8 things Microsoft needs to fix in Windows 10

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 25, 2017
Updated • Jul 25, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

Windows 10 was released in 2015 with much fanfare as the next and last version of the Windows operating system.

While Windows 10 was designed for the ground up to work on any device type, its interface was flexible enough to provide desktop users with a different experience than users on mobile devices (the few that were supported).

Microsoft got away from the Windows 8 experiment of pushing a unified mobile and touch optimized interface to the Windows population -- which backfired for the most part as the majority of Windows users used neither -- and introduced new programs and features on top of that.

Two years in, it is time that Microsoft addresses some of the issues of the operating system that are still an issue today.

1. Control Panel vs. Settings app

control panel settings

Windows 10 shipped with two management interfaces. The classic control panel and the new Settings application. It was clear back in 2015 that Microsoft did not have enough time to move the bulk of control panel applets to the Settings application. The company announced back then however that the control panel would go eventually.

The situation has not changed all that much in 2017. The latest version of Windows 10 ships with the same two interfaces as in 2015. Some options were removed from the control panel and added to the Settings application for the most part, but fact is that users and administrators still have to juggle between the two management interfaces to get things done.

The main issue I have with this is that Microsoft moves individual options gradually to the Settings application. Each feature update introduces some changes only. It is unclear why Microsoft is not putting more resources behind the migration as it would simplify administration a lot (provided that the company brings all options to the Settings application).

2. Microsoft Edge

microsoft edge

The default system browser on Windows 10 is Microsoft Edge. It is a bare bones browser designed with simplicity and mind. That's a refreshing change when compared to Internet Explorer, which is quite heavy, but not enough when compared to third-party browsers such as Firefox or Chrome.

Microsoft Edge lacks customization options, preferences and extensions support. Extension support was added with the Anniversary Update in 2016, but up until today, only a few dozen extensions have been released for Microsoft Edge.

Where is the much awaited option to install Chrome extensions? Why is not Microsoft pushing this more by contacting developers of popular extensions to give them incentives to port their extensions to the web browser?

Our Microsoft Edge annoyances list lists additional issues with the browser.

3. Privacy

windows 10 privacy

Privacy has been a hot topic ever since Windows 10 was revealed in public beta builds. Microsoft's shift to "Windows as a Service" made Telemetry gathering more important for a number of reasons, for instance because of the shortened release cycle.

The company did a bad job at communicating with its user base about that. It revealed what the different Telemetry levels collect only with the release of the Creators Update, and left users mostly in the dark before that.

If you add other privacy concerns to that, the increase in "suggestions" that Microsoft displays in various locations of the system, and the massive privacy section and whitelisting of some apps, you end up with a system that is too invasive for privacy conscious users.

Some concern may be blown out of proportions, but Microsoft needs to work on its communication skills and improve privacy on Windows 10 further.

4. User Control

windows 10 extended web search

Windows 10 is not as bad as some other operating systems when it comes to giving users control over it, but Microsoft locked some features and options as well.

To give you some examples:

  1. Web Search works only with Bing and Microsoft Edge.
  2. You cannot disable Telemetry, only set it to Basic (or Security if you run Enterprise, Education editions).
  3. Many system applications cannot be uninstalled (using the interface).
  4. Windows Updates are all-or-nothing thanks to the cumulative nature of the update packages.

Experienced Windows users want to be in control when it comes to the operating system.

5. The default applications

windows 10 uninstall system apps

Windows 10 ships with a set of default applications. While some of these are certainly useful to some users of the operating system, there are others such as 3D Builder that are likely not used by many.

Controls to uninstall or move system apps are lacking in many regards, and it seems to change significantly between different versions what users can and cannot do.

While it is possible to uninstall system apps using PowerShell, most users are probably not comfortable using it.

The Settings application lists these apps, but the option to uninstall these apps is grayed out for many. Move is listed as an option, but it is grayed out for all system apps.

Microsoft needs to understand that part of the userbase does not want to use these apps.  Desktop programs are often better, for instance when it comes to functionality.

6. Windows Store

windows store

The Windows application ecosystem is way better than it was back when Windows 8 was released. Store apps don't look alike anymore, and the number of applications that users can select from has risen significantly as well.

Windows Store itself is quite the mess though, as it is a universal store now that delivers apps, games, media and even Microsoft Edge extensions to the Windows population.

The selection of apps and games is inferior when compared to Google's and Apple's store, and it is pretty much the same uphill battle that Microsoft faces with Edge and extensions support.

The porting of Win32 programs to Store apps may be useful in some cases, but there is little incentive for desktop users to pick the Store application if a desktop program is also available. This is different for the upcoming Windows 10 S edition though as it won't run legacy programs.

Another thing that keeps Windows Store behind is Microsoft's own strategy of releasing apps for Android or iOS exclusively or first.

7. Windows 10 Mobile

Is Windows 10 Mobile still a thing? Microsoft seems to have removed itself from mobile more or less. While there are a handful of devices that run Windows 10 Mobile, they are negligible when compared to Android and iOS.

The mobile strategy has failed for Microsoft big time, and the company has lost most of its die hard mobile users in the process.

Is Windows 10 Mobile dead, or will Microsoft attempt a revival? The rumored Surface Phone could be Microsoft's last attempt at reviving the mobile operating systems.

Microsoft should communicate better when it comes to its mobile strategy.

8. The focus

paint 3d

Windows 10 development as of late seems to focus on features that the majority of users don't seem to want or need.

The last feature update was the Windows 10 Creators Update, and it introduced new apps and options to create things. While that is certainly attractive to a subset of users, I'd imagine that the bulk of users cannot or won't use any of these new features apart from maybe giving them a try once to see what the hype is all about.

To be fair, the Creators Update did ship with other improvements, but Microsoft seems to have put the focus on creation more than anything else. This continues with the release of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update later this year.

Now You: Did I miss something? Feel free to discuss in the comment section below

8 things Microsoft needs to fix in Windows 10
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8 things Microsoft needs to fix in Windows 10
The article lists eight things that Microsoft needs to fix in the company's Windows 10 operating system to make it more attractive to users.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):


  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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