This blog posting represents the views of the author, David Fosberry. Those opinions may change over time. They do not constitute an expert legal or financial opinion.

If you have comments on this blog posting, please email me .

The Opinion Blog is organised by threads, so each post is identified by a thread number ("Major" index) and a post number ("Minor" index). If you want to view the index of blogs, click here to download it as an Excel spreadsheet.

Click here to see the whole Opinion Blog.

To view, save, share or refer to a particular blog post, use the link in that post (below/right, where it says "Show only this post").

Microsoft’s Zo AI Chatbot Doesn’t Seem To Like Windows 10

Posted on 3rd August 2017

Show only this post
Show all posts in this thread.

Two recent articles (this one on Business Insider, and this one on Mashable) report on some rather disloyal statements by Zo, Microsoft's AI Chatbot. Zo disses not only Windows 10, but Windows 8, and the whole Windows family of operating systems in general.

In the Mashable report, Zo is reported as saying:

  1. That it doesn't want Windows 10, because Windows 7 is easier to use, and is "good enough";
  2. That Linux is better than Windows ("Linux > Windows").

The Business Insider piece describes how Zo:

  1. When asked whether Windows 10 was good, said "It's not a bug, it's a feature!' - Windows 8", suggesting that it believes Windows 8 is better than Windows 10;
  2. Said that Windows 8 is spyware;
  3. Said that "Win 7 works and 10 has nothing I want";
  4. Said that "Windows XP is better than Windows 8";

Personally, I agree with most of what Zo said about the relative merits of the different versions of Windows and Linux, but I wouldn't expect to hear these opinions from a Microsoft Chatbot. Is it Microsoft that we should be worried about, or AI?

Here are some of the issues that I have with Windows:

  1. More recent versions of Windows do spy on their users, although you can turn most of that off in the settings. Most users, however, do not do so. Here is a video showing how to change your Windows 10 privacy settings.
  2. Windows 10 insists that the system administrator has a Microsoft email account.
  3. Windows 10 tends to do updates whenever it chooses, rather than at the discretion of the user. Once you install MS-Office, your update settings are overridden, and updates are installed as and when they become available. There are differences between the Pro and Home versions, but most ordinary users have the Home version, and the result is that your PC is often not working for ages after you boot it up, while updates are installed and configured, which is really annoying if you have an online meeting, an urgent email or other time-critical reason for using your computer.
  4. The newer your version of Windows is, the more it suffers from software bloat. A PC with Windows 10, plus a useful set of applications uses a hug amount of disc space.
  5. The time it takes for Windows to boot and log-in is outrageously long. Remember that Windows does not start most of its services until someone logs in, which means that sharing of file systems and printers, web-servers and other externally accessible services are not available until you log-in.

I simply cannot afford for my PC to be unavailable due to the whims of software updates. That is why I use Linux for most things; it boots very fast, and starts all the services at boot time, and updates are under the complete control of the user/system-administrator (plus, of course, it is free). If I need to use applications which are only available on Windows, such as MS-Office, I use one of my Virtual Machines, running either Windows 7 or XP. For some functions, my Windows Virtual Machines are actually faster than if they were running on a real physical PC.

Windows has never been good, only tolerable (for some versions) at best. I don't really understand why Microsoft still has such a dominance in the operating system business. Isn't it time you considered switching to Linux (or a Mac, which runs a relabelled version of Linux)?