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<title>Microsoft's Software Is Malware
- GNU Project - Free Software Foundation</title>
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<h2>Microsoft's Software is Malware</h2>

<p><a href="/proprietary/proprietary.html">Other examples of proprietary
malware</a></p>

<div class="highlight-para"> class="comment">
<p>
<em>Malware</em> means software designed to function in ways that
mistreat or harm the user.  (This does not include accidental errors.)
This page explains how Microsoft software is malware.
</p>

<p>
Malware and nonfree software are two different issues.  The difference
between <a href="/philosophy/free-sw.html">free software</a> and
nonfree software is in
<a href="/philosophy/free-software-even-more-important.html">
whether the users have control of the program or vice versa</a>.  It's
not directly a question of what the program <em>does</em> when it
runs.  However, in practice nonfree software is often malware,
because the developer's awareness that the users would be powerless to fix
any malicious functionalities tempts the developer to impose some.
</p>
</div>

<div class="toc"> class="important" style="margin-bottom: 2em">
<p>If you know of an example that ought to be in this page but isn't
here, please write
to <a href="mailto:webmasters@gnu.org"><webmasters@gnu.org></a>
to inform us. Please include the URL of a trustworthy reference or two
to serve as specific substantiation.</p>
</div>
</div>

<div class="malfunctions"> class="summary">
<h3>Type of malware</h3>
<ul>
<li><strong>Type of malware</strong></li>
  <li><a href="#back-doors">Back doors</a></li>
<!--<li><a href="#censorship">Censorship</a></li>-->
  <li><a href="#insecurity">Insecurity</a></li>
<li><a href="#sabotage">Sabotage</a></li>
<li><a href="#interference">Interference</a></li>
<li><a href="#surveillance">Surveillance</a></li>
<li><a href="#drm">Digital restrictions
    management</a> or “DRM” means functionalities “DRM”—functionalities designed
    to restrict what users can do with the data in their computers.</li>
  <li><a href="#insecurity">Insecurity</a></li>
  <li><a href="#interference">Interference</a></li>
  <li><a href="#jails">Jails</a>—systems
    that impose censorship on application programs.</li>
  <li><a href="#sabotage">Sabotage</a></li>
  <li><a href="#subscriptions">Subscriptions</a></li>
  <li><a href="#surveillance">Surveillance</a></li>
  <li><a href="#tethers">Tethers</a>—functionalities that require
    connection to a server.</li>
  <li><a href="#tyrants">Tyrants</a>—systems
    that reject any operating system not “authorized” by the
    manufacturer.</li>
</ul>
</div>
</div>

<h3 id="back-doors">Microsoft Back Doors</h3>
<ul>
  <li><p><a href="https://theintercept.com/2015/12/28/recently-bought-a-windows-computer-microsoft-probably-has-your-encryption-key/">
  Microsoft has already backdoored its disk encryption</a>.</p></li>

  <li><p>Microsoft

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201608171">
    <p id="windows-update">Microsoft
    Windows has a universal back door through which <a href="http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=201806263">
    href="http://www.informationweek.com/microsoft-updates-windows-without-user-permission-apologizes/d/d-id/1059183">
    any change whatsoever can be imposed on the users</a>.</p>

  <p>More information on when

    <p>This was <a
    href="http://slated.org/windows_by_stealth_the_updates_you_dont_want">
  this was used</a>.</p>
    reported in 2007</a> for XP and Vista, and it seems
    that Microsoft used the same method to push the <a
    href="/proprietary/malware-microsoft.html#windows10-forcing">
    Windows 10 downgrade</a> to computers running Windows 7 and 8.</p>

    <p>In Windows 10, the universal back door
    is no longer hidden; all “upgrades” will be <a href="http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/07/windows-10-updates-to-be-automatic-and-mandatory-for-home-users/">forcibly
    href="http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/07/windows-10-updates-to-be-automatic-and-mandatory-for-home-users/">
    forcibly and immediately imposed</a>.</p></li>

