back to article It's been five years since Windows 10 hit: So... how's that working out for you all?

Windows 10 was made generally available on 29 July 2015, introducing the concept of Windows-as-a-Service, a digital assistant called Cortana, a Universal Windows Platform for developers, Continuum to enable "a Windows Phone to become like a PC", and not forgetting the revival of the Start menu. Following widespread …

  1. Flywheel
    Thumb Down


    Windows 7 was good. Mrs Flywheel's new PC came with Windows 8 and was a nightmare to manage and the UI was awful. I am forced to use Windows 10 by my Corporate Overlords and it's a constant disappointment.

    1. Zog_but_not_the_first
      IT Angle

      Re: Nope

      The test for me is when I return from using Windows 10 on someone else's machine to Windows 7 on mine, it feels so much faster, smoother and intuitive. But what do I know?

      1. sabroni Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: But what do I know?

        How to use Windows 7?

        How to stick in the past?

        How to get upvoted?

        All of the above!!

      2. dc_m

        Re: Nope

        Do what I did, take the plunge. I acquired a machine not suitable for the job it needed to do. Had a win 10 home licence on it at some point. Had to give work laptop back with 10 pro on.

        Installed spare SSD in said machine from dead win 7 laptop. Installed Linux mint. I have used linux before but never taken the plunge as such with the desktop.

        The only thing I am still working on is updating the Garmin GPS. Everything else is working very, very fast.

        Loved win7 but I have seen some scary vulnerability's in my time and the lack of security updates and ease of exploitation no longer sits easily with me.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nope

      Our corporate overlords kindly allow us to install Classic Shell (or another start menu equivalent), so I hardly notice Win-10-isms.

      1. Blackjack Silver badge

        Re: Nope

        You might want to move to Open Shell since Classic Shell was discontinued years ago.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nope

        Even when Windows...

        Brb, Windows thinks my machine is idle and is forcing a reboo.....

        1. PeteA

          Re: Nope

          No joke ... after enduring 1.5 hours of the latest upgrade I rang a colleague to warn them and generally grouse. Too late - they started the conversation by complaining of the 2 hours just spent upgrading.

          Why is it that my [multiple] linux boxen at home upgrade within a few minutes and rarely with any issues, whereas my work machine with Windows always takes "forever"? Admit to no recent [in last 2 years] issues though, this has gotten better in my personal experience

    3. oiseau

      Re: Nope

      I ran on MS OSs for many years, from DOS 6.0 onwards through 3.0, 3.11 and all the versions of W95/98/NT/2000/XP with the exception of Me and for six or seven years made a living from doing first tier support duty at a federal government office.

      I've seen and had to wrestle with quite a bit from and about MS operating systems over the 20+ years I had to deal with them.

      Now I only run Linux on my rigs with XP on a VirtualBox (isolated from the web) for when I need it for some very specific software I run once in a blue moon.

      "Most of the things Microsoft said would be great were not."


      The line above fits in the headline of any article on Windows OSs written between 1995 and 2020, spare none albeit being a bit more lenient with respect to XPSP3.


      I've been using Linux for quite a few years now and only see an MS OS (XPSP3) on a VM for some very specific software I use once every blue moon.


      1. fung0

        Re: Nope

        The line above fits in the headline of any article on Windows OSs written between 1995 and 2020, spare none albeit being a bit more lenient with respect to XPSP3.

        Much as I detest Win10, I can't agree with your blanket statement. The period of which you speak included several brilliant releases: Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows 7. All of these met up to expectations; all were significant advances not just over previous versions, but in desktop computing generally. The UI evolved, became increasingly pleasant to use. The core evolved even more, adopting mainframe architectures.

        And I say this as someone who started using MS-DOS with version 1.0, and actually booted Windows 1.0 on a dual-floppy XT, and lived to tell the tale. (It was much nicer to use than Windows 10.)

        1. Youngone Silver badge

          Re: Nope

          In my view Win XP was pretty rubbish, but by SP3 it was extremely good.

          I also found Win 7 poor, and many of my users at the time complained about several things, which werte later fixed.

          Win 10 has continued this trend, and it is not too bad now although not quite as usable as XP SP3 IMHO.

          Now I need to find out why one of my users seems to be on Version 1903, when he had 1909 last week.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Nope

            I agree. People have very short memories. I remember XP being generally hated for ages until SP3.

            Win2k was the king. Absolutely no bollocks. Rock solid.

            1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

              Re: Nope

              I thought Windows XP SP2 was adequate, but maybe I have low standards or am forgetting how to count.

              1. mmonroe

                Re: Nope

                "I thought Windows XP SP2 was adequate, but maybe I have low standards or am forgetting how to count."

                I agree SP2 was great. I found SP3 slowed the XP boxes down too much, and don't forget it introduced the annoying Windows Genuine Advantage - I never found Windows to be an advantage :)

                I think the mulitple desktop idea isn't used much for two reasons. Windows users aren't used to such inovations, as they come very late late. Don't forget that IE didn't support mulitple tabs for many years after other browers had them. I've been using mulitple desktops on Linux since 2000. The other reason, is it a faff to get to the other desktops. On my Linux box, there is a nice little window on the task bar, with four small squares. Click on one if the small squares and you are at another desktop (4 in my case).

                I find a WIndows interface so primitve compared to a Linux interface. Multiple items in your clipboard only came 2 years ago. Again I've had this on my Linux box since 2000, and it was probably there before. I didn't get onto PCs until then. Before that I was working on Big Irons.

            2. simonlb Silver badge

              Re: Nope

              Except when Windows 2000 decided it wanted to make you wait a minute after clicking on Shut Down before it actually bothered to shut down and you had to reinstall SP4 to fix it.

              Used to have to do that twice a week on my system.

            3. TechHeadToo

              Re: Nope

              That was the one co-engineered by IBM wasn’t it? Or the one the guy from DEC? Created. Proves the case about native Microsoft being a bit, well, lacklustre. Maybe mor so since Bill ripped off the original versions

              But hey, I’m used to serious boxes that don’t fall over. At least they seemed to fix that problem eventually.

            4. This post has been deleted by its author

            5. Dave K

              Re: Nope

              I honestly had very few problems with earlier builds of XP. Don't get me wrong, they weren't great from a security perspective (although 2k was also susceptible to a number of nasty worms during its lifetime). XP was also a bit of a resource hog initially as well, however from a consumer perspective, XP was a huge improvement in stability over Windows 98 (and the less said about ME, the better), and could be easily tweaked to remove the default "Teletubby" theme.

              SP2 was the big change for XP as it improved the firewall (and set it to "on" by default), introduced the no-execute bit etc. SP3 wasn't much more than a roll-up of security and quality fixes since SP2 was released.

            6. mikenyny

              Re: Nope

              I upgraded to Win 2k (from 98 version 2 - which was very good) when it came out, and then loaded Win 2k server. I remained with this until mid 2005 when my company ordered me to switch to XP, which was completely pointless actually; as I remember some things were an improvement but there was absolutely nothing bad about Win 2k.

              I needed to replace my notebook in late 2007 and the one I bought was loaded with Vista. I tried using this POS for 3 days, tried removing it and loading XP but it wouldn't allow me to do it. I took the notebook to a computer store and asked them to remove Vista and load XP; they said "no problem" come back tomorrow. I returned but they said they would call me when it was done. They called after 3 days so I went to collect it. What they had done was to replace the HD in order to load XP!

          2. sammy_mac

            Re: Nope

            I was a MS fanboy until XPSP2. I gave it a year and switched to Linux. Most people loved XP, but it didn't work for me. Years later, my nonagenarian great aunt was excited about the upcoming Windows 10 free upgrade. After the upgrade, her excitement quickly faded. Not too many weeks passed before she started asking to try 'what you use' (kubuntu). Then came an update that broke her computer, and I told her that I could restore it to the original Windows 7 configuration. She insisted that she was done with Windows and for me to put what I like on the laptop. The Kubuntu UI was much easier for her to use than Windows 10; KDE is far closer to Windows 7. Plus, she didn't have hazardous updates from MS.

        2. EagleZ28

          Re: Nope

          I've been using MS since MS-DOC 3.1

          I'd add that Win98SE was also pretty solid and reliable.

          IMO, every 2nd iteration tends to be absolute CRAP... and then they get the NEXT one pretty good.

          98SE, 2K, XP, 7... all good and solid.

          95 (a &b), ME, 8.0, 8.1... all crap.

          Oh... and back in the day, I also ran OS/2 2.0, 2.1, and 3.0

          I had a lot of VERY high-end DOS-based programs... VERY expensive... and OS/2 ran them beautifully... better, in fact, than DOS... and likewise, it ran some critical specialized hardware device drivers quite well.

        3. Jakester

          Re: Nope

          But Windows 1.x was nothing more than a DOS shell that ran some graphical-like programs. Win 3.1 was both relatively stable and useful.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: Nope

            Win 3.1 had some design concepts that still make sense. Being able to easily group icons for programmes that had a similar function or role e.g. all graphics programmes or all programmes needed to prepare for Monday's regular meeting. Particularly useful when the software publisher gives their programme a bloody stupid name that offers no clue to what it actually does*. (Pale Moon/Firefox) or that now gets put in the damn stupid alphabetic start menu under the publisher's name rather than the functional name (F for Fairstar CD ripper, than C for CD ripper) and then needs significant IT skill to move into a sensible location and remove the irrelevant crapola that gets installed there with it. (No I don't want a link to the url of your poxy web site in my start menu thank you very much). Neither do I want my desktop filled with hundreds of icons in bewildering array as an alternative..

            *I might know what it's called and what it does on the day I install it, and will do if I use it frequently, but if not, then 6-12 month on I'll be trying to remember what the programme is called that did such and such. Or even forget that I already have a useful programme because it has a name that rings no bells.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nope

        Yep! It's very nice to be working on a large migration from Windows to [something else] atm., all the years of being a Microsoft Mushroom are finally coming home to roost now that I've worked my way up to having significant influence into the technology decisions for large-scale projects. Oddly enough, proprietary operating systems don't fare well.

        One should note, however, that Microsoft is coming at this "top-down" as in "make it amazing & pretty, then worry about function and security" vs. the perceived OSS "bottom-up" approach of "make it securely functional, then usable, the pretty". Sure, that's not great for the systems I work on, which need to be secure and performant - but for an end-user device it's a justifiable approach, not dissimilar to Apple who had the brains to take an extant good-quality bottom layer then bolt on a friendly top-layer ... followed by slowly polluting the lower layers with top-level concerns and breaking security :(.

        Ho hum, we're all doomed. I'll get my N95.

    4. a_yank_lurker

      Re: Nope

      I only use Bloat10 because of corporate. I have noticed many aggravating issues like having to boot then reboot the computer when starting in the morning. Not necessarily deal breakers but annoying enough to not want to touch the sewage for personal use. My Linux and Mac boxes are much better behaved and much more consistent and thus easier to work with.

      1. Blank Reg

        Re: Nope

        I don't understand why some people have these problems, with 4 laptops and 4 desktops at home all running win 10 Pro I never have any such problems. It's been rock solid for me.

        1. Binraider Silver badge

          Re: Nope

          I can set my clock by WIn10/O365 failures. 11.30 every day without fail (just about the time my US colleagues are logging into the AD) O365 apps go into a crash/reload/"repair now" cycle that is only cleared by a reboot.

          It's just like Win95 all over again.

          No such issues on Win7. Even in corporate environment.

      2. Fr. Ted Crilly Silver badge

        Re: Nope

        Mmm yeah, have you enjoyed popping your linux install into a new build machine and enjoying the expirence of it self sorting it all out and there you are in new hardware, no aggro no dial a new key turdage.

        Tbh i generally start a fresh one (mint cinamon) on a new machine, but just for the kick eh :-)

        1. Binraider Silver badge

          Re: Nope

          Yep. Mint 19 and 20 find everything but my LTO tape drive just fine. Replace video driver with the non free AMD and its good to go.

    5. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Nope

      I held out on Windows 7 on my main gaming/work PC until Jan 2019... when a new build saw me forced to update under protest.

      But I'd done my research... I was able to install and cripple as much of the malware as possible... and so I don't have to worry about forced updates and reboots in the middle of doing stuff. Telemetry is dead, the MS store is dead, Cortana is dead.

      I then installed classic shell to give me back a W7 looking start menu, installed the W7 classic games... my usual software, vpn, firefox (with plugins/containers)... and I was good to go.

      Some of it is stupid still... finding settings can be a huge pain... and how to do things no longer makes any sense given they've adopted the old 'Let's change how things are organised just so it looks like we're useful in our jobs' mentality of software developers....

      But I've kinda got it to a place where it's not a huge cluster fuck of a mess... and I have to remember to go through and double/triple check all of those tweaks/changes every time MS does update anything... because they think they own my fucking machine.

      But... I didn't pay full price for the license... both W10 pro machines I now have cost £20 each.... the downside is that because I will never have an MS account... the license is tied to the hardware rather than the software... But I have upgraded that hardware without any penalty... changed CPU, GPU and doubled the ram... So I guess as long as the MB stays the same... I'm good.

      1. Hastings Bob

        Re: Nope

        If your licences are classed as Retail then they can be moved to new hardware for no cost. I recently buit a new machine and when installing W10 I used the retail licence keys that I had for W7 Pro. When the installer asked for the licence I keyed in the W7 code and it went ahead and when complete it activated without difficulty. I had used the W7 licences previously.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Nope

          "If your licences are classed as Retail then they can be moved to new hardware for no cost."

