Windows 10: 5 things I like - gHacks Tech News

Windows 10: 5 things I like

I'm fairly critical when it comes to new software versions regardless of whether it is an update to a web browser I use (Firefox) or the underlying operating system (Windows 10).

Part of that comes from me using a program or system for a long period of time in specific ways that often get torpedoed by updates.

Windows 8 was no exception to the rule and while Microsoft seems to have changed its course in regards to development in Windows 10, it is offering an experience that is often completely different to what you may have used before.

This article is about features that I like in Windows 10. Those are not all of them obviously but the ones listed below have made an impact on my day to day work routine.

Search

search

Search is not really that different from the way it was in Windows 8 or even Windows 7. You tap on the Windows-key, type your phrase and pick one of the results.

What I like about the presentation in Windows 10 is that it highlights the best hit which makes it easier to identify and pick it.

While Microsoft sorted search results before, for instance on Windows 7 into programs, files and other data types, it never highlighted a specific result before.

It is clear that this is mostly a cosmetic change but those may often be more useful than complete rewrites of features.

Since I'm using Windows on the desktop, I don't have any use for Cortana yet. This could change if Microsoft adds full dictation support to the digital assistant similar to how Dragon Naturally Speaking works.

Window snapping

window snap

Microsoft introduced window snapping in Windows 7. I love the feature and use it regularly to display two windows side by side on my 1920x1080 screen without having to adjust size and position of those windows manually.

All it takes is a little drag and drop action to do so.

Snapping evolves in Windows 10 as you get more snap options. While you can still snap windows to the side so that they take up half the space, or to the top to maximize them, it is now also possible to snap them to the top/bottom left or right so that they take up a quarter of space on the desktop.

This allows you to display four windows next to each other similar to how you are able to display two on Windows 7.

Windows highlights the area the window will be displayed in when you start to drag so that you can control that easily.

Command Prompt

command prompt

While I don't use the command prompt too often, I do use it regularly to run commands or test new programs that run from it.

The command prompt has not really changed that much in recent versions of Windows, but that is going to change when Windows 10 comes along.

For instance, copying always felt broken and useful features such as paste were not even available at all.

Now you can use Ctrl-c to copy selected text (or the current line) and use Ctrl-v to paste text right into the command line.

There are more shortcuts to explore which may improve how you work on the command line.

Windowed apps

windowed apps

This one I like a lot. Instead of being forced to run all apps fullscreen, or snap them to one side of it, you run them in windows now.

Not all apps are designed for that unfortunately which means that you may run into compatibility issues with some older apps.

Most apps do work fine however . What I like the most about this is that you don't switch between two interfaces anymore when you run apps.

On Windows 8, you had to run apps on the Start Screen which meant switching to it whenever you wanted to do so.

On Windows 10, you run apps from the start menu and they open up in windows on the desktop. That's an improvement.

No Charms menu

The Charms menu was terrible as it made no sense to have it in first place on the desktop and even on mobile, it felt misplaced and terrible.

Good news is that Microsoft removed the Charms menu in Windows 10. Part of its functionality went into the new start menu, some into controls offered by windows and another part into the new notification center.

Now You: Any Windows 10 features that you like in particular?

Summary
Windows 10: 5 things I like
Article Name
Windows 10: 5 things I like
Description
Five features that I like about Windows 10 including command prompt and search improvements, as well as the removal of the dreaded Charms menu.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Dan82 said on May 3, 2015 at 9:36 am
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    Direct X 12 and the Aero-like transparency in the latest (?) build. The former is pretty much the one big reason why I’ll be switching to Windows 10 on my home computer. The latter, if it doesn’t get removed again until the final, has the potential to pretty up the user interface. Since I’m not a fan of single color backgrounds and all that stuff, this throwback to Windows Vista/7 design thoughts might just make me feel better for upgrading ;)

    1. lainiwaku said on May 3, 2015 at 6:28 pm
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      yes you can actually already use directx 12 in a special 3dmark benchmark designed for dx12
      transparency are also there
      i use windows 10 on my main computer

