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How I Was Sabotaged by Microsoft

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tags: Microsoft



Thomas Mr. Fleming, the author of more than 40 books, both fiction and non-fiction, is past president of the Society of American Historians.  His most recent book is The Great Divide, The Conflict Between Washington and Jefferson that Still Divides America, which won the best book prize of 2015 from the New York American Revolution Round Table.  

Windows 10 - By Source (WP:NFCC#4)


This is a cry of anguish from a victim of an act of corporate thievery. The thieves operate under the seemingly dignified corporate name, Microsoft Windows. I have been writing for over fifty years. I have several bestselling novels (Time and Tide, The Officers’ Wives) on my escutcheon as well as prize-winning nonfiction books. (The Great Divide, about the clash between Washington and Jefferson, The Illusion of Victory, America in World War I). I have dealt with difficult, demanding editors and publishers. But I never saw anything to compare with the arrogance of Microsoft’s cold-blooded thievery.

A few days ago, I moved from my New York apartment to my summerhouse in Westbrook, Conn, something I have been doing every year since 1962. As my three sons carried books and manuscripts and clothes into the house, I climbed to the attic and was pleased to find that my summer computer was in excellent condition. In my suitcase was my Toshiba Cambio external drive, with copies of a play set in World War I, an historical novel about a beautiful English actress who is trapped in America by the outbreak of the American Revolution, and a nonfiction book about Washington’s strategy in that long and complex war. I had spent the winter working on these projects and looked forward to completing some or all of them this summer.

A week before I left New York, the editors of the Ebook publisher, New Word City, with whom I have a contract, asked me to update one of my early books, Storms Over the Presidency. They thought it would have great appeal to American readers, who were confronting one of the stormiest elections in presidential history. I decided it would be a good idea to add an article on the presidential storm that transformed the lives and opinions of Americans in the 21st century – the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

I was looking forward to an interesting summer at my computer. Yesterday, all this changed when I encountered the Internet pirate fleet of Microsoft Office. Most computer users are aware that Microsoft has introduced a new version of the program that has made their executives and shareholders immensely wealthy. It is called Windows 10. I consulted several experts to find out if they thought I should abandon my old familiar Microsoft Windows 7 for this new creation.

To a man, their opinion was unanimously savagely negative. “NO!” they all virtually roared in my non-techie ears. Windows 10 was a disaster from almost every imaginable point of view. One expert remarked: “I didn’t think they could do anything worse than Windows 8 but they’ve succeeded.” Stick with good old Windows 7, to preserve your peace of mind and possibly, your sanity, they all told me.*

I took this advice, and arrived in my summerhouse a contented devotee of Windows 7. Yesterday, the thieves working for Windows 10 revealed the desperation to which they have descended thanks to the awful reception of Windows 10. It was, I have since learned, the last day on which users could install Windows 10 free of charge. Perhaps this made the Microsoft thieves doubly desperate.

I started my computer and decided it was rather warm in my attic office. I turned on the air conditioner and took a walk to the beach, which is little more than a block away on our private lane. There I met several neighbors and we exchanged news both serious and amusing about how we had spent our winters. It was well over an hour before I returned to my computer.
I sat down, eager to begin my article on President George W. Bush’s nightmare, the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. But I found myself confronting a computer screen full of incomprehensible terms and directions. There was something called Microsoft Edge. There was also a person – or a personality – named Cortona – who was ready and eager to answer all my questions and give me directions to achieve some hitherto unreachable level of Internet perfection.

Nowhere was there any mention of Windows 10. But Windows 7 had totally vanished. Bewildered, I clicked on several options and got nowhere. I decided to call an expert who has advised me on buying computers and helped me solve technical problems for several years. He listened to my description of what I was encountering and said: “You’re in Windows 10! “

“That’s impossible,” I gasped. “You – and a lot of other people warned me against it!”

“Let me do a computer assist program with you, and I’ll let you know what I find.”

Soon I heard him say: “It’s Windows 10 all right –or all wrong. “

“Can you get me out of it?”
“No. They have a record of you accepting it. Once you do that, it’s practically impossible to delete. You’re permanently on Windows 10.”

“That acceptance is a forgery,” I raged. “I have no recollection of seeing it much less agreeing to it.”

“I’ll try to modify it. But it will still be Windows10.”

This morning I turned on my computer. I sat there for a half hour or more, waiting for Windows 10 to get its modified act together. I saw my time—which to a self-employed writer is synonymous with money – being devoured by this monster the Microsoft thieves have inflicted on me. I grew more and more bewildered. Could this be happening to me in the United States of America? Can a greedy corporation demolish a private citizen’s freedom to choose this way? Apparently the answer is yes.

*HNN Editor For the Record … A survey of computer geeks found that most received Windows 10 warmly, according to CNBC.



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