Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 9th May 2017 18:13 UTC
Windows

The arguments are well-worn, and we've been hearing them ever since Apple opened the App Store for the iPhone. Windows 10 S blocks the execution of any program that wasn't downloaded from the Windows Store. Arbitrary downloaded apps, or even apps with physical install media, are forbidden, a move that on the one hand prevents running malware but on the other blocks the use of most Windows software. Windows Store apps include both tightly sandboxed apps, built using the Universal Windows Platform, and lightly restricted Win32 apps that have been packaged for the Store using the Desktop App converter, formerly known as Project Centennial.

This positions Microsoft as a gatekeeper - although its criteria for entry within the store is for the most part not stringent, it does reserve the right to remove software that it deems undesirable - and means that the vast majority of extant Windows software can't be used. This means that PC mainstays, from Adobe Photoshop to Valve's Steam, can't be used on Windows 10 S. It also means that Windows 10 S systems can't be used to develop new Windows software. Should you want to run this kind of software, you'll need to upgrade to the full Windows 10 Pro for $50.

Aside from the obvious and entirely valid moral arguments against locked-down computers, there's also a huge psychological one specific to Windows 10 S: it's taking something away that we used to have. Comparisons to iOS or Android are, therefore, off.

I'm not a fan of locked-down, application store-only devices, because the companies patrolling these stores don't just do it for security and quality reasons, but also for anti-competitive and puritan reasons. They will block perceived competitive threats, and since they're American companies, they will throw gigantic fits over nudity while allowing gratuitous violence like it's no big deal. These application and digital content stores export (to us) outdated American ideas about sex and nudity and impose them upon their users.

I know why Microsoft is hiding the switch behind a $50 upgrade to Windows 10 Pro - to discourage people from actually upgrading, therefore trapping more people into the Windows Store - but like with Android, this switch should be standard and free to flick back and forth at will.

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Even worse
by darknexus on Tue 9th May 2017 18:41 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

If this succeeds, and people are willing to pay Microsoft the $50 to unlock it, what other features will they decide to lock behind a paywall later? Scares the crap out of me.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Even worse
by Drumhellar on Tue 9th May 2017 18:48 UTC in reply to "Even worse"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Considering this will probably be put almost exclusively on low-cost laptops (Surface excluded), it makes sense. I'd be surprised if Microsoft even charges OEMs for this. Or, the price difference might be the exactly $50 it costs to unlock.

I think its incorrect to think this is absolutely nothing more than a ploy by Microsoft to extract more money. I think is actually is a response to a genuine desire by customers - like, they're actually listening to their customers over this.

At least in the US, schools and school districts have tiny IT departments, and often times, the teacher ends up being the one that administers all the computers that students use. Google's ChromeOS filled this need quite well, while Microsoft had literally nothing suitable for this.

Now, there's Windows 10 S, and along with that, a set of tools geared towards administering it in school settings like I described above.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Even worse
by Pro-Competition on Tue 9th May 2017 20:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Even worse"
Pro-Competition Member since:
2007-08-20

If that were actually the case, they would offer it as an option, not take away a feature from those of us that still want it (then charge us a fee to get it back).

This is about control. They know that time is running out on their monopoly, so they are using any means they can think of to lock people in, before they lose their leverage.

I suspect they are overplaying their hand. There are some people who don't mind the "walled garden", but I think they are underestimating the number that want to retain control.

One more thing - the customers are asking for the ability to lock the machines down, but not to lock them into Microsoft's ecosystem. There is a big difference.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Even worse
by Drumhellar on Tue 9th May 2017 21:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Even worse"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

If that were actually the case, they would offer it as an option, not take away a feature from those of us that still want it (then charge us a fee to get it back).


The option exists, but it isn't fool proof, and depends on a lot of knowledge of a system that teachers - who are surprisingly often the primary administrator for classroom computers - may not be able to take advantage of.

One more thing - the customers are asking for the ability to lock the machines down, but not to lock them into Microsoft's ecosystem. There is a big difference.


A lot of customers are buying into the Google/ChromeOS ecosystem, though. This is meant to be an alternative to that.

There isn't really any other way to do it while keeping it simple.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Even worse
by flanque on Tue 9th May 2017 22:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Even worse"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

I suspect they are overplaying their hand. There are some people who don't mind the "walled garden", but I think they are underestimating the number that want to retain control.


You could argue that you are opting for more control by choosing this edition of Windows 10.. the continuity of Win32, whilst of benefit for compatibility and all that, is the source of great pain for those managing devices.

Think of all the poor family "IT ladies/guys" who have to routinely fix family and friends of family computers butchered by crapware.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Even worse
by flanque on Tue 9th May 2017 22:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Even worse"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

You're not paying twice.

Reply Score: 2

PCs SW evolve with the User
by dionicio on Wed 10th May 2017 14:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Even worse"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

"One more thing - the customers are asking for the ability to lock the machines down, but not to lock them into Microsoft's ecosystem. There is a big difference."

