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[–] JesTheRed 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Not yet, but given time it'll all be more than obvious. Microsoft switching to a free model, even if only for a moment, means they'll be covered under what is becoming a very solid truism on the Internet:

"If you're not paying for it, you ARE the product."

http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/futureoftheinternet/2012/03/21/meme-patrol-when-something-online-is-free-youre-not-the-customer-youre-the-product/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/marketshare/2012/03/05/if-youre-not-paying-for-it-you-become-the-product/

http://lifehacker.com/5697167/if-youre-not-paying-for-it-youre-the-product

Now who might be paying MS for unfettered access to data?

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[–] noep 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

If you're not paying for it, you ARE the product.

I agree this is an accurate statement.

But, just playing Devil's Advocate for the sake of discussion, that doesn't mean Windows 10 was written specifically for spying governments. It doesn't even really mean that anything nefarious at all is happening, or will happen.

If your logic says that by switching to a free model, things will absolutely go in the worst possible direction - meaning governments will use Windows 10 to spy on users, or worse, then the same logic could be used to say that something on the opposite end of the spectrum could happen - Microsoft will use anonymous data for the purposes of selling to advertisers or something equally as innocuous.

I tend to lean towards a more pessimistic outlook on this like you do, but I have no evidence that I'm right in that thinking. I have suspicion, that's about it.

Honestly, it makes perfect sense for them to do go this route and actually seems like just about the smartest move they could make in order to compete with Apple and Google.

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[–] JesTheRed 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago  (edited ago)

I have a hard time believing that anything built by a major corporation right now doesn't have some sort all-intrusive spying application, even those companies that say they enable "real" encryption like Google and Apple. Telcos have been releasing the number of wiretap requests for a few years now, and those don't happen for free. Wiretaps have, in fact, become a significant portion of telco incomes. I'm entirely positive that Apple and Google are lying to their customers and getting some of that same sweet federal money as well.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/verizon-att-get-most-bucks-from-feds-for-wiretaps/

http://www.ringoffireradio.com/2013/07/verizon-and-att-are-selling-wiretaps/

http://www.cnet.com/news/verizon-transparency-report-reveals-164000-subpoenas-1500-wiretaps/

Verizon charges $775 for the first month for a wiretap, and in 2013 did 1,500 taps ($1,162,500 up front, and who knows how long the taps ran). They received 320,000 total requests for customer data, virtually none of which will have been handled for free. If they only charge 10% of what a tap costs, then they only made an additional $47,775,000 on top of the taps. These numbers are quite probably smaller than reality, and this was in 2013!

They're making almost as much money helping spy on us as they are selling us service. And that's just the part we know about.

Now if Microsoft has built into W10 an absolute backdoor - as in something that cuts right through user encryption or even enables passive monitoring - how much can they charge the Federal Government per month per install for access? Whatever they charge, it'll be a dozens, if not hundred of times higher than we consumers will pay for the product. It makes enormous financial sense for MS to enable such monitoring, then to give W10 away as widely as possible - even to people with pirated copies of a previous version - to ensure its monitoring base. Hell, they'll make so much more money spying on us than selling a good Windows release to us that it's virtually impossible in a capitalist society for it not to be the case. Charging us for it later is just adding inches to their yachts, or how billionaires say "fuck you" to we consumers.

Personally I only keep Windows 7 around for some old games that won't yet run on Linux. I trust Microsoft about as much as I trust the federal government, and neither are particularly welcome in my house right now.