Sunday, August 16, 2015

Windows 10 - Mikey Likes it!

For the most part, I am happy with Windows 10.  The Upgrade was mostly simple which I manually applied to my older Windows 7 laptop.  I had reserved Windows 10 on it but was too impatient to wait for a green light from Microsoft.

I won't dwell much on any new features, except that the new browser allows you to make "hand-written" notes & highlights on pages, as well as typed annotations.  And the Reading Mode provides a less distracting view of a web page.  Note that Firefox now offers a similar Reading View option.

Things I Did Not or Do Not Like
1.  So I did have a technical hurdle to jump in order to have the Upgrade install on my laptop.  While the Get Windows 10 app said that my laptop was ready, the Upgrade did not like the size or allocation of a hidden system partition on the hard drive.  Actually, I have an SSD drive as I'd replaced my hard drive for improved performance and a bit better battery life.

The failed attempts were painful because the Upgrade would download the entire package and only then tell me that something was wrong.  If you have a metered connection, those 3 GB downloads can add up quickly!

All told, I tried about 8-10 times before the Upgrade would start the actual installation.

2.  The Upgrade disabled my Norton anti-malware program and Windows 10 was running the included Defender app instead.

3.  My default web browser was no longer Chrome.

4.  The legacy Windows Photo Viewer - only in Slideshow mode - would adjust a photo so any image file would be as large as possible and not have anything cropped.  In Windows 10, parts are cropped whether it would fit on my display or need to be resized.

5.  Oh, there are those privacy concerns. Many of the applications want to talk to each other and share your data (more on this in the next item).  For example, the Calendar wants to look at your list of Contacts.  There are convenience factors worth considering.

However, I have an Android phone and am happy to let Google link up my information.  I don't want to reinvent that wheel, so I've disabled most of the Microsoft requests to share.

The worst part is that all the sharing is, by default, turned on.  Avoiding Express Mode is critical if you don't want all options set to Share.  Of course, all settings can be changed as long as you can locate where those settings reside.

In order to share data among the apps, the Windows 10 apps need to be enabled or installed with the same user ID (an email address).  Which brings me to the next point.

6.  The Microsoft Account.  Many people do not want to log in every time they turn on their PC and often have only one User account.  By default, Windows 10 Setup asks you to create a new Microsoft Account or sign in with an existing one.

Well, once that is done, that Microsoft Account becomes a Windows 10 User Account.  Which means using that Account's password to sign in when the computer reboots and, if required, when the computer wakes from sleep.

Avoiding the Microsoft Account is possible but it is not easy to spot where to click.

And some of my online accounts use user IDs that I just do not want to tie together.  I have no practical reason for my Pandora account to have the same user ID as my Netflix or Facebook accounts.  Does anyone still share what they're listening to on Spotify with their Facebook friends?

But Wait, There's More!
Other problems have been noted in this article from betanews, from Wayne Williams.

In summary, I do like Windows 10.  However, there will be a period of adjustment for some, especially if they don't know how to set up Windows 10 to look more like Windows 7.

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