Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Machiaevellan Microsoft

For at least a week I’d been receiving impromptu visits on my computer from Microsoft.
Kind of like sitting at your kitchen table in your bathrobe and socks with the hole in the big toe, and suddenly the cheery face of that neighbor you don’t know very well appears at your kitchen door. (Note to self – ditch the lace curtains for blinds.)
          A square would appear in the middle of whatever I was doing, inviting me to the world of Windows 10. My husband, whom I depend on for all things computerish, told me that under no circumstances did I want Windows 10. So day after day I’d hit the “no thanks” or the X in the red square, but then one day I looked over to see my computer updating files. Well, okay – it does take it into its bitbrain to do this from time to time. I went on with whatever it was I was doing – watching the spider on the ceiling or maybe peeling a grape – but then happened to glance over again. 

          It was updating to Windows 10.
          And I couldn’t stop it.
          I tried turning it off. No luck.
          I tried my old standby, Control Alt Delete. Nothing.
          I tried my old standby, Control Alt Delete many, many times. Bupkis.

          This all happened before we had returned home, so I couldn’t immediately run whining to our computer fixit people. Maybe I could just accept this philosophically. It was still Windows, right? Okay, my desktop looked different, but I did manage to find my mail, to get to this blog. And my word documents appeared to be intact. I let out a cleansing breath.
          The next morning, after checking my email and seeing what was going on with John in Wales (Going Gently), and Fran Hill (Being Me), and everyone else in my blog world, I still had a half cup of tea left. I did what I’ve done a thousand times – I cursered over to Spider Solitaire. Except it wasn’t there. Neither was Mah Jong, or regular solitaire, or any other games. Apparently in the world of Microsoft 10, the only games available are the ones you buy.
 This was the last straw. Spider Solitaire is my meditation, my personal Zen. I play it when I’m struggling with a chapter, stuck in a long phone call, or listening to NPR. Trying to find it online brought me to a site that prompted an ugly mal-ware warning on my screen. I backed out quickly.
I knew one thing – I could deal with a rearranged desktop. I might get used to the tiny font that now composed my email. But I could NOT live without Spider Solitaire. 
As soon as we arrived home, I called our tech wizard, who asked, “How long has Windows 10 been on your computer?” I responded, Only about 5 days. “Okay, we can fix it. Bring it in.” (If it had been on my computer for more than a month, its tentacles would have been too deeply enmeshed to remove.)
I’m now happily back in the year 2009, my Windows 7 restored.
Turns out I’m not alone. There’s a class action lawsuit brewing over all this with Microsoft. As this quote from the M people states,
. . . we expect to be re-categorising Windows 10 as a 'Recommended Update'. Depending on your Windows Update settings, this may cause the upgrade process to automatically initiate on your device.
                           (from Chris Merriman, Inquirer online newsletter)

This has been a Public Service Announcement from the folks here at Welcome Words.


  1. Well, one of those Microsoft updates caused my PC to crash last year. It cost me a few bob to get it sorted out so I would urge caution. :-)

    Greetings from London.

  2. I lost my PC and had to pay over $100 to get it restored because I accepted W-10 which worked very good for a few weeks and then my computer proceeded to delete 1,000 of files when I said to empty the recycle bin. It also did not recognize my old work horse of a printer and I had to buy a new one as no driver for the old existed! I am glad to hear of this lawsuit and I HOPE IT GOES THROUGH.

  3. I began my computer career with a Mac. Some years later had to adjust to PC. When all the noise began about Microsoft's new Windows look I said, 'I'm out of here,' and purchased an iMac. I was always a Mac person at heart but used PCs for many years because they were cheaper but knew it was time for me to jump ship.

  4. I have my own Apple demons to deal with, but I've heard nothing positive about Windows 10. Nothing. Glad you were able to get back to friendly territory. :-)

  5. I'll bring this to the attention of the computer wizards at work. I cannot believe the auditor of the great state of Ohio doesn't know this, but just in case...
    I deal with that damn square daily at work. It doesn't come up on my home computer at all. Maybe I have a better firewall (haha).

  6. Let, go. Let the dark side welcome you, you and all the contacts in your address book. Be welcome, let yourself blend with the force.........

  7. Great post. I've had the same offer. My son said don't touch it.

  8. Uffda, I hope I never see that screen, so far I have not seen it:)

  9. I wasn't real happy about upgrading to Windows 10 either, but I got used to it pretty quickly. But I got real p***ed off when I found it doesn't support google earth. I can't go skimming around looking at forests and islands and cities in other countries anymore. I hadn't thought about the games, so I've just done a quick check and they are gone, but I never played anyway.

  10. Fortunately it tried to install itself on our system - and failed. It did chew an humungous amount of our internet access for the month, but it was unable to do a complete take over. Thanks for the warning not to get it fixed.

  11. we've had (have) nothing but Apples but I have read about this happening to a lot pf people. I'd be royally pissed if it had happened to me. I hope they get the pants sued off them.

  12. Wow! I would be SUPER annoyed if my system upgraded without my authorization. Microsoft is just desperately trying to hold on to users who are finding the Apple experience so much more to their liking. (Like me.)


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