Home > Windows > Windows 10 warns me to use a “Microsoft-verified” app Windows 10 warns me to use a “Microsoft-verified” app Thom Holwerda 2023-10-16 Windows 12 Comments In certain versions of Windows 10, you may receive a notification with a warning about Microsoft-verified apps when you run the Firefox installer. This is just so transparently anti-user. About The Author Thom Holwerda Follow me on Mastodon @email@example.com 12 Comments 2023-10-16 4:23 pm kurkosdr But the Firefox installer is a Microsoft-verified (signed) app. Microsoft needs another visit for the EU anti-trust investigators. 2023-10-16 4:31 pm kbd And that’s the thing. Each time Microsoft is unsatisfied with this quarter’s earnings, they can always just force some more grandmas to use Edge and Bing via dark patterns. You might say this outcome was inevitable when society gave them the ability to push anything they want onto the customer’s computer at any time; taking away the user’s ability to decide which updates to install. (how many users would have actually wanted Edge installed in the first place?!) Some would say that my ethics are lacking; I use ad blockers and I’m proud of it, but I simply can’t support this company anymore. Maybe it isn’t just on ethical grounds, maybe it is because I dislike them for other reasons; I do admit that, but I strongly feel that ethics are at least half of the reason why I feel the way that I do. 2023-10-16 5:35 pm Alfman Is this targeting firefox or is it happening more broadly? Either way, yuck yuck yuck! Both microsoft and apple are finding ways to make it more cumbersome for desktop users to “sideload” software of their choice. This bodes really poorly for the future of independent software. The free market will be severely damaged if both macos and windows end up turning into walled gardens. It would be a nightmare scenario. Of course, it’s easy to dismiss these threats as scaremongering, but shouldn’t we collectively be worried that the bricks for this path are being laid right now? My concern is that once such things become normalized, the tech companies are left holding all the keys and there’s no going back. 2023-10-16 9:44 pm kurkosdr I will go one step further: The first iOS version with an AppStore should have been investigated by antitrust authorities and forced to have sideloading. In fact, the first console with a lockout chip (I think it was the NES) should have been investigated by antitrust authorities and forced to drop the act. How is the act of selling the console at a loss and then making money from a monopoly on software for it not product dumping and antitrust at the same time? Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, so now Microsoft and Apple are treating sideloading as a legacy obligation they’d rather Windows and MacOS respectively didn’t have and are doing everything they can to sabotage it. Our last hope is the EU and the DMA. But how are they gonna compromise forcing Apple to open iOS to sideloading but not forcing Sony to open the PS5 to sideloading, that’s an open question. 2023-10-16 9:54 pm sukru kurkosdr, I can only talk about consoles. Even though I prefer more open hardware (Xbox Series for example with the dev option, over PS5 which is completely locked out), I would still say lack of “walled gardens” would reduce consumer choice in that area. (Yes there are still other concerns, like Sony blocking out Japanese games from the Xbox using their backroom deals. But that is another topic. Let’s focus on hardware and the software distribution methods on them). Even today, all Xbox games, and most Sony games are available on the PC, however some of the consumers (20%? not exactly sure, but roughly that amount), prefer to use an “appliance like” device. This comes with certain benefits, including software going through tests (Cyberpunk is one of the rare counter examples), and also the software companies also being satisfied (not needing to install root kits, or invasive DRMs on the PCs. This is one of the main reasons I don’t game on my PC, even though it is better than the consoles in terms of hardware). Anyway, gaming consoles (with their issues) have been a special case, and their being locked out is probably not the main problem. Though, I would have required a “unlock” firmware after 10 years of last service (would be 360/PS3 for today). 2023-10-16 10:47 pm Alfman sukru, I would still say lack of “walled gardens” would reduce consumer choice in that area. That is a contradictory statement though. It is fair to speculate and argue over what the choices would look like, but logically speaking we cannot say it would reduce choice for consumers for whom DRM already prohibits them from having a choice. Anyway, gaming consoles (with their issues) have been a special case, and their being locked out is probably not the main problem. Though, I would have required a “unlock” firmware after 10 years of last service (would be 360/PS3 for today). Well, even in the case of walled gardens, many consumers would still remain loyal to the official stores. Voluntary loyalty isn’t a bad thing, what’s bad is depriving owners of control over their hardware. Not only does this deprive consumers of choice, but it harms software competition and innovation by only allowing a few to control it. I agree with kurkosdr, it’s hard to fix this now that bad precedents have been set for so long, but had we consistently steered the industry towards open waters early on, we wouldn’t have such a big problem with monopolization of access to market. 