I try to keep on my toes when it comes to latest distributions of Operating Systems that I use. While I don't use anything bleeding edge that I haven't built with my own hands in production, I like to stay abreast of the latest and greatest.
Windows in in recent years become a drag in this respect. Later iterations have ditched interface features that add nothing to functionality, making adoption a pain, especially for someone in my position that frequently administers servers with a variety of different Windows versions. Thats whats so great about shells - it stays a shell. New features are usually actual features and not visual gimmicks.
So I got myself an early copy of Windows 10. I joined the Windows Insider Program. I downloaded the Windows Technical Preview ISO, which you can download by following that link and using the tester Product Key: NKJFK-GPHP7-G8C3J-P6JXR-HQRJR. I started digging around for some documentation before firing up a VM. And thats when I paused.
Last week it became apparent that the Windows 10 Technical Preview comes equipped with incredibly invasive spyware; it maps networks and devices and monitors keystrokes. Then it takes all of those goodies and ships them back to the Mother Ship in Redmond. Many voices were heralding this uncomfortable news - Hacker News. Even outlets that are loath to pick fights with MS, like Softpedia.
The Technical Preview Privacy Statement that users affirm through downloading the software provides the details in plain language:
"If you open a file, we may collect information about the file, the application used to open the file, and how long it takes any use [of] it for purposes such as improving performance, or [if you] enter text, we may collect typed characters, we may collect typed characters and use them for purposes such as improving autocomplete and spell check features,"
Further research is required before removal instructions can be confirmed. For the time being, if you find it necessary to test this OS, do so on a gapped device. An initial internet connection is required for product activation. After that, get rid of it. I would recommend installing on a VM so you can just delete the install's Virtual NIC and also make sure it can't do anything nasty to devices you might have forgotten about or that a visitor might have, like bluetooth enabled phones.
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