/ Technology

Microsoft must act over Windows 10 woes

Windows 10 update

Software updates can be our heroes – fixing bugs, improving performance or adding new features to our gadgets. But they can be villains, too, as with the many Windows 10 problems.

We’ve received well over 1,000 complaints about Windows 10, as well as plenty of comments on Which? Conversation, with PC users telling us that this software update has brought them nothing but problems. We’re calling on Microsoft to do better.

Broken window

As reported in the October issue of Which?, consumers have told us about being ‘nagged’ by Microsoft to install the update and, despite declining its advances – sometimes on several occasions – they said that Windows 10 installed itself anyway.

Once installed, it caused various problems, including printers, wi-fi cards and speakers no longer working with their PC; or instances of lost files and email accounts no longer syncing.

In some cases, members’ computers were so badly affected that they had to pay someone to repair it.

Microsoft must do better

Microsoft is offering free support to anyone affected by Windows 10 woes (call 0344 800 2400 or visit support.microsoft.com/en-gb). However, many people have struggled to find a way to contact the company. Either that or they thought that the problems were with their PC, so contacted the manufacturer or took their own action.

But would they know if they were actually speaking to Microsoft anyway? Before going to press on the October issue, one of the Windows 10 cases we took up for our article was contacted by a scam caller pretending to be Microsoft.

Sadly, this is a common ruse we’ve seen many times before, and we’re worried that the Windows 10 problems will only give scammers more ammunition.

Have you been affected by Windows 10 problems?

Which? is calling on Microsoft to honour the rights of consumers adversely affected by the Windows 10 update. This includes paying compensation where it’s due under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

If you’ve been negatively affected by the Windows 10 update, we want to hear from you on Which? Conversation. Alternatively, send us an email at techresearch@which.co.uk.

Comments
John Leslie Sellers (me) says:
5 September 2017

I have built a custom built desktop PC. I upgraded to windows 10 because I thought it would run better than windows 8.1, but after multiple updates my pc keeps crashing, I now regret updating and can’t go back to windows 8. I wouldn’t care I spent just over £500 in December 2015 and the Microsoft had the cheek to tell me I needed a new computer!

John-They have probably found fault with your motherboard and drivers . MS scrutinizes your whole system once you have Windows its not your computer its MS,s -I personally hate MS/Redmond . They take a note of your motherboard and stop you using a previous system after a short time of installation . But life must go on, I can try to help you if you will give me all your specs mother board/video card/ audio card / all external connected devices and installed programs as even Chrome can make it crash (intentionally ) OR blast the hell out of MS Windows and install the easiest to use LINUX – Linux Mint 18.2 its FREE and the easiest system for somebody changing from Windows I have every detail and can help you all along the way but first removing Windows from your SSD is the first action . Linux Mint can do this for you and you can even get a disc for it or you can get a disc to remove it as you cant run your system as it stands to connect to the internet . Get a friend to download the ISO from the website make sure its the OFFICIAL website ONLY NOT any download company and burn to a blank disc then install it. Either way I will help you never fear -get back please ! To help you here is the official download website : https://www.linuxmint.com/download.php remember I have every detail on how to install this from scratch its no big deal and it will save all that money you spent .

JLS – I’d also be tempted to carefully check over all your the hardware and/or try a fresh complete download and re-installation of W10, using the install discs available from the Microsoft website. (If you have a h/w fault, no OS is going to run without crashing…)

Windows 10 has cribbed the Unix/Linux model, in which drivers are automatically spliced into the OS kernel. This doesn’t always work unaided, not least for wifi card drivers 🙁 because , if you depend on wifi, you cannot download a working wifi driver once you have a broken one.

Failing those options, you should at least be able to get some version of Linux running on your PC. As Duncan suggests, if you have newish mainstream h/w, Linux Mint is a good choice, especially if you liked the “look & feel” of Windows 7. On older or less mainstream (e.g. AMD or Apple) machines, I find that Mint does not always come with all the required device drives, in which cases the LXLE distro usually “just works”.