          When upgrading a user's PC H/W it was found that the W7 Retail licence had a previously unknown restriction.

          Doing the upgrades in stages suddenly declared the licence invalid on the cloned bigger hard disk. Three months later the disk was taken off the shelf to try again - and the licence was declared valid again. The only factor was the elapsed time.

  2. Reginald Onway

    How bad is it?

    Yes, it's bad but it's the only game in town for the overwhelming majority of businesses and government agencies now.

    AND, that's where the EASY BIG BUCKS (EBB) are at for licenses and support contracts.

    As for individual's free so you get what you pay for. Or less.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How bad is it?

      Last I checked, Win10 wasn't free - only the upgrade from 7 or 8 was. Personally, I run Ubuntu on my home desktop and laptop, and they're about as peppy as my work laptop running Win10... with the home devices being 6+ years old vs the 1-year-old work laptop.

      When it comes to software, FOSS means you get much better than what you can pay for.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How bad is it?

        FOSS does not mean you get much better than what you can pay for, it just means it's free, unless that's your overriding criteria for business critical applications?

        1. nematoad

          Re: How bad is it?

          "FOSS does not mean you get much better than what you can pay for, it just means it's free,"

          Another person confusing free as in beer with free as in liberty to do what you want with the OS. There is nothing in the GPL preventing you charging for your distro. What it does do is stop you taking away the freedoms granted by the license if you pass it on.

          Red Hat did not get where it is today by giving away the OS. It charges for support, training and so on. That is where the money comes from and that doesn't seem to have worked out too badly, now does it?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Red Hat did not get where it is today by giving away the OS. "

            It's now part of IBM - it's not what I'd call a success...

            "That is where the money comes from "

            So why it was sold instead of walking on its own legs? Maybe other free distros were killing the revenues?

            1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

              Re: own legs

              Its was sold because it was worth more to the purchaser to the seller. Windows 10 was inflicted on users by stealth because it was worth less than nothing to the recipients.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: own legs

                You don't sell a company for which you have great plans - especially to a declining company like IBM - and IBM bought the middleware tools, not the OS. I wonder how many customers RedHat lost in the past years to Ubuntu or CentOS.

                Sure, they got a lot of money. Let's see what will remain of RedHat within IBM in a few years.... soon it will have a turban instead of a Fedora....

            2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: "Red Hat did not get where it is today by giving away the OS. "

              "So why it was sold instead of walking on its own legs?"

              Cashing in plus the head that wore the red hat now has a well upholstered blue one.

            3. IGnatius T Foobar !

              Re: "Red Hat did not get where it is today by giving away the OS. "

              It's now part of IBM - it's not what I'd call a success...

              And that means one day it will be a part of Micro Focus, if you know what I mean.

          2. TheMeerkat

            Re: How bad is it?

            Companies like Red Hat, even when they spend money to support OSS, they are still parasite on someone else’s work.

            Microsoft actually spends money on everything - development and acquisitions.

        2. James Anderson

          Re: How bad is it?

          Well Amazon, Facebook Google run entirely on either open source or written in house dsftware. Cannot be that bad.

      2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        Re: How bad is it?

        The "Windows 10 Upgrade Tool" or "Media Creation Tool" is still a free download:

        1. Quentintheflorid

          Re: How bad is it?

          You can still activate it for free using a Win 7 serial number.

          For me Win 10 has become even more unreliable over the last few months. Blue screens, settings changing back to defaults from one day to the next. All on a fresh clean install, same hardware and had none of these issues before.

          I now dual boot with Linux Mint which is way more reliable.

      3. Tim 11

        Re: How bad is it?

        As someone who has worked almost exclusively on ASP.NET for the last 20 years, MS would have had to try really hard to force me to move to Ubuntu, but earlier this year they managed it.

        The straw that broke the camel's back was actually a performance problem with Jest node.js test runner, but having moved to a UI that doesn't look like it was designed by a color-blind toddler, I'm surprised to say I'm now using Ubunbu for 99% of my workflow. Would I move back if the Windows UI went back to Windows 7 style? I'd say that's 50/50.

    2. chuckufarley Silver badge

      Re: How bad is it?

      It's so bad that of on the 2 servers, one desktop, and one laptop in my apartment you will only find Windows 10 running in single, small KVM instance with a measly 128GB of storage. Just in case I ever need it. Everything else is running a Linux distro suited to it's task.

      1. chuckufarley Silver badge

        Re: How much does it suck... know that the only response you can make to a post and not seems like an idiot is to down vote it?

        It must suck at least three times.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: How bad is it?

      "it's the only game in town"

      THERE's your problem. Monopolies, go fig...

      icon, because THAT is the REAL reason... for Win-10-nic !

  3. Khaptain Silver badge

    It works just fine for us

    Except for a very old legacy app, for which we use Server 2003 + RDS to keep it running , everything else just works...Very little maintenance , much fewer reboots and multiple users per machine and no major problems with the OS..

    Applications are a whole other ballpark, but not because of W10. For example we have far more issues with Office 365, mostly due to updates and and resulting sudden loss of compatibility....

    On the whole W10 is a solid enough system...

    1. HarryBl

      Re: It works just fine for us

      Same with me. I support a friend of mine who lives on the other side of the world and who is totally bereft of any computer nous at all.

      With W7 I used to get a cry for help about once a week and would have to Teamview once a month or so to sort stuff out for him.

      Since he got W10 he'll maybe ask for a bit of help every 2 or 3 months and it will vary rarely have anything to do with W10 itself.

      1. Daleos

        Re: It works just fine for us

        I also support a lot of less IT literate users. I get far fewer calls with Win 10 than I ever did with Win 7 or XP. BSODs and crashes are far, far fewer. Printers generally work

        Still miffed about the telemetry situation and the constant updates are distracting. UWP is a failure, not because of the idea but because the apps created using it don't do enough. This is a developer problem, not an MS one. Biggest backward step for me is the Windows 10 start menu mostly because of its sluggishness and lack of old-school shortcut support.

        Other than the moans above though, Windows 10 is way easier to support and use than Windows 7.

        My biggest disappointment with Win 10 is not the new stuff but what they didn't fix from older OSs.

        Why do we still have a 512 char max path length? What is search so crappy?

        Why is UI scaling such a mess?

        Still after all that, with my IT support hat on Win 10 is way easier to deal with than any previous Windows OS or Linux or Mac box.

        As a user, I think Win 10 is better than previous versions. A lot of forward steps, a fair few backwards ones but overall ahead.

        And I still prefer it to the 'straight jacket' Mac or 'greasy overall' Linux OSs for my main multiuse machine. Mac's are good for surface stuff and have one for tinkering around with music. Linux is my preferred back end OS or for something very specific but for getting shit done, its Windows all the way.

      2. captain veg Silver badge

        Re: It works just fine for us

        I'll see your anecdote.

        My retired father has an uncanny ability to destroy any version of Windows, using unusual techniques like messing around with things he completely doesn't understand in the device manager, or the more common method of strangling the system in cruft until it becomes unusable.

        A few years ago I built him a NUC and put Mint on it. Windows is there in a VM if needed. It isn't. Apart from inadvertently moving the start menu to an unexpected position I've not had to field a single support call. It just works.


      3. mikenyny

        Re: It works just fine for us

        (Probably cause he has totally given up using it).

    2. logicalextreme

      Re: It works just fine for us

      Yep, for me it's been Just Another Windows. Never had any major problems with any of them. Crashes went away years ago, window management is mostly pretty good, and it's got some utterly stupid bugs in it here and there like any other OS. I haven't used a Linux desktop in a while but I always used to find myself going back to Windows because the window management was familiar and rational, and the menus tend to be consistent from application to application.

      The two things that really bogged me down with Linux were:

      1. Things would sometimes change quite significantly between distro or even versions of the same distro. Having to learn a new set of commands suddenly for day-to-day stuff was not fun, especially when you had no guarantee it wouldn't be reverted by the next release or replaced with something arbitrarily different. I've lost count of the number of different ways of e.g. setting up a network interface there are. This was usually infuriating because of a lack of back-compat — mapping the old commands would have been nice, where possible; even if only for a couple of releases. However, that's actually a big problem I have with Microsoft — insistence on back-compat to a fault, with the result that there are now fourteen different ways to accomplish the same thing (an executable in System32, a VBScript, a Powershell cmdlet, the new Powershell cmdlet they put in to fix the wonky first one but left that one in "so existing scripts would continue to work", WMI, .NET, the registry…) but that may or may not use different APIs, and thus may or may not get you different results. In short, a mess.

      2. Be it GNOME or KDE or XFCE, settings were scattered to different control panel GUIs in the four corners of the earth, with some stuff that you could apparently only change in the control panels and other stuff that you could only change in config files. These would similarly change with releases of the DE. Many options in the GUIs did precisely nothing. Others crashed the system. Windows had the edge (ha) here for a long time, but MS have unfortunately decided to adopt the same design pattern of straddling the options across four generations of user interface, with the latest (the W10 Settings app) being the most abominable; and the command line support for everything that they claim Powershell offers is a straight-up lie. This is an area where MS clearly are forcing people into a new world (it has to happen at some point, even Python 2 actually finally dropped out of support) but they're doing it in the worst way possible.

      I am planning to check out Linux as a desktop again at some point in the near future however, because I'm noticing some ridiculous crap creeping into Win10 that's starting to affect my productivity. For instance, why does the most recently-opened window get pushed to the second-to-bottom in the stack, but only 80% of the time? Why does the screen snipping tool lock the entire OS up necessitating a hard power off? Why, when there is a special Windows 10 notification area to unify all notifications, does it not unify all notifications and why doesn't Teams even have integration with it on the roadmap?

      So yeah. Win10 solid, but infuriating. I've come to expect that from any OS though.

  4. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

    Windows is now a mess of stuff. Two control panels - something they don't seem to have bothered fixing up much since Windows 8. Legacy cruft like WPF and Silverlight still exists, for some unfathomable reason. And the failed UWP limps along like a three legged dog in lead boots trying to run through glue.

    And my boss wonders why I have a Mac at home. It's not much better (and it certainly doesn't look much better on the UI front any more these days, unfortunately), but at least it (sort of) works.

    1. Annihilator

      100% - the two control panels is an absolute mess ("Settings" app and the old-school Control Panel). Bouncing between both of them to diagnose the simplest of wireless networking problems is hideous and I'm not seeing any signs over the last 5 years of any real efforts to merge them.

      Explorer's search function is still a car-crash too. I'm more likely to use PowerShell to search for files these days.

      And somehow, Edge still manages to sneak its way in when it's not the default browser - example, if you like one of the lock-screen images and click to find out more, it will log you in and then open an Edge browser window.

      1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

        Explorer's search function is still a car-crash too. I'm more likely to use PowerShell to search for files these days.

        Oh I forgot about explorer. Mainly because I've been using Free Commander for what feels like forever.

        I also search for files through command prompt (not PowerShell though because I'm not a believer in it, as I keep expecting MS to pull the plug on it and replace it with something even more inexplicable on a daily basis; aside from the fact that every time I've been forced to use it for work has been a soul-crushing nightmare). In truth, I just turn the Windows Search service off in admin tools to save it thrashing the hard disk all the time.

        1. Annihilator

          (I was trying to sound cool with PowerShell, I predominantly use the command line)

        2. Art Slartibartfast

          For finding files I use Agent Ransack. Pretty fast and it does not insist on redoing the search if you want the results sorted differently.

          1. PeteA

            Finding files? `find` works pretty well, or `locate` if you want to be efficient. Just setup the config in wsl ...

            1. logicalextreme

              WSL's been a real boon, but it's not until you try and use grep that you remember just how many filetypes still default to UTF-stupid-16-little-bastard-endian in the Microsoft Cinematic Looniverse.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. J. Cook Silver badge

        + MANY for the wireless troubleshooting. It was bad enough when XP / 7 still had the option of letting a third party app manage your wireless networks (Intel, I'm glaring at YOU) but once you settled on one or the other, it was reasonably well behaved. in win10? utter crap, and laggy as hell when trying to cycle a wireless adapter to force it to try and reconnect.

        Power management got a kick in the unmentionables, too- By default, unless you go into the registry and diddle an extremely specific setting to expose a different setting in the advanced power management control panel, your laptop will go into sleep mode after 2 minutes of idle time, irregardless of how you've set any other setting. Bit of a pain if your laptop is being used to, say, a presentation, or, say, sitting in a network closest unattended uploading a firmware image over a serial console cable...

        Oh, and the "you wanted me to move a folder? hold on, I need to walk the entire tree of the folder first, including all sub folders and files" bug still exists. 15 minutes worth of time on a shared network folder for something that used to take under 30 seconds...

        And don't get me started on the '10 shades of monochrome' that the UI has turned into, along with the office suite...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "And my boss wonders why I have a Mac at home. It's not much better (and it certainly doesn't look much better on the UI front any more these days, unfortunately), but at least it (sort of) works."

      The advantage of using a Mac isn't the GUI , some of which - like the menu bar permanently glued to the top of the display and app menus scattered between that and in-window menus - is still firmly stuck in the 80s, its the fact that you can open Terminal and get a unix shell with all the standard unix tools and a decent unix dev enviroment. That for me was the reason I bought one and I've yet to regret my decision and i speak as someone who has run linux at home for years (and still do).

  5. Roger Greenwood

    Counting the cost

    For a small business or individual, the cost of an operating system is negligible to start with, but the constant upgrades and subsequent loss of time as things fall over is really annoying. No wonder many have updates turned off. Dread to think what it's like for a large business.

