Microsoft is in the home stretch with Windows 10 for PC. Releasing TWO builds in two days, they are proving that they are agile, listening and, above all, making sure this thing works—it HAS to. Overall, the latest builds have been great and are usable for daily work. The latest build, 10159, also includes the Edge branded browser, new wallpaper and tweaks everywhere. 10158 fixed a whole raft of issue that I had (like the Start Menu not displaying, pretty big since it is now the only way to launch applications easily) and made it much more usable. The little changes, like fonts, color changes, icons, responsiveness and stability have all added up to a product that is really close to ‘done’.
The avenue, however, that they—still—have a problem is consistency. They have come a long way, but, sadly, still have a long way to go. They still have an ugly mess of old style dialogs intermixed with the newer metro style.
Most of the personalization stuff is still in the old dialogs with some redundant settings in the metro style.
One other problem they have, and I’ve seen no real change, is the stubbornness of the Windows Update mechanism. I have a couple of drivers that I really do NOT want updated. Windows INSISTS on updating them. One is Arduino related and I really want the Windows 7 driver to be left alone. It works and does not degrade my PC’s performance where the Windows 8 driver does. The other driver, likely, will be updated for Windows 10, but, for now, the IDT audio driver for Windows 7 works much better under Windows 10 than the Windows 8.1 driver. But, in the interim, Update, leave em alone! And, speaking of update, I hope the finished Windows update just works and doesn’t gum up peoples machines. It is the number one complaint I hear. I rarely have any issues (other than the aforementioned driver updates) with it, but others do. PLEASE, Microsoft, get this right.
Now, a few things I do like…
The over all look and feel is nice. It blends the best of Windows 8 and Windows Vista. Yes, VIsta. Vista was a great looking operating system and so was Windows 8 (not 8.1, 8) but both were maligned for some reason … I can’t think of any at the moment. (wink, wink)
I like the integration with Windows Mobile 10, Cortana, One Drive and the support for competing technologies. Microsoft has realized that they are no longer the top of the heap.
The Edge browser. This thing is hot. While it is still a bit unstable, there is no doubt that it screams along. Pages pop up and, for the most, render as they are supposed to. I’ve seen a few weird things, but I suspect it was to support IE and that Edge rendered it as other browsers would have done.
Windows 10 will be released to everyone on July 29, 2015. Most people should be eligible for a free upgrade. Go to Microsoft.com to see if you qualify.