Disclaimer: To avoid any sense of potential deception/confusion given that Phoronix is a Linux site, just in case the title is unclear: This is a review of Windows 10 Professional x64 from my perspective, as a user and an administrator who uses Windows and Linux system every day. If you don't care about Windows, stop reading now.
When I first started to talk to Michael about working with him this summer, one of the things we agreed on is that I would do a review of Windows 10. While I vastly prefer Linux as my day-to-day operating system, I do use Windows for gaming, and I also support Windows clients as part of my job at my University.
I can't say that I am die-hard "operating system loyalist", I'm an end user, and an administrator, and I enjoy good software. Closed source, open source, community or corporate-- well written, well designed, intuitive software is something I enjoy no matter where it comes from. Unfortunately for Microsoft... I'm not sure if their most recent operating system is going to fit that bill.
The Upgrade & The Install
First things first: You cannot go out to the store and buy Windows 10. So if you don't have Windows on your system already... it can be very confusing to try and figure out how to get it. If you have Windows 7, 8/8.1, or the Windows 10 pre-release then you're in good shape: you should have a Windows symbol in your task tray asking you to update, or at the very least asking if you want to reserve a copy.
Unfortunately, this is very much an upgrade. If you want to do a clean install of Windows 10 you first have to upgrade TO Windows 10 from another Windows version, which will take about 3 hours on an AMD 7850K, Samsung 850 EVO, and a 50mb download speed connection. After you have successfully upgraded to Windows 10 you then have to re-download the installation files, have the installer copy them to the USB-- assuming it can, apparently a lot of people are having problems with that part-- then reboot using that USB, wipe the drive, and have Windows re-do everything it just did, adding another hour and a half or so to the install time. Then you get to set your system back up all over again.
Granted, if you just want to do an upgrade then this process is a lot simpler. Reserve your copy of Windows 10, you'll be notified when its your turn to upgrade and the process will handle itself. The upgrade process is split across three reboots of the system, each dedicated to specific task. For me, with two systems, the upgrades themselves went fine. Each upgrade did take about three hours but when I was done the system was perfectly fine-- which is more than I can say for my last "sudo fedup –network 22."
When you are done upgrading you will be asked some questions related to system settings and preferences, including your privacy preferences. Then, when it is all said and done... you'll be greeted with the Windows 10 desktop.