    We have one machine running Win 10 that must be kept in version sync with the only program it runs, anything else and it fails.

    Printers are also susceptible - yes this is 2020 and we can't have reliable printing. Great as long as you don't mess with them, but upgrade at your peril is my mantra.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Counting the cost

      Yep. A recent update killed printing on my work computer, during WFH where I have to print, sign, and scan documents. And since my home machine isn't "authorized" to download or print files from O365, I had to resort to printing a screenshot.

      We need a clever name for O365. I'm thinking O360, since it keeps me spinning in circles...

      1. J. Cook Silver badge

        Re: Counting the cost

        Personally, when I have to mention the 'office in the cloud' suite, it's usually mentioned as "Office 3|2XY", (where XY is a random number based partly on how long the year has been, and how many large outages the Office 294* cloud has had...)

        And yet, Enterprise customers are being prodded more and more to it. We did our renewal this year at [RedactedCo] and unfortunately, it's the direction we are being forced into, despite our misgivings with things cloud based...

        *see what I did there?

        1. mikenyny

          Re: Counting the cost

          I have Office 2013 installed on my Windows 10 Notebook and Office 2010 installed on my son's Notebook; I am never going to upgrade these to anything else.

  6. Dan 55 Silver badge


    The past five years have not been particularly good in any measurable way and Windows 10 is in line with that trend. Still, I managed to fend it off my home computers, so there is that.

  7. Excellentsword

    It's great, I do absolutely everything on it, work and play. Only times I've had problems was due to hardware failing.

    1. fung0

      Even when it is working properly, Windows 10 cannot, by any stretch, be called "great." The UI is a hideous mess, for a start. (Where did Microsoft find designers who could concoct such a travesty?) Telemetry doesn't go away. And even at the best of times, you're never more than one auto-update away from catastrophe.

      1. drankinatty

        Meh Sums it up...

        The windows on all attempt and UWP that eliminated Aero window decorations resulted in a meh experience. The disabling of the users ability to customize simple things like titlebar height without a registry hack added to the meh of it. For all versions up though windows 7, the look and feel and improved use of screen real estate progressed in steady fashion. With windows 10, suddenly the "work on the phone or desktop" approach caused apps screen real estate demands to balloon, e.g. calculator takes up nearly 1/3 of the screen instead of being a nice small and tidy app. This applied to virtually all windows apps. The new bland window decorations resembled the flat look of apps in Windows 3.1 (which was great for the early 90's)

        That said, as an OS, it's fine, mows the grass, does it quite well. WSL and developer mode was a good detail (though the inability to handle Linux file permission bits from the window side was a bit of a quagmire). The Win7 Windows Developer's Toolkit was still an option for a sub 1G compiler install (as is a full MinGW install providing gcc on windows) and if drive space was no problem, a full VS2017/2019 install provides a very much improved cl.exe which now support C11 for the most part. WSL with gcc and your favorite development tools was a definite shining spot for Win 10. Once you configure win10 by stopping all the unneeded services, it behaves quite well idling at less than 1% of CPU utilization and logging in with a normal user account instead of a microsoft account makes it function like every other windows before it.

        So I'm quite happy to shut down the openSuSE/KDE3 install on my laptop and boot the win10 SSD monthly after patch-Tuesday to let it update, update Ubuntu in WSL, notepad++ and the other usual monthly updates and see if it is time to reset the 365 day policy delaying feature updates to let the next one install before resetting the 365 day policy until I'm ready for the next (El Reg's review of the problems presented in the latest feature update helps with that timing) Meh, then I reboot to the other drive and don't have to worry about another desktop bug report again until I update Win10 again...

  8. Shadow Systems

    Win10 is Not Fit For Purpose.

    Is it stable yet? Every time it updates it breaks something & generates a flood of complaints. The answer from MSHQ is to be patient while they work on a fix to be released "soon". For those of us that use assistive technology & must have a stable OS upon which to run it, Win10 is an utter failure.

    Can the general public turn the telemetry completely off? If we can't then it has no business being on any computer that involves a lawyer-client, doctor-patient, clergy-practitioner, or other legally restricted information channel. Oh sure corporations can & do turn it off, but until that option is available *and off by default* to the public, Win10 is a privacy raping nightmare.

    Can we choose when, where, & even if we apply an update at all until after it's been verified, validated, & the bugs ironed out first? Because the public is not MSHQ's beta testers, we're not the QA department, and we shouldn't have unstable, untested, unreliable code shoved down our throats. "You can defer the update for a week" is not the ability to refuse it entirely. If the update breaks some critical subsystem & we *absolutely must* have that subsystem working, MS' "we'll fix it eventually" attitude is not just unacceptable, it's utterly reprehensible.

    Why do the public get served advertisements in their operating system even if they paid full price for it? Making it an option to get a reduced price on the device it came with, "allow ads & it's $100 cheaper" style situation might be acceptable, but it comes with every copy of Win10. You have to dig through the menus to find out how to turn it off. It should default to off. We should not be served ads in an OS we've paid full price for. Amazon can get away with it because they *point blank* let the customer know that the device will (not) come with ads for a given price. MSHQ doesn't say it comes with ads, doesn't reduce the price because of it, and makes the customer jump through hoops to turn them off.

    Have you fixed the UI yet to be useable? Because I keep hearing that $Control has been moved/hidden yet again, rendering it difficult to well nigh impossible to find, so that it takes a technical person a not insignificant amount of time to hunt it down & get it to work. A normal, non technical person will probably never know it's even possible to alter $Behavior, much less be able to drill down to where it's been hidden to prevent them from messing with their own damned computer. So have you fixed the UI yet to present a unified, intuitive, easily understood & navigatable, helpful user experience that lets us get shit done?

    Do I *really* need to go on? And MSHQ wonders why some of us are still on Win7? It's because it's stable, you idiots!

    1. David Lewis 2

      Re: Win10 is Not Fit For Purpose.

      ... the public is not MSHQ's beta testers, we're not the QA department ...

      You might think that, but that is exactly how Microsoft sees them.

      1. logicalextreme

        Re: Win10 is Not Fit For Purpose.

        Further to this, I'd tentatively suggest that when a company sacks a whole bunch of members of its paid QA department and then issues release upon release upon release with massive, horrific, damaging bugs in them — don't forget that the entire Server 2019 OS and its W10 update counterpart were literally pulled after release — then yes, the users very much are the QA department. With a key difference being that if a paid member of a QA team bricks their PC, they're issued a replacement.

    2. David Lewis 2

      Re: Win10 is Not Fit For Purpose.

      ... Can the general public turn the telemetry completely off? ...

      This, 100x this, but you forgot to add " and have it stay off through subsequent updates!

      I would like to move from W7, but I have no interest in playing whack-a-mole with W10 "Surveillance-as-a-Service".

    3. fung0

      Re: Win10 is Not Fit For Purpose.

      "DirectX 12 performed well, for example, continuing the PC's role as a strong gaming platform."

      Then why is no one using it? Look around, most games still use DX11 exclusively. Even Microsoft's vaunted Flight Sim 2020 has been widely reported to run on DX11. Many game developers have even turned to Vulkan in order to avoid DX12.

      I've never heard any explanation. My theory is that DX12 must be so hideous to work with that nobody can be bothered.

      1. Remy Redert

        Re: Win10 is Not Fit For Purpose.

        I can answer that one. Performance and features. Vulkan performs better, is cross platform and implemented a bunch of new features. Not to mention that DX12 was late to the show. Vulkan APIs were out on win7 before DX12 APIs were available.

        And then the few games that implemented both Vulkan and DX 12 found that the former ran faster on the same hardware.

    4. J. Cook Silver badge

      Re: Win10 is Not Fit For Purpose.

      Re: Telemetry- No one can turn it completely off, not event the enterprise folks who've paid dearly for the privilege of having the 'security' setting, unless one does what MS will consider warranty-voiding things to the registry, which will also turn right back on at the next update.

      Re: Updates- Again, unless you've paid MS a lot of money AND run an in-house patch/ update management server (SCCM), you are boned with the auto-updates.

      Enterprise editions of W10 don't have the ads. I think. (either that, or we found the switch to turn them off via policy.)

      Finding the old control panel is a matter of Start > Windows System > Control panel, at least in the enterprise version. We enterprise users are also stuck in the duopoly hell of the half-baked UWP settings app and the 'legacy' control panel.

      We would have stayed on windows 7, were it not for the whole thing of M$ dropping support for it. Apparently, we don't pay enough money to MS for the 'extended special snowflake' support package...

    5. stungebag

      Re: Win10 is Not Fit For Purpose.

      People keep banging on about being served adverts by Windows 10. How come I've never seen one, ever? Where are these adverts?

      The only time I see adverts from MS is when I run a free version of their games. Nothing in the OS, nothing in M365.

      1. David Hicklin Bronze badge

        Re: Win10 is Not Fit For Purpose.

        "People keep banging on about being served adverts by Windows 10. How come I've never seen one, ever?

        same here but that could just be because I have battered win10 to within an inch of its life with oo's shutup10, use Pi-Hole and replaced the start menu.

  9. Tom 38

    Windows 10 worked out super-great for me

    After the "update" auto-installed and broke my dual boot Windows 7 / Linux desktop, it prodded me to finally move my desktop and laptop over to Linux full time, everything has worked 100% since then.

    1. Andy Non Silver badge

      Re: Windows 10 worked out super-great for me

      Ditto that; I had a dual-boot Windows 8 / Linux KDE laptop until one of the Windows 8 updates trashed the dual boot and made it Windows only. Easily solved though. I reformatted, installing Linux Mint only, which I've used exclusively on every computer since. Just ordered a new (Eggsnow) desktop computer which will be running Linux Mint exclusively too. Quite a step back for me from Microsoft as I earned my living as a DOS then Windows application developer for thirty odd years. It is fair to say I detest Windows 8 / 10 for the crap UI and dog's dinner of bloatware it has become.

      The Mrs has Windows 10 on her laptop but runs Classic Shell start menu. I periodically have to go through her computer to remove/disable the latest privacy busting "features" and other crap and bloatware added during Windows updates. She uses it for little more than browsing the web via Firefox and I use it to update my TomTom - that's the only use I have for Windows 10. Her computer actually spends more time installing Windows updates than being used.

    2. Dr. Ellen

      Re: Windows 10 worked out super-great for me

      I would LOVE to be able to use Linux on my computer. I've tried the current versions of Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint, and Zorin Linux, and not a one of them will work. Years ago, Zorin Linux worked. Then I tried a clean install of the next version, and -- nope. They all are asking for files that aren't on the distribution. And those files aren't easy to get to, without a working Linux.

      As a consolation, I can use Raspbian on my Raspberry Pi, and it's based on Linux. Apparently they now have a version that can run on a PC. I'll try downloading it.

      1. The obvious

        Re: I would LOVE to be able to use Linux

        As far as I’m concerned you aren’t missing anything, the best place for Linux is /dev/null - the ecosystem is pretty toxic and really needs to go have a good think after the likes of the debacle that is systemd...

        1. nematoad

          Re: I would LOVE to be able to use Linux

          Dear, dear, dear. You need to practice your trolling skills a bit more.

          However, you are right in one respect. Systemd is an abomination that should be put out of our misery. Luckily, Linux being FOSS you don't have to put up with systemd if you don't want to. See, that's the joy of FOSS stuff like Linux, you have a choice.

          Don't like the direction a project is going in? Fork it. See LibreOffice as a good example of that. Hate systemd, chose a distro like Devuan, PCLInuxOS or Slack and so on.

          From what I read on El Reg about the contortions people have to go through trying to get Windows to behave, the thought that:

          1) You have to pay for this nonsense.

          2) You have no choice but to suck it up makes me glad that I dumped anything MS later than Win98SE and NT4.

      2. PeteA

        Re: Windows 10 worked out super-great for me

        "As a consolation, I can use Raspbian on my Raspberry Pi, and it's based on Linux. Apparently they now have a version that can run on a PC "

        OK - I sympathise with your desire to use Linux on your desktop, but think you might need to do a bit of reading around before the assertion that you're not able to use any current distribution on your machine [presumably PC]. It may also be useful to quantify "not a one of them will work" into HOW they don't work; are they all the same [i.e., possible hardware-vs-Linux-defaults issue] or different [i.e., possible distribution-specific issues]

  10. Kez

    How's that working? See icon.

    Five years, and Windows 10 *still* has a dual, even triple personality when it comes to managing the OS. Microsoft cannot seem to make their mind up whether settings should be in the Control Panel, "Settings" app, or obscured behind a PowerShell command, Group Policy or command prompt. So where does this leave the users? Utterly confused and always playing catch up.

    1. N2

      Re: How's that working? See icon.

      Utterly confused and always playing catch up.

      Theres a nice range of courses to (re) learn what you already know and it will always 'revised' in the next version taking you back to square one.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How's that working? See icon.

      Indeed, I moved full time to Linux Mint. My only Windows experience comes from the force-feeding of my Corporate Overlords. Guess which platform gives me less stability and more headaches?

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

        Re: How's that working? See icon.

        I simply created & ran mostly powershell & batch files together to get work PC's setup the way I wanted or needed to, rather than go through the hoops of settings & control panel.

        Shame I took all that knowledge with me when they showed the team the door.

    3. Jay 2

      Re: How's that working? See icon.