I managed that through partition images: One for Data, Another for profiles, another for system. Later added an scripted restore routine to load the system image on boot. Always the same image.

Later a friend of mine told me of software that achieve similar results.

As Drumhellar Says: No Small feat for regular teachers or Small Business Tech Supporters.

But in the end, didn't diminished workload a lot. People DON'T LIKE locked up systems. Their work flow change, evolve. Needs get diverse with time, as they get into. Image management got messy.

Edited 2017-05-10 14:11 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Even worse
by Lennie on Wed 10th May 2017 07:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Even worse"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I think this is also a way to get the windows app store to grow the number of applications.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Even worse
by flanque on Tue 9th May 2017 22:25 UTC in reply to "Even worse"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

You're not paying full price for Windows 10 S, then a pay wall on top of it.

It's totally free to schools.

All that aside, you can upgrade to Windows 10 Pro from S edition for the remainder of 2017. Microsoft also offered up Windows 10 as a free upgrade for.. what.. six months or more?

The Balmer days of Microsoft are over (for now). Have some balance in the new world.

Edited 2017-05-09 22:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Even worse
by jnemesh on Tue 9th May 2017 22:39 UTC in reply to "Even worse"
jnemesh Member since:
2008-04-08

Well, they already put ad-free Solitaire behind a paywall!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Even worse
by JMcCarthy on Wed 10th May 2017 13:33 UTC in reply to "Even worse"
JMcCarthy Member since:
2005-08-12

Talk about a sense of entitlement. You've had to pay for all previous versions of Windows. Then when Microsoft experiments with giving at away for free people bitch endlessly that there's a "catch". Well no ****ing kidding there's a catch. They did not spend millions of dollars developing it out of the kindness of their hearts. Then when they give you the option to opt out for a nominal fee, which is still a bargain compared to previous iterations, they're crucificed.

Microsoft just can't win.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Even worse
by darknexus on Wed 10th May 2017 14:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Even worse"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I don't recall anyone asking Microsoft to give anything away for free. It was their choice to try that. I'd have gladly kept the previous system of paying for Windows in place if it didn't mean turning it into this kind of train wreck.
The problem isn't that Microsoft tried to give away Windows for free, it's that they try now to shove literally everything down our throats. Don't want Windows 10 because of software incompatibility? Too damn bad, we're going to work with Intel to make goddamn sure you have to anyway. Don't want the next big build until you've tested compatibility? Too bad, we're going to force install it at a time of our choosing, fuck what you want!
So no, they can't win. Not like this.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Even worse
by Alfman on Wed 10th May 2017 15:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Even worse"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

JMcCarthy,

Talk about a sense of entitlement. You've had to pay for all previous versions of Windows. Then when Microsoft experiments with giving at away for free people bitch endlessly that there's a "catch". Well no ****ing kidding there's a catch. They did not spend millions of dollars developing it out of the kindness of their hearts. Then when they give you the option to opt out for a nominal fee, which is still a bargain compared to previous iterations, they're crucificed.

Microsoft just can't win.


1. "sense of entitlement" goes both ways - lets use a car analogy, should owners be allowed to modify their own cars with after-market parts? Clearly the car manufacturers would love to lock down customers so they have no choice but to use manufacturer channels, but that's frowned upon for being anti-competitive.

2. "Microsoft experiments with giving at away for free"

This is skewing the facts. Microsoft never gave it away for free. It was exchanging windows 7 licenses that had a higher market value for windows 10 licenses that had a lower market value. Seriously the free market value of windows 7 computers was higher than windows 10 computers at the time.

When many consumers didn't like microsoft's value proposition, microsoft went even further in using tactics to dupe users into installing windows 10 over windows 7. I would hope that even an ardent MS fan would admit they crossed ethical lines.

https://www.engadget.com/2016/06/27/microsoft-sued-for-10-000-after-...


3. "there's a 'catch'. Well no ****ing kidding there's a catch."

This one worries me, why does there have to be a catch? Why can't microsoft just release desirable products for a fair price?


4. "Microsoft just can't win."

Again I'd turn the statement around and ask why would a microsoft supporter feel that microsoft needs to have owner restrictions in place in order to win? Eliminating owner choice could be a "win" for microsoft, but certainly not for consumers. It honestly seems quite dystopian to me.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Even worse
by flanque on Wed 10th May 2017 22:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Even worse"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

This is skewing the facts. Microsoft never gave it away for free. It was exchanging windows 7 licenses that had a higher market value for windows 10 licenses that had a lower market value. Seriously the free market value of windows 7 computers was higher than windows 10 computers at the time.


That is incorrect. Microsoft made it clear what was happening with your old licenses:

If you upgrade from a OEM or retail version of Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 to the free Windows 10 upgrade this summer, the license is consumed into it. Because the free upgrade is derived from the base qualifying license, Windows 10 will carry that licensing too.

