“...Macintosh and Linux have never looked so attractive.”
January 31, 2017 2:46 PM   Subscribe

The Woes of Windows 10 [The Economist] “Despite its having been available for 18 months, three out of four PC owners have not bothered to upgrade their computers to the latest version of Microsoft's operating system, Windows 10. More than 700m of the world's 1.5bn or so computers continue to run on Windows 7, a piece of software three generations old. A further 300m users have stuck with other versions—half of them stubbornly (and rashly) clinging to 16-year-old Windows XP that Microsoft pensioned off three years ago. The business world has been even more recalcitrant. In a recent study by Softchoice, an info-tech consultancy, corporate computers were found to be running a whole gamut of legacy versions of Windows. Fewer than 1% of them had been upgraded to Windows 10.”
posted by Fizz (230 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
 
From a business point of view Windows 10 has little to offer over Windows 7 so is not worth the cost of upgrade.
posted by Burn_IT at 2:57 PM on January 31, 2017 [4 favorites]


I'm one of the idiots that did 'upgrade' and am so damn sorry I did.

As a Widows user since the dark age, I'm so thrilled with this POS, my next computer may be a Mac.

And no, I didn't vote for the freak.
posted by BlueHorse at 2:58 PM on January 31, 2017 [15 favorites]


Developed a fun piece of software that relies on interaction with a touch screen monitor. Which no longer works with any computer running or upgraded to Windows 10. And no answer or driver upgrade from any components in the chain of the product; Microsoft, Dell or HP.

I didn't vote for Trump. Was that a requirement?
posted by hal9k at 3:02 PM on January 31, 2017 [5 favorites]


Between the Win 10 security/privacy concerns and the lack of control of when system install/reboots happen, I am timing my next laptop purchase to the very last day when I can buy one with downgrade rights to Windows 7, which WORKS FINE.
posted by twsf at 3:02 PM on January 31, 2017 [7 favorites]


Although I use Linux and a Macbook most of the time, I broke down and installed Windows 10 on a gaming box because nothing else had support for the NVME drive I bought. It isn't that bad, especially after you remove the bloatware that comes with it.
posted by pashdown at 3:03 PM on January 31, 2017 [7 favorites]


I hated Windows 8 so intensely that I avoided replacing my work laptop for years. I just replaced it out of necessity, though, and have had Windows 10 for about a month. It's wonderful. It gives the impression that Microsoft listened to the barrage of complaints about 8 and changed course. Security flaws are always a concern, but I'm not willing to pay Macintosh prices or learn Linux from the ground up--the usual complaints from people who use computers for work and play but who aren't professional or hobbyist computer science-affiliated. W8 made that a hard statement to say without cringing. W10 makes that easy to say again.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 3:04 PM on January 31, 2017 [23 favorites]


I've got three computers: one that's only connected to a television (and not the Internet) has Windows XP, another desktop that is my primary computer has Windows 7, and there's a laptop with Windows 10. The XP machine works like a mathematical equation, and despite being almost twenty years old it's the fastest of the three. My Windows desktop works all right. It's fast enough and does what I want it to do. The laptop is a continual pain in the ass. I'm always struggling to get Windows 10 to do what I want, and it's slow. (Though the laptop itself might not be fast enough for the operating system.) So in my limited experiment the results are clear. As complexity and graphical cruft increase speed and usability go down. But for anything that connects to the Internet and needs some security, 7 is a decent compromise.
posted by Kevin Street at 3:05 PM on January 31, 2017 [2 favorites]


I am also running Windows 7, the last tolerable version of that operating system. I do not like updates, particularly of the driver variety, forced upon me. There have been many video card driver updates I have skipped until my favorite games caught up, and my habit of afking at mob farms and such in Minecraft would be seriously affected by forced reboots.
posted by xyzzy at 3:06 PM on January 31, 2017 [3 favorites]


I still use Windows 7 at work (software dev), but I built a new PC with Windows 10 maybe 6 months back. Honestly, it's been fine. Granted, my home use is basically "web browsing", "games via Steam" and "Adobe Creative Cloud", but I have not run into any issues.

(Granted: I turned off as much of the spyware as I could, and if Windows 7 support hadn't seemed as iffy at the time I might have gone with that; I totally understand businesses staying away).
posted by tocts at 3:06 PM on January 31, 2017 [10 favorites]


It seems to be thing that, for whatever reason, the geek-o-sphere refuses to grasp...That when users get their computers set-up in a way that is comfortable and (relatively) trouble-free, they tend not to want to change anything, for fear of painful problems (something which is a real issue fr Windows users.) Normal users don't value the "must have the latest and greatest" fetish that tech types relish. Truly, if it ain't broke.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:06 PM on January 31, 2017 [58 favorites]


Windows 10 demands serious expertise when it comes to knocking it into shape so ordinary users can work they way they prefer.

This is bafflingly out of step with my experience, and even with my experience of generic OS-related scuttlebutt. It's Windows 7 with a bunch of upgrades and ease of use features. I think there's some merit in driver complaints, though that's a problem with all OS upgrades on the Windows side of things. And the compulsory upgrade/update nonsense is pretty bad.

But 10 is still a Good OS.
posted by Sebmojo at 3:07 PM on January 31, 2017 [49 favorites]


Since I use my system for hours daily, and it has never given me a hint of trouble with Windows 10, I'm at a loss to understand the hatred.

Since many people apparently have a lot of issues with Windows 10, they cannot understand why some of us are happy with Windows 10.

2 sides to an issue, and neither side can really understand the other... yep, sounds a tiny bit familiar!
posted by newfers at 3:07 PM on January 31, 2017 [19 favorites]


Sebmojo : agreed...Bafflingly out of step with my experience, as well.
posted by newfers at 3:08 PM on January 31, 2017 [2 favorites]


LIke many others I too find Windows 10 to be perfectly fine and it's definitely better than Win 8 and a little better than 7. It's infinitely better than Vista. But I can see how a lot of people wouldn't bother upgrading - visually it's hard to tell the difference at a glance.

Normal users don't value the "must have the latest and greatest" fetish that tech types relish. Truly, if it ain't broke.

I get it, sure. These people are going to get 0wned though. Capital-zero 0wned. It's not about UI changes, it's about their OS security updates no longer arriving.
posted by GuyZero at 3:11 PM on January 31, 2017 [16 favorites]


I recently moved from a MacBook to a powerbook with performance base. I really do like the hardware, but I'm shocked at how bad Windows 10 is. They seem to have an issue with high density displays. I use external monitors, and every time my computer goes to sleep, when it wakes up the windows are all tiny and squished together in a small region of the screen. Sometimes, the window control and title bar will be twice as large as normal, with no apparent way to fix it. It's just weird to be having basic window management problems with external displays, after using OSX for years and having everything "just work".
posted by heathkit at 3:11 PM on January 31, 2017 [8 favorites]


Windows 10 is a great OS in that I've barely thought about it since installing.

The two things that I can think of that I like about recent Windows OS revisions: snapping windows side by side and the bread crumb navigation. Other than that, just stay out of Steam and Chrome's way please.
posted by selfnoise at 3:11 PM on January 31, 2017 [6 favorites]


I've spent the whole afternoon fixing my brothers' laptop with a 100% disk usage (and freezing) problem with no success until I gave up and rolled it back to factory 8, which seems to be working fine. I've stuck with Windows 7 here because this laptop has enough hardware problems I managed to divert and I'm not sure I could do that with 10.

Windows still has all the programs I need, something I can't say of Linux, and it will be an even colder day in hell the moment I even consider a Macbook. I'll deal with 10 when I have to - and that's unlikely because I'd be better served with a refurbished 2012 laptop with Windows 7 than a 2017 Windows 10 model with the same budget.
posted by lmfsilva at 3:13 PM on January 31, 2017


I'm paywalled off :(
posted by weewooweewoo at 3:15 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


I tried to upgrade from 7 to 10 when they had the nonstop notifications going on. The install failed twice and the proposed solutions were tedious. So, back to 7.
posted by Karaage at 3:16 PM on January 31, 2017 [5 favorites]


My main complaint about Windows 10 is that the Home version (that I have at home) shows a rotation of pretty pictures as a wake-up screen while the Pro version (that we use at my architecture firm) shows a rotation of different, better and more interesting pretty pictures which you can also, occasionally, find out where the shots were taken.
It's always seemed so petty to me that Microsoft would give Home users a degraded version of something so basic. I've googled about this to see if others share my outrage but apparently it's just me.
posted by Flashman at 3:18 PM on January 31, 2017 [27 favorites]


It's funny to read about the divide actually. I switched myself to Windows 10 expecting to hate it, and have been really pleasantly surprised. I've always had trouble with audio settings, getting mics to be recognized and switch them out for instance and that's no longer the case. It's one of those little things but I actually have found myself thinking positive thoughts about an OS for the first time in a while.
posted by Carillon at 3:19 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


There is no question that Windows 10 is an impressive piece of software, and quite the most secure operating system ever devised.

Objection! Stipulates facts not in evidence.

"It's Windows 7 with a bunch of upgrades and ease of use features."
And buckets of user tracking, forced updates, and ads. None of which I want in my operating system.

I only use Windows for gaming, but I haven't upgraded from 7 due to that stuff.

Maybe considering the current climate, pushing the "Those who aren't Win10 users must be Trump voters" could be given a miss?
posted by bitmage at 3:20 PM on January 31, 2017 [6 favorites]


I really was shocked just by the amount of advertising Win 10 pushed at me, Cortana's constant interruptions, the rotating hibernate screens that were nice for a while and then turned into more advertising. All this stuff is stuff you can turn off, but I could just go back to Linux and not have to worry about it.

I'm actually kind of surprised I didn't hear more annoyance about it - are people that resigned to that constant background hum of advertising?
posted by Jeanne at 3:21 PM on January 31, 2017 [12 favorites]


I'm one of the idiots that did 'upgrade' and am so damn sorry I did.

Yeah, upgraded a laptop that had all of my productivity software on it. The first upgrade basically bricked it. A subsequent update made everything better again, except Sony VAIO has since gone out of business, and there is no way to get a W10 driver for the WiFi receiver.

W10 works great on my new PC, though.
posted by My Dad at 3:21 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


I upgraded a Windows 7 laptop (which was 6-7 years old) to Windows 10. It runs fine and is much less annoying than Windows 8. Granted, I did the free upgrade which probably has less bloatware than a fresh install, but I think a lot of people are still reacting to trauma from Windows 8.
posted by tavella at 3:21 PM on January 31, 2017


I built a new computer last year, and I specifically installed Windows 7 on it. So far, I have been able to avoid downgrading to Windows 10, but I worry how long that will last.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 3:21 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


I've been running W10 for the last couple of years, and it's been great. Not sure where all the angst is. I have 2 surface computers, and a home built media pc.
posted by prodigalsun at 3:22 PM on January 31, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'm actually kind of surprised I didn't hear more annoyance about it - are people that resigned to that constant background hum of advertising?

I used Chrome OS for a couple of years, and, man, I finally understood why people hated Windows. Chrome OS *just works* and it did almost everything I normally need to do, except for Photoshop and video editing (I had my bricked PC for that).

When I bought a new PC, I tried to spend more money to make it future proof. I noticed that I didn't have the same problems with it that my son has with his el cheapo Acer laptop.
posted by My Dad at 3:23 PM on January 31, 2017 [4 favorites]


Running windows 10 here. No meaningful problems noted. I deactivated all the telemetry and such I could when I installed it and got rid of all the adds. After that, it basically looks and feels like 7.
posted by Mitrovarr at 3:24 PM on January 31, 2017 [3 favorites]


".... Windows 7, a piece of software three generations old."
that tells me everything I need to know about the author's expertise.
posted by cfraenkel at 3:25 PM on January 31, 2017 [22 favorites]


I use Windows 10 at home on my laptops and Windows 7 at work. Both do the job and don't crash. The one thing I don't like about Windows 10 is changing the settings because it isn't consistent.

I think the biggest issue with Windows 10 is the enforced updates. I understand the rationale for doing it that way but people don't expect their computer to restart and change things by itself. Especially if there is a non-zero chance that the update will break something else.

I used to be fairly invested in desktop Linux and I don't feel bad about abandoning it because my phone and NAS are still running it and they account for over 90% of my actual day-to-day computing at home.

I've also got a Chromebox that is great to use for internet surfing because I don't have to worry about it getting hijacked.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 3:27 PM on January 31, 2017 [3 favorites]


The reason Windows 10 adoption is low and slow is that people are not throwing out their old computers and the laptop manufactures are not updating the drivers on anything older than about 3 year. Unless you're using a Lenovo and then it was anything older than about 1 year.
posted by srboisvert at 3:27 PM on January 31, 2017 [5 favorites]


Does Windows 10 still do the thing where it bugs you about switching to Edge if you use Chrome?
posted by straight at 3:27 PM on January 31, 2017


that tells me everything I need to know about the author's expertise.

Wikipedia has Windows 8 and 8.1 as separate releases so it's sort of technically true, but the three are so closely related that yes, any real developer considers them the same generation. It's not like one has a non-preemptive Win95 kernel or something
posted by GuyZero at 3:28 PM on January 31, 2017


Does Windows 10 still do the thing where it bugs you about switching to Edge if you use Chrome?

No? I've never seen that.
posted by selfnoise at 3:28 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


Is it still possible to buy a license / installer for Windows 7?

Is it possible to configure Windows 10 so that the appearance / interface is much like Win XP? (This seemed to be more or less possible with 7, you could turn off most of the flourishes...)
posted by wildblueyonder at 3:28 PM on January 31, 2017


I think the biggest issue with Windows 10 is the enforced updates. I understand the rationale for doing it that way but people don't expect their computer to restart and change things by itself. Especially if there is a non-zero chance that the update will break something else.

So far that's my biggest complaint. I had an app running overnight to auto-catalogue a few gigs of photos and *poof* it disappeared, having only run halfway through, after a forced update.
posted by GuyZero at 3:29 PM on January 31, 2017 [11 favorites]


MSFT has unfortunately trained people not to upgrade, given the headache of the process and the way that it unpredictably obsolesces applications, drivers and peripherals. I'm willing to do the research around compatibility needed to get whatever incremental value there is in the upgrade ... but I couldn't ever imagine paying to upgrade. Basically, MSFT only can expect to sell an OS license when it sells a new box.
posted by MattD at 3:30 PM on January 31, 2017 [4 favorites]


Disappointed with the lack of new hardware coming from Apple, I decided to purchase a Windows computer for the first time since 2001 (Apple's neglect of its PC lines is a story for another post perhaps). I bought an HP laptop that came pre-installed with Windows 10, and I've had no problems whatsoever.
posted by Pararrayos at 3:30 PM on January 31, 2017 [3 favorites]


My work machine bricked when upgrading to 10, but my new work machine runs 10 and is generally pretty good. Things like the virtual desktops are really nice to have. I spent a day removing/disabling some of the more intrusive stuff.

