IDG Contributor Network: Is Windows 10 an operating system or an advertising platform?


Is Windows 10 an operating system or an advertising platform?

Windows 10 has certainly gotten its share of lumps since it was released. Some users really liked it, while other detested the changes made by Microsoft. Windows 10 has proven to be a great example of beauty being in the eye of the beholder.

One writer at BetaNews recently wondered if Windows 10 was an operating system or an advertising platform.

Mark Wilson reports for BetaNews:

Don’t believe what Microsoft tells you — Windows 10 is not an operating system. Oh, sure, it has many features that make it look like an operating system, but in reality it is nothing more than a vehicle for advertisements. Since the launch of Windows 10, there have been numerous complaints about ads in various forms. They appear in the Start menu, in the taskbar, in the Action Center, in Explorer, in the Ink Workspace, on the Lock Screen, in the Share tool, in the Windows Store and even in File Explorer.

Microsoft has lost its grip on what is acceptable, and even goes as far as pretending that these ads serve users more than the company — “these are suggestions”, “this is a promoted app”, “we thought you’d like to know that Edge uses less battery than Chrome”, “playable ads let you try out apps without installing”. But if we’re honest, the company is doing nothing more than abusing its position, using Windows 10 to promote its own tools and services, or those with which it has marketing arrangements. Does Microsoft think we’re stupid?

When Windows 10 first hit computers without a price tag, questions were asked about what the hidden cost might be. We’ve talked about the various telemetry, privacy-invading and tracking features that are to be found, and this is certainly part of the price one pays for a free operating system … sorry, ad platform.

But as more and more ads have gradually crept into Windows 10, the implications of using Windows 10 become ever clearer. Microsoft has boasted about the millions and millions of computers that now have Windows 10 installed. These are not just additions to the user-base, they are consumers ready to be advertised at. It is a captive audience staring at screens all around the world — perfect for pummelling with ads as there’s nowhere to hide!

Readers at BetaNews didn’t pull any punches in sharing their thoughts about advertisements in Windows 10:

What’s wrong with the Linux file system?

Linux, like any other computer operating system, has its quirks. One of the things that can sometimes throw people off is the Linux file system. One redditor recently asked about it and started an interesting thread in the Linux subreddit.

d1ng0b0ng0 started the thread with these comments:

I read somewhere the other day that there is no rhyme or reason to the FSH. It is the way it is because it grew organically over time.

If it were being deployed now, what would be a more effective structure and why?

His fellow redditors responded with their thoughts:

gmes78: “Basically, when Unix was developed, hard drives were small and as such, data was split in different folders so that it could be mounted in different drives. That’s where /usr came from, for example.

A distribution called GoboLinux has an alternative file system layout. See , it’s an interesting read.”

whetu: “Some light reading:

tso: “Any solid system grew into shape over time. Only a fool (or believers of intelligent design) thinks that one can draw up a design and have it be perfect for all eternity thereafter.

And no, throwing out the whole thing and starting over from scratch is not “growing into shape”.”

minimim: “The way files are organized in modern Unix-like systems is a very well thought and good design. Files are split by type, this way it’s possible to easily manipulate and set policy by file type.

Is there a better way? Yes, I think so, and it’s called multi-indexing. Only Mainframe file-systems are done this way. It would mean files can have multiple paths, one by filetype, one by program, another by package, another by MAC tag, etc. Then the system or the user can ask for a different view of the file-system, and would get it. You could easily see all of the files relevant for a certain program, for example. It isn’t done this way yet because it would be very computationally expensive to do so, but it will be this way in the future.”

Lakelava: “A lot of things get old with time as people come up with different and better ways to organize and structure systems. But at the same time you don’t want to change the basics all the time to don’t break old code. Like many things, it is a trade off.”

iheartrms: “It is effective as structured. That’s why it is structured the way it is. It always seems weird to people coming from Windows but that’s just because different is always weird at first.”

feistypenguin: “I know that a lot of the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard was inspired by other Unix-like Operating Systems, and some of the folder structure was adopted for compatibility reasons. Even though the short folder names like “/opt” are a little vague for newcomers, they do make file paths a little less tedious to use over command line.

Early on, I got used to dropping any custom or self-contained apps into the /opt/ directory. If their binaries are used often enough, I will put symlinks in /usr/bin/. If I developed or maintained packages for a distro, I might get more mileage out of folders like /usr/local/ , etc.”

Manjaro Linux 17.0 released

Manjar Linux has been updated to version 17.0, and you can from the Manjaro site. Manjaro offers a number of different desktop environments including XFCE, KDE, and GNOME.

Did you miss a roundup? Check the to get caught up with the latest news about open source and Linux.

This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network.