Is Windows 10 an operating system or an advertising platform?

Also in today’s open source roundup: What’s wrong with the Linux file system? And Manjaro Linux 17.0 has been released

windows 10 UUP

Is Windows 10 an operating system or an advertising platform?

Windows 10 has certainly gotten its share of lumps since it was released. Some users really liked it, while other detested the changes made by Microsoft. Windows 10 has proven to be a great example of beauty being in the eye of the beholder.

One writer at BetaNews recently wondered if Windows 10 was an operating system or an advertising platform.

Mark Wilson reports for BetaNews:

Don't believe what Microsoft tells you -- Windows 10 is not an operating system. Oh, sure, it has many features that make it look like an operating system, but in reality it is nothing more than a vehicle for advertisements. Since the launch of Windows 10, there have been numerous complaints about ads in various forms. They appear in the Start menu, in the taskbar, in the Action Center, in Explorer, in the Ink Workspace, on the Lock Screen, in the Share tool, in the Windows Store and even in File Explorer.

Microsoft has lost its grip on what is acceptable, and even goes as far as pretending that these ads serve users more than the company -- "these are suggestions", "this is a promoted app", "we thought you'd like to know that Edge uses less battery than Chrome", "playable ads let you try out apps without installing". But if we're honest, the company is doing nothing more than abusing its position, using Windows 10 to promote its own tools and services, or those with which it has marketing arrangements. Does Microsoft think we're stupid?

When Windows 10 first hit computers without a price tag, questions were asked about what the hidden cost might be. We've talked about the various telemetry, privacy-invading and tracking features that are to be found, and this is certainly part of the price one pays for a free operating system ... sorry, ad platform.

But as more and more ads have gradually crept into Windows 10, the implications of using Windows 10 become ever clearer. Microsoft has boasted about the millions and millions of computers that now have Windows 10 installed. These are not just additions to the user-base, they are consumers ready to be advertised at. It is a captive audience staring at screens all around the world -- perfect for pummelling with ads as there's nowhere to hide!

More at BetaNews

Readers at BetaNews didn’t pull any punches in sharing their thoughts about advertisements in Windows 10:

BinTokin: “Only millenials are ok with this nonsense.99% of everyone who is old enough to have owned an XP machine or earlier knows full well we would be lighting torches in the street on our march to Redmond over this not so long ago.Somehow this has become acceptable.And somehow our outrage has turned into blind acceptance.”

Steve Kratz: “They're the same ones that have grown up with micro-payment games and whatnot... "Only $4.99 to continue playing a free game! But the original game is free!" (Dealing with teaching my kids not to fall for this BS)”

Fantasm: “Actually if there had been ads back then, we'd ALL be on Linux by now. There would be no Microsoft for them to worship…”

Rahul: “I use majority of Office programs (Word, Excel) for my work. Can you recommend such feature rich applications for Ubuntu?? I'm right now stuck only because of them and a few others.”

Partypop: “The solution is simple, don't use Windows 10. Use Windows 7 with Aegis. When MS sees market share drop they'll re-evaluate the next OS. This is consumers fault, what's acceptable is customer driven. What's accepted is allowed.

I disagree millenials are ok with this. Most millenials use Apple. Everytime i walk by the Microsoft Store they are virtually empty as compared to the Apple store.”

Plast0000: “it can be turned off,

settings > system > notifications and actions > slide off the "get tips and tricks" slider


settings > personalization > start > occasionally show suggestions in start menu

POOF no more ads.”

BoltmanTard: “Until the next windows update and its all back on again.. Happened 3 times to me while I ran 10, including after the AU, and enough was enough. I don't have time to keep looking under the hood to see if microsoft messed with the engine every time I turn my back.

Dumped Spyware 10 and upgraded to 8.1 + ClassicShell. Problem solved.”

Ascaris: “Those would not take care of the latest round of Windows 10 ads that triggered this article. Now you have to also turn off the "sync provider notifications." I don't know if that setting has always been there, but until now, it has not been identified as one of the settings related to turning off ads.