The worst part is third-party support. Wacom, in particular, seems to have a staff of programmers only vaguely familiar with Windows and every time Wacom updates its driver I have to reboot. Overall, though, I like Win 10 more than 7, though it's pretty much a wash.
posted by maxwelton at 3:31 PM on January 31, 2017 [2 favorites]


I've got Windows 7, Windows 10 (because its free with a watermark,) Chromebook, Ubuntu, and Mac. I used to love Mac because "it just works." Now I love(hate) my Chromebook. Love because "it just works" and the cloud and because at 150 dollars if its stolen or takes a swim no biggy, hate because I feel like a dupe/spy victim/supporter of the ideology of selling peoples lives and just in general why can't I have the same thing and keep it to myself? Ubuntu installs great etc. but if I have a problem its the same old support by forum gobblity gook 13 opinions and a bunch of command line stuff all while being told "its so easy and great and FREEE!" So my mothers printer regurgitates 30 copy's of something she sent to it a day ago and the printer queue is accessible only by a command I can't remember. Windows??? whatever, it's there for the software that doesn't run on other stuff, e.g. the one game I play. Productivity Software (HAH) I just use the Chrome basics and my files are in Googleville, (not because its smart or hep or whatever but because its easy and every computer is a terminal.) Mac? well I look at my inlaw's android phone and I feel tired. Maybe it is because I am lazy and don't want to learn but I DON'T WANT TO LEARN! So I have an Iphone and we have a Macbook but as to having Icloud and "all our devices"blah blah blah I guess not, just not interested. Oh I forgot! I have an IPad 2 which was and still is a little great for Navigation Software but hate the brickishness of Apple whereby sophisticated hardware becomes junk.

TLDR: After trying different flavors of computer disease have boiled preference down to Chrome/book for computing, I phone for phoning, Windows to fly virtual fighter planes. Would prefer a universe where "things just worked."
posted by Pembquist at 3:33 PM on January 31, 2017 [8 favorites]


Normal users don't value the "must have the latest and greatest" fetish that tech types relish.

Indeed, not just a fetish but the economic model of the entire industry.
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:33 PM on January 31, 2017 [5 favorites]


I hate Windows 10. I haven't upgraded any of my computers, but I had to buy a laptop post Windows 10 and my parents accidentally clicked ok to have their computer auto-upgrade, back when your options were now or later and it wouldn't just let you say no. I know nothing about security. What I hate is the stupid tile interface. Classic Shell helps, but occasionally the tile thing pops up, or one of those stupip apps that doesn't get the X/minimize/maximize buttons.

Just don't mess with the interface. There's no reason to change an interface people are happy with and not leave them the option of continuing to use that interface. You want to set up an alternative, go ahead. But don't take away what people are used to because it's a pain in the ass for everyone, especially older people.

Also, I hate that it sometimes just announces it's going to reboot and if you weren't at your computer at the time and this results in something going unsaved or who knows what, well fuck you, you're supposed to be sitting at your computer 24/7 lest it decide to reboot.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 3:35 PM on January 31, 2017 [7 favorites]


Upgrading to Windows 10 was a nightmare of rebooting and getting to 32% over and over again. Occasionally it would get past 32%, but then it would fail to boot and automatically roll back the install. Eventually I gave up, bought some new parts because I figured it was a reasonable time to build a new computer, tried to install Windows 10, and still only got to 32%. Turns out my wireless card wasn't compatible, and that was one of the only parts I carried over from my old computer.

But ever since then, I've been pretty happy with it; it boots up quickly and the window management is nice. Little frustrations here and there (settings scattered all over different control panels, a search bar that tries to guess what I mean, and so on), but it mostly does what I want it to do.
posted by ectabo at 3:36 PM on January 31, 2017


I still have a soft spot in my heart for whichever marketing drone came up with that brazen non-explanation for why they skipped the numbering to 10: "It wouldn’t be right to call it Windows 9."
posted by straight at 3:38 PM on January 31, 2017 [3 favorites]


I mean, I'm not like PSYCHED about Windows 10 or anything, but with the exception of the forced updates which I would prefer it at least let me schedule, I have no idea what anyone is talking about.

What ads? Cortana butting in? If these were settings I had to change at some point, it was so trivial to do that I don't remember doing it.

It's stable, it works like I expect Windows to, and as much as I'd love to have thousands to spend on an iMac, this machine was $300 four years ago and it has no problems.
posted by cmoj at 3:38 PM on January 31, 2017 [8 favorites]


The actual reason, so I heard, was fear of OS checks that assumed 9 meant 95 or 98.

Seems stupid yet in business software totally believable.
posted by tocts at 3:40 PM on January 31, 2017 [12 favorites]


I upgraded my home PC from 8 to 10, and had no issues whatsoever. I also have a laptop that came pre-installed with Win10 and it seems to run just fine.
My work PC is a lenovo laptop and the only upgrade issues I had there was I lost the ability to run 3 monitors, so now I'm down to 2. That turned out to be an issue with that particular laptop model not being on the official Win10-ready list, so updated drivers weren't available.
It's a fine OS as far as I can tell.
posted by rocket88 at 3:42 PM on January 31, 2017


The actual reason, so I heard, was fear of OS checks that assumed 9 meant 95 or 98.

I've heard this too. My understanding is that early versions of Windows didn't have semantic versioning so the only way to figure out the version from userspace software was to check the string.. which means string matching... which means problems like this arise down the road..
posted by unknownmosquito at 3:42 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


I run W10 and it's been just fine. No problems other than Canon not making a W10 driver for my old CanoScan 9950f.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 3:43 PM on January 31, 2017


I loved XP, I use computers now like tissue.

I loved XP.
posted by Max Power at 3:44 PM on January 31, 2017 [5 favorites]


Windows 10 is competent but annoying.

I put it on a new built gaming system. It's worked flawlessly in terms of games and Lightroom / Photoshop. There are plenty of annoyances, however. Disabled Cortana, used GPO to notify but not download updates (removes the forced updates completely), and put my computer on the long term stable track which avoids feature updates for a very long time (still don't have 1607 on my desktop). Disabled notifications and the advertising. I've disabled what parts of the telemetry which were easy to reach. Might take the steps to get rid of the rest of it. Removed most of the Metro apps. Replaced the hideous start menu with StartIsBack, and as a nice side effect it restored the old Win 7 style file search engine so I don't have the same problems searching for files that many W10 users have.

What I really dislike is how MS is moving more towards insisting on their way of doing things and removing customization. Forced telemetry for one. Based on what I've read, I probably wouldn't mind the basic telemetry option. But I hate that I'm not given a chance to opt out, and that makes me want to go out of my way to stop it. Hate that the 1607 Anniversary Update forces lockscreens on desktops, probably so they can serve more advertising for those who didn't change the default settings. Also dislike how they're pushing Cortana so aggressively.
posted by honestcoyote at 3:44 PM on January 31, 2017 [10 favorites]


Does Windows 10 still do the thing where it bugs you about switching to Edge if you use Chrome?

Yes, occasionally I'll see a little pop-up telling me how much faster Chrome is draining the battery than if I was using Edge.
posted by Flashman at 3:47 PM on January 31, 2017 [4 favorites]


Classic Shell makes my Windows 10 look and feel just like Windows 7. I'm running without a Microsoft ID, and I've got Cortana, OneDrive, and a bunch of other annoyances disabled.

The lock screen, sleep behavior, and forced reboot on updates have been a pain, but all in all it's been one of the least painful Windows upgrades ever for me.
posted by fuzz at 3:49 PM on January 31, 2017 [8 favorites]


I hate Windows 10 a whole lot. I tried to "update" an older laptop from 7 to 10 and it failed to update about 3 times and then I gave up. Which, I'm glad I did because shortly after that my work laptop was "updated" from 7 to 10 and since that time, there have been so many annoying issues. Like, yes as someone said upthread, it bugs me to use Edge when I use something else. It also can't handle when I connect it to my dock and two monitors - they flicker and go black and then come back and this happens at least 1x per hour or more...nothing has fixed it and apparently every time I google and try the fixes it's a known issue that just still isn't resolved. My IT department has no idea what the problem is. I do - it's Windows 10. Everything was fine with 7. These are just two complaints I have out of many for Windows 10. Honestly I'm always shocked when people say they like it but, to each his own I guess. My home computer has been a MacBook Pro for the past few years and I love how it just works. I've never had any problems with it other than having to relearn things like keyboard shortcuts.
posted by FireFountain at 3:49 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


Windows 10 seems to work well in an enterprise environment, where there is IT control over the devices used and updates are locally managed. I'm not sure it would work so well in an environment where you had to just "trust Microsoft" to get things right.
posted by SPrintF at 3:51 PM on January 31, 2017


I am running several Windows 10 machines, including this one, which is actually a tablet running the 32-bit version (because it's a tablet and has only 2 GB RAM) and therefore runs all my legacy software that won't run on 64-bit. But at work I have an actual 64-bit Win10 desktop, driving an external 4K TV I use as a monitor, and from which I remote into my old machine when I need to run the legacy 32-bit stuff. I've had remarkably little trouble with 10. My takeaways:
  1. Decline EVERYTHING when you install the OS. Not a single one of those "features" is something you want your machine doing.
  2. Install ClassicShell from www.classicshell.net . It will restore your Start menu and return most of the setups and OS features to where you expect them to be from your Windows XP or 7 experience. (It's also good on Windows 8.) It's free and painless. I have little trouble with Win10 because the first thing I do on a new WIn 8 or 10 machine is install ClassicShell.
  3. You can inhibit the surprise Windows Updates by marking all of your internet connections as "metered," so the PC will think you have to pay for the bandwidth. But it's not a good idea to do this all the time because yeah, security is a thing and Win10 is now the big target for hackers. Let the thing update itself once in awhile but on your terms.
  4. I've had very little trouble with external monitors, but yes if you unplug the external or the computer thinks you have, Win10 will aggressively resize everything onto the remaining screen. This is actually an improvement though if you've ever had a dialog trapped offscreen with no way to retrieve it.
  5. There was for awhile an issue with headphones where Win10 would aggressively nag you about excessive volume if you set the volume above some arbitrary threshold; this was meant by the EU to keep you from ruining your hearing with earbuds, which are quite efficient at turning electricity into loud sound at the eardrum, but very annoying when you are using high impedance headphones or speakers. Fortunately an update or two ago they seem to have finally removed that, at least for me here in the US.
  6. I have two of these $199 Insignia (Best Buy house brand) tablets, and they rock. In addition to the 32-bit thing they blow away my old XP boxes in every metric; same or more RAM, quad core, 1080p native display and will drive a 4K external monitor, 5 hour battery life (in heavy use!) without ventilation. Only 32Gb flash for drive C but you can pop in a uSD card for 64 or 128 more, giving more "disk" than the 80Gb drive on my XP box. Boots much faster and very noticeably faster at almost everything. And did I mention my XP laptop cost $900 in 2008?
TL;DR you can add me to the list of folks who thought I would hate it but have learned to manage. Switching to Mac or Linux really isn't an option because of some of the development software I use and the fact that I write software for industry, which is almost all Windows (if not 10, you still need a platform that will run the dev software for the Windows they do run).
posted by Bringer Tom at 3:52 PM on January 31, 2017 [25 favorites]


I really hate to be the one to tell you this, but Win64 runs 32 bit software without any issues.
posted by selfnoise at 3:55 PM on January 31, 2017 [3 favorites]


It's not like one has a non-preemptive Win95 kernel or something

Win95 had preemptive multitasking and memory protection. (Legacy 16-bit apps were an exception - they were cooperatively run in a shared address space of a VM which was had its own address space and was scheduled preemptively with other single 32-bit apps. So 16-bit programs could mess each other up, but couldn't interfere too badly with the rest of the system.)
posted by aubilenon at 3:56 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


OS vitriol threads have a Proustian quality to them, they transport me to a younger internet, a younger self.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 3:57 PM on January 31, 2017 [52 favorites]


downgrade to windows 10

I can't hear this without a nerdish snufflesnort on the end
posted by Sebmojo at 3:58 PM on January 31, 2017 [9 favorites]


Just last night I had to do a clean install of Windows 10 on a ThinkPad T420 (released a couple years before Windows 10.) Last time I did an install of Windows was about ten years ago.

First, drivers. Did it auto-detect the hardware? Eh... some of it. It got the WLAN, missed the trackpad, trackpoint, GPU, PM hardware, and a couple other things. (The GPU?! How the hell do you not ship with drivers for Intel GPUs? They're like the single most common GPU choice for laptops in the entire world... that's like shipping without support for SATA drives.)

OK, so I had to install a bunch of drivers. But at least then I was good to go, right?

I would be. But then I clicked the Start Menu and hey, the Start Menu had ads. Wait, ads? What the fuck? Yep. Apparently, that's a thing now. OK, remove those. Wait, why does my girlfriend's work laptop need Minecraft? Remove...

Huh, lot's of random preloaded apps I don't want, like "Xbox"? This is a work machine, so let's remove that.

Oh. You can't.

Cute. Apparently you can, but you have to use the command line (PowerShell), and it'll get put back with updates. And this goes for about a half dozen more "Apps" that Microsoft has bundled.

My, what a positive, pro-consumer move. Microsoft is making it easier for me to use my computer by ensuring that I can't decide not to install their software. Takes that whole complex choice right out of my hands.

Anyways, back to the setup.

Now that I've done some command line screwing around, it's time to turn off all of the statistics gathering stuff. My there's a lot of that. Oh... I can't remove all of it. Turns out the lowest level of snooping you can pick is "Basic". Awesome.

OK, browser time. Install Firefox, install uBlock Origin, Privacy Badger, HTTPS Everywhere, and we're good to go. Guess I should remove Microsoft Edge now since I've got FF all set. Yeah, I can't remove that either. I can sorta kinda neuter it so that it can't launch, but it can't be removed. You know... because we don't want people deciding to use literally any other browser. But hey, that's a Microsoft tradition at this point.

OK, now it's time to turn on disk encryption. Why couldn't I do this during install? Don't know, but apparently you can't. So now I have to reboot and wait... and wait.... and wait....

Finally, some four hours later, I had a laptop that was good to go. Of course it still needed to download a gig or two of updates, but hey, who's counting.

The most fun part of this endeavor was that all throughout the UI was shifting between Modern (which is a lovely, minimalistic design language) and the good old Windows 2000-style UI (complete with some familiar icons), just shaded slightly more blue and grey to match the new colors. This would be rightly mocked in a review of a Linux distro... but this is a multi-billion dollar effort! Talk about a half-assed look and feel.

-

Compare and contrast to my experience install Fedora on the same machine:

1) Boot from the USB key that I imaged a Fedora ISO to.

2) Run through the installer (takes about 15 minutes).

3) The installer pre-updates the machine if it has a network connection.

4) Boot.

Done. All the hardware was detected perfectly. And any apps that I don't like I can uninstall (without using the command line). And there's no statistics gathering that I can't remove.

It's kinda funny that the usability and consumer friendliness of the OSs has flipped 180 degrees in the last ten years, but it has.

The worst part of it is, I actually *like* a lot of what Microsoft does. I think their hardware teams are killing it, turning out some insanely good stuff. They have some really talented software folks there too (stuff like VS Code is wonderful; it's my editor of choice) and I've long been impressed with the lower levels of Windows NT. It's even a reasonably secure OS nowadays. They spend a lot on R&D, and have come up with a boatload of new and interesting, innovative technology year after year.

But the consumer experience is a flaming cluster dump of incompetence and apathy compared to their competition.

It reeks of contempt for user choice, of such narcissistic certainty that it really put me off the whole experience. And they don't even have the credibility that Apple used to have of being consistently right about UI and UX things in the long run where you give them a pass for pushing something so hard because it really is the best option out there for several years. Microsoft has a long history of shipping some rather scatterbrained, inconsistent UIs for their minor products, of letting products rot (or outright killing them) and generally not being very good at the user experience side of things for anything that's not Office or a similarly-big-budget product. So no, there's a good chance that I *don't* want to use your built in media player or whatever. 'cause it kinda sucks.

---

So yeah, the Windows experience 10 can fuck right off. I don't care how good the underlying technology is, the user experience is terrible compared to its competitors.

Dear Microsoft:

Most of us use Windows because we have to, not because we really want to.

