Microsoft is turning Windows 11's Start Menu into an advertisement delivery system

zamardii12

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https://www.ghacks.net/2022/11/21/m...t-menu-into-an-advertisement-delivery-system/

I'll never understand the move to dilute the user experience on core products. Apple is doing it with App Store, and even subscription services like News+ - Microsoft is doing it with the Start Menu; literally where you click to do everything... Windows 11 is ~$150 OS. That is a premium price for an OS when there are excellent free alternatives out there (Linux), which do everything just as well these days. Most of what people do is in the browser now anyway. Apple pairs its Operating Systems with premium cost devices. Can't get MacOS unless you buy a premium laptop. Can't get iOS unless you buy a premium phone. Yet, Tim Apple is not content to sit with a $2T+ valued company. Why are companies trying to squeeze the consumer so hard now?

So, okay - you bump profits slightly this quarter to appease your shareholders in the next financial report. Where do you go next? More ads, in other locations? Maybe the infinite growth model doesn't work, and companies should look to payout dividends on a steadily growing stock rather than trying to strike gold every year for their Shareholders. Paid experiences should not be supplemented with Ads, unless the paid experience is so damn dirt cheap that the manufacturer is only covering costs. For instance, I understand ads on a $200 Walmart TV. I DONT understand ads on a $2k+ OLED LG in WebOS.

Shitty times we live in as a consumer, honestly. We barely own anything these days with all the subscription models; and now we have to contend with targeted ads in literally every corner of our lives.
 

Darunion

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People get big raises for finding a new medium or location to sell ads to put in front of you. Consumers love ads, they pay for shirts with company ads on them so showing them ads for free should be like free beer!
 

Domingo

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That's the real reason Microsoft hasn't allowed people to totally kill off that pointless "recommended" section of the Start Menu. Not a surprise at all and you could see that coming from the day they first revealed that you couldn't hide that section.

Why are they doing it? Mainly because they can. People click on ads and buy stuff. A lot of people and a lot of stuff. The amount of people that are going to get upset enough to bail (or hack their Start Menu) are a tiny fraction of the people that are gonna click or ignore the ads.
 

schoolslave

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Yes, but also no - no one is paying $150 for Windows these days.
If you buy a laptop from a “boutique”/smaller vendor without volume licensing agreements from M$ you do pay somewhere around $125-150. Example from the Framework laptop configurator:

1669055246053.png
 

schoolslave

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That's the real reason Microsoft hasn't allowed people to totally kill off that pointless "recommended" section of the Start Menu. Not a surprise at all and you could see that coming from the day they first revealed that you couldn't hide that section.

Why are they doing it? Mainly because they can. People click on ads and buy stuff. A lot of people and a lot of stuff. The amount of people that are going to get upset enough to bail (or hack their Start Menu) are a tiny fraction of the people that are gonna click or ignore the ads.
Clicking on and buying from ads isn’t even where the value is any more - all about that data collection and building profiles about “people”. You don’t even have to click the ad, all that matters is that M$ can use other metrics (mouse movement/location, webcam tracking, microphone, how long you linger when the ad changes to something else etc) to correlate what you “engage” with. *That* is valuable.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Yeah fuck that.

I'm still on Windows 10. Haven't seen a reason to "upgrade" yet. (I didn't care fot the OSX look the first time around)

Unless there is a way to workaround or disable this, it pretty much makes Win11 a "never use" for me.
 

Meeho

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I see nothing wrong with Microsoft analyzing your browsing history. It has always been one of PC OS key features.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Clicking on and buying from ads isn’t even where the value is any more - all about that data collection and building profiles about “people”. You don’t even have to click the ad, all that matters is that M$ can use other metrics (mouse movement/location, webcam tracking, microphone, how long you linger when the ad changes to something else etc) to correlate what you “engage” with. *That* is valuable.
Honestly, this should be illegal.

We need to introduce laws, heck, maybe even constitutional amendments that make ANY information describing a person the sole property of the person it describes that cannot be owned or used by anyone or anything else for any reason, even with their consent in exchange for "free services".

I don't care if we have to kill all of silicon valley. This needs to happen.

The most information ada should be allowed to use are what we used to call "contextual". Display them based on the context of what is on screen, and never keep any data or make any attempt to isolate an individual or their preferences.

