Windows 10 Is Doing Pretty OK Actually

Illustration for article titled Windows 10 Is Doing Pretty OK Actually

Windows 8 wasn’t exactly a beloved operating system, but it sure seems like its successor is off to a pretty good start! Today, Windows VP Yusuf Mehdi tweeted that more than 75 million devices are running the updated Windows 10 operating system.

Keep in mind, Windows 10 has only been out for about a month and mobile devices still haven’t been given the green light to download. So, 75 million devices is actually fairly impressive. For comparison, when Windows 8 was new it took roughly three months to sell 60 million licenses. But the new OS is free, which helps. And the last OS was caught in this awkward space where Windows 8 was trying to do more than a lot of people were ready for, which made it unpopular from the get-go.

Mehdi had a few—9 to be exact—follow-up tweets about other positive stats from the launch, the most interesting of which are these:

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Microsoft’s goal is for Windows 10 to reach 1 billion devices by 2017, so 75 million is just the start. (That’s a long way to go.) Still the company can probably expect a boost when mobile devices get to download the update. Plus, the company still hasn’t had a chance to sell a lot of new laptops with Windows 10 yet. Just think, there’s a couple holiday shopping seasons (plus back to school and graduations) between now and 2017.

Here’s a great example how Windows can play nicely with Windows. As more people begin buying, upgrading and integrating existing devices using Microsoft’s new OS, the company can keep crawling towards that 1 billion goal.

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This last one might actually be the best measure for the success of the launch, though. The Windows Store—during the Windows 8 era—was pretty barren. That’s partly due to the lack of users accessing and downloading from the store and partly due to developers seeing no value in making apps for the market (Oh, hey! those two things are directly related!). Even though it’s hard to say what timeframe is actually being represented in this tweet, 6x more app downloads means Windows Phone might have a fighting chance going forward as well.

If Microsoft can encourage developers to make apps for Windows PCs that people also want to use on a Windows phone, it could create an ecosystem that users won’t want to leave for other platforms.

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DISCUSSION

I really can’t get into Windows 10. Many things just strike me the wrong way.

  • Start Menu: It’s a half baked attempt to appease people who needed a start menu and them wanting to shove the material interface down your throat. Many of the things that are straight forward in something like 7 or 8.1 are shoved into a menu inside a menu on the screen. The sorting isn’t great either. All of the items are stuck in their sorting, unable to change it from ascending/descending (to my knowledge). I actually downloaded StartIsBack and went back to the orignal menu.
  • There’s also the issue of all the security issues. Yes I know that most of them are on par with what you give to Apple/Google to use their items, but I really think it’s a little disingenuous to leave these on by default. Especially the peer2peer for windows updating and the whole sharing wifi keys (which I changed)
  • The system is split between Metro and System32. What I mean by that is it’s entirely schizo over what it decides programs are. If you’ve tried to do any item removal they have it split between two sections: Settings (metro) and Control Panel (old school). Apparently they are trying to move everything into Settings but currently it’s just a mess and feels really sloppy on their part. I spent quite a time trying to find where to remove items, because I can’t find them because they are split.
  • Let’s not forget the rampant advertisements. I installed Win10 and found freaking candy crush saga on my desktop. I spent at least an hour trying to remove it from the system only to find out that it was just a link to the windows app store on the menu. There was also one with Minecraft. However IHeartRadio was installed (Gross). If this is a the state of where the OS is going, I’ll hop over to Linux.

This is just a quick overview, and I think there’s a bunch of other things I have problems with, but currently it feels like it could have done with another 6 months of development/bug testing. While my ultrabook is on Windows 10. I still think it can be saved, and truth be told I’ve heard that Win10 Enterprise is actually good however I haven’t snagged it off of MSDN yet. So I’ll just stick with 8.1 on my desktop.