Your Windows 7 license will always be valid and will not be changed or deactivated because of the upgrade to Windows 10: you'll be able to install or restore Windows 7 again in case you'll need to do that (provided that you've the Windows 7 installation DVD

Source: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/insider/forum/insider_wintp-insi...

Edited 2017-05-10 22:27 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Even worse
by Alfman on Thu 11th May 2017 00:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Even worse"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

flanque,

That is incorrect. Microsoft made it clear what was happening with your old licenses:


Sure, I'll give you that the old windows 7 licenses should still activate windows 7 if you have media to reinstall it. Although many consumers wouldn't have had a practical way to rollback a windows 10 upgrade after the rollback period elapsed.
https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wiki/windows_10-update/h...


In any case, it was my experience that the demand for windows 7 computers actually went up, which makes sense because new computers that came with window 10 home edition did not have downgrade rights and many people still wanted windows 7.


I think the point here is that the administrator is the teacher wearing a different hat between, before or after classes. They're well overloaded already and something like AD (at least in its current form) is certainly overkill when you could just stick a USB in, reboot and refresh.



I get that some of them may be teachers, but so what? It still adds no merit whatsoever to the argument that owners shouldn't have the *ability* to set their own app policy, or god forbid search engine, if they have a reason to. It takes ZERO effort to leave the policy at the default. Removing the choice in the name of these teachers is nothing more than an excuse to lock down those who would stray too far from microsoft's grip.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Even worse
by flanque on Thu 11th May 2017 07:33 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Even worse"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

Sure, I'll give you that the old windows 7 licenses should still activate windows 7 if you have media to reinstall it. Although many consumers wouldn't have had a practical way to rollback a windows 10 upgrade after the rollback period elapsed.
https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wiki/windows_10-update/h...

Thank you for acknowledging this, though conflating unrelated points of view is just a distraction.

Your other comment relates to another line of conversation elsewhere on this page - it has nothing to do with any of this. It adds no weight to this particular conversation.

Edited 2017-05-11 07:34 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Even worse
by Alfman on Thu 11th May 2017 14:19 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Even worse"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

flangue,

Thank you for acknowledging this, though conflating unrelated points of view is just a distraction.

Your other comment relates to another line of conversation elsewhere on this page - it has nothing to do with any of this. It adds no weight to this particular conversation.


Sure it's related, but thank you too for not denying it point by point ;)


The thing I am so discouraged with is that while I consistently support and promote the rights of those who want to use windows app store, bing, etc, there are those who want to deny others the right to use alternatives, or only grant the privilege of using alternatives to owners after paying microsoft a fee to unblock them on owner's computers.

I've had a lot of trouble understanding how someone could support this on a moral level given the anti-competitive motives behind it. But these ongoing interactions are helping me realize something I didn't know: people do not value success through meritocracy the way I fundamentally thought everyone did. I thought, quite wrongly, that everyone had an innate desire to promote meritocracy. They are fine with companies establishing their dominance through coercion and market manipulation. To me that couldn't be more self-evidently wrong, yet I'm seeing plenty of evidence that it's not self-evidently wrong to some people. I'm going to have to take time to reflect on it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Even worse
by dionicio on Thu 11th May 2017 18:54 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Even worse"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

"I've had a lot of trouble understanding how someone could support this on a moral level given the anti-competitive motives behind it."

But it's because of Chromebooks competence, and Desktop market sadly dimming.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Even worse
by flanque on Fri 12th May 2017 07:52 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Even worse"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

It's unrelated.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Even worse
by JMcCarthy on Thu 11th May 2017 03:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Even worse"
JMcCarthy Member since:
2005-08-12

1. "sense of entitlement" goes both ways - lets use a car analogy, should owners be allowed to modify their own cars with after-market parts? Clearly the car manufacturers would love to lock down customers so they have no choice but to use manufacturer channels, but that's frowned upon for being anti-competitive.


Were they given the car for free in exchange for accepting this agreement? When you pay for something it should be yours to do with what you please. But when you're given something gratis -- which you do not own -- you have zero right to complain. This policy applies whether you're an invidiual or billion dollar company.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Even worse
by Alfman on Thu 11th May 2017 06:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Even worse"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

JMcCarthy,

Were they given the car for free in exchange for accepting this agreement? When you pay for something it should be yours to do with what you please. But when you're given something gratis -- which you do not own -- you have zero right to complain. This policy applies whether you're an invidiual or billion dollar company.


Where do I get windows for free?
In any case, yes as the lawful owner you can do with it as you see fit, even with a car you got gratis.

You know, if microsoft were leasing computers, it would be a different story and in that case microsoft should have the right to decide what's allowed onto those computers, but only because they are the owners.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Even worse
by dionicio on Thu 11th May 2017 19:01 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Even worse"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Windows -S is brought in an attempt to lower maintenance costs and elevate uptime.- At the low end of the market.

