To improve its image, Microsoft needs to open up

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 8, 2016
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Microsoft

Microsoft has a track record of being extremely tight lipped when it comes to the decisions it is making. The company expanded this even further with the release of Windows 10 by releasing cumulative updates left and right that don't reveal anything about what is actually being updated.

That's not the only thing concerning users however. Privacy in general is a hot topic and while some  -- like Ed Bott -- believe that customers have nothing to fear from Microsoft collecting telemetry data, others have issues trusting Microsoft on that as the company does not reveal exactly what is being tracked and does not provide options to disable all the tracking.

The main issue here is not that data is being collected, it is Microsoft's secrecy when it comes to telemetry on Windows 10 and that there is no off-switch available.

No one knows what is being collected exactly and how fine grained the information really are. Sure, we know what Microsoft reveals here and there in the operating system and on its website, but the information is far from complete which leads to guesswork and rumors.

For instance, Windows 10 users can switch the feedback & diagnostics data setting from full to enhanced or basic, but not disable telemetry completely unless they run the Enterprise version of the operating system.

windows 10 telemetry

A simple question that many privacy-conscious users would love an answer for is why Microsoft allows Enterprises to disable the sending of device data completely, while the option is missing from other version of Windows 10.

That's just analytics, some say, not different from websites tracking their visitors or Google or Apple tracking mobile users.

But there is a difference between the data that you make available when you visit a website, e.g. your browser version and operating system, and the data that you have on your PC.

Many users have important (to them) data on PCs, from private photos and documents to their browsing history or passwords. I'd argue that data on PCs is usually more important than data on mobile phones or tablets, and definitely more important than data handed over to websites when users are connecting to them.

At least some users want to be sure that their data is safe, and the best way to do that would be to disable telemetry and other data collecting activities completely, or for Microsoft to reveal exactly what it is collecting and what it is not touching.

If that is known, users can make an educated decision in regards to telemetry and data collecting, and either keep the feature enabled, tone it down, or disable it completely if Microsoft provides them with that option.

Windows 10 is without doubt the main focus currently, but the OneDrive incident highlights the same issue.

Microsoft announced a while ago that it would limit paying OneDrive customers to 1TB of data instead of unlimited data, would reduce paid storage upgrades from 200GB and 100GB to 50GB respectively, and cut free storage for users to 5GB.

The reason given at the time was that some customers abused the unlimited data Microsoft made available for all Office 365 customers.

This did not add up, as it made no sense to limit free customers for instance because of this, but it took Microsoft weeks before it revealed -- in passing -- that the reason for the decision was completely different.

It boiled down to simple economics, that unlimited storage was not economically feasible for the company.

Had Microsoft mentioned that to customers at the time of announcement, things would not have boiled over in such a extreme fashion in my opinion.

Now You: What should Microsoft do in your opinion?

To improve its image, Microsoft needs to open up
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To improve its image, Microsoft needs to open up
Find out why Microsoft needs to open up and be more transparent when it comes to the decisions it is making.
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  1. U26NBA.COM said on October 30, 2016 at 8:43 am

    You are the savior of my life.

  2. Mike J, said on January 14, 2016 at 12:37 am
  3. marius said on January 11, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    I got the part with disabling Google tracking,didn’t got the part with the attacks and straw man but whatever,the idea was that no matter how you put that lipstick on the pig you still use Google and Microsoft,if you are of the opinion that using products from these companies,because they track you or sell information about you,is not moral I repeat don’t use them,oh if you don’t give a damn about the morality by all means I don’t care,it’s not like these companies are paying me a dime for PR,I was trying to make a point about people complaining about the immoral methods implemented by these companies and them still using their products!

    1. Corky said on January 11, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      WTH do morals have to do with anything, are you seriously suggesting that people shouldn’t use a product because they don’t like what the company is doing?

      If that’s what you’re seriously suggesting then I’ve got news for you, every company does things that maybe consider morally wrong, if people boycotted all of them we’d be living in caves, we may not like what a company does but that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t use their product, it’s only when what their doing has an unavoidable effect on our lives that it matters, it’s when what their doing has far reaching implications on society that it matters.

