A PR disaster: Microsoft has lost trust with its users, and Windows Recall is the straw that broke the camel's back

Davy Strange

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This article is all insinuation and slander, "Just because Microsoft say they won't do something doesn't mean they won't", you endlessly imply.

If they did, that would be a major pr disaster, whereas keeping to their word, after Satya Nadella has told the company to focus on security, suggests they are probably going to keep their word.

They are a large company with countless people checking up on them, if they started to cheat, we'd know about it pretty damned quickly.

Putting adverts in your products says nothing about your honesty when it comes to keeping data secure. Linking the two creates a clearly unjustified sense of mistrust.

This article is drivel and the author should be ashamed of themselves.
 

ShinyProton

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Conceptually, Recall is pretty outstanding - with no equivalent from the competitors.

Many reporters and bloggers started shouting about the feature security without really having understood the underlying implementation.
They also seem to conveniently forget that if you run your PC with a administrative account, ANYTHING you spawn can access your entire computer - Recall or not.

Thus, when you're compromised, your data is not yours anymore - again, Recall or not.

Finally, I don't think Microsoft developed this feature over several months (considering how polished it appears to be) and never had anyone auditing the security side of it.

And if you don't want it, just deactivate it.

So please, shut up and stop the drama.
 

robinglumbergkidd

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Conceptually, Recall is pretty outstanding - with no equivalent from the competitors.

Many reporters and bloggers started shouting about the feature security without really having understood the underlying implementation.
They also seem to conveniently forget that if you run your PC with a administrative account, ANYTHING you spawn can access your entire computer - Recall or not.

Thus, when you're compromised, your data is not yours anymore - again, Recall or not.

Finally, I don't think Microsoft developed this feature over several months (considering how polished it appears to be) and never had anyone auditing the security side of it.

And if you don't want it, just deactivate it.

So please, shut up and stop the drama.
Well said!
 
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Davy Strange

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I look forward to being able to buy a Copilot+ PC, Recall will greatly enhance my productivity.

If you are so happy with Apple and how they treat their users as sponges of money to be wrung ever harder dry, go and get a Mac and stop writing daft claptrap about Windows.
 
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Jack Pipsam

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Actions speak louder than words.

Microsoft makes users jump through loops to setup a computer they purchased (with a legitimate Windows key) without a forced Microsoft Account. How can you trust Microsoft when they actively fight their customers by trying to patch-out workarounds for offline activation?

I've listed to the Windows Central Podcast, I've heard "Oh well Android makes you do it!" as if Google doing something dodgy is a justification for Microsoft doing this for a PC. Funny how Mac & Linux don't need this, funny how previous versions of Windows don't need this... FUNNY HOW WINDOWS 11 DOESN'T NEED IT.

It might be very well easy for you or me to set-up a computer with an account. I've had Microsoft Account forever now, it ties in decades of Email, Xbox, Windows Phone, etc. My OneDrive remembers photos I took on my Windows Phone in the latter years of high-school. However I am not so lacking of grass-touching that I cannot see that this is a major issue for general and broader users. It is a mistake of tech-writers to not consider the possiblites for those who don't live with smart-home lights synced to their smart-watches.

Forcing online & online accounts a terrible practice. Full stop. It's not great for parents gifting a laptop for their child to be first greeted with an account sign-up page. Not ideal for seniors (or even other normies) who struggle with computers to be first greeted with an internet/sign-up page. My senior neighbour (bless her) is always needing my help accessing her Outlook emails. Imagine if she had to setup a Windows 11 system on her own?

There's a local charity that you can donate laptops to and they'll refresh them with Windows before donating them to children in need in Papua New Guinea for school etc. Let me tell you, the PNG isn't exactly awash with home internet access, some villages might have one or two phones if lucky. So do those kids just not get a laptop anymore? - Now the logical choice, swap to Linux, or stick with Windows 10.

Heck, plenty of regional areas of Australia, United States, Canada etc have spotty or lack of internet. Imagine gifting a set of laptops to a remote Indigenous community in the Kimberley (and yes they have schools and laptops), but they might not have a steady internet access, only radio. Well, **** you if you get a Windows 11 laptop kids. You cannot even get to the desktop.

Microsoft doesn't care, they are the owner of the world's largest operating system. An overwhelming amount of market-share. But that's not good enough apparently, being a trillion dollar company isn't good enough. You need to squeeze every drip of data from users, an in the process cut off those without internet, those who aren't tech-savy and those who aren't over 13 (who you can legally suck the data from).

So no, I don't trust Microsoft with Recall. Why would you? They force an internet connection and a Microsoft Account when there's literally no reason other than greed. It is not unreasonable to assume an alternative motive for Recall when Microsoft hasn't even shown the bare minimum pretense of care for their own customers.

People want their computers to be easy, fast and stable. They couldn't give a toss about a MSN News widget.
 

Daniel Rubino

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This article is all insinuation and slander, "Just because Microsoft say they won't do something doesn't mean they won't", you endlessly imply.

If they did, that would be a major pr disaster, whereas keeping to their word, after Satya Nadella has told the company to focus on security, suggests they are probably going to keep their word.

They are a large company with countless people checking up on them, if they started to cheat, we'd know about it pretty damned quickly.

Putting adverts in your products says nothing about your honesty when it comes to keeping data secure. Linking the two creates a clearly unjustified sense of mistrust.

