Month: August 2015

Windows 10 is Released!

It’s the middle of summer and hopefully you have found some time to sit on a beach or around a pool, sip a margarita or some chilled rose and, maybe, you have also been pondering an upgrade to Windows 10.  I’m here to help you answer the summer of 2015’s big question: upgrade or wait?

I’ve been playing with Windows 10 for a few months having nabbed a preview version before the official release this past July 29th.  It is a big improvement over Windows 8.x.  As those of you who use Windows 8.x know, it has a split personality, the familiar Start button from previous versions of Windows was eliminated and various setup and control options are no longer located in one place. It is a confusing mess.

Windows 10 has no ground breaking new features but it does solve most of the usability issues.  There is just one view, the Start button is back as is an easily accessible Control Panel. And there are no more “charms” that slide in from the right side of the screen.  The user interface now makes sense.

Aside from the UI, the other big change you will notice is that Internet Explorer has been replaced by a new browser named Edge. The advantage of naming it Edge, as far as I can tell, is that Microsoft can still use a lower case “e” as the icon for the browser.  Edge is a nice looking modern browser that matches many of the features of Chrome, Firefox and Safari. Microsoft has also added Cortana.  Cortana is like Siri, you ask it questions and it answers.  It understands both text and voice and like Siri and Google it eerily seems to know stuff about you.

Here are some things to read about Windows 10:

A good overall review of Windows 10 from Slate.

A good overall review of Edge from Re/Code.

A guide to customizing some Windows 10 settings from Gizmodo.

Microsoft is not beyond doing some sneaky stuff which you may not like.

An article about Windows 10 stealing your bandwidth and how to stop it from Lifehacker.

From Motherboard, be aware that some applications come with a loss of privacy.

And finally, if you want Windows 10 but have not received notification of your free upgrade, you can install it from here.

You may have noticed that I have not directly answered the question about upgrading now or waiting, so here’s my answer:  Windows 10, like any new piece of software has some bugs, but nothing terrible. If you have Windows 8.x and hate it then upgrade now.  It’s a big improvement and you will get the bug fixes as they are released. If you currently have Windows 7, and are not itching to change, then wait a few months or more for bugs to be uncovered and fixed.  Just be aware that Windows 10 is free for only one year (they may change this but that’s the policy for now). If you are using a version of Windows older than Windows 7, I implore you to upgrade soon.  Older version of Windows are more prone to attack and are increasingly unsafe.

Now back to that drink.