Talk:Criticism of Microsoft Windows

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Microsoft Windows / Computing  (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Microsoft Windows, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Microsoft Windows on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Computing.
WikiProject Microsoft (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Microsoft, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Microsoft on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.

Backward compatibility[edit]

I have noticed chunks of the article have gone missing, such as the backward compatibility section.

Broken backward compatibility support for older programs and hardware devices has been a major problem with every new release of Windows - and even when installing Service Packs.

Microsoft knowingly removed the Virtual DOS Machine from 64-bit versions of Windows and this prevents 16-bit Windows programs from running at all. It may not sound major, but if any of Microsoft's customers must run 16-bit Windows programs e.g. because the software vendor of that 16-bit Windows program went out of business, such customers are now left out in the cold.

I won't reply to arguments about justifying my edits, only replies to genuine answers and not trying to pretend the backward compatibility problems in Windows don't exist. TurboForce (talk) 16:20, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Provide reliable sourcing (not personal blogs, not personal anecdotes) and use the voice of the source rather than the voice of Wikipedia. The reliable sources for criticism need to voice criticism (i.e. you cannot use a source to describe a certain feature or property if that source merely describes it as such and it is you who thinks that it should have been better/different). You need sources which directly voice criticism. You need ensure that the criticism has been published through a channel with meaningful editorial oversight or peer review, and you need to look for other significant viewpoints. This article is still not a forum for WP editors to voice your their own criticism and back it up with dubious links. If there is widespread criticism about Windows' backwards compatibility you should have no problem finding mainstream published criticism and significant counter arguments. --Useerup (talk) 21:04, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
The 16-bit one is way overstated. Who runs 16-bit today?? Name me at least 10 popular programs that are still 16-bit. Jasper Deng (talk) 21:15, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Gamers complain that 16-bit Windows (not DOS) games can't be played.[1] The DOS games should work in DOSBox, but 16-bit Windows games (Win16) won't work on 64-bit Windows. The only way I can play Win16 games on 64-bit is to use Wine - all but one of those games works doing this. What if Microsoft decides to stop supporting 32-bit Windows apps in Windows 8 or the next version of Windows after that? There's nothing you can do if you rely on Windows and find you can't run these programs if you need them! TurboForce (talk) 10:28, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
How much is that a problem, compared to it being a malware target? Jasper Deng (talk) 22:17, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
If a component like the NTVDM (NT-Virtual DOS machine) is secured properly, it won't be a big malware target. Is DOSBox a malware target for supporting DOS programs? Consider that a web browser is always a target for malware, but some web browsers like Opera have a better security track record than Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Google Chrome has always had a good defence against malware. I've linked directly to the security sections on the web browsers' pages. TurboForce (talk) 13:59, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
The question is, how big of this is an issue compared to Windows' malware attractions (which little to do with NTVM). Jasper Deng (talk) 05:29, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, 16-bit backwards compatibility was a problem 12 years ago, when WinXP was released. 1exec1 (talk) 14:14, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

References for backwards compatibility section[edit]

I write because of this removal of content citing problems with references. All references, except the first one are from news sources with editorial oversight, so the text should not have been deleted. Here's the text dissected into claims and the supporting refs. Please show which refs exactly are not reliable as all of them are from sources with editorial oversight.

Yes, it should have been removed. It is a very poorly written segment with multiple issues. See "problem" columns below. --Useerup (talk) 17:04, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Text Refs Problems
NT-based versions of Microsoft Windows did not support some 16-bit and MS-DOS programs, especially those which had to access the hardware directly.
  • Source 1 is an internal IT support technician who evaluates pro/cons for supporting Windows XP on the university network. Problems: Relevancy, reliability, verifiability, oversight. Goes to show how low the WP editor is prepared to search. I can see that you have discovered that by now.
  • Source 2 is an actual review from a reputable source. Only, rather than being criticism it is a positive review which actually points out "Incompatible software? No problem". Does that sound like the source is being reflected in the statement it is supposed to support?

