Having used Microsoft’s newest system for the last four weeks, here’s what we’ve found from a practical user experience. First and foremost, if you already use Windows 8/8.1, the transition is rather ho-hum but if you jump from W7 to W10, expect a learning curve. These points assume you’re familiar with W8/8.1.
Second, Microsoft has copied some Apple features via the Microsoft Account and Apps and now charges for previously included features, e.g. you must pay to use the Windows DVD player (alternatively, you can use VLC, a free player). Then, there’s Cortana, the Windows version of Siri which responds to verbal queries/searches about many things (not available in all countries or all languages); you must have a MSFT account to activate it.
1. The Charms are gone and the Start column is now combined with the Tiles screen.
2. The Search option combines all locations, i.e. web and PC and is quickly accessible from the home toolbar. We found this combined search tended to slow the process down but worked otherwise. All Searches default to Bing, not Google.
3. Internet Explorer has been replaced by Edge. Its appearance is clean, similar to Chrome, is still a bit slow to get pages up but has additional features: Web Note, Pen and Highlighter. These allow you to markup a web page and share that page as marked. Usefulness? That depends on the user and their necessities… from corporate messaging to marking up kids’ homework. Imagination abounds.
4.The Settings App works quickly from the Start Panel enabling you access to your PC’s configuration.
5. Storage Usage App (Analyzer) cleans superfluous stored data, similar to the old disk defragmentation).
6. Changing your personal WiFi code is more tedious than before as it reverts you back to network connections vs. a 2-step process directly from the toolbar icon.
Overall opinion? If you are already using W8 or 8.1, stay with it while you still have the opportunity to use all it offers and not be beholden to MSFT and the fees that are definitely coming.
If you are still on W7 or older, then upgrade to W8/8.1 to get the most of what the newer op system offers and still be able to work comfortably on Windows.
Note: Although we are closed from August 29th through September 30th, come by after October 1st and try out Windows 10 for yourself… you decide if it’s right for you.
(News/IT: Windows 10)