The Ups and Downs of Windows 10
As of yesterday, it has been one month since Windows 10 became the official new release of the Windows operating systems and I have now spent that month having it on both my laptop and my desktop. You’ll remember the previous entries detailed the good and bad of trying to actually install Windows 10 and now that I have, what exactly do I think? Well, I’ll tell you, but first a disclaimer –
As you are a freelancing crowd, I’m sure you’ve already done your homework about Windows 10. This is totally not a review of Windows 10, but a little opinion piece that can hopefully add to the reviews you’ve been reading. With that said, I will say that I’ll be saying things in contradictory form against some of these reviews, so you know – research before you decide to make the plunge!
Let’s make our favorite Stewie Sandwich on this, shall we?
There are a ton of awesome things that you get with Windows 10, a lot. You’ll probably read a lot of reviews from a consumer view point – or rather a technical view point – but what about you guys that are techy consumers who do business? As someone who does both work and play on the same devices, Windows 10 is great. Yesterday, I discovered how to use Task View, a feature that was highly anticipated for those of us who miss having a second monitor. In fact, I’m using it now, while my first screen holds all of my work items. This is a perfect concept when I need to work on side projects, but don’t want to mix up them up with work.
I’m sorry I hadn’t thought about this sooner.
I’m actually eager to try it on my laptop, though I have a feeling it may not work out the way I want it to, but here’s to trying! Another thing is – it’s fast. As in fast loading. When you first turn on your computer, the thing will boot within a few seconds. I never truly had that problem on my desktop, but still having it come out of sleep or come up almost immediately when I restart or turn it on is great.
The hybrid start screen is something I like, that half Windows 7/half Windows 8 concept I think is good. I know some people prefer the straight menu from Windows 7 and I even know people who liked the Metro screen from Windows 8; the awesome thing is, you have a choice. You can do what you want and have it look the way you want. Compromise!
There are downs and no, I’m not talking about the security issues. And I know that some of these aren’t downs as much as they are very, very, very annoying and Microsoft needs to fix them soon, but alas, I’m including them here.
First and foremost – Edge. Yes, I said it. Edge. The browser that sorta didn’t really kill off IE is a great start; read that. A start. It’s not quite done yet. This browser – which I switched to completely for the sake of saving my budget laptop – crashes as the day is long. And not like, you try opening it crash; I mean, I’m in the middle of doing something and it suddenly closes like it can’t do any more work. That, especially when I’m trying to do work, is annoying. What’s most annoying is that in some of these cases, the pages that were open never reopen (and yes, I have it set to open pages I was last on). At first, I thought it was just the laptop – it’s a biddy thing, after all, and holds nothing on Optimus Prime – until it did it on my desktop. Not quite ripe yet, says I.
Oh and I don’t care what every bench test in the world says, Edge is not faster than Chrome. That is, when you actually get it running. It takes longer to go to a website, I’m guessing cause instead of it just being a blank page with an address bar, it has to load news or in my case, whatever pages it thinks I’ll like.
Cortana is another thing that’s just not quite cooked all the way through. I do like having it there, so I don’t need to grab my phone, but it kinda defeats the purpose if I still need to grab my phone. Right now, I’m using her to keep reminders – which I think is far more practical than the way Google Now keeps reminders. And I do mean keeps – however, when trying to do a search and Cortana tells me she can’t and yet “Ok Google” is more than happy to help me, that doesn’t bode well.
My biggest gripe however, the biggest insult to injury I think, is to us desktop users. You know – Microsoft’ bread and butter for over 2 decades. The issue? DVD/CD drives. Laptops and tablets don’t have them, however desktops do and unless there are all-in-ones that don’t, pretty much any desktop you buy is going to have one of these. But people aren’t buying desktops, you say! PC sales are down because everyone’s getting tablets and tabtops (damn it, people! Use my coined word!)! That may be true for people who aren’t buying PCs; what about those of us who are building PCs? See, I built Optimus Prime close to three years ago (ah memories!). Most of my friends built their desktops. Why? Simple – you can choose what you want, especially if you’re a gamer. You can pick the CPU you want, your RAM, your graphics card, etc. And in many cases, there’s a DVD/CD drive in that desktop.
You see, when you’re building a PC – especially from scratch – you need things like a motherboard. Most motherboards come with a disk that holds all of the drivers you need to get your machine up and running. Oh sure, you can download these drivers, but…you need an Internet connection. Do you see where I’m going with this? I can’t install an ethernet or wireless driver from a disc if I don’t have access to the drive because my OS doesn’t support it. Yes, if I’m near the router, I can plug-in to the router, but do you know how many people still use Ethernet cables? And what if your new desktop is downstairs and your router is upstairs?
Microsoft’s solution was to put a $15 app in the store so you can play DVDs and CDs. How exactly does that help me install drivers? Or the games I own that aren’t downloadable?
Windows 10 is Still Good
So if you’re still on the fence about this, what should you do? I totally think you should upgrade to Windows 10 if you’re using a laptop. It’s the easiest install ever, takes like…at most 20 minutes, and it’ll even perk up an old laptop. If you’re on a desktop? You should also upgrade…in a few months maybe and definitely before your free upgrade from Windows 7/8 expires. However now…it’s really a pain for desktop users. I didn’t even mention what you should do if you’re running a HTPC with a cable card in it (no more WMC), but I do think that if you’re running XP, you need to have upgraded like yesterday.
Overall, Windows 10 is looking very good and hopefully as Microsoft updates and adds, it’ll only improve.
Posted on August 30, 2015, in Interludes, PC Upgrades, security, The Business Side and tagged cheap laptops, computers, cortana, desktop, Microsoft, windows 10, Windows 7, windows 8.1. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.