|Over a week with Win10, and…well…here it is. And I wish it wasn't so negative. I've been putting this off, because I wanted to be positive about it, but...it's at best halved my productivity since I installed it.
Let me start by saying: I hated Win 8.0, and thought that Win8.1 was “too little, too late”.
But I really wanted Win 10 to make me go “Wow!”
If you come from Win 8.x, then Win 10 is better. But frankly, anything is better than Win 8.x, that's not difficult.
If you come from Win 7, or Win XP then…oh dear.
1) It’s ugly. Very ugly. It’s flat, it’s dull, and all the apps that used to look good on Windows don’t anymore – all the 3D elements (including indented panels) are gone, all the rounded corners are gone. Everything is square, flat, and surrounded by a black line. Not nice to sit and look at, when you are used to prettiness – and all the more unpleasant when you wrote the apps and know how much work you put into making them pretty and pleasant to use.
And the buttons look like they were sketched in as placeholders. All the new icons are monochrome: white on black. I’m guessing that this is to look “simplistic” and “fresh” – but if that’s the case, why is Edges icon Blue, and curly? Consistency is not an MS trait here…
Tiles are horrible – particularly the “live” ones. Fortunately, they are easy to get rid of, and never see again.
2) It doesn’t like you. Like me, you probably had a local login on your system – in theory that is still available, but Win 10 doesn’t make it easy to do, so you give in and sign in with your Microsoft ID. Which works fine! Until you try to edit a file in Word (which works, Office 2010 is still running under Win 10) and notice (too late) that it’s read only. Everything in your documents folder – which for me is everything (including projects) to make it easy to back up – is read only. You can fix this – I explained how a week ago – but it’s unnecessary, and if you aren’t computer literate it’s going to be a problem.
3) It doesn’t care about your backups. In fact, the default power scheme puts the computer to sleep about fifteen minutes in, which breaks the backup… It’s fixable…but why? Was the computer set to do that before? No. No, Microsoft, it wasn’t…
4) It doesn’t like your browser. So it sets Edge as your default. And Edge is…um…nasty. It’s ugly (so it fits right in with Win 10), but its toolbar takes too much room. It is faster than Chrome and Firefox – slightly – but that’s pretty irrelevant compared to the discomfort of using it. I went back to Chrome.
5) It really doesn’t like Google – Bing is the order of the day, and it takes work to bodge round that.
6) Cortana I can’t comment on – it won’t run on my PC because I didn’t approve all the conditions of the Microsoft total-lack-of Privacy agreement – and without that, it doesn’t run. But I can talk to Google anyway – and did, two or three times – and I swear at my computer enough without it understanding what I say!
7) Metro apps are no longer full screen! Wow! They are just twice the size of everything else, and…full of curves…hmmm… So you are using a desktop app, and it’s the right size, click on settings and you get text twice the size in a new window.
8) Windows Defender. Oh dear. Despite whatever you tell it to do, if your computer “becomes idle” it starts Antimalware and scans the whole thing. This takes a whole core, and monopolises your HDD, so your whole computer slows to a crawl. It took 38 minutes to display the Windows Defender UI at one point because it won’t show that while the scan is in progress.
Kaspersky trial version now installed and so far that has all stopped.
I wanted to love this. I really did. But as time went on, “love” has changed to “tolerate”. And that’s looking unrealistic as well. It really isn’t as good as Win 7 from a user point of view. You get the feeling that it actually, genuinely hates you and is trying to mess up your life.
To be honest, with the exception of some apps including VS2013 closing faster (why?) I haven’t found anything I would have paid my own money for. Faster boot? So what? I turn it on, I go make coffee. Who cares if it’s a little faster?
Have I uninstalled it and reverted to Win 7? No, not yet. I still may. But despite all this, I want it to work. I want it to suddenly wake up, cough with embarrassment, apologise, and be good. I don’t think it will, and I don’t think it’s going to persuade anyone away from Android phones and iPads. Rather the opposite – if I had considered getting a Windows Phone or a Surface before I certainly wouldn’t now.
It’s Win8.x, attacked with a blunt chisel, and with the worst bits hacked off – the joins still show. I just get the feeling that Win8.0 should have been Alpha test, 8.1 should have been Beta, and Win10 should have been a Release Candidate. And that Microsoft has been listening only to those who say “it’s wonderful” and ignoring everyone who says “this is horrible”.
So: should you upgrade?
If you are running Win 8.x, then yes. It is better – but that’s a relative term.
If you are running Win 7, then…yes, probably. Provided you take a good disk image first. If only because you are going to get support calls from friends, family, customers – and just telling them “I don’t touch it” doesn’t work anymore.
If you are running Win XP? Then…no. Because it’s going to mess up your computer so bad it may never work again…upgrade to Win 7, you’ll love it!
Bad command or file name. Bad, bad command! Sit! Stay! Staaaay...