  <li><p><a href="http://www.computerworld.com/article/2500036/desktop-apps/microsoft--we-can-remotely-delete-windows-8-apps.html"> imposed</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201512280">
    <p>Microsoft has <a
    href="https://theintercept.com/2015/12/28/recently-bought-a-windows-computer-microsoft-probably-has-your-encryption-key/">
    backdoored its disk encryption</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201308230">
    <p>The German government <a
    href="https://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/08/23/nsa_germany_windows_8/">veers
    away from Windows 8 computers with TPM 2.0</a> (<a
    href="https://www.zeit.de/digital/datenschutz/2013-08/trusted-computing-microsoft-windows-8-nsa">original
    article in German</a>), due to potential back
    door capabilities of the TPM 2.0 chip.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201307300">
    <p>Here is a suspicion that
    we can't prove, but is worth thinking about: <a
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20150206003913/http://www.afr.com/p/technology/intel_chips_could_be_nsa_key_to_ymrhS1HS1633gCWKt5tFtI">
    Writable microcode for Intel and AMD microprocessors</a> may be a
    vehicle for the NSA to invade computers, with the help of Microsoft,
    say respected security experts.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201112080.1">
    <p>Windows 8 also has a back door for <a
    href="https://www.computerworld.com/article/2500036/microsoft--we-can-remotely-delete-windows-8-apps.html">
    remotely deleting apps</a>.</p>

    <p>You might well decide to let a security service that you trust
    remotely <em>deactivate</em> programs that it considers malicious.
    But there is no excuse for <em>deleting</em> the programs, and you
    should have the right to decide who whom (if anyone) to trust in this way.</p></li>

  <li><p>Windows 8's back doors are so gaping
    way.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<h3 id="drm">Microsoft DRM</h3>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201904040">
    <p>Ebooks “bought” from Microsoft's store check that <a
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20160310201616/http://drleonardcoldwell.com/2013/08/23/leaked-german-government-warns-key-entities-not-to-use-windows-8-linked-to-nsa/">
    their DRM is valid by connecting to the German government has decided it can't be trusted</a>.</p></li>

<li><p>Users reported that <a 
    href="http://www.networkworld.com/article/2993490/windows/windows-10-upgrades-reportedly-appearing-as-mandatory-for-some-users.html#tk.rss_all"> store every time their
    “owner” wants to read them. Microsoft was forcing them is going to replace Windows 7 and 8 with all-spying 
    Windows 10</a>.</p>

    <p>Microsoft was in fact close
    this store, <a 
    href="http://www.computerworld.com/article/3012278/microsoft-windows/microsoft-sets-stage-for-massive-windows-10-upgrade-strategy.html">
    attacking computers href="https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-47810367">
    bricking all DRM'ed ebooks it has ever “sold”</a>. (The
    article additionally highlights the pitfalls of DRM.)</p>

    <p>This is another proof that run Windows 7 and 8</a>, switching on a flag 
    that DRM-encumbered product doesn't belong
    to the person who bought it. Microsoft said whether it will refund customers,
    but this is no excuse for selling them restricted books.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M200708130.1">
    <p><a href="http://arstechnica.com/apple/2007/08/aacs-tentacles/">DRM
    in Windows</a>, introduced to “upgrade” cater to Windows 10 when users 
    had turned it off.</p>

    <p>Later on, Microsoft published instructions on <a 
    href="http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/01/microsoft-finally-has-a-proper-way-to-opt-out-of-windows-78-to-windows-10-upgrades/">
    href="/proprietary/proprietary-drm.html#bluray">Bluray</a> disks. 
    (The article talks about how to permanently reject the downgrade to Windows 10</a>.</p>

    <p>This seems to involve use of a back door same malware would later be
    introduced in Windows 7 and 8.</p> MacOS.  That had not been done at the time, but it was
    done subsequently.)</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<h3 id="insecurity">Microsoft Insecurity</h3>

<ul>
    <li><p>A

<p>These bugs are/were not intentional, so unlike the rest of the file
  they do not count as malware. We mention them to refute the
  supposition that prestigious proprietary software doesn't have grave
  bugs.</p>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201705120">
    <p>Exploits of bugs in Windows, which were developed by the NSA
    and then leaked by the Shadowbrokers group, are now being used to <a
    href="https://theintercept.com/2017/05/12/the-nsas-lost-digital-weapon-is-helping-hijack-computers-around-the-world/">attack
    a great number of Windows computers with ransomware</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201608020">
    <p>A <a
    href="http://www.zdnet.com/article/windows-attack-can-steal-your-username-password-and-other-logins/">flaw
    in Internet Explorer and Edge</a> allows an attacker to retrieve
    Microsoft account credentials, if the user is tricked into visiting
    a malicious link.</p>
  </li>
<li>

