Friday, July 31, 2015

Windows 10

So my new Dell was determined to upgrade to Windows 10 yesterday even though I had asked it to schedule the upgrade to today (Friday). Yesterday morning at 7 a.m. the computer began asking me to do the upgrade. I had a few hours before I had somewhere to be, so I hit "install now."

All was going well and then the power blipped. We've been having strange electrical outages for about a month now, usually at 10 minutes to the hour, as if something at the substation is cycling through and not working properly. I'm not an electrician, so I don't really know.

I have my computer on a battery backup so the computer stayed on. But the blip interrupted the internet signal and the next thing I knew my computer had reset itself back to Windows 8.1.

I was infuriated because the first attempt failed, having wanted a clean and untarnished effort, but the power blip was not Microsoft's fault. I think things like that come back to haunt you, though, with little trickles of data stuck someplace they're not supposed to be.

Windows 8.1 had problems and I was not a big fan. I have it on my MS Surface, which I rarely use because I find the OS frustrating. My Surface has not received any kind of notification about the update, so I am assuming it is stuck with Windows 8.1. It's a first generation product.  After using Windows 8.1 on the PC, where I could figure it out, I was able to make more sense of it. But that OS is made for tablets, not a desktop.

And here is where Windows 10 also fails. Why does MS want to make everything work the same? A desktop is not a tablet nor is it a phone. Microsoft appears to want to force things to the cloud, ultimately doing away with the need for hard drives. I don't want my stuff in the cloud, thank you very much. My documents belong to me, not to Microsoft or anybody else. I have no illusions that at some point in the future, there will be proprietary issues over manuscripts and other intellectual property stored on the cloud. Written a best seller? You stored it in the cloud - now give Microsoft its cut. Maybe I am paranoid but that is what I believe will happen in a future closer than we think.

At any rate, after the first failed attempt, I tried again later in the afternoon and this time all went well. I spent several hours fiddling with the new OS to set up my "charms." There are still a few things I'd like to tweak but I can't find the way to tweak them, however.

So on to Windows 10. What do I like? I like that the start button is back, and it doesn't take me three steps to find the power button. I immediately turned off the much-touted Corona, which is supposed to be a helpful digital assistant but which to me was such an invasion of privacy that I would prefer to have the option to remove it completely, but do not.

Microsoft Edge doesn't work with Norton, yet, so I am still using Internet Explorer (also available). They put Solitaire back where you don't have to enter Xbox crap to play the game, but the update of the game is messy and I prefer the cleaner lines of earlier Solitaire versions.

All of the programs that I had installed a few weeks ago under Windows 8.1 work fine, including my outdated version of MS Outlook 2003, which I use for a calendar and contact list, along with Office 2007. I am not going to a subscription version of Office ever, which makes me think that at some point I will need to try out OpenOffice or some other word processing program.

Windows 10 comes with a calendar and I think a contact list is in Corona, but I haven't played with those items enough to determine if I will switch or not. The inability to "print" things, if there, is not immediately obvious and I am a print girl. I don't carry a smart phone or a tablet with me, I keep a little calendar in my purse, and I print out a monthly calendar to keep on my desk so I know where I am supposed to be. I am not changing my habits simply because Microsoft thinks I should.

My husband's computer has Windows 7 on it, and I dislike Windows 10 enough that I plan to not install the new OS on his computer. When he buys something new, he will have no choice but to switch, but for now Windows 7 is fine for what he does.

In fact, Windows 7 was fine for what I was doing, and I would, I think, revert back to Windows 7 if the old computer was still running. This new desktop tower came with Windows 8.1 and I knew when I purchased it about two weeks ago that I would upgrade as soon as I could. Windows 10 feels a bit like Windows 7 except junked up and things are hidden and buried. Microsoft obviously doesn't want you to make changes.

One thing that people don't seem to get about Windows is that it is still actually DOS based. I smiled a little when I found the old C:/ prompt, still hidden but available in all its glory. So "format c:/" is still something one could do, should the insanity to do so prompt such action. I daresay other DOS commands, most of which I have forgotten, are also hidden in there (I used to be decent at DOS but when Windows took over I gave up trying to keep up).

Because Windows is DOS based, still, it will never function without issues. That's the biggest difference between a Mac and a Windows-based computer. The MAC OS is completely different; it's not functioning as something that it's really not, which is what Windows does and always has done.

If I am wrong about my assumptions on that, I am sure someone will tell me, but that is my understanding of it.

At any rate, the verdict on Windows 10 remains a shoulder shrug. It's an improvement over Windows 8.1 but for a desktop, Windows 7 was cleaner and easier. After a few more weeks of use, I'll try to remember to report back with an update on what I think.


  1. I, too, updated to Windows 10, from Windows 7. I loved 7 and so far enjoy 10. My tracpad/mouse is messed up though and won't double-finger scroll. :(

  2. I learned some DOS code back in a time when we had a Commodore 64. I knew it was mad to try to do anything big in it but the C:/ in old movies makes me smile. I sometimes wish, often actually, that we'd got a Mac and stayed with it because for graphic design, there is nothing better. Best Wishes on wrangling your 10 to give you the flexibility you want.

  3. I haven't had any trouble with 8.1 (except it won't run my Photoshop), but I don't do much more than basic stuff

  4. Ugh! on the problem-causing power blips. Hope it's something they get fixed soon in your area. I wonder if they even know about it?


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