If your now broken PC is your only PC, you may not then be able to download anything. When faced with this dilemma a few years ago, I was able to use a bootable cover disc from Linux Format magazine (as sold in all good hypermarkets) to rescue my PC.

Yes I back Derek,s suggestion on buying Linux Format it using comes with an installation disc for some flavour of Linux/Ubuntu/Fedora etc etc but they come with installable apps as well including resculux which will boot just about any system its one of the simpler kind to use and will boot Windows . Your problem with Windows 10 is usually 60 %/70 % drivers .Remove your video card and use the inbuilt one on the motherboard thats a big issue in this situation remove all ancillaries except your keyboard+mouse+ router/modem +screen and try again.

bishbut says:
6 September 2017

I said when windows10 first came out it was made just for computer experts and geeks not for the average computer user I still think the same now But it seems experts are having problems now

I think it would be fair to say that Windows 10 was designed mostly for Microsoft’s benefit – i.e. to try an re-unify their customer base from the groups of folk who either did or did not like Windows 8.

An obvious additional objective was to strengthen the use of the Microsoft online equivalent of the Google Play Store (and, of course, also whatever the Apple equivalent is called). Ideally, I think Microsoft (and Google and Apple) would love to be monopoly software suppliers for their respective OSes, so they can take a nice percentage cut of all software purchases.

As far as that goes, I think W10, W8, W7, Vista and XP all pretty much do the same job. But with Microsoft (and other) software suppliers phasing out support for the likes of XP and Vista (etc…) sooner or later users of those systems may choose to move on to new, still supported OSes – but not necessarily ones from the Microsoft stable.

At least where I’ve worked, the rise of Microsoft Windows was largely driven by the demands of folk who wanted (or needed) Microsoft Excel. But, for home use, I doubt that that can still be regarded as a compelling reason for wanting to use Windows. This is especially so if continuing Windows usage comes with the penalty of a learning curve for the transition to W10 and/or the need to replace older, no longer supported hardware.

Derek , its funny when we start talking about Windows 10 all of sudden I get emails from US tech websites of which I am a ,member, on MS,s latest “adventures ” . The “good ” news is that Win 10,s latest inbuilt protection has gone “AI” . As you know they gather every bit of intelligence from you but their new partnership with a third party AI company enhances their protection —the bad news although denying it this private company collects ALL your data its called Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (WDATP) . Although it works (so far ) its not free , the company is FireEye -Ken Gonzalez VP thinks a lot of it but maybe users wont as the Telemetry collects- installed apps-crash dumps- and a complete rundown of your system and use ( all done in the best possible taste of coarse ) MS have NOT announced that that FireFly collects all your data. As for Google I have all the latest data on their data bit mining and much more, highly enlightening.

DerekP says:
6 September 2017

Duncan, as I see it, when going onto the internet one is entering a public space, just as if one takes a walk down the local high street. In either case, we can be spied upon, either by tracking software or by the likes of CCTV.

Online, we might resort to encryption software to give ourselves the illusion of privacy, but quite likely some latter-day Alan Turing will come along and crack the encryption.

If I had any computer data that I really needed to keep private and secure from prying eyes, I’d start by keeping it only on computers that were never allowed to access the internet.

Apple, interestingly, don’t sell a lot of their own software; it’s mostly included in all of their computers when bought. What they do sell, however, tends to be extremely high quality: Final Cut Pro X, for instance, has become the de facto video and film editing software of choice for many companies. And although database packages are in decline, File Maker Pro is possibly one of the best there is.

I have long been an enthusiast for FileMaker Pro. It’s expensive, so I’m sticking to version 10.