  <li id="M201312040">
    <p><a
    href="http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/credit-card-fraud-comes-of-age-with-first-known-point-of-sale-botnet/">
    Point-of-sale terminals running Windows were taken over over</a> and
    turned into a botnet for the purpose of collecting customers' credit
    card
numbers</a>.
</p> numbers.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<h3 id="sabotage">Microsoft Sabotage</h3>

<p>The wrongs in this id="interference">Microsoft Interference</h3>

<p>This section are not precisely malware, since they do
not involve making gives examples of Microsoft software harassing or annoying
the program that runs in a way that hurts user, or causing trouble for the user.
But they  These actions are a lot like malware, since they are technical Microsoft
actions that harm to
sabotage but the word “sabotage” is too strong for them.</p>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201809120">
    <p>One version of Windows 10 <a
    href="https://www.ghacks.net/2018/09/12/microsoft-intercepting-firefox-chrome-installation-on-windows-10/">
    harangues users if they try to install Firefox (or Chrome)</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201803190">
    <p>Microsoft is planning to make Windows <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/mar/19/windows-10-microsoft-force-people-edge-browser-windows-mail-chrome-firefox">
    impose use of specific its browser, Edge, in certain circumstances</a>.</p>

    <p>The reason Microsoft software.</p>

<ul>
  <li><p>Once can force things on users is that Windows
    is nonfree.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201703170">
    <p>Windows displays <a
    href="http://www.theverge.com/2017/3/17/14956540/microsoft-windows-10-ads-taskbar-file-explorer">
    intrusive ads for Microsoft products and its partners'
    products</a>.</p>

    <p>The article's author starts from the premise that Microsoft has tricked
    a user into accepting installation
   of right to control what Windows
   10, <a href="http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/06/01/windows_10_nagware_no_way_out/">they
   find that they are denied the option does to cancel or even postpone users, as long as it doesn't
    go “too far”. We disagree.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201612140">
    <p>The Microsoft Telemetry Compatibility service <a
    href="https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-performance/microsoft-telemetry-compatibility/cefa7c8e-49c9-4965-aef6-2d5f01bb38f2?tab=AllReplies#tabs">
    drastically reduces the
   imposed date performances of installation</a>.
   </p>
   <p>This demonstrates what we've said for years: using proprietary
   software means letting someone have power over you, machines running
    Windows 10</a>, and you're
   going to get screwed sooner or later.</p></li>

  <li><p>Microsoft
  has can't be disabled easily.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201608170">
    <p> After <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/16/10780876/microsoft-windows-support-policy-new-processors-skylake">desupported
  all future Intel CPUs for href="/proprietary/malware-microsoft.html#windows10-forcing">forcing the download of Windows 7 and 8</a>. Those 10</a>
    on computers that were running Windows 7 and 8, Microsoft <a
    href="https://www.computerworld.com/article/3012278/microsoft-sets-stage-for-massive-windows-10-upgrade-strategy.html">
    repeatedly switched on a flag that urged users to
    “upgrade” to Windows 10</a> when they had turned
    it off, in the hope that some day they would fail to say no.
    To do this, Microsoft used <a
    href="https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/03/17/microsoft_windows_10_upgrade_gwx_vs_humanity/">
    malware techniques</a>.</p>

    <p>A detailed <a
    href="https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/08/windows-10-microsoft-blatantly-disregards-user-choice-and-privacy-deep-dive">
    analysis of Microsoft's scheme</a> is available on the Electronic
    Frontier Foundation's website.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201603090">
    <p>Microsoft has made companies'
    Windows machines managed by the company's sysadmins <a
    href="http://www.infoworld.com/article/3042397/microsoft-windows/admins-beware-domain-attached-pcs-are-sprouting-get-windows-10-ads.html">harangue
    users to complain to the sysadmins about not “upgrading”
    to Windows 10</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201601160">
    <p>Microsoft has <a
    href="http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/16/10780876/microsoft-windows-support-policy-new-processors-skylake">desupported
    all future Intel CPUs for Windows 7 and 8</a>. Those
    machines will be stuck with the nastier Windows 10.  <a
    href="http://gizmodo.com/only-the-latest-version-of-windows-will-run-on-some-fut-1753545825">
    AMD and Qualcomm CPUs, too</a>.
  </p> too</a>.</p>