I want people to spend decades in jail over this.
 

Darunion

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Honestly, this should be illegal.

We need to introduce laws, heck, maybe even constitutional amendments that make ANY information describing a person the sole property of the person it describes that cannot be owned or used by anyone or anything else for any reason, even with their consent in exchange for "free services".

I don't care if we have to kill all of silicon valley. This needs to happen.

The most information ada should be allowed to use are what we used to call "contextual". Display them based on the context of what is on screen, and never keep any data or make any attempt to isolate an individual or their preferences.

I want people to spend decades in jail over this.
And what government that does not collect information on its citizens or other people would you charge with the responsibility to police this?

Trolling of course. I do agree but also know that they would never do such a thing as it has a benefit.
 

ZodaEX

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Yeah fuck that.

I'm still on Windows 10. Haven't seen a reason to "upgrade" yet. (I didn't care fot the OSX look the first time around)

Unless there is a way to workaround or disable this, it pretty much makes Win11 a "never use" for me.

I've even seen Windows 10 put an ad in the start menu before to buy a digital Microsoft Office license. To avoid start menu ads completely you'd need to run an older version of Windows like I do.
 

schoolslave

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Honestly, this should be illegal.

We need to introduce laws, heck, maybe even constitutional amendments that make ANY information describing a person the sole property of the person it describes that cannot be owned or used by anyone or anything else for any reason, even with their consent in exchange for "free services".

I don't care if we have to kill all of silicon valley. This needs to happen.

The most information ada should be allowed to use are what we used to call "contextual". Display them based on the context of what is on screen, and never keep any data or make any attempt to isolate an individual or their preferences.

I want people to spend decades in jail over this.
Fully agree, but it will never happen. The uncomfortable truth is that all that big tech money growth we’ve seen in the past 20-years is largely built on the completely unregulated data brokerage and ad services market. To put this into perspective, I personally know software devs in SV making 500-700K base salaries literally working on how to further optimize “dark” patterns like tracking pixels etc. Clearly $bigcorps value this expertise because it rakes in the $$$ - otherwise they wouldn’t be paying these asinine salaries for that work.
 
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Elf_Boy

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Honestly, this should be illegal.

We need to introduce laws, heck, maybe even constitutional amendments that make ANY information describing a person the sole property of the person it describes that cannot be owned or used by anyone or anything else for any reason, even with their consent in exchange for "free services".

I don't care if we have to kill all of silicon valley. This needs to happen.

The most information ada should be allowed to use are what we used to call "contextual". Display them based on the context of what is on screen, and never keep any data or make any attempt to isolate an individual or their preferences.

I want people to spend decades in jail over this.
I agree with the sentiment, I do, however, think such a total ban would be problematic.
We should be able to ban all use of our personal data or allow use for specific data for specific reasons with apps and the like.
I think targeted advertisement is creepy and annoying (since it would send me ads for something I already bought or was curious about but never intended to purchase) someone else might well find the service useful and like it.
 

Teenyman45

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Yes, but also no - no one is paying $150 for Windows these days.
OEMs aren't paying $150 for a license, however whatever they pay is baked into the cost of the consumer's PC. The other option is from resellers who might be grey market, but which are also substantially cheaper. However, if you want to build your own computer and don't have any spare licenses, then yes you are paying a substantial premium for Windows. This time last year I bought a copy of Win 10 Pro retail so that the license would be portable and it was about $200 plus tax from Best Buy with Newegg, Amazon, and B&H being no cheaper.
 

OFaceSIG

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If you buy a laptop from a “boutique”/smaller vendor without volume licensing agreements from M$ you do pay somewhere around $125-150. Example from the Framework laptop configurator:
I have a Framework. IMO if you buy a Framework with an OS pre-installed I think you might be missing the point. But I do get what you're saying. Must dumb dumbs are just going to buy stuff pre-built.
 

GotNoRice

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I read these articles and my first reaction is usually "wtf, i'm not seeing any of that". Then I realize it's because I took 60 seconds and uninstalled the stuff I did not want, such as OneDrive, etc, right after I Installed the OS..