      That’s why we have laws and regulations, to provide a moral framework that’s meant to prevent companies from acting immorally, unfortunately laws and regulations are often slow to keep up with changes, you only have to look at data protection laws to see how difficult different counties are finding it to keep pace with the ever changing pace of information technology.

      1. Corky said on January 12, 2016 at 3:09 pm

        Does the fact that you’ve bought products made from conflict resource mean you support the slave labor, rape, murder, and wars?

        No, of course it doesn’t, as I’ve been saying we may not like what a company does but that doesn’t mean we should instantly boycott all their products and throw them in the bin, it’s far more effective for people to voice their concerns and raise awareness of the problems, if the company continues to disregard their customers then the last resort is to boycott a particular product to show your displeasure of that product, boycotting an entire company doesn’t help as a companies are amorphous structures so it’s impossible to know why a customer is withholding their patronage.

      2. Corky said on January 12, 2016 at 12:46 pm

        Like i said let’s leave the ad hominem attacks (look it up if you don’t know what it means) out of this.

        Just because you use a product doesn’t mean you support the company, especial so when there’s no alternative, or are you suggesting that anyone who uses products tested on animals like some life saving drugs tacitly supports that action, like i said the world is full of companies that do what could be considered morally wrong, banks, pension funds, electronics manufacturing, electric, gas, and oil companies, the list is endless, saying that by using their product you’re supporting them is very disingenuous, either that or you have a very poor understanding of how the world works.

      3. marius said on January 12, 2016 at 9:34 am

        Well they do have something to do with,by using their products you support them,supporting them and bitching about them at the same time hmm,what kind of person does that make you!

  4. Corky said on January 11, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Perhaps you missed the part where i said i block any tracking performed by Google, a fairly simple task, it’s simple because it’s well known what and how Google attempts to track peoples browsing habits.
    If it was simple to block Microsoft in a similar manner i would but the fact is no one knows how far or what their tracking, least of all apologists like Mr Ed Bott who insults people for daring to question his pay masters when, unless there’s something he’s not telling people, knows no more about how or what Microsoft is recording than the very same people he decries as dedicated Microsoft haters and clueless writers.

    Yes you’re correct when you say i still use Microsoft but i fail to understand what the point your trying to make is, like i said I’m going to use Windows 7 until EOL in 2020 and then switch to Linux, that’s because Windows 7 has around 3-4 telemetry settings that can be easily controlled and nothing more, I’m in control of what updates get installed, I’m in control of the Operating system, something that can’t be said of any version of Windows since 7.

    I’m also guessing you missed the part where i said “i would also never use or own an iPhone or similar product that doesn’t allow absolute control over what data i share”, So when you’re guessing that i would use Android with Google services sadly you’ve guess incorrectly, like i said for me the convenience of a so called “smart” phone is not a price worth paying.

    And FYI maybe if you want to enter into a grownup debate next time you should leave the ad hominem attacks and straw man arguments at the door. :)

  5. marius said on January 10, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    Praise the lord but this is not practicing what you’re preaching,you still use Google ,you still use Microsoft,and I guess you use Android with Google services(just a guess),I was expecting that if you would wanted to be fair(with yourself by the way,cause this matters for you,seeing as you can’t stand big companies spying on you) you would use a flavour of linux(or BSD) without proprietary bits ,use Duck Duck Go or something similar,and use a pure degooglefied Android…so yes but no pat on the back amigo,the hypocrisy is big with you!

  6. marius said on January 9, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    Jesus Christ,the internet is full of whinners,listen people if you don’t wanna be tracked stay the goddamn of the internet,you people complain about how there’s no alternative to Windows but forget about how people use more mobile devices these days,this means that Google and Apple are doing the same evan worse,if you can use Windows Ten without an account,on mobile phones and tablets you can’t,or if you could the lack of alternative apps that don’t require an account is lackluster,at least on Windows you got good old win32 programs,on mobile you got no alternative to apps that use google services or whatever the counterpart is on iPhone!