    <p>Of course, Windows 7 and 8 are unethical too, because 7 and 8 are unethical too, because they are
    proprietary software.  But this example of Microsoft's wielding its
    power demonstrates the power it holds.</p>

    <p>Free software developers also stop maintaining old versions of
    their programs, but this is not unfair to users because the users of
    free software have control over it.  If it is important enough to you,
    you and other users can hire someone to support the old version on
    your future platforms.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<h3 id="sabotage">Microsoft Sabotage</h3>

<p>The wrongs in this section are not precisely malware, since they do
not involve making the program that runs in a way that hurts the user.
But they are a lot like malware, since they are technical Microsoft
actions that harm the users of specific Microsoft software.</p>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201904041">
    <p>Microsoft has been  <a
    href="https://borncity.com/win/2019/01/17/windows-10-update-kb4023057-re-released-1-16-2019/">
    force-installing a “remediation”
    program</a> on computers running certain
    versions of Windows 10. Remediation, in Microsoft's view, means <a
    href="https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4023057/update-to-windows-10-versions-1507-1511-1607-1703-1709-and-1803-for-up">
    tampering with users' settings and files</a>, notably to
    “repair” any components of the updating system that users
    may have intentionally disabled, and thus regain full power over
    them. Microsoft repeatedly pushed faulty versions of this program to
    users' machines, causing numerous problems, some of which <a
    href="https://www.windowsmode.com/microsoft-suspends-windows-10-october-2018-update-rollout-due-to-critical-bugs/">
    critical</a>.</p>

    <p>This exemplifies the arrogant and manipulative attitude
    that proprietary software developers have learned to adopt
    toward the people they are supposedly serving. Migrate to a <a
    href="/distros/free-distros.html">free operating system</a> if you
    can!</p>

    <p>If your employer makes you run Windows, tell the financial
    department how this wastes your time dealing with endless connections
    and premature hardware failures.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201704194">
    <p>Microsoft has made Windows 7
    and 8 cease to function on certain new computers, <a
    href="https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4012982/the-processor-is-not-supported-together-with-the-windows-version-that">effectively
    forcing their owners to switch to Windows 10</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201704134">
    <p>Microsoft <a
    href="https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/04/new-processors-are-now-blocked-from-receiving-updates-on-old-windows/">
    has dropped support for Windows 7 and 8 on recent processors</a>
    in a big hurry.</p>

    <p>It makes no difference what legitimate reasons Microsoft might
    have for not doing work to support them. If it doesn't want to do
    this work, it should let users do the work.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201606270">
    <p id="windows10-forcing">In its efforts to trick users of Windows
    7 and 8 into installing all-spying Windows 10 against their
    will, Microsoft forced their computers to <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/sep/11/microsoft-downloading-windows-1">
    silently download… the whole of Windows 10</a>! Apparently,
    this was done through a <a
    href="/proprietary/proprietary-back-doors.html#windows-update">
    universal back door</a>. Not only did the unwanted downloads <a
    href="https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/06/03/windows_10_upgrade_satellite_link/">
    jeopardize important operations in regions of the world with poor
    connectivity</a>, but many of the people who let installation proceed
    found out that this “upgrade” was in fact a <a
    href="http://gizmodo.com/woman-wins-10-000-from-microsoft-after-unwanted-window-1782666146">
    downgrade</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201606010">
    <p>Once Microsoft has tricked a user
    into accepting installation of Windows 10, <a
    href="https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/06/01/windows_10_nagware_no_way_out/">they
    find that they are
  proprietary software.  But this example of Microsoft's wielding its
  power demonstrates denied the power it holds.
  </p>
  <p>Free software developers also stop maintaining old versions of
  their programs, but this is not unfair option to users because cancel or even postpone the
  users
    imposed date of free installation</a>.</p>

    <p>This demonstrates what we've said for years: using proprietary
    software means letting someone have control power over it.  If it is important
  enough to you, you and other users can hire someone to support
  the old version on your future platforms.
  </p></li>

