Windows 10 is coming on 29th July 2015, and unlike previous version releases I am actually quite excited by this one. I have three Windows 8 and a Windows 7 computer at home and at the shop, and I personally have no issues with Windows 8.1. Windows 8 was a bit clunky, but adding Classic Shell or Start8 start menus soon sorted that out, and Windows 8.1 (with or without a start menu add on) is quite nice to use. Unfortunately, not everyone gets on with it so well. I have many customers, most of them elderly, but some just a bit change averse, who absolutely loathe Windows 8 and what it has done to their computer, one struggled with it so much she went to the bother of getting me to install a copy of Windows 7 over the top of it, some are almost in tears when they come to me with issues.
Windows 7 is also a fine operating system, people compare it to Windows XP for usability and general nice feel! But Windows 7 is actually starting to feel old. I wonder sometimes if Microsoft do it deliberately, but as updates and patches download, operating systems seems to get bloated and over complex, and Windows 7 is reaching that phase, Windows XP reached it about 4 years ago. Windows 7 used to run very nicely on a machine with 2GB of ram, recently I have been installing an extra 2GB quite frequently into Windows 7 machines to overcome occasional slowness caused by memory shortages. This is particularly noticable during Windows updates, but other intensive jobs cause it too.
Windows 10 seems to be the answer to both sets of problems. Firstly, it feels like Windows 7, it starts in the desktop (indeed there is only the desktop) and has a start menu button. Left click brings up what looks like a combination of the classic start menu, and the front page of the Windows 8 start screen. It looks a bit odd at first, but it only takes a little bit of use to get used to it. All my programs and apps seem to work on it, printers install and work fine, network and wireless cards seem to work, everything is cool. It is also effectively a completely fresh install of a brand new operating system, and initially it worked fine on a machine with 2GB of ram, in fact it out performed Windows 7 by a large factor. I foolishly upgraded to a “fast ring” release of the beta version which was slightly less stable than the initial version I downloaded, and it seemed to have a few gremlins which I am sure they will either sort out or back out before the final release. This version works a lot better with 4GB of ram than 2GB, but did have a couple more features. I am still hopeful that the release version will work well on a 2GB machine.
Windows 10 comes with a built in web browser, now called Windows Edge, which looks and feels quite nice, but I am of the opinion that a browser is just a browser, if it returns the pages I want to see without errors it is a good browser, the rest is mostly irrelevant. Edge is a good browser.
It also comes with Windows Defender antivirus and anti malware program built in (as did Windows 8). This is free, part of windows, and works and I would recommend it to anyone, especially if your “free version” of your chosen AV program is constantly nagging you, or your paid for version is demanding yet another annual ransom.
Overall, I am so pleased with Windows 10, I will upgrade as many of my machines as I can with the Windows 10 upgrade, probably starting with my Acer Entertainment PC at home, which has had (in sequence) Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows XP Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8.1 Pro on it (Vista was replaced by XP after a few months to save my sanity). Its also a dual boot machine, and has had Ubuntu 9.04, Ubuntu 12.04 and Ubuntu 14.04 available should Windows fail to perform a task I require. This sits under our TV, and delivers internet TV, but is also a fully configured office computer, with video editing facilities etc.
The old box currently running Windows 10 flawlessly will be upgraded to the release version, and will become either my main workshop machine, or may be moved into the office as the accounting computer. The two other machines will be done as soon as I am happy with the first two machines. I have some product licences on my workshop and office computers I don’t want to pay for again, so a Windows 10 upgrade would be silly to miss out on, as existing software should continue to work on Windows 10.