I am currently testing Windows 10 out. Right now, there is only a beta (technical preview) available. Proper software design goes through several stages of development. Alpha is the first stage and that is internal testing and design. Beta is the second stage and that is when the program is given to other people to test it out and, sometimes, suggest ways to improve. Release candidate is the final testing stage and this is when the program is almost finished but the developer wants to root out bugs; no major design changes will no occur. Finally there is release-to-manufacturing (RTM) when the developer is satisfied there are no more major bugs. Windows 10 is still in beta. When it is finalized, I will update this post. The last edit was 5/31/2015.

The official launch date has been announced: July 29, 2015.

But first, my early impressions.

[Windows 10 image]

  • First, Windows 10 is superior to Windows 8. But not superior to Windows 7. What makes Windows 7 superior to Windows 8 and 10 is privacy; Windows 7 has it, Windows 8 and 10 try to take it away. Although Microsoft will not be adding any new features to Windows 7 and although it will be free to upgrade to Windows 10, do not upgrade your Windows 7 machine. Even after Windows 10 comes out I will still be looking to buy Windows 7 computers.
  • Windows 10 so far does not fix my biggest gripe with Windows 8: the look. The flat-icon, two-color look of Windows 8 is, quite frankly, ugly and hard on my eyes. I and many others requested the return of Aero — Microsoft’s name for the pretty translucent effects found in Windows Vista and Windows 7. We will see if Microsoft listens, or if returning Aero hurts Microsoft’s new strategy of “cloud first, mobile first” (and customer last).
  • After using Windows 8 frequently, I still hate the start screen with a passion. But I have grown to tolerate it. So now my second biggest gripe with Windows 8 is how all this advertising and Bing search (for more advertising dollars) is enabled by default. That ain’t cool. I will repeat this again: never ever use a Microsoft account to log in, no exception! Windows 10 keeps all that bad stuff because of the “cloud first, mobile first” strategy they have. I say that strategy really means “customer last”. Right now you can turn all that junk off. I do worry that you won’t be able to forever.
  • Windows 10 returns the compact start menu. That is good. But if you like a start menu in the style of Windows 2000 or Windows XP or Windows 7, sorry. It is not all bad. But it is just a compact version of the start screen. The start screen is excellent for tablets and phones and only for tablets and phones. On the new start menu you have some programs on the left like the old good start menus and it is customizable. On the right is the tiles from tablet-only start screen. The live tiles feature is nice and it is nice that you can put any tile you want there. But I cannot help but feel this is just a ploy to get you to buy your programs through Microsoft instead of through, well, anybody you want. I’ve requested that Microsoft let us choose the design of our start menu. That probably won’t happen.[Windows 10 start menu]
  • About that start menu. Programs are organized alphabetically whether you like that way or not. The old way of organize programs, into folders, is better. What I’m getting at is the start menu is just a compact version of the old Windows 8 start screen which was very poorly thought out.
  • One very nice feature is the ability to have multiple desktops. I can foresee plenty of uses for this. On one desktop, I have a few related programs going at the same time. On another desktop, I have a different set of related programs. Their icons are separate so I can be more productive when doing each related task. Very nice.[Windows 10 multiple desktops]
  • Microsoft asked for my feedback as to why I (wisely) chose not to sign on with a Microsoft account. I let them have it. Although I did preface my diatribe with a warning telling them I was going to be blunt. I told them it was none of their business when I logged in and out of my computer and that they have no right to track me so that I can receive more relevant ads. (Just because we cannot maintain all our privacy on the internet does not mean we should just give up.) If I ever come to work on your computer and you have Windows 8 or Windows 10, I’m going to help you reclaim some privacy.
  • Windows 8 introduced one of the dumbest decisions ever made in the history of computers. Windows 8 took away the ability to press F8 to help diagnose and fix a computer. If your Windows 8 computer won’t boot, you might be left with a brick thanks to this ultra-dumb decision. Guess what? Windows 10 continues with this stupidity. And for what? To save 2 seconds off booting. Stupid!
  • 5/31/2015 update. Not much new to report. The same gripes I, and many others, have with Win10 still are there. It is looking more and more like Windows 10 is nothing but Windows 8.1 with a compact version of the start screen and even less respect for my privacy. Nobody, and I repeat nobody, should upgrade from Windows 7 unless Microsoft starts to respect our privacy.

I will update this periodically as I continue my testing and as features are added to the Windows 10 test.

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