What with limited formal education and an IQ score only moderately above average, I have no trouble discerning the manipulative tactics of Microsoft. Their kindergarten psychology used to keep you attached to, and dependent upon, their proprietary products is less than amusing. This tit for tat, childish approach Of MS at keeping you 100% 'in the fold' is becoming quite tiresome, to say the least.

My issue today is file type association. As far back as XP (and possibly before) file type associations were set in the Control Panel. Once set with your preferences, they had a tendency to stay at those desired settings.

Windows 10 uses Settings instead of Control Panel as a place to make changes to file type associations. While I see no benefit in this change, I have no problems with it. I don't care where I designate my preferences as long as I'm able to make them and keep them.

In the good old days, when I set my file type associations, they stayed the way I set them. Update after update, they stayed the way I set them.

Now, with Windows 10, things are different. Every time MS has the occasion to tinker with my machine, updates and such, I find I need to reset associations all over again.

MS, do know this. I chose VLC and MPC-HC as my media player for most formats simply because WMP would not play them, or at least not  without third party codecs.

I chose (free) VLC and (free) MPC-HC to play my media files because they do so without any hassle. Apparently, made a choice that doesn't set well with MS,

But please, can we be adults about this matter. When updates are installed, I soon find I am being asked what app I want to play mp3s, flacs, wavs, mp4s, jpgs, png, and the list goes on. I am offered a list of apps to choose from with Windows apps at the top of the list. From there, the list includes app that wont even play the format in question. This is childish.

MS makes me hunt for the particular app I want as it is not on the presented list. The very same app I've set as my choice many times over. Why is it so difficult to leave my settings alone? Not everyone is interested in being a Windows insider.

Upon notification of the last two updates, I was informed they contained some very good things. I was presented with a link to see just what these  good things were. The link provided no such thing. It did offer another link to where I would have to get an app to be able to see those 'good things". By now, I've lost all interest. If I have to acquire a special app just to get MS to tell me the what's in the latest updates...to hell with it. This is carrying proprietorship a bit too far.

As for my app settings, I know what is best for me. I will continue to change them back to my choices as often as they are switched from my choices. Childish tit for tat.

You could learn the commands ASSOC and FTYPE since I see no setting in either Apple OS or Windows 10 to lock out changes.
Examples abound about these so why not make a batch file to set it without all the GUI click click click boom?

I'm with you, but for different reasons. On one hand there are quite a few MS products, like Access and Excel, that I have used for many years and was very happy with. I also am sympathetic with their wanting to make a profit on their programs.

On the other hand, I think they are paranoid that they might lose a small amount of revenue because a few customers might not want or need all the new features they build into the latest versions of their software. It seems like they build insidious features into their code to force users to buy newer versions more that might otherwise be needef.

You are not alone MickeyD with your frustrations about Microsoft. Their 'Modus Operandi' has turned most of those, who have finally had enough of those "manipulative tactics", to move on to the other 'Free' open source Operating Systems, which have seriously developed in recent years too!
When I discovered how Win10 was being covertly loaded onto my earlier MS machines, I decided I would give several variants of Linux a try, mainly to see which one would be the easiest transition from Microsoft. It didn't take long to settle for my favourite, Mint MATE. The best part of the change to Linux was that I got to keep my 18 year old email client Thunderbird and Firefox browser which are included 'free' with many other programs including, Libre Office and VLC player to name but a few.
All my old purchased MS games and simulators, still perform well on my 'Off-Line' XP and Win 7 Ultimate machines, so not entirely detoxed from Microsoft.
Our laptop has Win 10 with the 'Classic Shell' GUI, but that machine is only used to watch the latest Microsoft "kindergarten" shenanigans in order to understand my clients complaints when they call me for help/repairs on their machines.