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You shamelessly advertise it as the "latest and greatest Windows ever", when, in actuality, most people either love it or hate it. I'm talking, of course, about Windows 10. As of today, the homepage of windows.com informs us that "the best Windows keeps getting better", when, in fact, it would be more accurate to reword it "the worst Windows keeps getting worse". On the surface, you promise a slew of never-ending better and better enhancements to your posterchild operating system. Yet, you have consistently failed to deliver. Windows 10 launched on July 29, 2015, and few of what you've promised in the years before and since has materialized. Sure, specific one-liners in the update KBs have, but not the overall promised experience.
Nearly four years after you launched Windows 10 still unfinished under the hood, your newest operating system has failed to win over the hearts of your longtime customers and loyal fans. It is with a heavy heart that I write this, because I used to be Microsoft's #1 fan. It seemed, for a while, as if they would be the world's most infallible software giant, a corporate legend for the years to come. Well, that time has now come and passed. Your glory days are now over, and the most unfortunate part is that it's all completely your own doing. Talk about a tragedy!
We can't call Windows 10 a complete failure. It's a step up from the Windows 8x disaster, albeit a very small one. You've clearly renewed your commitment to security, even if that means aggressively coercing consumers and businesses like sheep in a pen. But apart from that, the truth is that you have let us down, your core longtime customers. As a reward for our loyalty, you have all but abandoned us and left us out to dry. It has become clear to us that you no longer care about listening to your customers, and arrogance and ignorance are now steering the Windows development ship.
No doubt, you know that people don't like change. That's been the history of software since there was software. You know we don't look forward to Patch Tuesday and you know we don't like upgrading when told to do so. And we know you don't like that some of us are still running Windows XP. That's why it astounds me why you've tweaked and changed Windows 10 so much that it's now completely different from any of its predecessors.
Sure, your investors are happy. Scratch that, they're enthralled. Your stock is undeniably performing better, perhaps, than it has ever before. But you have sold yourself out to investors at the price of your product. For the sake of jumping on the bandwagon and doing what "looks good" — pushing "cloud first" like everybody else, you've ruined what made Microsoft special and different — its commitment to advanced, powerful, professional computer systems. Your niche was the professional world — and your latest operating system caters exclusively to consumers (at least those that are easily satisfied), leaving everyone else behind. You have left your loyal, longtime customers more or less in the dust. Shame on you, Microsoft!
People used to give you "M$" crap back in the days for antitrust and standardizing the computer landscape, but this is small potatoes compared with how you have now criminally derailed the Windows operating system. Windows (and even Office, to some extent) used to be a high-quality, reliable, well-packaged series of operating systems. There were a few hiccups over the years (and you know what they were), but by and large, you have produced some of the most rock-solid software, ever. Microsoft was a highly respected software manufacturer, the name in software. Why did this have to change?
For years, you were a monolithic software giant, truly a force to be reckoned with. Your software dominated, and you know it. But times have changed. Face it: Windows is losing steam. You're losing market share. And you are expediting it, not slowing it down! People are leaving the Microsoft ecosystem left and right, in drones, faster than ever before. People can see through your façade, and come to the heartwrenching conclusion that you've stopped trying, or at least, stopped caring about us — us, the core users of your products. Your new commitment to what's shiny and fashionable, rather than what's durable and practical, repulses and revolts us all. You have alienated and aggravated so many of us who have been with you since the beginning.
There are those who like the flashy consumer craft that's typical of Apple and Google products. But for years, we could count on Microsoft for dependable, practical software. Now, you, the last company we could have predicted would do so, have jumped on the "pop" bandwagon, joining the likes of Apple and Google, and begun embracing consumer fads and trends, with a "want-to-please" mentality that has eaten the company from the inside out. In so doing, you've let down all of us who have come to depend on the old standard of service and quality for which you were known. The old, practical Microsoft has given way to the new, "hip" Microsoft. We realize that you're trying to appeal to young, inexperienced computer users. But you're doing so at the expense of pushing away all your old, traditional computer users, and the sad part is you don't seem to care. Screw all of us traditionalists, you say. Either get with the program, or migrate to Linux, you say.