Have some humility. You won the desktop battle not by letting MBAs try to extract every last penny from your users through cross-promotion, bundled crapware, and rampant advertising, but by building tools that let people build cool things.

Get back to your roots please.
posted by -1 at 3:58 PM on January 31, 2017 [36 favorites]


I really hate to be the one to tell you this, but Win64 runs 32 bit software without any issues.

I really hate to be the one to tell you this, but I have three different development suites that will not install on a 64 bit OS, and the documentation says 32-bit is a requirement. I don't know why this is; I do all my personal work in VB6 (eschewing all OCX's and plugins), and my stuff runs fine. But there is software out there, some of it expensive and important, that will not run on a 64-bit OS at all.
posted by Bringer Tom at 3:58 PM on January 31, 2017 [8 favorites]


I'm a Senior Software Engineer, and I do my work (and play) on a "desktop replacement" (read: "gaming") laptop, and my main desktop was bought as a gaming rig. Both that laptop and my main desktop were built for Win8, so when I deliberately downgraded the desktop to 7, a whole bunch of stuff broke and I had to re-upgrade (I couldn't take such a risk with the laptop). Needless to say, I wasn't going to stay on 8, so 10 was a merciful release from that hell by at least being semi-close to 7.

Fast forward 18 months, and my wife hears about the "Creative" update, and insists that I upgrade to a release candidate because she wants to try out Paint 3D. The desktop has slowly been taken over by the kids, so that just leaves my laptop. She goes ahead and updates when I'm not around, and of course an RC has all sorts of stuff not quite working. Now, because of that decision, I'm *back* in a buggy hell every bit as bad as 8 but with its own unique twists, and all I can do is wait until a formal release to turn off the Windows Insider Program and get back to normal...
posted by mystyk at 4:00 PM on January 31, 2017 [2 favorites]


Man, I'm genuinely surprised. I have two computers running Windows 10, and I VASTLY prefer it to Windows 7 and XP. And Windows 8, but obviously. I wish I could convince my office to upgrade.

And I say this as a working graphic designer and digital cartoonist.
posted by UltraMorgnus at 4:01 PM on January 31, 2017 [3 favorites]


Windows 7, the last tolerable version of that operating system.

Coincidentally, it was also the first tolerable version.
posted by sfenders at 4:02 PM on January 31, 2017 [9 favorites]


I hate Windows 10. I haven't upgraded any of my computers, but I had to buy a laptop post Windows 10 and my parents accidentally clicked ok to have their computer auto-upgrade, back when your options were now or later and it wouldn't just let you say no. I know nothing about security. What I hate is the stupid tile interface. Classic Shell helps, but occasionally the tile thing pops up, or one of those stupip apps that doesn't get the X/minimize/maximize buttons.

I can't remember the last time I saw the tiles, my win10 install basically looks like 7... I think there's a checkbox that makes it go away forever these days.
posted by Sebmojo at 4:02 PM on January 31, 2017 [4 favorites]


But 10 is still a Good OS.

They're good OSes Sebmijo
posted by Going To Maine at 4:02 PM on January 31, 2017 [7 favorites]


I drive a car "released" in the same year as Windows 7.
Despite there being two new generations of my model since then, I continue to drive the same old car,
Why? Because it works and it's the last generation before tech in cars* became really annoying.
(Imagine, an actual radio instead of a touchscreen! Heater controls that are actual knobs!)

Computers have become appliances for a lot of people, new and shiny has worn off.
Most people don't get a new washer/dryer or fridge every 7 years, they wait till they break and then "upgrade" to the newest model.

The same trend is now apparent in computing devices.
People keep them until they A) don't work at all or B) the new version offers something so compelling as to make the change worthwhile.

*Speaking of forced upgrade paths, wait until touchscreens and integrated tech in cars starts becoming incompatible with the outside world.
Sure, you can start your car from your phone, but sorry, we don't make that app for the newest version of Android.
Oh, your car has a cool 30 pin ipod connector? Sorry, the iphone is lightning-only.

posted by madajb at 4:03 PM on January 31, 2017 [7 favorites]


So is this the new election thread?
posted by briank at 4:05 PM on January 31, 2017 [12 favorites]


I'm also happy with Win 10 -- and really happy with the Surface Pro 4 I use it on. It plugs into a dock, which supports a monitor and the keyboard/mouse and it all runs just fine.

Shrug.
posted by notyou at 4:06 PM on January 31, 2017 [3 favorites]


I didn't like Windows 8(.1), but don't feel strongly about 10 (or 7). Both are fine and do what they need to do, I can schedule restarts and block updates altogether when I am away (call them all metered connections). I've used Macs but find them totally unintuitive -- also iOS feels unintuitive -- and find that nothing about Windows 10 has any major effect on my computing.
posted by jeather at 4:10 PM on January 31, 2017


The only person I know IRL who likes Windows 10 is my grandmother, who has taken to it like a duck to water. She didn't upgrade though, just bought a new PC with Windows 10 and copied over her stuff. Everyone else I know either hates it with the intensity of a thousand suns or has a lukewarm "meh, had a few issues but it works most of the time" reaction, but she actually likes it. She likes the way it looks and "the way they've simplified everything". I guess with UX stuff, sometimes a particular way of doing something will just gel totally with the way someone thinks and how they like to organize their stuff, even if they're in a minority.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 4:15 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


I really hate to be the one to tell you this, but Win64 runs 32 bit software without any issues.

I really hate to be the one to tell you this, but I have three different development suites that will not install on a 64 bit OS, and the documentation says 32-bit is a requirement. I don't know why this is; I do all my personal work in VB6 (eschewing all OCX's and plugins), and my stuff runs fine. But there is software out there, some of it expensive and important, that will not run on a 64-bit OS at all.


Thank God! I seriously thought for a moment that you'd convinced yourself 64-bit Windows was incompatible with Win32.

I have actually encountered people who have this misconception.
posted by selfnoise at 4:16 PM on January 31, 2017


I was reluctant to upgrade to Win 10 from Win 7 for all the usual reasons. But my Windows files were totally jammed with unnecessary crap, some of my old programs would just not run anymore. I was in need of a re-install but did not have a version of Win 7 to install so I bit the bullet and upgraded to Win 10. I am very happy with it, have had no problems and everything on my computer runs smooth and fast. Somewhat bugged by the intrusive upgrades but they seem to have dropped off lately. I loved Win 98, XP was cool, but Win 10 is the best for me.
posted by charlesminus at 4:17 PM on January 31, 2017


I used to have an old and struggling Win 7 PC. One time, I was away from the desktop for 10 minutes, when I came back to my great dismay Windows 10 was installing. It installed itself without my permission, and as the computer was old, it took all night to install. Ever since, the machine wouldn't boot once in a while and after a few months the thing was dead entirely. The unprompted install might not have caused the problems, but it made me bitter enough to vow to not ever pay for Windows again.

A lot of the software I use (music production and audio processing) is Windows/Mac only but I switched to Ubuntu and after some minor set-up and compatibility struggles I found a superior work flow on there, in the end.
posted by Deece BJ Pancake at 4:20 PM on January 31, 2017 [7 favorites]


OK, now it's time to turn on disk encryption. Why couldn't I do this during install? Don't know, but apparently you can't. So now I have to reboot and wait... and wait.... and wait....

Drive encryption takes a shit-ton of time. I had a 3TB drive (as one of 3 drives) on my desktop that was ~80% full, and it took a full 6 days to encrypt it all, and that's on a *gaming* rig.

As for why no at install, it's because 1- still not enough PCs come with a TPM, so users would have to type a password at every boot, and 2- it's more complicated to do a backup of the backup key (which you really should do) when in the installer. I see no easy way around 1, but for fresh installs you could assume everything's fine and just have the user nagged to backup their key for the first week or two (or until they actually back it up).

As an aside for those engaging drive encryption on existing installs/drives, here's a tip. Install CCleaner and do a free-space wipe immediately before encrypting. It's far faster than encryption, and then you can safely select the option to only encrypt the used space instead of the whole disk.
posted by mystyk at 4:20 PM on January 31, 2017 [3 favorites]


The only person I know IRL who likes Windows 10 is my grandmother, who has taken to it like a duck to water. She didn't upgrade though, just bought a new PC with Windows 10 and copied over her stuff. Everyone else I know either hates it with the intensity of a thousand suns or has a lukewarm "meh, had a few issues but it works most of the time" reaction, but she actually likes it. She likes the way it looks and "the way they've simplified everything". I guess with UX stuff, sometimes a particular way of doing something will just gel totally with the way someone thinks and how they like to organize their stuff, even if they're in a minority.

It's really not that different to 7 in my experience, since they mostly don't do the Win8 thing of forcing their new interface on you even when it's a bad idea.

I did in place upgrades from Windows XP to 7 to 10, including swapping out motherboards twice and it still works fine, so that may explain my boosterism.

I also know by repute that the free upgrade worked for pirated installs of win7 which is a clever and generous way to bring pirates back into the official ecosystem.
posted by Sebmojo at 4:22 PM on January 31, 2017


What I don't think that article mentioned, unless I missed it, is that the next generation of Intel processors (Kaby Lake) and going forward won't run anything other than Windows 10. So you'll have a choice of Windows 10 or Windows 10 unless you take care to get something with an older chipset.

I've had no problems with it. I run in a VM under Parallels on my (2011) MacBook Pro. I run it in a VM at work. We support a couple desktop machines running it, but haven't pulled the switch on upgrading them all.

I've been intrigued at the idea that it runs in a smaller footprint and more efficiently on older equipment. This appears to be true, but the gotcha is you run into a weird old video chipset that there's no driver for and never will be. Or audio. Or whatever, and then you have to put up with it or install Ubuntu.
posted by lagomorphius at 4:22 PM on January 31, 2017 [3 favorites]


What I don't think that article mentioned, unless I missed it, is that the next generation of Intel processors (Kaby Lake) and going forward won't run anything other than Windows 10. So you'll have a choice of Windows 10 or Windows 10 unless you take care to get something with an older chipset.

I should add that, thanks to the wonders of the UEFI, Microsoft already connives with OEMs to hard equipment so it can only install and run certain versions of Windows. You normally don't run into this unless you live in a world where enterprise and consumer versions of Windows are mixing it up. (But when you do, it's like "What? No! Seriously?!")
posted by lagomorphius at 4:31 PM on January 31, 2017 [3 favorites]


I've found Windows 10 to be a decent OS but Microsoft lost my trust and just generally annoyed me by making updates mandatory and adding lots of tracking, so I moved to Linux Mint. It works great and I really don't miss Windows (I can dual boot for gaming if necessary).
posted by ropeladder at 4:32 PM on January 31, 2017 [3 favorites]


Windows XP - pretty good
Windows Vista- Godawful
Windows 7- pretty good
Windows 8 - Apalling
Windows 10- Pretty good
Windows 11- Dumpster Fire or garbage barge full of napalm?
posted by jenkinsEar at 4:33 PM on January 31, 2017 [7 favorites]


I bought a Microsoft Surface Pro pre-installed with Windows 10. As soon as I got it home it started going through the download-install-reboot cycles – and that in a newly-bought system from a Microsoft store! And then it did this really long cycle, after which the screen started working funny: it would get really dim, and flicker, and just not work right. I rang Microsoft support and got someone with a really thick accent who was determined to make me confirm that I was happy with her not being able to help me with a "known issue" that had no expected time for resolution. I think I got like four return phone calls and at least as many emails. Anyway, I eventually swapped it at the store and got the techs to update it themselves, but that was a whole day gone for a Microsoft product running Microsoft OS and purchased from a Microsoft outlet.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:34 PM on January 31, 2017 [4 favorites]


"We're so happy you're here!"

Using Windows 10 is like computing with a telemarketer interface. The interface treats me as a pushy but oily salesdroid would a sucker. Even the start menu has booby-trapped advertisement "live tiles" pushing in an oh-so-helpful way, applications Microsoft just knows I would enjoy. The lock screen even has ads on it. You have to have a "Microsoft Account" to be a user.

Well, it turns out most of this can be turned off, or at least hidden from view (some of the apps are no longer uninstallable in the latest version). But it's not easy to figure out how.
I'm used to beating Windows machines into shape but Win 10 was a whole new level of commercial yukiness.

But there's a level of satisfaction strangling Cortana to death and turning off the fake friendly notifications that now I am enjoying Windows 10 as if I'd written the code myself.
posted by Obscure Reference at 4:35 PM on January 31, 2017 [5 favorites]


Thank God! I seriously thought for a moment that you'd convinced yourself 64-bit Windows was incompatible with Win32.

I have actually encountered people who have this misconception.


Yes, I know what you mean. I really wonder what you have to do to make an app so tight-assed it won't install on a 64-bit OS. It's not just database engines (although I know they're a large part of the problem, since people depend on them and then they're not upgraded/supported and one day the DB won't run on the new Windows and the DB authors aren't around to fix it any more), because one of the most important to me is a dev suite for an embedded industrial device which saves all its data in Notepad-compatible text format. I cannot for my life figure out what it needs that is so finicky it won't run on 64-bit 7, 8, or 10. But it won't, the manufacturer says it won't, and it runs fine on this tablet with 32-bit 10. Go figure.

Meanwhile the stuff I'm doing in VB6 generally works better than all but the latest gen .NET, and I think that's partly because parts of Windows itself are written in VB6, which is why VBRUN600.DLL has been part of the OS since Windows 2000. I can move the apps I write onto a new computer by copying one folder, recreating the desktop shortcut, and clicking on it without running an installer. Not a few IT people have almost hugged me when I showed them how that worked.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:36 PM on January 31, 2017


Good news is that Windows 10 is the end of the line. There will never be a Windows 11. Welcome to the end of history everyone.
posted by GuyZero at 4:36 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


What I don't think that article mentioned, unless I missed it, is that the next generation of Intel processors (Kaby Lake) and going forward won't run anything other than Windows 10. So you'll have a choice of Windows 10 or Windows 10 unless you take care to get something with an older chipset.

The more precise version is that it won't have driver support provided by Intel for anything *older* than Win10. There are solid reasons for that. In the long run, some drivers will likely become available for older OS's even if not produced by Intel, but in general there are very good reasons to not want too many old, non-supported, increasingly insecure OS's out there.

Now, your other comment about MS and UEFI collusion is a whole different ball of wax...
posted by mystyk at 4:37 PM on January 31, 2017


I'm going to put in a vote for Windows ME. Everybody hated it. Everybody still hates it. But it ran just fine on my little old VAIO LX.
posted by lagomorphius at 4:40 PM on January 31, 2017


Windows 11- Dumpster Fire or garbage barge full of napalm?

I hear it's the code name for the custom version of Red Star OS that Trump is going to mandate for use by all civilians...

/s    <-- for that 1 person who will insist on taking me seriously.
posted by mystyk at 4:41 PM on January 31, 2017


One of the big reasons I've avoided newer MS stuff has been the switch to the "subscription" model of software, which I very much dislike. I don't want to have to set up another recurring payment to keep my Word on, thanks.

Fuck you too, Adobe.
posted by klangklangston at 4:43 PM on January 31, 2017 [18 favorites]


So many of the complaints in this thread- not all, but a bunch- make me curious as to how old the hardware people are using with Win10 is.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:47 PM on January 31, 2017 [2 favorites]


I don't have much in the way of complaints about 10 other than not being able to control the updates (and the ad notices, though I don't see those too often). However, the first time I saw an update screen with the words "Don't worry. Your files are right where you left them," I did have a moment of panic wondering if I'd caught some sort of ransomware.
posted by audi alteram partem at 4:51 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


One of the big reasons I've avoided newer MS stuff has been the switch to the "subscription" model of software, which I very much dislike.