--Useerup (talk) 17:04, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Initially, the first Windows-NT based operating system, Windows XP, had a lot of compatibility problems with device drivers and even 32-bin third-party software. Problems:
  • Source 1 does not directly support the statements. The source is (at best) opinions of the author with no verifiable sourcing for the claims (read WP:SOURCE: the best sources have a professional structure in place for checking or analyzing facts, legal issues, evidence, and arguments; as a rule of thumb, the greater the degree of scrutiny given to these issues, the more reliable the source. This source is not any of that.
  • Source 2 Is not a criticism. Actually, it is a testament to it's success. Compatibility is mentioned 3 times, only one of which are relevant for "backwards compatibility" of Windows XP. The topic of the article is not compatibility and it never analyses it deeper. Problems: Relevancy, WP:UNDUE.

In summary: These sources do not support the statement, WP:VERIFY. On top of that, the statement uses WP:WEASEL words. And again, this dubious criticism is being advanced irresponsibly using Wikipedias voice. --Useerup (talk) 17:04, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

The situation, however, improved with subsequent releases [citation needed] Problem:
  • No sourcing
  • We now know why: It wasn't subsequent releases of Windows Vista, but subsequent releases of 3rd party drivers which remedied problems.

--Useerup (talk) 17:04, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Windows Vista has been criticised for breaking backwards compatibility for many games. Lai, Eric (11 February 2007). "Vista not playing nice with gamers". ComputerWorld. Retrieved 23 January 2012.  Problem:
  • Dishonest use. The source article goes a little more into the problems with games compatibility and mentions that they may be due poor 3rd party drivers (which indeed turned out to be the case) and also mentions Microsofts response. Yet both of these facts have been left out of the statement which simply states "Windows Vista has been criticised for breaking backwards compatibility for many games": Weasel words, unspecifics, cherry-picking. Source is ok but it is being used lopsided. --Useerup (talk) 17:04, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Microsoft offered Windows XP Mode as a separate download to improve backwards compatibility on Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate editions of Windows 7. Windows XP Mode is a virtual machine which contains a licensed copy of Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 3.
However, the performance of the Windows XP Mode has been criticized.


  • Source 1 is not a criticism (remember, this is STILL an article about criticism). Yes, the source mentions that for consumers the trade-offs may not outweigh the benefits. Significant points from the article is left out.--Useerup (talk) 17:04, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Source 2: Opinion piece. May be a noteworthy criticism (I doubt it) if the critique is qualified. Criticism must be directly supported by the article.--Useerup (talk) 17:04, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Source 3: Seemingly valid criticism (from a blog posting), but again the statements are cherry-picked and are not representative. But worse, the source is about a beta version, and the same author has a later review of the release candidate[2] which ends with this statement: "I welcome the changes that Microsoft have carried out to XP Mode, turning it into a good, solid product. Good work Microsoft!". Yet, the WP editor who put in this statement and used the beta-source blatantly ignores other posts/articles from the same media and same author which retracts (and invalidates) the previous "criticism" of the beta release. This is a very good example of the topic not being presented in a neutral tone and not reflecting the available sources. The author of the WP statement forwards his own criticism, cherry-picking sources which supports his views and knowingly omits other sources which do not; dishonestly presenting skewed WP:UNDUE viewpoints. --Useerup (talk) 17:04, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Also, since Windows XP Mode is essentially a separate operating system, it increases security and maintenance costs. Keizer, Gregg (27 April 2009). "Windows7's virtual XPmode could mean support nightmares". ComputerWorld. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  • Reliable source, but based on speculation. At this time we should be able to get some numbers on support costs. Everything I've seen suggests that Windows 7 reduces support cost. This source and this "criticism" cannot be put forward without mentioning the other viewpoint. WP:UNDUE. The statement mentions as a fact (and in WPs voice) that "it increases security and maintenance costs". That's a grave allegation which cannot stand on it's own at this time. If that were true you should be able to cite sources for realized support costs. At best, this source can be used to say that "before XP mode became available as a download for Windows 7, an analyst predicted that use of XP mode could increase support cost". --Useerup (talk) 17:04, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Uses WPs voice to misrepresent what was said and in what context. --Useerup (talk) 17:04, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

1exec1 (talk) 15:13, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Windows 8 restriction[edit]

Unbalanced opinion. The section

  • Uses a quote from an unreliable and obviously biased source. OSNews is not a reliable source blatantly ignores Microsofts explanations and clarifications as well as
  • Ignores Microsofts responses as well as several other media responses. This is cherry-picking and a violation of WP:NPOV.

