Just saw the bad news yesterday and read a little more about it now and… I don’t even know what to say. Hardly unexpected, of course, but I’m in no state to make much sense and I’m not sure what else would there be to say about this.
Now that the “upgrade” to Windows 10 is no longer free, Microsoft is removing one of the main reasons users who still wanted to control their computers had to avoid it, by changing patching of Windows 7 and 8.1 completely as well, following their earlier change to optional patches, which I also wrote about at the time, with making a single update available that includes everything. Some comments indicate the security patches will be available in a separate monthly package, so you will no longer be able to choose among them but may still be able to install only those and not the rest, and only those released in a certain month and not necessarily previous ones as well, but the post itself makes it look more like everything, be it an important security fix or the smallest entirely optional patch irrelevant to all but a few users and probably causing problems for many others or some undesirable feature addition or removal, will need to be installed together, and that previous updates will be installed along with the newer ones even if they’re completely unrelated.
So, as of October, at least until proven otherwise, it seems it’ll be either Microsoft’s way or the highway on any version of Windows still supported, and if you want the security fixes or some bug fixes you need, you’ll need to take everything else along with them as well, including patches that may break your system, patches that will introduce unwanted features such as telemetry, possibly advertisements, probably forced automatic updates sooner rather than later, or patches that will remove features, which is something that those fooled into using Windows 10 are already familiar with.
Since I stumbled into this information on the AskWoody site, I’ll link here to Woody’s articles on the matter on InfoWorld, since there was one on Tuesday and another one yesterday. Though those articles also hesitantly mention some potential benefits which, even if somehow true, are so completely outweighed by the negatives that there’s no room for them in the discussion, there’s a lot said there that I’d probably just repeat if I could make more sense than I think I’m capable of at the moment, so do read. And I’m sure there are plenty of other articles all over, some outraged to an extent more suitable for such rotten moves.
I’ll just end this with a part of the comment I posted on the TechNet post announcing this change, which of course will never get approved, since any others along those lines weren’t either:
I want to be able to monitor and control what happens on my computer in as much detail as possible. So far it was possible to pick and choose which updates to install and there were no problems with the process itself until the push for Windows 10 started, since incidentally the slow updating for Windows 7 started around that same time, so it is definitely technically possible to continue doing so. I paid good money for a retail copy of Windows 7 Ultimate and I expect to be able to use it properly, which includes receiving security patches and bug fixes but being able to pick and choose when or even if to install each one of them, until the official end of service in 2020. And I highly doubt I’m the only one.