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Windows 7: Calling home

17 Nov 2010   #11

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

Great, thoughtful post Kari.

The only thing I ask, for this subject and so many related subjects like it, is Transparency and Choice.

Transparency: in knowing when the OS wants to phone home - a pop-up window or a log of all transmissions and their content.

Choice: a simple way to say yes or no - either on the pop-up or a toggle in settings.

Whether talking about Phone-Home or Franken-salmon, I just want to know what it is and have to option to choose it or not. Honest transactions do not have to be conducted behind the scenes or in the shadows - the piracy/privacy sword cuts both ways.

In case any developers are listening!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2010   #12

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Good point, TVeblen.

I like the way Windows Update does this. You have three opt-in choices:
  1. Install updates automatically. Nothing is asked once I have enabled automatic updates, the process is executed without noticing me. Afterwards, WU notifies me of possibly required reboot, and tells me new updates were installed
  2. Download updates without notifying me, ask me then if I want to install the updates or not
  3. Check if updates are available, notify me if yes. Do nothing else without asking
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2010   #13
mickey megabyte

ultimate 64 sp1

if anybody is interested in an example of what microsoft do with CEIP data, then take a look at this video about the evolution of the office ribbon interface.

warning - video is for geeks (and nerds) only and lasts 90 minutes - it sustained my interest throughout, but ymmv.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Nov 2010   #14
Microsoft MVP


I wonder how much useful info MS gets from Problem Reports - which can provide solutions even if you don't Send them in Win7.

It makes me wonder how much telemetry is still being transmitted even without CEIP, and how much more useful the Solutions would be if one subscribes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2010   #15

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 10 Pro x64

Excellent, informative thread. Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2010   #16

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

It's great to see posts like this which truly make you sit down and think...and want to formulate a constructive comment about the subject at hand.

I'm in the camp that I don't worry about what is transmitted. Even if they are collecting marketing information to personalize marketing towards me, I don't really mind. I mean if they see that I like Porn of type X...I guess since I get spam as it is, it might as well be spam about Porn of type X that I like :)

With regards to MS pushing an update via Windows update that does this automatically, i don't really care about that either. I understand that I don't "Own" my copy of Windows...but rather am a licensed user of the software. If MS decides they want to change it's behavior, than I usually accept it or change products. But I do realize that many don't feel this way and believe that once they pay the money for the product they should be allowed to use it any way they see fit.

From a sheer performance standpoint, I believe my PC has plenty of horsepower and I have plenty of bandwidth from my ISP to support this level of activity. However, some people may not have this same feeling about their setup and I could understand their wanting to limit it's impact. Although, I'm sure it's easier to quantify in "theory", versus actually proving the time lost on these random occasional transmissions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2010   #17

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Very well thought out and expressed. I'm also in the camp that I don't mind certain things phoning home, because I'm not doing anything illegal with my computer, nor am I running pirated software. If Windows 7 wants to call home and check for updates that will fix problems...then I'm all for it. Like others, I disable some of these, mainly because I don't like being prompted or bothered by them (I'm looking at you, Adobe and Java!).

I truly believe people get their panties in a bunch for no good reason...when there are plenty of other valid reasons elsewhere in life to be worried about.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2010   #18

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Deacon, Java although not in my A-list but I allow all updates. It's because of internet banking; my bank uses a Java-based security system, and as soon as there's been an update in Java, they seem to update their systems demanding customers to use the latest version, so that's it.

Adobe is on my A-list because Photoshop and Dreamweaver.

:) Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2010   #19

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Im in the same boat.

I have my A list applications that are free to call home any time they choose.

All Microsoft Software, Norton, Acronis, Perfect Disc, and Nero is my list.

I also joined up in the Customer Improvement programs each offers, if they do.
Beyond that, Im a bit cautious.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2010   #20
Joan Archer

Windows 10 64bit/Windows 10 64bit/Windows 10 64bit

I'm another in the camp of letting the computer phone home for it's updates, as someone said I'm not doing anything illegal nor do I have anything on my machine that's illegal so I nothing to hide.

Some of my programs actually ask when you start them if you want to check for updates and you have to say either yes or no, they don't do it without permission and I'm not at all paranoid about it.

Thank you for the post Kari it made for interesting reading and led to a worthy discussion, glad to see you back in form.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Calling home

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