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CARLISLE, Pa.—The National Computer Security Association (NCSA) has announced that Windows 10, the aggressively marketed new operating system from Microsoft, now qualifies as malware. The NCSA, headquartered in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, made the announcement after receiving “countless troubling reports” of Microsoft’s having “gone rogue” in promoting and distributing Windows 10.
“Microsoft’s disregard for the integrity of the computer experience—not to mention the rights and privacy of consumers—leaves us with no choice but to declare Windows 10 malware and to warn people not to install it on their computers,” said the NCSA’s chief contact, Richard Huffman. “If it smells like malware and it acts like malware, it’s malware.”
Windows 10’s descent into the underworld began months before its July 29 launch when a ghostly, all-white Windows icon began to appear unbidden in the system trays of computers running Windows 7 or 8, alerting users that the new absolutely free version of Windows 10 would be available soon and that persons interested in obtaining a copy absolutely free during the year following its release could sign up now for that upgrade.
Intrusive? Perhaps, but not remarkably so in this post-privacy, pop-up-ads-over-urinals digital age. Besides, anybody who wanted to get rid of this intruder, whoops, getting rid of the look-at-me-look-at-me-look-at-me icon turned out to be more difficult than getting rid of bed bugs—and much less likely to be permanent. Your humble author learned this after finding and following instructions for removing the goddamn icon from the system tray of his Windows-7-running HP Notebook g4 series, only to see that fucker raise its passive-aggressive head in the same system tray two days later. Sadly your humble author caved in, closed his eyes, bit the pillow, installed Windows 10, didn’t care for it, then rolled that notebook back to Windows 7 Home Premium.
The righteous smile of relief had not yet faded from his face when what to his wandering eye should appear? Yep, right there in the system tray, like a turd in a punch bowl, that fucking Windows 10-pimping icon. It’s still there, he’s still ignoring it, but that’s like living with a slight-yet-terminal wedgie.
Others have fared worse. Not satisfied when Windows 10 upgrades passed 100 million, Microsoft became obsessed with shoving that bumptious pussy fart of an icon, and the operating system it shills, into our faces. Microsoft next began downloading Windows 10 onto people’s computers whether they had requested a download or not. At that point, if you were fool enough to click on that stinking all-white icon, which occasionally began blinking and winking like a mare in estrus, you were presented with a dialog box asking if you wanted to install Windows 10 now or later. Missing was the I-don’t-want-to-install-this-fucking-software-at-all option.
Microsoft’s you-can-check-out-any-time-you-like-but-you-can-never-leave policy is reminiscent of the “Norton Is Forever” campaign, a refusal to allow people to cancel the Norton Utilities software that comes with every new computer—even after the six-month free-trial period has expired.
Unless Windows 10 adopters read the fine print that tells them they can uninstall the software only within a month of upgrading to it, they are screwed pooches: after that the software cannot be removed. Like Norton Utilities, Windows 10 is forever, and there ain’t nothing you can do about it, Skippy.
“The first step in protecting your computer is to ensure that your OS (operating system) is up to date,” says Mr. Huffman, “but when it’s your OS that’s causing the problem, who are you gonna call then?”
Other observers point out that Windows Defender and Windows Firewall are not robust enough to detect malicious activity on the part of Windows 10 and its hypersensitive installer.
So if you’re looking for a bluebird, we’d suggest keeping your head covered, because once you have installed Windows 10, Microsoft will begin spamming you with unceasing requests for feedback. Meanwhile a nation turns its lonely eyes to Linux, wondering if that experiment will ever be ready for prime time.