Windows 10 is a mess and certainly not an improvement!

Windows 10 UnhappyI got the update notification for Windows 10 on my Surface Pro 3 two days ago and naturally I could not resist but scheduled it to update immediately. I had been quite looking forward to getting my hands on the release version of it due to all the hype around it. I did not really want to mess around with the alpha and beta versions so this was the first time I actually got to sit in the drivers seat of Windows 10.

Unfortunately this turned out to be a huge disappointment. Not only is it buggy and unfinished but Microsoft appears to have thrown out a lot (most?) of what was actually very good (at least on a tablet) with Windows 8.1. I am almost in a state of shock at how bad I fell Windows 10 is right now. I know that I am probably pissing in the wind here but I simply cannot believe how many positive reviews that this mess gets. I get a feeling that everyone reviewing it have only focused on the desktop improvements. I should perhaps state that I have only used it on my Surface so far and there it is not at all an improvement as far as I am concerned. Quite the inverse. I have only used it for two days and I might have missed or misunderstood some things but I am a long time Windows user (fan) and a computer engineer after all so…

Start menu / Start page a lot less flexible
For starters, a lot of the desktop apps that I had pinned to the start menu just disappeared and I have not found any way to put them back. This includes all the Office applications that I have installed. You can no longer swipe up to get a page with all the apps (including the desktop ones) but you only get a list of apps in a small area to the left which scrolls up and down and this one appears to show only modern UI apps.

The tablet version of the start page is a lot less useful and flexible as a whole. You are forced to arrange tiles in groups that are three medium tiles wide. So if you have a wide or large tile you cannot put another wide or large tile side by side. What the heck kind of crap is that? It also only scrolls downwards which may be logical on a phone but is not at all logical on a tablet. On a tablet I find it logical to scroll sideways.

Pinning a URL on the start page mostly gives you the Edge icon instead of the site icon which makes the small tile size useless since you cannot see what site it is you have pinned since the name is not displayed on small tiles. Also, you cannot name the tile/URL. You are forced to stick with the title that the site gives you. That is just crap!

Touch gestures mostly gone
Most of the touch gestures appears to be gone. Instead you have to find and click on icons for settings and such like. Icons that are in different places on different apps. On Windows 8.1 you knew that you could swipe from the right to get settings on all apps. Not anymore on Windows 10. The Edge browser no longer support sideways swiping to navigate back and forth. Instead you have to click on a crummy little line-art arrow that looks like it is copied from Android. Same for settings and such like except that in Edge there is an arrow at the top but in the settings there is an arrow at the bottom.

Apps that relied on the charms bar to get to settings are of course broken and useless.

Edge is NOT an improvement
The Edge browser appears quite unfinished and very buggy. I accidentally dragged a favorites bar menu down into another menu and there was no way to get it back again. No matter how I dragged it the menu just refused to move out of the other menu. I did not see any visible speed improvement. You are stuck with decorations at the top whereas with the “old” touch version of IE you got a clean interface using a maximum of the screen space. As I mentioned above, touch gestures are gone. Unfortunately, although Microsoft claims that both browsers are present, if you ask to open a site in IE you get the desktop version of IE.

Also, there is no usable popup blocker. There is a setting for turning it on but it is useless since it lets loads of popups through. I have also not found any way of installing blocking lists.

Buggy, buggy, buggy
The entire system is really buggy. It has not crashed on me…yet, but there are just so many things that screw up or is not fully implemented. Quite a few of my old Windows 8.1 apps do not even start properly. OneNote screws up the display every so often. Apps, including Microsoft’s own apps, just close for no reason. Playing a sound when emails arrive do not seem to work. I cannot get background slideshows to work since when I try to select a folder it just tells me that there are no images in it. Etc…

New apps useless
Several of the new and “improved” apps are actually rather useless. The photo app is totally useless for me. It only displays a photo stream ordered by date. You cannot browse your photos by folder and this crummy album feature where it constantly creates albums for you based on the date they where uploaded is not only useless but frustrating. Stop trying to decide what I want damn it!

The app store looks nice but search is totally broken. I could not find several apps that I actually have installed already using the search facility. I had to go to the publishers site and click on the install link from there in order to get the app to be displayed in the store app. What the f…?

The email app still does not have a combined inbox. How bloody difficult is it to grasp that one might want to have all incoming emails in one place?

When you do a long press in some places you get a menu directly. In other places you only get the menu once you released you finger from the screen.

And more…
There are lots of other gripes. For instance, there is no desktop app. If you launch a desktop app in tablet mode it forces it to full screen. Yes you can switch the entire table into desktop mode but then a lot of other things start to behave differently as well.

Cortana cannot grasp that you might live in France but still have your device set to English language so it disables itself.

The OS also runs my tablet really really hot, eats batteries and when I wanted to charge it, it took a lot longer to charge than before.

There are a lot of other small gripes all over the place and I guess some are things that you just have to get used to but to me there are way too many bugs as well as design decisions that I do not agree with.

I actually tried to install Windows 10 on my Acer table as well and there it told me that the Intel HD Graphics Accelerator was not supported. What? This is a rather common piece of hardware and to ship an OS that does not work on it is rather inexcusable to me.

Good stuff?
Well, there probably are a lot of improvements for desktop users and I will have a closer look at that once I get it installed on my desktop PC but right now I am not in a hurry and I have not yet gotten the notification on that one yet anyway. The action center is a good addition though and should have been included a long time ago. The fact that Microsoft finally shipped mobile (touch) versions of Word and Excel is also a welcome improvement.

Unfortunately the list of “what the f…?” are way longer that the “that’s good…” one right now. As I wrote above this experience has been a major disappointment so far. The quality, design decisions and multitude of bugs and half done solutions are something I would expect from Google and their habit of shipping beta software.

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