Improve the section with other significant viewpoints (and sources). Use neutral language and describe from WP:NPOV. Remember, the WP:BURDEN for reporting in WP:NPOV, ensuring WP:DUE falls on the editors adding or re-introducing content. Hint: ZDNets Ed Bott has done some thorough reporting on the subject. If the section fails WP:NPOV it will be deleted according to WP policies mentioned. --Useerup (talk) 14:42, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

I disagree. While OSNews might not be as reliable as Ars Technica, it is usually considered a reliable-enough source in wikipedia, being used in houndreds of articles [3] Of course being widely used does not automatically make it "reliable", but it shows that editors generally find it "OK". You say it is "biased", but... any criticism/opinion is never neutral and always biased (the same thing goes for Ed Bott or any other person). You say it "ignores Microsofts explanations", but their explanations [4] adressed the "first wave" of criticism, when everything was mainly speculation. It also turned out Microsoft changed their position or just simply lied [5] [6] [7] So, at best, their clarification is outdated, and at worst misleading/false. It would be nice if you mentioned "several other media responses" in particular, none of the ones I have read have clarified how this is NOT an issue (not even this one by Ed Bott [8]). "This is cherry-picking and a violation of WP:NPOV." - The concerns expressed in the OSNews quote are echoed by virtually all the mainsream tech media (eg: non-Linux, non-OpenSource), so it is hardly "cherry-picking". You also talk about WP:BURDEN and significant viewpoints, but, if anything, it is the Microsoft position (and Ed Bott's) who are in the minority, like I said, the media is overwelmingly treating this as a valid concern. I have updated the section and used more neutral language, but bear in mind we should use plain English and not water is down so much (in the name of NPOV) that is becames non-comprehensible. You also seem to be hinting at a possible deletion, please note lack of neutrality should not be used as an excuse to delete content. and ArbCom considers It is disruptive to remove statements that are sourced reliably, written in a neutral narrative, and pertain to the subject at hand. ----Jerebin (talk) 20:00, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
I think without the ability to disable secure boot, the criticism is valid. Jasper Deng (talk) 22:29, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Oh, the criticism is definitively notable. But the section does not mention other significant viewpoints. This is not about majority but about how reliable the sources are. A source is not automatically reliable by virtue of the hosting media. Reliability also has to take into account how close to the topic/subject the source is and how well sourced it source itself is. Read WP:SOURCE. My complaint is that this is WP:POV and WP:UNDUE until the other significant viewpoints have been explained. --Useerup (talk) 23:23, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Actually, it is about the majority. WP:UNDUE says for us to present viewpoints in the proportion they are used. Jasper Deng (talk) 23:25, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
It does make me wonder why some people spend hours carefully trying to enforce the rules of Wikipedia in order to suppress the truth? Microsoft certification requirements for Windows 8 are anti-competitive because the requirements prevent Linux, BSD and other operating systems from being installed. The user should be able to choose which operating system they can install. Consider that the ARM-based Iyonix PC would allow the user to install Linux if they wish, instead of using the manufacturer's included operating system stored in the ROM. TurboForce (talk) 23:57, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
But the thing is, why is it that it appears that you're only in this topic to spread "truths" about Windows? I've never seen (even if you did) you add a single criticism to a Linux-related article. Jasper Deng (talk) 23:59, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
The criticisms in Linux articles are valid and I've not needed to do any further editing e.g. Ubuntu drains battery life quickly and reviews of the Unity user interface in Ubuntu, along with views that Linux is not as user-friendly as it could be, however the latter one is being addressed, especially when you compare it from how Linux was 10 years ago and before! The problems in Windows are more serious, especially when Microsoft's certification requirements for Windows 8 would knowingly prevent competing operating systems like Linux from being installed on such computers. If Canonical Ltd. put the same restrictions in place for Ubuntu, it would be criticised in exactly the same way and rightly so. TurboForce (talk) 00:27, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Now, did you ever add any addressing of issues by Microsoft? Jasper Deng (talk) 00:30, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
@Jasper Deng. There are significant viewpoints which have not been mentioned here. And the way the section right now is phrased one would believe that the criticism is about "Windows 8" in general. The section neglects that there are two different discussions: One for Windows 8 PCs and one for Windows 8 on ARM. Reliable sourcing is not about who has the most or strongest opinions. Significant viewpoints may also come from sources which demonstrate verifiability and which offer more than opinions. Ed Botts pieces on this debate demonstrate that. The sources used right now are primary sources in that they are too close to the subject, in time as well as in affiliation. The section also does not mention the motivation for secure boot and the security it provides. The section focuses entirely on "anti competitive" behavior and skips over the fact that secure boot will make rootkits virtually impossible, which is the real objective of secure boot. Neglecting those viewpoints is WP:UNDUE. Apart from that, there is several mistakes: Windows 8 does not (will not) require that it be started through secure boot, not on PCs and not on ARM. Microsoft has mandated that to sell a Windows 8 Logo certified PC secure boot must be enabled by default (but the OS will boot without secure boot as well). They apparently also require that on ARM devices secure boot must not be allowed to be switched off. There is no information that MS prohibits other keys than the MS one in the UEFI key store. And there is no information whether or not one will be able to purchase standalone Windows 8 for ARM (presumably not). --Useerup (talk) 00:33, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Then be bold and solve the problem yourself (I refuse to take a stance on this issue). Jasper Deng (talk) 00:39, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
If Microsoft changes its certification requirements and makes it clear in writing that their certified Windows 8 computers of all types do not prevent users from installing other operating systems, I would happily delete the Windows 8 secure boot section. If certified Windows 8 computers hampered other operating systems in any way, then something malicious must be suspected. TurboForce (talk) 00:52, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
OMG, "malicious"?? You've gotta be kidding me. What Useerup is talking about is not deleting the section itself, but adding Microsoft's attempt to address it (which may not necessarily be completely satisfactory). Jasper Deng (talk) 00:57, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Wrong article[edit]