  <li><p>Microsoft
    is <a href="http://gizmodo.com/woman-wins-10-000-from-microsoft-after-unwanted-window-1782666146">
    forcibly pushing Windows
    update you're going
    to its version 10</a>, ignoring the flag on Windows 7 get screwed sooner or 8
    that you could set later.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201601310">
    <p>FTDI's proprietary driver
    for its USB-to-serial chips has been designed to not upgrade.  This reaffirms the presence of
    a <a href="/proprietary/proprietary-back-doors.html">universal
    back door in Windows</a> 7 and 8.</p></li>

  <li><p>Windows
    href="http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/10/windows-update-drivers-bricking-usb-serial-chips-beloved-of-hardware-hackers/">sabotage
    alternative compatible chips</a>
    so that they no longer work. Microsoft is <a
    href="http://it.slashdot.org/story/16/01/31/1720259/ftdi-driver-breaks-hardware-again">installing
    this automatically</a> as an “upgrade”.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201511240">
    <p>Windows 10 “upgrades” <a
    href="http://www.ghacks.net/2015/11/24/beware-latest-windows-10-update-may-remove-programs-automatically/">
    delete applications</a> without asking permission.</p></li>

  <li><p>
  Microsoft is <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/sep/11/microsoft-downloading-windows-1">
  repeatedly nagging many users to install Windows 10</a>.
  </p></li>

<li><p>
Microsoft was for months <a
href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/feb/02/microsoft-downloading-windows-10-automatic-update">
tricking users into “upgrading” to Windows 10</a>, if they
failed to notice and say no.
</p></li>

  <li><p><a
href="https://web.archive.org/web/20130622044225/http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/open-enterprise/2013/06/how-can-any-company-ever-trust-microsoft-again/index.htm">
  Microsoft informs the NSA of bugs in Windows before fixing them.</a></p></li>

  <li><p><a href="http://www.computerworlduk.com/blogs/open-enterprise/windows-xp-end-of-an-era-end-of-an-error-3569489/">
  Microsoft permission.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201503260">
    <p><a
    href="https://www.computerworlduk.com/it-business/windows-xp-end-of-an-era-end-of-an-error-3569489/">Microsoft
    cut off security fixes for Windows XP, except to some big users that
    pay exorbitantly.</a></p> exorbitantly</a>.</p>

    <p>Microsoft is going to <a href="http://www.computerworlduk.com/news/security/3605515/more-than-half-of-all-ie-users-face-patch-axe-in-10-months/">
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20181030194725/https://www.computerworlduk.com/applications/more-than-half-of-all-ie-users-face-patch-axe-in-10-months-3605515/">
    cut off support for some Internet Explorer versions</a> in the same
    way.</p>

    <p>A person or company has the right to cease to work on a particular
    program; the wrong here is Microsoft does this after having made the
    users dependent on Microsoft, because they are not free to ask anyone
    else to work on the program for them.</p></li> them.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201306220">
    <p><a
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20130622044225/http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/open-enterprise/2013/06/how-can-any-company-ever-trust-microsoft-again/index.htm">Microsoft
    informs the NSA of bugs in Windows before fixing them</a>.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<h3 id="interference">Microsoft Interference</h3>

<p>Various proprietary programs often mess up the user's system. They are like sabotage, but they are not grave enough id="subscriptions">Microsoft Subscriptions</h3>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201507150">
    <p>Microsoft Office forces users <a
    href="https://www.computerworld.com/article/2948755/office-for-windows-10-will-require-office-365-subscription-on-pcs-larger-tablets.html">to
    subscribe to Office 365 to be able to create/edit documents</a>.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<h3 id="surveillance">Microsoft Surveillance</h3>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201908210">
    <p>Microsoft recorded users of Xboxes and had <a
    href="https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/43kv4q/microsoft-human-contractors-listened-to-xbox-owners-homes-kinect-cortana">
    human workers listen to qualify 
for the word “sabotage”. Nonetheless, they are nasty recordings</a>.</p>

    <p>Morally, we see no difference between having human workers listen and wrong. This section describes examples of Microsoft committing
interference.</p>