    1. micro mcduck said on January 9, 2016 at 8:48 pm

      If you don’t want to be stalked don’t go outside. If you don’t want to get raped don’t be attractive.If you don’t want to be tracked stay off the internet. All acceptable arguments if we live in the world marius lives in.Why? Because other people do it seems to be the argument. People are upset by this because this is another big company using and abusing its customers because they know there are enough people who just don’t care.But when their data gets hacked because of an ms F up their tunes will change i’m sure. If people can’t understand why no opt out is a bad thing then well i think we should just say baaaaah!(thats the noise a sheep makes,in the uk anyway.Howdybaaah is american i think)

      1. Corky said on January 10, 2016 at 9:48 am

        @marius, Paranoia is an irrational or unfounded distrust, a distrust that, if you knew Microsoft’s history, is anything but irrational or unfounded, in fact if we look at the way Microsoft have acted in the past i would say peoples distrust is very rational and understandable, if we take W10 for example why should people trust a company that attempts to automatically sets invasive privacy options to there most permissive setting, why should people trust a company that updates their PCs without telling them what it’s updating, and the list goes on.

        As for practicing what i preach i can tell you that there’s no way in hell that W10 is going to be installed on any of my systems outside of a virtual machine, Windows 7 will be the last Microsoft operating system i use, when the reaches EOL in 2020 then I’ll switch to Linux.
        I take great care to block any tracking performed by Google, a fairly simple task, and i would also never use or own an iPhone or similar product that doesn’t allow absolute control over what data i share, for me the convenience of a so called “smart” phone is not a price worth paying.

      2. marius said on January 10, 2016 at 7:50 am

        What a bunch of paranoid people you guys are,but I bet you really don’t practice what you preach and use Microsoft products,I bet you’ll jump to say you use linux,I don’t think you use only linux if you’re a gamer,my point is if you despise a company so much don’t use it’s products,I guess you can’t,you can’t stay of Youtube to boycott Google,you can’t skip Windows cause games,you can’t throw the iPhone cause mobile,until then you are all a bunch of hypocrites!

    2. Corky said on January 9, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      An operating system is not the Internet, what is it with people conflating being tracked when using the internet with a company analysing how people use their OS, are there really that many clueless people that can’t tell what the difference is between the two?

      And what is it with saying such and such is no better or worse, do you people think it’s OK to physically assault someone because you’ve seen worse, that it’s OK to go shoplifting because there was a bank robbery, or that it’s OK to fiddle you TAX returns because big corporations are doing the same?

      To keep coming up with the same old informal fallacies just goes to show how weak your argument is and does nothing to convince anyone, Microsoft is not Google or Apple, Windows is not, or rather hasn’t been a mobile OS prior to 8.x/10.

  7. Simon Kreah said on January 9, 2016 at 1:24 am

    Most of us in the industry are already well aware of Google’s, Apple’s, and some other’s copious data collection activities, however Microsoft always provided an option for those of us who did not wish to participate in this “telemetry” feedback.

    What Ed Bott and other obviously Microsoft-sponsored “journalists” fail to mention or consider, with Windows 10 Microsoft has taken away ordinary users’ last available workspace to operate without intrusive telemetry and usage data entitlements.

    1. Simon Kreah said on January 9, 2016 at 11:01 am

      All Microsoft needs to do to end this issue is provide a simple, clearly accessible and honest one-click full opt-out option for all telemetry and data, for all Windows versions. In addition, an independent audit to verify all telemetry and other data is no longer being sent will provide assurance for users whose trust has been shattered by Microsoft’s attitude towards its customers.

  8. atimys said on January 8, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    Work more closely with hardware manufacturers that use Microsoft software to improve the integration of hardware and software.

  9. Jackal said on January 8, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    Redmond make the same amount of cock-ups and have the same amount of secrecy, probably less, surrounding their business as Apple and Google. But the latter two are the darlings of the tech world and seem to mostly get a free pass, especially from tech ‘journalists’.

