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: Err not quite
by etrek on Thu 4th Aug 2016 11:01 UTC in reply to "Err not quite"
Member since:

But sometimes you need to have "incompatible" stuff in order to deal with legacy situations. Old communications apps, old proprietary systems etc. Sometimes even partially broken functionality of an old app is all you need to maintain/communicate with/extend the heirloom stuff.

Granted this is likely a minority situation BUT a simple dialog box asking wether to do this or not during the update process would have been better.

All this extra control Microsoft is exerting over their platform - I wonder if their liability is increasing over it. If we no longer "own" or "control" our systems then wouldn't a breach shift at least some of the responsibility back to Microsoft regardless of the EULA crap?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Err not quite
by dionicio on Sat 6th Aug 2016 00:41 in reply to "RE: Err not quite"
dionicio Member since:

In fact MS was in direct collision course with their legacy ecosystem. Fortunately They have applied their expertize on 'blending', as the olive oil producers do, to keep consistency on their produce ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2