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    RIP. The last good version of Windows, as opposed to an ad platform strapped to a program loader. So much for “if it’s free, you’re the product”; if you pay for a Windows device, you’re still the product.

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      Free upgrade from Win7 is not available, so you have to pay at least $200 for the chance to become a product if you want to keep using Windows on your old device as well.

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        Free upgrade from Win7 is not available

        Officially, it isn’t. However, the servers will still happily churn out digital licenses if you do an in-place upgrade with media you can freely download from Microsoft themselves.

        Are you in violation of copyright when doing this? Maybe, pretty hairy question when you think about it. Is Microsoft going to do anything about it? Given they’ve had a few years to, probably not.

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          It is important to note this is not “free” it’s extralegal price discrimination. It’s akin to releasing a torrent of your own game on pirate bay to quality control your pirated copy, so that people who are willing to “break the law” can have it for free, but everyone else must pay. The hope being that the people who broke the law to play it are excited enough to talk to others about it. Economics is a complex beast that often has little care for human laws.

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            To this point, pirated copies of Windows are probably riddled with pernicious viruses.

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              You usually just install DAZ loader.

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          It still is AFAIK - and there are so many loopholes (i.e: Windows 7 keys can be used to activate 10, a11y based free upgrades, etc.) that there’s no real reason to buy a Windows 10 license if you already have a Windows 7 license.

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            can’t you keep using Windows 7?

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              so you have to pay at least $200 for the chance to become a product …

              This is exaggerated, a Windows 10 Pro Retail version costs 100€ on amazon and you can get a valid key for like 3$ on ebay.

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                A valid key doesn’t necessarily mean a legit one.

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                  Interesting. Why the prices on store.microsoft.com are so much higher?

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                I don’t understand - can’t most of these ads be trivially removed with a bunch of end user visible settings?

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                  Having to change settings in five or more different places to remove ads from a paid OS is much less trivial than it should be, especially in the face of glaring usability issues that could have benefitted from the organizational resources that were invested in promoting shovelware instead.

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                    Ah the age old fight between the bottom line and merchantability. It’s eternal, at least until money goes away and we transition to some kind of post scarcity [U/Dys]topia :)

                    Honestly, and I know I’m a minority view here, I think Windows 10 is by far the most usable Windows version ever. They’ve actually finally added accessibility features that make it usable to me as a partially blind person.

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                      I’m glad to hear that accessibility has improved significantly with Windows 10, thanks for bringing attention to that. I think there’s a less objectionable middle ground between ubiquitous advertising and Star Trek than what we have right now, but at least this revision of the OS isn’t entirely a regression.

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                        To be clear I totally agree that the ads in Windows 10 are an affront and we should all strenuously oppose it. I’ve personally given them quite a bit of feedback on the topic, specifically around making disabling it all permanently easier.

                        But for me its existence, especially since it can be turned off, doesn’t get in the way of my using the very stable and usable work environment Windows 10 + WSL represents.

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                    The average end user struggles to complete their daily tasks let alone audit every setting screen to remove tracking he or she might not even know exists.

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                      Does the average user care though? In most cases the answer is no.

                      I’ll warrant that the morality of adding such advertisements and tracking to a paid product with a non trivial consumer cost is questionable, but, I suspect we’d need a fairly revolutionary change in the way our industry is regulated to get any traction on changing that.

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                        The average user doesn’t know that they can care, because they’re so numb from having their software change out from under them all the damn time.

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                          Speaking as a personal privacy advocate who has been trying to explain things like software freedom and the importance of being able to create privacy first computing environments, even when you invest huge amounts of time in helping them understand, my anecdotal experience says they really, REALLY could care less.

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                  Is it just me or is that site actively anti-back-button?

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                    Not just you, there are three redirects for some reason. Which means you have to press the back button three times to get back to the “real” previous page. Unfortunately most browsers have never been very interested in quashing bad website behavior that breaks the browser’s own UI and I’ve never been able to figure out why.

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                    I guess my boss will be surprised to find out we gotta ditch that old plan to upgrade our virtual machines from Windows XP to Windows 7.

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                      I thought this included IE11, but unfortunately Microsoft is chugging along on that, even though they make Edge as well.

                      It looks like there is no announced end of life [0] so they aren’t really updating it but are adding security features.

                      [0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Explorer_11

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                        Suggest release tag, since this an EoL announcement.

                        Also, time to move my copy into a VM I guess.

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                          I thought of this, but hesitated because unlike release, this is more actionable (“get off Windows 7” instead of “oh, Windows 7 came out”, which can usually be ignored if you aren’t interested in new software with some exceptions).

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                            10 years of support is fantastic. RedHat is 10 years, Ubuntu is 5 years and macOS is roughly 3 years with no commitment. macOS system upgrades are free but they tend to support devices only for 5 years.

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                              macOS is roughly 3 years with no commitment

                              It’s worse than that, because in the case of macOS the OS is tied to the hardware. So you’ll be upgrading your perfectly good devices, too, at some point. For no other reason than Apple wants you to.