  2. vux777 said on May 3, 2015 at 11:13 am
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    I hate two things.
    First, my default img editor Paint.NET is crashing after couple of seconds,
    and second clicking on application button on taskbar.
    While first will probably be fixed, second is really annoying. I skipped win8, and on win7 I never had problems with switching between app windows from taskbar.
    Now I have to click two times or more to focus on desired window. Rarely I can focus window on first click.
    It’s probably some feature that causing this.
    I put “never combine” in properties, but that didn’t help. Still on first click I get either popup menu with some actions, or preview of all app windows…or nothing. There is a line at the bottom of app button, and if I click on it, then I’m luck to focus on first click. But if that is actually right way to do it, than it’s stupid…

    1. gh said on May 3, 2015 at 10:38 pm
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      paint.net as default image editor?!? OMG

      1. theMike said on May 3, 2015 at 11:21 pm
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        what should it be? (and don’t say gimp)

      2. DVD Rambo said on May 4, 2015 at 12:00 am
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        Paint.NET is quite effective for a basic image editor. Your OMG without why, or stating what your preferred program is, does not help anyone comprehend your comment, beyond troll level.

      3. gh said on May 4, 2015 at 9:00 am
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        @DVD Rambo
        You’re right. Kudos for calling me out on that.
        I can’t recommend a preferred app. There are way too many great apps available (freeware, opensource) to choose from.
        Check sourceforge.net or softpedia.com or portableapps.com

        Also, nowadays there are a number of free, wonderful (featureful) online editing tools available.
        Some are HTML5 canvas -based, others are Flash-based.

    2. vux777 said on May 4, 2015 at 11:23 am
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      @gh
      It is my default img editor. For every small work (quick adding text to img, change brightness, contrast…)
      I get use to it, and if it doesn’t work, it’s frustrating. I opening it at least 10 times daily.
      so what’s with the OMG drama?
      …………..
      so frustrating that I reverted to win7.. :)

  3. wotan said on May 3, 2015 at 11:29 am
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    I found the charms menu quite useful when using my 2in1 in tablet mode. It has a windows button placed on the top side of the device and it’s uncomfortable to press, using the charms menu and touching the windows-key is a lot better. But on a non-touch device it makes no sense, I agree.

    1. Ryan said on May 4, 2015 at 1:03 pm
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      I wouldn’t say no sense, I actually quite liked it for searching.

  4. Pete said on May 3, 2015 at 12:16 pm
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    About command prompt: “useful features such as paste were not even available at all”

    I’m sorry but pasting (also copying, though not understanding line breaks) in prompt has been available very very long. WinXP had it (can’t remember anything from previous Windows’). Just right click mouse in prompt (if you have “quickedit” setting on, then it pastes instantly, otherwise choose paste from context menu).

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on May 3, 2015 at 12:19 pm
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      Pete you are right of course. What I meant to say is that it is now a lot easier to do if you are used to using Ctrl-v and Ctrl-c.

      1. gh said on May 3, 2015 at 10:36 pm
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        but {I’m confused} …you wrote “ctrl+a to paste”.

        For Win10 command prompt context:
        Is it truly ctrl+a (which rings “SelectAll” in my muscle memory)… or is it, in fact, ctrl+c to copy, ctrl+v to paste

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on May 4, 2015 at 6:45 am
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        It is Ctrl-c, sorry.

    2. Doc said on May 6, 2015 at 6:05 pm
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      Mark (highlight), Copy and Paste have always been available from the Window Control (click the CMD icon)/ALT+SPACE menu, at least as far back as Windows 2000. Always useful for an SSH terminal.

  5. insanelyapple said on May 3, 2015 at 12:36 pm
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    I agree with you in most parts but:

    Search in current build (10074) got finally better UI than before – back then it was a separated widget, now it’s a part of menu Start. But sadly, user can’t control where search should look for inquiry – Internet search should be optional and not forced; bing collecting inquiry for local data doesn’t seem right and secure.