The most offensive thing I can recall was after a Windows Update a few months ago, all of a sudden Spotify was installed. I use Tidal and couldn't care less about Spotify, but spending 10 seconds uninstalling it fixed the problem and it hasn't come back.

Part of the issue is that many people don't use things unless it's handed to them on a platter. Just like all of the people with Apple devices who make regular use of Siri. They aren't using it because they did their own research and decided to try it. They are using it because Apple pushed it on them continuously until they finally gave in. That's the world we live in unfortunately.

If you open your start menu and spend tons of time gazing at links, you are doing it wrong. The best way to use the Start Menu these days is to simply hit the Windows Key on the keyboard, type in the first 2-3 letters of whatever you are trying to open, and then hit enter.

However, if you want to build your own computer and don't have any spare licenses, then yes you are paying a substantial premium for Windows.

You can use a Windows 7 key from 13 years ago to upgrade all the way to 11.
 

MavericK

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However, if you want to build your own computer and don't have any spare licenses, then yes you are paying a substantial premium for Windows.
I guess...but who doesn't have spare licenses? I mean you can still use Windows 7 licenses for fuck's sake.
 

UnknownSouljer

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Must dumb dumbs are just going to buy stuff pre-built.
This is inaccurate. Most "regular people" will buy pre-built. If you're here, you're already a part of a vanishingly small minority. Most people don't work on their own cars, do home repairs, or build computers. It's precisely this "normal" consumer behavior that Microsoft and other devs are exploiting.
 

Lakados

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That's the real reason Microsoft hasn't allowed people to totally kill off that pointless "recommended" section of the Start Menu. Not a surprise at all and you could see that coming from the day they first revealed that you couldn't hide that section.

Why are they doing it? Mainly because they can. People click on ads and buy stuff. A lot of people and a lot of stuff. The amount of people that are going to get upset enough to bail (or hack their Start Menu) are a tiny fraction of the people that are gonna click or ignore the ads.
You can disable it via group policy.
1669064845812.png

I am not using SE and you can see it still removes the Recommended section.
1669065629014.png
 
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LukeTbk

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The ads seem to show up in the pinned (Like an already installed app) and not in the recommandation, I did even saw that they were a thing before now.

They made search good enough and the start menu bad enough that I imagine like many do not really use it anymore outside for typing the 2-3 first letter of what I want to do
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I've even seen Windows 10 put an ad in the start menu before to buy a digital Microsoft Office license. To avoid start menu ads completely you'd need to run an older version of Windows like I do.

I haven't seen that, but it would bother me.

The only downside with older Windows versions at this point (with the exception of 8.1) is that they are no longer patched, which is a huge problem for other reasons.

No, skill and precaution does not minimize the risk of known unpatched vulnerabilities.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I agree with the sentiment, I do, however, think such a total ban would be problematic.
We should be able to ban all use of our personal data or allow use for specific data for specific reasons with apps and the like.
I think targeted advertisement is creepy and annoying (since it would send me ads for something I already bought or was curious about but never intended to purchase) someone else might well find the service useful and like it.

Yeah, there would obviously need to e some exceptions to a certain extent.

A world without clinical trials (which necessitate using personal data) - for instance - implies a world without any new medicines, which would be a problem. Some sort of exceptions here would be necessary, but possible I think. Along the lines with how it is possible today despite the existence of HIPAA which protects healthcare data.

Additionally, without he ability to collect and run credit reports to determine borrower risk, the whole system of credit falls apart, and with it the economy. Though this can be addressed by categorizing credit reporting agencies as a special class, and allowing them to only share any information with the written permission from the person in question, in support of a loan application, banning their credit offer fishing expedition nonsense they do today.

There are probably a few other examples of where personal data is necessary and the importance outweighs the these type of rules, but they would need to be few, and exceptions, not the norm.
 

schoolslave

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Yeah, there would obviously need to e some exceptions to a certain extent.

A world without clinical trials (which necessitate using personal data) - for instance - implies a world without any new medicines, which would be a problem. Some sort of exceptions here would be necessary, but possible I think. Along the lines with how it is possible today despite the existence of HIPAA which protects healthcare data.