Yeah, Bill Gates was salivating all over this during the 90's. Looks like they've finally figured out how to shove everyone's faces in it.

Fortunately my VB6 stuff also runs fine under WINE on Linux or Mac. Just a matter of getting customers that prefer those options.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:53 PM on January 31, 2017 [5 favorites]


I'm pretty platform agnostic, myself, when I get home and take off the database wonk badge. I do find it amusing that people are screaming about Win 10's telemetry features when stylish cupertino does it too. And you can't turn theirs off.
But yeah-- Win 10, C+. It's a consumer OS. It's for Steam.

And yes, unfortunately, the 'Subscription Model' for SaaS is here to stay, rooted into the market like a plague.

I miss the days of plunking down $59 for a game and that being that. None of this $9.99 per/month with $19.99 quarterly refreshes + $5.99 Horse Armor + $4.99 Quantum Nuka Cola 10 pack deals.
posted by mrdaneri at 4:56 PM on January 31, 2017 [4 favorites]


You have to have a "Microsoft Account" to be a user.

No you don't, but they hide that really sneakily in the setup sequence. Win 8 was actually a lot worse about tricking you into linking your computer login to your uSoft Live account; my wife did that with a Win 8 tablet I had set up for her and it was never right again (ended up factory defaulting it, and I'm using that tablet to this day at work, but she lost all faith that it would ever be reliable). But you can decline and set up a local account, and WIn 10 isn't nearly as pushy as 8 was about tricking you into linking it to your Live account.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:57 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


Thing is, though, in the last decade or so the incremental changes in hardware capabilities have been relatively small. The great majority of users (not gamers or devs) have found that a multicore, ~4 GB RAM machine pretty much does all they'd need, and all the marketing in the world won't shift it. Basic smartphones have taken away the really low end users, so the hardware churn has got much lower. Win 10 tries to force you to replace hardware that would be otherwise perfectly good.

Apple are just as bad: they deliberately understated the maximum RAM that some of their machines can take, and also added hardware checks that lock out upgrades from machines beyond a certain age. These machines still have great utility.
posted by scruss at 5:01 PM on January 31, 2017 [5 favorites]


I'm annoyed at W10, and I'm a Mac user.

My parents, who are 86 and 90 respectively, bought a Windows laptop (against my advice) several years ago. When W10 came out, it apparently installed itself, and my folks called me in panic because they didn't know how to use their computer anymore as it neither looked or worked the same. I was able to revert to W7, as it was still on their hard drive, but for some reason, the laptop no longer talks to their printer no matter what I do, and I refuse to waste my time fighting with it.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 5:08 PM on January 31, 2017


You have to have a "Microsoft Account" to be a user.

No you don't, but they hide that really sneakily in the setup sequence.


I was adding a new account--the previous one made it easy to skip the Microsoft Account step so I was lulled into a false sense of security. Just when I was about to surrender, I accidentally found the correct sequence to avoid it. It's like solving one of those ring puzzles.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:16 PM on January 31, 2017


Timely. My work laptop (Win7) is dying, and the replacement is due tomorrow, and it's supposed to be Win10. I have found my wife's Win 10 (home, ed., I guess) to be baffling.
I'm hoping to be able to install Win7 instead (corporate package), because I [surprisingly] took to 7 immediately.
Is there any way to turn of the mobile look? I just want it to behave like a desktop.
Or maybe I should just read the whole thread...
posted by MtDewd at 5:18 PM on January 31, 2017


When W10 came out, it apparently installed itself

That was a thing, right. It should not be. Really OSes should never have been marketed products, with gratuitous massive UI changes every few years, but the horse is well out of that barn. People would still be stuck with no translucent scroll bars in that nightmare world.
posted by thelonius at 5:20 PM on January 31, 2017 [3 favorites]


a multicore, ~4 GB RAM machine pretty much does all they'd need, and all the marketing in the world won't shift it.

Normally this newfound consumer unwillingness to upgrade every ten minutes is taken for evidence of the death of the personal computer, to be replaced by an infinite parade of ever-larger iPhones. So I for one am glad to hear that it's only Windows that's dying.
posted by sfenders at 5:25 PM on January 31, 2017


I just wanted to say that after these past few weeks, reading an old fashioned OS flamewar thread has been delightfully calming. It's somehow reassuring to know that a few years from now, as we sit around the campfire roasting our own young, we'll still be complaining about Windows.
posted by phooky at 5:30 PM on January 31, 2017 [40 favorites]


I don't mind using Windows 10. I do, however, mind updating Windows 10, and installed GPO on my main computer to make it quit. Said computer was a Windows 7 machine that shipped with Windows 10 installed, but all future Windows 10 updates have whacked its sound card. None of the suggested fixes from Microsoft--which knows that this is a problem--work. Strangely, I am unenthusiastic about a product that partly disables my hardware.
posted by thomas j wise at 5:32 PM on January 31, 2017 [2 favorites]


A lot of the software I use (music production and audio processing) is Windows/Mac only but I switched to Ubuntu and after some minor set-up and compatibility struggles I found a superior work flow on there, in the end.

This is really relevant to my interests. Basically the primary things I use OS X (and sometimes Windows in work contexts) for are media production. Adobe's apps and audio production.

Apple's recent history has me convinced they're unable to keep OS X/macOS a quality product when it comes to stability. I've spent enough time wrestling with bugs and performance and configuration issues with various hardware and software over the last two years that I'm convinced the former ethic of "it just works" is no longer a thing at Apple (or, I don't know, maybe they just can't do it anymore). And it sure seems likely enough that someday they will enthusiastically take the iOSification of it farther than they can while keeping it useful to people to whom OS X has been useful and call them acceptable collateral damage.

I've been a sometimes Windows user enough that I've considered going there as a refugee -- and my next laptop purchase will be a PC rather than a Mac (first time in almost 20 years) -- but while I can get along with Windows, I don't love it.

And some Linux distributions sure have gotten reasonably nice if what you're looking for is the desktop. The problem is that I need some good tools for screen design & image manipulation. And I love Reason (and think Ableton Live and I might get along real well).

Not sure what my options are in the open source side of things, but if I can find some apps there that do what I want, I'm happy to try getting off the Microsoft and Apple experience trainwreck entirely.
posted by wildblueyonder at 5:35 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


Man, a surprising amount of hate in here.

For what it's worth, I'm typing this into a Surface Book that I'm pretty happy with right now. Win10 feels a little raw and unfinished in places, but it's still pretty great, a significant improvement over Win7. I've got longer thoughts on my migration from an increasingly-not-meant-for-me OSX here, and it's not a uniformly perfect experience for sure (self-link, sorry) but my goodness, it's a hell of an improvement.

There's some perplexing stuff in here, for sure - some of the default settings are baffling, and it's strange how unfinished it feels in places. They really, really want you to accept the OS-as-networked-smart-utility defaults, but you can work around and disable that stuff if you don't like it. For what it's worth, though, if you turn on the Unix subsystem you get almost everything you want from a modern Unix terminal without having to put up with the indignities of the modern Linux user experience.

FYI, all of you should definitely not be doing this "I'm disabling all the automatic updates" nonsense some of the people in this thread are advocating. Mean time between "this is a theoretical vulnerability" and "this has been weaponized, automated and deployed in the wild" is measured in a small number of hours now, not days or weeks. If your machine wants to reboot you should let it do that at your earliest possible convenience.
posted by mhoye at 5:35 PM on January 31, 2017 [10 favorites]




I'm fine with Windows 10. I'd like it to be more different from Windows 7, not less. There are currently two different Control Panel/Settings interfaces right now and I'm never sure if what I want to mess with is under the new one or the older one.

The forced updates and reboots were a bad implementation of a needed function. People talk about old XP and Vista boxes out there that are botnets waiting to happen, but there's also many, many 7 and 8 machines that have never been updated or patched at all. The OS needs to mandate patching. They were too heavy handed with the implementation and the next major update is going to make this more flexible.

Lots of people are complaining about it pushing ads (is this a Home edition thing? I've never seen one on my box) but it's where the industry is head. Couple that with all the people out there bragging about never ever upgrading their OS. MS is just trying to wring something out of you while you wait for Windows 20.
posted by thecjm at 5:40 PM on January 31, 2017


I think people underestimate the importance of the time which people are willing to spend learning about a new operating system. It's a fairly large extent the first time, because novelty is delightful and people tend to have fewer claims on their time the younger they are. After that, they aren't willing to do anything that requires them to re-learn something they already have mastered enough.

I was willing to spend time learning Windows, configuring it, etc. Now, not so much. Installing a new version will require me to spend time on that, instead of more productive activities.
posted by amtho at 5:43 PM on January 31, 2017 [2 favorites]


MAC OS CLASSIC FOR LIFE, MOTHERBOARD FUCKERS!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:45 PM on January 31, 2017 [5 favorites]


I suspect that the ads may be related to all of the unwanted software that you get preinstalled on cheap computers that subsidizes the prices and keeps them artificially inexpensive. I have a clean install of some version of Windows 10 Pro in a VM that I use when, y'know, absolutely necessary for work (how can they STILL not have figured out HiDPI? Why is text rendering in Excel so aggressively bad?) but this is almost certainly an edge case.
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:47 PM on January 31, 2017


Updated from Windows 7 to Windows 10 on a 3- or 4-year-old computer. I did a clean install on a new SSD that I'd picked up, after finding instructions online on how to download the appropriate files onto a flash drive.

It was a fast install, went smoothly, and I've had no issues. *shrug* I liked Windows 7, and really didn't like Windows 8, which came installed on an ultrabook I'd purchased for school. I used the ultrabook often enough to have an informed opinion, I suppose, but it did help to know what to expect when I upgraded to 10, and I also appreciated having a much more familiar-feeling start menu back.

I like Windows 10. It was a trouble-free installation and continues to be trouble-free. I have a Macbook Pro for work and I fucking hate it. I'm due for a new one soon (my employer strives to refresh everyone's laptops on a 3-year cycle) and the reviews for the latest version do not fill me with confidence that my next work machine won't also be a complete piece of shit. (The OS is tolerable, but the idiosyncrasies of the software combined with the poorly designed hardware really pisses me off, especially in contrast to their expensive price point and smug-as-fuck advertising.)
posted by Autumnheart at 5:48 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


Windows 10 is vastly more secure than 7/8. Install it, keep it updated. God save you if you still have XP.
posted by anti social order at 5:51 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't have upgraded an existing machine to it, but I was buying a new computer and 7 wasn't an option.

Aside from the updating-whenever-the-fuck-it-wants bullshit, it's fine after you turn a bunch of junk off? Not really that appreciably different than 7.
posted by juv3nal at 5:53 PM on January 31, 2017


I have Windows 10 on three machines and it's mostly ok. Every so often Cortana will remind me that Microsoft Edge is faster than Chrome and I'm like ahahahaha o cortana no.
posted by um at 5:53 PM on January 31, 2017 [3 favorites]


I suspect that the ads may be related to all of the unwanted software that you get preinstalled on cheap computers that subsidizes the prices and keeps them artificially inexpensive.

It's 100% worth your time to seek out the "Signature Edition" computers Microsoft sells, that are basically "Windows without OEM crapware preinstalled."
posted by mhoye at 5:55 PM on January 31, 2017 [2 favorites]


Lots of people are complaining about it pushing ads but it's where the industry is head[ing].

If the industry jumped off a bridge head-first into a cesspool, would you jump too?
posted by sfenders at 5:55 PM on January 31, 2017 [7 favorites]


I just wanted to say that after these past few weeks, reading an old fashioned OS flamewar thread has been delightfully calming. It's somehow reassuring to know that a few years from now, as we sit around the campfire roasting our own young, we'll still be complaining about Windows.

Ah, the good old days.

Here's the whole thing.
posted by lagomorphius at 6:02 PM on January 31, 2017 [5 favorites]


Win 10 has some nice improvements, like virtual desktops, and the ability to install a full ubuntu distribution and run native linux code in windows.

The latter is actually pretty useful, since you can get linux software like imagemagick, ffmpeg, and latex through a real package manager without having to deal with cygwin or macports/homebrew or the performance penalty of a VM. And you can nuke and reset the linux installation with two commands if you break anything too badly.

Every so often Cortana will remind me that Microsoft Edge is faster than Chrome and I'm like ahahahaha o cortana no.

Yeah Edge is so bad.
posted by Pyry at 6:03 PM on January 31, 2017 [3 favorites]


I just switched from five years on Macs back to Windows. And Windows 10 seems just fine. There's some rough edges, like the way 80% of user settings are in Windows 10 but you still need to launch the Windows 7 Control Panel occasionally. And if I were using the Start menu tiles and Cortana the adware crap would make me angry enough to figure out how to disable it. But for what I'm doing it's fine. If I may indulge a self-link, I recently wrote up some gripes about Windows 10. The one that continues to bug me the most is the font renderer is ugly.

Like Pyry says, this new Unix support from Microsoft is terrific. It's called Bash-on-Ubuntu-on-Windows, or Windows Services for Linux (WSL). It's really good. The main drawback is it's still missing some important features like support for network and removable filesystems. But they're getting work done on it fast and what's there is very solid. Also self-linking, I wrote up a post about Unix options for Windows recently.
posted by Nelson at 6:06 PM on January 31, 2017 [8 favorites]


Background: I have installed and admined DOS, Novell, NT, XP and Vista networks in both for-profit and nonprofit settings.

On a lark, I volunteered to be a beta tester for the unreleased Chrome OS in the fall of 2010. Before the end of the year a box from Google appeared at my door with a cryptic CR-48 computer in it. I spent the next 2.5 years swatting bugs and giving feedback. I have exclusively run Chrome OS for the past 5 years. I'll never go back. The last time I touched a Windows box was to create a bootable USB stick (ironically written in FreeDos) to erase the hard disk so it could be donated to GoodWill...
posted by jim in austin at 6:07 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


Oh man, that Leisuretown "QA Confidential" describes a certain chunk of my life reeeaaallll close to home...
posted by Cookiebastard at 6:11 PM on January 31, 2017


I have Windows 10 at home and it mostly works fine for me. I have a MacBook for work (I'd never pay for one) and it works fine but the user interface just drives me batty.
posted by octothorpe at 6:12 PM on January 31, 2017


Also went back to 7 - maybe I'm just dense, but even Ubuntu as a total n00b was less baffling to me.
posted by ryanshepard at 6:19 PM on January 31, 2017


I don't have any complaints about Win10, but computers are my job. Neither of these is true for my wife, who just wishes software would stop changing out from under her.

I'm indifferent to the UI changes. I'm not sure why MS doesn't just do the nice internal/security improvements (ASLR etc) but evolve the UI very slowly from here on out.
posted by Jpfed at 6:25 PM on January 31, 2017


If I have respect for my data, why the hell would I want to run Windows 10?

With ECC memory and a multi-drive array the ZFS file system allows for automated error correction on disk. And I can do over the network replication of my filesystem. And, if I make a mistake with a file the ZFS snapshot feature can let me restore an old version of the file. Snapshots allow for rollbacks if an upgrade is a problem.

Where is this kind of filesystem for Windows?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:29 PM on January 31, 2017 [3 favorites]


I have Win10 everywhere, work and home. I did a clean install on an SSD in an old tower to run as my media server, installed fine even for someone who's never done that sort of thing before. My laptop came with 8 and I upgraded to 10. I think I had a brief issue with display drivers, but since then no problem. My husband's laptop came with it, works fine. Cortana doesn't bother us about anything, because I shut her right off immediately. If I want to talk to a computer, that's what my phone is for.

