View Full Version : Windows 8.1

21-09-2013, 09:56 PM
Windows Secrets have had a play with Windows 8.1 and it is a bit disconcerting that not only will users' searches be sending info to Microsoft by default but they will now be aggressively targeting users with adverts.

Windows 8's search charm is a bit funky it doesn't work the way most people would expect, but at least it isn't a stoolie for Microsoft. In Windows 8.1, that changes drastically. By default, when you enter search terms into the Charms bar search box, Win8.1 uses the new "Smart Search" feature to search Everywhere not just your local system but the Internet, too. If you don't remember to change the drop-down filter box to something else (such as Files), Smart Search sends every search string you enter to Microsoft. Search your files for "pregnant" or "Aryan nation" or "Anonymous" or "HIV," and those search terms are passed along with your Microsoft account information to the company.

All the better to Bing you with later. When Microsoft talks to consumers about Smart Search, the marketing folks use terms such as "innovative" and "giving people a faster way to find, discover, and do." But when the company talks to advertisers about this feature, here's what it promotes:

"Bing Ads will be an integral part of the new Windows 8.1 Smart Search experience. Now, with a single campaign setup, advertisers can connect with consumers across Bing, Yahoo! and the new Windows Search with highly relevant ads for their search queries. In addition, Bing Ads will include web previews of websites and the latest features like site links, location and call extensions, making it easier for consumers to complete tasks and for advertisers to drive qualified leads."

That's how your private search information is being sold in Windows 8.1.

To prevent this users will have to manually change the search settings. All very well and good but this is only going to happen if, firstly, you know about it, and secondly, you know how to fix it. Most people will know neither. :(

There are more sneaky tricks up Microsoft's sleeve with this release also, to do with SkyDrive. Watch out otherwise it will start costing you money. Read all about it here (https://windowssecrets.com/top-story/touring-through-the-final-windows-8-1/).

Maybe I should stick with Win 7 instead of getting Windows 8.

21-09-2013, 10:37 PM
Yea, saw that. Can't say it impressed me, either. I am on Win8 so will 'upgrade' but I will change those settings I think.

If you can't see any advantage you may as well stay on Win7.

Speedy Gonzales
22-09-2013, 09:43 AM
Yup I just turned it off