I walked away from my computer for dinner, in the middle of writing a story about On the edge. When I returned, I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Windows 10 had restarted my computer without permission – to install another forced OS update on my SSD.
The craziest part: When my machine finished restarting, it was already in place exactly what I wrote about before being rudely interrupted. Microsoft had installed unwanted, unwanted versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook web applications on my computer.
Well, it’s not as bad as when my entire computer screen was taken over by an unwanted copy of Microsoft Edge. That was really delightful.
No, this time Microsoft is just sneaking unwanted web applications onto my computer – and using my Windows 10 Start menu as a free ad slot. Did I mention that Microsoft Office application icons magically appeared in my Start menu, even though I never installed Office on that computer?
These, by the way, are not complete free copies of Office. These are just shortcuts to the web version, which you can now access in any web browser of your choice, which doubles as ads to pay for a more complete copy.
Since they are web applications, it’s not like they take up space on my computer, and I don’t really mind the Start menu. They are among the least offensive software programs I’ve seen, and I never look at the Start menu anyway – my taskbar and search bar have long been enough for me.
However, they are the latest evidence that Microsoft does not respect your ownership of your own computer, the latest example of Microsoft installing all the likes in a Windows update to and including bloatware, and the latest example of Microsoft worries more about the bottom than whether a few people could lose their jobs when Windows suddenly shuts down their computer. Fortunately, I didn’t lose my job today, but a friend of mine did recently:
Microsoft seems to think of our computers as free advertising space, a place where they can selfishly promote their other products – even though they were told in the 1990s that even packing a web browser was wrong. They now combine a browser that you cannot install and a set of PWA web applications that run in the same browser. (Yes, they trigger Edge, even if you set a different default browser.)
As I argued earlier, decisions like this undermine this good An argument that Microsoft actually has for mandatory updates is that they provide important security fixes that protect computers (yours and others). This is a more difficult argument when the most visible difference after a new update is an attempt to make more money!
such as ZDNet veteran Microsoft reporter Mary Joe Foley notes that this is not just an experiment that happens to some Windows insiders. I did not register for Windows Insider on this computer. The company has not yet agreed to respond to Foley’s requests for comment, but let’s see if that will change next week.