Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Mel's Prediction Corner: Windows 10 - Is it the next Windows XP?

I recently got a new laptop at work. Considering how often that happens, I was surprised I was one of the first people on the list to get a new machine. Granted, a lot of people in my office use Mac laptops. I myself have worked with a Mac laptop for a year or so at one job and eventually grew to like it for the most part. However, I have been in the PC camp for most of my career. Actually, most of my childhood too.

My first computer was a Tandy SL 1000. I suspect it was cheaper than a Macintosh and my mom was able to get it with a line of credit. My mom was ever definition of the early adopter. She loves her tech and I think that passed down to me. Though I do tend to wait something out to see if it's a "fad" or something that will actually be usable.

Our company has a contract with Dell, so out with the old Latitude circa 2010 and in with the Latitude E5470 (Interesting part of that article is saying it's great for Win 7 Pro users and it was from this year!)

This computer came with Windows 10 Enterprise version installed and ready for me to complain about. Except, I can't find much of anything to really complain about. 

Smooth install process for most of my work applications. The only exception was SQL Manager 2014 and that has more to do with SQL Manager using an .Net framework 3.5 instead of the more current 4.6. (It could be that Microsoft is working on an update now, but still, annoying) Also, enabling the 3.5 framework was a bit of a chore, because of security features enabled, but the upshot was, I didn't have to actually download the 3.5 framework. It's already waiting in the OS. You just have to turn it on. Another thing I noticed where the more helpful links to help and error messages that meant something which allowed me to resolve the issue faster.

The display settings are a little over simplified for power users. I'm constantly tweaking the text and icon size depending on what displays I'm using. I wish they had left those more granular. However, once I've used the display setup, whether at home, or in the office, it remembers them. I don't have to reset it unless it's new.

The solid state drives made things super fast too. Really fast. What might have taken me more than a week with installation and configuring software and preferences, took about two days. I haven't had any trouble navigating due to the similar look and feel of a Windows 7 machine. The other awesome thing is the inclusion of tiles in the start menu.

{Writers note: I loved the Windows 8 tiles. I miss my Windows 8 phone actually. It was a neat interface that didn't catch on as much as I would have liked. It was hard to get apps for and it didn't play nice with photos from an iPhone either. Maybe with the adoption of some of the android OS into the Windows phone OS, this problem might get resolved. My personal opinion was that Microsoft waited too long to jump onto the smartphone band wagon.}

Notifications/Action Center widget in the icon tray is pretty cool. Allows for quick access to functions and messages. It also has some nice features with the Quiet Hours and being able to quickly switch into Airplane Mode without having to hunt it down in the Control Panel.

I'm still playing with Cortana, so my thoughts on that are mostly in the curiosity stage of things. Other than being an uber search function, I haven't found much of a reason to use it. And if you have used a Mac before, you'll recognize Windows trying to use some of the same design displays as a Mac, especially with the "Task View" icon.

My home computer has been updated from Windows 7 to Windows 10 as well. I like the integrated features so I can check my social media and my Xbox live account. The notifications that come across the bottom right of the screen are minimal and usually helpful. I haven't seen any performance hits either. I would have expected it since my home PC doesn't have a SSD for the OS, but I haven't had an issue from what I can tell.

So far, I think Windows 10 is definitely a solid performer and worth checking out, despite the download debacle which gave many people problems earlier this year. I think this OS has the potential to be around for quite a long time.



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