The Enterprise version we have at work sometimes gets weird. The taskbar and start menu like to become inactive and unclickable--this seems to be something to due with the profiles at the enterprise level. I don't have to fix it so eh. Right now though our cheap as shit cart laptops at work are going bananas due to an upgrade. An upgrade that everyone else got too to no ill effect and so far it remains a mystery.

Professionally, Edge works way better than IE with the applications I support (like actually works at all rather than breaking everything upon contact) and a truly staggering number of people use the OS default browser so that at least makes my life easier.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:31 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


Maybe Win10 isn't for everyone? I used to think of myself as a power user, but eh, I can't be bothered nowadays. I disabled tracking and uninstalled some stuff just for the sake of it, but otherwise I've got nothing to complain about. I guess the start menu is dumb? But this was actually the first time I looked at it, and I only did because I was wondering why people were complaining about ads. Maybe this is the other, sadder way for a computer nerd to sell out: "oh I don't care if it's all fancy, I just need to get online anyway."
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 6:51 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


I thought Edge was supposed to be surprisingly good?
posted by Sebmojo at 6:52 PM on January 31, 2017


I guess I live in opposite world.

I'm a contented Windows 10 user at work. There really haven't been any issues with that OS.

I am in a pretty foul mood about the Mac hardware I have at home. The mid 2012 iMac died and needs a new logic board, which is of course difficult and expensive because they are not made to be easily serviced. Its hard drive was replaced a year ago after it bit the dust. The iPad mini Retina will hold its charge for all of 1/2 hour before going dark. And I have the iPhone 6s with the battery issue (which Apple will replace for free if I can get around to taking it in). So that's about $3,500 worth of hardware not 5 years old which is mostly crap now.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 6:54 PM on January 31, 2017 [3 favorites]


Man, I'm genuinely surprised. I have two computers running Windows 10, and I VASTLY prefer it to Windows 7 and XP.

I'm not surprised that different people react rather differently to particular interfaces and changes but I too vastly prefer it to Windows XP/7 and macOS. Love the start menu, love the search, love the stability. I upgraded 3 machines during the "free" year, 2 that were about 5 years old and one that was about 3 years old and had no issues.

Can't stand having to use older versions.
posted by juiceCake at 7:06 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


As a long-time Linux user (Slack, Fedora, Ubuntu, Mint, Knoppix, et al), I gotta say I don't understand all the hate for Win10. After disabling Cortana and the other bloatware on the cheap-ass laptop I use for basic shit, I've never had an issue. Hell, I've been using this machine as a desktop and I've had well over a month of up-time without having to reboot (*knocks on wood*).
posted by Token Meme at 7:08 PM on January 31, 2017


I moved back to Windows from Chrome OS mostly to be able to run Excel properly and do some video editing (webcasts).

But most everything else I do can be done in a browser. I'm not just talking about Google Docs and Gmail and so on, but WordPress and other CMS, MailChimp and other email newsletter tools, SocialFlow and other scheduling tools, Google Analytics, SalesForce...

I don't even notice W10.
posted by My Dad at 7:16 PM on January 31, 2017


Yeah, joining the chorus of Win10 appreciation. I went from 7 to 10 and its basically the same, a few things better a few worse but mostly I love it.

Certainly its worlds better than OSX (still with that stupid 1 menu bar at the top of my giant monitor, etc) or Linux (lol --- and don't get me wrong, I use Linux every day at work because thats where the tools I use are, and I know a lot about it, but UI-wise its still terrible).

Win10 and ChromeOS are my favorite interfaces depending on the task (Win10 for games, financial software, video/photo editing, etc and ChromeOS for sitting on the couch/plane/etc using web apps and reading MeFi/etc).
posted by thefoxgod at 7:22 PM on January 31, 2017


I'm in the Windows 10 is A-OK by me camp. Win 10 has been extremely stable while doing everything I want an OS to do. When I upgraded my 3 PCs and 1 tablet, nothing bricked while my installed software and peripherals continued to work. I took a few minutes to learn the lay of the land and then went on with my life.

My main PC (a highly specced 4 year old desktop which has seen plenty of upgrading since) has gone thru several OS updates - started with Win 7, then moved on to 8, 8.1 and now 10. I must either be lucky or good (well, probably lucky), as I haven't had any hiccups during the upgrade journey.

But I can understand why many haven't upgraded despite Microsoft's urging. To a normal person, upgrading your OS can be scary as Hell. So your typical user will ultimately upgrade when they buy a new PC, as has been the case since, well, forever.
posted by bawanaal at 7:28 PM on January 31, 2017


UI-wise its still terrible.

The linux UI is great. I particularly like /proc. Anyway it's not bad if you use E, but that's a whole other flame war.
posted by sfenders at 7:42 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


We have a couple windows 10 machines at home and I maintain two dozen or so win 7 systems at work as well as a couple xp remnants. We got rid of our last nt 4, Vista and 98 systems about a year ago.

I'm not at all nostalgic for xp. Win 7 is better in every way. W10 and w7 aren't hugely different, but 10 has a few less rough edges. I'm happy on either. W10 though feels a bit snappier and polished over all. Given the chance, I'd migrate the 7s to 10.
posted by bonehead at 7:45 PM on January 31, 2017


I moved from Windows XP, which I loved, to Windows 10 due to changing hardware, and it was a difficult transition for me. Prior to the Win XP system, I had regularly changed operating systems with little to no difficulty. My supposition is that I reacted badly to the vast OS changes between XP and 10, that had I also experienced 7 and 8, I would have adjusted more easily.

I originally hated 10, just hated it. Over the course of a month of casual work on the matter, I found out how to do what I needed to configure it more to my liking and to do the things I wanted to do with it. My eternal thanks go out to the generous folks on the internet that write informed articles that I can access and learn from. I have sort of an armed truce with it now, and it's a "meh" reaction any more rather than active hate.

The thing is, I remember it being much easier to make fairly robust changes in the configuration settings, to edit the registry, stuff like that. I haven't researched to internet to see how big a problem those sorts of jobs would be. Somehow, I guess it just doesn't matter to me so much anymore, but that makes me a little sad. I used to really enjoy digging into system configuration, optimizing the registry and such.

I have to say that interacting with the Win 10 system is just another chore and not the fun it used to be

Does Windows 10 still do the thing where it bugs you about switching to Edge if you use Chrome?

Mine periodically has a small popup alleging that Edge is faster than Chrome (which is not true by my observation; maybe I just go to weird sites). That's all I've seen as recently as Sunday past.
-----------
fuzz, thanks for the Classic Shell info; I'll look into it.
posted by Silverstone at 7:49 PM on January 31, 2017


Oh man, that Leisuretown "QA Confidential" describes a certain chunk of my life reeeaaallll close to home...

I used to have the frame of The Golden Rule stuck up in the corner of my monitor. I think it's about to get printed out again.
posted by lagomorphius at 7:51 PM on January 31, 2017


Weird that the Economist, which is famously byline-less, lets an author get in 4 paragraphs (maybe a third of the article) about his own personal experience and opinion.

I'll share mine--another vote for what's the problem? I've been on Windows 10 on a total of three different computers--two of them upgrades--for a while and have had essentially zero issues. Unless you have theoretical problems with the tracking* I simply can't picture why a Windows 7 user would be viscerally opposed to it. In an everyday sense it's essentially indistinguishable from 7, which I still use at work. I don't get the "ad bombardments" (unlike my expensive Android cell phone.)


*which I believe many MeFites do but don't apply to the standard Google, Facebook and iTunes using type.
posted by mark k at 8:06 PM on January 31, 2017


Apple all the way but for gaming the machine I rent is on Windows Server 2012 R2 (which I think is a branch of Windows 8 but I'm fuzzy on it).
posted by grobstein at 8:08 PM on January 31, 2017


Brand new pc for the office purchased at the Boxing Day sales: Spent two weeks getting the thing to work at all. It seems that as soon as I got the thing kind of up and going with a new user and password it then needed to do a Windows 10 update of everything that had been patched or upgraded since Windows 10 had been installed at the factory.

That was not unreasonable. However, since I haven't yet transferred stuff like contact lists from my old computer to the new computer I had the old computer attached to the internet with a phone cable and the new computer on the wireless connection it came with. It seems that during downloading the update it would disconnect or time out before it was complete and then it would only remember half of the new user I had set up. It would never let me create a new user or use the password, meaning I was completely locked out.

So I ended up trying to get some customer support via the phone, on the advice of the on-line Microsoft tech support, and after the usual struggle of getting through a voice recognition technology robot that can't make out an English accent, it sorted me into the business user tech support category and told me I needed to input credit card information as the tech support to speak to a live person would potentially cost $400!!!

So I ended up figuring out how to do a factory reset by hitting random function keys during the boot up process. I had to do two factory resets. I'm a frigging church secretary for pete's sake! I am the definition of your non-professional computer user who doesn't have any technical background or training and I had to enter two commands in DOS to just get the factory installed Windows 10 up and running.

I have only used Edge for one thing, to download Firefox. Once I had Firefox downloaded I entered that I wanted it to be my default browser. It then opened the window in settings that lets you choose your default apps. Under browsers the only option was Edge. It still doesn't seem to know that Firefox is on the machine because the only browser option offered to me in setting is Edge. I've been using Firefox for two weeks now and it has no idea its there. There is no browse option to find alternatives to Edge while I am in the choose default apps window.

The least of my problems with the new office computer operating system and GUI is that from time to time it decides a window is in my way and swooshes it off to the left, where I can just see the rim of it peeking coyly at me on the edge of my screen. I can't use the mouse to drag it. It seems to think I have a touch screen and can drag it back into view.

But basically the main reason I am not entirely on board with Windows 10 is that my home computer was given a non-consensual upgrade from an earlier version of Windows. I feel about non-consensual GUI's the way I feel about non-consensual spouses... When that happened the new computer I was planning on getting just receded into the future for a couple of years because now I am saving up to get an Apple. But on the other hand... even though I am totally non-technical, maybe I would be able to get a Linux box up and running. How much more difficult could it be??
posted by Jane the Brown at 8:13 PM on January 31, 2017 [2 favorites]


I find it odd that a lot of the people who like Win10 are saying how good it is after removing all the default software and settings and tweaking and etc. Seriously. A well-designed OS should work out of the box. You shouldn't have to spend hours tweaking it. The last few times I set up a new macOS system, it was boot, sign in, install a few apps, done. Zero to working in under an hour. Most of the tweaking I do is to programs, not the OS.

Why pay for an operating system that actively hates the user?
posted by caution live frogs at 8:24 PM on January 31, 2017 [10 favorites]


It took me less than an hour to set up Windows 10 to my liking. We also have a Mac (we need the damn thing to manage iTunes... awesome Apple innovation, eh?) and it's not an especially intuitive operating system.

I don't think Apple's so good with software or UI. It's all the same, really. The reason why Apple is often a superior experience is because the hardware. There's one device, and one operating system, instead of the mishmash of bits and pieces that make up the literally hundreds of different kinds of Windows PC's.

You never have to worry about a driver working on Mac OS (at least I don't think you do).

But Mac OS is intrusive in its own way. Having experienced all three (Mac, W10, Chrome) it's not superior to Windows 10.
posted by My Dad at 8:40 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


I find it odd that a lot of the people who like Win10 are saying how good it is after removing all the default software and settings and tweaking and etc. Seriously. A well-designed OS should work out of the box. You shouldn't have to spend hours tweaking it.

This line is pretty fuzzy, though. The first thing I do when getting a mac is install Homebrew, which is a program that only exists because of a dedicated OSS community. It’s pretty critical, and very much isn’t present out of the box. I also actively remove the default software that is Garageband and other Apple Multimedia tools (except Photo Booth, I guess) because I consider them bloatware that I'll never use. Meanwhile, people have been going into conniptions for years over how bad iTunes is. I’ve got no beefs with it, but that’s me.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:42 PM on January 31, 2017 [3 favorites]


I seriously think we'll all have our OS on write protected media soon, just like the days of the IBM PC, and you'll just make fresh copies of it when something goes wrong. We'll have copies of our data disk as well... except both will be USB thumbdrives or microSD cards.

Such a model of computing reduces risks.
posted by MikeWarot at 8:48 PM on January 31, 2017


I don't mind Windows 10, some things about it I actually really like, but now I'm at a spot where I can't actually perform the damn 1607 update because my little transformer tablet/laptop doesn't have enough internal storage and none of the options Windows provides for installing it from USB or SD card or the keyboard dock hard drive work, so... guess I'm stuck here for the moment. And now every time I start it up I get a lovely long sloooow load after logging in before anything's usable, with Windows constantly retrying the update in the background before failing and giving me the "Can't install updates, click here for useless solutions" message.

I mean it's great on my other machines, but it quickly went from way better than 8.1 (except for the sliver of internal storage it left me with) to total hot garbage for this little two-in-one when 1607 came down.

Also when the few people at work with Windows 10 machines try printing from a PDF in their browser (no matter how many times I walk them through using an external PDF viewer) it slows our printer to a ridiculous crawl with a complicated print job canceling process so that's super fun. Gotta love the guy who just needs that 80 page presentation printed right now at a page per minute.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:00 PM on January 31, 2017


I seriously think we'll all have our OS on write protected media soon

This is how ChromeOS works. Plus it's verified by a signature.
posted by GuyZero at 9:00 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


just like the days of the IBM PC

INSERT MICROSOFT WINDOWS 38 MEDIA ELEMENT #4 IN DRIVE A: AND PRESS ANY KEY TO CONTINUE
posted by sfenders at 9:03 PM on January 31, 2017


You shouldn't have to spend hours tweaking it.

You're not wrong, but that also wasn't my experience with win 10. I've spent maybe half an hour to forty minutes tops fiddling with it, spread out across 2 or 3 times where something bugs me, I google for where the setting is to fix it, and I toggle the setting?
posted by juv3nal at 9:08 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


The classic XKCD Development Environment.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:09 PM on January 31, 2017 [3 favorites]


While I'm most annoyed by driver issues (I cannot, for instance, adjust my monitor brightness and getting audio to finally work right wasn't exactly a walk in the park) what I think get to me the most is that its features feel so much less discoverable to me than various features/settings/etc in Windows 7 and earlier. I don't know how to tweak the things I want to tweak and I don't feel like I should have to trawl through articles and blog posts to see if those tweaks are even possible.

Similar issues exists with Mac OS (who, in any recent iteration of the OS, has managed to get their home folder icon in the Finder sidebar without searching for how to do so?) but I'm more forgiving of it because I've lived with it for longer, it's Unix under the hood, and I feel comfortable at the Unix command line. Windows is much more of a deliberately opaque black box, which is fine I suppose -- but if you're going to keep huge parts of the OS hidden from users, at least make its knobs and levers more discoverable. And I thought pre-8 versions of Windows did a decent job of that.

OTOH, I don't like fiddling with this kind of stuff like I used to, so maybe I'm just getting old. Perhaps younger me wouldn't have gotten frustrated as easily.

All that said, it's been decent otherwise.
posted by treepour at 9:24 PM on January 31, 2017


I moved over from Mac (which was really just a bit of tourism, it's mostly been PCs for me), and I'm fine with Windows 10? It's really fine. Junked the bloatware, said no to Cortana. I find it does just work. (On an HP. I tried an Acer - twice, there was a return - there was one annoyance after another. Support person said something like the Acer had drivers that were competing/conflicting with Windows 10? Not sure. The HP runs smoothly.) Dislike software subscription, definitely, though - if it's still possible to buy a package, I might do that. I think you do need to use a Microsoft account for things to work properly (e.g. Outlook, etc).

