Windows 10 Is Terrible

You would think that Microsoft, and Apple, having some of the highest paid software engineers in the world, would generally deliver higher quality software, that makes its users happy.

You will notice I didn't say Best Software Engineers.  I think that such a term is meaningless. We are all human beings.  The things we produce have bugs. And worse than that, because bugs were accidents, we hope, there are misfeatures. There are misbegotten elements in Windows, and Mac OS, that you cannot alter. They are part of choosing to use these products.   There are serious problems in Linux, but there are literally no misbegotten elements in Linux that cannot be removed. You can literally do anything to Linux.

But since most of the professional world runs on Windows,  and most of the Creative World (including most of the music workstations, and pro digital photography world) lives on Mac OS, both mac and windows users have a common problem.  You probably don't know, you even probably don't want to know, what your operating software does,  and whether you do, or you don't, you can't fundamentally control it.

I will write a separate post on my Linux focused blog on why Linux is terrible, but since most of my Delphi blog readers are, like me, stuck using Windows, either on your PC, or in a VM, this rant is mostly about why Windows 10 is terrible, and why staying on Windows 7 forever isn't an option either.

1.  You don't actually control your computer anymore.    

1.1  You have no way to stop system reboots.  Hello, Microsoft Here. We've decided to reboot your machine.  You can't say no.  This is acceptable?    Microsoft will of course counter that they give you some control now, you can say, well I'm working from 9 to 5, don't reboot then.  And you can say I use my computer actively these days. You can't say, no, let me decide when to reboot.   It kills me that even Microsoft employees get Windows 10 reboots while they are giving presentations on how great Windows 10 is.

1.2  You can not disable Windows Defender, unless you want to install something worse.   You can temporarily disable the Windows Defender Realtime feature, but it is automatically re-enabled after an unspecified amount  of time. From what I can see that time is about 1-2 hours.  The service that you could have disabled in Windows 7 to prevent Windows Defender is no longer possible to disable unless you take extraordinary steps to grab permissions of registry keys, and do some low level hacking that could easily damage your Windows install.

1.3  You can not keep permissions on NTFS files anymore.  If you, like me, think that the C: drive root can and should contain folders that are writeable by a non-admin user, Microsoft  disagress. They reset all folders that start with the root of the boot drive as part of the regular security sweeps of your system, and you can not disable this. This breaks several applications that I maintain and develop.    It seems these sweeps are associated with windows updates, so when Windows 10 updates to a new kernel, it does these NTFS permission updates.

1.4 You can not be sure you'll have 100% of your CPU and disk bandwidth available, at any time. Who is using all my computer's resources right now? Oh yeah, Microsoft. There are many privileged tasks that  you can not fully control or stop, including superfetch, the trustedinstaller, and there are many that do not tell you they feel like using your whole computer that at least can be paused.  The windows search feature, which is useful, is not configurable so that it doesn't use your valuable computer resources when you're trying to, say, write code and compile your applications in Delphi and then debug them.

2.  Windows 10 is gathering information about your computer, and you don't know what it is.

Some information has been revealed about what kind of data Microsoft collects, but you still can't opt out of this, and you don't know what data it sent from your computer. In the latest Creators Update you have some control over the level of data gathering, but Off is not an option.  This is frankly, unacceptable.  On my main Windows 10 box, the Privacy page in the Settings app, has some new options, but "opt out from all telemetry and data transmitted to Microsoft" is not one of them.    I have to say, it is nice that there is a web page where you can view the data they have that is associated with any email address you may choose to log into that site with.  But even they (and you) may not actually be aware of, and may not, via this web site, be able to say "we're not monitoring you".   They can only say, "here's data we have for that microsoft account, associated with that email".   

They do not claim that the data you clear is everything.  In fact, the EULA makes it clear that it's not.  You can clear out your browsing history but not all your telemetry data.  Why do I even care? Because it's a principle.  Surveillance that is used to send your CPU load history, that can be used to see performance regressions, arguably helps Windows users. But it should be my choice to opt into even the most benign data collection programs.   That your browsing history (for Microsoft Edge only) is clearable, is good.  All they give you there, is good, assuming you trust them. It's just not enough. It's sort of a smokescreen.  I'm not saying that they just pretend to delete data, but I am suggesting that the real picture might be a lot more complex than they want to admit publically. They don't actually know who had access to personally identifiable data, that may do something with it, that is an abuse.   They can't because that's a human problem.   The best procedure for privacy is to not collect data in the first place. Microsoft has become addicted to your data.  It's their lifeblood, they admit that publically.  They say it's the "lifeblood of Windows". No, it's the lifeblood of the new Microsoft.  Your life.

So why not stay on Windows 7? The ecosystem will continue to rot, and eventually it will become difficult to run Windows 7 on modern hardware. Microsoft has even started actively looking for ways to make Windows 7 not runnable on new hardware.    Windows 7 is almost as bad as Windows 10, but at least, when you disable the Realtime mode in Windows Defender it stays disabled.  Windows 7 is not ultimately a good solution.    If you have Windows 10 Pro, you might find that the Group Policy editor provides a "close enough for rock and roll" method for disabling Windows Defender, via group policy. If you have Windows 10 home, that method is not available.  Windows 7 has many of the same flaws (superfetch, boot time problems, update problems, windows defender problems) as Windows 10, but overall the symptoms are not as bad.  The most egregious problems in Windows 10 are somewhat less of a problem in Windows 7.  

What is the solution? I don't have one.  I'm just mad.