Windows 10: Did You Make The Switch?

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The free upgrade to Windows 10 ended July 29th. Were you one of the many people who were suckered in to it? Or did you hold your ground on a 7, 8, or 8.1 platform? There have been many articles written about the new operating system, some of them being positive, and others not so much. There are many mixed reviews, and it is hard to say if people really enjoy the latest OS or if they regret their decision to upgrade. Today I will discuss a few… quirks, as to why Windows 10 may not be as great as you may think.

I, for one, did not make the switch. Not really, anyway. I have always been a Windows 7 user, and I would like to keep it that way until I have no other choice. I did install Windows 10 on an old laptop previously running Windows 7 though, just to see how it looked. And after hearing about all the bad news about Windows 10 – I turned it off, and haven’t really touched it since. So, when it comes to the good, bad, and the ugly – here is the bad and ugly:

If you were one of the few die-hard users that actually used Windows Media Center, then I’m sorry – you’re out of luck. Microsoft decided to finally do away with it. This is also true for DVD playback option support. Although it is free for a limited time for users switching from Windows 7, this is in fact limited.

Were you also one of the very few users who still used desktop gadgets or widgets? If so, then I think Windows 10 did YOU a favor when they decided this was no longer needed. This has been a big security issue from the start, so it is not a bad thing that this is no longer a “thing”. On that note, if you do still use desktop gadgets or widgets, I would advise you to switch to the many, many other options to get your news, weather, stock reports, etc.

As of now, the sacrifice has been minimal. But here is where it starts to get a little irritating:

The Start Menu! I don’t even know why they call this thing a menu anymore. A menu is not supposed to take up three-quarters of your screen when you click it! It is supposed to be simplistic. And don’t be surprised when you see a bunch of nonsense when you first open it. We were annoyed when Microsoft removed the Start menu in Windows 8. We missed it! And we were ecstatic when Microsoft decided to bring it back in Windows 10. In a nutshell – do you remember the Windows 8 Start screen? I introduce to you the Windows 10 Start menu. The good thing is that you are able to customize it to suit you, but I think the option goes only so far. Hopefully Microsoft will continue to chip at it piece by piece to resemble more of the classic Start menu but, until then – have fun.

One thing that users despise is the lack of control over Windows Update as well as forced updates. Users were stating that Windows would automatically download updates in the background, and then right when you’re in the middle of writing that long article about how much you don’t like Windows 10, it would decide to restart automatically and not give you the option to save your data. You can now change this a little. You will still get forced updates, but you can now tell Windows 10 to so kindly let you know when it needs to finish updates so you are able to save your data. Forced updates are still a big problem among users. So much that users are actually disabling Windows Update altogether – which is of course not recommended.

Now I’m not going to sit here and tell you that Windows 10 is a spy trap, but let’s be honest, it’s kind of like a spy trap. Take for instance, Cortana. This sweet little gadget is actually stalking your every move, from your speech to your typing history. She would love to know everything about you. Seriously. She is like the quiet boy/girl who sits in the back of the classroom and just… stares at you, trying to burn holes in to the back of your head. And then eventually follows you home to see where you live. This never happened to me – just an example. There was a time when you could go in to the settings and turn her off. Unfortunately with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Cortana is here to stay. Watch your back.

Next up: Start menu ads and targeted ads! Microsoft says that Windows 10 is great for advertisers. That’s great, but not for your users who don’t want to deal with it or see it. You will come across these ads in all places, from the Start menu, to the lock screen. In your Start menu you may come across programs that you don’t remember downloading. These are actually suggested apps that Microsoft thinks you would like. More or less: ads. Also, in Windows 10 you have your own unique advertising ID that’s linked to your Microsoft account. And Microsoft thought it would be nice to share your ID with third-party apps in the Windows Store. Your browsing history and preferences are all being secretly annotated. The good thing: you can also turn this off.

Software compatibility seems to be a growing issue due to Microsoft Upgrade Advisor is not being too reliable. This compatibility issue does not stop with just software, but refers to hardware as well. Especially legacy devices! If you love your old hardware (even the modern stuff) make sure you triple-check software and hardware compatibility with multiple sources if you do plan on making the switch.

Another irritating thing about Windows 10 is the amount of useless built-in apps. I’m talking about apps like Music & TV, Groove Music, Mail and Calendar, and the Xbox app. There are already tools that supersede these lackeys, and I guarantee you already use one of them and don’t wish to switch. Not everybody has an Xbox but they chose to add this as a built-in app anyway.

If you are a Windows 7/8 user, like myself, then you have surely been a victim of the Windows 10 advertisements that pop up daily. Microsoft has been quite determined in their goal of trying to push every Windows user to Windows 10. I couldn’t find a way of deactivating the notifications in Windows and eventually ended up downloading a program that hid them for me, to which I am very grateful for.

Microsoft was very thoughtful to those users who wished to “try out” Windows 10. If they didn’t like it and wished to roll-back to their previous operating system, then they could do so within 30 days. This was before though, and as with everything else – things change. The grace period was cut significantly to only 10 days.  In my opinion, I think this is still plenty of time for you to make the decision.

Overall I’m sure there are many good things about Windows 10 and there are probably a lot of users who find it useful, but as for what I’ve already mentioned the good doesn’t outweigh my personal privacy and convenience. The choice is obviously yours. If you do choose to stick with Windows 7 or Windows 8 then you will continue to receive security updates and patches until the year 2020 and 2023, respectively.

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2 thoughts on “Windows 10: Did You Make The Switch?

  1. Interesting article! I also chose not to upgrade for free, and I heard that there were lots of headaches associated with the first roll out. Since then though I’m planning to upgrade, primarily because the PATH variables are sooo nicely set up. I’m tired of sorting through a long string to see what version of Python I have installed! Thanks for the heads up though, I’ll be sure to disable all those unpleasant sounding ad features.

    Liked by 1 person

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