      So much this! Just moving to Win10 at work and I have no idea what they were thinking to have old skool Control Panel and Settings and then randomly sprinkle things between them.

  11. davenewman

    I like Windows 10 - inside VirtualBox

    I have to print to a Riso leaflet printer, which only has a driver for old Windows and Macs.

    So I print inside a virtual Windows 10 inside Kubuntu. It works better than a virtual Windows 7.

  12. N2

    The best thing

    Is not having to use it.

  13. Elledan

    Windows 10, AKA the Windows nobody asked for

    Back in the olden days (i.e. Windows 9x), the only thing users complained about was the stability. The bi-weekly reinstallation ritual of Windows 98 was one of those things that drove me to try out this newfangled 'Linux' thing (SuSE 6.3, retail copy) back in the Year of the Linux Desktop (rev. 1998). While struggling through its approach towards 'user-friendliness', an acquaintance slipped me a totally-legal copy of Windows 2000.

    Windows 2000 was amazing. On the same Celeron 400 system with 64 MB of RAM that had seen Windows 98 SE whimper and whine and crash, Windows 2000 ran like a dream. Stable, reliable, low memory usage and snappy, while keeping the same modern Win98 UI with a few improvements. I loved it so much that I kept using Windows 2000 well beyond XP's release, only upgrading when I saw how much smoother things like IME input in WinXP were. WinXP actually using DMA transfers instead of PIO during the copying of installation files to disk was also welcome.

    Windows XP was okay after switching off the horror show by opting for 'Classic' mode and pretending it was just Windows 2000. Using Windows 2003 (32 & 64-bit) was also very agreeable, using both on a number of server systems.

    Windows 7 I started with back in 2009 already, and after correcting its major flaws (showing every single ZIP file in a folder as its own folder in File Explorer, and fixing the start menu with Classic Shell), I am still using it today on a number of systems. Windows 7 still looks like Win2k, just shinier and rounder and more modern.

    Windows 8 I didn't want to use, and apparently nobody else did either, considering that it got mostly ignored, scorned and laughed at until it died a quick death when Win10 got released.

    What I'm getting out of all this is that nobody really was asking for big UI changes in Windows. Low-level, technical improvements in kernel space are awesome, and definitely clean up some other warts while one is at it. But who asked to 'fix' the Control Panel by restricting it to one view in a monochrome, single-page view? Who asked for Aero Glass to be removed? Who was hating on rounded corners, drop-shadows and other UI elements that made it possible to see where one window starts and one ends? Why does Windows 10 by default look like an early sketch of Windows 3.1 in monochrome, with most of the UI window lines erased?

    I run Windows 10 on a new laptop, but I had to mod the heck out of its UI to make it somewhat palatable. Technological improvements and weekly breakage aside, the one thing that makes me loathe Windows 10 is simply that it looks hideous, breaks everything about the Windows UI that nobody complained about since Windows 95 and generally just makes using the OS more miserable while trying to cram the idea that one has to register with Microsoft and be logged into the Microsoft mainframe while using one's Personal Computer down everyone's throat.

    So yeah, Windows 10 isn't my cup of tea. But I guess it's the future? The bleak, monochrome, rectangular, dystopian future, with Microsoft bots zipping overhead to keep an eye on us Alpha testers, that is.

    When did Microsoft stop caring about us Windows users?

    1. fung0

      Re: Windows 10, AKA the Windows nobody asked for

      Windows 2000 was amazing.

      Absolutely. It was the definitive version of Windows, in many ways.

      Windows 7 still looks like Win2k, just shinier and rounder and more modern.

      WinXP and Win7 really were Win2K, with extra UI polish. There were things to complain about in each release, but in general each was an improvement. (We won't speak of Vista, which was an obvious mis-step.)

      When did Microsoft stop caring about us Windows users?

      This is THE key question. The answer is: just before the release of WIndows 8. That was the first version of Windows designed according to Microsoft's addle-brained Master Plan, with no thought whatsoever given to improving either productivity or usability for the user.

      Microsoft started blathering about the Windows Store - an obvious attempt to mimic Apple's App Store monopoly on third-party software. It destroyed the UI in a vain attempt to compete with the perceived threat of tablets. That threat never materialized, but the hideous Metro UI remains like a curse. And Microsoft attempted to shift the user base to an appliance-style locked-down API, the Universal Windows Platform. That API is now mostly abandoned even by Microsoft itself.

      Microsoft clearly realized that most of its revenue was coming from enterprise services. Its current CEO comes from that side of the operation. The company obviously no longer gives a flaming crap about Windows as an end-user OS - other than as a way to anti-competitively force its services down users' throats.

      Meanwhile, all progress in desktop computing has ground to a halt. Back in the early 2000's, Bill Gates said that there was "further to go than we have already come." But that future went on hold when he allowed Microsoft to go to seed, so he could gallavant around the world sprinkling his billions on the unwashed masses.

      I live for the day that the decrepit Windows empire crumbles to dust, and the way is opened to real progress once more.

    2. J. Cook Silver badge

      Re: Windows 10, AKA the Windows nobody asked for

      When did Microsoft stop caring about us Windows users?

      When MS realized that they were making more money off the Office product, server and server application licensing*, and whatnot.

      FWIW, Server 2003 was just XP with the shiny scrapped off, and some more robust code in certain places. Server 2008 and 7 are literally the same codebase, just different OS labels and some slight changes in the UI here and there. (2008R2 is 7 SP1, for the pedants) 2012 was crap, along with the windows 8.0 it shared code with. 8.1 wasn't half bad, and 2012 R2 was definitely the nicest rev of the server side code yet, without getting into the windows 10 quagmire. server 2016 is... meh, and I've not deployed enough of 2019 yet to make a firm decision on.

      For day to day use by people who want to Get Stuff Done (tm)? windows 7, hands down. runner up? Server 2012 R2.

    3. mikenyny

      Re: Windows 10, AKA the Windows nobody asked for

      In 2007 with the release of the disastrous POS called Vista.

      I also loved Win 2000 Pro, and kept using it until late 2012 (and at work until 2005 when my boss forced me to upgrade to XP - a totally unnecessary exercise).

  14. Diodelogic

    No real issues

    Except for the last upgrade to 2004, when I did have a problem ("not connected to the Internet") and decided to install from scratch rather than fight with the upgrade. I fully admit that I'm in a position to do this anytime I want without repercussions, as this is not a work computer and everything I need is local. The only serious trouble I've had came from a failed hard drive.

    I don't think Windows 10 is perfect. There are numerous things I wouldn't mind seeing changed. However, I use applications which are Wiindows-only and see no need to deal with a non-Windows OS.

  15. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    And no mention of slurping?

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Maybe because the telemetry had already been backported to Windows 8 & 7 (unless you kept track of which updates to block).

  16. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

    It's fine if you're an average user with modern widely used hardware, and standard requirements

    Not so much if :

    Your hardware is unusual

    Your hardware is old

    You want to do something odd, or work in a non approved Microsoft way

    After initial issues with hibernation with my work Windows 10 system, updates have made laptop based Windows 10 working pretty solid. I haven't played much with WSL, but Microsoft has to be applauded for it.

    For home in a moderately complex configuration there are a load of issues

    Have older monitors? Windows 10 is not entirely happy with KVMs

    Old hardware? Recently had to re-install Windows 1903 from scratch because an X-Fi Titanium absolutely Will Not Work on a 1909 system that's had various cards installed over time, even after driver re-installs, driver cleaners etc.

    The mess of control panels in win32 and UWP format, both of which are required as mentioned by others.

    The graphical boot manager, also used in Windows 8, sucks majorly. Revert to the previous one, please.

    Automatic driver installs are a *huge* pain if it will break your system configuration. I've had to install with a network connection removed to stop driver updates.

    Windows Mixed Reality can break badly and is nowhere near as seamless as Oculus

    It's impossible to identify disks during install without selecting a command prompt and using diskpart, at which point a reboot is required to return to the install! So, you have nine disks in a RAID controller, but no idea which one to select.

    It'd be nice if HyperV was a little less limited, especially easily assigning serial ports to a VM, although I realise this is a minority requirement.

    Having said all of the above, and despite the fact I'm trying to move everything except some gaming and VR towards Unix, Windows 10 really is as mentioned a solidly engineered product. It copes with practically no issues with disks in a RAID JBOD configuration, something that makes almost every other Unix scream. My complaints are somewhat oriented to poor driver quality (I don't know if I can blame Creative Labs for the X-Fi driver issues I've had, but I definitely can blame AMD for their deeply shitty Vega 56 drivers which *STILL* won't load their control panel if the graphics card isn't set as primary in Windows)

    1. fung0

      Re: It's fine if you're an average user with modern widely used hardware, and standard requirements

      What you're basically saying is that Windows 10 is an okay OS, if you set your standards very, very low. As in "It works, most of the time, if I don't try to do anything too interesting..."

      After 35 years of development, that's really, REALLY Not Good Enough.

      1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

        Re: It's fine if you're an average user with modern widely used hardware, and standard requirements

        No, I think that's unfair. I personally think Microsoft has swung too far in the direction of standardised configurations, but most users (well over 90%) have a very standard mass market PC with one processor, one graphics card, and one SSD.

        For that 90%+, Windows 10 works just fine.

        However, with their rolling release program they also use too many real life users as guinea pigs. I'm not in favour of this new development style.

        1. aqk

          Re: It's fine if you're an average user with modern widely used ...etc

          .... For that 90%+, Windows 10 works just fine. .....

          I would say it's about 97%. The other 3% ? They just seem to be old Mac weenies who are worried about their jobs, and are always bitching on ElReg...

          ...And as usual, predicting that Linux will take over the desktop from this crappy Win-10 by 2016..

  17. karlkarl Silver badge

    My parents got a new computer and said that it was "a bit slow" so I offered to have a look at it. I mostly wanted to check that there were no viruses to be honest.

    When I booted it up and saw a bunch of useless junk like Candy Crush self-installing and updating and other flashing adverts on the start menu I actually felt so sorry for them. I honestly feel there should be charities set up to support less technical users in this toxic digital world of today. Not everyone can jump ship to a less toxic operating system.

    Upon reflection, it is actually starting to make me angry how Microsoft is doing the world such a disservice. So many people rely in their "brand name" to be responsible and do the right thing. It is absolutely criminal what they are doing. How can so many "experts" fsck up so badly. This needs to stop.

    1. Boothy

      I've did a fresh install of Win 10 recently, on an old desktop PC I had (old i7 system I originally built around 2012), it had been gutted for parts, but I wanted a real test box, rather than just a VM. So I gave it a service (new CPU paste etc.) and threw some old parts back into it. Plan was dual boot, Ubuntu and Win 10.

      I always install Windows without a network, it's faster and lets you set up local accounts easier, thus avoiding the MS live account mess.

      I was aware of the pre-installed carp, so after booting up and logging in for the first time, and before connecting to a network, I went through the Apps & features page, and removed/uninstalled everything I could find that wasn't something I though I might use (so most of it).

      Plugged in the network and left it to do its thing, updates etc.

      Came back to find Candy f#*&ing stuff, and other apps I didn't want, need or asked for had turned up again! Despite removing them earlier. Went through it all again, and this time it stuck.

      Seems a fresh Windows install queues up a bunch of stuff via the MS store, and ignores the fact you uninstalled some of these before connecting a network. It then promptly downloads and installs them all again as soon as it can!

      I miss the days of being able to pick the features you wanted during install.

      Even a 'minimal' option would be nice, like you get with most Linux distros.

      Can we make custom Win 10 install disks?

      I remember using tools years ago to make a custom XP install disk, that had SP1 and SP2 slipstreamed in, several extra drivers (RAID etc), some extra bits of software I always had installed, was locked to UK region and London time zone, and had a fixed name account, so was basically an unattended install.

      1. karlkarl Silver badge

        The worst thing is all this crapware apps like candy crush add themselves to the firewall rules to let themselves through! You need to faff about with group policy's firewall instead to ensure they can't get through. Non-technical users simply are unable to do this and that is who Microsoft is feeding off.

        Completely unacceptable.

        1. The_Idiot

          You need to faff about with group policy's firewall...

          ... Well, or (as one alternative) have an edge firewall not on the Windows device so Windows installs can't touch it - UTM or otherwise. But yes, that still generally requires more than the non-technical user can (through no fault of their own) bring to the table.

      2. quxinot

        >I remember using tools years ago to make a custom XP install disk, that had SP1 and SP2 slipstreamed in, several extra drivers (RAID etc), some extra bits of software I always had installed, was locked to UK region and London time zone, and had a fixed name account, so was basically an unattended install.

        Nlite I'd imagine is the software you used to do so. And yes, super useful to make custom XP installs that didn't require a crapload of tweaking after the fact.

        There was a vista version as well, which....well, I had dramatically worse luck with it.

      3. Wayland

        Windows 10 LTSB

        You need to get hold of the Long Term Support Base version of Windows 10.

        I find people hate it because they miss Cortana, Kandy Krush, the App Store, adverts and news items about the Kardashians on the start menu and regular update that make them wait.

        Be aware that it won't play X-Box games and many Microsoft games won't work.

        However it's great for Valve Steam and pretty much anything Windows 7 can do.

        1. Dave K

          Re: Windows 10 LTSB

          Agreed. I don't like Windows 10 at all, but where I do use it, I use the LTSC version. For me, no Store, Cortana, Edge, Candy Crush etc. is great. Once you've installed OpenShell, ONE (OldNewExplorer), nerfed the telemetry and used something like WuMgr to gain full control of the updates, it is about as good as Windows 10 can be.

