I would recommend holding off from upgrading to Windows 10 for now

A few weeks ago I blogged about the new Windows 10 icon that was appearing on our taskbars as an easy way to download Windows 10. At that time I recommended holding off from upgrading for the time being. Several of my computer support clients have asked me since then whether my advice has changed. No, it hasn’t.

Windows 10 New Taskbar Buttons

The return of the Start button, an improved Search function, and a new “Task View” function that display all open windows

Microsoft staggered the availability of Windows 10 so that it wasn’t trying to download it to gerzillions of computers all on the same day. The Law of Sod held true for me in that Microsoft told me I could have it the day before I went on holiday. Should I wait until I got back or install it while packing my bucket and spade? I must have been feeling a bit light-headed because I went ahead and installed it.

So, come last Saturday evening I’m back home and decide to see if my main computer still works (having decided that I’ll never learn Windows 10 properly if it’s not on my main machine).

At first it looked as if everything was OK. Things were more-or-less where they should have been, programs seemed to open, my data hasn’t just evaporated (but I DID back it up first) and Windows 10 seems reasonably intuitive (certainly in comparison with Windows 8).

Within a day, though, several things had come to light. In descending order of importance these are:

  • Outlook 2013 refused to send messages. Incoming messages were still OK. A bit of googling soon found a suggestion that worked for me. It consisted of running SFC at an elevated command prompt. See this Microsoft page on SFC for details.
  • My calendar (again, within Outlook) has gone. This is connected with iCloud as my diary is also on my iPhone. I haven’t yet had time to get to the bottom of this one but, once again, a bit of googling has shown that I’m not alone with this problem. I’m hoping that this page from Apple regarding iCloud will help me out of this problem.
  • Apart from the good old Control Panel, there is a new “settings” window for changing – well – settings. Parts of it are consistently freezing on my machine.
  • The wifi connection has been a bit recalcitrant. It has finally accepted that I really do mean it when I say that I want it to automatically connect to my own router every time I switch on or come out of sleep mode, but it’s still so slow in making the connection that my email has had a chance to wake up and try (and fail) to do a “send/receive” before the wifi connection has been established. This may be trivial but it is soooo annoying.

Windows10 iCloud Calendars Broken

Where’s my calendar/diary gone?

So, two potentially serious issues and two annoyances. It’s all grist to the mill for me, of course, as this is what I do for a living, but at least two of these problems could be serious and worrying if they happened to my average computer support client. What’s more, I’ve not really had much of a chance to play around with it at all. These problems have come to light without me going looking for them. I have no way of knowing whether I’m going to encounter a lot more and how serious they will be.

Windows 10 has been well received in principle. It seems to be the general feeling that Microsoft have learned from the mistakes of Windows 8, swallowed some pride, and turned their minds to developing something that users will want, rather than something that’s been forced upon them. I would agree with that and don’t feel too perturbed yet at the problems that I have encountered in the few short hours I’ve been using it.

Yes, the Start Menu is back, here shown with one of the Windows 8 tiles ("cribbage") embedded in it.

Yes, the Start Menu is back, here shown with one of the Windows 8 tiles (“cribbage”) embedded in it.

It does seem a bit worrying, though, that my two main problems have occurred when one flagship Microsoft product has been interacting with another flagship Microsoft product (I have a Microsoft 365 subscription, so my Outlook program should always be bang up to date).

In conclusion, I would suggest that if you are so keen to try Windows 10 that you want to install it now, then you will probably be prepared to accept some teething problems. If, however, you are a normal human being and just want your computer to do as it’s told and with a minimum of fuss, then I would say that Windows 10 is almost certainly going to be a good thing, but you might be able to reduce the hassle by waiting a few more weeks until some of the wrinkles have been ironed out.

© 2011-2019 David Leonard
Computer Support in London
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