God I hate Microsoft

So, Skype, very useful program. And yet this computer, every time I try to open it, insists that I must set up a Microsoft.com account.

I don’t want one, thank you. I don’t want to have whatever benefits that might bring.

So, everytime my computer decides it needs to be restarted I have to download Skype again. Because then it works without having to log into the Microsoft.com account that I don’t have.

Most annoying. Grr.

49 thoughts on “God I hate Microsoft”

  1. Are you using 10, Tim? Original O/S or the free upgrade from 7?
    Total PoS.
    If the latter, do a reinstall from your rescue partition & download GWX to stop it downloading the upgrade files.

  2. Seriously ? Exchange a bunch of insane control freaks for the only worse company on the planet ?

    Skype for Android doesn’t require an MS Account, you can use a Skype account. (Just bought a really nice Chipad Chuwi Hi-8 Pro for £60ish with a really nice retina display). Or look at other alternatives, Facebook messenger, Viber etc.

  3. *Skype* is demanding a Windows online account?

    Because I have 10 installed – and if you have W8 I’d suggest going ahead to upgrade (Anyone using 7 can wait until they get around to getting a new computer) as it gets rid of the worst of the UI shite that’s in W8 – and I was able to install and run just fine with a local only account. Didn’t even have to make an online one at all.

    In any case try this – use the Skype Desktop Client instead of ‘modern Skype’.

    https://community.skype.com/t5/Modern-on-Windows-RT/sign-in-to-skype-without-using-a-microsoft-account/td-p/1167188

  4. ” Or look at other alternatives, Facebook messenger, Viber etc.”
    Are the alternatives?
    SkypeIn/
    SkypeOut?
    Calls to landlines/mobiles?

  5. They have been fiddling about with it. Lookee here:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/07/21/cloud_upgrade_for_skype_will_kill_os_x_linux_clients/

    It is doomed, like every app MS buys up.

    If you are on Windows 8.1 and are nervous of W10 and its reputation for spying on you, it may be worth your while looking into Linux. Mint 18 is very polished and stable and excellent for non-geeks. Either install it on a dedicated machine or set up a dual-boot system so you can choose between Windows and Linux when you switch on.

    Linux is fine for browsing, email, etc., but of course won’t run, natively at least, any specialised Windows software you may rely on. There are ways round that, however.

  6. I’ve got a dual boot system. The computer came with Windows 10; I got an external hard drive and put Linux Mint on it. I think I’ve booted into Windows once in the last month, and that was when the boot system had an error trying to load Linux and went to the next option.

    There was somewhat of a learning curve, but it’s not nearly as hard as some might have you believe.

  7. Similar deal with downloading apps on my smart phone. Android (Google) requires an email account to download apps. I don’t want a gmail account. So I download no apps. I’m not going to play along.

  8. Microsoft are on their way out. W10 is a mess and people are getting fed up with clicking closes that do things they don’t want.

    Myself, I am on Ubunto and I’m happy with that having installed it over W8.1.

    MS have always abused their power and I’m waiting for corporates to desert them in droves and once on Linux they won’t be coming back. I’m surprised most firms have not build their own version of Linux already.

  9. I’m so old that I can remember when discussions about computers involved the serious uses you might put them to, rather than all this wrestling with the stupidity and malice of IT types.

    The former was interesting, the latter is utterly tedious: pub bore tedious, old-fashioned Sundays tedious.

  10. @bis,

    The entire problem is the proliferation of proprietary non-mutually-compatible communications systems. At least a mobile phone can talk to a landline, my email is basically 100% compatible with your email and so on. But you can’t skype someone’s whatsapp any more than you can email their fax machine (OK, there are services that do that). And none of them offer a premium, paid-for service with the assumption of privacy we would be happy to pay for.

    I cannot see any sensible company ever agreeing to the W10 TOS, so windows is basically dead, unless they can come up with an enterprise-friendly version.

  11. Having recently acquired my first ever smartphone, it’s finally dawned how impossible it is to keep your information out of the clutches of these evil companies. You can do almost nothing without a google account – and you can feed bullshit into that as much as you like but it still won’t let you do anything with _your_ hardware without being logged in and reading everything you do.

    And don’t get me started on the “app won’t work because there’s a new version” (uh? it just updated last week – why can’t it carry on at least for a day or two with the old one rather than wanting to eat 500MB of mobile data right now before I can do anything?)

  12. In the end you just have to give in and sign up for a Microsoft account. There are no real benefits to having such an account. But there are no real downsides, either. Nothing happens if you have one.

    Same with having a gmail account. No big bad boogieman is going to knock your door down just because you have one.

  13. No. No you don’t.

    Simply do no use the pre-installed MS apps that come with W8/10.

    Skype has a desktop client that is NOT THE SAME as the Skype that comes preinstalled – and it doesn’t require a Windows account.