<ul>

<li>In order
    having speech-recognition systems listen.  Both intrude on privacy.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201908151">
    <p>Skype refuses to say whether it can <a
    href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2012/07/20/skype_won_t_comment_on_whether_it_can_now_eavesdrop_on_conversations_.html">eavesdrop
    on calls</a>.</p>

    <p>That almost certainly means it can do so.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201710134">
    <p>Windows 10 telemetry program sends information to increase Windows 10's install base, Microsoft
<a
href="https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/08/windows-10-microsoft-blatantly-disregards-user-choice-and-privacy-deep-dive">
blatantly disregards user choice about
    the user's computer and privacy</a>.
</li>

<li><p>Microsoft has
started <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jul/04/microsoft-windows-10-full-screen-upgrade-notification-pop-up-reminder">nagging their use of the computer.</p>

    <p>Furthermore, for users obnoxiously and repeatedly to install Windows 10</a>.</p></li>

  <li><p>Microsoft
      <a href="http://news.softpedia.com/news/windows-10-upgrade-reportedly-starting-automatically-on-windows-7-pcs-501651.shtml">is
        tricking
        users</a> <a
href="https://web.archive.org/web/20160522062607/http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/03/17/microsoft_windows_10_upgrade_gwx_vs_humanity/">
into replacing Windows 7 with who installed the
    fourth stable build of Windows 10</a>.</p></li>

  <li><p>Microsoft has made companies' 10, called the
    “Creators Update,” Windows machines managed by maximized the
company's
sysadmins surveillance <a href="http://www.infoworld.com/article/3042397/microsoft-windows/admins-beware-domain-attached-pcs-are-sprouting-get-windows-10-ads.html">harangue
users to complain to
    href="https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/10/dutch-privacy-regulator-says-that-windows-10-breaks-the-law">
    by force setting the sysadmins about not “upgrading” telemetry mode to “Full”</a>.</p>

    <p>The <a
    href="https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/privacy/configure-windows-diagnostic-data-in-your-organization#full-level">
    “Full” telemetry mode</a> allows Microsoft Windows
10</a>.</p></li>
</ul>

<h3 id="surveillance">Microsoft Surveillance</h3>

<ul>

<li><p>By
    engineers to access, among other things, registry keys <a
    href="https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc939702.aspx">which
    can contain sensitive information like administrator's login
    password</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201702020">
    <p>DRM-restricted files can be used to <a
    href="https://yro.slashdot.org/story/17/02/02/231229/windows-drm-protected-files-used-to-decloak-tor-browser-users">
    identify people browsing through Tor</a>. The vulnerability exists
    only if you use Windows.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201611240">
    <p>By default, Windows 10 <a
    href="http://betanews.com/2016/11/24/microsoft-shares-windows-10-telemetry-data-with-third-parties">sends
    debugging information to Microsoft, including core dumps</a>. Microsoft
    now distributes them to another company.</p></li>

<li>It company.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201608170.1">
    <p>In order to increase Windows 10's install base, Microsoft <a class="not-a-duplicate" 
    href="https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/08/windows-10-microsoft-blatantly-disregards-user-choice-and-privacy-deep-dive">
    blatantly disregards user choice and privacy</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201603170">
    <p><a
    href="https://duo.com/blog/bring-your-own-dilemma-oem-laptops-and-windows-10-security">
    Windows 10 comes with 13 screens of snooping options</a>, all enabled
    by default, and turning them off would be daunting to most users.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201601050">
    <p>It appears <a
    href="http://www.ghacks.net/2016/01/05/microsoft-may-be-collecting-more-data-than-initially-thought/">
    Windows 10 sends data to Microsoft about what applications are 
running</a>.</li>

<li><p>A
    running</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201511264">
    <p>A downgrade to Windows 10 deleted surveillance-detection
    applications.  Then another downgrade inserted a general spying
    program.  Users noticed this and complained, so Microsoft renamed it <a
href="https://web.archive.org/web/20160407082751/http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/11/26/microsoft_renamed_data_slurper_reinserted_windows_10/">
    href="https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/11/26/microsoft_renamed_data_slurper_reinserted_windows_10/">
    to give users the impression it was gone</a>.</p>