    But hey, everyone and their dog seems to like having a go at them for their 90’s behavior and it brings in the clicks, so sure, why not. What’s going to be the storm in a teacup issue next week?

    1. Corky said on January 9, 2016 at 9:02 am

      @Jackal, As people have rightly pointed out the reason Apple and Google’s transgressions are not being discuses is because this is about Microsoft, attempting to conflate the subject matter is a straw man argument.

      Apple and Google are not comparable to Microsoft because of the tiny share of the desktop space they have. Apple’s main market is mobile devices and from the get go iOS has always been very permissive with data acquisition, it’s not something they’ve hidden, there wasn’t a sudden shift from no data gathering to a full on data grab, when people bought into the Apple/iOS ecosystem they knew what they were getting, they entered into that agreement eye wide open, and it’s the same with Google/Chrome OS.

      If Microsoft developed a new OS with all this data collection built into it i wouldn’t have a problem, people would be free to either use it or not, they could collect as much or as little as they want and i wouldn’t bat an eye, the problem hear is that there’s been a tectonic shift in Windows, one that’s fundamentally changed it, one that in some peoples eyes makes it no longer viable to be used as a desktop OS, one that is trying to force people to merge what they do in their private space with what they do in the public space.

    2. JohnMWhite said on January 9, 2016 at 6:16 am

      You are incorrect. Try scrolling through all the articles about Apple and Google here and elsewhere that talk about their own privacy issues.

      Is there something in the water these days? How many people are incapable of realising that an article about Microsoft talking about Microsoft doesn’t mean other articles do not exist?

    3. Jason said on January 8, 2016 at 10:48 pm

      I don’t think that’s fair at all. Just scroll up the comments and you will see Apple and Google mentioned by some commenters (including by me) in the same negative context concerning privacy. You are seeing an anti-Microsoft bias where there is none.

  10. Tim said on January 8, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    Hey, we could all send Microsoft Feedback through their ‘Windows Feedback App’. Well, we could if it would allow us….

    If you open the Windows Feedback App it tells you that if you want to send Microsoft feedback you need to adjust your privacy settings first and change your diagnostic and usage date settings to either Enhanced or Full.

    Oh well, it’s a good thing we can just use UserVoice instead. Oh wait…

  11. Mike G said on January 8, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    I have a tip for those who don’t trust Microsoft and are paranoid they might de-anonymize telemetry from your PC: Go buy a Chromebook and use that instead. Then you can be 100% certain that, not only telemetry, but your specific private information is collected by Google. No more need for spooky articles and comments about what Microsoft might do–as if the same fear couldn’t be applied to literally ANY company.

    Although I agree Microsoft needs to be more open regarding updates, cloud storage policy and other areas, I’d argue they’re at least as if not more open than companies like Google, Apple and Facebook when it comes to collecting your information. Do those companies provide a single switch to turn all that collection off at once? No. Are there equivalent settings for tightening down data collection in all of these platforms? Yes. Why focus only on Microsoft then?

    I’m not buying the argument that data on PC’s is somehow much more sensitive than data we store and type on mobile devices and in the cloud. One big reason for the explosion in popularity of mobile devices is precisely because we can use them for things like banking, private documents, saving personally identifying information, logins, etc. In fact, mobile devices are arguably worse because they can be and are used every day to track your movements and even words you utter 24 hours a day. If you’re truly careful about keeping personal information segregated from mobile and Internet, then you’re in a very small minority and should consider running a locked-down Linux distro and perhaps keeping your PC off the Internet entirely.

    If you’re just waking up to the intrusiveness of modern technology, then your next big “aha moment” should be that Microsoft is no more or less a cause for concern than Google, Apple, Facebook, the government and so on. Enough of this silly tunnel vision.