Well, that's exactly what's happening. It's amazing, don't you think, how many people have stuck with Windows for decades — only to come this far and then decide to migrate, not to Windows 10, but to Linux. Indeed, that's exactly what the South Korean government has chosen to do. Perhaps, Microsoft, this should tell you something. At least, it would, if you cared to listen. But you don't — this has sadly become obvious to those of us who have patiently waited for the metro, modern era to end. It's a rude, cold slap in the face, but we can't deny it any longer — it's been the better part of a decade now since you cared to do anything much for your loyal customers, and you don't seem to mind trying to please a few wandering computer users at the expense of alienating your established base.
Some people say you've always been arrogant. If this is true, in the old days, this was okay. Maybe you never were the most approachable company, but you made rock solid software. In some ways, you were reminiscent of the old Bell System, a highly structured, monolithic corporate giant that was second to none in quality, durability, and reliability. But now your arrogance is a real problem. Today, you ship crap in a box, and while your customer service has actually improved of late in some respects, it's hardly consolation that that seems to have happened only to handle the increased amount of disgruntledness.
In short, the old venerable software giant, once a champion of the business world, has sold itself out and sunk to the level of Google and Apple — trying to please consumers on a whim with poorly executed and fatally flawed products. The result, as we've seen with Windows 8x and Windows 10, has been one embarrassing disaster after the other.
It's no wonder, then, that with just 7 months left until the end of extended mainstream support for Windows 7, there are still, according to various browser use stats aggregators, between 30% and 40% of Windows PCs continue to run Windows 7. Given that the free upgrade period has long passed and we're so close to the end of mainstream support, of those that are consumers, many are probably determined to stick with the OS as long as they can. We hardily commend them for this responsible decision. As we saw with the end of Windows XP support, people don't like being told they shouldn't use their favorite Windows OS anymore. And given that Windows 7 is the last in a long line of similar and familiar "tried and true" Windows operating systems, the holdout with Windows 7 is likely to exceed even that which Windows XP experienced. In line wit this, there are even reports that Windows 7 usage has occasionally increased during certain months in the past year. According to ComputerWorld, it's possible Windows 7 will go out of mainstream support with 35% of Windows PCs still running the well-established operating system.
While running an unpatched operating system is generally not recommended, it really can't be helped anymore. Windows 10 is such an impediment to the sensible computer user that any self-respecting PC user should seriously consider whether he ought to consider remaining behind. You, doubtless, disagree. In all your infinite wisdom, you think we should mindlessly keep buying your products without reassessing if they truly continue to meet our needs or not. But tell me, Microsoft — why should I upgrade my PC if it will lead to a downgrade in its usability? Why should I make myself suffer? Software is supposed to make my life easier, not harder, is it not?
Having used Windows 10 now for a couple years, I've had the privilege of experiencing living computer hell for an extended period of time. There are numerous reasons why Windows 10 takes the cake for some of your worst negligence ever. Days where Windows 10 is not aggravating and counterproductive are few and far between. A laundry list of fatal problems with Windows 10 that is driving your traditional base of customers away is not hard to come up with. If you want to listen, Microsoft, and you want to continue to earn our business, as you have for the past two, three, or more decades, maybe you should reevaluate your current course of action and pursue one that would put your objectives more in line with ours. Don't forget: the customer is always right (you seem to have forgotten). You have reached a critical point in your company's history. You have forgotten about us, the "neglected majority" for too long now. Your support is teetering and waning daily. You can oblige us by fixing the fatal problems that plague the Windows 10 operating system, or you will soon become irrelevant and fade into oblivion.
There are many things you would do well to fix in Windows 10 to appease your traditionalist base of users. Here are some of its most critical problems, in no particular order:
- Unfinished — As it was released in the most unfinished condition in which a Windows OS has ever been released, evidence of tweaking is still under the hood is everywhere. Although Windows 10 places a new emphasis on continous development, which no doubt lends Windows 10 to an ongoing feeling of experimentation, the entire operating system is unusually riddled with "works in progress". Customers are now constant guinea pigs and can never enjoy the stability of a consistent user experience and user interface as with previous releases of Windows.
- Reliability — Reliability is a major problem with Windows 10. Similar to Windows ME, Windows 10 has numerous quirks that lead to unreliable performance and unexpected activities. When things go wrong in Windows 10, they don't go wrong the way you would expect them to from previous versions of Windows. Windows can unexpectedly overlay on top of the taskbar. The GUI can crash in a way that leaves you with no alternative but doing a hard reboot. Right-clicking zipped folders can cause File Explorer to hang for more than a dozen seconds. These are just the first few of a long list of reliability problems experienced with Windows 10. Given its tendency to fault without warning, it would be idiotic to deploy Windows 10 on any mission-critical system — it's simply not designed for that. Thank goodness for Windows 7 and Windows XP!
