proper window, the junk email won’t show me anything more than plain text and the junk mail filters are rubbish. Not to put too fine a point on it, I can’t move something from the folder without having all future mail from that sender sent to my inbox; however, when I put a piece of junk in the folder, the sender isn’t added to the list of spammers/junk mailers. It says a lot about how crappy the system is, Microsoft, that I prefer using the online web interface. Why did you try to ‘improve’ on Outlook Express?
There are really too many other problems with the so-called operating system to list. One that’s worth mentioning is the original attempt to get me to use my Windows Live ID – rather than a user account specific to one computer. I don’t care to use the same ID everywhere, Microsoft, and when my internet access is limited it takes forever to get into the computer!
But I finally battered Windows 8 into submission, just in time for you to come out with Windows 10.
I wouldn’t have cared about this, probably, until a new icon popped up in my tray. It offered a free upgrade to Windows 10 … and it was extremely difficult to remove. (And the first time I removed it, it popped back within a day.) Do you have any excuse at all for uploading a piece of malware to my system? Maybe it isn’t dangerous, but it’s there and I found it hard to get rid of it; that’s pretty much the classic definition of a PUP. I do not want Windows 10, Microsoft, and you killed pretty much the last remnants of my loyalty when you totally ignored my wishes. Putting a piece of malware on thousands upon thousands of computers was a dick move.
This would be bad enough, but – as I’m sure you’ve heard – there have been plenty of concerns voiced over the last few days about just how intrusive Windows 10 is – and how little privacy users can expect. I can understand why you want to gather data, but it’s basic courtesy to ask if users want to opt-in, rather than taking their consent for granted. And very few people are OK with you claiming blanket permission to share their data with third-parties, whoever those third-parties might be. AND while the idea of WIFI-SENSE for Windows 10 may seem like a good idea, it doesn’t take much imagination to realise just how many legal problems might result for thousands of hapless customers who haven’t realised that the setting is ‘on’ by default. If I wanted my best friends to have access to my WIFI, I would have given them the password.
I can understand, I suppose, why you want to gather advertising data. There are times – most notably on Amazon – when I’ve even regretted the inability to provide better data (they do keep offering me books I already have). But, again, you should have asked before collecting the data – and assumed a default answer of no. Because very few people are comfortable with you taking information without permission, let alone sharing it with vaguely-defined third parties.
I do not want Windows 10. Very little I’ve heard about it has actually been good. Even if it were, I would shift over when I wanted – or needed – to shift over, not when you insisted I should. I see no value in rewarding you for bad behaviour. I am no longer a loyal customer.
So … next time, I think I’ll be going for Linux.
This is inconvenient for me. Even if I manage to run Word on a Linux machine, I will still have to get used to a whole new system. But, frankly, I’m fed up with dealing with successive generations of Windows – and you trying to force an unwanted upgrade onto my machine.
It hasn’t been fun – or easy.
And that’s the problem. Yes, I know; there are people who enjoy setting up the system, or taking the programs apart to see how they work. I’m not one of them. All I want is a functional system that does what I need it to do and … well, I had that with Windows 98. Could you explain to me, perhaps, why 15 years of development only lead to less capable operating systems?
Do you want a word of advice? Stop taking your customers for granted. You’ve already lost this one.