Can Windows 10 Save Microsoft?

As Windows 10 is already out and Microsoft is driving herds of Windows devotees in its powerful campaign, I decided to tackle this question as well. I don’t use Windows for personal computing anymore and though it’s surely a matter of taste, I feel there are good reasons why any Windows version beyond Windows 7 exists merely for profit.

Fast forwarding to modern times (post year 2000), Windows XP was the most successful Windows version thus far. It was stable, visually pleasing and offered all of the essential features one may expect from an operating system. Its successor, Windows Vista, was almost a complete flop, though it did introduce concepts important to further Windows operating systems, like User Account Control (UAC). No wonder computer users considered Windows 7 a return to Windows tradition and a milestone in Microsoft’s history.

However, this sinusoidal pattern of good-bad Windows versions gives the impression that Microsoft has a hard time grasping user expectations. It is the more puzzling that they managed to get them right twice already (Windows XP and Windows 7), yet they still strive for…what exactly? Windows 8 was an absolutely unnecessary catastrophe and anything beyond just emphasizes the bad taste that was left by it. To top it off, Windows as an operating system architecture is so majorly flawed that a whole software industry was born to fix those flaws. This is nicely elaborated on in some rants I found:

rant on Windows and Windows 10

slightly vulgar rant on Windows

I admit neither Mac OS X, nor GNU/Linux is perfect. However, the latter is free open-source software and flexible enough so that existing issues can be gradually solved. On the other hand, Windows 10 is just plain terrible:

  • The Start Menu that Microsoft promised to return was butchered, and filled with Windows 8 tiles and adverts.
  • The file manager directory tree is a mixture of mounted drives/partitions, linked network directories, favorites, etc. in a completely random order.
  • Key system options can be changed in the legacy Control Panel or the new Settings app. No consistency regarding which one to use.
  • The Edge Internet browser is largely unfinished and buggy.
  • The user interface (UI) looks like a school project in GUI design, using qt graphical libraries.
  • There is completely no guarantee that an upgrade from Windows 7/8/8.1 will be successful and Windows 10 has the drivers to support all of the hardware.

Many of the above qualms were experienced by long-time Windows fans also. Sadly, but I feel Windows 10 is a failed product that should be avoided at all costs. My suggestion is either to stick to Windows 7 or forget Windows entirely and move to something else (Mac OS X? GNU/Linux?). Windows 10 cannot and will not save Microsoft.

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