          It's still messy in places of course, and I still run Windows 7 (with ESU) on my main PC, but it is so much better than the quagmire that is commercial builds of Windows 10.

    2. NetBlackOps

      I use O&O's Shutup10 to disable a lot of the thing like telemetry, automatic store installs and a lot of other gripes. It's free and well worth a look. Joined other regular post-install tools, such as my regular application set via Ninite, that prevent me becoming even more insane than I already am.

    3. logicalextreme

      There's a built-in screen recorder in Windows 10 that works very well and can capture the desktop, one screen, or a single window. It's great to finally see basic tools like that in a Windows OS, and working well.

      However it's hidden in an application called the Xbox Game Bar. Just another one of the silly-sounding pieces of fluff that comes with Win10.

      And talking of the Start Menu flinging ads at your parents, one afternoon a few months ago the entire search function on it (which I believe most people are now accustomed to using to run applications rather than the old menus/directories way of getting to things) stopped working for multiple users worldwide because something was wrong with The fix? Add a new fscking registry item called something like DontRequireBingToBeAliveInOrderToBringUpAnApplicationShortcutThatsStoredLocallyOnTheMachineYouAbsoluteWankers (DWORD with a value of 1).

      1. Wayland

        That sounds like something my mother in law would need help with. I remember when I first set up her computer and was asking her about all the things she needed installed and told her we need to talk about spam. After I told her about spam she said she did not want spam on her computer.

  18. Snapper

    O360 is good, as it refers to the number of days per year it nearly doesn't fuck up your life. The other 5 are screwed.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's all a bit underwhelming, really

    When it was first released Windows 10 was a promising replacement for WIndows 7 on older hardware (performance-wise), but when Microsoft tried to force the issue with the GWX malware and didn't wind down the data-slurping for Home users, I decided on dual-booting Win7 with Mint. Now it's just Mint on another old Vista machine, as I spilled coffee on my Win7/Mint machine.

    I do keep a Windows 10 tablet around, just to see how things are going, but the best thing I can say about it is that it is better than Windows 8.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vote Windows 10 for a fifth glorious year of TOTAL Telemetry.

    [with apologies to Red Dwarf].

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Vote Windows 10 for a fifth glorious year of TOTAL Telemetry.

      M-many apologies, Voter Colonel... had I known it was you...!

    2. keith_w

      Re: Vote Windows 10 for a fifth glorious year of TOTAL Telemetry.

      Are you talking about Chrome?

  21. gecho

    Monitor Scaling

    What finally convinced me to switch from 7 to 10 was buying a UHD second monitor last year. I needed the per monitor DPI scaling to get a usable experience out of a UHD monitor paired with the older 1080p one. Win 10 is working well for me on a core i5 from 2009.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Monitor Scaling

      And almost as fast on on i5 as Windows XP on a 286.

      1. captain veg Silver badge

        Re: Monitor Scaling

        Good luck getting a 32-bit OS to run on a 16-bit processor.


        1. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: Monitor Scaling

          Go through the executables and DLLs and delete every other bit.

          Jeez, do I have to think of everything???

  22. Artem S Tashkinov

    I'm rocking Windows 10 LTSC - the only W10 edition which I find edible.

    W7/W8 are both unusable on my PC because WU has artificial limitations in terms of supported CPUs.

    1. DemeterLast

      LTSC FTW

      I put Windows 10 LTSC on a couple of ancient Thinkpads (Core2 Duos from 2005 I think, with something like 6GB of Ram) after upgrading the drives to SSDs.

      They were just used for VNC over Wireguard during the 'Rona Crisis , but they boot fast and work remarkably well. YouTube even works decently well. Windows 10 isn't too bad once you de-Microsoft it.

    2. Dave K

      The Windows Update block for W7/W8 can be easily bypassed by installing "wufuc". I still run Windows 7 on my Ryzen system (a blacklisted CPU), and it has worked flawlessly with wufuc. Even the ESU updates work fine on it.

  23. calmeilles

    Okay, but…

    Last load of corporate master were mostly a Windows 10 shop and with the efforts of a significant (and surprising competent) team kept it well corralled. Acceptably stable and fast, UI made as classic as possible to minimise the learning curve and so on.

    Mostly it just worked. The odd places where it didn't — such as Edge not working with Sharepoint — were irritations rather than blockers.

    But it wasn't impressive in any sense. It was not going to persuade me to move desktop or laptop back from Linux, or upgrade a VM and other laptop from Win7.

    Microsoft's commercial advantage never has been and still isn't the absolute quality of their product but their market share.

    1. fung0

      Re: Okay, but…

      Microsoft's commercial advantage never has been and still isn't the absolute quality of their product but their market share.

      Beautifully stated. I'd like that on a tee shirt, please!

  24. Terry 6 Silver badge

    In summary

    Windows 10 was made generally available on 29 July 2015, introducing the concept of Windows-as-a-Service, a digital assistant called Cortana, a Universal Windows Platform for developers, Continuum to enable "a Windows Phone to become like a PC", and not forgetting the revival of the Start menu.

    * Windows-as-a-service is meaningless unless it means one day you'll pay for annual updates. Not good.

    *Cortana. pointless me-tooing

    *A failure to develop and promote WinPhones meant that all the integration efforts left over from the dire Win 8 are pointless

    *A replaced Start menu that's inferior to the Win 7 one, and is impossible to organise without a lot of tech skill, so for most users becomes a mess of icons, often filed under weird names that make finding them rather difficult, because you can't rename or cluster them.


    1. Wayland

      Re: In summary

      Windows 8 was for the phone and the touch screen. In that respect it was quite good but stupid for a desktop computer. It makes your arm ache keep touching a PC screen and leave finger prints.

      Cortana is a very good idea for a phone. A phone is supposed to be an audio device so talking to it makes a lot of sense. Especially if you need to use a computer when driving.

      Good concepts. However having retreated from those markets also not being a good idea to convert a desktop operating system to a mobile device they should be concentrating on making the desktop experience better.

      There are plenty of ways the desktop could be improved.

  25. JonSaul

    I vastly prefer Win10 over 8, and its UI hiccups have subsided somewhat from when it started. I see a lot of variation in Windows usage by US industry. Hospitals apparently are mostly Win7 with the occasional XP holdout. From what I can see finance is all in for Win10.

    1. keith_w

      At the end of last year I worked with a team to update approx. 4000 W7 machines to W10 in a hospital environment. The 2 biggest problems? Finding the mobile worksttions and an old brother QL label printer.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Windows 10 succeeded in putting the company's desktop operating system back on track"

    Did it really, or simply users were left with no other choice, and they had to adopt and adapt?

    I wonder if MS lost most of the developers able to deliver a good UI, for example. XP UI could have looked fisher-pricey - but even if so, it was still a UI developed by adult, professional developers and aimed at "children", with a lot of "candies" and "goodies".

    Windows 10 UI looks a UI developed by children who can't still grasp the basic concepts. are still trying to find a good, coherent design by trial and error, and are unable to code more complex but useful widgets. Too much is oversimplified even if most Windows 10 users don't use it in tablet mode. A lot of settings and information are now lost or accessible only in cumbersome ways.

    I had left Windows 7 this January only because I need to run Windows and could not run an unsupported version, nor could access the extended support. Sure, better support for SSD disks, USB 3.x or whatever is welcome, but that came with too many raw edges.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @LDS - Re: "Windows 10 succeeded in putting the company's desktop operating system back on track"

      It's like the belly button. It must be popular since everybody has one.

    2. NetBlackOps

      Re: "Windows 10 succeeded in putting the company's desktop operating system back on track"

      It's as if they we're trying to recreate the macOS/iOS interface while stoned. I guess the dock got left off when they needed munchies and they lost their short-term memory, from being stoned.

    3. Wayland

      Re: "Windows 10 succeeded in putting the company's desktop operating system back on track"

      Comparing installing Windows 7 and Windows 10, 10 is a lot easier. Better driver support and the resulting hard drive is portable between computers. Windows 7 usually blue screens when moved.

      I don't think those are fundamental Windows 7 problems since drivers can be slip-streamed into the ISO, I did one for RYZEN. The tying to hardware I think is an anti-piracy feature.

  27. jelabarre59


    Now, would be really clever to get UWP to work in a sandboxed environment on Android, Linux and MacOS, just to get a couple utilities/games not available on some combination of those platforms. (Such as you, iTunes; I don't want to have to dig out my 10 yr old MBP to buy music, or that abominable Roblox game that my daughter insists on playing, and the Roblox devs suck at development at all levels).

    1. IGnatius T Foobar !

      Re: Universal?

      Now, would be really clever to get UWP to work in a sandboxed environment on Android, Linux and MacOS

      Right. If Micro$oft were to abandon Win32/Win64 and require all user-facing apps to be written in UWP, the *one* benefit would be that it would be a more well-understood target to emulate on other platforms.

      You just know that M$ is dying to disable user-installed software and force everything to be loaded through the Windows Store. Windows 10S was a test shot, but they'll try it for real someday, especially if they are forced to follow Apple into the ARM world.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    So... how's that working out for you all?

    Brilliant, thanks!

    (I only have iMacs).

  29. Long John Silver

    Quo vadis Microsoft?

    At its origin Microsoft was, for business and general users, offering cutting edge technology. Transition from MS-DOS, which in its own terms was pretty good, to the first reasonably stable Windows (3.1?) and later to the much more robust NT/XP was exciting. Microsoft OS and products by not being tied to specific proprietary architecture (c.f. OS2) took the world by storm much to the credit of the lean and hungry young founders.

    The early development phase naturally led to emphasis on consolidation of market. That is when business priorities in the hands of people with MBAs, accountancy skills, and marketing skills, began taking greater control of the helm than developers. That, seemingly, is inevitable for business founded on innovative technology.

    Clever stratagems for tying educational institutions, public services, and business into the Microsoft way of doing things gave Microsoft dominance in the desktop and emerging laptop markets; yet not in the server market where a leaner and meaner, also more user configurable at code level, operating system (competing Linux variants) took hold.

    Microsoft's successes have led to it becoming a sprawling behemoth. Even should it cease innovation and merely fine tune existing products, Microsoft might continue to be highly profitable in the hands of 'money men' for decades to come with developers merely providing maintenance and adaptation to new chipsets, etc.

    Perhaps Microsoft is at a crossroad. Competing demands on Windows to be backward compatible, to be robustly reliable, to offer numerous cosmetic bells and whistles, and to retain position at the forefront of technological advance may be incompatible. Microsoft's legacy is a mixed blessing. Concerns expressed over Windows 10 reliability for uninterrupted use may, perhaps, be quashed by Microsoft's public relatations department. However, these niggles also support the idea that Microsoft is at crunch time for decisions about its future direction. Perhaps Microsoft's options are fewer than imagined given the size and internal complexity of the enterprise.

    1. fung0

      Re: Quo vadis Microsoft?

      I agree with your reading on the situation, but not the timeframe. Microsoft reached the crossroads when the FTC offered to break it up. Bill Gates' biggest error of all time was resisting that option. He doomed Microsoft to a slow, cancerous death by over-expansion.

      Anyone who knew IBM in the early 1980s will recognize the symptoms. The market was more fluid then, so IBM's death throes were reasonably brief. In today's monopolistic marketplace, Microsoft, as you say, could stagger along for decades. Sadly, no one in the company has any direct incentive to avert that outcome.

      1. Long John Silver

        Re: Quo vadis Microsoft?

        I had forgotten the FTC proposal. It plausibly was a crossroad and maybe the only one Microsoft will ever encounter. Breaking Microsoft up now would not necessarily help the Windows product escape its cul de sac..

    2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Quo vadis Microsoft?

      Looking at the way the Window 10 functions, it's clear that the people writing it have never designed an operating system from scratch, they have just been fiddling with old code and re-writing it to keep the management happy and force everyone into the rainy cloud world.

    3. NetBlackOps

      Re: Quo vadis Microsoft?

      Given Satya at the helm, DaaS is what they keep trying to nudge corporate/business towards, and it makes a modicum of sense. However, for anyone else, it's useless. Gamers, devs, power-users, ....

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 10 is not a bad OS

    However, what makes me loathe it are :

    - forced updates/upgrades with no way of choosing what is applied

    - forced, invasive telemetry

    - unique advertising ID - so far you can disable its use for advertising but it will not be deleted

    - forced login into MS ecosystem - it is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid it

    - "I can't do that, Dave!" behavior - you are not allowed to uninstall what Microsoft doesn't want you to uninstall

    All symptoms of a walled garden that's coming. I don't want that for my personal use.

    For business use, I don't quite care since I'm being paid to use it.

    1. Lorribot

      Re: Windows 10 is not a bad OS

      Pretty much all of that applies equally to Android and iOS and to certain extent MacOS.

      You have to have a Google or an Apple account to use these devices andif you use Chrome on Linux the telemetry and snooping is far more than on WIndows and you can't stop it at all, or any of the updates they push out, randomly turning stuff off or breaking websites that used to work because they deem them bad or binning your favourite app because they can't be bothered, everyone is more than willing to share their lives with everyone other than Microsoft who will take your info and sell it back to you.

      Seems there is a lot of double standards going on or just selective memories.

      1. NetBlackOps

        Re: Windows 10 is not a bad OS

        No double-standard here. I loathe those, and avoid as much as possible, here.

      2. captain veg Silver badge

        Re: Windows 10 is not a bad OS

        Humour me. Why would you install Chrome on Linux?


