Windows 10 Anniversary Update


So you got your “free” upgrade to Windows 10? I had figured it was too good to be true. And now that the end of the free upgrades is here, it looks like Microsoft is going to roll out the Anniversary Update soon after. Usually, updates are good and improve the operating system, but it looks like Microsoft is actually rolling out a downgrade.

More Ads

Most have probably noticed by now that Windows 10 has subtle ads in it (Greedy M$ has to make their money somehow). Microsoft is doubling the number of ads that are shown in your Start menu.

You can currently disable ads by going into your Personalize Settings, and under “Start” you can turn off “Occasionally show suggestions in Start”. But considering the direction the Anniversary Update has headed, I wonder how long it will be before they remove this ability?

 

DisableSuggestionsStart

Cortana

Right now, you have option to turn off Cortana. This option is going away with the Anniversary Update. You will be forced to let all your information go straight to Microsoft whenever you perform searches. To clear this information out of their cloud storage, you must log into Microsoft itself using your Microsoft account and manually remove it.

CortanaSettings
The above-shown option is planned to go away with the impending Anniversary Update to Windows 10.

Group Policy Changes

In addition to forcing users to view their ads and use their spyware (I do consider Cortana to be spyware), Microsoft is taking away the settings in the Pro version that are necessary for some business applications. Settings such as, being able to disable Cortana. Would any business normally elect to send all of their corporate data to Microsoft?  You will also no longer be able to remove the Windows Store from the taskbar. How many businesses need (or want) access to the Microsoft Store app? If you want to block those settings with group policy, Microsoft will now require you to upgrade to Enterprise or Education edition.

What can we do?

Is there anything we can do now that 350 million users have given up control of their computers to Microsoft? One option is to roll back the upgrade to Windows 7/8 if you are still within 30 days of the upgrade. That is probably not a solution for most users, though.

What Microsoft wants you to do

The path Microsoft wants you to follow is to either: purchase the Enterprise or Education edition of Windows 10, or do nothing. Either of these feels dirty and lets Microsoft win. So there must be something else.

Use another OS

Despite popular belief, Windows is not the only solution. Linux, for one, is a frequently-free alternative. Ubuntu is one of the most user-friendly distributions for people new to Linux and you can download it for free. You can find more information on Ubuntu’s Site.

People who have never heard of Linux have probably used it many times without realizing it. You can read more about Linux on the linux.com web site.

And of course there’s always Macintosh.

Take back the software

Finally, you may be able to use registry hacks to manipulate what is supposed to be your computer. Although, we shouldn’t have to hack the registry to make something we bought (Windows 10 Professional Edition) work in a way that is acceptable. This also makes me wonder how long it will be before Microsoft takes away the registry keys to modify these settings. Hopefully they don’t remove them with the Anniversary Update too.

I will be looking for new ways to correct these problems features in the OS, and will post guides here as I come upon the solutions.


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