Additionally, without he ability to collect and run credit reports to determine borrower risk, the whole system of credit falls apart, and with it the economy. Though this can be addressed by categorizing credit reporting agencies as a special class, and allowing them to only share any information with the written permission from the person in question, in support of a loan application, banning their credit offer fishing expedition nonsense they do today.

There are probably a few other examples of where personal data is necessary and the importance outweighs the these type of rules, but they would need to be few, and exceptions, not the norm.
Data in a lot of those spaces (health, education, financials, etc) is already heavily regulated (at least in theory). Data on your personal, general computing device (even though corporations like Microsoft are doing their damndest to phase that out too) when browsing the internet is largely unregulated. The EU had the right idea with GDPR but even that has holes and with too much associated bureaucratic inertia still doesn’t actually do what it says on the tin.

Now granted this latest M$ scheme is even more ridiculous because now, it’s not just the general internet (with its analytics, embedded dark patterns, etc) which is preying on your data, but the OS running on your personal computer.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Data in a lot of those spaces (health, education, financials, etc) is already heavily regulated (at least in theory). Data on your personal, general computing device (even though corporations like Microsoft are doing their damndest to phase that out too) when browsing the internet is largely unregulated. The EU had the right idea with GDPR but even that has holes and with too much associated bureaucratic inertia still doesn’t actually do what it says on the tin.

Yeah, I agree. GDPR was a nice gesture, but it goes nowhere near far enough, and it has loop holes the size of oil tankers.
 

Lakados

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Data in a lot of those spaces (health, education, financials, etc) is already heavily regulated (at least in theory). Data on your personal, general computing device (even though corporations like Microsoft are doing their damndest to phase that out too) when browsing the internet is largely unregulated. The EU had the right idea with GDPR but even that has holes and with too much associated bureaucratic inertia still doesn’t actually do what it says on the tin.
Microsoft does a pretty good job on my side of ensuring my data is secured and metrics are turned off, so while the consumer side of things is a free for all on your personal data, on the Enterprise side they are incredibly conscious of what data they collect and where it is stored
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Data in a lot of those spaces (health, education, financials, etc) is already heavily regulated (at least in theory). Data on your personal, general computing device (even though corporations like Microsoft are doing their damndest to phase that out too) when browsing the internet is largely unregulated. The EU had the right idea with GDPR but even that has holes and with too much associated bureaucratic inertia still doesn’t actually do what it says on the tin.

Now granted this latest M$ scheme is even more ridiculous because now, it’s not just the general internet (with its analytics, embedded dark patterns, etc) which is preying on your data, but the OS running on your personal computer.
Yeah, I agree. GDPR was a nice gesture, but it goes nowhere near far enough, and it has loop holes the size of oil tankers.

Additionally, what GDPR has shown us is the lengths these companies will go to in order to grind you down and get you to accept terms just because it is a pain in the ass to always opt out of them.

I used to be of the opinion that yeah, let's just make it opt out and that is fine, but it isn't. It winds up being unworkable. That's why I believe it needs to be banned outright, or at least opt in, with provisions that require that they are not allowed to nag you to do so.
 

Lakados

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"article" "pics" looks like theyre chopped. i get nothing like they are describing on my insider version.
I can replicate their screenshots easily enough, just use edge while signed into it using the same email address you use to sign into the computer and it starts filling.

To match that one just go to Etsy and Twitters web pages enough and it’s going to recommend the App.

I’m not going to because then I would have to go to group policy and re enable the recommended and use edge… But I can assure you it’s accurate, they are just omitting some of the details on how they got themselves there.
 

Modred189

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Additionally, what GDPR has shown us is the lengths these companies will go to in order to grind you down and get you to accept terms just because it is a pain in the ass to always opt out of them.

I used to be of the opinion that yeah, let's just make it opt out and that is fine, but it isn't. It winds up being unworkable. That's why I believe it needs to be banned outright, or at least opt in, with provisions that require that they are not allowed to nag you to do so.
Not to white knight the bad guys, but as someone who has to manage the privacy policies of a huge company, let me tell you, it sucks just as bad for us. EVERY time a state updates their laws we have to update what may be thousands of policies for all kinds of different companies. My company alone has 200K employees. We serve meals to millions of people a day, and many of those people use an app to do so. Worse? We don't do ANY advertising. NONE. ALl the data we intake (which in most cases is name, work email and work phone) is used to process orders and customer service. Yet, we have to abide by these draconian laws which, in many cases, don't apply.

