I like to think that, at least from a consumer perspective, Microsoft releases operating systems in a sort of ‘pendulum’ pattern. One OS is great, and beloved by the users. Then the next is god awful, and those who’ve installed it regret ever doing so. Then the next is great again.
And so on and so forth.
Based on that pattern, Windows 8 was the ‘awful’ OS, and Windows 10 the ‘great’ one. And on the surface, that DOES appear to be the case, Microsoft’s nagware and apparent disrespect for user privacy notwithstanding. But all that’s from the perspective of an end user.
How does it hold up from an administrative standpoint?
Honestly…not good. Certainly, it’s usable enough. But as always, Microsoft seems woefully out of touch with what its users actually want.
As noted by Trevor Pott of The Register, the start menu is something of a nightmare, and settings are inconsistent. Worse, it’s saddled with a horrible VPN client, incapable of connecting to older VPN servers. What’s more, the OS’s need to save every search and call home with every action is awful.
Worst of all, however, is Microsoft’s insistence on ramming forced updates down the user’s throat.
“I understand that some people feel this is the only way to make Aunt Tilly patch,” writes Pott. “They’re wrong. Aunt Tilly’s computer was shipped to her with Windows Updates enabled by default. Its people like me not patching, because I don’t want to close everything down so that Windows can reboot, and I’m perfectly okay with the “risk” of browsing the internet through Firefox…I prefer not to have to fight Microsoft to keep my computer from rebooting and annihilating all my open applications, thanks.”
Potts raises another excellent point about the forced updates; by far the largest deal breaker in Windows 10: Microsoft’s history with these updates is…less than stellar. I’m sure each and every one of you can call to mind at least one or two instances where you (or someone you know) had their system completely and entirely borked by a patch. It’s simply bad business to trust them not to mess something up with a patch eventually.
From a usability standpoint, Windows 10 works just fine. It’s not a radical change from Windows 7, and it’s definitely an improvement over Windows 8. At the same time, from an administrative perspective?
You’re better off sticking with 7, no matter how much Microsoft tries to tell you otherwise.