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Windows 10’s biggest controversies

Howard Wen | June 28, 2016
Here are seven controversies that have been stirred up by Microsoft’s latest OS.

Fortunately, Microsoft began to rectify this by launching a “Windows 10 update history” website, starting with the Feb. 9 update.

4. Telemetry-gate

A brouhaha erupted over an article published by Forbes in which it was inferred that the Enterprise editions of Windows 10 were sending an alarmingly large amount of user telemetry data to Microsoft’s servers. Others in the tech news field shot down this claim and explained what actually happened: Very briefly, Windows 10 was doing what any OS does when trying to connect, and reconnect, to networks across the Internet.

Back in November, the first major update to Windows 10 added the option to let enterprise users turn off the gathering of telemetry and other tracking data: “Also in today’s update, we’re delivering on our promise to enable our enterprise customers to turn off all telemetry data if they choose. We strongly recommend against this, as this data helps us deliver a secure, reliable, and more delightful personalized experience.”

5. Security update snafus

A required security update to Windows 10 was reported to have set the default program settings on many users’ computers to Microsoft’s own programs. So if you had set Chrome as your favored default, after installing this update, Edge might have returned as the default browser for Windows 10. And music files would have launched in the Groove Music app, images in the Photos app, and video files in the Movies & TV app. (Users who had this issue reported that changing the choices for default applications back to their favorites would still be reset to Microsoft’s apps upon rebooting Windows 10.)

Removing this update in question, KB 3135173, fixed this problem, but Windows 10 would remind afflicted users to reinstall this update, which could not be ignored indefinitely. It should be noted that this issue didn’t affect all Windows 10 users, and Microsoft acknowledged it as a bug, which may have been fixed in additional updates that the company has since issued.

6. Ads on lock screen

In a feature called Windows Spotlight, the lock screen displays a random picture pulled from Microsoft’s servers. It’s usually a cool photo of something architectural, a landscape, or from nature. It was reported by site How-To Geek that an ad for the video game Rise of the Tomb Raider began showing up on the Windows 10 lock screen for some users. If you don’t like seeing such ads, you can send Microsoft your disapproval by clicking the “Like what you see?” link in the upper-right corner of the lock screen (which you can also do to any non-ad image you don’t like).

Another option is to turn off Windows Spotlight: Type “lock screen settings” into the Cortana search box (or in the search box of the Settings app) to launch these settings. Under “Background,” select either “Picture” or “Slideshow.” Then, slide the switch below “Get fun facts, tips, tricks, and more on your lock screen” to “Off.” Suggestion to Microsoft: Put in a “no ads” switch. Otherwise, many users might decide not to keep Windows Spotlight on at all.

 

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