Windows 10: A Disaster

For more than 25 years, I’ve been a Windows user. I started with 3.0 and haven’t looked back since then. Because I had gotten used to tweaking the hell out of whatever emanated from Redmond, I got past all the increasingly crappy systems and stopped with Windows 7, the last system that was actually user-friendly, not totally dumbed-down and, most importantly, the last one that didn’t throw stuff at me I simply didn’t want to have.

Then came Windows 10.

I might get some flak for this from readers around here, including people I work with and who abhor strong language, but … Windows 10 is the biggest piece of shit I have ever encountered. Believe me, I really tried. I wanted to like it, I wanted it to work.

But.

Reasons:

01) [Blackmail] The constant update blackmail bullshit even went on my nerves, and I was quite forgiving for a while. Note: If you are desperate, don’t alienate your user base.

02) [Installation 1] The first install attempt on top of one of my existing Windows 7 systems (4 years old and about as average as a system like that can get) just didn’t work. After about 6 hours I gave up … left with a notebook that had slowed to an excruciating crawl. The first four or five issues I could fix, but at some point I just wanted to go to bed. [P.S.: The next morning, the notebook didn’t want to boot up and I decided on a second [clean] Windows 7 install on another machine, just to give it a whirl. No skin off my nose).

03) [Installation 2] On said second machine, I attempted a clean install and that went quite well … until I tried to install my Marantz SA-14S1 USB-DAC driver, probably the most important driver I have ever had on any system. The installation of the driver worked flawlessly, but it didn’t show up anywhere [= it was unusable]. After another 5 or 6 hours of studying every damn byte published on the WWW regarding this issue (and after three damn re-install attempts to see if I had bungled things), I gave up, totally frustrated. No go. Should have worked, but didn’t … and nobody had any answers. I simply didn’t feel like trying anymore. Yes, it was probably Marantz’ fault, but everyone else had managed to get the driver to work. I didn’t find a single user with the problem I had (and I simply didn’t feel like asking in three different forums and – again – wait a week or more to get the issue fixed for my particular hardware. P.S.: The driver works flawlessly on the same system running under Windows 7).

04) [Cortana] Totally and absolutely wacky. I think the most revealing feature of this incredibly sad aspect of Windows 10 is that if you search for information on any of Microsoft’s very own Windows 10 updates, Cortana, Edge, Bing and whatever Microsoft itself threw at Windows 10 simply won’t serve up their own (important) information in any relevant place. You actually have to Google said information to find a solution. How totally dumb is that?

05) [Privacy] Windows 10 constantly transmits stuff from my PC to somewhere on this planet, my files and God knows what else, to index all of them, to offer various services and to keep the whole shiny deception running. If you have something simple like GlassWire installed on your PC, a simple firewall gatekeeper, it will light up like a damn Christmas tree. The (totally indecipherable and hence completely user-unfriendly) processes that transmit, send, transport and do … whatever … are innumerable. As far as I have heard (and I didn’t want to buy a new pair of glasses to check), the User License Agreement practically states that Microsoft can do with your PC whatever the hell they like.

06) [Castration] The only way to get a half-way usable system is to turn more than half of Windows 10’s functionality off. If you do that, you’ll probably wonder why the hell you bothered in the first place because, in the end, you will be left with a castrated Windows 7 system.

07) [Elitist] Windows 10 isn’t made for people with mediocre Internet connections (meaning … most of this planet). With all the automatic whiz-bang-super-duper update, weather, news and whatnot functionality, there are only three bytes left to do actual work with.

08) [Updates] Because I read a lot, it isn’t difficult to figure out that the whole system is flawed. Windows 10 pushes updates onto your PC that might or might not make it unusable (I never got to that stage, so I’m just summarizing forum posts]. I have read hundreds of comments on forums stating (and proving) that systems were more or less bricked for a few hours, a day or even longer, simply because Microsoft pushed some update live that just broke stuff. They used to do that on other systems as well and we had all gotten used to being guinea pigs these past 25 years, but now, on Windows 10, you simply can’t easily roll back the changes (and only if you actually know what they screwed up … which, again, requires lots of reading and time I simply don’t want to invest into software … I’ve got better things to do).

09) [Misconception] To assume that your customers are between 10 and 25 years old and enjoy flashing buttons, constantly updating desktops, news, twitter feeds and a myriad of other things is just plain dumb.  It’s a conceptual flaw that is simply beyond me. When did Microsoft decide that people didn’t want to work anymore on their PCs? If I want to be entertained and informed, I go elsewhere … or make my own choices. Yes, 99% of all the crap in Windows 10 can be turned off, but I simply don’t want to spend valuable time doing so.

I could continue, but I won’t. If you’re thinking of maybe giving Windows 10 a whirl, go ahead and do so, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Now, I am aware of the declining PC and notebook sales that have been featured prominently in various news outlets these past years and, yes, I know that most people prefer to stumble into lampposts while stupidly staring at their smartphones, but I’m not one of those people (although I have a smartphone). My neighbors aren’t those kinds of people and my friends aren’t those kinds of people. Like me, they are people who invested into a PC because they want to do work on it. No matter how anachronistic such a machine might be.

With Windows 10, that has become virtually impossible. I spent two whole days trying to get it to work in any sensible fashion and all that was … was wasted time.

Sadly enough, after 25 years of Windows (and actually after having been a staunch defender of the system since day one), I’ve recently started downloading Linux distros to see where they will take me. In the past, I often thought they were too unwieldy, but, believe me, I figured that stuff out faster than trying to get my Marantz USB driver to work on a basically flawed Windows 10 system.

As things look right now, Microsoft has broken my camel’s back.
Probably better that way, too.

Good riddance.

Posted by Volkher Hofmann

Volkher Hofmann (deus62) has been blogging on and off since the 1990s and deus62.com is all that is left. He loves music, literature, drumming and, most of all, real life. He thinks the open web is much more important than social networks, closed-in ecosystems and other severely commercialized online endeavors.

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