First-Look at Windows 10: The Insider Preview

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I want Windows to work. I want Windows 10 to be a smash hit. The fk-mess of Windows 8 nearly took out the entire PC industry. Major manufacturers are still offering paths to buy new systems with Windows 7. Do you know why? Major IT departments of Fortune 100 companies were not willing to support Windows 8 in their corporate infrastructure. So they either didn’t buy any computers or waited for the next OS. Of course MSFT tried the squeeze play of ending XP support recently. And offering Windows 8.1, which fixes about 20% of the major problems with Windows 8. Still no juice for the crap-tastic Windows 8.

Here comes Windows 9. (Rumor is they skipped version 9 due to a lot of code out there that addresses OS versions as win-9 meaning 95 – 98 versions of Windows. Other ideas are that 9 is a bad version for major software vendors. Still other ideas have something to do with the Chinese word for 9. Regardless of the reason, Windows 10 is upon us, and will be released in July of this year. And if you’re really into it you can waste time helping MSFT troubleshoot the alphas and betas of Windows 10 right now.

While that sounds interesting, I’m not about to put my productivity on hold long enough to reset my existing Windows system to Windows 10. Therefore I’m going to run the Insider Preview version that was made available through the latest version of Parallels for Mac. That means I’m running Windows 10 within a virtual machine on my Mac. This makes a lot of sense, but the overall effect may be different from your results should you venture into Windows 10-land this summer or via a new system purchase later this year.

I continue to say, Windows is fine as an app. But using Windows as your OS, well, that’s just sad. It might be my affinity to the Apple hardware, or the fact that Mac’s often Win best PC of the year, for running Windows. But really, I love the flexibility of the Mac OS. Sure once WORD or Google Chrome is running, a peecee is a peecee. But let’s leave the Mac vs Microsoft debate for later. Let’s jump right into first impressions.

 

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Thankfully the forced UI of Metro is gone. It’s still there if you click on the Windows logo, but for the most part, if you don’t have a touch-screen and you don’t want to use a tile-based OS you can leave Metro where it belongs. (The tile user interface should’ve been an extension for Windows 8 not a default.) But I still had trouble finding Windows Updates so I could check and see if there were any updates to my version of Windows before I started my testing.

Browser-like windows open all over the place in Windows 10. Here’s an example of how the Windowed, or Browser-Like approach to the desktop is a bit clunky. Let’s see how things progress from here, shall we?

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My first issue with Windows 10: Everything action and application seems to open an new browser window. It’s as if everything is windowed, or browsered in Windows 10. And this UI-mode seems slow and cumbersome.

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And Windows Updates, once you find them seem to take longer than usual. I’m curious if they will finally create consolidated Windows Updates rather than make users download hundreds of files to get up to date on their OS.

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Running the Interwebs with Windows 10.

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I am interested to see how the non-Internet Explorer browser plays with Java and other non-MSFT technologies. In the past Microsoft has not played well in the open-source world of the web. Let’s see how Edge progresses. The jury is still out. So far for me, the browsing options and look and feel don’t seem remarkable. That’s good and bad. Nothing to write home about. But also nothing too innovated to break the browsing experience. In Windows 8 Microsoft tried to be too innovative and they broke the entire experience with Metro. So far, Edge is simple and clean. A bit like running Safari after using Firefox or Chrome for a while.

Finally, on this maiden voyage I installed Google Chrome and ran around the web a bit. Even thought Google only says Windows 8.1, the version installed on Windows 10 and ran without a hitch.

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A “WTF?” Moment with Windows 10.

This screen appeared when I was trying to install the updates. My virtual machine is set to use 16 gigs of ram and has plenty of hard drive space, so I’m not sure what this is all about.

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I’m still unclear on what the big idea behind Windows 10 is, other than CYA and fix what Windows 8 broke. I’m not sure there is going to be much of a rush for big IT departments to begin Windows 10 migrations. My guess is we will see the availability of Windows 7 on large computer requisitions well beyond the conclusion of the 2016 presidential election.

TALKBACK TO UBER.LA:
What’s your impression of Windows 10? Did you crash and burn with Windows 8.1 and re-install Windows 7? What’s it going to take for you to try a Mac?

John McElhenney
@jmacofearth (also used to be seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

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