While this is an old convo I have just been given some startling news about Microsoft . Since -2000 up to now ( including latest Win 10 ) there is a security fault in the Windows kernel that any security app/system cant prevent Its an old bug that blocks your super-dooper high price security. It is related to = PsSetLOadImageNotifyRoutine , on boot up it notifies MS of any drives on your system that are newly registered therefore it is quite serious as it blocks your security from detecting threats . It lets malware infected Power Point files evade any antivirus . Its a coding error and MS has no plans to fix it , to the delight of those preying on Windows systems ( any from 2000 ) . It is ironic that Windows Ps Load etc is actually there to STOP this happening , it was introduced to notify registered drivers in different parts of the kernel when a “PE image file ” is loaded to virtual memory . Thats enough technical stuff although there is much more . Basically the bad guys have “cottoned ” onto this . Although the ordinary user cant do anything about it I just want them to be aware of Windows vulnerability.

At the very same time as I got the above info from America , I was contacted by an app maker,s website who has one of the best security apps in the business . I know I have mentioned this once before but nobody paid attention . As you know I am highly critical and dont normally endorse apps but this one is so good at detecting malware in windows that Windows isnt too happy with it as it can block all their spying , even the hidden stuff and yet the website app designers actually promote Windows so its a bit schizophrenic . I cannot install it as I have Linux although the just offered it to me (the basic version) which is free . it works on Android and they certainly need it . It has windows network monitoring /internet security/network time machine /discrete alerts /bandwidth usage monitor /remote server monitoring/internet privacy protection /ask to connect (great for blocking unknown apps /lockdown mode/mini graph (lovely colours /webcam/mile detector /who is on your wi-fi network /multiple server monitoring. I had this system on Windows and windows went to a lot of trouble trying to stop me installing it. As I say I dont lightly give my approval to any app etc mostly I criticise them its a beautiful active graphic display a delight for those wanting to know exactly what windows or anybody else is doing transmitting data etc . This is American designed and I want to say an American app I love -see I really love them . I am also a member of their website . Click on : https://www.glasswire.com/download/ you will not be disappointed , unless MS blocks you installing it.

Here is another piece of vital security information that I am sure everybody is going to ignore and then complain when their Windows 10 system is infected with malware , ignore it at your peril ! . Have you installed the new Linux Shell in MS Windows 10 ? its their sub-system for Linux , remember I said MS has bought into 10 % of Linux ? . Well if you have REMOVE it at once , like Wine when installed in Linux MS ,as per usual, allows back-doors to gather data , well in this case this new MS app allows ALL malware/hackers to enter your system , its called Bashware and yes it bypasses ALL your security apps. I have the FULL technical data to hand if anybody is going to doubt me !!

Duncan – thanks for that one.

I checked it out and this seems to be real if somewhat academic just now. Seemingly, Windows developers (and other Windows OS users) have the option of installing a bash-based Linux emulator, which can then run malware, e.g readily available Windows malware, if the Linux windows emulator Wine is installed. So the easiest way to exploit this vulnerability would be to install Linux inside Windows and then Windows inside that Linux. Doing that would then bypass the checks possible by any normal Windows security software…

All in all, I agree with Duncan’s advice “REMOVE it at once”. For clarity (and security), my personal take is that the “it” here should refer to “Windows” and that is generally what I do with most old PCs.

Just to add fuel to the fire Derek , just been informed that MS has fixed EIGHTY FIVE flaws ( this week ) , one allowed Fin Fisher spy-ware – OMG ! YE gods !! somebody must be watching my posts , I have just vrecieved another email from another US tech company and this is a REAL warning – A Palo Atto based IoT,s security company has discovered critical vunerabilities in Bluetooth if exploited can carry out remote attacks on millions on ALL systems and devices with Bluetooth enabled – dubbed “Blue Borne ” without any help from a user researchers nO need to click on a malware link etc on a website just 32 feet from a user, similar to Broadcom Wi-Fi attack. .I have never enabled Bluetooth nor for that matter wi-fi on my PC.

I don’t think MS are alone in having lots of updates and security patches – I receive an almost daily series of updates for Ubuntu LTS 16.04, also quite a few for 14.04 but very few for 12.04, although the latter is technically “out of ticket” now.

Complex modern software is hard to comprehensively test and, if written to a prescribed launch deadline, is likely to end up containing flaws and half-baked ideas. My own software certainly exhibits those features too.

