‘They’ say that we give away our privacy with both hands these days and thus, do not deserve to have it protected. Bullshit. We’re given no choice. Trigger warning – angry woman rant ahead.
Due to work, I had to buy a cheap laptop yesterday. It came with Windows 10 installed, and I bought the Office 16 suite to go with it [also for work]. I have now wasted the better part of a day just trying to get what I paid for to work.
First Windows 10.
Even though it was pre-loaded, the first time I fired up the laptop, I had to wait through a number of very slow ‘welcome-ish’ screens. It was so slow, I actually thought the laptop had hung on me. But no, just Microsoft at its best. [Oh and you can’t get out of these loading screens either].
Then, once the loading screens were done, I had to do some customisations. Microsoft pushes VERY hard to make you accept the ‘express’ option. DO. NOT. DO. IT! You will understand why after you select the ‘customise’ option. Essentially, this allows you to see exactly what is hidden behind the super convenient express option.
I can’t remember how many pages of customisation options there were, but they were all controlled by odd little slider buttons, and all of the sliders were set to ‘on’ by default.
To change the slider from ‘on’ to ‘off’, simply click on the left-hand side of the slider. It should now show as ‘off’.
What should you turn off? Everything. Literally.
I think I turned everything to off except maybe the last one that had to do with language and which version of English I wanted to use. Everything else was just sneaky data-mining. Or setting you up for all sorts of advertising and big brother type nonsense. I kid you not, you do not want any of those options set to yes. EVER.
I have always hated the Microsoft browser so I used Edge only long enough to download Firefox. Once Firefox was installed, however, getting Win10 to accept it as the default browser was not at all straightforward or intuitive. To make using something else harder perhaps?
It can be done, just don’t expect it to be logical.
When you open the browser of your choice you will get a dialog box asking if you want to make it your default browser. Click yes.
You will now get a settings window that shows options for music, pictures and browsers etc. In this window, Edge will still be shown as the browser, and there is nothing to clue you in how to change it.
To permanently change your default browser, click on the Microsoft Edge. Only after you’ve done this completely unintuitive step will you be able to see any other browsers you have installed. Select the browser of your choice, answer any other questions thrown at you and you can finally surf the net how you want.
And finally Office 16.
This may not be news to everyone else out there, but it was to me: when you buy Office these days, you do NOT get a box with DVDs and manual inside. Instead, what you get is a small cardboard card. That’s it.
On the back of the card is a silvered strip similar to what you get on a scratch-it card. The writing on the card is tiny and up the very top in very tiny writing is the information that you need to scratch off the silver to get at the product code for the product you have already bought.
So now what?
I dutifully scratched off the silver and then looked for step 2. Hmm… I guess everyone else knows how to do this shit except me. I hate you Microsoft.
Finally, I noticed that inside the start button, [on the laptop not the scratch-it] the window, or whatever the hell it’s called, for Office was a different kind of colour to the other ones. Not greyed out or anything that intuitive, but different. So I clicked it and Win10 displayed a dialog box with three options, one of which was ‘activate’. Eureka!
I clicked the activate option and that’s where steam really started coming out of my ears. You see, despite having paid for Office 16, I’m not allowed to get Office 16…not without having an account with Microsoft first.
Not that big a deal, you say?
Yes, it is because in the past, when software came in boxes with proper instructions, registering your product was optional. Then Microsoft made it such that using your product depended upon activating it [but I don’t think you had to register?]. Now, you can’t even download something you’ve paid for without giving Microsoft a great deal of personal information:
- a valid email address [okay, this is kind of normal]
- name, country, date of birth? Why date of birth? Do people born before the millenium forfeit their rights or something? You do not need this information Microsoft. 😦
- and sex. Male, female, unspecified. I chose unspecified because I do not want advertisements tailored to old ladies….and three-headed hermaphrodite was not an option. 😦
- and phone number. This truly had me screaming at the walls. Lots of companies want your phone number these days, but they don’t dare penalise you if you don’t supply it. As someone who cares about personal privacy, I do not hand out my phone number to every shitty company that asks for it. HAVING to hand it to Microsoft to get what is already mine?
And that is roughly where I left things for today. I just can’t take any more aggravation. I’ll deal with Micro$hit tomorrow, once I’ve cooled down.
Not happy Jan
up the pc or laptop, you will have to go through a lot of customisation crap.