What are people thinking about MS Copilot+ Recall? Time to move to Linux/Mac?

I've been seeing a lot of feedback about this, particularly the "feature" by which Recall will basically record everything you do and store it in convenient (unencrypted?) text files for some future malware to harvest en masse. I'm seeing a fair few posts and YT vids suggesting that this feature would be a strong reason to move away from Windows. If Recall gets implemented in the currently suggested way (a big if, in my opinion) and isn't trivial to not only remove, but permanently prevent from coming back, I can see a lot of techies abandoning Windows.

Given that the overlap between people using DOpus and being techy enough to know about Recall, I'm wondering how many DOpus users would bail on Windows, even if that means losing DOpus, and whether it would change the devs' long-stated lack of intention to port DOpus to other platforms? I for one have long thought that the only thing really preventing me from moving to Linux has been the prospect of losing DOpus, which I've been using since v4 on the Amiga.

You can just disable it or not?

Problem is, i'm losing trust in Microsoft increasingly. What, if they secretly send this stuff over to their servers, or directly to the NSA, even if you believe to have it turned off? I don't think, i will allow any further update to newer versions of Windows.

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From what I've heard so far, it's opt-out, enabled by default. Whether it remains disabled or can be uninstalled completely is another question. I'd also be unsurprised if it were reenabled or reinstalled after Windows updates, since MS has a tendency to do that with other software, like Edge.

I should also state that I think it's highly likely that it won't get released in its current form, given the obvious privacy risks and the loss outcry against it so far. I don't know whether it's already available on some new PCs, either: I've been assuming that, since I only heard of it in the last week or so. It's an upcoming feature, not in the wild yet.

None of my PCs are new enough to officially run Win 11, else I would have upgraded already. By the time Win 10 goes EOL I expect to have upgraded at least some of my hardware, but if Recall isn't trivial to permanently remove, I really don't think I want to run Windows any more.

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I know very little about Copilot other than I don't want it.
I don't use Microsoft Office applications, I use Softmaker.

SoftMaker Software GmbH
Kronacher Str. 7
90427 Nuremberg
Germany

I have used Softmaker for many years, although they are becoming much more expensive.
Still, it is better than Microsoft. They do have sales and their licenses are valid for 5 PCs.
I'm still on Softmaker Office 2021 ; no AI Chat GPT.

Tools like Rufus can remove the hardware checks from the installation medium, letting you install Win11 on systems with CPUs as old as first-gen Core-i.

I run Win11 on first and fourth-gen Core-i5 without a problem. On the contrary, they seem to run even a bit better with Win11.

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If it's just implemented "in the currently suggested way", it's just a matter of not getting a Copilot+ PC.

I suspect there will always be ways to bypass it, if not by using cleaner versions of Windows (be it LTSC or stripped down versions maintained by others than MS).

I'm more curious to see what MS is going to do about bringing people over to Win11 before October 2025, than that I'm worried about Recall in the meantime. For all we know there will be a miracle with them porting LTSC into a Windows 11 Lite that runs on older machines without any TPM and heavy system requirements, which they have shown to be possible, in which case that will be the version to go with.

The only reason I'm using Windows is for all its applications anyways, otherwise I would still be running Windows virtualized on Linux. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple already does record everything one does, hence they were able to bring back supposedly deleted media. #conspiracy

Switching to Linux is a process, not a toggle, at least be prepared! o) I suggest to run a VM and start to discover. I'm trying around and exploring for about 2 years now. The longer and more advanced you moved on the Windows platform, the harder the transition will be.

Using Linux is travelling back in time in a lot of areas, but hey, I think because you were able to game and do work on computers 25 years ago, it should be possible to use Linux for most things! o)

You run into problems if you do a lot of photo, video and general file management tasks. Also prepare to encounter and report a lot of bugs, even in applications which have been around for decades.

Desktop, terminal and application interoperability is kind of bad on Linux. Everything is based on running command lines, it's slow and cumbersome and incompatible to itself. There is "dbus", a message bus, to ease some pain, but basically nobody knows how to use it.

