It will soon be time for the Windows 10 Creators Update, with a raft of new things to help us. I am quite looking forward to Paint 3D and a bit more control about updates. However, what I am looking forward to is advertisements in the UI. Yes, I know it can be turned off, but it just adds to another annoyance that has been baked into Windows 10 since the launch.
It has been clearly stated by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella that the most important thing to the company now is data and not software, long gone are the days when Microsoft was primarily a software company, the new cloud first, the data-driven company is what we have now. So, Windows as a service is not about the software servicing you; it is all about your data being used as a service to Microsoft’s partners. That is why there is so much telemetry in Windows 10.
They must think we are complete fools though when they say it is anonymous information, come on if you have an advertising ID attached to your Microsoft account, how the hell can it be anonymous. Look I am not saying what they are doing is wrong but they need to be more upfront about it, after all, they are not even the worst sinners when it comes to data harvesting. That award falls squarely at the feet of Google, so don’t be bashing on Microsoft while giving Google a free pass. Check into the privacy options of your Google account at some point and see what is being collected by your web browser and your Android phone.
So, Microsoft has given the free giveaway of Windows 10 a whirl, didn’t work so we have the forced upgrades by adding it to recommended updates. Hope you have changed your settings on those, by the way, not to install them automatically. Of course, we also got the silent app installs so they can force some Candy Crush Soda Sage onto your start menu and in the creator’s update we will be getting the advertisements in the UI.
So, let us see how well things are going with the take up on Windows 10. Well, they wanted Windows 10 installed on one billion devices. Well as of February 2017, Windows 10 had just over 25% market share, good you would say. Well, not seeing as Microsoft has over 90% of the market share of desktop operating system usage. So, what are people using? Mostly Windows 7 still, with nearly 49% of the market share. An almost 8-year-old operating system with almost 50% share still, even giving away Windows 10 could not get people to leave Windows 7.
So, why are people staying with it? The main reasons are the privacy issues with Windows 10 and the fact that Windows 7 still works for now, however mainstream support ended in 2015, and extended support will end in 2020 at which time no more updates for Windows 7. An interesting thing came out in the last few weeks though, and that was they have ended support now for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 on specific new processor architecture which is apparently to get people to use Windows 10 for some creamy data harvesting.
So, come 2020 what they options are, well Windows 8.1 has extended support until 2023 so that would be an option. You could bite the bullet and move to Windows 10 and deal with the telemetry that comes with the package. You could walk away from Windows entirely to Linux but you are hindered by the lack of proprietary software support, and I can’t see that changing as it would be a very low ROI with the market share Linux has. So, there are choices to be had, but none are perfect. I am thinking of going with Linux and using a Windows 10 virtual machine to run my Microsoft and Adobe applications.
So, I will continue to use Windows 7 for the time being, and when 2020 arrives who knows, maybe all software will be in the cloud anyway, and your computer will be a tool for giving you a gateway to the cloud. If that is the case, it will not matter what basic old potato you are using.
Windows 10 has been a significant shift in the way that operating systems are delivered and currently you would have to say it has been underwhelming, in addition to which they lost a lot of consumer support with the forced upgrades last year. Watch this space in the next few weeks and see how people accept the creator’s update.