31 July 2015

Windows 10 Warning

First, the good news:  As best i can tell from my introductory experience, Windows 10 is vastly superior to Windows 8.

What??? you wonder.  Why in the world would a man who’s been around computers as long as i have be downloading and installing an operating system only a day old?  No no no, we learned decades ago to let others be the early adapters and fight off all the initial bugs.

Well, see, i’m leaving on my Portland adventure in a few days and will need to take my little laptop with me, and the damn thing was running Windows 8, the operating system from hell that i could not bear the idea of using on another trip.

So i thought, well, Windows 10 cannot possibly be worse, so let’s get it installed.  And after a fair amount of hacking and cursing yesterday i got it working and discovered that it’s much superior to Windows 8.

And then foolishly i thought i’d try out their new replacement for Windows Explorer, a browser they’re calling Edge.  So i opened it and POW, got a popup window announcing that a possible virus had been detected and that to keep me safe, Edge had been brought to a halt.  A dead halt, so dead that i couldn’t even close the window it was in and had to go to the Task Manager and kill the process.  The good news was that Chrome worked just fine, so i should have just ignored Edge.

But no, this morning i tried it again, got the same popup announcement, and decided i’d go ahead and call the listed number on the popup for tech support.

How refreshing, got a charming Indian woman who was very sympathetic and chatty and listened patiently to my explanation of being stopped dead and unable to even close the Edge window normally.  She dug around a bit and told me that they could straighten out the problem but that the warranty on my laptop had expired and needed to be renewed.

She was so charming that i agreed to do this, and she handed me off to another technician to take care of the warranty issue.

After i’d paid for that, then they commenced to hack around for three hours on my computer while i watched them trying to get rid of that popup that had brought Edge to a standstill.

They finally succeeded, whereupon i discovered, once i could run Edge, that i didn’t really like it that much.

I also had time to realize, wait.  The people who i’d paid to help me get rid of that hideous popup were the same people whose phone number was on the popup and that i was not, in fact, talking to Microsoft employees but rather a company called Audney that specializes in providing Microsoft support.

But i have to say, the Audney folks sure are charming and slick.

Been quite a while since i’d been scammed, or at least sold something i didn’t need, and hey, it was only a few lunches worth.

However, for you i recommend that if Edge won’t work and gives you a popup with a phone number, don’t call.  It’s not Microsoft.  Just use a different browser.

Oh, and while i’m warning you, when you doing the initial setup for Windows 10, do not accept the privacy defaults but do the custom installation that lets you turn off some of the most egregious spying stuff.

Meanwhile, truth is where you find it (in this case, on the outskirts of Geyserville):


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