Tag Archives: sneaky microsoft

Microsoft keeps pushing the envelope- I mean Edge

Another trip to the brilliant /r/assholedesign, another round of Microsoft fuckery.


Yes, Microsoft is using its own search engine to push Edge propaganda to new Windows 10 users looking for a completely unrelated rival browser. And before you say “well, Google advertises Chrome too”, not on searches for Firefox it doesn’t. To my knowledge anyway, I use both ABP and Ublock Origin. And anyway, Microsoft take it a step further with actual video ads taking up the entire screen! How explicitly pushy can you get? I still half expect them to uninstall rival browsers without user permission.

And here’s a hint for those who use Firefox and DON’T want to use Edge for PDFs- drag the downloaded PDF from the downloads tab into a new tab. Show Microsoft you want nothing to do with this retooled Internet Explorer.


Microsoft has officially gone too far

I love /r/assholedesign even though it’s updated rather infrequently. One of the new posts, however, is VERY incriminating towards a certain Redmond-based company…

Basically, new Windows units no longer let you select your preferred browser at install. It’s Edge as standard. “Well,” I hear you say. “Easy, I’ll just use it once to get Firefox or Chrome.”

“I don’t think so!” I hear Edge reply. Take a look at THIS:


That’s right, /u/Mrunibro used both Firefox and Edge to access the Chrome website. Guess which one “can’t reach it”? Either Edge is playing up or (more likely given what we know of their tactics) it is OUTRIGHT BLOCKING ACCESS TO INSTALL RIVAL BROWSERS, WHICH GOES BEYOND “ASSHOLE DESIGN” AND INTO BEING ILLEGAL. They clearly didn’t learn their lessons from the IE and 7 fiascos. One day I half expect to wake up and find my beloved Firefox gone from my system without an explanation.

Nobody wants to use the successor to a browser with such a horrible reputation, Microsoft. So stop bullying us into it.

Microsoft at it again!

Microsoft forcing software onto its users again
Courtesy of the brilliant /r/AssholeDesign on Reddit:


This is just par for the course for the men, women and others from Redmond. We all know about how they forced Internet Explorer on Windows users for many years. They had to be sued to end the practice. Not learning their lesson, years later they began bullying people into installing Windows 10, sometimes even without their permission. They ended up in court again over it after an older system was irrepairably damaged by an update the user didn’t even ask for. Now they’re at it again with Edge.

Edge, not to be confused with the gaming magazine or the retired professional wrestler, is Microsoft’s supposedly “new and improved” successor to IE. In the Anniversary Update, it turned Edge into the default PDF reader even if one had a reader installed on ses other browser. Now it’s going further, with what’s likely a blatant lie to boot. What next, a popup every time you open Firefox or Chrome saying “upgrade to Edge now”?

Microsoft forcing stuff onto your computer is nothing new…

I’ve gone on on a number of occassions about how Microsoft is now actively forcing Windows 7 users to upgrade to 10. It’s annoying, especially when 7 is by far the best Microsoft OS since XP. But this is nothing new.

Remember a little thing called Windows 95? The introduction to computing for most of us? As Nathan Lineback says in his interesting article here: Windows 95 was… heavily about choice. One could choose to use the Windows 3.1 Program Manager shell, networking was optional, and all accessories were optional via the new Add/Remove Programs control panel item.

However, there was one thing you couldn’t choose. For people who wanted to enhance their Windows experience, Microsoft brought out a “plus” pack. The floppy version was fine, but the CD version included a new web browser called Internet Explorer. This was a non-optional component even if you didn’t have internet access, and a prelude of much worse to come.

Lineback continues: Microsoft released Internet Explorer 4 – a very buggy, bloated browser… how Microsoft pushed it on to consumers was unacceptable… Other browsers, or indeed any normal application, would never touch system files or alter the way an operating system worked. IE 4, when installed on Windows 95 or NT 4, would replace or update many system files with its own special versions (emphasis mine). Microsoft sneakily discouraged its own users from using other browsers because all the crap IE4 put on their computers slowed them down!

And then came Windows 98, with IE4 as standard. This time around, Microsoft oh-so-cleverly “integrated” it into the entire OS, meaning it was virtually impossible for the home user to remove it. Corporate NT users were given an “Option” pack from Microsoft which included an update to Internet Information Server, supposedly for the new millenium and other Y2K related marketing things. And yes, the “Option” pack included IE4… and it was of course mandatory.

And if that wasn’t sickening enough, get ready for these apples.

Apple released their successful iMac range at around the same time, and seeking to capitalise on it, Microsoft held Apple to proverbial gunpoint and said “either include IE as standard on your iMacs or we will discontinue Office for Mac”. Not seeking to lose all these millions after the shaky decade Apple had had, Steve Jobs announced that IE would be replacing Netscape as the default browser for Mac and was roundly booed. To the Apple faithful, it was near blasphemy that they would team up with their arch-rivals, and once they found out the reasoning they were even more incensed.

Microsoft went as far as to forbid OEMs from disabling IE or even just removing the desktop icon! Again, there were millions at stake and Compaq, Dell etc. didn’t want to risk financial catastrophe just because they didn’t like IE. Finally, network admins who installed the new Microsoft Proxy Server had to install IE as Microsoft had defaulted to using a “handshake” method called NTLM authentication which required IE to work correctly! If you used Netscape or any other browser, which was unlikely as MPS disabled all non-IE internet tools, you would be forced to enter an unencrypted password to continue- usually the same as one’s network login!

So have Microsoft learned lessons from their past? No. Likely they will get this bad again trying to go for their “one billion Win 10 machines!” goal and perhaps end up “Netscaping” companies offering alternative OSes out of business.

Windows 10 2: Forced Update Boogaloo

So I’ve written in the past about how Microsoft is desperately wanting you to update your Windows 7 to 10.

However as this article illustrates, the strong encouragement has turned into outright force. While a small minority of Win 7 machines were forcibly “updated”, it will now become the norm for every Windows user. Your computer now sets a date and time for the update and it’s easy to miss the small print telling you to reschedule.

Note the wording- not “cancel”, reschedule.

As far as I am aware it is virtually impossible to cancel a “recommended update”. You could try setting the update to some ridiculous time in the far future, but I haven’t tried that and I’m sure Microsoft will eventually cotton onto people doing it.

I have Windows 10 because it came as standard on my new laptop. I much prefer Windows 7, and these forced updates are not going to improve the new OS’s image.