Edited 2017-05-11 19:09 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Tue 9th May 2017 18:50 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

Basically, it's so unlike Microsoft to actually listen to their customers so well, than when they do, and come out with a product like Windows 10 S, which actually is a response to what customers were asking for, people can only see it as a cynical ploy to extract more money from customers, rather than answering a genuine need from customers.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by Alfman on Tue 9th May 2017 20:36 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Drumhellar,

Basically, it's so unlike Microsoft to actually listen to their customers so well, than when they do, and come out with a product like Windows 10 S, which actually is a response to what customers were asking for, people can only see it as a cynical ploy to extract more money from customers, rather than answering a genuine need from customers.


Frankly you know better than this...
This smacks of authoritarianism from a company that does not respect customer wishes but has a strong enough monopoly to pull it off.

Even if you want to explain it away as a "feature", we're all smart enough here to know that the owner could just have made the choice for themselves. It's just disingenuous. These computers already have cloud based active directory, MS could just, you know *literally* give owners the choice to install exactly what they want. The argument that microsoft is taking away choice to give the owners what they want doesn't pass the BS test. Make no mistake about it, microsoft is doing this for microsoft. The problem isn't so much about about the money but the blatant anti-competitive aspects of it.

The timing may not be coincidental, I think microsoft may be exploiting the trump administration's extremely lax oversight of corporate wrongdoing. If microsoft succeeds with this, then it could set new norms for computer restrictions long into the future.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Tue 9th May 2017 21:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

These computers already have cloud based active directory, MS could just, you know *literally* give owners the choice to install exactly what they want.


Neither of these are options for a lot of school districts.

I've been in plenty of computer labs in middle school and high school were the computers are administered by the teacher leading the class. Cloud-based Active Directory is overkill, overly complicated, and not an option. Group policy settings are not an option.

And, existing versions of Windows 10 aren't a great option - the students will always find a way to screw things up, and even if they only screw up their profile, it's still a problem.

We know customers have been asking for this, because ChromeOS is successful. This is a desirable feature for some people.

Even if you want to explain it away as a "feature", we're all smart enough here to know that the owner could just have made the choice for themselves.


This is the choice a lot of people are making, though.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Alfman on Tue 9th May 2017 23:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Drumhellar,

Neither of these are options for a lot of school districts.

I've been in plenty of computer labs in middle school and high school were the computers are administered by the teacher leading the class. Cloud-based Active Directory is overkill, overly complicated, and not an option. Group policy settings are not an option.



I think most administrators would disagree with that. Whether it's chromebooks / windows, cloud based management actually makes administration of large deployments easier.

... but even if you choose to disagree with me on this, that's still not a logical reason to deny owners a way to override microsoft's restrictions. As Pro-Competition said: "the customers are asking for the ability to lock the machines down, but not to lock them into Microsoft's ecosystem. There is a big difference." And he's absolutely right.

This is the choice a lot of people are making, though.



But surely you can recognize there's always a granularity problem when you look at the market this way. A logical fallacy arises when we start assuming that everyone who bought/voted for X implicitly endorses everything about X. People buy products despite the cons and *not* because of them!

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Wed 10th May 2017 05:07 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Drumhellar"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

But surely you can recognize there's always a granularity problem when you look at the market this way. A logical fallacy arises when we start assuming that everyone who bought/voted for X implicitly endorses everything about X. People buy products despite the cons and *not* because of them!


So, in other words, Microsoft sees a product that is beating them in a market they want to be in, but because they emulate a product that isn't an absolute perfect fit, they are useless and shouldn't do anything?

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Alfman on Wed 10th May 2017 05:42 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Drumhellar"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Drumhellar,

So, in other words, Microsoft sees a product that is beating them in a market they want to be in, but because they emulate a product that isn't an absolute perfect fit, they are useless and shouldn't do anything?


I really don't get how your interpreting my post to mean this. No I'm not saying that at all. Microsoft can cater to the market, that's totally fine. My point was that it's disingenuous to claim that the owner restrictions are for the benefit of anyone but microsoft itself.

Not to read too far into your post, but are you accusing me of bias? Because I assure you my belief in owner rights spans all vendors. Make no mistake I'm not particularly fond of any of them right now.

Edited 2017-05-10 05:42 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by Drumhellar
by dionicio on Wed 10th May 2017 16:48 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Drumhellar"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

"My point was that it's disingenuous to claim that the owner restrictions are for the benefit of anyone but Microsoft itself."

The restrictive valve on pressure cookers are for the benefit of the manufacturer, indeed. Save them from demands. But are there also for our benefit.

I don't need them. I know not to open the damn thing when hot. Still, want that restriction there.

Remembering Virgin Space tragedy.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Drumhellar
by flanque on Wed 10th May 2017 22:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Drumhellar"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

I think most administrators would disagree with that.

I think the point here is that the administrator is the teacher wearing a different hat between, before or after classes. They're well overloaded already and something like AD (at least in its current form) is certainly overkill when you could just stick a USB in, reboot and refresh.

