Like millions of others around the globe, I reserved my free upgrade to Windows 10, anxiously awaiting the new operating system’s release date so that I could break up with Windows 8.1.
Now Windows 10 is operating smoothly on my laptop, an HP Envy m6 that came with the terrible Windows 8 when I bought it a few years ago.
Windows 8/8.1 – why did it fail?
As a user of Windows 8 and 8.1 until today, I had a lot of experience working with the OS. It took me a long time, but I became comfortable with the layout and the features much more than I had been with Windows 7, which I had rarely used up to that point. I had been an XP user.
Windows 8 was just too different. The metro style start screen was too flashy, too big, and two confusion. Same with the charms set up by swiping to the side.
Windows 8 was made for a tablet, not a laptop.
The apps were too slow and too unstable to be of any help, which basically made the whole experience Microsoft promised sour.
I immediately saw that Windows 10 was not Windows 8. Everything is more like Windows 7 and Windows XP, but with all of the features promised by Windows 8.
The start menu is back with the usual file explorer and recently used programs tab, but with the addition of easily customizable live tiles from Windows 8’s start screen. The taskbar looks and feels more like the Windows 7 version, but with a nice and helpful search bar and new and improved icons for power and internet connectivity.
Windows 10 is more customizable than Windows 8, which I found very appealing when I chose a new background image from my photos and changed the coloring to fit my needs.
Something exciting for me is the return of the Windows 7 bubbles screen saver, which was available on Windows 8 but with a black background instead of the transparency everyone loved.
The new OS also features Microsoft Edge, the replacement for Internet Explorer. I am not one to use Microsoft’s PC products other than Office, in which the 2010 version is still suiting my needs just fine. I have always used Google Chrome and other Google or Apple accessories. Edge looks new and refined to match Windows 10 and it operates at lightning speed.
I am impressed with the Web Note feature, where I embraced my inner child and scribbled all over a page and highlighted things to make fun of them on Facebook or Wikipedia just for laughs. This feature may actually come in handy for college research because all notes can be saved to One Note, a program that I have recently fallen in love with because of the organization it provides for planning my novels.
Overall, I am very impressed with Windows 10, bugs aside. Microsoft is on the road to redeeming itself with this new OS and the Xbox One backwards compatibility feature coming this fall.