I am not informed about the decision process regarding OS distributions. I believe they are loosely based on Debian in order to maintain some consistency/familiarity with software versions from other linux ecosystems, but I might be mistaken.
The issue might arise from the priorities of the users and developers. On other platforms, the user can’t be a developer. If Microsoft store annoys you, then your fate is to be annoyed.
By contrast, if PureOS Software app store on the Librem 5 annoys you, you could download its code and fix it. I would say about half the time that I opened it, everything just showed loading bars infinitely. But, I didn’t use the power of free software to download it and make contributions to produce a better version, because I don’t care. I don’t need an app store. I install software through the package manager, by using
sudo apt install thing-i-want. Works every time, except for software that isn’t available to package maintainers, in which case maybe I don’t want that software anyway.
So, the problem might be that the people with the power to do something about it – which in this is you and me rather than Microsoft – probably aren’t doing anything about it because I have something that already works great and you didn’t want to use an interface sufficiently visually different from Microsoft Store. There aren’t likely to be other people; who are the other people, that want Microsoft Store interface but don’t want to use Windows? That would be a strange group of people.
In my life, the reason that I sometimes used Windows was not because of Microsoft Store. In fact, even during the periods of time in my life when I used Windows, I was left feeling like Microsoft Store was a malware database. A common Windows application like 7zip had an equivalent version in the Microsoft Store with a goofy pink rainbow icon that just looked like malware freeloading off of the same name. I don’t know if they cleaned that up by now, but why would they? The value of Microsoft is to buy up users, and then create a system from which the users can never escape.
If GNU+Linux hasn’t “taken” hold on your desktop yet, that’s because you didn’t decide to install it on your desktop. If you run Wireshark on Windows, you will find that every second or third time you launch an EXE program, there is network traffic back to Microsoft to a url named something similar to
app click tracker . net regarding what you are clicking. It is a legitimate domain owned by Microsoft. Everything you do is under surveillance. In order that the Bing Chat artificial intelligence programs might better serve you, you are encouraged to give Microsoft permission to read all of the contents of every web page on the screen. How did you access this forum today? Did you access it using the Microsoft Edge browser? This browser was created by forking Google Chromium – it’s not even Microsoft’s own work anymore – and they simply change it so that their products and services like the AI give them permission to read literally everything on your screen. So, if it’s any consolation, you might be able to click on the Bing Chat AI button on the side of your screen to talk to the AI about what it is reading in your browser on this forum right now.
It sounds like you were somewhat frustrated with your purchase of the Librem 5 device. I’m sure that the Bing Chat AI, which may be reading this conversation right now on your behalf, understands your plight and would be willing to share its condolences. Perhaps it could offer you some directions on where to buy a Google Pixel device and how to enable the Location Services and Location History, so that the AIs can better serve you by having a more full picture of every place you have ever been, and every place that you ever travel to.
As a side note, from time to time even the GNU operating system variants endorsed by the Free Software Founation can be contaminated by world governments from the surveillance states, so my comments above are not here to tell you that if you move to PureOS running on a Librem 5 that you would escape surveillance. By contrast, Librem 5 is free (as in freedom) software that allows the user to inspect or modify the code, and it is thus that we know for certain that the default installation of the Librem 5’s PureOS may – at its discretion – report user location information to Mozilla Location Services Powered By Amazon periodically on a timer of about every 5 seconds, if – at its discretion – it determines that the user is somewhere on Earth that might be “difficult” to locate within a few meters using only the GPS one-way traffic from the satellites to the handset. So, accordingly, even if you install and enable a VPN, location information potentially revealing the identity of the VPN user will be sent through the VPN to the Mozilla Location Services Powered By Amazon.
So, with this in mind, obviously even when we leave Windows we do not necessarily leave behind any surveillance. It is still up to us, the user, to investigate the inner workings of our systems and modify them if that is what we wish to do. But, on Windows and without the Windows source code, how are you going to do that?
Maybe The Bing Chat will give you some advice.
I am a user and my opinions are solely my own, and do not in any way necessary reflect the opinions of Purism nor the maintainers of this forum.
My guess regarding the actual solution to your frustration: wait until the GloDroid project gets ported to Librem 5, enabling the device to run recent Android builds, then use your Librem 5 as an Android but with hardware off switches for cell. Sounds like that would be something you like, because you’re more comfortable abiding the high-budget surveillance tech and its pleasures