    Edge? There are tons of alternative browsers. Most of that stuff you can simply remove from the computer, all of it you can turn off reporting back anything but the most innocuous error reports.

    Windows 10 has responded to a lot of the criticism received during its roll-out and made changes – not enough, as you still can’t select which updates to install – but you can turn off all that reporting and ad delivery ‘service’ bullshit.

    THe problem Tim is having is simply because he’s assuming that the Skype that came with the computer is all of Skype – all he needs to do is delete it and install the desktop version and while he’s deleting that he can delete most of the rest of the pre-installed apps like the pointless XBox on, the camera one, the address book. Install and alternate browser, slip on over to Settings to turn off the ad-delivery and report back and you’ve got an OS that is no worse for privacy than W7.

    And no, Windows is *not* on the way out. *Nix (and fucking Apple) are barely competitors in the OS space and Apple alone kills *Nix for market share – that’s just talking about Desktop too, not server or mobile which skew the numbers for and against *Nix respectively.

    Windows is the ‘in-between’ OS for those of us not interested in the wall-garden computer-as-appliance paradigm of Apple but don’t have the time or inclination to delve into coding our own custom answer to Notepad.

  14. If that’s not an option – then it looks like MS has patched the holes and yer stuck. You might consider looking for a 3rd party video-conferencing solution.

  15. Windows 8 and 10 so depressing. Why would they make updates that are worse? Windows 7 is the way forwards

  16. @Agammamon – let me finish that sentence for you: “…that nobody else uses.”

    Try setting up such a conference with your client (for human values of “client”) when their IT department won’t let anything through except the one they picked. You can’t use theirs, they can’t use yours. It’s back to the telephone, which has been doing a robust and 100% compatible job of this for over 100 years.

    All video conferencing stuff sucks, including the high-end professional stuff, because of its unwillingness to talk across different platforms. “Buy our proprietary solution.” I can get away with it when I decide I’m still a Nikon fanboy and am only personally stuck with their overpriced kit forever, but its an insoluble problem when 300 different people in 50 different companies are screwed by said decision.

  17. The W10 privacy problem is the bit is where it says M$ can snoop through the contents of your private folders when they feel like it. That is unacceptable to anyone who realises the implications, and is storing anything more than other peoples’ pictures of cute pussy.

  18. So buy some fake ID and set up your Microsoft account under that name.

    They lie to me so I lie to them, no probs.

  19. My 72 year old mother has been using Mint for 9 days now and is happy to have a working computer again. Skype worked fine when I tested it on the 16th. I recommend ditching windows completely. If you have software that doesn’t play well with Linux set up a dual boot or a VM. That should work until the next windows update that breaks things.

  20. Bloke in Costa Rica

    If Skype breaks on Mac and iOS then it’s going in the bin and Viber will replace it. I don’t just hate Microsoft; I want a fucking meteor to land on Redmond and for the survivors to be sold as cat food.

  21. Apparently Microsoft are going to pull Skype from Mac (Register link from Thomas Fuller).

    That is only going to make the “different people using incompatible **communication** software” problem even worse. If it’s incompatible then it’s not really very communicative is it?!?

    Am irritated about this as I have lots of clients who only use Mac, I use Skype on Windows, and my guess is that if Skype goes they will start using some Mac-only software instead. At this point, I either lose thousands of pounds of revenue or have to go out and buy a Mac to communicate with my Mac-based clients and keep my Windows PC to communicate with Windows-based clients.

    This kind of fragmentation reminds me of the 80s/early 90s when your software for the ZX Spectrum didn’t work on the BBC Micro, or what worked on an Atari wouldn’t on an PC. At the time that felt kinda natural (after all, why would you expect something that worked on a Speccie to work on a BBC Micro, were you expecting some kind of miracle or summat?) but for the past 20 years I have got very used to stuff “just working”. Pah.

  22. I have this fantasy that involves Bill Gates. Had it for decades. It goes like this:

    Bill Gates and I are introduced to each other at a public event. When Gates offers to shake my hand, I kick him in the nuts as hard as I can.

    Of course, what would then happen is that I would be arrested for assault, and at least 10 million Windows users would immediately offer to pay either my bail, my legal fees, or both.

    Another 10 million offer to serve any prison time I might receive if convicted… Which would never happen, as I would instruct my lawyer to make sure the entire jury is comprised of Window users.

  23. Windows 10 has responded to a lot of the criticism received during its roll-out and made changes – not enough, as you still can’t select which updates to install

    If you use Wifi instead of an Ethernet connection, you can set your computer to be on a metered connection and not have Windows download updates automatically.

    If you have your computer connected to the modem/router via Ethernet, there’s apparently a registry hack that’s the only way to shut off automatic updates. Incredibly irritating for people with bandwidth caps.

