Tech-Friendly: Windows 10 Technical Preview is a big yawn

Paul Gorski
Paul Gorski

By Paul Gorski

Microsoft recently announced Windows 10 and released a technical preview version of the new operating system so you can test it out. I would wait. This version is just a preview and is not ready for prime time yet. In addition, if you were looking for the latest and greatest version of Windows to be substantially different from Windows 8, you will be sorely disappointed. I have it, and I am not impressed.

Admittedly, Windows 10 is still a long way off from final release and Microsoft has quite a bit of work to do on it. From the Microsoft website: “Windows Technical Preview is here today, but it’s a long way from done. We’re going to make it faster, better, more fun at parties … you get the idea. Join the Windows Insider Program to make sure you get all the new features that are on the way. If you’re OK with a moving target and don’t want to miss out on the latest stuff, keep reading. Technical Preview could be just your thing.”

You will find the quote above and more warnings about installing the preview version at: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/preview-faq#faq=tab0.

The preview looks and feels a lot like Windows 8, and if you are not a fan of Windows 8, I do not think you will love the interface. The two biggest Windows 10 features are: the Start Menu is back and you can now have multiple desktops. The Start Menu is, well, like from 20 years ago. Microsoft removed it from Windows 8, but long-time Windows users complained about missing the Start Menu. So now, it is back.

Multiple desktops? Linux and Mac OS operating systems have had multiple desktops for years. This is not news; it is simply playing catch-up. Not to be unduly harsh, I will quote Microsoft’s proud statement about this feature: “Create desktops for different purposes and projects and switch between these desktops easily and pick up where you left off on each desktop.” It does not sound very exciting, does it? Multiple desktops can be useful, but as a Mac and Linux user, I find myself only using them on my Linux installations. I just never felt the need to use them on my Macs.

The biggest news about Windows 10 is the question why Microsoft chose to call this version Windows 10 and not Windows 9. I tend not to worry about such trivial matters, but the version number skipping has some tech writers all abuzz. That is a problem. The most exciting news about your product should not be the debate over the product name. The biggest news should be about features, security and how you cannot live without it.

To be clear, Windows 10 is not ready for regular use right now. Microsoft is offering the preview to people who want to test the operating system and report likes and dislikes to Microsoft. If you are interested in testing Windows 10 Technical Preview, download it here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/preview. Happy testing.

Paul Gorski (www.paulgorski.com) has been a technology manager nearly 20 years, specializing in workflow solutions for printing, publishing and advertising computer users. Originally destined to be a chemist, his interest in computers began in college when he wrote a program to analyze data from lab instruments he hard-wired to the back of an Apple lle.

Posted Oct. 7, 2014

2 thoughts on “Tech-Friendly: Windows 10 Technical Preview is a big yawn

  • October 18, 2014 at 8:08 pm
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    If I remember correctly, Windows XP had a PowerTool from MS that allowed you to create/switch desktops. It’s been awhile since I used it and I’m not sure how much different it is, but with trying out Windows 10 right now, I’m not really impressed (UI interaction-wise.) Everything I’ve seen so far, you can get it as free or as cheap addon to the OS. Honestly, with Windows XP, I had quite a few free/cheap addons that can replicate a lot of this and I really see no significant useful UI differences from Windows XP and 10 using those tools, other than annoyances like the Office bar still on Windows Explorer. I’ve stopped holding my breath to bring back the standard top menu (File, Edit, etc…) It’s simply change for the sake of change. Anyways, some of those addons are from Stardock/WindowBlinds, nerd cave’s taskbar shuffle, etc…I guess all I can say with Windows 10, is that it’s not as bad as Windows 8 and still better than GNOME/KDE in the linux world and still more user friendly/capable compared to Mac OSX, esp. the Explorer vs Finder, ugh…I hate dealing with finder at work.

  • October 20, 2014 at 11:16 am
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    Bill,

    Thanks for commenting. Linux Mint Xfce is my favorite Linux distro and I find it much easier to navigate than any version of Windows.

    As far as MacOS X goes, it is much easier to use than any version of Windows too. I used to train staff on both operating systems and still support multiple versions of MacOS X and Windows. I get virtually no questions on navigation, file access and printing on Mac OS X. I do get questions on FTP and websites that require Active X, but that is about it. Even though I support some high-end graphic and 3D apps, most of the Mac questions I get are on Microsoft Word and Outllook. Those should be the easiest programs to use, but in typical Microsoft fashion that is not the case.

    When I worked in Wisconsin, some school districts had dozens or more of Macs, and no on-site technical support for them. My company would company would come in and tweak them once a year. Some of the districts went PC and now have 2-3 dedicated support staff people. Great for creating jobs, not for being productive. One manufacturing plant had almost 100 Macs in the plant and only called for support 3 or 4 times a year.

    Being a Mac support person is like being the Maytag repair person; it is a very lonely job.

    Thank you for reading The Rock River Times.

    Paul Gorski

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