Windows 10 OS Consumer Review

This will not be a highly technical nor a fully in-depth review.  If that is what you are looking for it would be best to go to a dedicated tech site/blog.  This is more of an overview regarding what Microsoft has done with their new Operating System (OS).

I have utilized Windows OS since Windows 95.  I loved XP.  I bypassed Vista.  I thought Win7 Home Premium was pretty darn good.  I never once considered Win8.  Or 8.1.  As for further full disclosure, I also own an iMac and a MacBook Pro but I have found that I, personally, need to have a Windows OS to do certain things better or faster.

Outlined here will be primary thoughts and observations from my experience during the past month, my 30-day trial period where I could opt to go back to Win7, if I so desired.  There are enough improvements so I think I will stay with Win10.  Please note, there are no longer Basic and Premium editions, so my Win7 Home Premium is now simply Win10 Home.

Windows 10 StartThe first hooray, as pretty much everyone knows, is that the Start button is back and, I am sure, here to stay.  It has a bit of a different look and feel but the additional options it provides are great.  And, it is customizable to your taste.

Win10 Setings 1It does take a little while to get all your settings the way you want them.  Most are not found where they had been located in the earlier OS’s.  You access all of the Win 10 OS settings by clicking the Start button and then Settings.  When you do that the above window appears.

Win10 Settings 2For each Settings page there are tabs on the left, as in the sample shown above.  You should absolutely go through each and every one of the nine Settings pages and all of the Tabs on each page to ensure that all is to your liking.  It can be a bit time consuming but it is definitely worth it.  If needed, you can do a Duck search for ‘Windows 10 Settings’ and get answers to various questions you may have.

Concerning privacy, a thorough explanation of all options is at lifehacker.  It is a long, must-read, post but it goes through pretty much each privacy-related setting that you should be aware of and what each setting controls.

The new browser, Microsoft Edge, is not really an improvement over Internet Explorer.  My displeasure with IE11 over the past year, especially, was growing exponentially as there were increasingly too many website pages that I frequent that had to be reloaded or that just plain froze (quite annoying, to say the least).  While those exact phenomena have not been an issue with Edge (knock on wood, cross my fingers), there are other things to spoil my experience.

One of the worst is the length of time to load certain often-visited sites like Facebook and eBay, where it can take as long as 30 seconds to load.  While maybe not as bad as freezing like IE11, still a pain.  Another horror is that I work with several tabs open and if I go from one site to another and then back again a while later to the earlier tabbed website it always reloads/refreshes.  That means, on a site like FB, regardless of how far down I had scrolled, I am no longer there, I am at the top.  That last one did NOT occur with IE11.

Microsoft Edge SettingsOne thing I noticed when I first opened Edge was that there was no Home icon.  If you use that feature, which I do, a lot, it must be activated.  For all Edge browser settings you go to the upper right corner of the browser and find three dots to the far right.  Click that and then click Settings at the bottom.  The Home button on/off control is found in, of all places, the Advanced Settings page (???) of the Edge Settings, which is also where you can set your desired Home page.  So, what browser do I use?  Mozilla Firefox.  It works great.  And, yes, I use DuckDuckGo as my home page and search engine as they don’t track users.  I like that.

Don't Track Us - DuckDuckGo
Courtesy of DuckDuckGo

Having gone through every page and every button for both the Win10 Settings and Edge Settings I am pretty happy with everything that is offered.  As a note, I really did not like the Snap feature, so I turned that off when I found it.

There has been only one major disappointment, thus far, and it is not the fault of Microsoft.  Since 2003, I have used an HP PhotoSmart 7660 photo printer because I have not seen any other printer that could beat mine for color quality.  Unfortunately, I could not install it on Win10.  It worked with Win7, albeit with a substitute driver, but it worked.  The only good thing is that, for some reason, my 7660 could be installed on my iMac.  Go figure.

Fortunately, to my relief, my trusty older tech programs Adobe Acrobat 9 Standard and Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 both work great.  Other devices and programs performing well with Win10 are my HP OfficeJet Pro 8100, McAfee Internet Security, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, Microsoft Office 2010, Quicken 2013 Home & Business and VuDu To Go.  For this post, I discovered that I could not drag and drop my photos, though I could upload them.  Perhaps WordPress needs to iron out some compatibility bug.

As I said at the start…not highly technical, at all.  Just one person’s opinion that Microsoft heard and listened to some concerns of their consumers.  As far as others, well, at least the options probably exist, somewhere on one of the many Settings pages, to control a lot of the various aspects of the OS and browser.

As a final note, I do want to say that having all of the giant tech companies force us into accepting things that make their life easier, or more profitable, sucks.  It happens with all of our tech products and programs.  They force us to accept what they produce.

An example is trying to make a one-size-fits-all program where what you use or access works equally well and perfectly on a Nokia Lumia 830 5″ SmartPhone, a Kindle Fire 7″ HDX, an Apple 8.9″ iPad Air, a Dell Inspiron 15.6″ laptop, a 21.5″ Apple iMac and a 27″ Lenovo all-in-one touch screen PC.  I’m just saying.  Think about it.

Over For Now.

Main Street One