I got an email from Holly Raiche, ISOC-au ex ED / ICANN luminary / ACCAN director, that she forwarded to the ISOC-au / Internet Australia mailing list from a friend who lives in the Cook Islands who was complaining that Windows 10 had eaten her satellite internet quota of 15GB and run up a NZD280 excess bill in less than half a month.
Of course the causes are Windows 10 cloud services and it automatically updating itself.
I mentioned this Internet consumption problem online and Phil Dobbie called me and he recorded a Balls Radio podcast segment (at 18:52) with me on the topic.
Having done this I thought I should have a play with Windows 10 myself so I downloaded it this morning, all 4GB of it.
Then I attempted to buy a license from Microsoft.
Ouch! This was painful and didn’t work. I got as far as putting my PayPal details in and confirming my shipping address (for a download only version of Windows) and then the browser wedged looping around between Microsoft and some analytics company.
I tried three different browsers on my Mac.
Eventually I created a new Microsoft Live account and tried again with Chrome which worked! Perhaps it didn’t like my @mac.com address? More likely it has decided my decade old Live account is defective in some way because I never respond to their spam.
Full marks to Microsoft for charging GST and issuing a proper Tax Invoice.
Naturally the expensive new license key didn’t work!
So I downloaded Windows 10 again, thinking “well perhaps there is some timestamp thing” since the downloads seem to be generated specifically for each customer and have a time limit for use.
Another 4GB of download later and it still didn’t work.
I thought a bit harder: perhaps selecting the single language version was a mistake? So I selected the plain Windows 10 and put International English into the default language box.
Another 4GB (that’s 12GB so far!) download and the key worked! I selected Custom install because I’ve been paying attention to social media… Things ground along at a fairly rapid pace and eventually I was given this evil choice:
Think about that! I have the choice of automatically connecting to wifi networks my contacts share with me. It didn’t offer the choice to prevent my computer from sharing that information. Perhaps that comes later? I still haven’t seen an option to disable this insidious hole in my WiFi network security.
I wonder what else Windows 10 shares? Let’s look at the Update and Security screens. “Choose how updates are delivered” looks interesting.
Bless Microsoft’s cold heart, they’re using my PC as a P2P node and I’m joining the sharing economy where people on the Internet can get parts of the latest update from Microsoft from my computer. Good job I’m a nice guy and not messing with those files…
Windows 10 also offered to give all my private stuff (keyboard input and document “inking”, whatever that is) to Cortana which would ensure Cortana could help me more. I clicked “Skip”.
It offered to send pretty much everything I type into a web browser to online services to check spelling and improve page loading. Say what?!? I clicked “Skip”.
Now it looks like Windows 10 already sucked down an update and is planning on rebooting at 3am tomorrow to apply them. Again, bless its little digital heart. Good job it’s not running my alarm clock or swimming pool or watering system.
I selected Reboot Now and everything worked. Quick booting, smooth, impressive even.
Moving along, VMware Fusion offers a VM-side tool. Installing this seems to have confused the display driver. It’s not a big issue but I had to turn high performance graphics off and untick Use Full resolution for Retina display before things worked nicely on my external monitor. Not a big issue but another thing that burnt some time.
I ran a quick browser benchmark on Internet Explorer vs Safari and I think 22,000 vs 25,000 was pretty much line-ball. It doesn’t seem that running in a VMware VM does Windows 10 too much harm. I don’t actually own any modern Windows software so I can’t test Word against Word for instance.
I’ve stopped being a WinXP hipster and have Windows 10 running in a VM on my Mac. It’s like carrying around a seductive little portal into hell. I can run all those vendor config tools for DC to AC power inverters and network appliances without fear that my Windows will certainly be p0wned within minutes, but now I’m back to the simple uncertainty about when. I can run Internet Explorer so all those government websites will be slightly more cooperative and I can look at a desktop that belongs on a tablet. Cool.