That said, we do try to make new ToS/Privacy Policy announcements as simple as possible so people just ignore them. If it went opt-in? Most of our app based business would break because the user doesn't understand. We'd get flooded with CS calls about why their food never showed or they couldn't place an order in the first place (because we have to know who you are to label your food so you can get it, or we need to know your name and room number so we can deliver it, etc).

Privacy policies as a practice are broken and need to go away. Replace it with personal responsibility: don't give information to strangers you don't want strangers to have.
 

MrGuvernment

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Clicking on and buying from ads isn’t even where the value is any more - all about that data collection and building profiles about “people”. You don’t even have to click the ad, all that matters is that M$ can use other metrics (mouse movement/location, webcam tracking, microphone, how long you linger when the ad changes to something else etc) to correlate what you “engage” with. *That* is valuable.

This.
Put in any 3rd party firewall, and set it to block everything and notify. I did this recently with Win 11 system, and wow, the amount of ms files trying to access the internet..is unreal! And how often said executables are updated (trigger firewall prompt again) when allowed, was almost daily also, so even with out windows updates, files with in windows are being actively updated and changed....and sending all sorts of goodies.
MS really opened the can of worms when they reported on how many people were clicking on certain new things in Windows 10 when it launched, cause suddenly everyone was like "wtf.. how does MS know I opened calculator this many times?"
 

qdemn7

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Honestly, this should be illegal.

We need to introduce laws, heck, maybe even constitutional amendments that make ANY information describing a person the sole property of the person it describes that cannot be owned or used by anyone or anything else for any reason, even with their consent in exchange for "free services".

I don't care if we have to kill all of silicon valley. This needs to happen.

The most information ada should be allowed to use are what we used to call "contextual". Display them based on the context of what is on screen, and never keep any data or make any attempt to isolate an individual or their preferences.

I want people to spend decades in jail over this.

I agree completely. Problem is, the Free Market Zealots would fight it tooth and nail.
 

Lakados

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Not to white knight the bad guys, but as someone who has to manage the privacy policies of a huge company, let me tell you, it sucks just as bad for us. EVERY time a state updates their laws we have to update what may be thousands of policies for all kinds of different companies. My company alone has 200K employees. We serve meals to millions of people a day, and many of those people use an app to do so. Worse? We don't do ANY advertising. NONE. ALl the data we intake (which in most cases is name, work email and work phone) is used to process orders and customer service. Yet, we have to abide by these draconian laws which, in many cases, don't apply.

That said, we do try to make new ToS/Privacy Policy announcements as simple as possible so people just ignore them. If it went opt-in? Most of our app based business would break because the user doesn't understand. We'd get flooded with CS calls about why their food never showed or they couldn't place an order in the first place (because we have to know who you are to label your food so you can get it, or we need to know your name and room number so we can deliver it, etc).

Privacy policies as a practice are broken and need to go away. Replace it with personal responsibility: don't give information to strangers you don't want strangers to have.
Yeah, a solid 3 weeks of my February is spent making sure our data collection and retention methods and policies meet legal requirements and it sucks, in my case it's mostly personal info related to Minors, and much of the laws surrounding what I am allowed to keep and store are in direct opposition to my reporting requirements to the government. Like they wrote the laws without checking their own paperwork for it, I'm not kidding while doing one Ministry report this year they got mad and were threatening to deny funding for not giving a whole bunch of data over and our only response was, well according to "this law I don't remember the name of" I am not allowed to store that data so I can't give it to you because I don't have it. So then they were like "well these people gave it to us so you can too", for it only later to be revealed that those other guys were then slapped with a huge fine for having the data to report.

FML...
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Not to white knight the bad guys, but as someone who has to manage the privacy policies of a huge company, let me tell you, it sucks just as bad for us. EVERY time a state updates their laws we have to update what may be thousands of policies for all kinds of different companies. My company alone has 200K employees. We serve meals to millions of people a day, and many of those people use an app to do so. Worse? We don't do ANY advertising. NONE. ALl the data we intake (which in most cases is name, work email and work phone) is used to process orders and customer service. Yet, we have to abide by these draconian laws which, in many cases, don't apply.

