Tech News

Microsoft Tricks Users Into Windows 10 Upgrades, Windows Phone Is Dead… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 23-05-2016

Microsoft resorts to dirty tactics with Windows 10, Windows Phone is deader than a dead thing, Reddit introduces embeds on other sites, Edward Snowden says no to Allo, and the new Star Trek Beyond trailer debuts.


Windows 10 Upgrades Are Hard to Avoid

Microsoft is getting increasingly desperate in its bid to persuade us all to upgrade to Windows 10. And its latest effort employs dirty tactics, essentially fooling people into upgrading to Windows 10 by changing how the nagscreen works.

Up to now, users who don’t want to upgrade to Windows 10 10 Compelling Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 10 Windows 10 is coming on July 29. Is it worth upgrading for free? If you are looking forward to Cortana, state of the art gaming, or better support for hybrid devices - yes, definitely! And... Read More could just keep Microsoft happy by closing the nagscreen whenever it popped up. But that’s no longer the case. Now, closing the nagscreen means you’re giving Microsoft permission to upgrade your computer to Windows 10.

This is because the nagscreen now tells you Windows 10 is a Recommended Update Microsoft Strikes Again - How to NOT Upgrade to Windows 10 Windows 10 is now a recommended update on Windows 7 and 8.1 computers. If you're not yet ready to upgrade, it's time to double-check your Windows Update settings. We show you how. Read More which will be scheduled for a date sometime in the future. Clicking X, as you have been doing for the last six months, is you agreeing to the upgrade. In order to cancel it, you need to click the tiny link instead.

It isn’t clear whether Microsoft changed this on purpose in order to catch people out. And anyone caught out by this can downgrade to their previous OS for a limited time. However, it’s annoyed a lot people, including a host of angry Redditors, and Brad Chacos from PC World.


If Microsoft wants people not only to adopt Windows 10, but to actually love it, tricking them into installing it in the first place is not the way to go about things. So, if you see this new nagscreen, don’t blindly click the X in the top right-hand corner, click the link under the date instead.

Windows Phone Is Deader Than Dead

Just in case you were holding out some hope for Windows Phone, its market share shows it’s deader than a very dead thing Windows Phone Is Dead, Amazon Builds Spotify Killer... [Tech News Digest] Windows Phone sales are laughably small, Amazon rumored to be targeting Spotify, Apple recalls 12 years-worth of power adapters, Netflix gets blocked in Indonesia, and The Angry Birds Movie in all its glory. Read More . In the first quarter of 2015, Windows Phone managed a 2.5 percent market share. In the first quarter of 2016, Windows Phone managed a 0.7 percent market share.

This is all according to Gartner, which estimates that around 2.4 million Windows Phone handsets were bought in the last quarter, compared to the 8.6 million bought over the same period 12 months ago. Microsoft sold the vast majority of these handsets, so other manufacturers are doing even worse.

Microsoft seems to be taking a break from the mobile side of things, with no new Lumia handsets on the horizon. There are rumors of a Surface-branded handset being launched in 2017, but the time being at least, Microsoft’s mobile business is a complete non-entity. Which is why we stopped covering Windows Phone MakeUseOf Says Goodbye To Windows Phone This is going to be a tearful goodbye, buddy, but it has to happen. MakeUseOf will soon be parting ways with Windows Phone. Read More quite a while ago.


Embed Reddit Posts on Other Sites

You can now embed Reddit posts on other sites, with live Reddit threads now shareable in their entirety. Love it or loathe it, Reddit often lives up to its promise 9 Neat Reddit Hacks You Should Try Right Now Can you make your Reddit experience even better? Of course you can – just follow these nine neat hacks! Read More of being “the front page of the Internet,” with a sizable portion of content you’ll see online having originated on Reddit.

As Reddit’s Mark Luckie told TechCrunch:

“The great thing about Reddit content is that it’s usually longer, it’s more insightful, more in-depth than you’ll see on other social platforms. You’re going to get a more robust conversation.”

Embeds should save people like me from having to make do with a screenshot and/or link to the site. And people like you, who read articles containing content sourced from Reddit, can now click through to Reddit directly rather than be directed there in a roundabout manner.


Edward Snowden Isn’t a Fan of Allo

One of the many cool things Google revealed at Google I/O 2016 The Best of Google I/O 2016, Nokia Makes a Comeback... [Tech News Digest] Google reveals new products and services at I/O 2016, Nokia comes alive once more, a reminder that Facebook Live broadcasts are public, and the first teaser for the new Star Trek TV series. Read More was Allo, a new messaging app designed to be used alongside all of its other messaging apps. Unfortunately, while Allo does offer end-to-end encryption, it has to be manually switched on. Unlike WhatsApp, which offers it as standard Why WhatsApp's End-to-End Encryption Is a Big Deal WhatsApp recently announced that they would be enabling end-to-end encryption in their service. But what does this mean for you? Here's what you need to know about WhatsApp encryption. Read More .