Edited 2017-05-10 22:32 UTC

Reply Score: 2

the walled garden isn't even policed
by codifies on Tue 9th May 2017 19:07 UTC
codifies
Member since:
2014-02-14

The "excuse" and thats all it is, that its for security is laughable, in practice app stores aren't policed, as there is just too much volume for them to be hand checking each application, and people soon learn how to navigate round automated tests...

Hopefully this will make Windows less and less relevant taking gamers and Steam (and other game stores) onto platforms like Linux and more serious server stuff on the likes of *BSD

The idea that its okay to trust some corporation with an OS you can't audit is proving time and again to be an unsafe proposition

Reply Score: 3

dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

"... in practice app stores aren't policed,..."

Once you're pulled towards emergency exit, you know it never was a good idea, to begin with.

Reply Score: 2

dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

"...and less relevant taking gamers and Steam..." Wishing the best to Steam Effort.

But for thrills free, could also develop for minimalist Xbox frame.

Reply Score: 2

dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

"...to trust some corporation with an OS you can't audit..."

This Version is below Home Edition. Who's interested, and have the resources, to audit for this clientele. Just Microsoft themself. Allow.

Not going on professionally securing systems, at this mass consumption product.

Reply Score: 2

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

The "excuse" and thats all it is, that its for security is laughable, in practice app stores aren't policed, as there is just too much volume for them to be hand checking each application, and people soon learn how to navigate round automated tests...


It seems to work okay on the Google Play store. It's not perfect by any means, but seems a hell of a lot more secure than side-loading apps from wherever you find them.

Personally, I want the Windows Store to succeed. As long as we have the option to side load (and even MS ain't dumb enough to turn that off in non-crippled versions of Windows), as the article points out, it would be nice to have a single place to get most of my apps, all updating from the same source.

Edited 2017-05-09 22:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WorknMan,

It seems to work okay on the Google Play store. It's not perfect by any means, but seems a hell of a lot more secure than side-loading apps from wherever you find them.


This is a genuine question for you: is this a blanket statement assumed to be self evident or do you have any actual evidence that sandboxed applications that are loaded from the app stores are safer than sandboxed applications that are side loaded? Obviously google/apple/microsoft/steam/etc all moderate the apps that are included in their stores, but what additional protections are really in place beyond the application sandboxes built into the device? I ask this because A) I honestly don't know the answer, and B) any debate about the problem should be informed by the facts rather than speculation.

The security argument could actually cut both ways. Microsoft is the elephant in the room, but it really doesn't say anything about their security. It's entirely plausible for 3rd party software repos to actually have higher security standards than microsoft itself, in which case forcing owners to use microsoft's store would actually reduce their security compared to the 3rd party repo.


Personally, I want the Windows Store to succeed. As long as we have the option to side load (and even MS ain't dumb enough to turn that off in non-crippled versions of Windows), as the article points out, it would be nice to have a single place to get most of my apps, all updating from the same source.


I actually don't have a big problem with this, as long as they don't use anti-competitive locks or pricing that blocks consumers from using alternatives.

I think we're already kind of in agreement on the issues generally, it's just that you're far more trusting in microsoft, whereas I'm highly concerned about trusting the future of our computer freedoms to microsoft or any corporation for that matter. I don't see it ending well for us if we allow PC restrictions to become standard practice, which is slowly but surely happening from my perspective.

Edited 2017-05-10 05:07 UTC

Reply Score: 2

dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

"is this a blanket statement assumed to be self evident or do you have any actual evidence that sandboxed applications that are loaded from the app stores are safer than sandboxed applications that are side loaded?"

Qualitative Difference at Stores is Coding Hierarchy [MS itself ultimate and at the Top].

A long, long memory of porous, lazy, exploitive code: from "free" compressors to very expensive security packages.

Coders could traditionally "unload" anything, as far as conforming to the APIs.

At windows 7 could see Microsoft literally on their knees asking you: "Please don't" unload that crap on me.

I get it, as got in the past fight at W10 introduction, of the pain in the *ss this is to coders.

But Microsoft got to be the Giant they are, by being affordable. The path they were going, afford ability was becoming a LUXURY.

Expect higher prices, in the measure you want to mess deeper, into the layers of privative code.

Edited 2017-05-10 15:23 UTC

Reply Score: 2

dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

"It's entirely plausible for 3rd party software repos to actually have higher security standards than microsoft itself, in which case forcing owners to use microsoft's store would actually reduce their security compared to the 3rd party repo. "

Entirely plausible but Low On Probabilities. Leave that to Open Code.

Maybe when Store Open APIs fully accorded. [Ha ha] Sorry.

Reply Score: 2

dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

"...whereas I'm highly concerned about trusting the future of our computer freedoms to microsoft or any corporation for that matter."

Stores I see as competitive adjustments in order to keep costs under control, as software becomes more networked and fast-paced.

Trust was never there, except hope veiled by ignorance. At an industry still on diapers, you shouldn't -really.

If work-flows critical, create alternate paths.

Pre-digestings and Post-digestings, privacy wise.

Corps have done a lot of damage, but also a lot of good.

