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In our last review of Windows 10, we slammed Microsoft pretty hard due to the lack of understanding what the people wanted out of an operating system. This was because Microsoft didn't listen to the beta testers (AKA Insiders).
In this review, we take a closer look at how Windows 10 has evolved into a strong competitor to Apple
Right from the very start, all the Insiders knew it was going to be buggy and that is always the way with beta versions. With every new beta release, rather than moving on with what they had working, somehow they changed things and something else wouldn't work. But hey, that is life and all us insiders was hoping that everything would be working before the release.
Have a guess what. There were still too many bugs when it was released to the public and even today, there are still issues. Although small, it can still be a headache for the common user.
Windows 10 Review
Windows 10 is Microsofts latest and last version of it's desktop system with the advent of going mobile at it's strongest since the relase of Windows 8. Considering it's been over twelve months since the release to the public with their free upgrade offer, all they have done since then is tweak and fine tune all the apps. As of January 2017, Windows 7 is holding strong with 47% of the market while Windows 10 slowly climbs at just under 33%. This will get better as time goes by due to Windows 7 no longer being supported for mainstream installations.
With the "Free" upgrade Microsoft offered, it was in hope that the fortunes in both the business and consumer world that WIndows 10 would take leaps and bounds. With the houshold having one computer, it was the business side that had hundreds in the on building all running Windows 7 or older. This is the area that is troubling Microsoft. The decision to stay with Windows 7 (and in some cases WIndows XP), was the radical difference in the interface and usage of Windows 10 as which businesses did not want a live system direct from the internet rather preferring from their own network. The attempt to have businesses move over to Windows 10, the IT departments were unpersuaded to make the switch leaving Windows 7 holding the market share. Microsoft even went as far as intergrating familiar features found in Windows 7. Is Microsoft truly targeting the young audience over preference of the battle hardened Windows user? Is the younger generation truly leaving the desktop computer behind? Is Windows 10 truly for the children?
With the release of the anniversary update, this would be considered as a service pack by most but Microsoft will decline this metaphor as being an update stating that Windows 10 will always be updated continuously forever. If this is true, then why have an expiry date?
Start Menu - Apps
The original Start Menu
Windows XP Start Menu
Windows 10 Start Menu
Having recognised their errors with Windows 8, The start menu made it's return in Windows 10 but not the same way as you would expect. The start menu changed to include a small version of live tiles built in and if you still prefer the live tiles desktop, you can still view this by going to personalization and selecting "Use Start Full Screen". This can be changed back but it seems the majority of people are happy with the new design. The start menu has recently used applications, an A to Z list of installed Apps but if you want to have a quick access to the favourite apps, this will have to be manually added. If the live tiles in the menu is a bit of a hassle, you can remove all of them and have nothing there or you can simply remove anything that is "Live" and just have the shortcuts to your most common apps.
From the opinion of the majority of users, the new Start Menu is a mixture of new and old making it familiar to use. A good combination and it should be recognisable to those finally moving over to Windows 10.
Importing Your Photo's
Apps have come a long way since Windows 8 and with the new "Universal Apps", Microsoft is starting to push developers into designing more faster and secure apps. This means they want to have an app that saves power, is a one click uninstall app and can be ran on all devices. The apps made for Windows 8 will still run on Windows 10 but to view the options for these older apps means they have to have a hamburger menu which tends to get annoying for the Windows 10 user. The built in apps for Windows 10 are getting better and with improvements to "Photos" and "Mail" and "Calendar" have also improved. The disappoinment here is Microsoft seems to have downgraded the app to making it useless to use.
"Groove" is still useless and even though it can create playlist automatically by what the user has played, it doesn't save these as "Groove" tends to change this all the time and the biggest drawback is that you cannot create your own playlist as you once could in Windows Media Player.
All in all, the apps in Windows 10 are coming to age but they are still a long way off and the apps in the "Store" aren't worth looking at but at least the "Store" has had a make over.
The new edge is customizable
Edge is easy on the eyes
Change the color in Edge
It seems Microsoft is still pushing Edge to everyone and to one extent, we can understand as they have spent plenty of money on thisbut they haven't spent enough as the base engine is still built from IE11 and all they have done is clean it up. The initial release of Edge had an app that was the basic of all basics which means it had nothing but with the release of the anniversary update, the app is getting better and better.
Resembling much like that of Chrome, it is by far a lot more powerful and faster than Chrome. Although Firefox is a little slower than Edge but faster than chrome, FF is still by far the most powerful browser out there. Edge has come in leaps and bound and with little tweaks here and there, you now have favourites, reading lists, downloads and the inclusion of installing some third party apps into it is making Edge better and better.
