So Windows 10 came out a couple of days ago and I thought I would put up an obligatory Windows 10 post.
Anyway I’ve been playing around with Windows 10 insider previews for a while in VirtualBox and I’ve finally had the chance to play with it on some real hardware (a regular non-touch laptop) and I wanted to vent some thoughts I have about Windows 10 and “Windows as a service” (Waas).
First of personally I think the release of Windows 10 has been rushed out… Everything just feels a little rough around the edges. It sort of feels like the MS guys decided that Waas means get the release out and fix it later! Poor show really.
Secondly there’s the return of the start menu and the fact that app searching is linked to Cortana and system wide searches. The fact that app searches are linked to the global search means that they link to an internal database that gets kept up-to-date by a service, but it also means that apps may or may not immediately turn up in the search. In fact I know when I installed Visual Studio 2015 on the machine it took 25 minutes before the app search actually showed the link.
Then there’s Cortana. Ignoring the privacy concerns for a moment, Cortana just feels a little gimmicky for the time being. I have yet to find a use for Cortana, and I certainly am not going to be sitting at my computer talking to it or asking my laptop to be tell me a joke! Cortana on a tablet and phone does make sense (I have a Windows Phone so I know how useful it can be), but on a laptop/desktop it just doesn’t make sense.
Edge browser is also new and it’s quick… It starts quickly and seems to load pages quickly too, quicker than Chrome and Firefox. I work as a web developer so I’m very pleased to see Edge the default browser in Windows 10, although if you upgrade it defaults the browser to Edge even if you had Firefox/Chrome/a.n.other browser set as your default. It’s still not as feature complete as Firefox or Chrome, but it’s definitely better that IE!
Windows 10 now installs updated automatically. While in principle this is a pretty decent idea since it makes sure users computers are up-to-date, in practice I’m not so sure since it can break a machine without warning. I would have preferred to have seen Windows automatically install security and critical updates automatically and give users options about optional ones (such as NVidia drivers).
Finally just some general thoughts about Windows 10. There’s a lot of good there, and Waas has potential, but requires some tweaking. Then there’s the start menu, which is easier to use on a more traditional desktop/laptop system, but still feels a little rough around the edges (like quite a few areas of the OS). I suppose my biggest complaint about Windows 10 though is its lack of vision. Windows 8, for all it’s flaws, had a vision. It wasn’t perfect and it certainly wasn’t communicated well, but there was a vision. Windows 10 really just seems to be a way for MS to say “we listened”. They designed Windows 10 by committee and came up with a total lack of direction!