If you compare that to the Amiga days, where basically every application had an Arexx interface, Linux is stone age in that regard.

It's very likely that you will not work as smoothly on Linux as you did on Windows for the next 10-20 years, if it will ever catch up, but that's not where you have to base your decision on. If you want "ad free" and "open source", then do it. Living in a wooden cabin without water and electricity from the wall is harder as well, but surely possible. o)

I don't panic because of any new Windows invention. Most of the time (99%), you can disable them and be fine. I run a custom "debloating" script, which does not really debloat, but just disables a lot of windows things (scheduled tasks, services, etc.) and my Win10 is as silent as Win2k was. Windows does not annoy me at all anymore (but it surely did before). I guess you can do the same on Win11, just don't go with "Windows Home" editions, they've been a bad choice ever since I guess.

Another option:
Run a Microsoft Server as your desktop OS! I use several, they feel awesome, they don't have any annoying features, they just let you do your work! o)

Regarding file management on Linux and "missing DO", yes.. it's a problem! I try to get in contact with the Linux developers and make them aware of what Linux file managers are missing. It's not easy, any helping hand is appreciated. o)

A big problem on Linux is "mind set". many Linux developers don't see a reason to add anything to their project. They don't feel the need, they don't think average Joe would care. The Linux community is actually not very "open and free" from my experience. Linux people are not necessarily professional either (leading to below average applications and solutions) and many projects and developers actually put up a shield, they live on their own little planet, they don't want you to participate, they don't want your "help". o)

That's why so many Linux distros and forks exist out there, because people are not able to aim in the same direction when there is no project management or money involved.

So, from my point of view, Linux is actually not a solution, it just creates different problems.

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Nice example of how Linux "works":

This is a nearly 25 years old KDE bug/issue, marked as "solved", but not really solved.
https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=36065

You can't drag n drop an item from a background window into a window at the front on Linux, without the window in the back popping into the front and hiding your drop target window. It's just ridiculous that they did not manage to fix this. Nobody in charge in any of the big projects (X11, Wayland, KDE, XFCE, GNOME, Gtk or Qt) felt the need or actually cared to make it work as expected (as it does in Windows e.g.).

If at least existing options in the window managers would allow to compensate for that behaviour, you could live with a flaw in the implementation I guess, but necessary options to handle application windows in various ways are missing as well. I recently wrote a "double click to front" application for XFCE desktop.. it felt like back in the Amiga days, but Linux is even more behind! o)

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Let us not forget...

.. free and open source :slight_smile:

You make it sound like moving to Apple or Linux is a choice. For most people it simply isn't, and I think we've pretty much established that over the last 30 years. Even the last time there was a Microsoft crisis (Windows ME), people chose to hold their noses and use it.

I was an Amiga user too, all through the 90s and 00s. If I've learned anything from it, anything at all, is that an operating system is just there to run the software you want to run, on the hardware you want to run it on. If it can't do that, it's no good to anyone, no matter how good it is on other metrics. OS advocacy is mindless.

Apple is so locked down third party programmers are abandoning it - the fact alone that everything has to be compiled in xcode puts most of them off. Apart from that the support for anyone but Apple and those willing to pay into the ecosystem is atrocious.

Linux is still Linux: a server OS. It's great at this, but it's still a massive kludge as a desktop. It has made great bounds as a gaming platform (considering where it was, which was nowhere), but it's develop-until-boring-then-fork mentality never left it.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love access to ZFS and the kernel stability of Linux, but it was never "ready" to meet my total needs and probably never will be.

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I have another, maybe contrasting view to share.

