OK, if you’re using Win 7 or Win 8, Microsquish (M$) has probably been popping up occasional nag notices to upgrade to Win 10 on your screens. So I decided to bite and try it on my graphics computer, especially since they have a rollback feature that is available within the first 30-days. Sorry, I didn’t take any screen grabs.
- The upgrade was free; but I don’t know how long M$ will offer that to Win 7 & 8 users. Vista and XP users don’t qualify for the free upgrade.
- In my case the upgrade went smooth and actually fixed a few things that went hinky in my Win 7 installation. Kudos to M$ for the smooth upgrade.
- My programs worked as before. Again kudos to M$.
- As with Win 8, Win 10 doesn’t look like Win 7 and earlier; though they brought back the ‘Start menu’ and a few other things I hear they broke/removed in 8.
- M$ has finally included an antivirus program as part of the OS, which should have been done ages ago. They call it ‘Windows Defender’ and it is the same thing as ‘Microsoft Security Essentials’ that ironically was originally known as ‘Windows Defender.’ WD/MSE is automatic, and I had to hunt down where it lived so I could put it on my Taskbar for those times I want to manually scan something. I use WD/MSE on my PC’s since it was free and is easy to use without being a resource pig like McAfee and Norton. You can install third party antivirus programs, which will automatically turn off WD/MSE. Uninstalling third party antivirus programs will automatically reactivate WD/MSE according to M$.
- Internet Explorer 11 was replaced with a totally new (new looking?) browser called ‘Edge.’ ‘Edge’ absolutely sucks, and IE 11 is still on the system, which can be used instead or another browser (e.g. Firefox, Chrome, Opera [YUCK]) of your choice. ‘Edge’ made it near impossible to pin my Favorites menu to the browser, and when I figured out how to do it, it was on the right side and I prefer it on the left. I could resize the browser window; but I couldn’t make the Favorites window wider. I also couldn’t manually sort the Favorites by name.
To me the last good M$ browsers were IE 8 followed by IE 10. ‘Edge’ in its current incarnation is useless. As I mentioned earlier, IE 11 is still on a Win 10 upgrade installation; but you have to hunt for it.
- My biggest gripe with Win 10 is that its look and feel is inspired by smartassphones (probably Android). The graphics for the icons, windows, etc are flat, boring, and hard to read due to their monochromatic and in certain cases overly simplified graphics. There is very little personal adjustment to how the windows look, and it’s generally keyed on the background color. I use a shade of gray that is similar to a photographers ‘neutral gray card.’ The window frames are so thin as to be essentially non-existent. If you’re like me and have multiple windows open, it can be difficult to find a window you want if they overlap. Up through NT 4.0, M$ allowed extensive personal customization as to how the windows looked that it was too much. They’ve been slowly removing the ability to alter the look of windows that they’ve gone to the other extreme. In my case I had lots of light gray on white followed by light yellow on white for controls and tools. Talk about eyestrain. The best way I know how to describe the new Win 10 look is early 1980’s CGA graphics in high definition.
- My next biggest smartassphone inspired gripe is the amount of annoying notifications the OS has built in to it. Adobe’s Acrobat reader was constantly nagging me to upgrade from their reader XI (11) to their new ‘cloud’ based reader. An advertisement by any other name is still an ad. M$ did that too and they prominently have an icon to their ‘Windows Store’ (think Google Play and iTunes) on the taskbar to make it easy to go there to buy crap. On the ‘Start menu’ they have ‘Live Tiles’ that update the weather, ads for M$’s Office 365, etc. I turned off all of these annoyances.
- Another smartassphone inspired gripe is a ‘lock screen’ that one has to click on or swipe if using a touch-screen device. There is no way to turn this added step off; though you can change the image it displays.
- I went looking on the net for 3rd party add-ons to make Win 10 look more like Win 7. I did find a registry hack to turn off the ‘Lock Screen;’ but it didn’t work. There is some stuff out there to alter the look of Win 10; but by then I decided I’d go back to Win 7 and didn’t bother trying them.
- Yesterday my system did its full backup; so I went ahead and did the rollback to Win 7 today. The rollback went smoothly, and I only had one icon to put back in the taskbar, which was the WD/MSE icon. Kudos to M$ for making the rollback smooth; but I didn’t install anything during my weeklong use of Win 10. Had I installed new programs; then no doubt I would have had to re-install them once I got back to Win 7.
My bottom line is M$ is trying to make Win 10 look consistent on everything from phones to tablets to laptops and desktops. A laudable goal; but it needs serious work. The simple graphics makes sense on a smartassphone; but on my 30” monitors it was hard to read and tiring to the eyes. I yanked Win 10 off my PC for the same reason I ditched Office 365 before my 30-day trial was up…too damn hard to read. I still use Office 2007 as it’s easy to read. So if you have eye problems that go beyond the normal correction with glasses or contacts; then I suggest staying away from Win 10 until you are either forced to use it for some reason, and/or M$ allows people to tweak the look of it.
I know mobile computing, primarily smartassphones has put a dent in PC sales; but this old dinosaur views his smartassphone in the same manner as a Swiss Army Knife. A great tool to have; but it’s not a replacement for a full toolbox.