      3. Teiwaz

        Re: Chrome on Linux the telemetry and snooping is far more than on WIndows

        Why would they bother?

        It's not as if a Linux user, even one deranged enough to want to use Chrome on it, would be a large enough demographic to interest most their advertising customers.

        1. captain veg Silver badge

          Re: Chrome on Linux the telemetry and snooping is far more than on WIndows

          You'd be surprised. It's not necessarily the size of a demograph that matters to advertisers. Depends on what they're advertising. For toothpaste, sure, the more the merrier. If you're selling something more niche like, I dunno, a smart phone with a physical keyboard, say, you can't afford to waste impressions on pimply youths and housewives.


          1. logicalextreme

            Re: Chrome on Linux the telemetry and snooping is far more than on WIndows

            Yup. Their primary interest in you is still the advertising dollars, and every hardcore Linux user I've ever known has had a pretty solid disposable income.

      4. Updraft102

        Re: Windows 10 is not a bad OS

        You have to have a Google or an Apple account to use these devices

        Ah, the old standard, whataboutism!

        What about the Windows versions I used for the 20+ years before MS accounts to log into Windows were a thing? That's the only thing I care about. What other platforms that Ihave chosen not to use do is no concern.

        "if you use Chrome on Linux the telemetry and snooping is far more than on WIndows and you can't stop it at all, or any of the updates they push out, "

        I would never use Chrome on anything, but do you have a reference for the "far worse" snooping?

        The auto updating should only happen if you use the snap or other similar package. So don't do that! (Or install Chrome, on anything.)

        everyone is more than willing to share their lives with everyone other than Microsoft who will take your info and sell it back to you.

        Seems there is a lot of double standards going on or just selective memories.

        I don't have any use for those other platforms either. No Android, no iOS, no Mac, no Chromebook, no Windows.

  31. legless82

    I don't envy anyone on the WIndows product team

    Microsoft are in an unwinnable game here. Their past legacies of monopolising the desktop market have come back to bite them. They have such a broad spectrum of users, compatibility and support expectations, hardware and software platforms that they cannot possibly hope to develop and support it in a way that satisfies everyone.

    Look, for example, at the furore at the ending of support for XP after 12 years, or the ending of Windows 7 support after 10 years, and the expectation from users that any application they've purchased or written in the last 30 years will continue to be executable by the latest version of Windows.

    Contrast this with Apple, who have never supported any flavor of MacOS for longer than 4 years, and will readily drop compatibility support for even relatively recent software and hardware without so much as a murmur.

    It's the games that Microsoft played in the 1990s to win the corporates that have come to bite them hard. Those same corporate customers expect their software to work for 10 years or more, and this is the problem they've made for themselves.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I don't envy anyone on the WIndows product team

      "Look, for example, at the furore at the ending of support for XP after 12 years, or the ending of Windows 7 support after 10 years,"

      If either of those had been made "the last Windows ever" as W10is billed I doubt the faithful would have objected. Just maintained it, fixing bugs as discovered, adding support for new H/W (without taking away). It would have meant fewer developers to pay from M/S's PoV and fewer people trying to shoehorn crap into it from the users' PoV.

      If it ain't broke don't fix it. If it is broke fix what's broke, don't add more breakage.

  32. Marty McFly Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Five years ago...

    ....I didn't have any Macs or Linux on my home network. Now I have a bunch of both alongside my Win7 desktops. Only one Win10 machine, and that is the POS foisted upon me by corporate.

    Thank goodness the rise of cloud services via the browser. I can do most of my work from any machine, as long as it has a browser. I only get on the Win10 machine for the very few things which require me to connect to the corporate VPN.

    1. Paradroid

      Re: Five years ago...

      Same. I made the mistake of buying a Surface Pro 7 at the end of last year. It's not even compatible with the latest Windows feature release due to a bug they couldn't be bothered to fix after 6+ months. And it can't Linux without a lot of messing about. So I sold it privately and got a Dell XPS 13. Immediately shrunk the Window partition right down and put Manjaro on it.

      I use a Mac for work now too, after 20+ years developing on Windows. The only Windows machine I have is for gaming, but I'm considering dual booting that and using Linux/Steam/Proton/Wine/Lutris etc. as much as possible.

  33. LenG

    A mess

    I suspect the internals of Win 10 are superior to Win 7 ... except in the 6 months or so it takes them to settle down after each (6 monthly) update. The UI is a disaster without 3rd party add-ons and even they are limited by the extent to which M$ restricted customisation. UI is very much a matter of personal taste and many people prefer to stick to what they know. Win XP could be made to look like Win2000. Win 7 had a Win XP-lookalike mode where you could get back to the Win2000 look and feel. With a bit of help from Classic Shell I used the same UI from 1997-ish thru to the forced upgrade to Win 10. I now run a heavily customised version of Win 10 pro (which allows me to avoid that 6-month bugfest) but it is basically a gaming system. Almost all my serious computing is done on a small Linux Mint-powered NUC. I don't use any M$ software except the OS itself, I don't have an M$ account and I cannot see that situation changing in the forseeable future.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 10 promised little and as expected delivered even less !!!

    I still use Windows 7 SP1, it works.

    My first experience of Windows 10 was not pleasant ...... nothing has changed in the 5 years to date.

    I can use Linux if needed *BUT* Windows 10 does not deliver on usability and/or stability yet ...... I think 5 years is enough time to call it 'Experiment over' !!!

  35. James Anderson

    It is truly sh*t

    So problems I have had with windows 10.

    In a household with three serious linux boxes two raspberry pies and numerous linux devices and three windows machines the probelms I have had in the last two years are:-

    ASUS stick drive -- used as dodgy telly watching device -- bricked as 32GB is not enough disk space to update Windows 10.

    Excellent 10 year old Thinklpad -- useless as wi-fi driver no longer supported.

    Epson printer in perfect working order ditched as driver borked by windows 10 update.

    Replacement stick drive out of action for a week as wi-fi driver borked after windows 10 update (eventually fixed after much downloading etc.)

    Replacement printer (Cannon) took two days fiddling to get working with windows 10. ( 2 minutes to hook up to android phone).

    In the meantime:-

    One linux device in-operable for six months due to hardware security/experimental home brew software glitch.

  36. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Windows 10 made Windows Vista look really good

    Windows 7 is excellent, it's as secure as Vista but easier to manage and works efficiently while being very easy to write and install programs. It's a clean environment, not as pretty as Vista but it's nice and friendly to use.

    Window 8 was built for touch screens, entertaining and a pain to use but at least it works reasonably well although it looks too much like a phone and doesn't work as well.

    Windows 10 is an utter disaster, it steals everything you do and is a complete pain in the butt to write applications in the Windows 10 environment. Notably is runs moderately well when running on a four core CPU, almost as well as Windows 7 running on a dual core CPU. I'm writing code for Windows 10 and it's horrible - yes, I can get the applications to run but an application that runs well on XP through Windows 7, runs slower on Windows 8 and 10, I can "fix" this by recompiling it in a Windows 10 world and its installation size jumps from 200kb to 4Mb.

  37. Smartypantz

    UX designers and dark patterns

    Win 2000

    - Sane UI, good kernel, AD blows Novell directory crap out of the water

    Win XP/srv 2003

    - Slightly cracked UI "same" kernel, some web-like stuff? and teletubbies UX?

    Vista/srv 2008

    - Slightly cracked UI, Stupidly slow kernel stuff, insane ekstra ring of auth.

    Win7/srv 2008 R2

    - Ui not quite so annoying, Kernel faster, still batshit crazy "ekstra" auth ring

    Win8/srv 2016

    - Insane UI as in "LSD UX mobile hybrid crazy garbage", kernel the "same"

    Win 10-11-12½/srv 2016-19-20½

    - UI backpedaling, still insane. Kernel the "same", software subscription racket groundwork, batshit crazy patching scheme, because of subscription racket

    No doubt they will rule the world, stupid and money, says that they can do no wrong

    1. Paradroid

      Re: UX designers and dark patterns

      Windows 2000 doesn't get enough recognition for it's UI. It was the absolute best of the Windows 95-style UI's and was a real pleasure to use. XP was so ugly by default and looked like an OS designed for a small child. Took a lot of customisation to make it look right.

  38. Binraider Silver badge

    practical alternative

    Server 2019 free trial, install as desktop. Enable audio service, disable unnecessary server elements. What you are left with at that point, is more or less everything you could want a Win7 sequel to be. Stripped back and with user control over software.

    Works well for me for the few applications that still insist on windows of some flavour. More importantly, it is zero cost.

    I still begrudge a gfx card change was refused by win 10 activation garbage. So won't be paying for Windows, legitimately, for some time to come.

    1. J. Cook Silver badge

      Re: practical alternative

      Just remember to shut the telemetry off- it's very much present in server 2019. (the "sconfig" command will pull up a command prompt window that'll let you do a bunch of stuff to the machine. IIRC, it's the only way to configure the machine if it's running in Core mode.)

      1. Binraider Silver badge

        Re: practical alternative

        Thank you, I will check out sconfig!

  39. John in Brisbane

    It's OK. It's getting closer to what 7 promised all those years ago. MS is one of my examples of the classic US company that got too big and disappeared up it's own bottom. Android only exists because they failed. Windows ME, Vista then 8 are an actual litany of failures. As a world, we're being hurt every day by how organizations tend to get bigger while losing the ability to respond and react with the utility and sanity of the little companies and individuals with ownership of an issue. Either they learn or we must disband them. The Covid response is exposing the incompetence of many such organizations and will weed out some. Not all though.

  40. Charlie van Becelaere

    Over the years

    I've used nearly every MS OS from DOS 6 through Windows 10, missing only 2000, Vista, and 8. I think my favourite was 7 (although OS/2 Warp ran Windows better than Windows, and I still have fond memories of that OS).

    10 seems basically OK, but to agree with several others here, I'm not really thrilled with automatic updates of the spyware subsystems either. My Mint laptop chugs along quite nicely on a WinXP spec machine.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      Re: Over the years

      It was a shame about OS/2. I used it during the Warp years and it was a great host for DOS and Windows development. If a VDM crashed you just started another and it was impressive how much low level stuff it supported - it even virtualised ATAPI calls.

      The only thing that let it down was the WPS. Very powerful, true, but prone to locking. I used to have to ask a colleague to Telnet in and reset my shell now and again.

  41. lsces

    Can I bill Microsoft for today?

    Just spent several hours trying to get a clients machine working again after it allowed 2004 upgrade through on Monday. Mouse and Keyboard don't work once the windows logo page appears. On a machine that has been running W10 for some considerable time. Third attempt at creating a boot disk finally worked by using a USB stick and once I could actually get to the repair options WITH the mouse and keyboard working we managed to kill the upgrade and everything is working again. Upgrades killed for a couple of months, but both mouse and keyboard have the latest driver both the wireless version and wired. Of cause if the pigging DELL computer had a PS/2 keyboard port then we would probably have been working a few hours quicker? Next problem is what happens when the block times out ...

    1. chuckufarley Silver badge

      Re: Can I bill Microsoft for today?

      For future reference, when the USB creation fails, plug the USB stick into a Linux system and run the "wipefs" command on it. Just read up on what it does and always use the "--backup" parameter in case you fumble the command line. It's one of those obscure little Linux utils that you can't live without once you learn about it.

  42. Robert Moore

    So here is a question for the group.

    Let's try to keep it civil, because I am actually interested in the answer.

    I personally don't use Win 10 for much. But when I do I am always surprised be how ugly Windows has become.

    Now this is my opinion, and I am interested in what you think. It used to be that Linux desktop environments were pretty ugly, and Windows (after 95) were inoffensive, and pretty clean.

    But when I look at Win 10 I find it hideously ugly, inconsistent, and poorly designed.

    Flat buttons.

    Tabs that don't look like tabs.

    Cluttered start menu.

    Ads in an OS I (My employer) paid for.


    While my Linux Mint Cinnamon desktop seems fairly consistent and clean by comparison. (I freely admit it is not perfect.)

    Other opinions?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: So here is a question for the group.

      At first glance my KDE desktop looks quite like W2K as I remember it. On closer inspection it looks more like W2K moved on gently with multiple work spaces & the like. Evolution, not revolution.

    2. chuckufarley Silver badge

      Re: So here is a question for the group.

      I have always thought the the GUI should be just another tool for using the computer. I have also always believed in using the right tool for the job. After all you can't really edit pictures or have a video conference on the command line. Having good looking tools is nice but it is a luxury. I love the look of KDE but I don't run it because it is a resource hog compared to XFCE or LXQT or Enlightenment. It is more work to make any of those look as good, but it can be done. It's a side project to work on while you are waiting for other parts of your workflow to catch up.

      IMNSHO the best version of Windows for both functionality and looks was Windows 2000. Everything since has been an iterative experiment involving pigs and lipstick.

    3. hoola Silver badge

      Re: So here is a question for the group.

      What drives me nuts are all the stupid scroll bars that are invisible until you hover over them. This obsession with varying shades of grey on menus with incomprehensible symbols and then no boundaries on things like Explorer windows.

      Just who the hell designs this sort of stuff and believes that it is usable?

      1. nematoad

        Re: So here is a question for the group.

        "This obsession with varying shades of grey on menus with incomprehensible symbols..."

        Bloody hell, you have just described the EVE Online UI, so I can imagine how horrible trying to use Win10 must be.

        It has pissed me off for years and with ageing eyesight any combination of grey on grey is something that really makes life hard for me.