2023-10-16 11:39 pm sukru Alfman, One main example could be the Sega Dreamcast. It was probably the most innovative and technically advances console of its generation (not necessarily the fastest, though). But easy piracy was one of the main reasons they failed: https://eightify.app/summary/gaming/the-downfall-of-dreamcast-how-sega-s-actions-led-to-its-ruin (The other reasons were Sony cutthroat competition, and Sega’s own mistakes). There are two mutual expectations: 1) Consumers expecting high quality content, at least those that won’t brick or “root” their consoles 2) Developers expecting to sell to “honest” consumers. at least to those who can’t easily pirate the games. And I am sure Dreamcast would not be the only example. 2023-10-16 11:40 pm sukru (sorry for the typos, again I want “edit” back) 2023-10-16 11:52 pm sukru Alfman, I will also give one example to your point. Early gaming consoles like Atari 2600 did not have a DRM (or at least an effective one). This led to a new startup called “Activision” to release their games on that platform, and to a very high success nonetheless: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_2600#Third-party_development And their crash was not because of open cartridges, (though they were difficult to copy at the time), but rather their own shortsightedness (The infamous E.T. game). 2023-10-17 8:47 am Alfman sukru, One main example could be the Sega Dreamcast. It was probably the most innovative and technically advances console of its generation (not necessarily the fastest, though). But easy piracy was one of the main reasons they failed: Well, just about every media based industry cries wolf about piracy, but the problem is often themselves and they’ve failed to meet customer needs and expectations. If I recall, you made this argument yourself when it came to hollywood, no? Publishers love to claim every infringed copy as a lost sale, but this is factually wrong. Many and even most pirated copies would still be non-sales even if they weren’t pirated. For this reason, it’s often hard to gauge the real cost of piracy when the publishers haven’t been honest with themselves. Also, I think it was Gates who said piracy actually helps popularity. People who pirate aren’t worth much as customers, but it can still help make the game more popular with people who don’t pirate. I’m not saying the cost of piracy is zero, but even so it’s often much less than claimed. The sega dreamcast had DRM anyway, but like virtually all consoles of the time users managed to bypass it. Even the iphone’s DRM was broken year after year after year and yet it was insanely successful anyways. So I cannot agree with you that “easy piracy was one of the main reasons they failed”. Piracy is a scapegoat masking a myriad of other problems and not for nothing but your source also lists piracy as only one of many other reasons. I will also give one example to your point. Early gaming consoles like Atari 2600 did not have a DRM (or at least an effective one). This led to a new startup called “Activision” to release their games on that platform, and to a very high success nonetheless: Doesn’t this give some credibility to kurkosdr’s point that the industry as a whole would have been ok if it had evolved in an open way? Sure I may be biased, but I feel that tech monopolies and their control over us is the biggest threat to innovation and consume choice – not open devices under owner control. 2023-10-17 10:49 am sukru Alfman, My point was about having options, I’ll come back to that in a minute. Publishers love to claim every infringed copy as a lost sale, but this is factually wrong. Many and even most pirated copies would still be non-sales even if they weren’t pirated. This is true. They love to exaggerate, and say every copy in pirate bay is a lost sale. In reality, it could be 50%, 10%, or maybe 1%. Without proper studies, would be very difficult to know. However in console game space, with already low margins, I would say this has a larger effect. Back to options. Today we have DRM free consoles. Steam Deck would be the prime example. I could maybe put the ASUS ROG Ally in there. Even though it is a WIndows PC, it is also customized enough. Or rather “multi store” consoles would be a better term. I can install games from Epic, GoG, and others on the deck using some community packages. We also have DRM free game stores, like GoG, and sometimes the humble bundles (though they have mostly been Steam keys recently). Yet, we also have “curated” consoles, which are locked down at the moment. (Again, I would want a final “unlock” update on them, and Xbox style “dev” option for local deployment). And they all offer value to different people. 2023-10-17 11:21 am Alfman sukru, However in console game space, with already low margins, I would say this has a larger effect. I do sympathize with developers making low margins, I just don’t see open hardware being the root cause of it. And even if we closed up all the hardware similarly to IOS & game consoles, I don’t think it would help the plight of low margin developers. If anything it could actually make things worse for them as they get subjected to more taxation by those controlling the dominant platforms. Yet, we also have “curated” consoles, which are locked down at the moment. (Again, I would want a final “unlock” update on them, and Xbox style “dev” option for local deployment). And they all offer value to different people. To be clear I don’t think curated stores are a problem, I just feel their usage should be encouraged through merit rather than DRM restrictions. Obviously not everyone agrees, but I’m of the mindset that owners should be entitled to the keys to their own hardware. To the extent that they haven’t finished paying a device off (such as cell phones subsidies), I’m ok with imposing locks until things are paid off. But ethically owners should be entitled to legally use their devices how they please. The companies that don’t legally own the devices shouldn’t have a say in keeping the hardware restricted and I think it’s a shame we’ve allowed them to do this.