Windows 10: The Next Upgrade?
Nearly all the computers on the home network here run either Windows 7 Pro, Home Premium or Windows Server 2008. There are a couple Windows 8 installations, purchased on new laptops. Otherwise I have completely avoided that train wreck (just like I avoided the Vista debacle). This is not to say that I’ve completely successful, Windows Server 2012 uses the same Windows 8 interface.
When Microsoft announced Windows 10 back in September, one of the key items that most were looking for was the reintroduction of the “classic” start menu. Well, they’ve brought it back, sort of. It’s actually a mix of the Windows 7 start menu and the Windows 8 start screen. A decent compromise… but I’m getting ahead of myself.
A long Term Project
This project is a long term one… I expect to keep this updated as I discover stuff and fix various issues.
The hardware used for this installation is an HP EliteBook 8470p with a Core i5, 8GB RAM and a 60GB OCZ SSD. It has decent performance, runs Windows 7 fantastic, so it would be a good way to judge the performance of W10. The installation was performed using a DVD created from the downloaded ISO and took less than ten minutes to complete. If you’ve installed Windows 7 or 8, then you are familiar with this installation process.
The post-installation process is a bit different, however, and you’ll want to read each screen carefully before clicking next. There is an initial setup screen titled “Set up for you, so you can get going fast”. I chose Customize so as to see what MS thinks good default settings are.
The Settings screen options seem completely reasonable… click Next.
Ok, now we are starting to get into settings that require attention and thought before clicking next. For example, sending location data to MS seems like a bad idea. In this example both “Help improve Microsoft products and services” options are off.
The final Setting page has five items that, in my opinion, should all be disabled. Let apps request my location? Send browsing data to MS? No thanks! Off, off, off, off and off.
I can see why they have the “express settings mode”. All of the location and privacy switches are on be default. If I wanted to be tracked like that, I would use a Chromebook.
With that completed, the desktop is displayed. Immediately, I went to the Start Menu of course. As described it’s a hybrid of old and new.
The search field on the task bar invokes Cortana, the personal assistant that previously existed on Windows Phone. It’s the Microsoft equivalent to Google Now or Apple’s Siri. It’s not fully implemented on this build of Windows 10 and I have not played around too much with it at this point.
Next, a visit to the device manager to see what kind of drivers are missing or needed, and it’s not too bad. A chipset driver would eliminate most of the issues, but since there are no official drivers yet, I’ll hold off for now (yes, I know I could install Windows 8 drivers).
Going forward I need to install Office 2013, Visio and Steam… then I will be using the system to give a proper evaluation. Also, look for some benchmarking comparing Windows 7 to Windows 10.
UPDATE 15MAR15: So far, so good. Been using it on and off for a few weeks now and I have to say that I do like it. I’ve even managed to get Fallout 3 working and stable. One thing I don’t care for is the new search window on the start menu. It does not act like the search in Windows 7, so for example, a UNC cannot be entered for navigation purposes. Enter a UNC and Bing is searched for it. Useless. So I’ve pinned the Run app to the task bar…
UPDATE 28MAR15: With the latest build, 10041, Fallout is once again not working. Also, part of the update process is the complete backup on all files into a directory called windows.old. It can be quite large, and cannot be moved to the recycle bin. This is an issue if you have a smaller drive (my notebook has a 60GB SSD). To remove the Windows.old directory, a utility called Disk Cleanup Wizard. Either search for Disk Cleanup Wizard in the search window, or Winodws key-R and type cleanmgr.
The utility will initially scan the hard drive looking for known types of files that can be safely removed to reclaim disk space.
When completed, click “Clean up system files”. The scan process will run again.
After that finishes, there were are more few more options, specifically Temporary windows installation files. Check that box and click ok. Note that there are several other boxes checked by default. Investiage if those should be checked, and check others as needed. In this case, only the Temporary windows installation files are of concern. Once completed, the folder is gone and hard drive space has been freed up.