Microsoft's Windows operating system is literally malware (malicious software) and has been so for quite some time at least 'officially' since Vista, even though malicious code was injected into the operating system even earlier than Windows 2000.
For those who 'just' surf the Internet and use their personal computer for basic word processing spread sheet, presentation or multimedia purposes, there is no legitimate reason to have this operating system on a personal computer, where there are many other (mature, stable and less intrusive) options available to the general public.
See article from gnu.org of the headline:
Microsoft's Software is Malware
Other examples of proprietary malware
Malware means software designed to function in ways that mistreat or harm the user. (This does not include accidental errors.) This page explains how Microsoft software is malware.
Malware and nonfree software are two different issues. The difference between free software and nonfree software is in whether the users have control of the program or vice versa. It's not directly a question of what the program does when it runs. However, in practice nonfree software is often malware, because the developer's awareness that the users would be powerless to fix any malicious functionalities tempts the developer to impose some.
Type of malware
- Back doors
- Digital restrictions management or “DRM” means functionalities designed to restrict what users can do with the data in their computers.
- Jails—systems that impose censorship on application programs.
- Tyrants—systems that reject any operating system not “authorized” by the manufacturer.
Microsoft Back Doors
- Microsoft has already backdoored its disk encryption.
- Microsoft Windows has a universal back door through which
any change whatsoever can be imposed on the users.
More information on when this was used.
In Windows 10, the universal back door is no longer hidden; all “upgrades” will be forcibly and immediately imposed.
Windows 8 also has a back door for remotely deleting apps.
You might well decide to let a security service that you trust remotely deactivate programs that it considers malicious. But there is no excuse for deleting the programs, and you should have the right to decide who (if anyone) to trust in this way.
- German government veers
away from Windows 8 computers with TPM 2.0 due to potential back
door capabilities of the TPM 2.0 chip.
- Users reported that
Microsoft was forcing them to replace Windows 7 and 8 with all-spying
Microsoft was in fact attacking computers that run Windows 7 and 8, switching on a flag that said whether to “upgrade” to Windows 10 when users had turned it off.
Later on, Microsoft published instructions on how to permanently reject the downgrade to Windows 10.
This seems to involve use of a back door in Windows 7 and 8.
Microsoft InsecurityThese bugs are/were not intentional, so unlike the rest of the file they do not count as malware. We mention them to refute the supposition that prestigious proprietary software doesn't have grave bugs.
Exploits of bugs in Windows, which were developed by the NSA
and then leaked by the Shadowbrokers group, are now being used to
attack a great number
of Windows computers with ransomware.
- A flaw in Internet Explorer and Edge
allows an attacker to retrieve Microsoft account credentials, if
the user is tricked into visiting a malicious link.
Point-of-sale terminals running Windows were taken over and turned
into a botnet for the purpose of collecting customers' credit card
Microsoft SabotageThe wrongs in this section are not precisely malware, since they do not involve making the program that runs in a way that hurts the user. But they are a lot like malware, since they are technical Microsoft actions that harm to the users of specific Microsoft software.
has dropped support for Windows 7 and 8 on recent processors
in a big hurry.
It makes no difference what legitimate reasons Microsoft might have for not doing work to support them. If it doesn't want to do this work, it should let users do the work.
Microsoft has made Windows 7 and 8 cease to function on certain
forcing their owners to switch to Windows 10.
- Once Microsoft has tricked a user into accepting installation
find that they are denied the option to cancel or even postpone the
imposed date of installation.
This demonstrates what we've said for years: using proprietary software means letting someone have power over you, and you're going to get screwed sooner or later.
all future Intel CPUs for Windows 7 and 8. Those machines will
be stuck with the nastier Windows 10.
AMD and Qualcomm CPUs, too.
Of course, Windows 7 and 8 are unethical too, because they are proprietary software. But this example of Microsoft's wielding its power demonstrates the power it holds.
Free software developers also stop maintaining old versions of their programs, but this is not unfair to users because the users of free software have control over it. If it is important enough to you, you and other users can hire someone to support the old version on your future platforms.
- Microsoft is forcibly pushing Windows update to its version 10, ignoring the flag on Windows 7 or 8 that you could set to not upgrade. This reaffirms the presence of a universal back door in Windows 7 and 8.
- Windows 10 “upgrades” delete applications without asking permission.
- Microsoft is repeatedly nagging many users to install Windows 10.
- Microsoft was for months tricking users into “upgrading” to Windows 10, if they failed to notice and say no.