- Bloatware — Windows 10 is full of bloatware, as a quick glance at the default Start Menu on a new consumer build of Windows 10 Home will show. GPOs can be used, of course, to lock all this down, but this should hardly be necessary in the first place. In addition to the kiddy games with which you junk up our PCs, there are a bunch of useless metro apps included in your builds. While a few of your included UWP apps like "Voice Recorder", we admit, can be useful (though we still prefer Audacity), the vast majority of them, like your useless 3D Printer app, for instance, are not of interest to 99% of PC users. If you're going to include default system applications or "apps", at least make them useful, please.
- Heavy Integration with the Cloud — The "cloud" is one of those overused buzzwords in society today, much like "ecommerce" and "paradigm" once were. Windows 10 takes integration with the cloud to a whole new level. From no integration with the cloud in Windows XP to essentially still none in Windows 7, this is a huge shift, which actually started with Windows 8x. Still, you vigorously encourage consumers to sign in with a Microsoft account, set up their OneDrive accounts, and use Office 365. Clearly, you have caught the "cloud bug", and embraced the "consumer cloud fad", but power users are not interested in the cloud and never will be and have to disable and remove all this unfunctionality. Why not make cloud integration an add-on, as in Windows 7, rather than something that those of us at the top of the PC hierarchy find irksome have to remove? If we wanted to fully embrace the cloud, we'd be using Chromebooks, not Windows PCs!
- Simplistic Task Manager By Default — The first time you open Task Manager, you'll see a completely useless window listing the programs open on your computer. Thanks, Microsoft, I can surmise as much by looking at the taskbar. To actually use Task Manager like in previous versions of Windows, you have to click "More details". Thankfully, once you do this, you probably won't have to do it again. Still, why is this unnecessary hassle even required? Those of us who are constantly using different PCs in an IT environment can't deal with this type of stuff.
- Start Menu — The Start Menu in Windows 10 is not a significant improvement over the one that shipped with Windows 8x. It remains a largely elusive, unusable menu based around fancy "metro" tiles that everyone hates. Perhaps this is the biggest "screw you" to corporate users, in an attempt to placate consumers, even though they don't really like them either. You just can't let go of this concept, can you? They say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result seems to me like you're trying to push the same dysfunctional interface on users, with a slight tweak, and expecting them to like it.
Apart from the fact that it's no longer possible to pin items in an organized linear fashion as in Windows 7, the convenient menu shortcuts to "Computer", "Control Panel", and "Run", among other things, are no longer. Yes, you have small icons on the lefthand column that are all two lines and a circle away from each other — completely useless. Furthermore, the "All Programs" view in Windows 10, which is now what appears in the middle pane in the newest editions, is incredibly bulky. Your aggravating insistence on breaking up programs by letter and showing a large icon for each program makes so much more scrolling necessary than in any prior version of Windows. Way to break a huge UX rule: less scrolling is definitely more! A menu that might not have required any scrolling on a Windows 7 PC requires a crap ton of scrolling in Windows 10. This makes for a terrible user experience!
Classic Shell can fix some of your screw-ups, though it's no longer actively in development. What's more, an interface that requires third-party patching to restore lost previous functionality is fundamentally flawed. The Windows 7 start menu was tons more functional — even the Windows XP start menus were way more functional. Like many other things, you had it right before. Your insistence on screwing up something perfectly good that was working well and replacing it with an abomination is frustrating beyond words.
- All Programs — I already covered how the All Programs view is next to useless, considering how sprawling it now is. But with regards to the actual contents themselves, Microsoft has screwed this up as well. It's hard to say whether it's Windows or Office that screwed up here, but previously Microsoft Office applications all appeared in a single folder (titled "Microsoft Office"), and now, each individual application is lonesomely sitting by itself in the menu. This means "Excel" is nowhere near "Word" anymore. Considering that it made sense for Office applications to all appear together, in their own folder, this move is quite aggravating.