Hence there is a constant battle between developers, to find and patch bugs, before hackers can find and exploit them.

All that having been said, so long as Windows continues to be the most commonly used consumer PC OS, it is likely to be the most attractive target for developers and perpetrators of malware and scams. But, at some point, this “accolade” may be passed on to Android.

I think most home users can largely (but not entirely) eliminate most threats by installing good security software, and/or by discipline on-line. Of course, Mac and Linux users can also be targeted, but at least their PCs won’t run “native Windows malware”. One Linux PC in my family once suffered a browser hijack attack – but it was comparatively easy to remedy.

But as you know in Ubuntu Derek those updates are divided into two sections by an inbuilt app in each case so that security updates are separate from app updates and I can always refuse to install them -try that on Windows “Home ” and most of Windows ones are to cover up “back-door” exploits as I check to see WHY Windows need them ( although I have destroyed windows on my dual boot PC ) Add to that Windows “information” ( in detail ) is sadly lacking unless you check it out with a security tech company ( not MS ) . This is why I run a comparatively bare LInux system compared to some, reduces attack possibilities ( from non-government hackers ) Linux MInt reduces updates to three categories – 1-2-3 -1- top priority /security – 2- essential- 3- advised all the others are rejected to stop system instability , so MInt has very few “updates ” usually supplied by a University here or say in Germany and ,as you know MINT is crowd funded by enthusiasts so commercialism is given the boot not so Ubuntu who are going “commercial ” in a bigger sense than in the past. As a US tech website said the UK company running it is not as secure ( or they think so ) than Linux Mint which is constantly monitored by the enthusiasts unlike MS Windows who wait for a fault condition to get exploited and then “fix it “.

Yes, there are plenty of updates for Macs. Good security software will deal with most problems but malware appears before the software is updated to deal with it, hence the importance of regular backups.

The basic issue lies with the way code originated. Many years ago I wrote arcade games for Sinclair’s QL and, to get the speed we wanted, we had to write in Assembler.

Assembler is one step up from what was popularly called ‘Machine code’, but used Mnemonics to make the arduous chore of writing code more manageable. Because every single operation had to be coded individually, programs ran to several hundred feet in length when printed on a dot matrix printer.

This inevitably led to programmers seeking ways to extend the Mnemonic principle to make it easier still, and incorporate several actions into a single word. This led to Basic, C, C++, Fortran and many others. In that process, however, mistakes were made – inevitably, some might say – which led to fundamental weaknesses being incorporated into every type of coding language.

These commands were then baked into the firmware of processors to increase speed still further, and the legacy from all those early experiments is with us today. Some of it is being used in the fly-by-wire systems used by Airliners…

bishbut says:
14 September 2017

Windows 10 was put out by Microsoft before in was ready to be installed on any computer There were many flaws from the beginning and it seems there are many more still on it and there will be more to come I uninstalled it twice and now only use it because it was installed on every new computer or nearly every one Try to find one without A chrome book maybe

While we are talking about Win 10 and its easily hacked system I have mentioned much earlier of a US app that has arrived in this country .It can be used with most smart-phones and computer systems ( except Linux ) I am talking about the quote- “Ultimate monitoring of software for parental control , now I see being advertised here by Mspy – which is a very approrpriate name for the company and app they are selling . You may say to me -so what ? , never having read my critical comments on it , how ” wonderful ” now I can keep an eye on my kids=- of coarse you can , and has been proved in America so can hackers . Not only accessing it BUT TALKING to young Children and asking /telling them to do things any parent wouldn’t approve of ,as well as listen in to their conversations . IF you buy it bear that in mind . Any tracking system is only as good as the system its used in – do you trust MS Windows 10 ? and Android is easily hacked , unfortunately so is iOs due to an Israeli company spy app being “requisitioned ” by hackers . On the other hand it might never happen ?? For those saying -Lucas “is at it again ” well listen up ! the company has a disclaimer saying a company can monitor all its employees calls it monitors the lot including photos etc . Cheapest version £77/year -dearest- £175/year- you didn’t think it was free -did you ?, nor can you “keep it “

As regards the future updates to Windows 10 another piece of Redmond “authoritarianism ” is emerging When you try to install the Firefox pr Chrome web browser on a recent Windows 10 version 1809 Insider build, you may notice that the installation gets interrupted by the operating system.

