Ignoring Microsoft spying on you and removing your programs without your permission, this reinstallation tool seems like it could be useful. After all, if you use your computer long enough, you’ll find that something eventually happens, forcing you to reinstall your operating system.
I wish Microsoft had made a tool like this with Windows Vista. Every version of Windows from 1.x up to XP has been reasonably easy to reinstall. However, with Vista and 7, it’s basically been a huge PITA to at least keep your old files, unless you have a lot of disk space and patience, in which case the OS will make redundant copies. Of course, that’s just assuming you have an actual reinstallation disc; if you’re reinstalling with an OEM recovery disc will have no choice but to wipe your entire hard drive, even if the issue is something as simple as one or two corrupt files, or a bad registry entry. You can’t even make copies of your files from the recovery disc unless you’re willing to (figure out how to) do so from the command line.:Z
I haven’t used anything from Windows 8 up, but I assume the above complaints still apply. Why repairing the OS requires you to loose all of your spreadsheets (or whatever you have on your computer) is beyond me.
At least with Ubuntu (and I assume other GNU/Linux distros), your personal files are left alone, and your apps can usually be automatically reinstalled with tools like aptik.
Using tools like aptik takes a certain amount of knowhow of course, but at least it’s better than spending two or three hours installing the OS, plus a few days installing updates, followed by manually installing your apps one by one, and finally updating your apps one by one. To make matters worse, if you don’t know what kind of hardware you have, you’ll never be able to track down the drivers you need.