None of the names of "tips and tricks," "suggestions," or "sync provider notifications" mean the same as "ads," so you can't just go through the settings and turn off anything advertising-related up front. You have to wait for MS to abuse the feature by pushing an ad (while pretending it's a tip, trick, suggestion, or notification) before you can know which settings to turn off. Given that MS already has the keys to your kingdom if you run Win 10, they can create an unlimited number of innocuous-sounding preferences that really mean "ads."

That is, until they decide to just remove the prefs to turn ads off completely. This is how MS introduces customer-unfriendly "features." They make them optional, then take away the option.”

Another_Lurker: “W10 should not be considered only adware as a service but also spyware as a service.”

More at BetaNews

What’s wrong with the Linux file system?

Linux, like any other computer operating system, has its quirks. One of the things that can sometimes throw people off is the Linux file system. One redditor recently asked about it and started an interesting thread in the Linux subreddit.

d1ng0b0ng0 started the thread with these comments:

I read somewhere the other day that there is no rhyme or reason to the FSH. It is the way it is because it grew organically over time.

If it were being deployed now, what would be a more effective structure and why?

More at Reddit

His fellow redditors responded with their thoughts:

gmes78: “Basically, when Unix was developed, hard drives were small and as such, data was split in different folders so that it could be mounted in different drives. That's where /usr came from, for example.

A distribution called GoboLinux has an alternative file system layout. See here, it's an interesting read.”

whetu: “Some light reading:

tso: “Any solid system grew into shape over time. Only a fool (or believers of intelligent design) thinks that one can draw up a design and have it be perfect for all eternity thereafter.

And no, throwing out the whole thing and starting over from scratch is not "growing into shape".”

minimim: “The way files are organized in modern Unix-like systems is a very well thought and good design. Files are split by type, this way it's possible to easily manipulate and set policy by file type.

Is there a better way? Yes, I think so, and it's called multi-indexing. Only Mainframe file-systems are done this way. It would mean files can have multiple paths, one by filetype, one by program, another by package, another by MAC tag, etc. Then the system or the user can ask for a different view of the file-system, and would get it. You could easily see all of the files relevant for a certain program, for example. It isn't done this way yet because it would be very computationally expensive to do so, but it will be this way in the future.”

Lakelava: “A lot of things get old with time as people come up with different and better ways to organize and structure systems. But at the same time you don't want to change the basics all the time to don't break old code. Like many things, it is a trade off.”

iheartrms: “It is effective as structured. That's why it is structured the way it is. It always seems weird to people coming from Windows but that's just because different is always weird at first.”

feistypenguin: “I know that a lot of the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard was inspired by other Unix-like Operating Systems, and some of the folder structure was adopted for compatibility reasons. Even though the short folder names like "/opt" are a little vague for newcomers, they do make file paths a little less tedious to use over command line.

Early on, I got used to dropping any custom or self-contained apps into the /opt/ directory. If their binaries are used often enough, I will put symlinks in /usr/bin/. If I developed or maintained packages for a distro, I might get more mileage out of folders like /usr/local/ , etc.”

More at Reddit

Manjaro Linux 17.0 released

Manjar Linux has been updated to version 17.0, and you can download it from the Manjaro site. Manjaro offers a number of different desktop environments including XFCE, KDE, and GNOME.

JA Watson reports for ZDNet:

Manjaro Linux 17.0 has been released, with a nice variety of desktops available. In addition to the official Xfce and KDE versions, the Community versions with Gnome, Cinnamon, LXQt and i3 desktops have also been released.

As is usual with a "rolling release" distribution such as Manjaro, the new ISO installation images are actually a roll-up of all the security updates, bug fixes, patches and other updates which have been made since the last release.

If you already have Manjaro installed it is not necessary to reinstall from scratch, you only have to make sure that you have all the latest updates installed. The latest batch of updates will also modify the release info files so that your system will identify itself as Manjaro 17.0 (Gellivara).

Manjaro considers Xfce to be their "flagship" distribution. I installed this new release on my (relatively) new ASUS X540S, which of course is a UEFI firmware system, with absolutely no problems (with Secure Boot disabled).

More at ZDNet

Did you miss a roundup? Check the Eye On Open home page to get caught up with the latest news about open source and Linux.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

How to choose a low-code development platform