Windows 10

Having been promised by Microsoft that this was the last ‘major’ update, after which the Windows OS will update gradually as occasion arises (let’s hope this won’t happen as often as it does to Adobe Flash Player), when prompted to I downloaded it and – a week ago – activated it, basically to have it over and done with.

I’m not impressed; it could have been worse. Most of the changes of consequence to me are changes in design, usually for the worse, but that’s usually the case in general, not only with MS. (My innate fogeyism doesn’t help either.) Presumably, there was an improvement in speed (developers always say there was); it certainly wasn’t big enough for me to notice it. I’m not into apps: I still use good old Photo Viewer rather than Photos, bookmarks instead of Reading Lists and so on; last year when upgrading to Win8 I even downloaded Kindle for PC because the inbuilt Kindle app wasn’t to my liking. (Or maybe I’m just no longer interested in all this fixing of things which weren’t broke.) As for Cortana, I spent with it only so much time as was necessary to find out how to disable it and do so. The new browser, Edge, is no better that the not-so-new revamped Opera1, so I stick to Firefox as my primary browser.

Anyway, the graphics. On the positive side is merging the Win7 Start button with the Win8 Start page into a hybrid which is better than either. On the negative side are the windows’ frames: If Win8 uglified them by turning their rounded corners into sharp ones, Win10 thinned them so much they are almost invisible. As if they’ve never heard that “the most beautiful part of every picture is the frame” 2. Worse still, while the promo promised an ability to “snap up to four things on one screen at the same time” – something so easily done manually I’ve been doing it since acquiring my first device – Win10 can’t even properly remember the size and position of a window once you close it. If the truth be told, I eventually found a use for the ‘maximize’ button . . .

That said, during my few years online I’ve been through so many software upgrades that generally I’m content if things get only slightly worse, and this is one of those cases. It’s definitely not as bad as, for instance, how they’d ‘improved’ the WordPress editing interface.

[1] In fact even worse at times: for instance, they sort of insist on telling you the current weather in your current location, but can’t even spell it. Now I know what it means, but emphasising a product’s shortcomings from moment one . . .
[2] Allegedly by G.K. Chesterton, although I couldn’t find where he’s supposed to have stated that. It does sound like him, though.


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