A Linux User's Review Of Microsoft Windows 10
Written by Eric Griffith in Operating Systems on 9 August 2015. Page 4 of 4. 80 Comments

The Store

This was one where I honestly thought Microsoft would be able to get things right... unfortunately they didn't. Centralized software installations aren't something that is new for Linux users, we've had package management for decades. I was truly hoping that Microsoft would be encouraging application developers to get their software into the store finally not have to deal with outdated software just because the user forgets to go and check for updates. I was wrong.

The Windows Store is largely empty with the most common available applications being wrappers around websites. Facebook app, Netflix app, Youtube app, etc. On a tablet I can see this making a bit more sense-- you know that the application will likely be more touch friendly than the website will be. But for a 'traditional' computer? The Windows Store is almost worthless. Back to Googling and downloading exe's and msi's for most users.

The Privacy Policy

If I was doing a "The Good, The Bad, The Ugly" this would definitely get filed under The Ugly. In case you have not been reading the news over the last few weeks, right as Windows 10 was being release Microsoft updated its Privacy Policy.

The short version is: Microsoft collects every piece of data it can get its hands on, short of actually sending your files to them (unless you use OneDrive, then it does send everything it can to them). Speech and typing data, optionally reading emails, calendar appointments, advertising data, most used programs, browsing history, and tons more.

A lot of this data is used to fuel Cortana, the embedded virtual assistant that comes with Windows 10. Now, its understandable that in order to be useful Cortana would have to be able to access your data—that's one thing. Unfortunately, even if you never use Cortana it's highly likely that the operating system is still sending out a fair bit of information back to Microsoft about how you use the system.

To Microsoft's credit their privacy policy web page, available here, does do a pretty good job of breaking down privacy related policies and information in a direct and focused way that is easy to understand.

The Verdict

Windows 10 is largely an evolutionary upgrade over Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, rather than a revolutionary one. Honestly I think the only reason it will be declared as 'so good' is because Windows 8/8.1 were so bad. Sure, Microsoft has made some good changes under the surface-- the animations feel crisper, its relatively light on resources, battery life is good. There is nothing -wrong- with Windows 10 aside from the Privacy Policy.

If you're on Windows Vista, or Windows 8/8.1, then sure, upgrade. The system is refreshing to use, it's perfectly fine and definitely an upgrade. If you're on Windows 7 though? I'm not so sure.. Honestly I see Windows 7 as being the new XP, with Microsoft likely having to extend support for it down the line due to sure volume of people who will refuse to get off of it.

Overall, there's really nothing to see here. It's not terrible, it's not even 'bad, it's just... okay. A quiet little upgrade. Time will tell whether Microsoft is able to hold onto its market share or whether they are, as I suspect, lost with where they should be going from here.

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