    1. Corky said on January 9, 2016 at 8:38 am

      @Mike G, So what you’re saying is that because other companies slurp up as much information about their users as they can that it’s fine for Microsoft to do the same? If someone breaks the speed limit does it suddenly make it OK for you to do the same, if someone robs a bank does that mean we can all do it because it’s no worse?

      Trying to compare what Microsoft are doing with the likes of Google, Apple and Facebook is a straw man argument because this is about Microsoft’s actions, attempting to compare them is just conflating very different concepts, if you really need it explaining why their different then you have failed to understand why some people are displeased with Microsoft’s actions.

      Data on a PC is often very different than what’s on mobile devices, not many people edit family photos and videos on their mobile phone, a majority of people don’t do banking, they don’t edit private documents, and they don’t store personally identifying information, logins, or any other important information, while you personally may do that the vast majority of people use mobile devices to check Facebook and other social media platforms, watch YouTube and other media, it’s only a small minority that use mobile devices for important things as most people are aware of the implications of doing so.

      To me it seems Microsoft is operating under the same belief as yourself and a minority of other people, they believe that there’s no difference in how and what people use mobile devices for, first seen with Windows 8 where they attempted to merge a GUI more suited to mobile devices with a desktop, now we see it again with Windows 10 but this time with data acquisition, that’s fine if like yourself you see no distinction between your mobile device usage and desktop usage but for others, just like in real life, they prefer to compartmentalize their private and public self.

    2. JohnMWhite said on January 9, 2016 at 6:14 am

      How many times are we going to have intellectual infants come tramping in and insist that “other companies do it too!” That is not a defense. That is not an excuse. That is not a solution. Microsoft is the focus of this article. Articles about Google, Apple and Facebook all exist, right here on GHacks. Pay attention.

    3. Jason said on January 8, 2016 at 10:42 pm

      Mike, who said Google spying (via Chromebook) is the only alternative to Microsoft spying (via Windows 10)? I can think of a few alternatives that do not involve spying at all. You are setting up your argument in a misleading fashion, using one set of objectionable corporate behaviour as “proof” that another set is somehow less objectionable. You do the same thing midway through your comment, this time comparing PC privacy to mobile device privacy. You have moved the goal post in the debate yet again. Who said the situation with mobile devices is the standard by which Windows 10, a desktop OS, should be judged?

    4. Pants said on January 8, 2016 at 9:17 pm

      BS. Windows as an OS is almost a monopoly situation for most users. Additionally, Facebook and Google (gmail, using their search engine, youtube accounts etc) is all opt in. (I’m not knowledgeable enough to talk about Apple). And even with a lot of these, such as google search, you can mitigate the damage thru XSS/JS control etc. Most users can’t opt out of their OS. Stop comparing web services with an OS. I can live without Facebook, I can use another search engine, but (as a mom and pop non tech person for example), I can’t live without my PC (which came with WIndows10).

      Why focus on MS? Because this is an article about Windows 10, and the fundamental changes they have made. It is not about Apple or Google or Facebook.

      As for the argument about mobile devices. While Windows 10 is the OS for a gaming console, phone, tablet, laptop, desktop – the issue, I think, is that the desktop has always been considered private. No-one, not a single person, expects their desktop/laptop to start behaving like a smart-phone. Enterprises and businesses won’t stand for it, why should non-enterprise users. If they are, then there needs to be more transparency. Also, comparing things like a banking app with doing online banking is silly – they are web services. No one expects that searching for a file on your system called “Secret negotiations for purchase of Shell Oil” will leak to a third party, or playing a video called “Goat Porn: Goats Go Wild in Ibiza 2” will leak. The desktop has always been seen as being able to be completely “secured” and “private”. This is about the OS tracking you, and until now that hasn’t happened (not talking about apple or chromebook – I’m talking about MS who have an essential monopoly on billions of users).