        Still that's all in the past CCP started messing around with the game balance so I left.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: So here is a question for the group.

          Those kind of design decisions do puzzle me, I admit. My Samsung TV's programme guide is in a light grey/almost white font over a light bluish-grey background, i.e. really low contrast. But why? It's not easy to read, and it's not pleasing to see.

          What made them choose this abomination? Who thought it would be a good idea? What criteria were they using, since neither functional nor aesthetic considerations seem to have been included.

    4. dave 81

      Re: So here is a question for the group.

      Modern flat UI's bug the living shift out of me. If its clickable make it obvious like it used to be. Having to hover the cursor over all the random bits of UI text to see if they highlight or underline or the cursor changes is a PIA. And don't get me started on the Ribbon! Finally got used to where things were, and the latest effing update of 365 rolled down from corporate changed the locations. /rant

  43. Kev99 Silver badge

    The only reasons I upgraded to Win10 were:

    1) Microsoft bribed too many makers of the software I had absolutely no problems with on Win7 (and earlier) to make their new versions incompatible with anything other than Win10.

    2) My replacement laptop came with it.

    3) When I needed to have my boot drive rejiggered the repair shop installed it.

    I never had any problems with Win7. If I wanted to add computers to my home network I just did it and didn't need to jump thru hoops to share folders. I used common sense and never had any outside attacks or compromises. I wasn't forced to install updates of questionable value, especially those necessitated by crappy coding out of Redmond. And it just worked.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    I liked Windows 10 so much I switched my HP laptop to Pop!_OS without bothering to create recovery disks.

    1. CAPS LOCK

      "without bothering to create recovery disks." The Ellen Ripley approach...

      ... I like it...

  45. Nugry Horace

    From my point of view what I miss from the 7 -> 10 transition is the classic theme with no restriction on the choice of system colours. "You can have it in Mouse Breath or Burnt Rubber" is not much of a choice, to my way of thinking.

  46. Technically Still Alive

    Hate it

    Would love to bin Win 10. Hate the interface, telemetry crap etc.

    Except it unfortunately runs my music hardware/software quite well, and hasn't crashed once since installation five years ago, with heavy use. Yeah I could go Apple, but have already sold a kidney for the music gear.

  47. druck Silver badge

    The case of Windows 8

    Windows 8 gets a lot of hate as its hard to see beyond the abomination of the start screen, but replace it with Classic Shell, install the Aero theme and what you get is very much like Windows 7, but a better Task Manager and File Manager progress boxes similar to Windows 10. But unlike Windows 10 Microsoft only made two versions 8 and 8.1, and has otherwise left it well alone, so no worries about about them having broken everything each morning. Yes, somethings are in the stupid charms setting crapolla, but the vast majority is still in the Windows 7 style Control Panel. Plus its supported for another 2½ years.

    1. NetBlackOps

      Re: The case of Windows 8

      This is why I rather like 8.1U1 except I use WinStep Xtreme for the shell.

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: The case of Windows 8

      but replace it with Classic Shell, install the Aero theme and what you get is very much like Windows 7,

      So iow "with a bit of effort you can make Windows look pretty much like it did before".

      That's not exactly a recommendation....

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: The case of Windows 8

        That's the way with UIs everywhere.

        Correction, that's the way with OS UIs everywhere. For the abominations of web UI designers the available changes are take it or leave it.

  48. Al Black

    Facial recognition logon failed at the start of July

    Facial recognition logon has been working fine for years but failed at the start of July: it now says Cannot start camera: please log in by PIN number. The laptop camera works fine in teh Camera app, and on Zoom. Clearly there's nothing wrong with my camera, it is a fault in the operating system: does anyone else have this issue since the last upgrade?

  49. phands

    Windoze 10 is unusable

    I've been in computing since 1974. Used pretty much every OS along the way...and windows has always been terrible. Recently, though, W10 has been an appalling can't even get basic OS basics right.

    I use KDE Neon on a daily basis...and I'm a professional developer. Windows is becoming irrelevant.

  50. Stawsh

    Win10 is a good OS

    I am truly amazed at the sentiment expressed in this thread of conversation. I like Windows 10 and find it to be reliable and completely functional on our four current home computers, and across several HW upgrades over the years. I also liked it in the corporate environment which I left in 2017. I did not like Windows 8 (it was maybe OK on a Surface tablet but NOT as a general Win7 replacement) and I liked Windows 10 from the moment of the initial free upgrades. I almost want to say that I think Win10 is great.

    1. Dave K

      Re: Win10 is a good OS

      Out of interest, what are your thoughts on the following:

      1) Mixture of Settings and Control Panel which still hasn't been unified after 5 years?

      2) The forced telemetry that you cannot turn off without unnoficial hacks?

      3) The forced updates that you have very limited control over?

      4) The aesthetics and usability of the Start Menu?

      Not knocking your opinion, you're entitled to it. Just curious on your thoughts about some of the more "contentious" areas of Win10.

      1. Stawsh

        Re: Win10 is a good OS

        1) Yes it's inelegant and a discontinuity that some settings still require going to Control Panel. But my need to got there is so infrequent that it's no big deal.

        2) I don't know what is "forced telemetry", so maybe it's no issue for me.

        3) I like Windows Update(s). I stay totally current and all has consistently been AoK, and the occassional glitch I see as well worth the security of being current.

        4) Two parts to "Start": 1) the long list which is sometimes too long a scroll ... I should clean it up, and 2) the pack of slabs that covers most of my screen, but all it takes is an easy right+click to choose "Remove from Start".

  51. Bob.

    I had 2 laptops, joined the Insider program got two free W10 Pro licenses and could tinker, and do pretty much anything under the hood.

    Everything unwanted was locked down or disabled.Even Windows Update and Telemetry.

    But the motherboard on one failed.

    It was easiest just buying a 'new' 3 yr old laptop.

    Strangely it came with W8.1. But it's a decent HP Beats Pavilion with Touch screen and looks fairly modern and 'snazzy'

    I have never got around to putting W10 on it. Nor do I have the desire to do so.

    I have lost all interest in tinkering, reinstalling for major updates and then putting right everything that gets reset.

  52. Stawsh

    Win10 is a good OS

    I am truly amazed at the sentiment expressed in this thread of conversation. I like Windows 10 and find it to be reliable and completely functional on our four current computers, and across several HW upgrades over the years. I did not like Windows 8 (it was maybe OK on a Surface tablet but NOT as a general Win7 replacement) and I liked Windows 10 from the moment of the initial free upgrades. I almost want to say that I think Win10 is great.

    1. Binraider Silver badge

      Re: Win10 is a good OS

      The raft of Windows-10 fondleslab owners with 16 or 32GB of storage will probably disagree with you on this one. Impossible to update; yet Win10 enforced updates inevitably bricks these machines.

      Repaired a perfectly good example of such a machine by installing SparkyLinux instead; and it is infinitely more capable with an OS that is not dominated by daft overheads and bloat.

      I've had absoutely endless problems on high-end hardware from 4 years ago (i7-6700k, Z270 motherboard). Unexplained audio glitches being the chief concern. Given that the only use I have for Windows now is to run Propellerhead Reason and a few games; audio glitches aren't acceptable. And swapping my GFX card out & adding an NVMe drive qualified it in the eyes of Windows Activation as a new PC; so MS now are insisting I buy a new license.

      I am far from alone in such experience and the number of stories plastered here confirms, that, even if you have had an acceptable experience; the many power-users that typify El Reg readers are extremenly unhappy with it, if not actively moving to alternatives. I'm one of them.

  53. AndrueC Silver badge

    Meh. It's stable, doesn't interfere with my work and I can do everything I want on my personal laptop. I still dislike the clunky 'fat finger support' UI and the Start Menu searching algorithm is crap.

    But overall it's okay.

    Edit: Oh and I forgot my mail/media server. Running on relatively obscure hardware (A low power AcePC) it just sits doing its thing 24/7/52.

  54. Buttons

    My 2p worth

    Its nice to see so many positive comments in support of W10 and I'd guess that youth and enthusiasm is partly responsible for these.

    Like others I've worked with most flavours of MS OS and while there have been some good ones, there have also been some absolute dogs, I'm thinking in particular of W95, ME, Vista and W8. The ones that caused the least problems started off ropey but got fixed eventually through the application of service packs.

    I'm retired as an IT person now and no longer have to worry about keeping a business operating in a Windows environment.

    What I see as a user in a corporate environment is that W10 does indeed need to be constantly updating and rebooting and it takes forever to wait around for it to finish. I'll turn up early to check that everything is working Tickety-boo, after W10 has finished scratching its bum, belched and farted, whenever I work in a classroom. Off course it may be a symptom of how the network is run, I'm not in a position to tell. I know that my previous employers would have gone ballistic if their systems worked in this way and I am in awe and wonder at the acceptence of this level of performance. Does the functionality of W10 add to business costs?

    I have a couple of W10 laptops, SSD and max ram, but I seldom use them anymore. The reason for that is the constant wait for updates and reboots before I can get to use my kit. The new normal of accepting that telemetry is 'ok' is not the philosophy that my old Network Admin taught me and its a difficult habit to break. The uncertain outcome of a long update makes my teeth grind.

    I now mostly game on my home setup so when W7 went EOL I switched to Manjaro. I'm comfortable that its a plain user interface between me a my computer and that I'm in charge of my system, nothing is added or taken away without my say so. My better half uses Mint for accounts, marketing, social media, but mostly works on her iPad preferring the flexibility of being able to work anywhere on the move.

    We're not an MS household anymore, we don't need to be and W10 is a bit of a dog. There is too much going on and like some older Windows versions it seems not to be fit for purpose. I wonder where they can go from here?

  55. Krassi

    A benchmarking

    I've recently moved my copy of a graphics package from an old PC with Win 7 (dual core pentium, old spinning hard disk, bought as a cheap refurb box 4-5 years ago) to my newish laptop (Win 10 enterprise, 4 core i7, more RAM, nice fast SSD). It struggled a bit on the old machine and I hoped for a step forward, specially with the SSD. No such luck. After a bit of messing about, it works slightly less badly in Win 8 compatibility mode, although the software is dated 2015, so contemporary with Win 10 & claims Win 10 compatibility . Even closing all other programs down & doing the best to give it a free run, Win 10 & current hardware is less effective than Win 7 & obsolete hardware.

    An OS is just a means to run more interesting, useful or entertaining software, and for that Win 10 is a step backwards. YMMV.

    1. Buttons

      Re: A benchmarking

      Its probarbly busy before you even start to use it.

      If you haven't already done it try looking for guides on improving W10 performance. I used to do things like removing animations, uninstalling (If they'll let you) unnecesary programs and features, stopping non essential services. Run through the system settings (takes a while) and knock off anything you don't need there. If your AV is not MS defender uninstall it to see if that makes a difference and just use defender. Make it a sort of lean, mean games machine but benefits general performance too. Have to admit it worked better on W7 than W10.

  56. VulcanV5

    Scamming doesn't pay. Or, well, not as much as Nadella may've hoped.

    I'm one of the many who Microsoft attempted to manipulate into taking Windows 10, this despite the fact that I was -- and still am --more than happy with Windows 7. El Reg may call it 'dodgy behaviour' for Microsoft to act as it did in taking over countless computers worldwide and installing on them an operating system their owners didn't want and had never asked for. Because that was much, much more than 'dodgy' it was a deliberate and sustained invasion of property that did not belong to Nadella or anyone else in Richmond in pursuit of profit. That Windows 10 was free of charge is by-the-by; Nadella's decision to oversee a campaign intended from the start to manipulate a captive audience to the company's benefit was as great an example of moral bankruptcy as one might find anywhere. That attempted scam -- which is what it was -- soured me forever against Windows 10. When the day comes that I finally give up on Windows 7, it won't be Microsoft I turn to for my next OS.

    I suspect I'm not alone in thinking Microsoft got away too lightly with its nauseating behaviour; and viewing it today as less the "provider of service" which its Windows 10 hype claimed it to be, and more a bunch of scumbags that it has actually turned out to be..

    1. Technically Still Alive

      Re: Scamming doesn't pay. Or, well, not as much as Nadella may've hoped.

      In a lot of ways I can understand why Redmond wanted to take the Apple Walled Garden approach, and as the family 'techie' it's a relief to not be called out to fix inept tinkering anywhere near as often, or fire up Regedit.

      That being said, the inclusion of so much telemetry, or such & such "wants to use your location" drives me up the wall at times. That is unforgivable.

  57. David Lawton

    Just give me Windows 2000 back!

    5 years on and the UI and Start Menu are still horrid in Windows 10. The endless updates still break things, i have no love for Windows 10, just pure hate, its something i have to suffer to run some applications.

    I actually enjoyed using Windows 3.1, Windows 95, 98, ME, NT4, Windows 2000, these had really nice clean UI's. Yeah they blue screened and did other crap but thats just Windows. The PC was exciting during these times too.

    Windows XP is where it started going wrong, the default UI was 'fisher price mode' , control panel by default had this weird simple view, and file sharing went from easy to complex with simple file sharing, which is just ironic. Luckily it only took 10 mins to turn the shell to classic, control panel to classic, and file sharing to classic. XP also felt quite bloated at the time of release and ran sluggish compared to Windows 2000 on the same hardware.

    Windows Vista had a very nice look UI with glass, and again some of the simple things like simple control panel could still be put back to classic, the problem this time is until SP2 it was a very bad OS, was bloated, and slower at most tasks compared to XP like just copying files! Coupled with PCs not being shipped with enough RAM or graphics power to run it correctly in a lot of cases it was just a disaster.