- Power Options — This is part of the Start Menu, but such a major flaw that it really stands on its own. In Windows 7, the power options were stuck all together, making it very easy to shut down, restart, logoff, etc. Perhaps Windows+Right+Enter shutting your PC down was undesirable, and subject to pranks, but the default power action could easily be configured to something else, like "Lock". In Windows 10, you've split this up again — one to perform power cycling events and another to logoff, lock, or use fast user switching. What's more, the important menus on Windows 10 consist purely of icons (unless you manually expand the hamburger menu each time). While the "Power" menu is at least half-intuitive, what dimwit thought that clicking on your username would be an intuitive way to logout? In Windows 7, clicking your name on the Start Menu would do something completely different — open up a user profile panel in the Control Panel, as one might expect. Why completely rework this? And yes, we know that Windows XP didn't have the unified power menu, either. But it did have clearly marked "Shut down" and "Logoff" buttons that had a clear purpose and were as straightforward to use as could be. Windows 10's power options are neither straightforward nor unified.
- Microsoft Edge — Yes, we know that Internet Explorer 11 is still there. A good thing, too, for Edge has proved to be even worse than Internet Explorer. It's far slower and proves not to have any special reason to use it — at least IE will work when no other browser does, like when viewing legacy web applications or PSR recording files. Edge is slow, bulky, and altogether limited in what it can do compared to other modern browsers. Edge is an even worse choice for a default browser than IE. Also, the Edge logo is, quite frankly, bug ugly. The Project Spartan logo, at least, was somewhat elegant and appropriate — the actual final Edge logo is, instead, another reminder that Edge is just what IE never should have been.
- Removal of Classic Theme — The Classic theme, which has been with Windows since the first GUI-based versions of Windows, is no more with Windows 10. This whopper of a neglect is right up there with the disastrous Start menu! This plain but usable theme/scheme has long been the workhorse of Windows in the workplace. Its mere presence is indicative of a straightforward, professional user experience. Furthermore, since Windows XP, it's been a way to "opt out" of the flashy, colorful UIs that Microsoft has introduced since, whether they be the Luna theme typical of consumer installations of Windows XP or the glassy "Aero" theme typical of consumer installations of Windows 7. With Windows 10, the Classic theme is all but gone. I say "all but" only because when explorer.exe crashes, as it frequently does in Windows 10, pressing ALT+TAB to cycle through open programs will — until explorer.exe is restored (which may or may not happen on its own) — bring up the Windows 7 "no themes style" interface exactly (disabling themes in Windows 7 yields a "white" interface that was similar to, but not the same as, the Classic theme). Yet, this interface exists nowhere else in the OS, and only goes to show that Windows 10 is a deplorable mess of inconsistency even in its implementation of unworkable themes. Furthermore, there is no way to opt out of the default flashy themes as, not only is the Classic theme gone, and not even possible to get back by any third-party hack or patch, but disabling themes altogether is not even possible anymore, in the sense of what it accomplished in previous versions of Windows.
- Terrible Default Theme & Color Scheme — The default theme in Windows 10 is terrible, to put it mildly. The only thing we've nothing against is the default wallpaper, which is decent. But the black color scheme makes the entire operating system gloomy and difficult to use, and the new white theme is equally ridiculous. The contrast is starkly different from the norm in previous versions of Windows. Furthermore, by default, the "accent color", as you call it, is not shown on either the start, taskbar, and action center surfaces or the title bars and window borders. Previously, this is fundamentally how color schemes in Windows operated. Yes, these can be enabled or configured, but why would your default settings suck so badly?
- Less Control — Windows 10 gives less control to the end user, putting Microsoft in the driver's seat, rather than the customer. So many options in the OS, you take the liberty of tweaking for us as you see fit, even resetting options that we have already set. Furthermore, fewer useful personalization tweaks are available and the overall look and feel of the operating system is restricted to the modern look you want to push on everyone.
- Control Panel vs. Settings — Here's more evidence of Microsoft's ignorance of user experience. Seriously, what the heck? This is right up there with the Start Menu and removal of the Classic theme as one of your top screw-ups with Windows 10. First of all, the Settings app is a complete joke. The powerful Control Panel has slowly given way to a "modern" Settings app that offers a simplistic interface allowing tweaking of only a small subset of what could previously be tweaked. And, as a UWP app, Settings takes forever to load, while Win32 components of the operating system, like Control Panel, loads almost immediately. UWP apps like Settings are, instead, stuck on a pointless splash screen for seconds. Not only that, but many settings, rather than being migrated from the former to the latter, have instead been dropped and have disappeared altogether. Come on, Microsoft! If you're too lazy to make the switch, then why did you even try? There's not even a good way to predict what might be in the Control Panel and what might be in Settings (or what's no longer in either). Specific options in either can instantly take you to the other one. Pardon our French, but this is a super half-assed job. The only good thing about your inability to follow through with what you started is that some things still are in the Control Panel. But the Settings app was a terribly idea, an attempt to conform with other mobile platforms' conventions, rather than the business and desktop world. Control Panel was great, and the new Settings app is a wash.