    I also don’t like the fact that there’s no way to change Windows Update settings like in previous version available in “classic” control panel. I hope this is because of development stage and not a final thing.

    1. anon said on May 3, 2015 at 11:33 pm
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      It is only a preview thing because of testing and feedback.

  6. Richard said on May 3, 2015 at 3:03 pm
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    I got used to the Charms menu (Windows key + C) and use it often enough that I will miss it. I have several small Windows tablets and it is useful. I use it for connecting to devices, going to the Start Screen, or sometimes going to Settings.

    Windows 10 Start menu leaves me cold. I prefer the Windows 7 version. I don’t need tiles unless I am on a tablet.

    I wish designers wouldn’t keep messing with what works. The constantly changing UI/UX is frustrating for me and the hundreds of people I support. They are constantly flummoxed by what designers change.

  7. Dave (2) said on May 3, 2015 at 4:47 pm
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    Microsoft fan boys:

    Last year: “All the changes in Windows 8 are awesome”
    This year: “They’ve removed the shambolic Windows 8 stuff so it’s awesome”
    Next year: “[whatever Microsoft did] is awesome”

    I am not posting comments too quickly. I only made two.

    1. JohnMWhite said on May 3, 2015 at 6:24 pm
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      What are you talking about? Virtually nobody said the changes in Windows 8 were awesome. It was maligned in lots of places, including right here at ghacks, and that led to people being pleased to see its removal or refinement.

      1. Andrew said on May 4, 2015 at 2:39 am
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        I agree with John, they really f’d up on Windows 8 with the whole start screen/charms/tablet oriented and such… but that being said, there were a lot of improvements to the OS itself.

        Windows 10 really seems like how Windows 8 should have been from the beginning, still I have to hand it to Microsoft taking a risk, it seems to be what was needed to get to 10. Plus, the direction Microsoft is going is much better than how they were years ago.

  8. OldFart2 said on May 3, 2015 at 5:06 pm
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    Ummmm, pardon me for asking, but isn’t window snapping akin to the Tiles option of win95/98 etc?

    I seem to hear a reinvented wheel squeaking. Everything old is new again. LOL

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on May 3, 2015 at 5:13 pm
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      Was not this only possible for all windows open? That feature is still available in Windows 10 as well if you right-click on the taskbar.

    2. Decent60 said on May 4, 2015 at 4:26 am
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      Main difference is that in Windows 10 you can control which ones get snapped and which ones don’t. Tile option did it for all open windows.

  9. br0adband said on May 3, 2015 at 6:49 pm
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    5 things… damn I can’t even find 1 that I like about Windows 10, seriously. :)

    I still say they should call it Windows X and be done with it just as a slap to Apple and OSX but that’s just me.

    1. Andrew said on May 4, 2015 at 2:41 am
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      Really? nothing? I find that hard to believe. Cortana itself seems pretty dope.

      1. TinCan said on May 4, 2015 at 3:47 am
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        Personally the only thing I like about W10 vs W7 thus far is is the file transfer dialog box, the fact metro apps are windowed…. that’s really about it. On the other hand I could make a mile long list of things I don’t like about it or that cost me lots of time compared to doing the same things in W7. Overall still a soild downgrade.

  10. JohnMWhite said on May 3, 2015 at 7:07 pm
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    The main things I like about Windows 10 are the interface feeling a lot cleaner and yet prettier than 8; and the fact that it makes my hardware run like I poured rocket fuel in there. I dual boot with 7 for my main production environment, and while 7’s generally find it bogs down at times. 10 just flies like a leaf on the wind.

  11. anon said on May 3, 2015 at 11:31 pm
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    >and useful features such as paste were not even available at all.
    This is a lie. In the old console, you press Ctrl+Ins to copy or Shift+Ins to paste.

  12. Riker said on May 4, 2015 at 2:16 am
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    Still, most business uses happily using Windows 7 have little incentive to expend the cost and energy migrating to Windows 10 any time soon.

