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Windows 7 continues to be the most popular, and solid Windows OS on the market. Windows 8-8.1 was a massive failure, thanks to the smartphone-like tiles and Microsoft’s thrust to unify all products with one common OS.
Windows 10 is certainly better than Win 8.x, but it’s still not an experience that users like … or want. And quite frankly, the people clutching to Windows 7 aren’t so crazy.
The biggest problem with Win 10 is the privacy aspect, or lack thereof. Microsoft’s push to capture personal data in the manner of Facebook and Google through telemetry is a good thing for the development of the operating system, but users shouldn’t be forced to participate.Sending every little bit of your usage information to Microsoft for the purpose of generating a user profile on you is just plain wrong. But Facebook and Google have gotten away with it for so long that users are accustomed to it.
I even had a well-versed computer security guru, and close friend, resort to the comment, “what’s the big deal? we’re all being watched all the time, anyway”. Simply put, he’s given up and become one of the lemmings jumping off a cliff, or a ‘sheeple’ blindly following a thieving, greedy corporation. Neither is good, at all.
But after development a user should be able to opt out of all the personal data collection, not be forced to assimilate into the Microsoft Borg.
Third-party solutions that aim to turn this spying off aren’t 100-percent successful. Unless you unplug from the internet entirely, you can’t stop Windows from phoning home to Microsoft. This is a shame, as some consumers are being made to feel violated when using their own computer.
Another issue that hasn’t been resolved is having two locations for system settings. We still have “Settings” and “Control Panel”, and these need to be merged ASAP, but it has been entirely neglected for years. From a user interface perspective, it is a massive fail.
Live Tiles are still worthless, and it is time for Microsoft to kill them. Computers are not smartphones, most personal computer users need a mouse and keyboard. Even touch screens are useless in a corporate environment.
Nobody opens an app launcher and stares at the icons for information. It is distracting and pointless. If I want the weather, I’ll open a weather app or go to a weather-centric web site, not stare at an icon for the information. It makes sense with a smartphone or tablet, but with a more traditional start-button design that’s accessible in Windows 10, it is time to retire it.
Microsoft doesn’t force you to use Edge and Bing ‘entirely’, but it still does force you. Cortana is a hot mess, but if you opt to use her, she will only open things in Edge. And surely, you are aware that all comments in Cortana are recorded and kept as a part of your data profile, just like Amazon’s Alexa. Searches are Bing-only. In other words, the virtual assistant ignores your default browser settings. Why? It’s Microsoft’s push to collect your personal data, not give you the option to preserve your privacy.
Sadly, the Windows Store is a garbage dump — many of the “legit” apps are total trash. Not to mention, the store itself is still littered with misleading apps making a search a frustrating experience. Even Apple got its store right the first time.
What makes the terrible Windows Store even worse is that Microsoft is now pushing a version of its operating system called Windows 10 S that only runs apps from it, not downloaded from third parties that you trust. Quite frankly, being forced to run this “S” variant of the OS will feel like being in prison — and you have to pay for the privilege!
Microsoft tried this store-only approach before with Windows RT, which failed spectacularly, but the company apparently didn’t learn its lesson. At least Windows 10 S users can upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for free until the end of 2017.
Let’s be honest, Win 10 is basically one huge beta test and is kept in an infinite state of instability. Windows as a Service (WaaS) is the new Microsoft mantra. In just a few more years Windows will become a subscription service paid for on a yearly basis.
Office 365 was the test balloon. People bought into it and now we are about to see Windows 365, which merges the entire Microsoft environment into some monstrosity sold to users as a convenience. Actually, it’s a subscription-based money stream that Microsoft needs since it so royally screwed up everything after Windows 7.
With all of that said, you might think I hate Windows 10. Actually, that isn’t true. I’ll confess, it’s not my favorite desktop operating system — I much prefer Win 7 updated with Security Only patches, and done when I want, how I want. But I play around with Win 10 just to verify problems that other users encounter, and yup, those problems just keep coming.
Windows 10 is certainly not a lost cause — the foundation is solid, and Microsoft has a lot of smart people working for it that can turn it around. Before the company tries to add new features that no one is asking for, it should focus more on improving the existing user experience. Right now it is failing us and things are not getting better.
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