I'm sort of curious about Linux, but not enough to bother with it. Basically, expressing that thought was the extent of it.
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:04 PM on January 31, 2017


who, in any recent iteration of the OS, has managed to get their home folder icon in the Finder sidebar without searching for how to do so?
I just checked to make sure, and dragging the folder to the sidebar still works just as well as ever. Am I missing something?
posted by DoctorFedora at 10:38 PM on January 31, 2017


The people I know who have upgraded from 7 to 10 like it. Not on day one, of course, because there were so many purpose-built bugs to swat, but eventually.

When MS started insisting that people download 10, I kept batting that notice away. I'm not an early adopter; I prefer other people ruin their machines and get things well and truly settled first. A couple of months into this annoyance, I see that letting 10 onto my particular computer will, in point of fact, brick it. Does MS care? Fuck, no, they don't. Luckily, I found a freeware program that prevented the automatic installation of 10.

Windows 10 (the eternal) will be waiting for me when I am finally forced to get a new computer. (I have software I need that won't work in anything but Windows and never will.) I'm not looking forward to all the time I'll have to spend to get the thing to work for me rather than for MS and its business associates -- a thought well expressed above by caution live frogs.
posted by bryon at 11:12 PM on January 31, 2017 [1 favorite]


I find it odd that a lot of the people who like Win10 are saying how good it is after removing all the default software and settings and tweaking and etc. Seriously.
What's even more astonishing to me is that there are people (like the writer of the article) who can have an OS brick one of their devices, destroying a physical thing! that they own! that cost them money! and they still go crawling back for more.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 11:13 PM on January 31, 2017 [2 favorites]


who can have an OS brick one of their devices, destroying a physical thing!

The OS didn't brick the author's device, it just broke the touchscreen driver. If there is no way at all to recover from broken drivers on that machine (a situation which I am skeptical of), then that is the hardware's fault. Even on the Android tablets I've owned, if you somehow managed to completely destroy the OS you could still boot them into recovery mode, tether them by USB to a computer, and upload a new OS image.
posted by Pyry at 11:55 PM on January 31, 2017 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I've been using Windows 10 at work for about a year and like it.

(I'll see myself out...)
posted by Joseph Gurl at 12:07 AM on February 1, 2017


I like Windows 10.

But the drivers...

I have a Win10 laptop that was *specifically designed* for Win10, and it's pretty hinky. (HP Spectre x360).

I don't mind for work. There's great stuff in Win10, and I look forward to the upgrade. My entire career is based of knowing the Windows stack better than most.

My home desktop PC, it took me *years* to get the right mix of hardware and drivers and software to be able to do something that frankly any new PC should do effortlessly--just record a single stupid show off an HD antenna and compress the files. The same software won't run on Win10, despite being manufactured by Microsoft, and there's no Win10 drivers for my 5+ year old capture cards. I will fight tooth and nail to prevent that box from upgrading to Win10 (and have already!).
posted by habeebtc at 12:18 AM on February 1, 2017


My first problem with 10: There are new tablet-y versions of many of the apps, with new features, but they are often incomplete or ridiculously dumbed-down.

For example, to completely set up the new Backup and Restore, you need to use both the new Settings app and the old Control Panel. Or, you can import photos with the new Photos app, but the import process is not configurable unless you use the old photo import wizard.

Second problem: updates and reboots are ridiculous. I've had my computer wake from sleep just to reboot itself. And then of course not go back to sleep. After the updates were already installed, and I had already rebooted manually. And you have to use the new dumbed down updates in Settings; there is no Windows Update to fall back on.

With Windows 10, Microsoft wanted to seamlessly blend the tablet experience with the Windows desktop experience, and instead ended up with a mess. I wish I had stayed with Windows 7.

My other computers are macs, and while they have their own issues, the experience is far superior. It wasn't always like this, but certainly in the last 5 years they've gotten so many things right that Microsoft has neglected. For example, if you reboot a mac (post 10.7 or so), everything comes back how you left it. So you never really hesitate to reboot if you need to.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:25 AM on February 1, 2017 [1 favorite]


I have a number of pieces of hardware that I can still run only because they have functioning Linux drivers written by the community of developers. The manufacturers stopped updating their Windows drivers years ago, I suspect at least partially in the hope that Windows OS upgrades would force people to buy new versions of their hardware.
posted by pharm at 12:34 AM on February 1, 2017 [2 favorites]


The real problem is Windows updates always require restarts, while Unix updates very, very rarely do.
posted by kersplunk at 2:02 AM on February 1, 2017 [2 favorites]


There's also that, whilst scrambling for a business model for the era after the lucrative Windows/Office monopoly, Microsoft looked at what Google and Facebook were doing and bet on surveillance capitalism and a watering down of user consent. New versions of Windows track users' behaviours and link them to their Microsoft IDs, where they can be monetised, filling in some of the financial hole that the loss of Microsoft's 1990s-era monopoly has left.
posted by acb at 3:29 AM on February 1, 2017 [1 favorite]


If you're thinking of adopting Windows 10, I'd recommend obtaining the Windows 10 Enterprise Long Term Service Branch. No Cortana, no Windows Store, no tiles in the start menu at all by default. It runs well, and has about 90% of the crap removed.

I mean, for me it runs just fine in a VM, because I'd actually heavily recommend Linux. You might be a gamer, though.
posted by jaduncan at 3:58 AM on February 1, 2017 [2 favorites]


Oh, and the EULA for Windows now says this:

"We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to protect our customers or enforce the terms governing the use of the services."

That implies an impressive level of ability to peek.
posted by jaduncan at 4:18 AM on February 1, 2017 [4 favorites]


jaduncan: Microsoft have changed that wording because of complaints. Apparently, they only meant that to apply to the use the online services Outlook.com and OneDrive, not the whole operating system.

Their new reworded privacy policy is here: https://privacy.microsoft.com/en-us/privacystatement

I'm conflicted about the telemetry in Windows 10. I have material on my work machines that has to be protected for commercial reasons, and I'm worried that even after turning the settings down to minimum, the telemetry could still be disclosing stuff to Microsoft. On the other hand, there have been so many bug fixes and minor feature updates that have obviously been inspired by the telemetry that Windows 10 is probably better for it. That new volume control with the drop down box for selecting an audio output fixed a problem that I never knew I had, and was obviously inspired by the telemetry of lots of people like me having to labouriously open the sound control panel every time.
posted by Eleven at 5:13 AM on February 1, 2017 [1 favorite]


The telemetry wouldn't bother me if there was an option to turn it off. And an option to see exactly what's in it. iOS gives me both of those options. I suppose I'll finally have to migrate to Education or Enterprise in order to get the off switch.
posted by honestcoyote at 5:27 AM on February 1, 2017 [2 favorites]


“...Macintosh and Linux have never looked attractive.”

FTFY.
posted by Foosnark at 5:33 AM on February 1, 2017 [1 favorite]


I have to admit I'm in the pro-Win10 camp. I've used it since the early insider previews, though for a time I had an older laptop I got from my sister that crashed a little less under Linux than under any version of Windows.

One thing I have done is installed Stadock's Start10, which gives it a Win7-like interface (Classic Shell does the same thing for free). I run it now on a laptop that was Windows 8.1-native, and it works like a champ.

I should also admit I use my iPad much more than my laptop...
posted by lhauser at 5:53 AM on February 1, 2017


I've told this story before, but I had been a Linux on the desktop user for about 10 years before falling back into the Windows fold in 2012 when I bought a new computer and found the preinstalled Windows 7 to be a much better experience than I remembered Windows being. So for several years, I used Windows as my primary OS. And then Windows 10 launched and the "Upgrade to Windows 10 for free!" popups started literally crashing my computer.

I reinstalled Ubuntu and never looked back. And I bought a new laptop last year that came with Windows 10 pre-installed. Literally the first thing I did after taking it out of the box was install Ubuntu.

I remember when "Linux is ready for the desktop" was a running joke, but these days I can't think of a single reason for any user anyway on the tech-aptitude spectrum to use Windows over Linux unless there is a Windows-only program you desperately need that doesn't run under emulation. Speaking of which, every single Windows program and game I used to use seems to run perfectly under WINE without needing to configure anything. Most of them even run with better performance under WINE than they did natively on Windows.
posted by 256 at 5:55 AM on February 1, 2017 [8 favorites]


I still think about XP. Not every day, but you know how it is. I was in my twenties: rootless, restless, always with an eye on the next chance. It was a long time ago (but on balance it was probably my fault how it ended). I'd like to know how it's doing, but it doesn't seem to do Facebook. I know there's no such thing as "the one". But still.
posted by Zeinab Badawi's Twenty Hotels at 7:30 AM on February 1, 2017 [2 favorites]


There is some actual tin-foil hat level comments going on in this thread - Microsoft is not using windows 10 telemetry to steal your content or watch your web browsing. Nothing you own could possibly be worth the risk to their global business that the impact of being malicious would mean. It's a useful security feature among other things, leave it on.

jaduncan - think law enforcement and regulatory requirements, harassment response, not Bill Gates snooping in your email.

>I can't think of a single reason for any user anyway on the tech-aptitude spectrum to use Windows over Linux

Windows 10 can integrate easily with UEFI security features like secureboot and the TPM for full disk encryption out of the box. And bitlocker is probably the best FDE out there.


Bottom line for non-technical people still with us: Windows 10 is good. Use it. Keep it updated. If it wants to reboot, let it. Don't run strange scripts or programs to disable things.
posted by anti social order at 7:31 AM on February 1, 2017 [1 favorite]


I have Windows 10 on our two PCs and my laptop. All are four years +. I have no problems using it but for one. On my refurbed Dell Inspirion the damn CPU spikes to 100% without warning or any discernible pattern. I've tried every solution known to man and AskMeFi. Nothing works.

It sucks but considering the way Apple updates are equally cruel to my iPhone 4s and my iPad 4, I've got no grudge against Micro$oft other than the annual $100 for the privilege of licensing Office 365.

There's still no software on this green earth that is as wretched and bloated as iTunes for PCs. That piece of shit needs to burned on the same fire we're going to be using for Steve Bannon.
posted by Ber at 8:01 AM on February 1, 2017


There is some actual tin-foil hat level comments going on in this thread

I haven't seen any tin foil on display. But having Windows regularly phone home does make me uncomfortable, even though I realize there's probably nothing nefarious going on. It bothers me there's no easy option for disabling it on Pro, when Education and Enterprise get that privilege. Or even on my iPhone which has an easy off button for it and the ability to see exactly what is being sent back to the mothership.

It doesn't seem unreasonable in the slightest to want to know the contents of what is being sent, and having it ask for permission. Older versions of Microsoft projects gave the option, and would ask if I wanted to send crash reports in. Being a mostly reasonable person, I'd almost always say yes but was happy to be asked.
posted by honestcoyote at 8:20 AM on February 1, 2017 [1 favorite]


The real problem is Windows updates always require restarts, while Unix updates very, very rarely do.

That's one of the reasons I gave up on MacOS. Starting about a year ago every single security update required a reboot. Not just the kernel, I get that. But even Safari fixes were requiring reboots. I don't even use Safari, but apparently it's now wound so deep into the OS they can't fix their bugs in it without a reboot. Ugh.
posted by Nelson at 8:30 AM on February 1, 2017 [1 favorite]


With ECC memory and a multi-drive array the ZFS file system allows for automated error correction on disk. And I can do over the network replication of my filesystem. And, if I make a mistake with a file the ZFS snapshot feature can let me restore an old version of the file. Snapshots allow for rollbacks if an upgrade is a problem.

With respect, you are an outlier of an outlier. It's fine if your needs make an OS unworkable for you, but maybe let's pull back a bit in this thread from the very hardcore-user-centric gnashing of teeth about Windows.

Windows 10: it's basically fine, seriously. If you don't know enough about computers to be sure you don't want it, you will be fine with it. Even if you do, it's fine for gaming and shit.
posted by tocts at 8:36 AM on February 1, 2017


I am using the HP Spectre x360 with Win10 as I type this and I find it to be a pretty enjoyable experience. It is a corporate machine connected to corporate infrastructure so it is not subject to sudden reboots of the Home edition which is my only real complaint about Win10.

Someone upstream suggested that Edge was a good browser. There may be some benchmarks where Edge wins but it totally fails as an end user product. It is aggressively awful. It maybe ok for my 75 year old parents where less features is often the right call but for anyone that knows what they are doing, Edge is a non-starter.
posted by mmascolino at 8:37 AM on February 1, 2017 [1 favorite]


Also when the few people at work with Windows 10 machines try printing from a PDF in their browser (no matter how many times I walk them through using an external PDF viewer) it slows our printer to a ridiculous crawl with a complicated print job canceling process so that's super fun. Gotta love the guy who just needs that 80 page presentation printed right now at a page per minute.

You've encountered Windows 10's crappy WSD (Web Services for Devices) printing system. It will substitute this nonsense as the port for whatever it is you actually need (like TCP/IP) with the results you see. Unfortunately I'm at a computer where I've already fixed it and deleted it or I'd tell you more. Just Google around - it's a fixable problem. And yet a problem that should not be a problem.
posted by lagomorphius at 8:43 AM on February 1, 2017 [3 favorites]


(As background, I do IT support in a university department, so it's a pseudo-business environment.)

Personally, for the most part, I've been pretty satisfied with windows 10. A number of my users aren't necessarily hugely thrilled, but about 90% of that is just having to get used to things being in slightly different locations. I've run into a couple of problems that can bite you if you happen to hit them, but that's true on really any OS these days.

From a business standpoint, I'm not surprised that they're not upgrading en masse to windows 10. There's just not really any compelling reason to do it. Windows 7 worked fine (and trust me, most businesses aren't using 8). For us, we are going with 10 as older machines get replaced with new ones, but there's no plans on pushing out 10 to existing systems unless we have some other reason that they need to be reformatted. A lot of the reason that we're doing 10 now is that we'd expect most of these newer machines to last at least 5 years, and the windows 7 end of life is Jan 14, 2020. The more we attrition off of windows 7 before that date, the easier my life will be then. (And I fully expect our university will do the same thing with windows 7 that it did with windows xp when microsoft stopped releasing updates for xp - stop allowing xp machines to have access to the network.) The xp retirement was not a pleasant experience, and the less I have to deal with that in the future, the happier I am. (For that matter, I've got a list of the dates of a lot of OS eol life dates that I keep in a prime location so we can really stay ahead of that in teh future.)

Now, you want an OS with problems? Mac OS Sierra. That causes a disproportionate amount of grief compared to the number of people we have using it. The situation with MS Office and Sierra is still a mess (and how long has it been since Sierra came out? c'mon Apple and MS, get your acts together). We also have a number of other applications that people routinely have problems with in Sierra.
posted by piper28 at 8:44 AM on February 1, 2017 [1 favorite]


I think the biggest issue with Windows 10 is the enforced updates.

THIS. You can't leave a program open 24/7 for, say, reading web pages or jotting down ideas, because Windows might have decided to reboot your machine and kill all tasks without telling you! 𝓗𝓐𝓣𝓔

Some time ago I noticed the processor (both cores!) was slammed 100% and stayed that way for a long while. I checked Task Manager -- it was Windows Telemetry, which had opened like 20 processes! I killed them all and disabled it, but I shouldn't have to do that. 𝓗𝓐𝓣𝓔

Just now I tried running Windows Defender Offline to scan a friend's laptop for malware but couldn't boot to it because of UEFI. How interesting, a feature intended to guard against malware made it impossible to boot to Microsoft's own offline malware scanner ha ha ha 𝓗𝓐𝓣𝓔!!!