- Microsoft informs the NSA of bugs in Windows before fixing them.
Microsoft cut off security fixes for Windows XP, except to some big users
that pay exorbitantly.
Microsoft is going to cut off support for some Internet Explorer versions in the same way.
A person or company has the right to cease to work on a particular program; the wrong here is Microsoft does this after having made the users dependent on Microsoft, because they are not free to ask anyone else to work on the program for them.
Microsoft InterferenceVarious proprietary programs often mess up the user's system. They are like sabotage, but they are not grave enough to qualify for the word “sabotage”. Nonetheless, they are nasty and wrong. This section describes examples of Microsoft committing interference.
- Microsoft is planning to make Windows
impose use of its browser, Edge, in certain circumstances.
The reason Microsoft can force things on users is that Windows is nonfree.
- Windows displays
intrusive ads for Microsoft products and its
The article's author starts from the premise that Microsoft has a right to control what Windows does to users, as long as it doesn't go “too far”. We disagree.
- Microsoft inserts annoying advertisements inside of the File Explorer to nag users to buy subscriptions for the OneDrive service.
- In order to increase Windows 10's install base, Microsoft blatantly disregards user choice and privacy.
- Microsoft has started nagging users obnoxiously and repeatedly to install Windows 10.
- Microsoft is tricking users into replacing Windows 7 with Windows 10.
- Microsoft has made companies' Windows machines managed by the company's sysadmins harangue users to complain to the sysadmins about not “upgrading” to Windows 10.
- Windows 10 telemetry program sends information to Microsoft about the
user's computer and their use of the computer.
Furthermore, for users who installed the fourth stable build of Windows 10, called the “Creators Update,” Windows maximized the surveillance by force setting the telemetry mode to “Full”.
The “Full” telemetry mode allows Microsoft Windows engineers to access, among other things, registry keys which can contain sensitive information like administrator's login password.
- Windows DRM files can be used to identify people browsing through Tor. The vulnerability exists only if you use Windows.
- By default, Windows 10 sends debugging information to Microsoft, including core dumps. Microsoft now distributes them to another company.
- It appears Windows 10 sends data to Microsoft about what applications are running.
- A downgrade to Windows 10 deleted surveillance-detection
applications. Then another downgrade inserted a general spying
program. Users noticed this and complained, so Microsoft
to give users the impression it was gone.
To use proprietary software is to invite such treatment.
- Windows 10 comes with 13 screens of snooping options, all enabled by default, and turning them off would be daunting to most users.
ships with default settings that show no regard for the
privacy of its users, giving Microsoft the “right”
to snoop on the users' files, text input, voice input,
location info, contacts, calendar records and web browsing
history, as well as automatically connecting the machines to open
hotspots and showing targeted ads.
- Windows 10 sends identifiable information to Microsoft, even if a user turns off its Bing search and Cortana features, and activates the privacy-protection settings.
- The unique “advertising ID” for each user enables other companies to track the browsing of each specific user.
- Spyware in Windows 8: Windows Update snoops on the user. Windows 8.1 snoops on local searches. And there's a secret NSA key in Windows, whose functions we don't know.
Microsoft SkyDrive allows the NSA to directly examine users' data.
- Spyware in Skype:
Microsoft changed Skype
specifically for spying.
“right” to look at users' files at any time. Windows 10 full disk
gives Microsoft a key.
Thus, Windows is overt malware in regard to surveillance, as in other issues.
The unique “advertising ID” for each user enables other companies to track the browsing of each specific user.
It's as if Microsoft has deliberately chosen to make Windows 10 maximally evil on every dimension; to make a grab for total power over anyone that doesn't drop Windows now.
- DRM (digital restrictions mechanisms) in Windows, introduced to cater to Bluray disks. (The article also talks about how the same malware would later be introduced in MacOS.)
Windows 10 S ought to be called Windows 10 J, for “Jail”:
only programs from the Windows Store can be
downloaded and executed.
If the history of iOS as a jail is any indication, Windows 10 J will be no better.
- Windows 8 on “mobile devices” is a jail: it censors the user's choice of application programs.
Microsoft accidentally left a way for users to install GNU/Linux
on Windows RT tablets, but now it has
“fixed” the “error”. They have the
gall to call this “protecting” the users. The article
talks of installing “Linux”, but the context shows it is
really GNU/Linux that users
- Mobile devices that come with Windows 8 are tyrants: they block users from installing other or modified operating systems.
- Microsoft Office forces
subscribe to Office 360 to be able to create/edit