The intermediary screen that interrupts the installation states that Edge is installed on the device and that it is safer and faster than the browser that the user was about to install on the device.

Options provided are to open Microsoft Edge or install the other browser anyway. There is also an option to disable the warning type in the future but that leads to the Apps listing of the Settings application and no option to do anything about that. If you use the Setting Option it automatically updates to default losing you own settings You will see- You already have Microsoft Edge – the hic ! “safer-faster” browser for Windows 10 While there is certainly a chance that Microsoft is just testing things in preview versions of Windows, it is equally possible that such a setting will land in the next feature update for Windows 10.

Companies like Google or Microsoft have used their market position in the past to push their own products. Google pushes Chrome on all of its properties when users use different browsers to connect to them, and Microsoft too displayed notifications on the Windows 10 platform to users who used other browsers that Edge was more secure or power friendly.

The intercepting of installers on Windows is a new low, however. A user who initiates the installation of a browser does so on purpose. The prompt that Microsoft displays claims that Edge is safer and faster, and it puts the Open Microsoft Edge button on focus and not the “install anyway” button.

It seems likely that such a prompt would result in higher than usual exits from installation if the intercepting prompt lands in stable versions of Windows.

There is also a chance that Microsoft would push its own products when users attempt to install other products: think a third-party media player, screenshot tool, image editor, or text editor.

While it seems that Microsoft plans to integrate an option to disable these “warnings”, it remains to be seen how that will look like. Judging from the current implementation it will be opt-out which means that the intercepting prompts are displayed to all users by default who attempt third-party software installations.

I tried to install Chrome Stable and Firefox Stable, and both installations were intercepted by the prompt. Again, this happens only in Windows 10 version 1809 on the Insider channel. Whether the intercepting will land in the soon to be released stable version of Windows 10 version 1809, the October 2018 Update, remains to be seen. Taken from a well know computer tech,s website – the website is well known to –Americanism coming —“geeks ” .

DerekP says:
17 September 2018

Duncan – to clarify your last paragraph above – are you now tinkering hands-on with W10 yourself?

Derek , last sentence- taken from a computer tech website . I have not installed or will be installing MS Windows anywhere , but as most people in this country use Windows 10 I have spent a lot of time getting up to date with Win 10 programming , the last Windows system I had years ago was Win 7 Prof. no longer on any PC I own but even then I remember the control Redmond exercised over it causing me frustration at first ending in anger . Its even worse now , most tech posters are moving to LInux Mint , some even to Manjaro/Arch , its just got even more controlling and its not just me thats saying , as I did a long time ago-own MS Windows ? – no you dont Redmond does and your computer as long as its a closed system is on your computer. By the way on a far right big business advice website guess what ? — they are now recommending Linux and third in line is Arch as well as Win -Enterprise / business which is less controlling because big business as well complained about MS,s control over it.

DerekP says:
17 September 2018

Duncan – thanks for the clarification.

For your info, I have the warnings pushing Edge when new browsers installs are attempted may now in the general releases of W10. I’ve certainly seen them on one of my W10 test boxes. I assume it is just running a general release, not a preview version.

That said, I was still able to install Chrome.

Last sentence – I was still able to install Chrome- glad to hear it Derek.I was under the impression that the -1809 release was not until October but if you are getting warnings maybe they released it earlier , they were still debating whether to include it , but previews could be downloaded . Many Windows users dont like even “official ” popups questioning their own choices , especially Americans who dont hold back in their posting , seemingly allowed there on some websites.

DerekP says:
17 September 2018

Thanks Duncan. I figured out that, if I get accepted to work as a volunteer “IT buddy” in my local library, I’d need to know about W10, so I’ve dragged a few of my W10 boxes out for some actual use.

