May 26, 2016 - 2:29pm
This post is imported from The Guardian by Michele Hanson
I am sitting at my computer, getting on with my work, when suddenly an unseen hand takes over. It stops my work and starts an update, which I can not stop, never asked for and do not want, from Windows 7 to Windows 10. Red alert! Where is my work? What the hell is happening to my computer?
“Your computer?” says Clayden scornfully, and he is right. I’m sitting in my home, at my desk, using a computer that I think belongs to me, but it doesn’t. It seems to belong to Microsoft, because they’re in charge of it. They’ve poked their way into my living room, stopped me working, sabotaged my printer, which was specially set up to match Windows 7, stopped the sound on iPlayer, wasted hours of my time while I fiddle about trying to find files and sort out how this wretched new system works. They’ve given me a fright, ruined my day, and possibly my life, because I think I’ve lost the bulk of my documents.
An annoying little notice rears up in the corner of my screen. “I’m Cortana,” it says. “Ask me anything.” Here’s a machine telling me what to do, and I’m falling for it. Because I just wrote: “It says”. No, it doesn’t. It can’t speak. It’s a sodding machine, taking over.
I moan at Fielding, who’s cheesed off with his Mac, which has also sabotaged his iPlayer. He must update it. It’s only four years old. But this is the age of built-in obsolescence, AKA rubbish, guaranteed not to last.
“Are you sure you haven’t turned yours off?” he asks. No. It’s on. I can see the little lights glimmering. There’s just no sound or sense to it.
How dare Microsoft intrude on my private life like this? What a bloody cheek. And I am not alone. They’ve been doing these updates since July last year, although they claim they don’t install them without users’ permission. Whatever’s going on, they need to fix it like they promised. Because it’s still happening. So I’m stuck here, waiting for them to come and fix it. How long do you think they’ll be?