- More Work For IT — Windows 10, in contrast to what you claim, is a complete nightmare for IT. Previous Windows releases allowed IT departments to manage their network in a fairly straightfoward manner. Windows 10 adds so much more chaos to the already hectic mess that is computer management. Now, we have to disable and remove the Windows Store, make sure all your preinstalled rubbish games have been removed, disable Cortana and all your "smart" features, etc. If only all these things didn't ship with the costlier versions of Windows.
- Inconsistent — This is a huge UX flaw and a moderate impediment to usability. Windows 10, as a whole, is riddled with incoherencies. The incongruity between Control Panel vs. Settings. is the biggest example of this, but such inconsistencies riddle the entire operating system. For example, the volume control in Windows 10 uses the "new" Windows 10 style interface, as opposed to the older Windows 7 style one, by default. At least, it sort of does. If you right-click this and then click "Open Volume Mixer", the old Windows 7-style Volume Mixer instantly appears, which uses the old Windows 7 style volume control completely. Here and there in the operating system, there are these constant reminders that pieces of Windows 7 are still here. While these older interfaces are far more usable than the newer ones, and you would do well to just discard the new ones and put the old ones back where you've replaced them, this makes for a lot more confusement in the daily user experience. I haven't verified recently whether this still works, but Tip #3 of this article explains how to bring the old-style volume control slider back. Thank goodness for registry fixes to patch up your mistakes.
- Time Consuming — I thought computers were supposed to make life easier. Windows 10 just makes it harder. Things that took a split second to do in Windows 7 take much more effortful thinking and clicking in Windows 10. And the "time-saving" features you introduced are next to useless and only get in the way. For instance, in Windows 7, a quick click on Start → Devices & Printers would take you there. Now, numerous clicks are required: first to the Settings app, which takes an eon to open, then to Devices, then to Printers & Scanners. But wait! If you click "Devices and Printers" on the right-hand side, then you get taken to the old "Devices & Printers" in the Control Panel! (Again, reiterating the gross inconsistency in Windows 10 as exemplified by Settings vs. Control Panel). Considering "Devices & Printers" still (thankfully) exists in the Control Panel, it's not even clear what the point of the "Printers & Scanners" page in the Settings app is for; it's completely useless.
- Ridiculous Naming Conventions — A lot of things in Windows 10 are poorly named. Names in Windows 7, for the most part, made perfect sense. Sure, there were some initial resistance to changing "My Computer" to "Computer" and "My Documents" to "Documents", but it wasn't the end of the world. Windows 10 is chock full of stupid naming choices. For instance, take the Devices section in the Settings app. The first page that pops up is titled "Bluetooth & other devices". Looking at this page right now, I can't help but wonder what idiot named this page: The logic used to name this "Bluetooth & other devices" makes zero sense. For one, there are zero Bluetooth devices on this page and everything that appears, I suppose, would be a "other device". I see here a keyboard, a mouse, the computer's line in/out and headphone/microphone jacks, the monitor, and an external floppy disk reader, none of which have anything to do with Bluetooth. What on earth caused you to give this page such a stupid name? For one, Bluetooth has absolutely no role in the professional computing world. It's a flashy consumer technology with no role in the corporate world, and using consumer terminology in a business operating system makes very little sense. Beyond that, considering the popularity of things like "Bluetooth monitors", naming this page as if Bluetooth devices take center stage is a sore delusion. To your credit, you've so far left "Devices & Printers" in Control Panel intact, which is the rightful home of these peripherals. This is further evidence of the alienation between you and us. Any computer peripheral found in the workplace is just an "other device", much like how we, your longtime loyal customers, are now just your "other users".
