An IT Guy's Thought's on Windows 10
I was very excited to upgrade to Windows 10. Mostly only because I was growing bored of Windows 7. From a guy who uses OS X at home 90% of the time, Windows 7, while a very strong operating system, just didn't measure up anymore. I took the plunge shortly after Windows 10's release. I've been mostly pleased with the results. From install to usage, the one word I can use to describe Windows 10 is "smooth."
Of course, I do have the advantage of using a solid state drive (which if you can swing it, will give you a vast performance boost--more than any operating system upgrade). But even in other machines with legacy spinning hard drives, Windows 10 runs smoothly. There are very few spinning blue balls to indicate waiting and the transitions are fluid--no more things just disappearing. It is getting much closer to the polish of OS X, yet still feels familiar enough for legacy Windows users. The polish is a good thing, and not overdone; and in some cases even trumps the Mac experience.
I am yet to find any programs that will run on Windows 7 (and 8) that will not function on 10. Some work better than others, and some look horrific with the new "borderless" look if Windows 10, but at least they work.
Windows 10 comes bundled with Microsoft Edge. The new browser from Microsoft that may or may not replace Internet Explorer. Good news first, Edge is pretty darn good. It's lightening fast (in some cases even quicker than Chrome), and has some great built in features. The ability to mark up a page is pretty cool--although I'm not sure when I'd ever use it in practical terms. It's light years ahead of Internet Explorer (but what isn't); yet I still feel it lags slightly behind Chrome. Although most of that could just be that Chrome is my "home" browser that I've gotten comfortable with and I don't feel the need or want to import bookmarks, passwords, etc.
One of the reasons I switched to Mac was the speed at which I can do things in that OS. Windows 10 tries to match, but comes up short. Cortana is a nice have, although rarely used (probably more used in mobile situations). The windows search feature has been vastly redone, and the benefits can easily be seen. Windows+S does the same thing as Command+Space on Mac. It pulls up search which is the equivalent of Spotlight search on OS X. It works very well, and sometimes even better than Spotlight. It is a much faster solution than searching through the "all apps" section of the Start Menu, which I don't think I've ever opened.
Lastly, my biggest gripe is the new "Settings" which is trying to replace Control Panel (luckily--control panel is still there). Settings has maybe 1/10th of what needs to be there to honestly manage a computer. And what is there is scaled down and aimed at the novice user. I suppose in theory that may be a good thing, but in practice, it's just frustrating. What is there is simple, colorful and has a very unpolished Windows 8 feel to it. Half of the time I question whether or not it's even doing something. You can eventually find what you need, but more often than not I found myself heading back into old trusty Control Panel.
All in all, Windows 10 is a great leap forward. It's what Windows 8 should've been (which seems to be the case for every other windows version). It's the best leap forward the PC world has seen since Ubuntu. Microsoft is finally going to be putting some pressure on OS X for the most user-friendly operating system, and giving it away for free doesn't hurt. If you're thinking of making the switch, I highly recommend it.