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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RE[2]: Okay, but ...
by Drumhellar on Wed 3rd Aug 2016 18:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Okay, but ..."
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

This has been the case with every version of Windows since 95.

Granted, you could customize things before the install rather than accept the default, but it's the same amount of work regardless.

This is in line with Microsoft pushing all the customization after installation rather than before files are copied.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Okay, but ...
by BlueofRainbow on Thu 4th Aug 2016 17:57 in reply to "RE[2]: Okay, but ..."
BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

In line with the other thread regarding "dark patterns", customizing the system and applications prior to installation is equivalent to "opting-in".

Pushing everything on the system and having the users de-selecting things/undoing changes is equivalent to "opting-out".

The typical user usually does not have the combination of knowledge and patience to opt-out from undesired applications and settings.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: Okay, but ...
by Drumhellar on Thu 4th Aug 2016 21:19 in reply to "RE[3]: Okay, but ..."
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

I disagree. Merely setting options to defaults isn't "dark patterns" when it doesn't have any actual negative affect on the user.

Privacy is not compromised by the defaults any more than it is when you connect your user account to Microsoft's servers. Solitaire automatically being installed isn't at all the same as automatically being opted in to harvesting and sharing your web browser history for sale to advertisers.

Not at all the same thing.

Reply Parent Score: 1