- Senseless Renaming — Beyond entirely new dumb names that have appeared in Windows 10, like "Bluetooth & other devices", several things have been renamed for no real reason. "Computer" is now "This PC" by default, which makes absolutely no sense. Considering that I currently have 11 mapped network locations, none of which, of course, are physically located on "This PC", calling it this makes no sense at all. This name might have made some sense for the also awkwardly named "Devices and drives" section of "This PC". This is where local media appears, but wouldn't a network location also count as a "drive"? And what's with "Favorites" being renamed to "Quick Access"? Isn't any location that appears on the left pane of Windows Explorer (oops, File Explorer) quick to access? It's no quicker to access any of these locations than it is to access a mapped network drive. The name "Favorites" made logical sense; the name "Quick Access" makes none. And in your attempt to be "hip" and everything we don't want you to be, you've also renamed logon/logoff to signin/signout, which breaks a longstanding Windows naming convention and just makes Windows 10 look more like the dumb service it is rather than the great product it was, or could've been. Your naming strategy seems to have been to make everything as confusing as possible. Evidently that's why you you purposely took perfectly fine names and convoluted them.
- Clutter — Windows 10 is extremely cluttered. Simply opening up File Explorer to "This PC" reveals a nightmarish mess. At the top, we see 6 or 7 "Folders", a completely useless section that clutters up this view. For one, Desktop, Documents, and Downloads are already accessible through your ill-renamed "Quick Access" section. The Music, Pictures, and Videos folders are next to useless, and, in any case, have no business cluttering up the "This PC" page. For the two in a thousand people who need this, they can navigate to their user profile directory, which can be pinned to "Quick Access", and access these from there. Why clutter up "This PC" with annoying shortcuts to folders that 99.97% of computer users will never use and do not want? "This PC" is not the place for computer shortcuts. You've broken your own longtime rule of only showing actual devices and drives on this page. Yes, there's a registry fix to remove these folder shortcuts, but that's one more hassle for IT departments to deal with. Furthermore, this registry fix isn't perfect. When navigating to one of the folders which was previously shortcuted to from This PC, it will temporarily show up under the This PC umbrella in the lefthand navigation pane. Please, just remove these shortcuts altogether. They have no place in "This PC". For users who want a shortcut to one of these locations, they can easily Favorite it, er, "Quick Access" it.
- Double Drives — Am I seeing double? Nope, you actually just screwed up again. For some reason, you thought it would be a good idea to duplicate all removable drives in the lefthand pane: AskVG provides much needed instructions on how to remove these for consumers, another in a long line of registry fixes people have had to come up with to fix the numerous problems with Windows 10. Imagine having 4 USB devices connected and seeing not 4, but 8, of them in the navigation pane. This is a poor UX modification without any actual apparent reasoning behind it. I can't imagine why anyone would find seeing double drives remotely helpful or useful. While you're at it, Microsoft, why not duplicate our mapped network drives, too? It seems like increasing the clutter in the navigation pane has been one of your prime goals with Windows 10.
- Preview & Details Pane — You really gave us the middle finger with this one. In previous versions of Windows, the preview pane, if enabled, appeared on the right, and the details pane, if enabled, appeared on the bottom. Now, in Windows 10, they both appear on the right. So, how do you enable them both at the same time? Oh, yeah, you can't! In all your infinite wisdom, you've clearly assumed that nobody in the world cares to preview a file while also viewing its metadata details. This is such a straightforward bad move on your part that I wonder if you're purposely trying to make Windows less usable. This can be enough of an impediment to some power users of Windows that, along with your other screw-ups, will send them scrambling back to Windows 7 in a heartbeat.
- Simplified Error Reporting — When you screw up, it helps to have information to help us remediate that. In Windows 7, a blue screen yielded a several paragraph dump of computer jargon. In Windows 10, it yields Something happened or Sorry, something went wrong :(. Wow, thanks, Microsoft, for all the helpful debug information! :(
- Dumbed Down, Condescending Language — Windows 7 and prior versions of Windows used somewhat loftier, but professional, language. In Windows 10, you've attempted to try to be more personal, but really, all you've done is make it seem like we're total morons. Everywhere in the OS, you've dumbed down the language. Some are as minor as changing "Please do not power off or unplug your machine. Installing update 2 of 7" to something that says "Don't turn off your PC" plus some more. Others are as condescending as the new welcome messages, like "We're setting things up here" or "We've got some new features for you to be excited about" (oh, really?) or "This won't take long". Really? Stick to the facts, please. Windows 10 is a computer operating system, not a person. Take the emotion out of your verbiage.