Reply Score: 2

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

It's entirely plausible for 3rd party software repos to actually have higher security standards than microsoft itself


Agreed, but most Windows users aren't downloading their apps from 3rd party repos - they're downloading apps infested with all kinds of crap, from random websites.

This is a genuine question for you: is this a blanket statement assumed to be self evident or do you have any actual evidence that sandboxed applications that are loaded from the app stores are safer than sandboxed applications that are side loaded?


I can only speak about the Google Play store, where I know that apps that are uploaded are scanned for malware. As I said, it's not perfect, as some apps manage to sneak by the scan. But apps that are found to have malware are pulled as soon as they are known about. Contrast this with side-loaded apps, where there is no scanning going on at all. Side load an app from who the hell knows where, especially on an older version of Android with known vulnerabilities, and you're just asking for trouble.

I'm assuming Microsoft is doing something similar - the article mentions they can't do things such as install background services, which would certainly help.

t's just that you're far more trusting in microsoft, whereas I'm highly concerned about trusting the future of our computer freedoms to microsoft or any corporation for that matter.


There will always be a version of Windows with the capability to side load apps, because as soon as MS removes that ability completely, they would remove the only reason why many of us are still using Windows.

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WorknMan,

Agreed, but most Windows users aren't downloading their apps from 3rd party repos - they're downloading apps infested with all kinds of crap, from random websites.


I agree with that too.


Contrast this with side-loaded apps, where there is no scanning going on at all. Side load an app from who the hell knows where, especially on an older version of Android with known vulnerabilities, and you're just asking for trouble.


There should be a mode where we can run an arbitrary app as securely as we can open an arbitrary web page. I'm not a big fan of how google makes us accept all permissions up front even before we are able to properly gauge an app to see what it can do or why it should need those permissions. It's better than having no sandbox at all, but per usual I wish owners had more control over their own security.


There will always be a version of Windows with the capability to side load apps, because as soon as MS removes that ability completely, they would remove the only reason why many of us are still using Windows.


Sure some version will have that capability, but we can't deny that requiring users to pay MS to unlock software from non-MS sources is extremely anti-competitive. This should be viewed with a lot of concern given the potential for market abuse and the tendoncies for monopoly abuses in the past.

I do know this much: if we don't become vigilant against the continuous incremental restrictions on our freedoms, then our freedoms will continue to be marginalized until the masses no longer have them.

Reply Score: 2

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I'm not a big fan of how google makes us accept all permissions up front even before we are able to properly gauge an app to see what it can do or why it should need those permissions. It's better than having no sandbox at all, but per usual I wish owners had more control over their own security.


Newer versions of Android (v6 and up I think) only prompt for permissions as they are used, and you can turn each one on and off. The app has to be compiled to support it though.

but we can't deny that requiring users to pay MS to unlock software from non-MS sources is extremely anti-competitive.


As the article states, there has ALWAYS been a price attached to run Windows apps. This option is actually cheaper than buying a copy of Windows outright. Therefore, if I could get a PC with Windows S, I probably would, since it's only $50 to jailbreak it, vs the $120 (or whatever they charge) for the full OEM version. Honestly, I have no issues with what MS is doing here. If it gets more developers using the Store, more power to them.

I am MUCH more annoyed that MS is turning Windows 10 into an ad-infested POS.

Edited 2017-05-11 01:15 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WorknMan,

Newer versions of Android (v6 and up I think) only prompt for permissions as they are used, and you can turn each one on and off. The app has to be compiled to support it though.


About time, I'm glad to hear that.


As the article states, there has ALWAYS been a price attached to run Windows apps. This option is actually cheaper than buying a copy of Windows outright. Therefore, if I could get a PC with Windows S, I probably would, since it's only $50 to jailbreak it, vs the $120 (or whatever they charge) for the full OEM version. Honestly, I have no issues with what MS is doing here.



It is extremely naive to think this is going to stop with windows 10s. You do know that right?

I can not support microsoft restrictions that explicitly put owner's rights secondary to microsoft's anti-competitive agenda, even if it's "only $50" (for now). I'm afraid to ask, but at what point do you personally put your foot down and say enough is enough? Do you intend to defend microsoft's control to any end, no matter how harmful it turns out for 3rd party software development? If not, then beware these changes may not be so easily reversible.


If it gets more developers using the Store, more power to them.



More power to them as long as they do it through merit and not market manipulation!!

Edited 2017-05-11 03:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

It is extremely naive to think this is going to stop with windows 10s. You do know that right?


Are you saying there's going to be a time where there won't be an option to buy a copy of Windows that allows side loading? Because the ONE advantage Windows has is its support for legacy Win32 apps. If MS disabled that in all versions of Windows (and I agree that they'd love to do so), they'd be cutting themselves off at the knees. Especially enterprise versions, and smaller 'mom and pop' shops running their entire business off some legacy VB6/Excel app. I mean, I guess they MIGHT, but it would be monumentally stupid.

Honestly, I think Apple would do this before MS would.

