Windows 10

Windows 10: A Brief First Look. Some things to look for, some things to look out for.

From part 1 , we took a first look at Windows 10 and how Microsoft has changed things to improve adoption of this version. Part two takes a look at some features and settings that require deeper investigation.

  1. Peer to Peer Update Patching

Windows 10 has introduced peer to peer distribution model of updates and patches rather than downloading from one central source. In some cases this maybe a good idea. If you have a small office, downloading once from the internet and then having the patches being distributed internally across all PCs in the network would save on bandwidth. However, you will also participate over the internet as well. Not a good idea if you have a slow connection or if you need to be sensitive about your bandwidth consumption. Enterprise/corporate users will want to use other tools like Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) to manage updates. The good news is that these settings can be tweaked.

  1. Privacy Settings

Discussing privacy in Windows 10 requires a blog post on its own. The key takeaway here is that you need to investigate and understand how privacy settings work under Windows 10. If you have a Microsoft account, data automatically syncs to Microsoft servers. If you use Cortana, that data is sent too. Advertisers will begin to know who you are. There are some statements in Microsoft’s new privacy policy that are disturbing regarding disclosure of data.  Check out Lifehacker’s article on how to control some of your privacy settings.

  1. Forced Updates

Besides privacy, the biggest uproar came from Microsoft having its feature and security updates download and install automatically. PCs are automatically patched which is a good thing for reducing security threats. However, what happens when an update causes something on your PC not to work? This already has happened with a conflict of Microsoft and NVidia graphic drivers. Windows 10 Professional version now has a new “Defer Updates” option. In a corporate/enterprise environment, this should not be an issue if you have an update server in place.

Summary:

From our original question in part 1 “Should I upgrade?” Typically, many do not like being early adopters when something is released. Considering that there has been large update files dispatched already , some are asking “Is it really ready?” You have a year to make a decision.  If you are entitled to a free upgrade and willing to do your due diligence regarding privacy, I see no reason not to upgrade. My upgrade experiences on both my PCs have been one of the smoothest installs I have ever encountered in my sixten years in this industry. Corporations (mostly small businesses) who are also entitled to the free upgrade need not worry about the expenses regarding software license upgrade costs. At a bare minimum, companies should take advantage of this and at least have Windows 10 being trialed in a sandbox environment.

  • October 1, 2015

Windows 10: A Brief First Look. Some things to look for, some things to look out for.

After its public release on July 29th, and so far I’m happy with this release. The big question for most people is do I upgrade? I will discuss some cool things about Windows 10 and few things you need to watch out for.

  1. New Platform

Windows 10 was designed to operate on many platforms from our regular PCs down to your X-Box and Raspberry Pi with the Windows 10 IoT version (internet of things). With a common platform, apps designed under the Windows 10 framework should run on any version or device.

  1. User Interface

With all the controversy surrounding Windows 8, everyone can now celebrate the return of the start menu. Users migrating from Windows 7 will not be lost if they upgrade. The start menu has integrated the tile apps from Windows 8 and the user can customize the layout. An expanded Start Menu is also available if you are using a touchscreen device or tablet. Windows 10 should have been what Windows 8 was.

  1. New Applications

Windows 10 released some new apps worth mentioning. Edge the new internet browser, Cortana, a Siri like search assistance and Virtual Desktops.

Edge

A new re-designed web browser that not only is fast; it also gives you the ability to make notes on a page which can be shared with others. The Reading list function is cool as well as it strips out graphics and other distractions on a page and you can just focus on the text. Not sure if Edge is going to replace what you are currently using, especially when you consider all the extensions already in place for Chrome and Firefox. It will be interesting to see how Edge evolves over time.

Cortana

Is our new search assistant. It has voice activation and you can customize what content, such as news and weather that pops up. Simple voice commands like “show me today’s weather” work great, but something like “show me traffic from home to work” will take you to Bing search rather than showing you a map. Cortana if far from my Siri standard right now, but should improve with time.

Virtual Desktops

This is my favorite feature by far. To Mac and Linux users, this is nothing new. Virtual Desktops gives you the ability to run applications in another desktop window. I can have all my day to day operations like email, CRM and Excel in one desktop and have a virtual desktop dedicated for another purpose, like research and toggle between the two.