That said, we do try to make new ToS/Privacy Policy announcements as simple as possible so people just ignore them. If it went opt-in? Most of our app based business would break because the user doesn't understand. We'd get flooded with CS calls about why their food never showed or they couldn't place an order in the first place (because we have to know who you are to label your food so you can get it, or we need to know your name and room number so we can deliver it, etc).

Privacy policies as a practice are broken and need to go away. Replace it with personal responsibility: don't give information to strangers you don't want strangers to have.

I feel you.

I got drawn into the GDPR implementation at my company, and implementing it was challenging to say the least. It's bureaucratic mess.

That doesn't mean we get rid of these privacy regulations. That's why these regulations need to be better.

They need to make it simple for companies to simply state

"We don't collect data. Period. Server logs are only used for troubleshooting, and are all automatically purged within 30 days. Customer transaction and payment history records are also purged within 30 days of debts being settled, and we maintain absolutely nothing."

If a company states the above (and live up to it) they should be in the clear without bureaucratic red tape.

Some red tape is going to be necessary for those that DO need to use data though. We are talking drug makers CRO's who conduct Clinical Trials, and financial businesses dealing with your retirement funds, etc, but they are used to regulation and know how to handle it.

GDPR, like most things the EU does - shows evidence of there being way too many chefs, with way too little subject matter expertise, and as a result it has become difficult to manage for little to no reason.
 

MrGuvernment

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I read these articles and my first reaction is usually "wtf, i'm not seeing any of that". Then I realize it's because I took 60 seconds and uninstalled the stuff I did not want, such as OneDrive, etc, right after I Installed the OS..

The most offensive thing I can recall was after a Windows Update a few months ago, all of a sudden Spotify was installed. I use Tidal and couldn't care less about Spotify, but spending 10 seconds uninstalling it fixed the problem and it hasn't come back.

Part of the issue is that many people don't use things unless it's handed to them on a platter. Just like all of the people with Apple devices who make regular use of Siri. They aren't using it because they did their own research and decided to try it. They are using it because Apple pushed it on them continuously until they finally gave in. That's the world we live in unfortunately.

If you open your start menu and spend tons of time gazing at links, you are doing it wrong. The best way to use the Start Menu these days is to simply hit the Windows Key on the keyboard, type in the first 2-3 letters of whatever you are trying to open, and then hit enter.



You can use a Windows 7 key from 13 years ago to upgrade all the way to 11.

Just because you remove an app, does not remove the underly tech that can be used to do any of this. As we know, MS has plenty of time in the past, added back things people have removed, or disabled. The fact is, none of this crap should be installed by default.

I always go back to, why does Windows 10/11 Enterprise have the services for Xbox active and running, let alone even installed?
 

Lakados

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Just because you remove an app, does not remove the underly tech that can be used to do any of this. As we know, MS has plenty of time in the past, added back things people have removed, or disabled. The fact is, none of this crap should be installed by default.

I always go back to, why does Windows 10/11 Enterprise have the services for Xbox active and running, let alone even installed?
The services are installed but under O365 Intune and Domain Group Policy defaults they are stopped and you can't even launch the Microsoft store unless Admin specifically enables them. The only service it keeps running is the XBoxGipSvc, which is accessory management primarily for dealing with Bluetooth devices mostly headsets.
 

MrGuvernment

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Yeah, a solid 3 weeks of my February is spent making sure our data collection and retention methods and policies meet legal requirements and it sucks, in my case it's mostly personal info related to Minors, and much of the laws surrounding what I am allowed to keep and store are in direct opposition to my reporting requirements to the government. Like they wrote the laws without checking their own paperwork for it, I'm not kidding while doing one Ministry report this year they got mad and were threatening to deny funding for not giving a whole bunch of data over and our only response was, well according to "this law I don't remember the name of" I am not allowed to store that data so I can't give it to you because I don't have it. So then they were like "well these people gave it to us so you can too", for it only later to be revealed that those other guys were then slapped with a huge fine for having the data to report.

FML...
It is like they do this intentionally, to try and bait people in and then nail them with fines, which I would not put past these organizations. The very "powers" making said laws, do not even follow them, themselves.
 
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