      1. Pants said on January 8, 2016 at 11:40 pm

        @Mike .. FFS man, get it thru your head – stop comparing web services to an OS

        Also, the point about being able to chose an OS (*nix over MS, or whatever) is a moot point. How many times do I need to spell it out about the near lock-in that MS has with end-users. Yes people can chose an OS, you and I could, but for most Windows users, they lack the courage, knowledge, money and everything else needed to migrate to a new OS. So you can stop bitching about that argument. This is an article about MS changes, it has nothing to with other companies.

        And, as Jason is trying to explain to you, comparing PC vs Mobile … stop comparing apples to oranges. Stop moving the goalposts. quoting Jason “Who said the situation with mobile devices is the standard by which Windows 10, a desktop OS, should be judged?”. And of top of that you’re still confusing web services with OS functionality.

      2. Tom Hawack said on January 8, 2016 at 10:58 pm

        @Mike G,
        “If you mean in terms of whether you chose to use them or not, the same is true of Windows.”
        Do you really believe that most users really have the choice otherwise than formally speaking? It’ll be Microsoft or Apple for most of them and, Apple remaining more expensive, it all comes to Windows for a very wide majority of users. We all know that. On another hand even technically illiterate users are able to choose a search engine rather than another. The point is Microsoft has a quasi monopoly on desktop OSs.

        As Pants tried to explain (not sure everyone undestood) : “I can use another search engine, but (as a mom and pop non tech person for example), I can’t live without my PC (which came with WIndows10).”

      3. Mike G said on January 8, 2016 at 9:45 pm

        Your saying “Facebook and Google (gmail, using their search engine, youtube accounts etc) is all opt in”? If you mean in terms of whether you chose to use them or not, the same is true of Windows. If you mean in terms of whether your information is tracked, then you’re not knowledgeable enough to talk about this topic at all.

  12. seeprime said on January 8, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    There are valid points here. However, I prefer that MS fix their update issues so that there are no more programs removed, settings changed, wallpaper wiped out, etc. I continue to recommend that our customers stay on Windows 7 and 8.1 until these quality control issues are fully addressed. I personally liked using the previews and expected some problems. I did not expect to have 4 semi-serious problems after updates were installed on my laptop post July 2015. My laptop was not and is not on the preview system. I still get calls weekly from customers that are just now getting Threshold 2, wondering where their programs (ccleaner and some others) went. On one PC it changed the wallpaper to a black solid background. I did the update for the customer (has <1Mb/sec. Frontier DSL) and saw it happen. Windows Service Packs NEVER did this crap in the past. Fix you quality issues MS if you want people to not use programs like GWX Control Panel with monitoring enabled.

    As a company Microsoft, you should be embarrassed by the sloppy work you are doing and fix the root causes.

    1. Tom Hawack said on January 8, 2016 at 8:46 pm

      If at least Windows 10 had come out finished, done, polished,,, when it isn’t even accomplished 5 months later.
      To be screwed is one thing but to be screwed nicely is often perceived as another. Why is Google not shouted out to as Microsoft is, even with its highly sophisticated and less sophisticated tracking policy? Because Google serves excellency.
      I truly believe that if Windows 10 had been served like an accomplished dish and not as a half-cooked burger many of those complaining after Windows 10 would be less zealous in doing so when enthusiasm would prevail over privacy concerns. I’m not arguing on the fact they’d be right or wrong in their construction of priorities but only reminding that a slap with a smile is generally better accepted. Human nature.

      1. Jason said on January 8, 2016 at 10:37 pm

        True. I despise Google tracking as much as Microsoft tracking, but we can at least agree that Google puts out really polished products most of the time.

  13. pcninja said on January 8, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    Unless you destroy windows 10 spying, both adult and child users of Windows 10 are exposed to their data being collected only for it be taken by hackers later. This is especially dangerous to LGBT youth, who tend to have intolerant piece of shit parents.

    1. Testuser said on January 9, 2016 at 3:29 am

      Absolutely true. Regarading this, Microsoft has reacted to this (source:, but I don’t know if they have changed it for real. Only worse that there too many people, especially the developers at Microsoft, who are underestimating this. And people who don’t care or are making fun of it, because they don’t like people who are different anyway. Sigh… People should finally believe that there indeed weird fathers or mothers out there, which are pointing the finger on their child and making trouble, when suddenly the Youtube layout has changed. Because Google only made a design update…

    2. juju said on January 8, 2016 at 11:25 pm

      there is no such thing as LGBT youth. There are only children who have been exposed to pedophiles.

