Windows 10 Review, Part 1 – A Tale of Two OSes

March 5, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Posted in Microsoft, Technical Tips, Vendor news | 2 Comments
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2011. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Well, actually, it was a bummer of a year. Not only did a famous pop star say her final, “no, no, no,” but R.E.M. called it quits and Charlie “Tiger Blood” Sheen got booted off of prime time TV. More seriously, there were several devastating natural disasters—namely the earthquake-tsunami that led to the Fukishima nuclear meltdown and the slew of tornadoes that ripped through Joplin, Missouri.

Perhaps that grim recap puts me in the mindset to review the spectacle that was Windows 8. Rather than screen capping or demoing any of the fledgling OS’s features, Microsoft chose to talk about ARM support at CES. This pushed anticipation into a fever pitch, culminating into the first pre-release later that year. The result was a strange hybrid—one part traditional Windows and another part this thing called Metro, later amended to the Modern UI in 8.1.

Some reviewers would describe it less charitably: more like an OS with schizophrenia, similar to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, than a cohesive user experience. By the time of its public release, all of its laudable features—such as Microsoft account integration, improved task manager features, and built-in virtual drive mounting—fell away. It all boiled down to that awkward Metro UI for many Windows users and businesses. Oh, and let’s not forget Start-Gate!

So, in my review series on Windows 10 (Technical Preview Build 9841), I plan to start from a baseline of Windows 7 before Microsoft’s misadventures into the Modern UI. If Microsoft itself wants to move right from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, then I too will go ahead and skip any unneeded Windows 8 comparisons. After all, most of you never upgraded to Windows 8 or 8.1 anyway.

The Hype

Two of the features I was most interested in previewing were the Spartan browser with its lightning-fast Edge engine and the streamlined Office suite. I’d also heard the churning rumors regarding the return of the Start menu, and was curious to see whether this was another Microsoft game.

The Setup

To properly evaluate the Windows 10 preview release from a touch standpoint, I installed it on the Asus VivoTab Smart with a Bluetooth keyboard. It came with a dual core Atom processor, 2GB of Ram, 64GB storage, and Windows 8 pre-installed, which I later upgraded it to Windows 8.1. For this preview, I went ahead and did a clean install of Windows 10. The process was relatively painless, but coming from Windows 7, you’ll probably be a bit confused. Since Windows 8, Microsoft is pushing for an OS that’s not just your co-worker, but also wants to be your friend.

win8-hi

MIA

Sadly, the Spartan browser and the updated Office suite were not included in the build I installed. Next to the Cortana voice assistant, these are two of the more highly anticipated features, so I’ll review them individually once they come out in a future build.

But good news about that Start Menu… it’s back!

Untitled

Well, sort of back… more about that in my next post.

Until next time,

Joshua Hester

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  1. […] After my introductory foray into Windows 10, I was ready to get down to brass tacks and really discover what Microsoft’s new OS was all about. When, suddenly, this happened: […]

  2. […] with many trilogies, the exciting bits of my Windows 10 review happened in the middle (A Tale of Two OSes and It was the best of times, it was the worst of times). Although this chapter doesn’t […]


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