Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Hazybeard

Member
  • Content Count

    8
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Reputation Activity

  1. Funny
    Hazybeard got a reaction from kpluck in Unacceptable anti-competitive and anti-consumer practices in game pass for PC   
    Hey everyone,
     
    I have something I feel I need to say to you all regarding Microsoft and more specifically their Xbox Game Pass for PC. I first started using it after seeing a recommendation for it on the WAN show on LinusTechTips. What I am about to say is not written because I hate Microsoft, I don’t. It's also not that I have a fundamental problem with the Game Pass, it's been great for me, and I am glad it's out there. I am writing this piece because what I found while looking into the way the Game Pass is made to work is plainly unacceptable.
     
    Recently, I wanted to look around the Xbox Game Pass game files because I was interested in moving a game I was playing courtesy of my game pass to another disk.
     
    When searching, I quickly found that I was not able to get the path to the executable using task manager. I had to download a program (Process Explorer) to figure out the path to the executable. However, once I had the path, I found that I was still not able to get to the executable as the WindowsApps folder was hidden. I checked the ‘view hidden items’ box in folder options to show it.
     
    In order to be able to navigate to the WindowsApps folder, I had to make myself the owner of the WindowsApps folder and all sub-folders. Only then I was able to modify my own permissions to be able to navigate into the folder - even though I am an administrator on my system.
     
    I thought it would now be simple after that, sadly not. When I found the game files I was greeted with a lock symbol on all the files. I was not able to open any of the files from the explorer, I was not able to copy them, I was not able to view any of the file contents even though according to the windows permissions I had full control.
     
    SO:
    1. The WindowsApps folder is hidden
    2. The executable path and game folder is hidden
    3. The files themselves are locked down at OS level, there is NO way to get access to them EVEN if you are logged on as an Administrator. All you can see is a list of files.
     
    This therefore means in order for me to be able to use the game pass I need to allow Microsoft to put files on my system whose contents and purpose are shrouded in complete secrecy. Basically Microsoft is putting stuff on my PC that I can never see. I have no idea what’s in there. Effectively no one outside Microsoft is allowed to know what’s in there.
     
    Once I started to realise what was going on, ON MY PC, I needed to take a moment. This totally blew my mind.
     
    I started thinking about what was really going on here, basically there is stuff on your computer that you can’t access. It would be like somebody dropping a mystery package in your house which unbeknownst to you is illegal drugs. Then the police show up, when you say “hey it's ok, cos I didn’t know it was drugs”, they are not going to say “oh in that case it's fine”. They are going to arrest you.
     
    So on my PC, who is responsible for these secret files? In a system that lacks transparency, such as this system, who is responsible when it goes wrong?
     
    Then I thought, hang on, this is totally unfair. This is clearly anti-competitive. Steam, Epic Games, EA, etc do not have a gaming dominant OS like MS does. Even if they wanted to play with the files on your PC, locking them further than windows permissions, they would not be able to. Once MS abuses their power as owners of your OS, they may well be able to trounce the competition, maybe put Steam or EA or whoever aims to set up an online game store, out of business. Then, once they control the market, they can hike the price. Jobs will be lost, competition in the marketplace could disappear and the consumer will suffer.
     
    What if there is malware that manages to abuse this system, there is no way for you to clean it.
     
    I like to mod my games, if I am paying for a game I like to be able to play with that game. Even mod it, add to it, change it, I don’t know, as a paying customer I should be able to use it as I see fit. I have paid for that privilege haven’t I? If I cannot mod my game or change it in any way (within reason ofc), be clear about that, in the same way be clear about putting hidden, secret files on my PC! Transparency is good for everyone!!!!
     
    What if I wanna shift files around on my PC or to a new PC, it’s not possible to do that under this system without having to redownload it all.
     
    Locking down at an OS just level feels so wrong to me. I bought all the hardware, I bought windows, I configured this system, it's mine, it's my hobby and I work on this PC, and chat on it to friends, why am I not able to access files on my own system? What is so important that they have to put secret locked files on my PC? Does anyone know what the files are? Who can even check except for Microsoft? Does Microsoft know they are clean? How certain are they about their full contents at all times? Let's be clear here, MS have had countless issues with system integrity over the years on their operating systems. So how can we be confident that they are able to ensure the integrity of these secret folders on my PC, which were mostly written by other companies.
     