- Invasive Login Screen — This is a huge out of bounds step on your part. In previous versions of Windows, you typed your username and password, hit ENTER, and had the pleasure of watching the lofty verbose status messages roll by, beginning with "Please wait for the User Profile Service" to "Preparing your desktop" (I'll admit, it's always given me great satisfaction to watch these). Thankfully, you haven't done anything as dumb as removing verbose messaging, and consumers can even tweak Windows 10 to do this. But in addition to this, you now also display the full name of the user during the login process in huge text! Have you no notion of a user's right to privacy? Perhaps this caters to consumers, making them feel so hunky dory with their personalized operating system, but this is a huge annoyance to professional customers. It's not at all like bginfo, which is something IT administrators configure and have complete control over. The Windows 7 login process is completely anonymous, giving onlookers no clue as to who you are. With Windows 10, everyone in the room can figure out who you are just by looking at your monitor from the other side of the room. Nice going, Microsoft.
- Favoritism and Magical Resets — Amazingly, Microsoft's invisible helping hand seems to permeate the operating system. Users everywhere report logging in after an update and seeing that their default programs have all been reset. What's more, throughout the operating, subtle hints are given that push users towards using its products, like the warning that appears when manually changing it away from Edge. This is another radical shift from Windows' long practice of neutrality to aggresively promoting and pushing its own software to a new extent. Come on, Microsoft, we all know you want everyone to use Edge, but this is most unbecoming. Play nice.
- Prioritization of UWP apps — You've replaced solid, dependable built-in Win32 apps with laughably mediocre UWP apps. For example, Windows Media Player has been disfavored in favor of the "Videos" app. the reliable Windows Photo Viewer has seemingly disappeared in favor of the modern "Photos" app. Here's a hint, Microsoft. Nobody in the professional world is interested in your dumbed down, god-awful UWP apps. Maybe you won't help customers use Photo Viewer again, but third-parties, thankfully, recognize its importance and provide instructions.
- Default Programs — Ironically, in Windows 10, you've given yourself the liberty to change customers' default programs for them whenever you feel like it. At the same time, you've made it harder for customers to change their default programs themselves! In previous versions of Windows, changing a default was often a one-step click. Now, manually changing a default almost always means a trip to the Settings app, which, considering how well that plays with the user, makes it far more painful to change defaults.
- Privacy, Spying, Advertising, etc. — This is an issue that irks businesses and consumers alike, but Windows 10 takes data collection to a whole new level. I won't bother getting into this in detail, as the privacy nightmare also known as Windows 10 is already well-documented elsewhere.
- Login and Lock Screens — Since Windows 2000, logon to Windows workstations on a domain has looked relatively the same. The overall design was overhauled in Windows 7, but it was otherwise consistency with a decade long tradition of computer login. With Windows 8x, this all changed, and it's not been changed back with Windows 10. Yes, you can still require Windows Secure Logon, but everything about the logon process is different. First off, the Windows Secure Login prompt doesn't appear in the center of the screen anymore — oddly enough, it appears in the corner. Next, all of the pre-login text appears in an altogether different font that is much larger in size. Then, there's the splash screen, and the fact that one background appears at the login screen and, potentially, another while logging in. And in consumer builds, there exists the option to customize the login screen, a personalization option that did not exist before and one that, ironically enough, we don't wish existed now. A highly standardized and controlled login process has now devolved into a decentralized logon nightware. The entire experience is inconsistent and IT can no longer control every aspect of this process. Need any more be said?
- Daylight Savings Reminder — This is one of the top fatal flaws in Windows 10. In no version of Windows 10 are Daylight Savings reminders provided. You've refused to comment on this situation, and this is an incredibly precarious problem. Many people have come to rely on Windows providing advance notification of impending time zone changes (i.e. from standard time to daylight time, or vice versa). The modern clock in Windows is already a piece of junk, considering it dumped the analog clock for a repetitive digital display of the time and blew up the calendar so it takes up half the screen. But, despite invading a quarter of your monitor with a non-intuitive clock and calendar, you still don't warn us about daylight savings. The one helpful nudge that Windows featured, and you removed it! Shame on you.
- Deprecation — This is another one of those huge problems with Windows 10. Your insistence on deprecating all the old Win32 components of the operating system and replacing it with UWP apps is akin to slowly dismantling my desktop PC and replacing it with a tablet — no thanks! Rumors have had it that both Paint and the Snipping Tool were destined to die, and though newer rumors have it that, at least for now, the Snipping Tool is safe, this is hardly an isolated incident. The old calc.exe has been replaced by a UWP app that is far less usable. Picture Manager was removed from Office with Office 2013. Windows XP Mode is no longer included with Windows 10. Movie Maker is not even officially available for download anymore. You seem to have a liking for deprecating software that works and works well.
