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

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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Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

On the very day that the update came out he got it through an alternative way and installed it.


???

I installed it through Windows Update. Where did you get the idea I installed it through an "alternative way"?

Well, I guess we have now reached the level of OS-maturity where this is considered "bad - really bad" /s


I guess we have now reached the level of OS-maturity where random hiding and reinstallation of a ton of programs (including Skype) and using your credentials without permission or even so much as a notification is considered "normal". That's some creepy level of Stockholm Syndrome right there.

Edited 2016-08-03 09:37 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 9

RobG Member since:
2012-10-17

I agree with the point that reinstalling Skype was bad behaviour. WRT Classic Shell though, maybe there was an incompatibility. As a Shell replacement, that could potentially leave your system in an unusable state, in which case this behaviour would be just what I would expect.

Reply Parent Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

WRT Classic Shell though, maybe there was an incompatibility. As a Shell replacement, that could potentially leave your system in an unusable state, in which case this behaviour would be just what I would expect.

Are you serious? You want, even expect, the system to make changes without even asking once?
Did I fall through a wormhole into a universe of sheep or something?

Reply Parent Score: 9

avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Apparently Classic Shell, despite the name, is NOT a shell replacement. It adds/modifies the default Shell (Explorer.exe) and otherwise it is just a program.
source: http://www.classicshell.net/faq/#general_whatnot

What I would expect is that the compatibility checker inside the Upgrade procedure would warn about this incompatible program before performing the actual update with an option to stop the upgrade. That is how it always used to work and how I think it should work!

As I mentioned earlier today, Microsoft is very confused about the difference between an update and an upgrade and I think this is one of the symptoms of that.

Reply Parent Score: 4

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

The program has been flagged as incompatible since Win8 on and off if you do a quick google and you will see Forum posts going back to 2013-2014.

Reply Parent Score: 2

avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

I installed it through Windows Update. Where did you get the idea I installed it through an "alternative way"?

My bad. Since we both live in The Netherlands and the update hasn't shown itself on any of my machines yet I assumed that you downloaded the ISO's. Apparently this is a staged roll out and you got it the normal way while I didn't.

I guess we have now reached the level of OS-maturity where random hiding and reinstallation of a ton of programs (including Skype) and using your credentials without permission or even so much as a notification is considered "normal". That's some creepy level of Stockholm Syndrome right there.

It isn't random reinstallation, it is "apps that are considered part of the OS only". I also disagree with this practice and wouldn't expect that from a Windows Update. HOWEVER, Microsoft stupidly uses an upgrade- instead of update-technique for 1507/1511/1607 versions (and insider and mobile) that has always had this behavior.
There was also no random hiding. You used an incompatible Shell that got disabled and you DID get notified about that through the notification center that you actually called useless but seems pretty useful here.
When you sign in to Windows with a Microsoft account and you use that Microsoft account for other things like Skype/Mail why would it not allow you to use those programs immediately? You actually did give permission for this when you decided to use a Microsoft account for login instead of a local account. And Skype has been trying to do Auto-Login for ages! Most people love it when they only have to enter their password once and everything works automatically.
I wouldn't call these things normal, but I would call them oddities or quirks or minor things to pay attention to. I would keep qualifications like "bad - really bad" for things like "my machine doesn't boot", "everything takes forever or "many of my programs/hardware doesn't work". (disastrous would be "I lost my personal files"). Please don't setup a strawman by mentioning "normal" and "Stockholm Syndrome"

Reply Parent Score: 2

ahferroin7 Member since:
2015-10-30

" I installed it through Windows Update. Where did you get the idea I installed it through an "alternative way"?

My bad. Since we both live in The Netherlands and the update hasn't shown itself on any of my machines yet I assumed that you downloaded the ISO's. Apparently this is a staged roll out and you got it the normal way while I didn't.
"
They're pushing it out incrementally because they don't want people trashing their bandwidth and hurting performance for people who they're hosting via Azure or Office 365. I'm not sure how they're deciding who gets it right now, but I had to manually force it on my work laptop (you can download a tool from Microsoft to do this from their version history page for Win10), but my home laptop (where I only use Windows for Gaming) saw the update immediately on being turned on.

Reply Parent Score: 1