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[liberationtech] Question about Windows 10

Thomas Delrue thomas at epistulae.net
Fri Jun 24 08:09:27 PDT 2016


TL;DR: Debian, Arch Linux, Linux Mint, etc are perfectly capable
alternatives, and that likely includes your "list of windows
applications you need to run".

On 06/24/2016 01:31 AM, Peter Chin wrote:
> I need some advice about upgrading to Windows 10.   My laptop is
> running Windows 8 and I need to do the free upgrade to Win 10 because
> I have a lot of applications that run on Windows and I feel it is

You don't really *need* to upgrade to Win10, you're likely just getting
worn down by the continued nagging to have you upgrade to it because
you're being told you'd lose out if you don't. Win8 will receive at
least another 6-7 years of updates (security and regular) so it's not
like you will miss out on security.
While I can't vouch for the quality, trustworthiness or genuineness of
it, there is a "Never10" tool that disables the incessant haranguing to
get you to upgrade to the latest Windows.
(https://www.grc.com/never10.htm - run a scan on it first!)

Secondly, what exactly is this list of lots of apps that need to run on
Windows? I always hear people complain about "I need to run App X or Y"
but they never show me a list so that I can actually suggest alternatives.
I dare to bet that half of them you don't really need (but hey, the
customer's always right) and that the ones you /do/ need either a) have
an open source equivalent that does exactly what you need or b) run
perfectly fine on top of Wine (Windows emulator layer on Linux). A + B
should cover roughly 90% of everything out there I think.

> time to upgrade to the newest Windows O.S. But I really don't want my
> personal data collected in Windows 10 either.

Good luck with that... The new business model of the Windows group (and
MSFT in general) is to collect everything and anything. (and yes, that
includes what you type on your keyboard)
I don't think they'll ditch that new model any time soon.

> I recently read that Microsoft could be releasing data controls that
> actually allow privacy
> (http://www.ghacks.net/2016/02/11/microsoft-promises-to-implement-full-windows-10-data-tracking-controls/)
> but I'm not holding my breath. If I upgrade to Windows 10, what can I
> do to control personal privacy?  I heard that the Enterprise version
> of Windows 10 would let me have more privacy and not collect my
> data.

I wouldn't hold my breath but I'll wait & see how much of these promises
they'll actually fulfil and how far these implementations go before
making any bets on it. But my magic 8-ball says "outlook not so good".

Regarding the enterprise edition: Although I'm not 100% sure, you'll
likely have to set up and run an Active Directory domain and define a
policy on it that does not allow the sending of the 'collected
telemetry' information in order to actually not have your data siphoned
over to Redmond.

> How are you all dealing with upgrading to Windows 10 so that you can
> still control your own personal data?  Thanks for your thoughts.

There are two parts to your question:
"How are you all dealing with upgrading to Windows 10": I advise all my
clients to avoid it. I only have one who didn't take that advice and now
that one is complaining about it to me.
"so that you can still control your own personal data": I tell all my
clients that with Windows, they *will* lose that control.

All of that being said: you're already on Windows 8 and many of these
'telemetry collection' pieces have already been back-ported to it and
pushed onto you via Windows Update, so there's that.
But I do seem to recall some tool called Aegis-Voat or something which
disabled a large amount of 'outreach' from Win7/8/10 machines to Redmond
by (among things) messing around with routing tables on your local
machine (because the IPs are hard coded in Windows, the telemetry
collection for the most part doesn't use DNS nor your hosts file). That
is something you might want to investigate. Unfortunately it is no
longer maintained (https://github.com/th3power/aegis-voat) and its
approach was reactionary instead of proactive, so you'd have to keep
monitoring and updating your blocking periodically.

In fairness, if you stick with Windows, you really don't have a choice
in whether or not your personal data is collected. It will be collected,
stored & processed and in the near future, I expect windows to start
complaining in big red alarm-fonts and warning-signs if it detects that
it cannot send it over to Redmond because you've put preventative
measures in place.

All in all: switch to Linux! Give me a shout if you want to work on the
list of 'windows apps you need to run'.




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