Hi, Brian here.
We’ve had a lot of people asking lately about Windows 10 and whether or not to “upgrade”.
I just want to get that out there first.
Maybe Windows 10 is not as bad as Vista. (I think it is worse)
Maybe it is brilliant inside, but there are some serious defects in its personality which make it intolerable to this reviewer.
We have been running Windows 10 in a test machine since early in the Preview. Okay our programs do run in it. So what’s the big deal?
Well, I went and figured it was time to build up a laptop with Win 10 on it from scratch, not an upgrade. It’s always good to have a PC with a native copy of the OS on it for testing. Plus every three years or so, I get the feeling that my laptop may expire (which hasn’t happened yet, but I still worry over it.)
So the login process is not what I expected. You HAVE to use an email. If you don’t, one will be provided to you, whether you want it or not. That means you log in as your email, not your name, and no you are not allowed to change it.
It also kicks you out, locks up, and forgets your password until you hard-reset the thing. It forgets how to use your Network, even though that works seamlessly on your Win 7 and Win 8 computers. You can fix it, of course, but then it forgets and you have to find ‘that thing you did to fix it’ all over again. And when you give it your password to use a different PC, will it connect? No, YOU are the dummy that cannot use the password you use all day because you are wrong, wrong, wrong.
Now, we’re all being told our passwords are insecure. Make them upper and lower case, add in some numbers and squiggles, right? Well Microsoft has decided that a 4 digit PIN is acceptable, like the one you use on your ATM card (if you have one). How is that secure? Every person on the planet, and only 10,000 PINs to go around. My kids would hack that in a New York minute.
Now I can ignore ugly to a certain extent. But this is ‘don’t kiss that baby’ ugly. It is uglier than ‘shaved my dog’s buttocks and taught it to walk backwards’ ugly. They made a change toward ‘clean and simple.’ Which means it’s about as creative as a blank piece of paper – one you cannot draw on.
Oh, and you can’t change it. No. That would give you too much control. What is this? Apple?
Now the wireless connection will not work unless you reset it. Every time you turn open the computer lid.
And the settings are duplicated – once in the normal Windows window-looking thing that we’ve seen since ’95. But also duplicated in a myriad of the ugly and useless Win 8/10 ‘Windows for the Blind’. I am not meaning to be mean. They are large text, black and white, and duplicate the functionality of other controls. So we have ‘Control Panel’, which switches over to ‘Settings’ which switches back again without rhyme or reason.
Now suppose you want to “Meet Cortana” which is your lovely new assistant? She sounds great according to the TV commercials. Okay, what do you have to do? You have to sign off on the fact that your images, voice, text you type, emails and other communications will blindly be sent to Microsoft and their partners. Maybe I’m over-reacting. Maybe that’s not what it says. But it sure seems that way. As I am already slightly paranoid about the intrusiveness of everyone who wants to “help me”, I guess I’ll not be meeting Cortana. Ever.
So what if you got a Surface Pro or some tablet-y thing? Leave Win 10 on and deal with it as best you’re able. It’s probably fine for things like that.
Will they fix it? um. sure. But since they are putting Win 10 on everyone’s computer for free right now, my assumption is that to ‘fix it’ will not be free. We shall see. Besides, isn’t this the free fix for Windows 8? Oh, that was 8.1. No, wait, this is the free fix for 8.1? That one was Windows 9 but was too good to be released, I guess.
Meanwhile, I’m wording this on my Win 8.1 Thinkpad, which actually works just fine and dandy, and will not be polluted by an upgrade.
Okay, I’m stepping off my soapbox.