Given up

Jul 7th, 2024

Given up

I have given up on my resistance to Microsoft bit by bit moving me into their cloud (by amongst other things, insidiously storing my data in One Drive). I noticed the other day that my Windows desktop files were all of a sudden on One Drive. Now I am pretty sure that this didn’t happen without my consent – companies these days get into big trouble for storing peoples’ data on the Internet without their consent – but I am also pretty sure that it was hidden away in small print somewhere that I didn’t read fully.

So R and I discussed what to do about this. Sure as sure, if we stay on the Windows ecosystem, it will more and more lead to cloud storage and even more distasteful practices. Limiting the use of executables from non-trusted sources was one thing I came across when I was configuring the laptop I bought my Mum for Christmas – it is a little known fact that on a new install of Windows 11 Home, you cannot download and run a .exe file – all applications have to come from the MS store. For the time being, this is a setting which can be disabled, but I can envisage this ability disappearing in the future. So the “hybrid” model I have used for years where I have Windows installed and happily use Microsoft’s products (which I really like btw), but keep my data locally on my own file server is breathing its last gasp now, and will soon no longer be viable.

So there are only two real options.
a) Abandon Windows. Move OS to Linux. Use FF as browser and Libra Office as office suite. Use webmail for email. Use such other open source options as present themselves for other functions.
b) Stay with Windows. Accept the stealthy dumbing down of the platform on the grounds of “safety”. Accept that your private data is going to end up in the cloud.

Well having thought about both of the options at length, I have somewhat sadly decided to go for option b). Basically the move to Linux would be huge for me. I have tried it before and disliked it – a brief trial of the latest version last week verified this dislike, plus made me realize what a huge hassle and on-going annoyance it would be for me. I am very technical, but there are a lot of things I can do in the computing sphere without enjoying doing them, and I know from past experience that struggling through mounds of conflicting instructions trying to get basic things to work in Linux isn’t one of them. Plus I really do like MS Office and Publisher plus Plus I do prefer Edge to Firefox and Bing Search to Google (less adverts and portfolio sites showing up in results). Finally, I suppose that with minor exceptions none of my stuff (documents, photos etc) is particularly dodgy or even really secret. Yes – I wouldn’t like it if Microsoft got compromised and all my photos ended up on line, but the risk of that is vanishingly small, even if it did happen, I don’t have anything (very) illegal or indeed particularly shameful.

So I will stick with Windows and accept the consequences. R I suspect will not.