  24. Gamecock: I have a gmail account just for downloading apps. I don’t use it for anything else. I also have all the cloud backup stuff switched off as far as possible (i.e switch all the sync options off to that account). I have a second gmail account as the secondary contact account for my primary e-mail provider (using my own domain), and one or two other things. Hopefully that clobbers most of Google’s spying on me.

  25. Gent, do you receive any junk email on the superfluous gmail account? I got a bunch of crap on my old cell phone.

    If no junk accrues, I’ll go ahead and create a gmail account.

  26. @PJF at 12:51 pm “Isn’t (wasn’t?) Ubuntu the Linux distro that includes(d?) spyware?”

    Yes, Ubuntu did have a release that linked with Amazon whenever you did a search for something on your own computer. Not quite spyware, but did broadcast out stuff about your personal activity.

    Mint doesn’t have it.

  27. Bloke in Costa Rica

    That got killed about ten release cycles ago because everyone yelled at them. Even when it was included it was trivial to disable.

  28. There are many reasons for hating Microsoft, but being required to sign up for an account to use its full services isn’t one of them. (First world problem?) I use the hotmail account for online purchases, which reduces spam hugely on my main email address.

  29. @Tim
    Uninstall Skype & download Skype 6.21
    Then have a chat session with Skype Help & they’ll give you a procedure for ensuring it won’t ever update. It’s the old version runs in a minimised window with everything obvious & to hand.

  30. @BiG
    WTF would want to message whatsapp out of Skpe? Whatsapp’s for kiddies & third world tossers* want to save on fone costs. Avoiding.whatsappers is the best filter for assoles going.

    *Dagos down here all use it. There’s hookers put “whatdap only ” in their ads. What sort of idiot requires potential clients to jump through hoops downloading apps to save on 5 cent fone calls? Who would want a client that did that?

  31. “There are many reasons for hating Microsoft, but being required to sign up for an account to use its full services isn’t one of them.”

    I spent ages composing a repost, but it just wasn’t working from any angle. Because you are correct. Skype is a “free” corporate service, like Facebook and Twitter; and if people expect free stuff without having to jump through some hoops, then they haven’t learned life’s lessons.

    It’s the similar shit they’re doing to full-cost Windows that is reasonable grounds for hate. I’ve paid them a lot of money over the years for proper operating systems for serious private and professional needs. I’m not doing that anymore. Indeed, they can fuck right off.

  32. There’s hookers put “whatdap only ” in their ads.”

    Wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a route around the law involved in that.

  33. ” Skype is a “free” corporate service, like Facebook and Twitter;”
    Except that it isn’t. I usually run a Skype bill of around £40 a month. Taking advantage of Skype providing local call rates to any country. And providing me with a transparent & easily accessed call log of every call I make. Also lets me display any phone number I choose to the receiver of the calls.

    “There’s hookers put “whatdap only ” in their ads.”

    Wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a route around the law involved in that.”

    None whatsoever. It’s simply the assumption, because they save call costs using whatsapp, everyone will wish to save call costs using whatsapp.
    Ignoring that;
    1) Anyone with a fone contract will have an unlimited or large prepaid call allowance.
    2) People temporarily in-country from abroad may not have a data plan, here.
    3) Not unreasonably, someone contemplating spending a considerable amount of money on a personal service might wish to actually talk with the provider before ordering.

    So they’re effectively screening out their best potential customers.

  34. I stopped using Skype for anything important as it’s intercepted. Am currently busy getting an explanation out of Skype/Microsoft, but as their initial response has been attempting to play games (claiming a response when none has been received and handing my details off to a 3rd party in the US -of course, without my permission- to attempt a survey) it appears I have no option but to turn this into a formal privacy complaint. A good thing I’ll be meeting the EU Privacy supervisor in a few weeks anyway..

    As for the MS account pressure, this is MS yet again trying to imitate a successful company without understanding the fundamentals of what made that success, in this case Apple, and their desperation to get people on a Windows subscription model shows clearly in the fact that they go as far as using virus software techniques (surreptitious downloads, cancellations that aren’t) to get their way. I’ve switched to OSX – cheaper software, more reliable, high usability, fewer security risk (no, not none, but it’s far less work) plus no stupid licensing games makes for a superior TCO and for servers we were using Linux anyway.

    RIP Skype, you were useful while it lasted.

  35. None whatsoever. It’s simply the assumption, because they save call costs using whatsapp, everyone will wish to save call costs using whatsapp.

    Nah, it’s mainly aimed at people who are from out-of-country. They won’t have a local phone, nor a data plan…but they are most likely in a hotel with wi-fi. And you can make whatsapp calls, it’s not just for texting.

    The other reason is the girls themselves often change countries and/or phones. Having a single whatsapp account gives them a single point of contact.

    Although saying whatsapp only is a bit daft…they should also be offering a phone no.

  36. @Tim Newman

    Don’t Whatsapp accounts link to your phone, require your phone number, and require you to give it out for anyone to text/call you?

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