  13. Decent60 said on May 4, 2015 at 4:29 am
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    Main thing I like about Windows 10 is the clean interface like Windows 7 while having the better architecture that Windows 8 has. Win+X is very handy as well. Like Vista, Windows 8 was a bit too premature and needed better testing before releasing. However, Micro$oft got their money no matter what people think because people bought new laptops and desktops.

  14. MikeFromMarkham said on May 4, 2015 at 10:00 am
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    Yes, a lot of people bought new laptops and desktops, but significant numbers of them also opted to roll back (“downgrade”) their systems to Windows 7 as evidenced by the continued increase in market share for Windows 7 and the very slow uptake for Windows 8.0/8.1. Windows 10 strikes me as a minor improvement on Windows 8.1 for desktop users , but it feels like they’ve gone backwards from the tablet experience in 8.1, especially with the new start screen/start menu combination. If I decide to move to Windows 8.5 – sorry, Windows 10 – for any of my devices, I’m certain that Classic Shell will be the first thing I install on all of them.

    1. Andrew said on May 4, 2015 at 10:13 am
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      What would classic shell accomplish that the new start menu in windows 10 doesn’t?

      1. MikeFrommarkham said on May 4, 2015 at 11:22 am
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        I’m a long time desktop PC user. I’ve been running Microsoft OSes since DOS 1.0. My primary computer runs Windows 7, and will until it’s no longer supported by Microsoft. Classic shell gives me back the Windows 7 menu style that I prefer to use with Windows 10. It’s as simple as that. My backup PC runs Windows 8.1 with Classic Shell, and my Stream 7 tablet uses both Classic shell for the programs I need to run in desktop mode (e.g Microsoft Office), as well as the Start Screen for the handful of apps that I find I actually use once in a while. The tiles on the Windows 10 Start Menu just annoy me and they are the first things I uninstall. Sadly, that just leaves the single, long scrolling list of programs on the left side of the menu which I don’t find nearly as usable as the Windows 7 menu. Add to that the fact that Windows 10 will soon be “recommending” (i.e. advertising) apps to install as part of the Start menu, it’ll just be a bigger mess than it already is. So I’ll just opt for what I’m comfortable with, and that’s Classic Shell. Sorry to go on about this so long, but you did ask.

      2. Andrew said on May 4, 2015 at 8:20 pm
        Reply

        “I’m a long time desktop PC user. I’ve been running Microsoft OSes since DOS 1.0. ”

        We didn’t have start menus until 95, and if you used Microsoft machines for that long, then you should be pretty flexible with systems for any kind of change. Not sure why Windows 10 would be the sudden “no more change” moment, unless Windows 8 just scared you completely from change.

        “Classic shell gives me back the Windows 7 menu style that I prefer to use with Windows 10. It’s as simple as that.”

        Yup, that simple, preference, that’s all you had to say to answer my question.

        “My backup PC runs Windows 8.1 with Classic Shell, and my Stream 7 tablet uses both Classic shell for the programs I need to run in desktop mode (e.g Microsoft Office), as well as the Start Screen for the handful of apps that I find I actually use once in a while.”

        Okay, I get it, classic shell is what winamp is to me, first thing installed, always installed. But why not install Windows 8.1 w/ classic shell on your main computer? You know, because of the updates to the OS system itself. There’s a lot of benefits to the OS itself that is worthy of the upgrade.

        “The tiles on the Windows 10 Start Menu just annoy me and they are the first things I uninstall. Sadly, that just leaves the single, long scrolling list of programs on the left side of the menu which I don’t find nearly as usable as the Windows 7 menu.”

        Not sure why Microsoft did this versus expanding it like Windows 8 format (though haven’t played much with Build 10074 yet). but it is kind of like how Windows 98 was? How did you manage that? or did you just live with it? Why not pin or use winkey+search? works much faster than browsing through your apps in any format.

        “Add to that the fact that Windows 10 will soon be “recommending” (i.e. advertising) apps to install as part of the Start menu, it’ll just be a bigger mess than it already is.”

