A wise man once said, "There are two sides to every coin." Nowhere is this idiom apter than Microsoft's Windows 10, a divisive product which makes headlines if a journalist fails to open Chrome. It's coming up to two years since Windows 10 was announced by Microsoft, kicking off two years of incessant debate about the whys, the wherefores and the whats.
Since that fateful day on July 29th, 2015 when Windows 10 launched, a vocal chunk of the internet has found solace in criticising Windows 10 in any way they can, purely because it isn't the legendary Windows 7 (an OS masterminded by Steve Ballmer). It's like cricket fans saying there'll never be another Don Bradman, or tennis fans saying there'll never be another Fred Perry. And then Sachin Tendulkar and Roger Federer turn up. Believe it or not, things can get getter, and no one wanted to watch Bradman play cricket into his 70s. Sometimes you've just got let it go.
I think it's time for people to get out of the shadow and illusion of "stability" of Windows 7 and actually start to consider trying out Microsoft's new OS before they start believing what those who shout the loudest write on the internet.
Telemetry, User Data Collection and Windows 10 Privacy Issues:
Telemetry is a data and measurement collection process which was introduced by Microsoft first in Windows 10 and then backported to Windows 7 and 8.1, to those who opted in for the optional updates from Microsoft and were enrolled in the Customer Experience Improvement Program. Even then, it can be easily turned off and there are countless tutorials on the internet for that.
The news of Windows 10's 'spying' blew up in a big way. Word on the street quickly shifted to avoiding Windows 10 and go back to Windows 7 for fear of Microsoft harvesting your sensitive data. It was fearmongering, plain and simple, and for those worried there are plenty of simple workarounds to prevent Microsoft snooping on the apps you use.
And those very same people engaging in the fearmongering would advise you to buy an Android if you ask them for a smartphone choice. Why? Because it has an immense wealth of features, which is selling point versus the rock solid security of Blackberry, but you wouldn't go buying a Blackberry now would you? The same people would tell you to make an email account without taking a look at the terms and conditions set by the provider. And then again, same people would tell you to install Windows 7 over Windows 10 because a six year old operating is more secure than the current one. Thanks for the advice, I'm going to hunker down with MS-DOS. Take privacy to the extreme and you may as well leave the internet altogether, a service designed from the ground up for the distribution of information.
Technically speaking, Windows 10 is just another typical piece of software from Microsoft which has its own set of perks and privileges. Yet in keeping up with the traditional software world, it is now more of a service. And that is perfectly fine and complies with the terms of a mobile first, cloud first and AI first world.
The Ease of Access In Windows 10:
Microsoft Edge probably won't be replacing Chrome on my desktop very soon, and the majority of others feel the same. But look at the other tonne of other features which Microsoft has poured into Windows 10.
The notification area on the right side is all you need to address issues related to network and Bluetooth, and on top of that put notes on your screen. All this was done in previous versions of Windows by using third party apps. They have also introduced Night Light, which shifts the colour of the screen to warmer colours for those who work at night. Again no need for a third party app.
And despite the fact Windows 10's a very recent operating system, it runs extremely well on old computers and Windows 10 automatically takes care of the drivers itself without me having to install them manually.
To the average consumer, Windows 10 is actually a whole lot simpler to use once you get the hang of it. You don't need to search for any third party software anymore, Microsoft handles everything for you, which is the sort of service we've been crying out for.
The Liability that is Windows Updates:
The grudge against Windows Updates is nothing new, whether it's messing up Windows 10 or Windows 7. Occasionally, updates break things, that's the way of life.
I for one have found a very simple solution to the problem of Windows Updates and this is thanks to Windows 10 itself. I just put my networks on metered connection and haven't had much of a problem. Heck, I just upgraded my Windows just a few days back using Windows Upgrade assistant and the process was smooth as silk.
Windows Store Is The Good, The Bad and the Ugly:
The addition of Windows Store from Windows 8 onwards has increased the attraction of Windows 10 from a gaming perspective. Sure, Microsoft should be criticised for making some titles exclusive to it but hey, you now have zero reasons to buy a $400 Xbox One. Every first-party Microsoft title now also comes to Windows 10, including the upcoming Project Scorpio games.
If you still don't like the Windows Store and its offerings, then let it be. It's not showing any push notifications, and it's not like we care about Windows 10 notifications right?
The Accusation of Being A "Beta OS"
Okay, this a strong accusation. Ever since Microsoft has taken the approach of upgrading Windows through the Windows Updates, it is being called a beta OS.
Now let me go back in into the hazy mists of time to a year we called 2009, when Windows 7 was released. It was initially intended to be a mere update to Windows Vista, which first introduced the Windows Aero theme. It was to bring modifications to the Windows Aero in order to please the public. And two years later, Microsoft still had to update to tend to shortcomings.
But wait, they weren't called updates at the time, were they? They were called Service Packs. Windows XP had three of them, Windows Vista had two, Windows 7 had one and Windows 8 also had one by the name of Windows 8.1; Windows 10 is merely carrying on a tradition that Microsoft has been doing, and will be doing, for years to come.
Taking all this into account, it's deeply unfair to call Windows 10 a beta OS, particularly by those who willingly sign up for the Windows Insider Program. If something happens to their PC, they start blaming Microsoft, but you reap what you sow there.
What is your take on this? Are you still sticking with your trusty old Windows 7, or have entered the loving embrace of Windows 10? Let us know!
P.S: Don't worry if you like Windows 10, you're not alone. A poll here on GD last month showed Windows 10 is, in fact, the most popular operating system among users.