Compared to Windows 8, Windows 10 is great, but ONLY compared to Windows 10. I was happy with it at first but the cumulative problems have soured it on me a lot. It's like Microsoft can't do anything without either outright copying Apple or including some magic piece of SUCK to ruin the experience. They got the user interface more-or-less right with Windows 95, simple, flexible, powerful and discoverable. But no, they keep trying to chase trends instead of being reliable and easy to use, and now it seems like have the settings (split unintuitively now between two different places, Settings and Contron Panel!) can't be simply found, but Microsoft's own support directs you to enter a term into an OS search box to find! This wins my personal award for LEAST HELPFUL OPERATING SYSTEM FEATURE EVER. Expose your damn settings to the user grarragh 𝓗𝓐𝓣𝓔𝓗𝓐𝓣𝓔𝓗𝓐𝓣𝓔𝓗𝓐𝓣𝓔𝓗𝓐𝓣𝓔!!!!!
posted by JHarris at 8:49 AM on February 1, 2017 [9 favorites]


>It doesn't seem unreasonable in the slightest to want to know the contents of what is being sent, and having it ask for permission.

Which would be why Microsoft publishes technical articles describing telemetry settings, the contents of what is being sent, and detailed checklists on how to disable them if you still don't want to send that data. Yet many posters here act like it's some dark secret big-brother spyware. Seeing that is especially cringe inducing when people are using it as justification to stay with the far less secure Win8/7.

>With ECC memory and a multi-drive array the ZFS file system allows for automated error correction on disk. And I can do over the network replication of my filesystem. And, if I make a mistake with a file the ZFS snapshot feature can let me restore an old version of the file. Snapshots allow for rollbacks if an upgrade is a problem.

For MS that's server OS features - ReFS in Win2016 - so you will have to shell out for that license level.

> the damn CPU spikes to 100% without warning or any discernible pattern


without turning this into another askmefi - you can use process explorer to find out what process is causing the spikes. There are other tools once you've narrowed down the rogue process.
posted by anti social order at 8:58 AM on February 1, 2017 [3 favorites]


Also:

My first problem with 10: There are new tablet-y versions of many of the apps, with new features, but they are often incomplete or ridiculously dumbed-down.

Yes! Even plain ol' Solitaire and Freecell are only available in ad-supported versions because someone at Microsoft figured they'd monetize the basic UI learning games that come with the OS! 𝐅𝐔𝐂𝐊 𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐌
posted by JHarris at 8:58 AM on February 1, 2017 [5 favorites]


Okay, one MORE thing: After disabling Cortana and the other bloatware on the cheap-ass laptop I use for basic shit, I've never had an issue.

Ha ha yes and that isn't hard to do or anything in Win10.1 is it ARRRHAGAHHGHH
posted by JHarris at 9:01 AM on February 1, 2017 [3 favorites]


I just wish Windows would go back to letting the user control what the desktop looks like instead of "Here is what the designer says you get." If I want my window titles in a ridiculous gothic font and my system font to be one of those horrific messy handwriting fonts and my mouse pointer to be an animated barking dog that shoots bees from its mouth, I might be a philistine and disgusting ingrate but goddammit that should be my fucking right as an Americna.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:03 AM on February 1, 2017 [10 favorites]


God this thread fills me up so much with the hardcore furyrage. Rarely have I seen so much WRONG on the internet, with the belittling of serious user gripes. I'm going to have to step away for my mental, and cardiac, health.

Which would be why Microsoft publishes technical articles describing telemetry settings, the contents of what is being sent, and detailed checklists on how to disable them if you still don't want to send that data. Yet many posters here act like it's some dark secret big-brother spyware.

Like Aunt Agatha is going to search Microsoft's knowledge base! If you have to read a technical article to figure out why your OS by default slams your processor when you're trying to use it (which was MY problem with Windows Telemetry), then something is seriously amiss!
posted by JHarris at 9:06 AM on February 1, 2017 [4 favorites]


>>I think the biggest issue with Windows 10 is the enforced updates.
>THIS. You can't leave a program open 24/7


The biggest danger to the public internet and your own information security is unpatched systems. Remember when IoT cameras were able to offline huge chunks of the internet a few months back? Same thing if a new exploit spreads. And people have shown time and time again that they can't be trusted to patch on their own. This is why browsers and secure games update every time they open and if they have a critical update you get booted until you get patched. TL;DR - humans can't be trusted to take their medicine.

I swear this thread. it's like a car enthusiast thread where people are swapping tips on how to remove airbags and disable antilock brakes.
posted by anti social order at 9:08 AM on February 1, 2017 [4 favorites]


The biggest danger to the public internet and your own information security is unpatched systems.

I don't dispute that, but this is no reason to usurp control from a user over what his damn machine does and when it does it! there there now easy And IoT devices are a much more serious issue there than Windows 10 is anyway.

If normal users can't be trusted, then let KNOWLEDGEABLE users control that switch. Like me! It's not like most people will even think to change a default setting after all. As it is, I can't leave Scrivener open overnight with unsaved data in it because Windows might decide it's not fucking Active Hours. If your system prevents people from using their machines how they want, then your system is broken.
posted by JHarris at 9:15 AM on February 1, 2017 [6 favorites]


It's more like if cars had to update the brakes and airbags frequently, and would stop the car in the middle of the road abruptly in order to do so. And you're never sure how long the stoppage will last. With a vague worry that the car won't be driveable again after the update since your car company fired most of its QA, and other people with similar cars complain about how the post-update steering wheel no longer lets them turn right.

Which would be why Microsoft publishes technical articles describing telemetry settings, the contents of what is being sent, and detailed checklists on how to disable them

I've read that article before. Still doesn't address why I can't see what my actual machine is sending out. There's no excuse for keeping that encrypted from end users. On iOS, you can hit Privacy->Diagnostics & Usage and see the raw diagnostics data for yourself. And I know the settings for disabling Telemetry, though Group Policy Editor will helpfully warn you that a value of "0" doesn't actually apply to Windows Pro. Your article seemed to only apply to Enterprise settings.
posted by honestcoyote at 9:19 AM on February 1, 2017 [5 favorites]


piper28: "The situation with MS Office and Sierra is still a mess"

Updated to Sierra on day 1. Have been running Office 2016 for ... maybe a year now? Quite a while, at least. The only real issue I have seen is that the built in auto-updater won't update apps that haven't been launched, which is only a problem if you don't want to manually download and run the updater when doing a fresh install from older media (original release didn't have full 64-bit software, and installing this on recent macOS Sierra builds cause PowerPoint at least to fail to launch until the 64-bit update is applied).

There were issues with the original 2016 release but those were pretty quickly fixed. What "mess" are you still dealing with?
posted by caution live frogs at 9:28 AM on February 1, 2017


I just wish Windows would go back to letting the user control what the desktop looks like instead of "Here is what the designer says you get." If I want my window titles in a ridiculous gothic font and my system font to be one of those horrific messy handwriting fonts and my mouse pointer to be an animated barking dog that shoots bees from its mouth, I might be a philistine and disgusting ingrate but goddammit that should be my fucking right as an Americna.

I once worked on somebody's Windows machine where they had changed all the default program icons to icons they had downloaded from all over the place. But the substituted icons were in some strange way kind of like the original icons so it wasn't that hard to follow and I couldn't stop giggling. The only one I can remember now was that the yellow file folder file manager icon was turned into Big Bird.

Does anybody remember PIF files?
posted by lagomorphius at 9:35 AM on February 1, 2017 [2 favorites]


I refuse to use Explorer or Edge, so using Cortana to search (BING) for things is not an option for me. But, as an assistant AI that can answer general questions, provide me with weather forecasts, convert units of measurement, etc. I love Cortana. I must be in the minority. She's pretty useful when it comes to information that I just want but am too lazy to google or wiki.

If only Cortana would allow search results to show up in Google Chrome. I'd be a happy person. But, sadly that doesn't seem to be an option.
posted by Fizz at 9:38 AM on February 1, 2017 [2 favorites]


telemetry settings, the contents of what is being sent, and detailed checklists on how to disable them

It's so quick and easy to do things the Microsoft way if you have an Enterprise or Server version, where it is apparently possible to set telemetry to "security" mode, not fully disable it. All you have to do is "Apply the Group Policy: Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Data Collection And Preview Builds\Allow Telemetry". Just one of the hundreds of easy steps you'll be following to set up your new Windows system.

I guess the easiest method for non-Enterprise users must be to figure out which IP addresses it uses and block them at the firewall, which means you do lose whatever good it does for security, but I'm guessing that is not much on an individual level.

Immediately-installed updates are no panacea for security either. There are still 0-days out there, in surprising quantity after so many years of everyone worrying about security. There is little benefit in forcing updates on people at awkward times. The typical user will shut down the computer at the end of the day or at least occasionally, do the updates when that happens unless it's been more than a week.
posted by sfenders at 10:00 AM on February 1, 2017 [2 favorites]


Does anybody remember PIF files?

Does any remember when Windows only supported a tiling layout and there were no overlapping windows?

Anyone remember when Windows was available as an SDK that you could compile into your app?

Anyone remember shuffling a stack floppies just to get a basic app installed?

Good times.
posted by GuyZero at 10:36 AM on February 1, 2017 [6 favorites]


Does any remember when Windows only supported a tiling layout and there were no overlapping windows?

Yes. I ran Windows 1.0. I've been along for the whole ride.

I used to have some stuff I drew with the mouse in the original Windows Paint program.
posted by lagomorphius at 10:43 AM on February 1, 2017 [2 favorites]


Yes. I ran Windows 1.0. I've been along for the whole ride.

Windows for Workgroups?
posted by thelonius at 11:18 AM on February 1, 2017


Yes. I ran Windows 1.0. I've been along for the whole ride.

Windows for Workgroups?


Now I'm bemused. Also old.

Windows 1.0 on a brand-new PC AT at NBC in 1985. For all I know I might have been one of the first corporate users. Although we didn't do much with it. It was mostly all about Harvard Project Manager, which wasn't a Windows program.

I vaguely recall the whole reason for Windows 1.0 was to act as a shell for Microsoft Excel, which up until that point was a Mac-only program.
posted by lagomorphius at 11:49 AM on February 1, 2017 [2 favorites]


I have seen pretty much the whole developement of the PC.
I was working with computers in 1967 during my school holidays and took a college course in electronic engineering with the intention of working with computers, which I have done ever since. mostly in high tech industries and banks.
posted by Burn_IT at 1:06 PM on February 1, 2017 [1 favorite]


Win10 is the first Windows I've ever had on a machine I've owned; I've been a Mac girl since giving up my old Amiga. But Apple refuses to make a tablet that will run OSX apps, so here I am with a Wacom Mobile Studio set up to run pretty much nothing but Adobe Illustrator and some stuff to support that. I started with a Surface 4 which I liked better in every way except for the thing where Illustrator wouldn't talk to its pen properly.

I keep it mostly in Tablet mode. With a full-screen start menu. It's, well, a tablet that has Illustrator in it. And it works pretty well. Except when I have to do stuff that drops me back in hideously ugly config screens from 1995. Or that horrible file explorer, ugh. So ugly, such terrible type.

Honestly if Apple releases a tablet that runs OSX I'm switching right back. But after a few weeks of initial setup, win10 is mostly out of my way.
posted by egypturnash at 1:16 PM on February 1, 2017


Luxury. Back in my day we had to hand-code all our applications on punch-cards made of recycled loo paper, with a keyboard without any vowels, on a machine with 8 kilobytes of memory that still kept forgetting if it turned off the gas.

why yes I'm feeling better now thanks
posted by JHarris at 1:27 PM on February 1, 2017 [2 favorites]


I had to hand-type the whole game froma Compute listing into my Vic-20 each time I wanted to play it.
posted by GuyZero at 1:30 PM on February 1, 2017 [3 favorites]


I had to construct my own difference engine from scratch every time I wanted to play Towers of Hanoi.
posted by lagomorphius at 1:37 PM on February 1, 2017 [6 favorites]


Difference engines aren't Turing-complete.
posted by GuyZero at 1:55 PM on February 1, 2017 [1 favorite]


I really did hand-type whole games from David Ahl's Basic Computer Games on a teletype terminal for an HP 2000 and then save on paper tape.
posted by octothorpe at 2:06 PM on February 1, 2017 [5 favorites]


A teletype? Oh, what we would have given for a teletype! We had to type in our programs on punchcards for the big Univac. And none of that BASIC stuff - we used Fortran. (I'm not joking, either - this was computer camp at Shippensburg U. maybe around 1978.)
posted by lagomorphius at 2:39 PM on February 1, 2017 [2 favorites]


Difference engines aren't Turing-complete.

So that's why it never worked?
posted by lagomorphius at 2:40 PM on February 1, 2017


I worked in the signal processing lab at CWRU in the early '80s. They used to bring people in on tours to show them the special high-tech color monitors that could display ... 64 simultaneous colors.
posted by lagomorphius at 2:42 PM on February 1, 2017 [1 favorite]


I could only play a crude version of Towers of Hanoi on an enormous Brio train set that used switches for logic gates, you lucky, complainy bastards.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 2:43 PM on February 1, 2017


Difference engines aren't Turing-complete.

The Babbage engine that's Turing complete (assuming arbitrary memory) is the analytical engine, right?
posted by grobstein at 3:01 PM on February 1, 2017


Wikipedia says yes although no one has ever quite been able to make enough sense of the drawings to build one yet.
posted by GuyZero at 3:24 PM on February 1, 2017 [1 favorite]


I've primarily run Gentoo for a few years and a Hackintosh before that. I recently changed my workstation's host OS to Windows 10 and other than a few gripes about Cortana, I don't see how Macintosh/Linux are really that compelling a choice. Don't get me wrong, they're both great and I still do >50% of my work on a Gentoo VM running as a guest on my workstation, but Windows 10 is a perfectly cromulent successor to Windows 7. With higher-end hardware, the driver support is so much better than *nix. MacOS and Apple's support of workstation computing has been in decline since Snow Leopard (IMO).

If there was a way to control the volume of Cortana other than at the audio out level, I'd be a lot happier. Why is that voice orders of magnitude louder than the other system sounds?

Fix that and I'd actually argue that Windows has never looked as attractive as it does right now. And that's coming from a *nix/Apple fanboi.
posted by Fezboy! at 4:17 PM on February 1, 2017


Why does Windows 10 come in a 32 bit version at all? Why isn't it just 64 bit? Related, why is application software still being offered in 32 bit and 64 bit versions? How many users even know how to make that choice? Why are they being asked to make that choice?