    Locking down the files kills any possibility of using the Xbox Game Pass for PC on Linux. Linux is an open system and will likely never add support for such a closed system. What does this mean for Microsoft’s new stated love for Linux?
     
    Upon further investigation, I found that this is an issue which dates back to 2016. I suspect it has been “flying under the radar” since then because people were not using the Microsoft store much until a lot more recently. However, with the massive amount of people now subscribing to the game pass on PC, these secret files are becoming much more relevant.
     
    I think we as a community should review if the presence of secret files on customer’s PCs is acceptable. This is a conversation and a debate that needs to happen publically. I would love for the Microsoft Game Pass to succeed. I think it's great and it suits my gaming habits so well. But I feel it needs to be done fairly. Microsoft should not be taking advantage of the fact that they own the dominant gaming OS. It also needs to be transparent. Nothing that is on a private PC should be locked down at the OS level. We all need to be able to see everything that is on our systems.
     
    Thank you all. Sources:
    1. https://www.windowscentral.com/epic-games-co-founder-says-industry-must-fight-microsoft-uwp (2016)
    2. https://torrentfreak.com/pirates-crack-microsofts-uwp-protection-five-layers-of-drm-defeated-180215/ (2018, I do not encourage piracy, what is important to take away from this article is the severity and lengths microsoft have gone to harming PAYING consumers in the process)
     
     
  2. Agree
    Hazybeard reacted to Mark Kaine in Unacceptable anti-competitive and anti-consumer practices in game pass for PC   
    it's just bad practice, when I replaced my non OS drive I noticed it had a couple of windows"apps" folders on it which I couldn't delete whatsoever... what I think happened is that I downloaded a program from MS store and that just stored stuff on my secondary drive... and that program later stopped working randomly after a windows update... but that got never fixed with another update,nor did windows delete these now useless folders, basically taking the drive ransom... 
    I eventually had to format the drive to get rid of these folders... they weren't even big, 100mb or so, they were just annoying and I wasn't sure if they'd suddenly mess up other windows installs or what, as I now use that drive as a backup drive...
     
    Long story short, it's a huge mess and I personally find this indeed unacceptable. ಠ_ಠ
  3. Informative
    Hazybeard got a reaction from Mark Kaine in Unacceptable anti-competitive and anti-consumer practices in game pass for PC   
    Hey everyone,
     
    I have something I feel I need to say to you all regarding Microsoft and more specifically their Xbox Game Pass for PC. I first started using it after seeing a recommendation for it on the WAN show on LinusTechTips. What I am about to say is not written because I hate Microsoft, I don’t. It's also not that I have a fundamental problem with the Game Pass, it's been great for me, and I am glad it's out there. I am writing this piece because what I found while looking into the way the Game Pass is made to work is plainly unacceptable.
     
    Recently, I wanted to look around the Xbox Game Pass game files because I was interested in moving a game I was playing courtesy of my game pass to another disk.
     
    When searching, I quickly found that I was not able to get the path to the executable using task manager. I had to download a program (Process Explorer) to figure out the path to the executable. However, once I had the path, I found that I was still not able to get to the executable as the WindowsApps folder was hidden. I checked the ‘view hidden items’ box in folder options to show it.
     
    In order to be able to navigate to the WindowsApps folder, I had to make myself the owner of the WindowsApps folder and all sub-folders. Only then I was able to modify my own permissions to be able to navigate into the folder - even though I am an administrator on my system.
     
    I thought it would now be simple after that, sadly not. When I found the game files I was greeted with a lock symbol on all the files. I was not able to open any of the files from the explorer, I was not able to copy them, I was not able to view any of the file contents even though according to the windows permissions I had full control.
     
    SO:
    1. The WindowsApps folder is hidden
    2. The executable path and game folder is hidden
    3. The files themselves are locked down at OS level, there is NO way to get access to them EVEN if you are logged on as an Administrator. All you can see is a list of files.
     
    This therefore means in order for me to be able to use the game pass I need to allow Microsoft to put files on my system whose contents and purpose are shrouded in complete secrecy. Basically Microsoft is putting stuff on my PC that I can never see. I have no idea what’s in there. Effectively no one outside Microsoft is allowed to know what’s in there.
     