I'm both Win+Opus and Linux user. I use Win at home and Linux at work for maybe 6 years now. As I work in IT company Linux is almost perfect for what I do. It's rock-stable on my company's laptop. Sometimes my uptime is more than a year (I only put it to suspend). Nothing happens on it's own what I wouldn't like. All tools I use works better and faster on Linux than they do on Windows. Not to mention Windows memory appetite. Normal docker, normal utilities, normal command line etc. We don't use Office documents at work, we use cloud solutions for that, so I just need Firefox to access them all. What I'm really missing is better file management (I'm used to Opus) and fast text editor like Notepad++ (VS Studio code is a joke compared to Notepad++ speed). I even started to propagate Linux awareness along way less experienced computer users. I tried Linux with elders with great success if it's only fully compatible with their computer (which is not always the case). I have no calls with "something popped up by itself" or "I clicked something in some menu and something downloaded" nor crying for help either. No virus and no antivirus problems :person_shrugging:. Ease of remote access in case of help required. This is another group of users I would say Linux is surprisingly well-suited. Assisted beginners.

Linux isn't that nice and pretty in all cases, though. There are some things you may want/need to do in the system (or install some custom application if it's available at all) that will be surprisingly difficult and you will spend way too much time doing it comparing to alternative solutions available for Windows. Linux was brought to live by IT specialist for themselves first. So they developed it with IT specialist view. They did tools for themselves the way they wanted them to look like. If you aren't from such domain and you still do some professional work you may not be so lucky. Video and photo editing is often mentioned. DaVinci resolve works slower and has more bugs on Linux. The same with Raw Therapee and few other tools. Forget Photoshop, Photomatrix Pro or Autopano. And forget Opus. :frowning:

So: can you get away with Linux as most obvious option to switch? That depends. What I would like to suggest is:

  • try Linux, maybe on VM, see if it suits you - possibly more than one distro
  • start limiting your software choices with only software that is also available on Linux to see if you're good with such tools
  • define what you do on your computer

If you want to stick with Windows I guess you will be good. You will be able to disable this and undoubtedly new crap that is coming, I'm sure you'll find the way as a power user. Is Linux a way out? I don't know. Is it worth considering? It is.

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For me there are still three reasons to stick it out with Windows:

  1. Directory Opus
  2. Mp3tag
  3. Foobar

There are workarounds for (2) and (3). The possibly best solution is a dual boot machine, or a Linux with a VM for Windows. Not there yet.

Here's a useful take on all this: Is Microsoft trying to commit suicide?

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I would have been using Linux for years already, if there had been decent analogs of Windows software (they don't need to be free!), DOpus included.

re: Recall, I highly doubt it can be enabled per default as a potential risk. Home users might not know about it, but big companies and government branches, especially outside USA, would immediately cry very loudly and stop it.

This summarizes the Linux on desktop dilemma perfectly.

I'm a certified Linux (and Unix actually) admin, and I don't use Linux on desktop. Every time I think "Oh maybe it has improved since I last tried X, Y, Z" and try to switch to Linux as main system, I find out they fixed X & Y, but Z got worse and they introduced A, B, C problems. And my favorite programs like Foobar2000, MP3Tag, DOpus, AHK, etc. have not even remotely comparable counterparts. The media players and management are a complete, utter, sad joke under Linux. And if you wanna have same desktop/window automation and file management under Linux, be prepared to use 10, 20 different tools, from Python to shell scripts to obscure tools (devil's pie anyone?) for one or other desktop (KDE, Gnome, etc) but not other. So yeah, not a solution, just different problems.

Well, to be fair, Windows is also like that sometimes. Windows users just got used to it or they immediately apply workarounds for system problems after installing it.

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We'll probably see a bloom of Linux use when Microsoft discontinue Windows 10. There is a LOT of perfectly serviceable stuff out there that doesn't have TPM 2.0 or can get it.

I've got a Surface Pro 5 (2017) that can't officially get Win 11 and while the battery is shot, I think I can still find uses for it post-10. I've tentatively started looking for a viable Linux distro.

I think that despite how many people declare the switch such movement will be marginal. I think that not more than 1% of current Windows 10 users will switch to Linux.

BTW: Microsoft recently changed its mind and declared that not only users will be able to disable feature of constant screenshoting but also it will be disabled by default.