This also allows me to be more clued up on other topics, such as W10 recovery discs and tech support scam vulnerabilities and counterstrikes.

That said, I’ll be sticking with Linux for the all (or most) real home usages, at least for myself and most immediate family members.

I’ve also been providing a little bit of operating experience and tech support in the comments pages of the ExplainingComputers YouTube channel. Its author, Christopher Barnatt, is a keen advocate of Linux Mint as an alternative to Windows, e.g. for anyone inclined to resist the so-called upgrade to W10.

I have Linux Mint -17.3 on my boot menu Derek , I keep updating it occasionally as a “spare ” ,version 18.0 is about ready now . anybody with Win 7 will find it very easy to transfer , its got a lot in common with it . Its nearly a “standard ” choice on the web now for first moving to LInux . No problems with the ISO download nor the installation.

DerekP says:
17 September 2018

Duncan, it would be great if your enthusiastic blanket statements like “anybody with Win 7 will find it very easy to transfer” and “No problems with the installation” were actually literally true, for each and every one who might be tempted to try Linux, irrespective of their chosen hardware and software.

For the sake of argument, a Windows user with a Linx 12×64 tablet PC and an Lenovo X85 printer would discover that (a) their printer isn’t supported at all under Linux and (b) their on-board wifi isn’t supported by any of the drivers that come with Mint (or any other Linux version that I’ve tried).

In similar vein, a user with an EeePC 904HD might find that their wifi card didn’t work with Mint, but would work under MX.

As evidenced by the above remarks and by the community comments on “Linux Mint 19 For Windows Users” youtube.com/watch?v=eI7QQqnV1P8, Mint is a great (but not yet perfect) alternative to Windows.

What did I say Derek ? – quote – it is easy to transfer and (out of OTHER LInux distros ) is the most compatible with Win 7 . Neither I nor anybody else I have been in contact with had any problems with burning the ISO nor installing the system. You are nit picking Derek I could post all the problems encountered by Windows users entailing calls to Redmond for help in installing various APPS the www is full of them . I was speaking truthfully , have you heard of open source video drivers ? Well I have a GeForce card that used to be for gaming -guess who stopped supporting it ? -NOT LInux which caused loss of screen display exactly on the date they stopped supporting it telling me to pay for an upgrade — like hell I did I switched to Arch OPEN SOURCE drivers – no problems , so for every app that Linux doesn’t support I can post 10 times that number of MS Windows problems , and you get –from Windows official websites -update to new .

DerekP says:
17 September 2018

Duncan, I don’t think it’s nit-picking to point out that Mint isn’t prefect and cannot be guaranteed to work 100% of the time when re-purposing old PCs. When it works, that’s great, but when it doesn’t, folk may need to know to look elsewhere.

With regard to open source drivers, I’m more than familiar with the concept. I even have a fully open source GNU/Linux version (Trisquel) installed on a USB stick, so I can evaluate that alongside Linux systems (e.g. Mint and MX) that use some closed-source drivers. In due course, I may move my most sensitive data across to a suitable GNU/Linux version, so that I can be sure that no spyware has been written into ANY of the software at all. But for most tasks, if I’ve got nothing to hide, then I won’t be greatly at risk, even if I am being spied on by anyone.

I suspect that most ordinary citizens just want their computer to ‘plug-in & play’ with the installed software so that they can order their groceries. I expect that is why, after the first two pages, input to this Conversation from average consumers has fallen away as most of it is over their heads, mine included.

Me too John. I just want to use software. I’m really not at all worried about being spied on. I try to follow normal security precautions and in 25 years do not seem to have suffered. I’ve got more productive things to do with my time (apart from posting on Convos when I have enforced confinement).

However, I’m sure specialist Convos like this appeal to some, just as we indulge in consumer rights or car emissions, for example in rather a lot of detail.

