The 'maintenance' thing is criminal in my book.... that MS can come in, change things around and then do pretyy much as they want on your PC. If a builer came into your home uninvited and installed a brand new kitchen you didn't order or want, he could be charged, so why is MS being allowed to enter peoples computers and make unwanted changes?
I installed a 3rd party program to disable Windows Update, yet here I am, getting updates via 'Maintenance'. Hopefully the 3rd party people will come up with another way to prevent unwated crap being downloaded and installed. I don't want MS' modified drivers or firmware... I don't want updates from MS to other items I can get from manufacturers sites.... yet there is MS, ramming them down my throat. Among the crap delivered yesterday was Microsoft's keyboard and mouse drivers and software. Like why do I need that when I'm using Logitech?
What Upsets me most is that Windows 10 is a disaster for user choice and freedoms, yet there are those who are embacing it as the best thing since sliced bread and saqying that me/people who don't like the turn of events are paranoid.... conspiracy theorists. I don't know what it's going to take for these people to change their way of thinking about MS and Windows 10, but I believe it will be too late to reverse things by the time they wake up and smell the roses.
Now I don't know how true this is, but I was speaking with someone the other day who told me that he shut down his Win 7 PC overnight and woke up to Win 10. Having read about the security and other concerns with Win 10, he rolled back to Win 7, but a few daqys later he ran his PC to discover Win 10 was back on it, with no option to roll back. If true, and given MS' recent behaviour, I have little or no reason to doubt it, it means that my plan to run Win 8.1 with 3rd party the aforementioned 'preventers' isn't going to work for too long.
So glad I have Start 10 and WindowBlinds. It makes Windows 10 palatable.
Yes, they make 10 a little more bearable, but 'palatable' is stretching it a bit. What with enforced updates; 'core' phone home devices; key changes being made to user settings without consent; uninstalling/disabling users 3rd party programs, Windows 10 is the most insidious, least user friendly OS ever created. I'm sure going to miss the Stardock customisation programs when I switch to Linux, which seems to be inevitable as more horror stories surface about MS and Win 10. I have been somewhat reluctant to make the full switch before now, but I value my privacy and MY control over MY PC, and things are getting just too risky to remain with 10.
I do have a couple of copies of XP Pro that I could use on non-net connected machines to play around with customisation, but then I don't know how many of the more modern skins would work on it. Then again, I could always run a non-net Win 8.1 machine instead of or as well as.