The first version of Windows I ever got my hands on as a kid was Windows 95. I can still remember the thrill of watching the video of Weezer playing ‘Buddy Holly’, with Fonzie tearing in up on the dance floor. To me, this was as good as it could possible get. The new and latest version of Windows is claiming to be “The best Windows ever”. Could it possibly reignite that youthful awe I had experience as a child?
When that little icon appeared in my system tray prompting me to reserve my Windows 10 update I had little hesitation. All the talk about the new interface, DirectX 12 and Cortana had definitely whet my appetite. On update day, everything went smoothly and the whole process went off without a hitch. Initially my laptop ran rather slow, but after a few hours it seemed to return to normal. My laptop is an Acer Aspire 5742 with an i5 processor, 6 gigs of ram and an NVidia 610m graphics chip.
Once everything settled, I did notice rather annoyingly that a few of my games seemed unable to launch. Counterstrike Global Offensive simply refuses to launch, even after updating my graphics drivers to the recommended NVidia drivers for windows 10. This would have been devastating had it happened on my main gaming pc, but being my laptop I am not too phased.
I find the new and updated interface to be an improvement. I like the start menu, and the addition of the customizable “Live Tiles” is pretty cool. You can remove tiles you don’t want, add in ones that you do, or remove all of them if you would like a more traditional start menu feel. The apps in the start menu itself are arranged nicely, and it is easy enough to open what you are looking for, without the confusion found in Windows 8.
Other positives include the multiple desktops, which allow you to have separate desktops for, say, work and play, and the way switching between your active programs in the task bar seems much smoother.
The only disappointment is Cortana. Firstly, to even access Cortana you have to change your region to the United States of America, as it is unavailable in South Africa. All I have managed to get her to do is run what I speak through Microsoft’s own search engine Bing. Saying “Hey Cortana”, which is supposed to activate Cortana, seems to do nothing either.
I still have to have a good look at Microsoft’s new Edge browser, but as I am already a devoted chrome user, I really don’t feel the need to switch
I’d have to be honest and say my interaction with Windows 10 at this stage is strictly surface level but it seems that it is easy enough to adapt to, which is good, because Windows 10 is here to stay, with any future improvements and additions set to be delivered by the now infamous forced updates. Should you wish to take the plunge and see what all the fuss is about, I would definitely recommend downloading the Windows 10 iso and performing a completely clean install, just to be certain performance isn’t compromised in any way.
Windows 10 doesn’t quite bring back that feeling of awe that Weezer and Fonzie gave me in Windows 95 all those years ago, but it’s a step in the right direction. Who knows, it may yet live up to the hype and grow into “The best Windows ever”.