    Once I started to realise what was going on, ON MY PC, I needed to take a moment. This totally blew my mind.
     
    I started thinking about what was really going on here, basically there is stuff on your computer that you can’t access. It would be like somebody dropping a mystery package in your house which unbeknownst to you is illegal drugs. Then the police show up, when you say “hey it's ok, cos I didn’t know it was drugs”, they are not going to say “oh in that case it's fine”. They are going to arrest you.
     
    So on my PC, who is responsible for these secret files? In a system that lacks transparency, such as this system, who is responsible when it goes wrong?
     
    Then I thought, hang on, this is totally unfair. This is clearly anti-competitive. Steam, Epic Games, EA, etc do not have a gaming dominant OS like MS does. Even if they wanted to play with the files on your PC, locking them further than windows permissions, they would not be able to. Once MS abuses their power as owners of your OS, they may well be able to trounce the competition, maybe put Steam or EA or whoever aims to set up an online game store, out of business. Then, once they control the market, they can hike the price. Jobs will be lost, competition in the marketplace could disappear and the consumer will suffer.
     
    What if there is malware that manages to abuse this system, there is no way for you to clean it.
     
    I like to mod my games, if I am paying for a game I like to be able to play with that game. Even mod it, add to it, change it, I don’t know, as a paying customer I should be able to use it as I see fit. I have paid for that privilege haven’t I? If I cannot mod my game or change it in any way (within reason ofc), be clear about that, in the same way be clear about putting hidden, secret files on my PC! Transparency is good for everyone!!!!
     
    What if I wanna shift files around on my PC or to a new PC, it’s not possible to do that under this system without having to redownload it all.
     
    Locking down at an OS just level feels so wrong to me. I bought all the hardware, I bought windows, I configured this system, it's mine, it's my hobby and I work on this PC, and chat on it to friends, why am I not able to access files on my own system? What is so important that they have to put secret locked files on my PC? Does anyone know what the files are? Who can even check except for Microsoft? Does Microsoft know they are clean? How certain are they about their full contents at all times? Let's be clear here, MS have had countless issues with system integrity over the years on their operating systems. So how can we be confident that they are able to ensure the integrity of these secret folders on my PC, which were mostly written by other companies.
     
    Locking down the files kills any possibility of using the Xbox Game Pass for PC on Linux. Linux is an open system and will likely never add support for such a closed system. What does this mean for Microsoft’s new stated love for Linux?
     
    Upon further investigation, I found that this is an issue which dates back to 2016. I suspect it has been “flying under the radar” since then because people were not using the Microsoft store much until a lot more recently. However, with the massive amount of people now subscribing to the game pass on PC, these secret files are becoming much more relevant.
     
    I think we as a community should review if the presence of secret files on customer’s PCs is acceptable. This is a conversation and a debate that needs to happen publically. I would love for the Microsoft Game Pass to succeed. I think it's great and it suits my gaming habits so well. But I feel it needs to be done fairly. Microsoft should not be taking advantage of the fact that they own the dominant gaming OS. It also needs to be transparent. Nothing that is on a private PC should be locked down at the OS level. We all need to be able to see everything that is on our systems.
     
    Thank you all. Sources:
    1. https://www.windowscentral.com/epic-games-co-founder-says-industry-must-fight-microsoft-uwp (2016)
    2. https://torrentfreak.com/pirates-crack-microsofts-uwp-protection-five-layers-of-drm-defeated-180215/ (2018, I do not encourage piracy, what is important to take away from this article is the severity and lengths microsoft have gone to harming PAYING consumers in the process)
     
     
  4. Agree
    Hazybeard got a reaction from Mark Kaine in Unacceptable anti-competitive and anti-consumer practices in game pass for PC   
    Yes, but you are not blocked from reading the actual bytes. You cannot in this case. I am not talking about understanding the bytes, that's secondary.
  5. Like
    Hazybeard got a reaction from Cyberspirit in Unacceptable anti-competitive and anti-consumer practices in game pass for PC   
    Fixed, sorry about that. Copied it from word, seems to have taken the background with it.
×