10 Hours with Windows 10

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10 Hours with Windows 10
Microsoft’s new operating system is an improvement over Windows 8 but not over Windows 7. (windows.microsoft.com)

By CHRISTOPHER PAPLHAM
Staff Writer

The first thing that annoyed me about Windows 10 is its name.  Just like how Windows 7 was named so that Microsoft could brush Windows Vista under the carpet, Microsoft’s choice to name its new system “Windows 10” seems like a ploy by Microsoft to distance itself from Windows 8, whose Metro interface is baffling and inconvenient for users with laptops or desktops without touchscreens.

After installing the Windows 10 technical preview on a virtual machine and booting it up, I immediately noticed how much the system looked like Windows 8, and it makes sense. Microsoft simply cannot throw those developers who wrote software for Metro under the bus, but the similarity immediately set the tone for the interface decisions I would have to deal with. While the recognizable Windows start menu has reappeared, Metro icons are attached to its right side, and users are given the option to revert to the Windows 8 start menu if they want.

In addition the system looks extremely similar to Windows 7, the interface is now configurable so that users, such as those without tablets, can use what Microsoft is calling the “classic” Windows design structure.  With the exception of appearance and a few utilities, the system is practically the same environment as Windows 7. A few new features have been added, such as advanced windows tiling and multiple workspace desktops, but Microsoft has added nothing new to this system that others have not added before.

The lack of change begs the question: if the system is practically the same as Windows 7 (minus some fluff), what is the point in upgrading in the first place?  After using the system for over ten hours over several weeks, I cannot really answer that question myself. The system offers relatively small improvements to interface and usability, especially when considering the large amount that Microsoft has historically charged for their operating system. Though I predict that Windows 10 will be a far greater success in the consumer market then Windows 8, I just cannot see it gaining major enterprise traction because some corporations are just starting to finish implementation of Windows 7.

Ultimately, the choice comes down to a matter of taste.  I liked Windows 10 when I was using it, but the upgrade just will not be worth the cost.

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