This article is for "Criticisms that apply to several or all versions of Windows". The Windows 8 restriction is specific to Windows 8. We should simply have a link to Windows 8#Controversy (which seems to already have more complete balanced coverage of the issue than this article.) - Josh (talk | contribs) 02:50, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

  • Boldly Yes check.svg Done with the controversy link moved to the See Also section. Jasper Deng (talk) 03:07, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

Advertisers pay the writers?[edit]

I undid a statement saying that they were paid by Microsoft advertisers, mainly because that would be a direct contradiction of the previous statement that the writers were independent. We use {{citation needed}} for existing facts; I can't just add "Windows eventually will use a Linux kernal[citation needed]".Jasper Deng (talk) 01:55, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Obviously the editor forgot to remove the word "independent"? The sentence was written like this:
"As with the claims about the overreaching Vista DRM, independent tech writers whose salaries are paid for by Microsoft advertising quickly dismissed the claims as faulty analysis."
If the user is correct, he/she did not use a ref and should have either removed the word "independent" or worded the sentence appropriately to say that the tech writers were supposedly independent. TurboForce (talk) 02:12, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Because we cannot find out for sure, I think this statement just does not belong.Jasper Deng (talk) 03:19, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Statements which are obviously untrue should be deleted, but other questionable statements without citations should be marked with {{citation needed}}. TurboForce (talk) 11:40, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Not if the statements are damaging or potentially damaging. Which applies here. --Useerup (talk) 17:16, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Yeah. It's quite a big claim to make even with reliable sources, let alone without.Jasper Deng (talk) 18:08, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
If a statement is true AND cited properly then it can stay there. Wikipedia is SUPPOSED to tell the truth and prove it. End of. TurboForce (talk) 20:39, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. Readers must be able to check that material in Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source (which excludes personal blogs and news sites among other sources). It doesn't matter whether editors think it is true or not. Truth, unfortunately, is often subjective --Useerup (talk) 21:19, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Privacy concerns[edit]

I think a new section about privacy concerns could be included, provided suitable refs can be used. The privacy concerns could mention things like: possible backdoors in Windows, the NSA and GCHQ spying on Windows users with Microsoft's help, Windows Product Activation information sent to Microsoft and anything else concerning the privacy of Windows users.

  • Example Microsoft is already working with the NSA.

MetalFusion81 (talk) 21:35, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Literally the first sentence of your own source disproves your statement: "alleged". The second sentence even repeats that: "allegedly". So nothing has been proven (at least, not according to this ref); this should reflected in the text. Also, the article doesn't mention the NSA at all (except for the title), so stating that MS is working with the NSA may not be accurate. All of that said, I think (if enough sources can be found), this would be a good addition. Just be careful to word it correctly. --DanielPharos (talk) 07:41, 14 April 2014 (UTC)