Still, the biggest drawback is the functionality of the whole thing. Edge only comes with Windows 10 so a Windows 7 user will never know what the browser is like but trust us, you're not missing anything spectacular. Extensions are getting better but it still isn't enough.
The biggest issue which is concerning a lot of people and techies is with all these little changes and tweaks, is Edge going to be worse than IE11? Will Edge become so bloated that people will refuse to use it? This isn't so far from the truth as the majority of people use Chrome or Firefox.
Cortana - Desktops - Continuum
The face of Cortana
Cortana Likes to Remind you
Artificial Intellegence is Just The Start
With the advent of Microsoft getting the user back in the good books with the desktop enhancements, they haven't left the mobile people out of the picture. Cortana has been tweaked so many times that you can almost see the scars on her face from all the plastic surgery. Where once upon a time Cortana was a simple app that helped you in day to day tasks or searches, now, they have refined her to the point where she scans your emails and calendar for any appointments you have inserted. This is becoming scary as Cortana is now controlling you in your day to day tasks.
This is all well and good but privacy has to be an issue here because if Cortana knows, then it makes sense that Microsoft knows. For the average user, a reminder to go the the dentist isn't important but let's say you were a person that had a meeting lined up with a important person like the pope or Dalai Lama, then Microsoft will know this and take note. Cortana can be turned off and privacy reduced down to a bare minimum and once where you could remove her from the desktop, she is now displayed all the time. With connecting to Continuum, the biggest issue here is in the wires. In the push for wireless connectivity, all of a sudden, you have all these wires dangling everywhere. Your mobile phone can connect via bluetooth but you have to have a smart phone with Continuum support and a Miracast enabled display on your Windows 10 mobile device.
For more information on your privacy, visit Microsoft and they will explain everything to you.
New technology, old ways
Continuum on mobile phones
Continuum seems to be advancing but extremely slow. Continuum is a piece of software that allows you to switch between desktop, tablet and smartphone modes meaning you can actually connect your smartphone to the computer and use it with a keyboard and mouse like in a desktop environment. This idea has been in the making for many years now but considering Microsoft is pushing towards the mobile age, why even consider the use of a desktop computer in this way? The answer! What you can do on a desktop computer is a far lot more than you can do on a smartphone. With connecting to Continuum, the biggest issue here is in the wires. In the push for wireless connectivity, all of a sudden, you have all these wires dangling everywhere. Your mobile phone can connect via bluetooth but you have to have a smart phone with Continuum support and a Miracast enabled display on your Windows 10 mobile device. This is all well and good but for older devices, don't expect to use this feature unless you upgrade. It is getting better by the day but if the desktop computer is dying into history, then why even have Continuum?
All in all, we can't really see the usefulness of this technology but it is a blast when you change to tablet mode on your desktop computer without connecting to a mobile device.
Move things between Desktops
Stolen from Linux
Windows desktops is still at a stand still where multiple desktops can be used just like that of Linux. Linux has had them since the dawn of time and even though WIndows has had them for a few years, they are now built into Windows 10. Handy in a lot of situations but having to do the task of switching desktops is just as laborious as changing tabs. The day may come when we can have multiple desktops with different icons on them but that is still years away. Desktops is an old favourite for Linux users and if Microsoft would only ask for the technology from Linux users and add them to Windows, future versions of Windows will be unstoppable. In reality, both Linux and Windows can co-exist together.
The way Microsoft is bringing out new updates for Windows 10 means it can only get better. Little tweaks here and there will not cut the chase as it only means an extended support session just like that of Windows XP for Windows 7 in 2020. If Windows 10 is still lagging behind Windows 7 in 3 years time, what will happen to all the people that have moved onto Windows 10? Time will tell but time is not a luxury Microsoft has. If Windows 10 gets within 10% of Windows 7 for popularity in 3 years, then Windows 7 will fade into history.Is it troubled times ahead for Microsoft?
Windows 10 does have a lot going for it. It is similar to those using Windows 7 so the change over wouldn't be a problem but the advent of smartphones and tablets is still a headache for Microsoft when merging them together.
While the majority of features are useless, it does, though, take the foul taste of WIndows 8 out of everyones mouth. After speaking with so many people, we have come to the conclusion that people don't mind Windows 10 they just don't use the apps where they prefer to install all their favourite programs and enjoy their days on the computer, they ignore what Microsoft has done and simply adore Windows.
As a side note, if you have Office 2003, install it. It does work on Windows 10.
Check out our prototype Windows 10 website. It is still a working project with more to go but it is getting better
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