    <p>To use proprietary software is to invite such treatment.</p></li>

  <li><p>
  <a href="https://duo.com/blog/bring-your-own-dilemma-oem-laptops-and-windows-10-security"> treatment.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201508130">
    <p><a
    href="http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/08/even-when-told-not-to-windows-10-just-cant-stop-talking-to-microsoft/">
    Windows 10 comes with 13 screens of snooping options</a>, all enabled by default,
  and turning them off would be daunting sends identifiable information to most users.</p></li>

  <li><p>
  Windows Microsoft</a>, even if
    a user turns off its Bing search and Cortana features, and activates
    the privacy-protection settings.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201507300">
    <p>Windows 10 <a href="https://web.archive.org/web/20151001035410/https://jonathan.porta.codes/2015/07/30/windows-10-seems-to-have-some-scary-privacy-defaults/">
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20180923125732/https://jonathan.porta.codes/2015/07/30/windows-10-seems-to-have-some-scary-privacy-defaults/">
    ships with default settings that show no regard for the privacy of
    its users</a>, giving Microsoft the “right” to snoop on
    the users' files, text input, voice input, location info, contacts,
    calendar records and web browsing history, as well as automatically
    connecting the machines to open hotspots and showing targeted ads.</p>

    <p>We can suppose Microsoft look at users' files for the US government on
  demand, though the “privacy policy” does not explicit say so. Will it
  look at users' files for the Chinese government on demand?</p></li>

  <li><p>
  <a href="http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/08/even-when-told-not-to-windows-10-just-cant-stop-talking-to-microsoft/">
  Windows 10 sends identifiable information to Microsoft</a>, even if a user
  turns off its Bing search and Cortana features, and activates the
  privacy-protection settings.</p></li>

  <li><p>The unique “advertising ID” for each user enables other companies to
  track the browsing of each specific user.</p></li>

  <li>Spyware in Windows 8: <a href="https://web.archive.org/web/20160313105805/http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/02/28/windows_update_keeps_tabs/">
  Windows Update snoops on at users' files for the user.</a>
  <a href="http://www.infoworld.com/t/microsoft-windows/look-the-black-underbelly-of-windows-81-blue-222175">
  Windows 8.1 snoops US government
    on local searches.</a> And there's a
  <a href="http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article40836.html">
  secret NSA key in Windows</a>, whose functions we don't know.</li>

  <li><p>
  <a href="http://www.itproportal.com/2014/05/14/microsoft-openly-offered-cloud-data-fbi-and-nsa/">
  Microsoft SkyDrive allows demand, though the NSA to directly examine “privacy policy” does not explicitly
    say so. Will it look at users' data.</a></p>
  </li>

  <li><p>Spyware in Skype:
      <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/petercohan/2013/06/20/project-chess-how-u-s-snoops-on-your-skype/">
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/petercohan/2013/06/20/project-chess-how-u-s-snoops-on-your-skype/</a>.
      Microsoft changed Skype
      <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/11/microsoft-nsa-collaboration-user-data">
      specifically files for spying</a>.</p> the Chinese government
    on demand?</p>
  </li>

  <li><p>
  Microsoft

  <li id="M201506170">
    <p>Microsoft uses Windows 10's “privacy policy”
    to overtly impose a “right” to look at
    users' files at any time. Windows 10 full disk encryption <a
    href="https://edri.org/microsofts-new-small-print-how-your-personal-data-abused/">
    gives Microsoft a key</a>.</p>

    <p>Thus, Windows is overt malware in regard to surveillance, as in
    other issues.</p>

    <p>We can suppose Microsoft look at users' files for the US government
    on demand, though the “privacy policy” does not explicit
    say so. Will it look at users' files for the Chinese government
    on demand?</p>

    <p>The unique “advertising ID” for each user enables
    other companies to track the browsing of each specific user.</p>

    <p>It's as if Microsoft has deliberately chosen to make Windows 10
    maximally evil on every dimension; to make a grab for total power
    over anyone that doesn't drop Windows now.</p></li>