        What’s wrong with recommending? A lot of people might actually find those useful. It’s not like new live tiles will pop up on the start menu randomly to advertise new programs. I would rather they recommend than automatically installing apps that you can’t get rid of. I mean, remember when you installed Windows XP for the first time and it came preloaded with all of this crap that you can’t get rid of? Windows Messenger, Windows Movie Maker, Windows Media Player, etc.

        “So I’ll just opt for what I’m comfortable with, and that’s Classic Shell. Sorry to go on about this so long, but you did ask.”

        No problem, just opened up more questions :)

  15. Andrew said on May 4, 2015 at 8:19 pm
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    removed… didn’t get posted under reply

  16. Alex said on May 5, 2015 at 7:12 am
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    I find Win+Tab window switcher more useful and quick way to operate open windows than “classic” Alt+Tab.
    To my surprise virtual desktops not so useful and handy in current state, but i think i will use it way more often if there will be specified hotkeys to create desktops, switch to particular desktop and move windows to specific one.
    All in all Win 10 is surprisingly not bad, considering it’s just mostly Win 8 with redesigned UI.
    What i dont like much — is the replacement of control panel settings with Metro-like apps, but i guess this is not so bad compromise to have Win 10 running on all devices. I think there will be more practical “tweakers” 3rd party software in future.
    Also i dont like new start menu, application view in Windows 8.1 is more usefull — it lists all the programs on screen which allows me to find what i need faster (and sorting by date and application type helps a lot!).
    Continuing on issues — tile dragging in Start Menu is bugged: sometimes when you drag tile to the new place start menu dissapears and tile freezes on screen above all windows, after that Start button became unresponsive untill you restart OS or re-login in user account. Also some pinned apps fail to launch, for example Minecraft. At least this is how it works in my Virtual Box. Hope this bugs will not get in final release.

  17. Mike From Markham said on May 6, 2015 at 5:38 pm
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    To Andrew:

    Don’t know if this is posting as a reply to your earlier post, or as a new item, but you raised some fair questions about my last post that I’ll try to answer for you.

    “We didn’t have start menus until 95, and if you used Microsoft machines for that long, then you should be pretty flexible with systems for any kind of change …”

    Microsoft didn’t have start menus until 95, but from the day my department at work got its first IBM XT (with a whopping 10MB hard drive!) in 1983, I was programming start menus (in BASIC) to help my computer-phobic co-workers to easily access all of the programs on their machines. That continued through every DOS and equipment upgrade until Windows was released. Windows 1 and 2 were frankly quite useless for getting anything done and died quick deaths around our shop. The Windows 3.x OSes were much more useful and easier for people to use, but I found myself still creating one master application group for a lot of users to put their most-used programs in one place for easy launching, just as they had done with the old DOS start menus.

    “Not sure why Windows 10 would be the sudden “no more change” moment, unless Windows 8 just scared you completely from change.”

    My backup PC used to be a virtual clone of my primary computer. I installed Windows 8 (1) because my wife thought she would like it, and (2) because I wanted to see what it was all about. What we both saw was a horrible, disjointed mess of a touch-designed interface forced upon desktop users for no good reason at all. It din’t scare me, it just pissed me off. Win 8.1 helped a bit with that, but it took Classic Shell to rescue the desktop experience for me. (My wife had long since gone back to our Window 7 computer and has stayed there ever since.) Windows 10 does introduce some improvements for desktop users, but also some steps back and it still isn’t as usable for me as Windows 7.

    “But why not install Windows 8.1 w/ classic shell on your main computer? You know, because of the updates to the OS system itself. There’s a lot of benefits to the OS itself that is worthy of the upgrade.”

    The migration of my backup PC to Windows 8 produced serious problems for me. About 3-4 of the custom programs I used for business weren’t just uninstalled during the OS upgrade, they were unable to be reinstalled again. This was never flagged as a potential issue when the Windows 8 Compatibility Advisor was run, it only came to light afterwards. This is one of “the benefits of the OS itself” that I could frankly live without, and do so quite happily by maintaining Windows 7 on my primary computer. I have left 8.1 on my backup for the occasional use of other software when needed, but it will never replace 7 on my workhorse machine.