I've read a bunch of articles on both questions and it seems to come down to "legacy". A 32 bit version of the OS was deemed necessary to entice people with older Windows to upgrade. And the 32/64 application split was apparently Microsoft's only way to figure out how to slowly migrate to 64 bit OS without breaking 32 bit stuff. But it's the source of so much confusion and ugly hackery now I have to think it does more harm than good.
posted by Nelson at 4:32 PM on February 1, 2017


There are 32-bit versions of Windows 10. The selection of legacy equipment people might want to install that on must be pretty small. Most people I know running anything that old are doing so because they're locked into legacy software on a legacy OS supporting legacy equipment. (Think lab stuff.) They aren't going to go all happy-sappy one day and "try out" Windows 10 on that lot.
posted by lagomorphius at 4:41 PM on February 1, 2017


The OS didn't brick the author's device, it just broke the touchscreen driver.
If breaking the touchscreen driver rendered the device inoperable, and the user wasn't able to fix it, it bricked it. It doesn't matter if hypothetically a more technically proficient user could have, what matters is this user's experience.
If there is no way at all to recover from broken drivers on that machine (a situation which I am skeptical of), then that is the hardware's fault.
I'm pretty vague on how touchscreen display drivers work but couldn't the OS have some way to verify that the new drivers worked ("tap here to keep these settings", similar to how they do when you change res on a monitor) and automatically roll back if there's an issue? Somehow it's never Microsoft's fault...
Even on the Android tablets I've owned, if you somehow managed to completely destroy the OS you could still boot them into recovery mode, tether them by USB to a computer, and upload a new OS image.
And yet some Nexus 7s were bricked by an OTA update (not even booting to the recovery screen).
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 6:44 PM on February 1, 2017 [1 favorite]


Windows 32 bit also takes up less drive space, which can be useful for VMs or very space constrained special purpose stuff.
posted by jaduncan at 6:58 PM on February 1, 2017 [1 favorite]


32 bit Windows takes both less drive space and less RAM. It is only offered for un-expandable devices with 2 GB or less of RAM, because that's the maximum you can use with (signed) 32-bit math. 32-bit applications can't use more than 2 (signed) or 4 (unsigned) GB of RAM, or work with disk files larger than that. On the other hand 32-bit code is generally smaller than 64-bit.

I work with an industrial device every day which requires me to use a programming suite that will not run on 64-bit. It is currently one of the most popular programmable devices in our small industry. The manufacturer is in the process of moving to a new product which isn't ready yet and won't really be compatible with a lot of the old product's code, so it is likely I will need to be using this application for a long time. The device is still in current production and I personally have over 1,000 of them in the field. Simply replacing and upgrading them all at once because Windows is not a possibility. This is of course partly the fault of the manufacturer who does not want to "waste" effort rewriting the old device dev tool when there's a new device to finish, but they have tens of thousands of these things in use, many of which have only been in place for a few years, and all of which will require extensive rework to replace with something different.

Ironically, it is expensive industrial devices which are most likely to have problems like this, because their manufacturers don't have the economies of scale to devote to upgrading all the device drivers for everything they've ever made. And it isn't (or at least wasn't) unusual for such industrial devices to be used for 20 years or more. It's not just replacement that is expensive; it's retraining, reprogramming, rewiring, and a host of other costs your local chemical plant would rather defer. But I've heard from a lot of my sources that previously long-term thinkers like Allen-Bradley are steadily decreasing their End Of Life timelines and forcing such rework at an increasing frequency.
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:18 PM on February 1, 2017


The opposite of the legacy stuff is the vendor (always the most difficult vendor who sold you the most expensive thing) sends a "important" update that installs but kind of works and ... kind of doesn't. So we put in a support call. "Oh, it only works with Windows 10 now. We rewrote it so it only works with Windows 10. Upgrade to Windows 10, if you haven't before installing the update." Kind of not in the readme file.
posted by lagomorphius at 8:22 PM on February 1, 2017 [1 favorite]


I don't mind it, myself.
posted by Tasmanian_Kris at 9:00 PM on February 1, 2017


I swear this thread. it's like a car enthusiast thread where people are swapping tips on how to remove airbags and disable antilock brakes.
It's more like a car engine shutting off for 10-40 minutes, without warning, while driving.

Funny thing about driving a car and working on a computer -- its often done on tight schedules. Microsoft's engineers are not a better judge of when someone absolutely needs their computer to work at any given moment.

I've had Win10's forced updates cause major problems on at least three separate occasions. *
The biggest danger to the public internet and your own information security is unpatched systems. [...] And people have shown time and time again that they can't be trusted to patch on their own. [...]
Forced updates that occur without warning or an option to delay are unacceptable for a work computer, period. And they simply aren't necessary.

There are many better ways to handle critical updates.**


The best solution I've found to avoid forced updates that make my computer unusable for 10-40 minutes? I've installed the MacOS on my PC (it's called a "Hackintosh") and now dual boot. It turns out I can do about 99% of my work on a Mac. And somehow I've managed to keep up with all the system updates.


* Example: I needed to make a few simple changes to a document. 2-3 minutes worth of work, 15 minutes to do it. Easy. Except the computer (3.49 GHz Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM) started chugging badly for no discernible reason. Word became almost unusably slow. Very weird. I thought a quick 20 second restart might help. Nope. Forced update, no chance to defer, no reliable indicator for how long it will take. (It took over 30 minutes)

** Example: for critical updates, my iPhone alerts me that there's a critical update, then [get this!] asks for my permission. Not now? Okay, how about between 2-5am while I'm sleeping? Yes, please. (And you can skip that and start all over the next day)


posted by Davenhill at 12:22 AM on February 2, 2017 [2 favorites]


Most people I know running anything that old are doing so because they're locked into legacy software on a legacy OS supporting legacy equipment. (Think lab stuff.)

Exactly. At my work, we have had to support so many situations where they have to run XP because some semi-pro quality driver for a piece of essential equipment won't run on anything newer.
posted by thelonius at 5:20 AM on February 2, 2017


Funny thing about driving a car and working on a computer -- its often done on tight schedules. Microsoft's engineers are not a better judge of when someone absolutely needs their computer to work at any given moment.

I've heard of streamers getting knocked offline because Windows decided it needed to update. Even the warning of an impending update can seriously get in someone's way, like (this is an example from out of history only, not Windows behavior) a sudden, modal, focus-stealing, attention-demanding dialog box asking if you want to update Java can be deadly if you're playing Hyper Competitive Team Shooter II.

This thread is indicative of something I've noticed about people, myself included sometimes. If you've never had a problem with something, you tend frequently to assume, not only that there's nothing wrong with it, but even to actually defend that assumption, even over the outlier cases that are directly harmed. Some people (power users) who are in multiple outlier groups say the thing is crap, and thus internet arguments and much angrification occur.

One thing that's not escaped me is that Windows 10 Pro, one of those totally bullshit "give us 100 extra dollars" upgrades where the technology doesn't change but features are unlocked, is more flexible about updates than the Windows 10 Home that came on this (otherwise capable) laptop. Meaning, if I bribed Microsoft $100 the issue would become more reasonable! Yet ANOTHER way the poor get screwed over, argh.
posted by JHarris at 8:50 AM on February 2, 2017 [4 favorites]


Well, again. The Microsoft approach is to make a functional version relatively cheap, but then nickel-and-dime you to death for every "professional feature" you might want to have (where "professional feature" means "any function we randomly decide we're going to withhold from you for no apparent reason"). As opposed to the Apple approach, which is "One OS per platform" where that single OS has every feature they offer. Is that better? Depends. Personally, if I have to pay super-close attention to the exact version of an OS to ensure that I don't get stuck with an arbitrarily crippled or ad-ridden system, I'm not going to reward that behavior with my dollars. Tell your in-laws "Sure, Win10 is OK, you'll be fine with that" and then the next time they ask you to fix the bleeping computer, you realize that they bought Windows 10 Home Ultra Professional Super Edition, and NOT the Windows 10 Home Ultra Professional Super PLUS Edition that you were referring to when telling them to buy it. And now they have some pile of shit embedded into the system that will either take you hours of tweaking and modifying to disable (not remove, can't BE removed) or worse, you'll be forced to tell them that unless they want to pay for an entirely new version of Windows they are going to have to live with it, because the feature they are missing and/or hate cannot be resolved on the version they bought.

That approach may be good to incentivize corporate purchasers to pony up extra for an enterprise edition, but it's a shit approach for consumers - and it results in a fragmented ecosystem, and inconsistent reviews, because the thing that annoys the piss out of one user might not be an issue if they'd had a different version of the OS, but all they know is that it's Windows 10 and they hate it and they tell everyone they meet that it sucks.

If you hate macOS Sierra, at least you can be sure that the thing about it that annoys the piss out of you is a thing that ALL users of the OS have to deal with, not just you.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:22 AM on February 2, 2017


Two things I've noticed from doing off-sides Windows support outside of work.

People put up with a painful amount of slowness and cruft. Everything takes five minutes to launch because of all the bogus processes running in the background? Endless pop-up ads to close on every web page? Should I install that thing something just asked me to install? Well of course - it must be important. People put up with this routine and they don't even know Windows is, for all purposes broken, because they've never seen a clean system in operation. And most of the time they get the machine messed up from the get-go if they buy it from some OEM that's already stuffed it with adware and add-ons. It's only when it completely topples over that it's time to do something.

Many of these same machines have already been taken to Geek Squad or one of those places when they've toppled over. All they mostly do is install a fresh copy of Windows alongside the old one. So I do a restart to get a fresh look at what's gone wrong, and get the Windows boot-up screen asking me which installed version of Windows I want to start. And then I know how many times this has already happened.
posted by lagomorphius at 10:34 AM on February 2, 2017 [2 favorites]


Agreed that Windows bloat is a real problem. Microsoft does too, and both Windows 8 and Windows 10 have Reset this PC. It's supposed to be better than the old "reinstall Windows" although according to that article it's basically just a reinstall. There's also a clean installation of Windows option built in to Windows 10 to escape OEM bloatware.

Another Windows 10 gripe for me; they still haven't sorted out the dog's breakfast of locations for personal settings file, save games, etc. I think in theory the "roaming profile" is supposed to be the One True Place, but a lot of apps don't seem to be using it. And it's not clear it's even really safe to copy that profile to a new machine. I'm about to try it though, fingers crossed.
posted by Nelson at 12:00 PM on February 2, 2017 [2 favorites]


Don't crap on "legacy". Not caring about users with decade(s) old applications is one of the major reasons a lot of windows users think macs are for diletants. If you can't run code that's only two decades old,what good is the crap. I can still run code I wrote in grad school in Turbo C in a W10 console. I still do need to run apps that are from the late 90s at work. And, modulo some issues I still can.

Legacy is easy to discount, but it's ferociously important to many.
posted by bonehead at 4:59 PM on February 2, 2017 [4 favorites]


If you've never had a problem with something, you tend frequently to assume, not only that there's nothing wrong with it, but even to actually defend that assumption, even over the outlier cases that are directly harmed. Some people (power users) who are in multiple outlier groups say the thing is crap, and thus internet arguments and much angrification occur.

So I totally get that people have problems with windows, god only knows, but sometimes I feel like the narrative is that everyone has issues with windows and that's not true. Sometimes it works as designed without many issues.
posted by GuyZero at 5:29 PM on February 2, 2017


Don't crap on "legacy". Not caring about users with decade(s) old applications is one of the major reasons a lot of windows users think macs are for diletants. If you can't run code that's only two decades old,what good is the crap. I can still run code I wrote in grad school in Turbo C in a W10 console. I still do need to run apps that are from the late 90s at work. And, modulo some issues I still can.

Legacy is easy to discount, but it's ferociously important to many.


Well ... one of the reasons I'm running a MacBook Pro is because Apple still supports Firewire, and I still want to use my Nikon film scanner. I'd consider one of those sparkly new Windows 10 laptops, but nobody making a Windows laptop these days supports Firewire - AT ALL. I could have a desktop with a Firewire card in it, but I don't want a desktop.

I mentioned this at meeting of random IT people not too long ago and was roundly hooted at. What I'm supposed to do apparently is throw it away. No. It's a higher-end scanner than anything you can buy new these days.
posted by lagomorphius at 9:21 PM on February 2, 2017 [3 favorites]


I hear you.

I'm currently fighting with our corporate IT to buy some software to digitally access some older files that contain, I dunno, at least a few million dollars worth of tax-payer funded project data. PDFs of the papers exist, and we could pay (and have paid for a select few) the money to "paper-scrape" the data back into digital memory, but when a $200 "non-approved" program would do the task, that doesn't seem like the best use of my limited budgets. That it's not a current MS product seems to be the biggest issue.

Corporate IT is mystified why I'm reluctant to pay the $500-$3k fee per paper article to get the data reports (numbering in the low hundreds) re-entered/OCR-ed and validated, and not bother them anymore.
posted by bonehead at 9:41 PM on February 2, 2017


As opposed to the Apple approach, which is "One OS per platform" where that single OS has every feature they offer. Is that better?

I don't think the dichotomy you offer is necessarily either/or. Why can't an OS offer the software options the hardware will support without extra charges?

Personally, if I have to pay super-close attention to the exact version of an OS to ensure that I don't get stuck with an arbitrarily crippled or ad-ridden system, I'm not going to reward that behavior with my dollars.

But it's not as simple as that, not when you have software that requires Windows to run.

So I totally get that people have problems with windows, god only knows, but sometimes I feel like the narrative is that everyone has issues with windows and that's not true. Sometimes it works as designed without many issues.

The bit you're responding to was actually my attempt to acknowledge this. People who don't demand much of their systems tend not to run into the jagged edges. People who use their machines for many different things are the ones who end up running into the limitations often. Often both groups assume the other must be clueless/crazy/on crack because their experiences don't match.

However, I observe that, if 90% of your users have an okay time, but 10% find it unuseable, that still indicates a serious problem. And there is nothing to say that people in that happy 90% won't someday encounter one of those major problem. I was fairly happy with Windows 10 until I lost work due to a mandatory unattended restart.
posted by JHarris at 1:02 AM on February 3, 2017 [2 favorites]


People who use their machines for many different things are the ones who end up running into the limitations often.

What are these different things? I use mine for video/audio production, animation, web development, virtual machines, remote desktops, games (granted very few), print (books with Framemaker, other things with InDesign/Illustrator), and the standard business office type apps. What more would I need to do to create problems?

I've just found that many people have vastly different experiences with computers and bad experiences in particular will stick. I've had Mac apps lock up on me far to many times and just like when say Illustrator crashes on Windows it can often be bad software rather than the OS. Hardware can also be a issue. I've had hard drives disappear on me in the middle of production using Macs as well and that really turned me off the platform and I'm sure that others have had the same thing happen to them on Windows.

At the end of the day, use what works for you. It really doesn't matter if it doesn't work for others.
posted by juiceCake at 7:36 AM on February 3, 2017


What are these different things? I use mine for video/audio production, animation, web development, virtual machines, remote desktops, games (granted very few), print (books with Framemaker, other things with InDesign/Illustrator), and the standard business office type apps. What more would I need to do to create problems?


That is far from everything you can do with a computer! Most of your items are only dissimilar from each other at first glance. Really, most of them fit the common pattern of open-file, edit-file, close-file. Document-centric work.

You don't play many games, and you don't stream things, and I assume you don't run periodic shared viewings of Mystery Science Theater episodes. And I assume you're not hosting a personal webserver on this machine, where periodic hour-long update reboots can greatly harm uptime. (And if you're going to say go to a server operating system, sometimes that's a baseball bat where a flyswatter will do, especially when previous consumer versions of Windows could do it well.)

But what do you need to create problems? TIME. Time, and workflows that don't fit in with what Microsoft thinks they should be. Do you shut your computer down every night? If you don't, it's only a matter of time before Windows demands a shutdown for update installation. Do you have time-sensitive things that require your machine be used at particular moments scattered throughout the day? Then you're going to get bitten eventually.
posted by JHarris at 3:16 PM on February 3, 2017


I get all these complaints about the forced shutdowns & the pain and woe they cause.

However, in the modern world, it is simply irresponsible to leave an un-patched computer on any network that has a connection to the wider internet. Keeping your computer patched and up to date is one of those things we have to do for the good of the collective commons. It wasn’t very long ago that Windows PCs were the vector of choice for malware & spam. Now those things have moved to poorly secured IoT devices precisely because Windows PCs are now a hard target which are forcibly kept up to date by Microsoft.
posted by pharm at 2:04 AM on February 5, 2017


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