</ul>

<h3 id="drm">Microsoft DRM</h3>
<ul>
  <li><p><a href="http://arstechnica.com/apple/2007/08/aacs-tentacles/">
  DRM (digital restrictions mechanisms) now.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201410040">
    <p>It only gets worse with time.  <a
    href="http://www.techworm.net/2014/10/microsofts-windows-10-permission-watch-every-move.html">
    Windows 10 requires users to give permission for total snooping</a>,
    including their files, their commands, their text input, and their
    voice input.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201405140">
    <p><a
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20190421070310/https://www.itproportal.com/2014/05/14/microsoft-openly-offered-cloud-data-fbi-and-nsa/">
    Microsoft SkyDrive allows the NSA to directly examine users'
    data</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201307110">
    <p>Skype contains <a
    href="https://web.archive.org/web/20130928235637/http://www.forbes.com/sites/petercohan/2013/06/20/project-chess-how-u-s-snoops-on-your-skype/">spyware</a>.
    Microsoft changed Skype <a
    href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/11/microsoft-nsa-collaboration-user-data">
    specifically for spying</a>.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201307080">
    <p>Spyware in older versions of Windows: <a
    href="https://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/02/28/windows_update_keeps_tabs/">
    Windows Update snoops on the user</a>. <a
    href="https://www.infoworld.com/article/2611451/a-look-at-the-black-underbelly-of-windows-8-1--blue-.html">
    Windows 8.1 snoops on local searches</a>. And there's a <a
    href="http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article40836.html"> secret NSA
    key in Windows</a>, introduced to
  cater whose functions we don't know.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<h3 id="tethers">Microsoft Tethers</h3>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201708310">
    <p>The recent versions of Microsoft Office require the user to <a href="/proprietary/proprietary-drm.html#bluray">Bluray</a> disks.
  (The article also talks about how
    href="https://products.office.com/en-us/microsoft-office-for-home-and-school-faq?legRedir=true&CorrelationId=c9c5b549-11ad-4f71-bf81-b7e069fdb372">
    connect to Microsoft servers at least every thirty-one
    days</a>. Otherwise, the same malware would later software will refuse to edit any documents
    or create new ones. It will be introduced
  in MacOS.)</p></li> restricted to viewing and printing.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<h3 id="jails">Microsoft Jails</h3>
<ul>
  <li><p><a href="http://www.itworld.com/operating-systems/301057/microsoft-metro-app-store-lockdown">

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201706130">
    <p>Windows 10 S was a jail: <a
    href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/03/windows-10-s-microsoft-faster-pc-comparison">
    only programs from the Windows Store could be
    installed and executed</a>. It was however possible to <a
    href="https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/13/15789998/microsoft-windows-10-s-upgrade-windows-10-pro-guide">
    upgrade to Windows 10 Pro</a>. The successor of Windows
    10 S is a special configuration of Windows 10 called <a
    href="https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/4020089/windows-10-in-s-mode-faq">
    S mode</a>. The major difference with Windows 10 S is that there is
    an easy way to switch out of S mode.</p>
  </li>

  <li id="M201210080">
    <p><a
    href="https://www.itworld.com/article/2832657/microsoft-metro-app-store-lock-down.html">
    Windows 8 on “mobile devices” is (now defunct) was a jail</a>: it censors the
  user's choice of application programs.</p></li>
    jail</a>.</p>
  </li>
</ul>

<h3 id="tyrants">Microsoft Tyrants</h3>
<ul>
<li>

<ul class="blurbs">
  <li id="M201607150">
    <p>Microsoft accidentally left a way for users
    to install GNU/Linux on Windows RT tablets, but now it has <a
    href="http://www.securitynewspaper.com/2016/07/15/microsoft-silently-kills-dev-backdoor-boots-linux-locked-windows-rt-slabs/">
    “fixed” the “error”</a>. Those arrogant
bastards They have the gall
    to call this “protecting” the users.  The article talks
    of installing “Linux”, but the context shows it is really
    <a href="/gnu/linux-and-gnu.html">GNU/Linux</a> that users
install.
</p> install.</p>
  </li>
  <li><p><a href="http://fsf.org/campaigns/secure-boot-vs-restricted-boot/">

  <li id="M201110110">
    <p><a href="https://fsf.org/campaigns/secure-boot-vs-restricted-boot/">
    Mobile devices that come with Windows 8 are tyrants</a>: they block
  users from installing other or modified operating systems.</p></li> tyrants</a>.</p>
  </li>
</ul>


<p>As this page shows, if you do want to clean your computer of malware,
the first software to delete is Windows.</p>

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