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 9, 2016 at 8:01 pm

        Please keep the conversation on-topic (goes to everyone).

      2. micro mcduck said on January 9, 2016 at 7:31 pm

        Nobody has compassion for pedos (except for british law it seems )but linking them to LGBT people is sick in its own right. You seem to be a child or at least of child mentality by reading your past comments so maybe there is hope that one day you may grow a brain.I wonder why i am responding but ignorance and hateful comments need to be shot down like the trash they are.

      3. micro mcduck said on January 9, 2016 at 7:00 pm

        Oh its you, that idiot.You are most likely a pedo or an abuser and its people like you that make the lives of others difficult when all they want to do is exist as themselves. Fucking moron

      4. juju said on January 9, 2016 at 8:45 am

        I have no compassion for pedophiles. Nobody does. Maybe that is the main reason for that first rule of CIA pervertariat fight club.

      5. JohnMWhite said on January 9, 2016 at 6:17 am

        Juju, you are a fundamental failure as a human being, devoid of compassion, and deserving of none in return.

      6. Tim said on January 9, 2016 at 4:36 am


        “It’s better to keep quite and appear stupid than to post stupid replies in the gHacks comments section and remove all doubt” – Aristotle

  14. Gary D said on January 8, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    To improve its image, maybe MS should bring back “Microsoft Bob”. No more Metro icons on screen, just pretty pictures to click on : – D. I bet Melinda Gates (French) would love it !

    To see what I’m writing about, type MS Bob or Microsoft Bob into your browser ;)

    MS Bob shows that Redmond has always had REALLY wacky ideas !

  15. juju said on January 8, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    microsoft is not a company. just a cover for human trafficking, con artists, money launderers, perverts, CIA homos, etc… how could you improve image of such bunch?

    1. pcninja said on January 8, 2016 at 7:55 pm

      Ummm CIA homos? What is so bad about being homosexual? Nothing!

      1. juju said on January 8, 2016 at 8:04 pm

        it’s something that is incomprehensible for normal people. how can you be something that doesn’t exist?

  16. Tom Hawack said on January 8, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    I totally subscribe to insanelyapple’s comment above.

    Of course I’ve read Ed Bott’s plea impartially mentioned in the article and even if the author insists on the fact that differentiating spying from analytics is not a semantic trick, I am yet to be assured that collected data is always done anonymously, moreover considering that Windows 10 provides a so-called user’s AdvertisementID : an anonymous ID is it?

    What should Microsoft do IMO? Besides what has been suggested by insanelyapple and that I’d ratify! I have no further idea. I tend to believe it’s a professional ethics problematic and, together with the fact that business and ethics is like oil and water, I nourish little if no hope. Advertisement is a gigantic business, users data is strictly related to that business as it is to a modern world’s quest of its population data for political, economical ans strategical policies.

    I hesitated to even comment because I believe there is no hope in this scenario, at least no hope to imagine a company’s policy switch from enforcement to respect. Remains what all users committed to Web privacy and security , united, can achieve. But this opposition between world companies and the population (even if a minority when so many of us trust like they breath) is not the best scenario. The point is not in struggling but rather in an intelligent and fraternal cooperation between all, companies included, and that’s not for tomorrow. So the battle carries on.

    1. Corky said on January 8, 2016 at 4:48 pm

      The amount of data Microsoft is presumably collecting it would be a trivial matter to deanonymization any data, in fact Ed Bott even seems to a little confused over the matter as even though he says “that they anonymize the telemetry data returned by Windows 10” He then states part of the Microsoft privacy statement that says “”If an error report contains personal data, we won’t use that information to identify, contact, or target advertising to you.”

