Windows System Software -- Consulting, Training, Development -- Unique Expertise, Guaranteed Results

Peter Pontificates: Windows 10 is Ruining My Life

Why did Microsoft have to make the free upgrade period to Windows 10 a year long?  Why couldn’t it have been, say, a day or two?  Because, if the past month is any indication, I don’t think I’m going to make it through an entire year of answering Windows 10 upgrade questions from dough-heads.  Well-meaning dummies, mostly, even some goofs who also happen to be friends and neighbors.  And relatives.  But, you know, dough-heads nonetheless.

And my continued encounters with these unfortunates have put me in the uncomfortable position, dear reader, of having to ask for your assistance.

Am I the only one who’s forced into these conversations in random locations?  I’ll be at the market / car dealer / dog groomer / Asian grocery / mail box / local gun shop / overpriced, yet shockingly mediocre, suburban restaurant / gas station… and I’ll be accosted by somebody I either know well, or only know in passing.  It doesn’t matter.  The questions always follow a predictable pattern:

“Peter!  Just the man I’ve been wanting to see!  How’s the wife how are the dogs how ’bout them Red Sox do you think Brady cheated?”  Even here in New England it’s de rigueur to begin with the social pleasantries, even if you don’t really give a shit and don’t listen to the answers.

Fine, good, they suck, probably,” I reply.

“Nice, so… What do you think about this Win 10 thing,” they continue.

At this point, there’s no avoiding it.  But I can perhaps forestall the inevitable for just a bit longer.  So I innocently ask, This Win10 Thing?”

You’re a computer guy, you travel to Microsoft all the time, shit you probably know Bill Gates, you know all about this stuff.  Should I install Windows 10?”

Over the course of time, my replies have evolved.  Initially, I took the approach of trying to be maximally and earnestly helpful.  I made the mistake of trying to thoughtfully answer the questions.

“Well, it depends.  What version of Windows are you running now?” I asked.

The answer was always some variant of “The one with Outlook” or “It’s on my Dell” or “Not the one that requires a touch screen.”

So, scratching my head and looking around to see if there was anything that I might urgently claim to have to do, I would reply “Well, if it’s working for you now, do you have any specific reason you need to upgrade to a new version of Windows?”

The answer to this question always, every single time, unfailingly got the answer “I don’t know!” followed by a blank stare.  Or a big smile.  Or a worried look.  This was most often followed by vague statements about the one year free upgrade period and having something in their task bar telling them to upgrade.

So, that was getting us both, you know, exactly nowhere, and usually lead to the suggestion, “If you have a few minutes, maybe you could drop by my place and take a look at my computer.  You know all about this stuff.  I just cooked up a new batch of cookies / meth / beer / organic weed killer / pasta.”

Like there was something useful that I would glean from laying eyes on the long-suffering Dell lodged in their kitchen (“You ever think to clean the fucking FAN on this thing?  No?  Fan?  F. A.  N.  Down here?  At the bottom of the case?  Never mind.”).  And like their cooked products would be an actual incentive.

After a more than a few of these events, all with the same outcome, I figured it was time to get smart.  Whenever I got The Question:

You’re a computer guy, you travel to Microsoft all the time, shit you probably know Bill Gates, you know all about this stuff.  Should I install Windows 10?”

I gave them The Answer: “Absolutely.  It’s the best Windows yet.  And it’s free.  So, you know, why not, right?”

I knew, I just knew… well, OK, I at my core at least hoped and prayed, that this would stop the conversation and I could go about my business unmolested.

But, to my surprise, while that one liner satisfied one or two of the less inquisitive types, it almost always resulted in one of the following additional responses.  You can play along while you read this, and help me write my column, by assembling these responses yourself.  Just choose one (or more!) from Column A and another one (or more!) from Column B:

Their reply: My… (item from Column A) … said … (item from Column B):

Column A (pick one)Column B (pick one)
BrotherAnybody who knows anything always waits for the first service pack to be released before installing a MSFT operating system.
AuntieIt’s actually pretty good.  Finally Microsoft got it right.
SpouseWindows 10 will hijack your documents, ship them to the cloud, and after the one year “free” period force you to pay every month to access them.
Bernese Mountain DogHe/she/it tried it but the upgrade failed and he/she/it couldn’t use their computer anymore. 
DaughterIt’s better than the one that’s only touch based and had those big blobs on the screen when you started your computer. 
BossCan I eat it?! I’m hungry! You should take me for a walk!! 
GardenerIt seems to be faster than Windows 7.
DentistIt’s full of spyware and Microsoft will spy on you and read all your documents and settings, put them in the cloud where the CIA can get them, and Obama the Socialist who was born in Kenya will share them with all the other radical Muslims.

You can see that these are all the sorts of well thought-out replies presage a thoughtful discussion about the release of a new operating system.  So, given that we were getting, you know, exactly nowhere, the above nonsense was usually followed by “If you have a few minutes, maybe you could drop by my place and take a look at my computer.  You know all about this stuff.  I just cooked up a new batch of cookies / meth / beer / organic weed killer / pasta.”

Hmmmm.  This was not progress.  As the questions about upgrading to Windows 10 have continued unabated, I’ve defaulted to saying “Oh, oh, oh, you’ve got to excuse me, I urgently need to find a toilet!” But I can’t use THAT one forever.  Especially not after having already used it two or three times on the same person.

So, that brings us to my request for help.  How can I fend off the inquiries I receive on a daily basis about Windows 10 from people (a) who don’t have a clue what they’re talking about, (b) want to entice me to lay hands on their machine with the promise of something home-cooked, and (c) won’t really understand whatever answer I give them in any case.  Surely somebody has a strategy to share?

 

Peter Pontificates is a regular column by OSR Consulting Partner, Peter Viscarola. Peter doesn’t care if you agree or disagree with him, but there’s always the chance that your comments or rebuttal could find its way into a future issue. Send your own comments, rants or distortions of fact to: PeterPont@osr.com.

 

Summary
Article Name
Peter Pontificates: Windows 10 is Ruining My Life
Description
Well, it's OS upgrade time, and as he has done in the past, Peter laments his choice of career path.
Author