OK, so I used my laptop as the Guinea Pig for the new Windows 10 upgrade today. I knew better than to risk my work computer or the computers I use for more essential tasks.
The biggest problem I ran into was the fact that the Synaptic mouse built into my HP laptop does not work properly with Windows 10. Of course Microsoft assured me they had checked for incompatibilities before the upgrade but… well… bullshit.
In fairness, it does work to an extent. You can move the cursor around and select things. But you can’t scroll with it. It no longer has that functionality and after a couple of hours surfing the web for answers there doesn’t seem to be an obvious way to restore it even after reloading older drivers and hacking the registry. You can click and drag the scroll bars at the side and bottom of the page when you need to scroll, but they have a rubbery feel like a slingshot and if you are not precise you will find your cursor launched onto other parts of the screen while what you were scrolling snaps back or lands on a random target. It is really difficult to get where you want to go that way and I finally had to fall back to the arrow keys. Needless to say my other computers will not be upgrading to the new software and I will stick with Windows 7 for as long as I can to make sure these problems are ironed out before even thinking of migrating.
The other thing I don’t like about Windows 10 is that it is obviously designed to be obtrusive and draw attention to itself (which is the very antithesis of what an OS is supposed to do). If you click in the search bar then it barfs up a bunch of self-serving links to things it knows you have no interest in. There isn’t even any context for it to guess what you are after since all you have done at that point is click in the search box. So now not only do you get spam in your inbox but you get it in your operating system too. NOT COOL! Currently I am getting links to Bing news articles. I suppose there might be a way to change that but it shouldn’t be my job to have to clean up their mess. And even I can’t guess what I might be searching for next. I suspect Microsoft intends to shove a lot of things down our throats once everyone gets forced into Windows 10 since there will be no way to get off the train at that point.
It is one thing for your browser to have popups but if you can’t be safe from them even in your operating system then someone hasn’t fully grasped the concept of an operating system.
All of that aside, my biggest complaint is the same one I always have and it is simply this; why do software engineers think it is their job to make us play hide and seek? Why should we have to learn an entirely new layout every couple of years just to get to the same damned functions we always use? What is wrong with menus? When did we become a bunch of chimpanzees who need giant tiles we can press to dispense food pellets? Has the average IQ fallen that much in recent years? I mean it is great that Koko the gorilla can use the same computer as the rest of us but sometimes I don’t want bananas. Sometimes I want grapes and the button for those is hidden.
So at this point in the migration to a new OS all I wanted to do was see if my mouse driver was up to date and Microsoft had trained me to look for it in the control panel — which wasn’t the most intuitive thing ever either but it is what we were all used to. Of course there was no control panel (because that would be just too easy) but I was happy to see a selection called “settings” with the little gear hieroglyph. And we all know that gears are what we use to make settings… well, no we don’t, but we have been taught that too. So anyway I thought I had found what I wanted when I made the selection and it popped up with a new bunch of tiles — one of which was labeled “devices.” And when I pressed that tile I found a selection for the mouse. So far, so good. At least I hadn’t had to spend the first hour going “where the hell is the operating system” like I did when Windows 8 came out. This was an improvement already.
Of course it wasn’t obvious at all where to find the driver and so about four more levels down the OS gets tired of the pretty windows’ dressing and finally gives me what I want. End the end it took me 8 clicks to get where I wanted to go. I have to believe just putting a drop-down menu as a ribbon at the top of the screen would have yielded a more efficient result. But then Koko can’t read.
There is simply no advantage to always moving people’s shit and making them go looking for it. Sure we can figure it out. People are pretty clever little monkeys when you hide their stuff and dare them to find it. I even figured out how to make the OS give me the device manager by using the search box and ignoring the headlines that it blared at me about Kim Kardassian’s ass (spoiler alert- it is still large) while I filled in what I wanted. But what was the point of all of that? Windows 7 worked just fine and we knew how to use it.
If you want to add more functionality to Windows then knock yourself the hell out. But if you want to upgrade the suspension on a car you don’t change the steering wheel and make people rummage around in the trunk looking for it. And yet that seems to be the sole purpose of always changing the UI. It is just a frickin’ menu system. Get over yourselves. Settle on something and keep it! You aren’t impressing anyone. One bunch of pretty pictures, or tiles, or menus is no better than another. Hell, there is even the concept of skins where you can let people pick what they like and keep it regardless of how the OS changes.
Anyway, once I typed “device manager” in the search box while fending off Kim Kardassian’s ass I was where I wanted to be in just a couple of clicks. Not that it mattered of course because the Synaptic pad apparently just isn’t fully functional with Windows 10. Hopefully it will be fixed in future updates. And at least Microsoft didn’t pull a Windows 8 where it tried to hamfistedly shove a touchscreen operating system into a desktop box as if we were all going to run out and buy 27″ touchscreens just so we could use their shitty Windows 8 interface and fill up rotator cuff clinics across the country as a result of holding our arms out at the screen all day like a bunch of zombies.
Anyway, there might be some good things about Windows 10. In fact I am sure there are. But I didn’t notice any of them because I was busy doing things I shouldn’t have had to do.
Oh, and one other big warning!
You know how you have some pictures that aren’t for public consumption stored away? Yeah, well Windows 10 will find those and randomly display them on your screen when you hit the start button. It is just helpful that way I guess.
So not only does it hide your stuff from you, it then taunts you by displaying it to the world without your permission. I guess you will need to find how it is gathering up your pictures and then cordon off an area for your personal stuff where it can’t find them. Surely that “feature” can be turned off or maybe you can pick which tiles to display (HAL, please turn off the blackmail tile).
I am pretty sure at this rate Windows 11 will just flat out break into your porn stash and send it to your grandmother. Which would be embarrassing enough until it requests your credit card number in return for not sending you her porn stash. Yeah, I think I will just wire them all my money at that point.
Here is a note to OS developers everywhere. Stop trying to mimic a cell phone. In case you hadn’t noticed, cell phones are relatively discreet and have tiny screens which can be shielded or held to where not everyone will see what is on them. Desktop systems might have anyone looking at them. And while a touchscreen might be appropriate for something you can hold in your hand it most certainly is not for a desktop. If you try to make a hybrid you will just make something that is inferior, if not ridiculous — like Windows 8 was before everyone figured out how to restore its functionality (by turning off its interface or upgrading back to Windows 7).