– Ben Martens

Windows 10 Thoughts

windows-10Windows 10 is a big deal, and I have lots of thoughts about it. Instead of splitting them up into a bunch of posts, I’ll try to list them all here and you can pick and choose what might be interesting to you.

Should you upgrade?
If you’re an early adopter, you’ve probably already upgraded to Windows 10. Good! I’ve done it on most of my machines, but if you’re not in a hurry then it’s fine to wait. I’m waiting for a month or two to upgrade Tyla’s computers and I won’t upgrade the computers at church until January or February. However, you should definitely upgrade before about June next year. Microsoft is giving free upgrades for one year. Don’t miss out!

If you do upgrade now, the one change that I recommend is to not use the new Microsoft Edge browser as your default. At least that’s what I’m doing on my machine. I really like the new browser and it is super fast, but it also doesn’t support any plugins yet and that’s a deal breaker for me. I like to run AdBlock and LastPass and I can’t do that in Edge yet. Support for plugins is coming later this fall and it’s going to be awesome because Edge will support Chrome plugins! To change your default browser, open the start menu and search for “default web browser”.

What does it mean that “Windows 10 will be the last version of Windows”?
You hear this a lot in the media and even from Microsoft. What it probably means is that there won’t be a Windows 11. We’ll just see incremental changes to Windows 10. This is similar to how Apple has been handling updates to their operating system for the last few years. You’ll get feature updates on a more regular basis, but I’m sure there will still be plenty of marketing and fanfare around some of the releases.

Will I like it better than Windows 7 or Windows 8.1?
I’m the wrong one to ask about this. In fact, the question makes me a bit cranky because people love to talk about how much Windows 8 stinks. I find that most people dislike it because of a couple tiny UI things like the start screen and the charms bar. If that’s enough for you to hate it, fine. Everyone gets their opinion. Personally I almost never see those UI things and it doesn’t bother me at all. I love the additional OS features that are available in Windows 8 like Storage Spaces, Hyper-V, and more.

In general, I think people will be more receptive to Windows 10 than Windows 8 for the simple reason that it has a start menu. So many people get stuck on that one tiny fragment of the operating system, and there, now you have it. You also have ~5 years of awesome new features that have been developed while you were still on Windows 7. Welcome to the future!

Why is Microsoft offering it for free?
There are lots of articles about how Microsoft is dramatically changing their business model by offering Windows 10 for free. This statement oversimplifies the situation. First of all, they are only offering free upgrades to home users who already have a legal license for Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. The vast majority of Windows income comes from enterprise sales and sales of new PCs. Neither of these money makers is included in this free offer. Sure, it’s a big deal and I’m happy about this offer, but it’s not like half of the company’s money is disappearing.

People who state this also fail to comprehend where Microsoft makes their money. Lots of media people only think about the consumer facing stuff: Windows, Office, Xbox, Phone. They forget that there is a third pillar that as big as Windows and Office (and is growing much faster): Cloud and Enterprise. This team has a whole bunch of new billion dollar business and the growth rate of some of these products is incredible. For example, Azure had triple digit year over year growth in both revenue!

How did they make the picture for the Windows 10 logon page?
Nobody has asked me this question, but it has a cool answer. Check out this video to see behind the scenes: It’s an actual photo, not something designed on the computer.