      So it seems even he doesn’t know if they anonymize it or not.

      1. Pants said on January 8, 2016 at 7:14 pm

        Anonymized data does not mean that it can’t be de-anonymized. All any enterprise (or govt) has to do is connect two dots – from your real ID to your profile. It’s almost comparable to a one-way hash vs encryption/decryption. While I would trust for example, Mozilla to “properly” anonymize data collection (not that they ask for your real ID anyway), I would not trust MS in the slightest – with and MS accounts, with appstore purchases, with skype and so on – they know exactly who you are, and they can always connect all the dots to the data that matters (and I’m, not talking about PC hardware/OS data).

    2. Jason said on January 8, 2016 at 4:42 pm

      “I hesitated to even comment because I believe there is no hope in this scenario, at least no hope to imagine a company’s policy switch from enforcement to respect”

      Me too. Microsoft is not going to change its deeply-entrenched mentality of not being clear about its activities/intentions. To be fair, the new CEO has done some things that I never expected Microsoft to do, like open-sourcing a lot of software for example. But it’s this same CEO who has taken Windows 10 down the Apple/Google path of eavesdropping and greater user restrictions. In other words, even this “reformer” is only willing to go so far.

      To be honest, I don’t think Microsoft even *cares* about changing its attitude. They have successfully grabbed the single largest chunk of desktop user share in the world, and most users never seem to punish the company for any wrongdoings. (Let’s understand that I’m not in the “most” category. But a couple of billion other humans are.) Essentially Microsoft understands that it has a certain degree of immunity.

      1. micro mcduck said on January 9, 2016 at 6:37 pm

        Lets hope they don’t do this then.

      2. Pants said on January 8, 2016 at 7:05 pm

        Most people are ignorant/uninformed and the massive desktop share that was windows, will stay on windows regardless (the same can be said for most enterprises for slightly different reasons). It’s far more profitable to monetize end users and push adverts/services (bing, windows app store, OneDrive, office365 etc). They have watched apple with its walled ecosystem and google with its tracking, for years and salivated in anticipation. They have visions of Duck McScrooge diving into mountains of gold coins. They will NOT change. They don’t care. They are too big to fail.

  17. zico said on January 8, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    Microsoft has a way or putting their foot in their mouth and stepping on your corns. End of story.

  18. insanelyapple said on January 8, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    “What should Microsoft do in your opinion?”

    1. A formal apology should be issued to customers/users about current faulty approach to privacy, telemetry and metadata with promise of change for better; they should treat us as equals partners and not as mindless herd that can be abused.
    2. A way to disable telemetry permanently on installed W10 system should be provided immediately.
    2a. Patch that would disable telemetry in older versions of OS should be released immediately.
    3. OOBE stage of installation should include screen where user is asked for joining telemetry gathering in ALL parts of system because as we know it now even if we disable that “feature” during that last part and later after initial setup, MS is still collecting metadata.
    4. Telemetry should be fully optional in regular W10 installations and mandatory in Insider Program
    5. WU should be used only to deliver updates and patches – not to roll sneaky little shits with telemetry; when I installed W7 4 years ago on my machine, I was asked about joining Customer Experience Improvement Program (window that bring up that question was working in sneaky way – you couldn’t pick NO at first; and I’ve pick NO because I am not interested in such and my opinion hasn’t changed and it SHOULD be still respected and not bypassed by secret services or background scheduled tasks, processes.

    That’s just the start. But sadly, I am aware that this won’t rather happen.

    1. Dave said on January 8, 2016 at 8:10 pm

      I’m sick of people demanding apologies. Screw that. Microsoft should simply say that they have reviewed the telemetry policy and decided to change direction now. The past happened. Deal with it.

      1. JohnMWhite said on January 9, 2016 at 7:13 pm

        Why should people not wish for an apology for misconduct? Dealing with the past happening is a two way street. Those accountable have to deal with their accountability.

      2. Jeff said on January 8, 2016 at 9:04 pm

        An apology from them wouldn’t be sincere anyway.

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