Windows 10/Microsoft Rant

Note: This shitpost was originally going to be titled "Windows 10: My Take", but I changed it, for reasons that should become immediately apparent in the next paragraph.

You know what really pisses me off with Microsoft's latest OS offering? Windows fricking update. Specifically: why Microsoft hasn't addressed the age-old problem of having updates that can only be installed during the shutdown/restart process.

Okay, so it's true that I have just been through this little lesson in tedium, all because I had to restart my computer for unrelated reasons, but still. Given that, in the words of Tony Prophet, Microsoft's corporate vice president, "Windows 10 is not going to be an incremental step from Windows 8.1," you'd think this is one of the issues they could address. It's true that I have little to no understanding of the internals of Windows, and I appreciate that part of Tony's job is to sell Microsoft products, but then if you're really planning on achieving a step change within the operating system, why not spare some man-hours to address this?

This situation sort of marries up with the impression I've been given by Microsoft since I started using Windows 10 regularly roughly eight months ago. They've clearly been trying to get back in the game and position themselves as a competitor not just in desktop software, but also computing hardware, search engines, games consoles and much more besides. Their expansion into the hardware and search engine markets in particular are clearly aimed at keeping pace with the likes of Apple and Google. However, by broadening their product base at this rate, Microsoft surely risk spreading themselves too thin, becoming the metaphorical jack of all trades, yet a master of none. Microsoft Edge, their latest browser offering, seems almost a textbook example of this: a product that needed more work before it was shipped.

So anyway, Microsoft rant over. Is Windows 10 good? In my experience it's certainly no worse than Windows 7, being similar in system stability. A lot of work has clearly been put into the interface and user experience. However, in their bid to "appify" everything, Microsoft have in some ways just made things more confusing for those transitioning from Windows 7. Introducing a settings app to unify all settings in one place sounds like a great idea, but the result is that there are now two ways to change the settings and configuration of your computer, the second being the "legacy" control panel interface.

Part of my frustration no doubt stems from having spent the previous four years using Linux Mint as my primary OS. But again: if the free software movement, which is primarily driven by the work of volunteers, can overcome issues such as the logistics of a system update, why can't Microsoft?