I can not support microsoft restrictions that explicitly put owner's rights secondary to microsoft's anti-competitive agenda, even if it's "only $50" (for now).


Windows S is an OPTION. If you don't like it, then buy the full version of Windows, or use something else. I'm not going to play the 'slippery slope' game with you.

I'm afraid to ask, but at what point do you personally put your foot down and say enough is enough?


Again, I'm not bothered in the least about what MS is doing here.

Reply Score: 2

dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

"There should be a mode where we can run an arbitrary app as securely as we can open an arbitrary web page. "

HTML5 is not secure, Alfman. Just as Java broke our trust on cleanliness of OS's guts. HTML5 just came attempting same. Difference here being the Biggest Computer Consortium will.

That's the reason Privative OS will do better -security wise- on 'Of the House' browsers than others. Modern browsers are deeply rooted, down to the lower layers of OS code.

Besides, there are natural limits to the security checks and oversights your own rig can do, compared to the security checks and oversight the farms at the Soft Houses do with their Diagnostic Chains. [But as with DieselGate, anything can happen on the wild].

Reply Score: 2

dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

"Sure some version will have that capability, but we can't deny that requiring users to pay MS to unlock software from non-MS sources is extremely anti-competitive."

Would like to thing the 50 bucks payment is for the full security suite from MS, Alfman.

Laking that full chain, Win10 -S allows only trusted to them executables.

Reply Score: 2

dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

FULL restore. An additional benefit of Store Only Applications is that Microsoft Restore Tool-chain can get back the whole enchilada user's profiles.

No worries on hidden, ancient, maybe damaged, local partition images. No Messianic backup uploads.

Reply Score: 2

flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

The Windows Store isn't anywhere as busy as iOS or Google Play.

There are other benefits than just 'policing' the apps.

For example..

Applications will update more intelligently rather than the bombardment of them all trying to all update at once on startup.

Applications wont be able to install a minefield of widgets in your task bar.


Application vendors can also put their win32 apps into a Centennial container to make them available in the app store.

Also consider Windows 10 S is based on Windows 10 Pro and that you can upgrade for free for the remainder of 2017.

So as temping as the hype wagon is, particularly around here, it's not all that bad and in the end you you can still opt for Linux, ChromeOS, MacOS or even a non-S edition of Windows 10.

Reply Score: 2

Psychology indeed
by sj87 on Tue 9th May 2017 19:41 UTC
sj87
Member since:
2007-12-16

Microsoft has long had the problem of finding a way to force its customers and developers to its shitty shop. Now Microsoft has found it without making itself seem completely evil – except to us few who get the gist.

If even a fairly little portion of users retain the S on their computers, it will create lots of potential market share only available in Microsoft Store. That will attract developers one-by-one in fear of losing out.

Also, this offers Microsoft a way to force users to its own ecosystem, Bing etc. I am pretty sure they will successfully fool the EU bureaucrats until it's too late for them to do anything. That is, because once you change the customers, they won't care to go back even if given the same options.

Most importantly Microsoft was said to be targeting the young population, students et al with this move, because that's the key demographic where MS has been lacking so far. Also the most important one regarding our future.

Edited 2017-05-09 19:42 UTC

Reply Score: 5

To Me Is MS standing over Two Worlds...
by dionicio on Tue 9th May 2017 19:47 UTC
dionicio
Member since:
2006-07-12

Past And Future. Neither Could They abandon. Expecting Not a lot, on privacy concerns. But that goes for the global Industry.

Keeping clean an open ecosystem is truly expensive. And diminishing the market for that. Realities.

Reply Score: 2

dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Keeping Linux Ecosystem clean is even more expensive. Difference here is, cost is not charged on final user.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by drcouzelis
by drcouzelis on Tue 9th May 2017 20:14 UTC
drcouzelis
Member since:
2010-01-11

I actually wouldn't mind the change, if you could add your own "stores", similarly to how you can add your own repositories to a Linux package manager and Android. But I assume that's not the case with Windows. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by drcouzelis
by dionicio on Wed 10th May 2017 17:16 UTC in reply to "Comment by drcouzelis"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Repository Services far from those expected from a STORE.

Security Wise use only those from the Distro.

Contribute to the Community Or Pay to the Company. Keeping the show clean and updated costs a lot of money.

Edited 2017-05-10 17:27 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Windows 10 S
by BluenoseJake on Tue 9th May 2017 20:40 UTC
BluenoseJake
Member since:
2005-08-11

Is not the only edition of Windows 10. There is still Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Enterprise, blah blah blah.

As long as i can get the software i want, what difference does it make if it comes from the app store, or some website. In a lot of cases it's better.

Take for example Adobe reader. If you download it from Adobe's site, you get a prechecked box for some piece of shit software, usually mcafee. The user downloads it, and all of a sudden, they have 2 running AV suites.

The app store would stop that. I love the idea of safe downloads, software that automatically updates from a known source.

