Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 2nd Aug 2016 21:28 UTC

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update was released earlier this evening, and I dutifully installed it so that I could write about any oddities that might pop up. Well, a number of oddities have popped up, and they're bad - really bad. The Anniversary Update does some really shady stuff during installation that it doesn't inform you of at all until after the fact.

First, the Anniversary Update reinstalls Skype "for you", even if you had it uninstalled earlier, which in and of itself is a blatant disregard for users - I uninstalled it for a reason, and I'd like Microsoft to respect that. That in and of itself is bad enough, but here's the kicker: during installation, Microsoft also automatically logs you into Skype, so that possible Skype contacts can just start calling or messaging you - again, without ever asking for the user's consent.

Imagine my surprise when I open that useless Metro notification center thing - whose button now sits in the bottom right of the task bar, right of the clock, even, and is unremovable - and see that Skype is now installed, and that I'm logged in. This is a blatant disregard for users, and I'm sure tons of users will be unpleasantly surprised to see Microsoft forcing Skype down their throats.

There was an even bigger surprise, though: during installation of the Anniversary Update, Microsoft apparently flags Classic Shell - a popular Start menu replacement that gives Windows 10 a customisable Start menu that doesn't suck - as incompatible with the Anniversary Update, and just straight-up deletes hides it from your computer - again, without ever notifying you beforehand or asking you for your permission.

Update: actually, the application isn't removed entirely - it's still there in the Program Files folder, but it's entirely scrapped from search results and the Start menu. Effectively, for most users, that's identical to removing it. What an incredibly odd and user-hostile way of dealing with this. You can see how the wording in the screenshot below is confusing regarding the removing vs. hiding issue.

Classic Shell released an update to fix the compatibility issue detected, so I hope my settings are still there somewhere, because it'd suck having to redo all of them because Microsoft just randomly deleted a program from my computer hid a program, without informing me or asking me for my permission. It could've just disabled the program, prevented it from running - why delete hide it entirely? Are they that desperate to try and get me to use their terrible excuse for a Start menu?

So, just in case you're about to install this update - Microsoft will force Skype down your throat, and may randomly delete hide programs from your computer without asking for your permission.

Have fun.

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RE: A bit exaggerated
by Morgan on Wed 3rd Aug 2016 13:37 UTC in reply to "A bit exaggerated"
Member since:

As many have noticed, the Classic Shell application (which I happily used too, in the Windows 8[.1] days) was hacked around the update release time, so this might explain the incompatibility.

No, the version that was hacked was the patched version that specifically fixed the incompatibility issue. Keep in mind that Windows software developers will have access to Windows updates via the Insider program specifically so they can patch for such things ahead of time. The Classic Shell developer released an updated version of their program to coincide with the Anniversary Update to address the compatibility issue they already knew about, and it's that new, patched version that ended up being compromised by the attacker.

In other words, if you do the Anniversary Update and you get a compatibility warning, you have the version of Classic Shell that came out before the hacked version. The attacker counted on that; he wanted to ensure that people would download his virus thinking they were getting the fix for their compatibility issue. Simple social engineering.

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