This article is drivel and the author should be ashamed of themselves.
No shame though we are getting a chuckle out of some of the more dramatic comments. It's an opinion piece, and you are free to disagree with your own opinion.

Slander is oral. Libel is written.

Your accused implication, which is interpretive, does not follow under slander as this is an opinion article about how poorly Microsoft's PR was prepared for the announcement of Recall along with past history.
 

Daniel Rubino

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I've listed to the Windows Central Podcast, I've heard "Oh well Android makes you do it!" as if Google doing something dodgy is a justification for Microsoft doing this for a PC. Funny how Mac & Linux don't need this, funny how previous versions of Windows don't need this... FUNNY HOW WINDOWS 11 DOESN'T NEED IT.
While I appreciate you listening to the podcast, you missed the point above. It was NOT saying, "It's OK because Google does it." It's saying people are hypocritical since Android (and even Apple) have "ads" throughout their systems, but there are no hyperbolic articles written about it, i.e., Google/Apple are given a pass.

That matters since if Microsoft sees no blowback from Google/Apple and their customers, why should it not expect the same? It gives Microsoft a pass to try such strategies.

Weirdly, people get bent out of shape over having an account requirement during setup (OOBE), even though Anrdoid/ChromeOS/Apple does it all the time. Where's the outrage, though? Am I missing it? It's no surprise that Microsoft tries to do the same, why wouldn't they?

This was exemplified by Elon Musk tweeting that Windows requiring you to log in via an account during Windows setup was BS, even though whatever phone he used, you KNOW he had the same requirement. I don't remember that tweet, though! Doesn't matter, as his nonsense spread around, and here we are.
 
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Daniel Rubino

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Conceptually, Recall is pretty outstanding - with no equivalent from the competitors.

Many reporters and bloggers started shouting about the feature security without really having understood the underlying implementation.
They also seem to conveniently forget that if you run your PC with a administrative account, ANYTHING you spawn can access your entire computer - Recall or not.

Thus, when you're compromised, your data is not yours anymore - again, Recall or not.

Finally, I don't think Microsoft developed this feature over several months (considering how polished it appears to be) and never had anyone auditing the security side of it.

And if you don't want it, just deactivate it.

So please, shut up and stop the drama.
The issue at hand is less technical and more about image. I can tell you firsthand that Microsoft PR was not prepared for the type of questions people were asking about the security of Recall.

It released an FAQ the day after to try to address the questions, but the company assumed this was "NBD" when it was. Again, not because its technical instantiation was incorrect or flawed, but because it treated concern as an afterthought. It should have known better.

Even when asked about the ability to see the info unencrypted, the company had no response for the media. That's a really poor way to manage this situation.

Had the company come out ahead by doing a deeper dive into Recall's security and concerns, this would not have been as big an issue. This is PR 101.
 
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linkzero1979

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Well said!
You should stop being lazy. We were designed to be self sufficient. But you are willing to let a company evade human rights. For what a machine to do everything for you then what will happen when the lights/ power goes out. It would be a disaster. when government steps in and demands data what then. Look at the kids now , the next generation being raised. Yes they may know how to use a phone or app but that's it. They know nothing of how it works or how to fix it if it breaks. Tech companies have way to much power and that will put them over the top. I hope it doesn't sell. Most intelligent people actual intelligent people that don't just have intelligence but gained the knowledge of how to use that intelligence and stop rushing something that's not ready it's not necessary it just stupid buz words and keeping the fat cats fat period. Stupid people like you should pull there head out of there or Microsoft behind and think it through completely instead of being all in awe by shiny colors and flashing lights. Stop being lead by corporations.
 

ShinyProton

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The issue at hand is less technical and more about image. I can tell you firsthand that Microsoft PR was not prepared for the type of questions people were asking about the security of Recall.

It released an FAQ the day after to try to address the questions, but the company assumed this was "NBD" when it was. Again, not because its technical instantiation was incorrect or flawed, but because it treated concern as an afterthought. It should have known better.

Even when asked about the ability to see the info unencrypted, the company had no response for the media. That's a really poor way to manage this situation.

Had the company come out ahead by doing a deeper dive into Recall's security and concerns, this would not have been as big an issue. This is PR 101.
I agree with yours points. They should have seen this coming.

BTW, Daniel, my comment was more directed towards the general press and bloggers, not your article in particular.

To complement on this topic, one has to remember that a default Windows installation makes you use your computer with an administrative account. The possible Recall security issue starts way before this new feature.
 

SvenJ

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If you are really concerned, the easiest way to avoid it is to not buy a Copilot+ PC when they become available. They are not yet. If for some strange reason you must have one, turn it off. Seems simple.
Of course you can always proactively hack it onto a PC which is not intended to support it so you can complain about it.
 
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fdruid

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This is an exaggeration...

What I can concede with no doubt is that people love to hate Microsoft, and are waiting to pounce at them at the first chance they got, they'll go straight to the throat. I don't think it's fair.
 
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bradavon

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Weirdly, people get bent out of shape over having an account requirement during setup (OOBE), even though Anrdoid/ChromeOS/Apple does it all the time. Where's the outrage, though? Am I missing it? It's no surprise that Microsoft tries to do the same, why wouldn't they?
It's fine to have a requirement from the start but to add it later is problematic for people.

Although I agree actually. I don't get the hate for Windows 11.

I never see Ads, pretty sure this is a US centric issue tbh, and Windows just works better using a Microoft account. So I do.

You don't actually have to have a Google account on an Android but it again works much better, so everyone does.
 
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