Thats equatable malcolm great technical detail; goes into car emissions etc and much praise forthcoming but when I post technical detail its criticized- fair ?- not in this world -one-sided – predigest- etc. Boil it down its just MS being OTT in controlling windows 10 no wonder its only got 8 % of ALL means of internet connections by the worlds public –and dropping and its the reason why its now got 12 % shares in the LInux Foundation .

Agreed, Malcolm. The problem as I see it, from the point of view of the aims of Which? Conversation, is that it didn’t start life as a technical conversation but has morphed into that and is now largely inaccessible to regular [non-tech] consumers. Just a personal view, but I think a little steering or guidance from Which? would keep these types of conversation on the right road. I agree that there is a place for both types of discussion and there might not be a suitable place to hold the more advanced type.

Perhaps the worst with the Windows 10 upgrade is now over and there might no longer be a need to assist people with those difficulties.

When I get round to replacing my PC I am just going to get something straightforward off the shelf with no further modifications required to give me the functionality I want. It will probably run on Windows as I have been with it for over twenty years without any problems or serious concerns.

I have no quarrel with the technical issues and opinions being put forward, and they are fair warnings that retailers or the media do not present. I notice that I had been more involved in the earlier part of this Conversation and quite critical of Microsoft’s ‘abuse’ of its then dominant position. So its share of internet connections has fallen, but 8% of the global market is still colossal and I suspect that much of the gains by other systems have been in countries where MS are not welcome or cannot operate without restrictions.

Mobile is the reason its only got 8%. Please explain in simple terms what the word TECHNOLOGY means -re- it has no place in Which ? and why that TITLE is used to post anything BUT technology ? I have asked that question of Which ? many times without a reply . Not to post on Technology ( real ) then say goodbye to many posts and convos here . Which has assured me I can post on technology and not be condemned for it –at least by Which ?

Thanks for explaining the reason for Micrsoft’s reduced share of global internet connectivity. I had overlooked the influence of mobile phones’ use for accessing the internet, so the question really is how much of the PC [including laptops and tablets] internet access dimension is under MS control?

Who says Technology has no place in Which? Conversation? It is an extremely significant issue for consumers – virtually all households have some technology products and people need advice and information on it.

I cannot comment on the category title ‘Technology’ and its contents. It is presumably a convenient way of classifying Conversations that relate to consumers experiences with technology products.

I don’t know who you feel is condemning you for posting on technology subjects – not me for sure. We can all pick and choose what subjects we follow and which comments we read and there are several topics that I do not follow, although articles on tech products is not one of them. I find it a struggle to relate to some of the more technical digressions, however, and feel that they tend to block out the main points of the Conversation – but that is Which?’s problem and they have abdicated on it in my view.

Just as we have the off-topic Lobby, I feel there should be a corner of the website where detailed and intense dialogue can take place among the technology aficionados with no pretence to inclusivity or abstention from the use of jargon and obscure technical terminology.

Probably thats what you are thinking of John , in that case yes Windows operating system on laptops /PC,s alone – August -2018 is 82 % – MacOS- 12.5 % Linux 1.7 % -ChromeOS- 0.66 % – Chrome is based on a Linux kernel – 92 % of servers are LInux run -Courtesy of -Stat -Counter . Online usage of Linux Kernel derivatives (Google systems +GNU/Linux ) exceeds that of Windows .

DerekP says:
17 September 2018

For anyone still wanting to buy a new home computer in a traditional laptop or desktop format, Windows 10 will be associated with the widest range of products. Many pre-owned PCs are also retailed with W10 too.

In my experience, many old PC’s, even up to about 12 years old are working acceptably with W10. So I’d say Microsoft is much better at supporting old hardware than Apple. As far as I know, upgrades to Linux or BSD are the only options that give still-supported OSes for old Macs.

That said, buyers of new PC’s can also choose Macs or Chromebooks. In the past, I think Which? has failed to realise the benefits given by the simplicity of Chromebooks. When home users only need easy-to-use appliances for internet access and simple home office functions, I think Chromebooks are ideal.

I tend to agree with your comment on Chromebooks Derek , if all you want is simplicity then get one , you dont need Windows .