- Windows Briefcase — With build 14942, you have completely removed Windows Briefcase from Windows 10! Your rationale is easy to surmise: you think it's a legacy feature, and thus, you'd like to kill it off. Just what is your obsession with killing off legacy applications and features? You already put the work in years ago in creating the feature. It requires positive work to strike the feature from Windows 10. In other words, you spent time purposely removing functionality from Windows! Now, why would you do that? Is it possible you don't want people to upgrade to Windows 10??? True, this is somewhat of a niche feature these days, but it's important enough for some people that it's a make it or break it feature. Tell me, how else do I automatically synchronize files with a Windows 98 desktop with no network card? You load Windows 10 up with bloatware that nobody wants, and then you take away actually useful features. Most aggravating, to say the least!
- DVD Support — Windows 10 has no native DVD playback support. On account of trying to save a few bucks on licensing, you've also made the Windows 10 operating system a hindrance to media playback. It is now impossible to play DVDs using Windows Media Player. Yes, we can use the free VLC Media Player (I highly doubt anybody is dumb enough to pay for your $14.99 DVD playback app), and though Windows Media Player is buggy in a number of ways, it was nice to at least have the option of using it to play DVDs.
- Windows Media Center — I suppose Windows 8x doesn't have it, either, but the fact that Windows 7 includes it and Windows 10 doesn't makes one the obvious choice for media enthusiasts.
To be fair, GPOs and registry fixes can be used to fix a lot of what we've pointed out above but not all of it. There is no GPO to make the Classic theme come back. It's gone, and there's no way to get it back. Perhaps this is the ultimate "screw you" to business customers, who've had the door slammed rudely in their face and made starkly aware that Microsoft is no longer on their side.
The list above is by no means exhaustive. There are numerous other petty things I could've lashed out about as well, like the mysterious occasional disappearance of the battery indicator on Windows 10 laptops. Undoubtedly, countless other people have countless other complaints about your failure of an OS, an insult to the Windows brand name. But I've done enough disparaging for today. I have written this as bluntly as possible, for your situation is dire. The clock is ticking to 2020 and the end of Windows 7 support. I have, quite honestly, little faith that you will change direction and rectify your mistakes. But if you think I'm going to buy a copy of Windows 10 for my next PC, you are sorely mistaken. I will join the rebels whom you hate so much — the outlaws running the likes of Windows 7, Windows XP, and Windows 2000. They are remnants from the glory days of your company, and they are excellent operating systems. Two of them you have already left to whither and die. You are not always as foolish as your software makes it seem — you've already recognize that Windows 10 just doesn't cut it for some folks, and you've agreed to offer additional paid support until January 2023. But frankly, I don't know if that will be enough. If you fail to fix what's fundamentally wrong with Windows 10, some of us may very well be running Windows 7 for the rest of our lives. I hope, very much, that you find this greatly disconcerting. Though here, I must commend you for at least having the heart to patch Windows XP against WannaCry in 2017 and, just recently, BlueKeep as well.
You want the transition from Windows 7 to Windows 10 to be smoother than the transition from Windows XP to Windows 7, but you have failed to deliver. Windows 7 was a fundamentally sound operating system, with a few UI changes, but otherwise solid all around. Considering how much larger the discrepancy is between 7 and 10 than between XP and 7, good luck with that. The resistance to Windows 10 is likely going to prove larger than any Windows upgrade resistance you've encountered so far. And a word to the wise: stop blaming your customers for remaining on outdated Windows versions. You have made them obsolete by your own doing, and you have failed to deliver an adequate successor to the Windows 7 operating system.
Security is the only issue possibly preventing people from sticking with Windows 7 and Windows XP. A great many of these machines aren't networked, in which case there's absolutely no reason to "upgrade". And of the many that are, it's, as with anything, a cost/benefit or pro/con analysis. For many people, the downsides of "downgrading" to Windows 10 far outweigh the risk of remaining behind on a less secure operating system.
- Support for Windows 7 is ending
- Support for Windows 7 is nearing the end
- Windows 7 users are still refusing to upgrade to Windows 10
- Here’s what it will cost to stay on Windows 7 when extended support ends in 2020
- Windows 7 vs. Windows 10: Which is better?
- Why Windows 10 Sucks
- Report: 95 Percent of the ATMs in the World Still Run Windows XP
- Microsoft’s Windows XP Finally Dead: Last Embedded Version Reaches EOL
- How to Tweak Windows XP and Stop Worrying About the Apocalypse
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