This lack of default end-to-end encryption has been noted by various people, including Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower turned privacy expert. As you can see in the tweet embedded above, Snowden calls Allo “dangerous” and “unsafe” in its current state, and recommends we, “Avoid it for now”.

Watch the New Star Trek Beyond Trailer

And finally, Paramount Pictures has released a new trailer for Star Trek Beyond, and this one takes a much more measured approach to the whole thing. The first trailer had people worried, as it was all loud music and mindless action, which is not what Star Trek is, or should be, about.


This trailer for Star Trek Beyond, directed by Justin Lin of Fast and Furious fame, is more refined, more relaxed, and more about the interplay between the various characters. Sure, there are still gunfights, explosions, and motorbikes, but at least it has shades of the Star Trek of old.

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Has Microsoft gone too far with its Windows 10 shenanigans this time? Is there any hope for Windows Phone? Will you be embedding Reddit posts on other sites? Do you value Edward Snowden’s opinions? Are you looking forward to seeing Star Trek Beyond?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.

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    June 22, 2016 at 11:36 am

    This user used Winreducer and removed windows update. Problem solved!

  2. Alan Kelly
    May 25, 2016 at 5:53 am

    The Windows 10 upgrade is currently FREE until July 2016. If I was someone still using Windows 7 or Windows 8, I would upgrade sooner rather then later or you will have to cough up an extra $200+ or £170+. Its a no brainer upgrade now before they start charging.

  3. Brew
    May 25, 2016 at 1:19 am

    This "forcing you to update" is horse manure. I have clicked that X in the corner over an over. Still no Win 10. I will try it out eventually, but it wont be by accident.

    All these fools saying they are going to switch to mac.....go ahead. They force more upon you by not being backwards compatible. Like paying for a new machine more often? Go ahead and switch.

  4. David
    May 24, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    I'd really like to see a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft for forcing Windows 10 upgrades, as it has cost a lot of idle time in my business. There is no benefit to Windows 10 here, and some of the computers here are older and don't do enough to merit the expense of upgraded hardware, so we're deliberately waiting until Windows 7 is no longer available before being forced into Windows 10 adoption as older computers fail and are replaced. In the meantime, every time a forced Windows 10 upgrade happens, we have employees sitting idle while we reverse it. In many cases, removing and then hiding the update doesn't work, so we're waiting to see how the "registry key fix" works out.

    And Microsoft should really take the hint: If someone doesn't want something that you're trying to give them for free, they REALLY don't want it, and trying to trick or force them into taking it is just going to drive them to the competition. This is my 40th year in IT, and I can think of very little that I would find more distasteful than having to convert our Windows infrastructure to a Mac-based infrastructure, and yet having Windows 10, with all its spying and bandwidth wasting, rammed down my throat is distasteful enough to make me consider it.

    • Anonymous
      May 25, 2016 at 8:53 pm

      I suggest you update your skills we have over 1500 windows 7 pc's and tablets and none receive any update messages or so called nags because we control what updates are allowed. If you are a business and you have not set controls on what updates your systems then I would be very concerned with your security model

      • HAWHAW
        June 22, 2016 at 11:43 am

        Windows 10 is a forced update, you wouldn't see it coming or eventually you would get sneaky bastard update that would install it.

  5. DCW
    May 24, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    So a traitor gives out computer advice?
    No thanks.
    I'd rather trust Google, than someone who sold secrets and placed a great many peoples lives at risk.
    People that (most Western citizens do not acknowledge), stand between you and the really, really bad guys

    • HAWHAW
      June 22, 2016 at 11:56 am

      The same Google that sells their data to third parties including the NSA? Whistle blower Snowden had a point, yes he used public records to shield his escape but what else could he have done? Consider the fact the information is already public knowledge to any defense contractor. You would literally be fighting an uphill battle armed with a spoon. If you think Snowden is a traitor you are just one of many people who never question their existence, I think agent Smith and you would get along just fine.

      • DCW
        June 22, 2016 at 12:46 pm

        The security services eavesdrop to keep everyone safe. They know (and I know) the bad guys exist. The bad guys are unfortunately not always idiots, so the security services need every weapon at their disposal to fight them.
        Snowden revealed a great deal of information, useful to those that want to murder you and yours, and in doing so, placed a great many lives at risk with his misguided liberal agenda.
        I have no problem with GCHQ or the NSA etc knowing anything about me, as long as they keep fighting the demons at the door.

        • HAWHAW
          June 23, 2016 at 12:46 am

          So what, you will brand half the nation as traitors then? I'm not saying there aren't any real threats but why fix what isn't broken? Its like baking a pie everyone gets a slice, the catch is you have to sign an NDA that you can't share it with your foreign neighbors only to realize later that it also includes people around you. So you sit there in the comfy chair and you ponder should I eat this pie or throw it.