    “but it is kind of like how Windows 98 was? How did you manage that? or did you just live with it? Why not pin or use winkey+search? works much faster than browsing through your apps in any format.”

    Can’t comment on the Start Menu in Windows 98/98SE because that’s the only version of Windows I have never used (if you don’t count the brutally short periods in which I tried to make Windows 1 and 2 do anything remotely useful). I do pin the programs I use all the time to the taskbar and/or Start Menu. Never personally found winkey+search to be that much faster than using the Start Menu and never really think about it.

    “What’s wrong with recommending? A lot of people might actually find those useful. It’s not like new live tiles will pop up on the start menu randomly to advertise new programs. I would rather they recommend than automatically installing apps that you can’t get rid of. I mean, remember when you installed Windows XP for the first time and it came preloaded with all of this crap that you can’t get rid of? Windows Messenger, Windows Movie Maker, Windows Media Player, etc.”

    But Windows 10 does install apps you can’t get rid of. I personally have absolutely no use for Microsoft’s Xbox, Weather, Camera, Mail/Calendar/People apps and several others. I never use them, have no intention of ever using them, and have other programs and/or apps that I prefer to anything Microsoft has in the Windows Store. As for recommending more crap to install on my computer, just me give the choice to receive those notifications or turn them off. Hard hard would that be? But I suspect that won’t happen, just as Microsoft will never give us the choice of which apps (if any) we’d like to install right from the start. Should be easy enough to turn those off if desired (see Windows Live Essentials setup for an example of selective installation).

    Well, that’s way too much explanation, but it still comes back to one thing: Windows 7 just works for me (and my wife) as is, doesn’t break any of my key programs, and I can virtually use in my sleep to get things done. There is absolutely NO reason for me to move to anything else on my main computer. I will continue to run 8.1 on my backup PC, which has also become my test PC and currently hosts Win 8.1, Win 10 and Linux Mint in a triple-boot configuration. It will be at least 6 months after Win 10 is released and subsequently patched (multiple times, no doubt) before I ever entertain the idea of putting it even on my backup computer or my tablet.

    1. Andrew said on May 7, 2015 at 5:07 am
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      Mark,

      Thanks for your detailed response. I can see how a few programs would decline you from using the newer W8. On one hand I want to say that Win7 and Win8 (and WinVista) is all the same codebase so programs should run fine, but from past experience, we all know that’s never the case.

      I was pissed about Windows 8 with the betas. Actually Windows 8 was the first ‘beta’ windows I played with before the RTM release, and I already hated Win8. Still I big the bullet and upgraded when RTM hit and adapted myself. Start menu use to be my go to method of apps, but now its winkey+search.

      Windows 98/SE may have been my favorite Windows OS, not sure why, but it was, but I couldn’t get past the scrolling program menu (I hope my memory serves me right and it was 98 and not ME). It was slow and tedious.

      I fired up my virtual machine for windows 10 and I was surprised that you cannot uninstall Weather & People (you can uninstall mail it seems, just not from the all programs). I too would rather have a base OS and get to choose what to install from the start, but with a global mind, i have no problems having programs installed at start, given you can uninstall them. I seriously hope though we will be able to easily uninstall apps we dont want… unlikely… but hopeful..

      Anyway, all things aside, Microsoft as a whole, I have to admit I like the direction they are going.

      Thanks again for your reply :)

  18. LogicDaemon said on May 8, 2015 at 6:07 pm
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    Compact.exe /C /exe:lzx

    It’s the only thing I need from win 10 in comparison with win 7.

  19. All Things Firefox said on May 10, 2015 at 12:34 am
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    The five best improvements for Windows 10 are:
    windowed apps
    the start menu
    the return of aero
    copy/paste in the command prompt
    no charms bar
    I think Windows 10 will fix pretty much everything wrong with Windows 8.

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