For some reason, we are all willing to allow Apple and Google to have app stores, but when MS does it, it's evil.

Time for the tech world to take off the rose coloured glasses and see Apple and Google as they really are, for profit entities that are doing the exact same things that MS wants to do, but for some reason, we give them a pass.

It really makes no sense.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Windows 10 S
by dionicio on Tue 9th May 2017 21:04 UTC in reply to "Windows 10 S"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Or Google *anything. If You bite, the system ends with an OS over an OS.

Or software installing virtualized layers, or even whole machines.

Edited 2017-05-09 21:07 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Windows 10 S
by flanque on Tue 9th May 2017 22:50 UTC in reply to "Windows 10 S"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

Take for example Adobe reader. If you download it from Adobe's site, you get a prechecked box for some piece of shit software, usually mcafee. The user downloads it, and all of a sudden, they have 2 running AV suites.

Exactly.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Windows 10 S
by Sidux on Wed 10th May 2017 11:31 UTC in reply to "Windows 10 S"
Sidux Member since:
2015-03-10

iOS and Android Stores were ok as a way to get apps on your mobile devices on the go.
It's quite different than getting applications on your desktop / laptop computer.
For this reason Apple's store for Mac is in the same state.
Not everyone wants to run the latest and greatest software / drivers or have it connect to any sort of cloud environment.
Some still don't even connect it to public internet if they consider the potential high value data they are working on could be compromised by an update at any point.

Nothing changed actually since the mobile "era" began. Casual people just got along fine with their mobile devices, not needing anything else.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Windows 10 S
by dionicio on Wed 10th May 2017 16:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Windows 10 S"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Long term Apple Desktop going to follow similar approach. Unless willing to trash legacy [users].

Reply Score: 2

Da -S Switch
by dionicio on Tue 9th May 2017 21:15 UTC
dionicio
Member since:
2006-07-12

"...but like with Android, this switch should be standard and free to flick back and forth at will."

From Home Version upwards, it is. Kind of, according to Avgalen:

http://www.osnews.com/thread?643868

Reply Score: 2

RE: Da -S Switch
by avgalen on Thu 11th May 2017 10:57 UTC in reply to "Da -S Switch"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Thanks for appreciating that post and spreading the knowledge.

It seems that most people don't understand the "S" edition, which isn't strange since it is new and you cannot get it yourself yet. It doesn't help that Thom wrote "There's a huge psychological argument specific to Windows 10 S: it's taking something away that we used to have." which seems strange considering "S" is not replacing anything like "Home" or "Education" or "Education Pro".

Here is how I understand it so far:
"S" isn't an Edition of Windows that anyone can buy, it will only be included on devices.
"S" devices are meant to be purchased by (parents) of K12 children. Schools should continue to buy devices with "Education Pro".
"S" picks up a mixture of special tricks from other Windows editions so it cannot be directly placed in the "Home -> Pro -> Enterprise" range.
"S" only allows you to Install and Run Store Apps, that would mean you cannot use the normally included Calc.exe, Notepad.exe or cmd.exe or probably even Control Panel. From this point of view it should be seen as "A Windows 10 version of Windows RT that runs on x86 hardware but is more similar to Windows 10 Mobile than to Windows 10 Pro
"S" uses the "quick sign-in" tricks that Surface Hub also uses (because it only runs apps it doesn't have to load a full userprofile the same way normal Windows does)
"S" can be upgraded to Pro (strangely enough not Education or Education Pro) which allows it to Install and Run non-Store Apps. With Pro (and Home and Enterprise) you can simply toggle the installation of installing non-Store Apps, but once installed they will always be allowed to run.

Allowing non-Store apps to install or not isn't something specific to "S", all Windows 10 Editions can do that.
Blocking/Allowing non-Store apps to run or not isn't something special either, Enterprises have been doing that for ages and there are ways to do it on Home as well (https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/8739/restrict-users-to-run-only-spec...)
The whole point about "S" is simply to be as close to ChromeOS as possible, while still having access to the benefits of Windows (Centennial versions of 'real' programs, hardware choice, familiarity in GUI) without locking you into an RT-like dead-end.

P.S.
(I also found this part of the comment by Thom strange: "Comparisons to iOS or Android are, therefore, off." <snip> "but like with Android, this switch should be standard and free to flick back and forth at will.")

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Da -S Switch
by Alfman on Thu 11th May 2017 15:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Da -S Switch"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

avgalen,


You are right, I agree with your points.

We shouldn't ignore the crossover between mobiles and PCs. Back when mobile platforms were being introduced, people defended restrictions on the basis that they weren't general purpose computers, well that argument's out. The narrative keeps shifting "Oh don't worry about it, our high end PCs aren't affected". without much concern for what happens as the restrictions become normalized for more and more PC owners.

Edited 2017-05-11 15:03 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Only 50$?
by jgfenix on Wed 10th May 2017 07:18 UTC
jgfenix
Member since:
2006-05-25

An upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Professional was 159€ when I did it.

Reply Score: 2