  6. Korfuntu
    May 24, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Two points:

    1) I have hit the 'X' in the upper right corner of the Windows 10 upgrade notification multiple times on my Windows 7 Ultimate machine, and it has NEVER started a Windows 10 upgrade. I have two computers running Windows 7 Ultimate and the experience has been the same on both. So any claim that this is the experience of every Windows 7 user is FALSE. One of my machines is dual-booting into Windows 8.1, and the experience there is the same as well, so the same holds true for Windows 8.1 users as well. I have no idea what each of the users who reports an upgrade they cannot avoid is doing, or how they have their computers configured that causes an upgrade to Windows 10 they cannot stop or postpone. For the record, I have three other computers that I have upgraded to Windows 10 without issue.

    2) If you complete the upgrade, you can then turn around and go back to your previous operating system version immediately. Ed Bott at the web site has a great article describing how Windows 10 archives your old operating system and creates all new folders for the Windows 10 upgrade, allowing you to return to your old version of Windows with just a few mouse clicks in a very quick restoration that just works!!! Once you have performed the update, even if you restore your old version, you can then reactivate the Windows 10 upgrade that is already on your machine very easily also and not worry about the July 29th deadline for the free upgrade.

    Microsoft is very pushy about wanting you to do the upgrade...That is clear. They are no different from many other software vendors in wanting their users to have the latest and greatest, which makes support easier and gives their customers a more advanced product. We can forgive Microsoft if they seem perturbed that adoption rates of Windows 10 are still lagging for what they believe is a clearly superior version of Windows, but the truth is that many of their customers just do not see the need to upgrade and are satisfied with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. I just hope that Windows users of versions 7 and 8.1 are not shut out of a free upgrade just because they have been swayed by negative coverage of the upgrade process in the media.

  7. Anonymous
    May 24, 2016 at 7:32 am

    ( From Another Thread )

    I Love My Legacy Tech The More And More With Each Passing Day.

    I Got Blitzkrieged Carpet Bombing Style After APRIL 8, 2014.

    I Finally Got A Guy Who Apologized To All Of Us Luddites For Being A Jerk About It, Because The Tables Have Turned On Him, Now.

    Stupid Jerks Always Forget That KARMA And PAYBACK Are The 2 Most Inseparable Sisters.



  8. Doug
    May 24, 2016 at 7:18 am

    After years of disgust at corporate railroading one corporation I was begining to warm to was Microsoft.

    If this latest revelation is true then I am disgusted. An X in the top right corner should close a window not accept it's terms.

    OK we should all read messages but if you have been annoyingly receiving the same thing day after day it is understandable you may be excused for not reading it.

    I was in the process of upgrading my machines to Windows 10. One is done and I am becoming familiar with it but I wanted to leave the others until manageable and convenient. I was not leaving it to the last minute either (29 July)

    I have found some problems with the one I have upgraded. So far I have been unable to find a Microsoft help contact, it seems to be left to the community to help each other. That unfortunately cannot be relied on I'd much prefer the official fix.

  9. pmshah
    May 24, 2016 at 2:04 am

    Wasn't the fate of Windows phone determined to some extent by Intel coming up with nothing better than an Atom variant for the device? Personally I would be happy with Windows phone even if it just incorporated CE 3.0 based PDA functions on a modern hardware platform. I would abandon mt Android phones in a blink.

  10. Mary Z
    May 24, 2016 at 1:16 am

    Is there a link to a how-to for downgrading to Win 7?


    • Callum Cockburn
      May 24, 2016 at 12:27 pm

      There should just be an option to restore previous installation if you've had the upgrade for less than a month. Other wise, you just need to go for a full wipe and re-install.

  11. Anonymous
    May 24, 2016 at 12:10 am

    How is Windows 10 "upgrade" nag any different than Apple's IOS telling me once or twice a day there is a new version of IOS, Update Now, Later..... ?

    • Anonymous
      May 24, 2016 at 2:30 am

      Two big differences: a) While iOS doesn't have a "Cancel scheduled upgrade" option, b) Windows 10 does, but hides it, while the "X" in the upper right hand corner starts the upgrade instead of dismissing the window with no action, as used to be standard for all Windows dialogs not generated by malware.

      • Zauldy
        May 24, 2016 at 12:23 pm

        What's the second difference?

        You said the first was iOS doesn't have a "Cancel scheduled upgrade" and Windows 10 does, but hides it.

        What's the second difference?

    • Anonymous
      May 24, 2016 at 5:50 pm

      My point was that the update nags are relentless for Win10 and iOS

  12. Ben C
    May 23, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    I'd recommend using Signal if you want privacy and encryption. It's what WhatsApp is using on its backend anyway.