I knew Windows 10 was not going to be one of Microsoft’s proudest moments when I asked a colleague to sketch out its three main advantages.
- “It’s better than Windows 8.”
- “It’s a free upgrade on recent machines.”
- “It’s not Windows 8!”
Windows 8, for those of you who don’t know, is not exactly a high bar. Sources tell me that you can only buy Windows 10 because Windows 9 was developed solely for the express purpose of ritually sacrificing it to appease the computing gods angered by Windows 8. I’m told they brought in an Aztec priest as a diversity hire to complete the ceremony.
Let’s face it, if your product’s primary advantage is, “It isn’t as bad as our worst version in history,” your company is in a pretty bad place. But there are more reasons why you shouldn’t buy Windows 10, especially if you’re a conservative. Closer inspection of this operating system reveals a host of design features that are utterly alien to conservative values. Some are by defect, some are by design, but all of them should make every patriotic American of sound mind and sound values think twice.
Lack of Choice
Microsoft’s tendency to force hardware partners to offer only the latest Microsoft operating system on their machines is an anti-consumer practice. Computer companies like HP and Dell would love to offer Windows 7 machines, and their customers would love to buy them. Microsoft isn’t a big fan of conservative’s beloved free market approach, even within their own product lineup — this isn’t a new thing for Gates & company, but it stings in particular when there is a better option from the recent past. Beyond controlling the OS version of new machines, Microsoft will start pushing Windows 10 as a “recommended update” to Windows 7 and 8 machines next year; recommended updates are set by default to be installed each time Windows is updated. I can’t decide if changing a customer’s operating systems without telling them qualifies as nuclear grade gaslighting or good old fashion 1984 style totalitarianism, but either way its bad.
Privacy? Who Needs It?
Microsoft loves having multiple names for features and policies. Whether they call them ‘beacons’ or ‘telemetry’ the fact is Windows 10 allows Microsoft to collect information ranging from your keystrokes and voice data to the contents of your email, all in the name of “improving the user experience.” Some will argue that Microsoft can be trusted to never use this data against its customers. How many conservatives would choose to trust Microsoft? It is practically a “if you aren’t doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear from them looking” argument. Most of this invasive data gathering can be turned off, and savvy users have already done so. Are you confident that you’ve stopped all thirty of Microsoft’s privacy invasions? And even if you did, the jokes on you, Windows 10 sends information home to Redmond anyways.
Windows 10 has a standard feature that employs a peer-to-peer scheme to share updates accross users. It borrows your processing power and network bandwidth to assist when updates are released. Why is one of the largest software companies on earth designing their software update process around Karl Marx’s command to take “from each according to their means, to each according to their needs?” Like several of the features in this article, it can be turned off, but think of your wives, husbands, and parents; how many of them would ever tinker with their OS settings?
Open Door Policy
Another cute feature of Windows 10 on standard install is that your social media friends are able to sign into your network anytime they are in range, without your permission. Conservatives by nature have large and diverse groups of friends. Why would Microsoft arbitrarily decide that we trust all of our friends enough to let them into our private networks automatically? It sure sounds like Hillary Clinton’s “It takes a village” style thinking. I value my private property, including my network. It’s why I have my Wi-Fi network locked down and a front door on my house.
Your typical progressive authoritarian liberal is using his laptop to write an autobiography about how mommy and daddy were mean to him. Conservatives on the other hand are either employed or working to better their situations, which means they expect their computer’s operating system to enable their productivity through efficient management of hardware and software. This is simply not the case with Windows 10. There are widespread reports of numerous bugs such as hard to find apps, disappearing menu text, hanging browsers, and a litany of other problems. It is hard to claim to support free market and free expression principles when your OS fails to perform basic tasks reliably.
Change for Change’s Sake
Updates are coming to Windows 10 at a fast and furious pace. These updates don’t ask permission and there are no notes on what changed, so Windows 10 users are finding on a regular basis that settings change and the shortcuts we naturally develop using an operating system no longer work. The latest example is patch KB 3097877 which has broken various features seemingly at random. It’s quite reminiscent of a government bureaucracy whose primary purpose is to justify next year’s budget.
If Conservatives must use a Microsoft operating system, the best option is Windows 7. Alternatively, Conservatives might want to punish Microsoft by switching off their operating systems altogether until they rediscover their design competence and respect for user privacy. It is, perhaps, time to reclaim Apple from the hipsters.