Microsoft might be spooked by Windows 10 user numbers – but will make upgrading to Windows 11 easier be the answer?

If you’re a Windows 10 user, you may have been prompted to download Windows 11 22H2 to upgrade to Windows 11. You would then need to fully reboot your system to download the newer Windows 11 23H2. Thankfully, it seems like Microsoft has cut down this tedious process and will now let you upgrade straight to Windows 11 23H2 from Windows 10.  

As spotted by Mayank Parmar of Windows Latest, a new server-side change allows people to more easily upgrade their operating system, and noted that over the past few weeks, some PCs have started offering ‘Windows 11 23H2’ rather than the older 22H2 update. 

The old system of updating didn’t really make a lot of sense – why would you download an update just to reboot and download yet another one to get to Windows 11?

I’m glad that the process has become a bit more streamlined, and it seems like the option will be offered to more and more people in the coming weeks. If you are yet to update to Windows 10, I’d recommend holding off until you’re prompted to jump straight to Windows 11 23H2 – if only to save yourself the headache of a lengthy double-update.

Make it worth it, Microsoft 

If you’re planning to hold onto Windows 10 as long as possible, you’ve got about two years of Windows 10 support before Microsoft will start really pushing for you to upgrade (though the in-OS nagging has already begun). Windows 10 losing support won’t mean the end of the operating system entirely – you’ll still be able to use it as you normally would once the deadline for support has passed. 

However, you’ll no longer receive security updates, bug fixes, or any new features for Windows 10. That leaves you vulnerable to cyber-attacks and annoying system glitches, so you’ll have to weigh up whether staying with Windows 10 is worth it. Microsoft has made it quite clear in recent months: get on board with Windows 11 or get left behind.

Windows 11 is not without its flaws; the most recent update to the system has been riddled with bugs for a while, with a fix only recently being dropped for struggling users. In my view, if Microsoft is so keen to get users to upgrade, it ought to be 100% certain the alternative it’s offering is worth the changeover – and many users clearly don’t think that’s the case. It may be that the only real solution may be to just put everything into Windows 12 and make an operating system that everyone can finally get behind.

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Google changed its privacy policy to reflect Bard AI’s data collecting, and we’re spooked

Google just changed the wording of its privacy policy, and it’s quite an eye-opening adjustment that has been applied to encompass the AI tech the firm is working with.

As TechSpot reports, there’s a section of the privacy policy where Google discusses how it collects information (about you) from publicly accessible sources, and clarifying that, there’s a note that reads: “For example, we may collect information that’s publicly available online or from other public sources to help train Google’s AI models and build products and features, like Google Translate, Bard and Cloud AI capabilities.”

Preivously, that paragraph read that the publicly available info would be used to train “language models” and only mentioned Google Translate.

So, this section has been expanded to make it clear that training is happening with AI models and Bard.

It’s a telling change, and basically points out that anything you post online publicly  may be picked up and used by Google's Bard AI.

Analysis: So what about privacy, plagiarism, and other concerns?

We already knew that Google’s Bard, and indeed Microsoft’s Bing AI for that matter, are essentially giant data hoovers, extracting and crunching online content from all over the web to refine conclusions on every topic under the sun that they might be questioned on.

This change to Google’s privacy policy makes it crystal clear that its AI is operating in this manner, and seeing it in cold, hard, text on the screen, may make some folks step back and question this a bit more.

After all, Google has had Bard out for a while now, so has been working in this manner for some time, and has only just decided to update its policy? That in itself seems pretty sly.

Don’t want stuff you’ve posted online where other people can see it to be used to train Google’s big AI machinery? Well, tough. If it’s out there, it’s fair game, and if you want to argue with Google, good luck with that. Despite the obvious concerns around not just basic privacy issues, but plagiarism (if an AI reply uses content written by others, picked up by Bard’s training) – where do any boundaries lie with the latter? Of course, it’d be impractical (or indeed impossible) to police that anyway.

There are broader issues around accuracy and misinformation when data is scraped from the web in a major-scale fashion, too, of course.

On top of this, there are worries recently expressed by platforms like Reddit and Twitter, with Elon Musk apparently taking a stand against “scraping people’s public Twitter data to build AI models” with those frustrating limitations that have just been brought in (which could be big win for Zuckerberg and Threads, ultimately).

All of this is a huge minefield, really, but the big tech outfits making big strides with their LLM (large language model) data-scraping AIs are simply forging ahead, all eyes on their rivals and the race to establish themselves at the forefront, seemingly with barely a thought about how some of the practical side of this equation will play out.

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