Windows 10 is still underwhelming

Not a very interesting picture.

I rambled a bit about my experience of using Windows 10 for the first time a little while ago. A few months have now passed, so has my experience got any better? Basically, no, not really. Read on, if you're interested.

I still hate the schizophrenic settings system. Finding settings is hard enough, but then dealing with the two different kinds of interface is deeply frustrating. In Settings, changes appear to be automatically saved, but there's no notification that this has taken place, so I often find myself closing then reopening the same setting to check that it's taken effect.

The reason I find myself paranoid about whether settings have been saved or not is because quite a lot of the time when I ask Windows 10 to do something it simply doesn't respond. This most commonly happens when I try to eject an external drive. Click the icon in the taskbar, nothing happens. Open the drive in an explorer window, right click, choose eject, nothing happens. Nothing. Similar problems occur randomly throughout the rest of the interface with annoying frequency.

As predicted, not being able to control when updates happen can really get in the way of using your computer sometimes. On one occasion in particular, I needed to get something done on my computer very quickly but Windows was adamant that it was going to download and install a huge update. My system ground to a halt while it did that, and my short quick task turned into a long slow one. Fortunately, How-To Geek have a solution to this, and it's pretty simple.

One interesting outcome of automatic updates is that on at least two occasions an update has changed my system settings, specifically by turning system sounds on. I don't like that. Turning them off again is a nuisance more than a problem, but it leaves the question - what other settings do updates change without telling you?

The Start Menu bug I found where icons would be rendered invisible sometimes after resizing is still present, but on a more positive note I have rediscovered how to see things like image dimensions in file explorer windows by default (options, view, turn on details pane). For some reason it's now a large, obtrusive thing sat on the side of the window rather than the small strip along the bottom that Windows 7 had, but it's better than nothing.

One feature I do like is the ability to remember which file explorer windows were open when Windows was last running and open them automatically on boot. It's a little bit hidden, but I find it useful... most of the time. It does tend to reorder them when you restart, and you can't change that order yourself. And one time it duplicated one of my remembered windows. And sometimes it doesn't work at all. But otherwise, it's quite useful.

I've also found some other weird little things. Often (but not every time) if I open something like the volume control from the taskbar, it won't go away if I click onto a window, only if I click on the icon again or the desktop. Today, the battery power icon on the taskbar has stopped working - it's showing 97% full when it isn't (interestingly the same icon on the pre-login screen is still accurate, did they write two bits of code that do the same thing?). That long blank screen that appears while it's starting up is still there. Starting up takes an age, including the long pause between the desktop appearing and being usable, even though this is a fresh install on a pretty decent machine.

Annnnd... breathe.

Okay, I should probably stop here. You might argue that it was a free update, but I already paid for Windows 8 (I'd have preferred to stick with 7, but you know, the future) so it's not really free, it's just a change to what I already paid for.

Overall then, Windows 10 still feels like an unfinished product. Microsoft would probably agree with me, on the basis that it's supposed to be the "last" version of Windows, with ongoing updates, but they'd probably describe it in more sales-friendly talk, using words like 'evolving' and 'adapting'. I'm opting for 'occasionally' and 'annoying' instead.


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