    Windows 7 addresses most of Vistas faults, and again you can turn classic mode on for a lot.

    Then we have Windows 8, with its jaring startmenuless UI. This is the OS from hell and is the first time i have ever got raged by an OS, i just wanted to smash things up everytime i used it, and 8.1 only made very slight improvement.

    Windows 10 and the UI is still garbage, and remember we are on about the 10th version of Windows 10 now since its 2 new versions a yeah, and don't forget how much crap we have had to put up with during that time.

    I just run MacOS as my main system now, i've had enough of Microsoft Windows, i'm quite happy to pay the 'Apple Tax' to not have to suffer Windows anymore. They have demonstrated how incapable they are of making decent design choices when they make UI's and their OS's have been getting worse since Windows 2000. Windows 10 is an inconsistent mess that aggravates, nags and gets in the way of doing any actual activities on a device. Whilst things may be different in the current release of it, i'm sure i'm not the only one who's gone to make a drink only to come back to the PC to find Windows 10 has rebooted and is now updating when you are trying to get on with work!

    Nobody at Microsoft should be proud of Windows 10 or Windows anymore, they should be ashamed at what it has become.

  58. jason 7

    As an IT support guy...

    doing small business and domestic, Windows 10 is a lot better than all before it.

    Before hand if I had to rebuild a machine I had to use specific makers versions of windows to get it to match up with the worn out licence key on the back.

    I don't have to go hunting for a dozen drivers any more.

    It installs super fast. I tried using a Windows 7 DVD a few weeks ago...waste of life.

    I don't have to wait for 348 updates to download and install like I did with a new Windows 7 install.

    USB sticks and devices just connect and work within a couple of seconds.

    Connecting to wi-fi networks is much faster.

    The big updates are getting much faster and with a NVMe drive take just a few minutes.

    Pre Windows 10 I was getting 2-3 machines in a week for virus clean ups. Now I get maybe 1 every couple of months and they are mainly scammers with Teamviewer but you have to check just in case.

    If I get a machine in that just doesn't want to work in most cases it's the old HDD failing, not the OS. Thanks to Windows 10 that's an easy rebuild to a SSD.

    So for me its 90% improvement. The only real issues I have are the annoying setup routine when building a Home version (just f*ck off). And not being able to just press F8 whatever to get into safe mode. Most of the fail-safe/recovery/repair features in 10 just don't work. It's quicker to just copy off the data and rebuild it.

    I'm happy overall and the customers are too.

  59. Ordinary Donkey

    Pretty good

    I've learned so much about virtualization since it became clear my only other choice would be to let 10 touch metal.

  60. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Dona Sarkar, the previous head of the Windows Insider program, has said that there now more than 16.5 million Insiders testing preview builds for Windows 10 - is this 16.5 million expert programmers and users or is it 16.5 million idiots who signed up because their phones had issues, their x-box wasn't letting them cheat games, or maybe they just signed up by mistake?

  61. dave 81

    An inaccuracy.

    Noticed an inaccuracy in the article.

    Windows 8 was never in anyway better than Windows 7.

  62. julian.smith

    Windows is still a thing?

    The alarm bells went off when I understood the reason W10 was "free"

    That started the Linux Mint journey for our household (3 PC's, 1 laptop)

    There's been a few hiccups ... I was slow to use Timeshift

    These days only 1 PC (Marvin) runs W8.1 for:

    - photo management (ACDsee)

    - WASAPI (FooBar, MusicBee, Kodi)

    - PhoneTray

    The life of a Linux sysadmin is very quiet

    Having fun W10 users?

    Enjoying the slurp?


  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 10 was the signal

    for me to throw in the towel. There was no way that I was going to support that POS. I still get friends trying to get my help after some update has screwed up their system big time. My answer is still no.

    The 'do it our way or not at all' mantra that came with W10 is even stronger than ever.

    And then there is the spyware that is next to impossible to block. Every update brings changes to the end points of their many phone home operations.

    Yet there are people out there (and on this site sadly) that love it and everything associated with it. It is still a POS and your machine is not yours any more. It is totally under the control of MS. What they giveth, they can taketh away.

  64. Reeder

    Necessary evil

    I have kept my Win 7 Pro machine separate and off the network and use it for all the useful software it has. I was forced to upgrade to Win10 but often wonder why M$ needs a copy of my installation, why it searches my contacts, why it pings home with some very interesting information scraped from my installation - yes, Wireshark and Ethereal have revealed some really off-putting data being sent to M$ under the cover of "improvement" and "diagnostic" purposes. In addition, M$ win 10 has prevented the download and installation of some software identifying it as "potentially harmful" - TOR browser was the latest victim but I have a word-around.

    So - necessary evil but on the up side I am now an Apple and Linux convert!! And I have found several ways to run Window$ software on Linux and MacOS.

  65. ByterBit

    The core ethos of the firm as best I can tell: “We don't really care if you get work done or not.”

  66. ByterBit

    The core ethos of Microsoft as best I can tell: “We don't really care if you get work done or not.”

  67. 0laf

    W10 could have been decent...

    Just as an OS.

    But it has to be part of a whole ecosystem to drive revenues so it acts like a rental car that is serviced and remodelled on the move.

    no matter what you pay it's never really yours and MS feels it has the right to move and remove feature and functions as and when it feels like it.

    Steering wheel on the left, nope this week it's the right, but sorry our borked patch put it on top of roof and only connected it to the rear offside wheel, on a Tuesday is steers backwards.

    But it's super safe, although crumple zones and airbags only come with E5 licensing (I actually typed £5 licensing there, Freudian or what), if you're on E1 you'll get a cushion to gaffer tape to your head and a 4 leaf clover air freshener.

  68. Old one

    DR Dos ANYONE?????

    Call me old school but I learned on DR Dos and GemDesktop predecessors to the figgin mess of sell it and we'll fix it later MicroMess crap. DR Dos had two revisons during the time MS Dos 1.0 went through 21 and still broke. GemDesktop worked years BEFORE MicroMess copied it. Don't even remember how many revisions those early Windows had. The old joke that if MS built cars that every time that the lines were painted on highways you would be forced to buy new car were so true. I have 15 yr old hardware that STILL works great so why should I BE FORCED to buy new? My 1969 Mustang that I bought in June 1969 still works pretty damn simply with real ease of any repairs or maintenance needed. Is it so wrong that i want that same reliability and usability in computers? Love the fact that SpaceX now has computers that can land boosters back at the launch site but I'm not doing space travel. Why do I HAVE to accept that MS knows what I want better than I do? Why should MS build an OS that forces MS to be the arbitrator of needed updates and "improvements"? Now I am being forced to buy a Win 10 machine to "comply" with various state regulations for "electronic only" tax filings. So wrong on so many levels but at this age do I comply or ????

  69. herman

    Thank you Corona Virus!

    Thanks to the Corona scare, I'm working from home and using my Macbook, instead of the company POS.

  70. JDX Gold badge

    I quite like W10

    I don't know if I prefer it to 7 or 8.1 really, though I do notice some minor things missing when using those that it turns out I've got used to.

    My main issues with W10 is its insistence to install updates. Oh so often I find a machine has rebooted itself overnight.

  71. IGnatius T Foobar !

    All we wanted was the Windows 95 UI + a stable base.

    Windows is the desktop. Thankfully, they've failed to monopolize everything else. Linux rules on servers, clouds, and infrastructure. iOS and Android rule the mobile space. No one runs Windows Server anymore except to run Microsoft's own server software.

    So what we really want is a desktop. A plain, simple desktop. Give us the Windows 95 UI, and a stable kernel and libraries, and GET OUT OF THE WAY. We don't want Cortana, OneDrive, Edge, Search, or any of that other stuff to be inextricably linked to the operating system.

    1. mikenyny

      Re: All we wanted was the Windows 95 UI + a stable base.

      I managed to "hide" OneDrive and Cortana, but they reappeared after the forced update in July (as did Edge). The good news is that that just "appeared" and don't interfere with anything.

  72. Frank Thynne

    Windows 10? -- Poison!

    I have never before had such a hindrance to productivity. Faults and new vulnerabilities are introduced with every update, Burdensome features are added that I do not need. Quality Assurance is absent., Faults remain months after reported. Reliability is sacrificed in favour of innovation.

    It comes close to criminal computer abuse.

  73. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    Win 10 ok

    NT4ws - Not very reliable.

    Win 2000ws - Better than NT4. Adequate at the time.

    Win XP - Good and eventually pretty stable.

    Vista - What a pile of ****. Frequent crashes, slow, and just no!

    Win 7 - Fast, stable and usable. (peak Windows?)

    Win 8 - Could have been so good but let down by crap menu system.

    Win 10 - Seems to be pretty stable but still suffers from crap menu system. Upgrades too often and upgrades take too long. Seems that every new version of Windows moves stuff around for no obvious reason. I hate it when my local supermarket does it and I hate it when Windows does it. Stop screwing around with where we find stuff. If you want to add new stuff, put it where we can find it easily.

    8 & 10 are massively improved with the addition of Open Shell to get text menus back. That said, remember that we are mostly techies and as such are mostly literate and prefer the screen real-estate saving, alphabetically sorted text menus over the pretty icons favoured by phone addicted illiterates.

    I don't hate Win10 like I hated Vista. With Open Shell it's tolerable and usable. Most of the rest of the Windows OSes were adequate at the time with some issues, the same as 1980s cars were OK in the 1980s but are now pretty tired and low-tech.

    1. mikenyny

      Re: Win 10 ok

      I am replying - in this case - to your particular comment as it reflects on my opinion (and my experience). I first starting using a computer (desktop) in June 1992 - from scratch: got a techie guy to show me how to switch it on, use the keyboard and on what to type (in this instance: "Works") etc.

      In May 1993 I bought a ZDS Notebook computer: 386SL, 25 MHz, 4 MB RAM, 102 MB HD loaded with Windows 3.1. I needed to learn to type, so got a program called "Typing Tutor" and loaded it on my Notebook. At the start I was 9WPM (3 years later I was 50 WPM).

      Windows 95 - okay.

      Windows 98 version 1 - okay.

      Windows 98 version 2 - brilliant.

      Windows ME - okay (yes, I mean it).

      Windows 2000 - f'ing outstanding.

      Windows XP - okay; clung on kicking and screaming to Win 2000 until 2005.

      Windows Vista - total f'ing POS.

      Windows 7 - (Basic was a total pos: just like Vista)

      Windows 7 Ultimate - close to brilliant.

      Windows 8 & 8.1 - no idea.

      Used Win 7 from late 2012 to late 2019. I resisted Windows 10 from 2016 to 2019 with the aid of "Never 10" (82 kb download).

      Nov. 2019: My HD died; took my Dell inspiron (Win 7) notebook to the vendor and he removed it and installed a SSD loaded with Windows 10 Ultimate.

      After 3 weeks of tweaking - removing / disabling all the unwanted shlt: OneDrive, Cortana, Bing, etc. etc. it was usable.

      Problems started with the July (2021) update: printer no longer worked, my "Windows 10" screensaver no longer listed available - so I searched and found it on Google, folder options totally f**ked; found all the remedies online (excluding microsoft), Internet Options takes 10 seconds to open instead of 4 seconds - no fix available, microsoft word "Welcome Back" no longer able to be cancelled - no remedy, online pages tend to hang/freeze and Ctrl Alt Del doesn't work! (hard to believe that one), Chrome opens but then takes twice as long for the selected site open, upon switching computer on, the landscape view page is blurred (?), Properties option no longer available for folders - found the answer online (excluding microsoft), Download folder appeared as "categorized" - found the answer online (excluding microsoft). endlisch

  74. Updraft102

    You mean going into the performance settings and unchecking "Use visual styles on buttons and dialogs" (or whatever it said? That brought back the 2k UI quickly. That and selecting the classic start menu could be done in about thirty seconds.

    Another way to get rid of the XP "Luna" theme was to simply disable the Themes service, which is what I always did.

    The icons were still different, but otherwise, it was Windows 2000 in appearance.

  75. cmaurand

    Mostly I stopped using Windows

    I still have a Windows 10 laptop running and I have a Windows 7 virtual machine (need to build a win10 virtual), I mostly run Linux. I have a desktop machine with a lot of cores so I can run windows if I have to. I stopped using Windows, when Windows started forcing updates whether I wanted them or not. I've managed to stop this behavior, but it still bugs me about them. I run Linux 99% of the time and I have a drive with Linux on it for that laptop. Mostly I use windows for zoom and the occasional time I actually need MS Office which is not often.

  76. mikenyny

    Background: I initially (for 4 years plus) avoided it - as has got to be the case with all of the Windows new OS since the release of the major POS called Vista. I put up with that for all of 3 days before replacing my HD and reloading XP. I used XP until late 2012 when my then notebook died. I bought a notebook loaded with Windows 7 Basic - virtually the same as Vista, namely another total POS. This was immediately replaced with Windows 7 "Ultimate", which was far better and an acceptable OS.

    Thus, after all the hype when Windows 10 was released I also took great pains to avoid as well, namely by downloading and installing something called "Never 10" (82 kB), so I kept using Win 7 Ultimate until late 2019 when my HD died. This was replaced with a SSD loaded with Windows 10 Pro, which once I had removed/disabled all the superfluous Windows garbage, I navigated successfully - up until the release of the forced update in July 2021. (see my older response to this disaster.

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