back to article Windows 10: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE to Microsoft's long apology for Windows 8

Take a deep breath. This is it, the big one: Microsoft has released Windows 10, which will make everything good again after Windows 8. Windows 10 is distinctive for several reasons. First, it introduces the "Windows as a service" concept, in which most users will automatically receive incremental updates with both feature and …

  1. jb99

    Just one thing left to make it good

    Get rid of the failed new user interface and API and instead concentrate on proper windows and we're good to go again :)

  2. mythicalduck

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    Speaking of new UI, why is everyone pushing things down a "You need to search for everything" route?

    Is it that hard to remember that Visual Studio is in Programs->Visual Studio 2013? Is it hard to remember that you saved your spreadsheet in My Documents?

  3. John P

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    The problem I always had with the old start menu was down to the fact that every manufacturer laid out their directories differently, and a lot of suppliers aren't even consistent within their own application, Microsoft included.

    Once you've got a decent amount of applications installed, it soon became a mess. I always ended up manually organising it myself in to categories, but this had its own downside when you came to uninstalling or upgrading things.

    I never used Search before Windows 8 as it was just too slow. While it still isn't 100% perfect, it works for me now 99% of the time and it is definitely lower maintenance than organising things myself.

    Search isn't a silver bullet, but for day to day use, I find it serves me pretty well these days.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    "Speaking of new UI, why is everyone pushing things down a "You need to search for everything" route?"

    The old XP search worked well. Its parameters were explicit about what you wanted to search for and where.

    The one on W7 looks simpler but needs double-guessing as it usually says it can't find the specified thing. Annoyingly I still haven't discovered how to make it search a directory for all files containing a specific text string.

  5. Semaj
    Trollface

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    You kids and your love for traversing menus, Is it really that hard to open cmd and type "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe"?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    Actually you don't have the failed UI, what they have done is tacked the hated Play School style icons to the right of the Start menu, right click each app icon and select "Detach" and it's gone, repeat for the rest and you're left with the normal menu. I've had the preview edition for a while and it was the first thing I did, after that it's pretty good, if you still want the app style icons there's an icon on the right of the taskbar with a "Tablet Mode" switch, once done you're pretty much back with Windows 7, the menu for apps is in alphabetical order which took some getting used to but on balance thats a benefit.

    I use Windows 8 too and I much prefer the Windows 10 UI, it still retains some of the wording and feel of the Windows 8 menus (stuff like "All Programs" has become "All Apps"), but overall I think it's better.

  7. Timmy B Silver badge

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    For some people it is that hard to remember. You need to try supporting some elderly users. They just tend to save everything wherever they feel like - I found one users important home finance spreadsheet tucked all away in a windows system folder once.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    Actually to detach the icons it's right click "Unpin from Start" like i said it was the first thing i did, forgot the exact wording lol

  9. keithpeter
    Windows

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    "For some people it is that hard to remember. You need to try supporting some elderly users. They just tend to save everything wherever they feel like..."

    Some (not the majority) teenagers are quite into random saving as well. Always fun sorting them out.

    I personally use search to cross reference archived stuff.

    I have a folder for each academic year/course/week as the year progresses. File names include topic and level of difficulty.

    If I need an extra worksheet/presentation quickly, I can just do a file name search on topic and level. The results show the last few years' worth of resources for level/topic.

    Works at work (Win7) and at home (Linux). I always have to click around a bit to get the win7 search to return results but it does work.

    Most of my colleagues have a filing system something like this but a surprising number are not familiar with file search or Ctrl-F for long pages/lists.

    I'm assuming filename search will be possible/easier in the new Windows?

    I'm also assuming there is a content search available in some way as well? Perhaps with local indexing software? Any suggestions?

  10. d3vy Silver badge

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    "You kids and your love for traversing menus, Is it really that hard to open cmd and type "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe"?"

    I normally just press the windows key and type "visu" by the time thats in there VS is top of the list ready for me to hit enter and it to load... who needs a menu?

  11. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    "Is it that hard to remember that Visual Studio is in Programs->Visual Studio 2013? Is it hard to remember that you saved your spreadsheet in My Documents?"

    Yes, I could remember that. But why should I have to when there's no need? I can still remember memory maps from 8 bit micros and yet I can't remember to pick up the shopping list before I leave. I would like my brain to delete the useless memories and reallocate the storage to tasks that matter. Since the brain doesn't apparently work like that, I don't want to be filling it up with ever more clutter when the computer can remember for me.

    We need an icon for "old fogey's post". :/

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    "I'm also assuming there is a content search available in some way as well? "

    How do you do that on W7? It is something I really miss from XP days.

    EDIT:

    Just did an RTFM - seems you have to change a setting even for specific folder searches. BUT it seems a global solution that is less user friendly than using the old XP explicit parameters for each search.

    http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Windows-7-Search-File-Contents

  13. TRT Silver badge

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    It's generally easier on a Mac to find various utilities using spotlight. "Net<return>" for network utility for example (a much used diagnostic) That works. Why I can't do the same for windows I don't know. On the Mac search for applications just works, on Windows, it's painful.

  14. keithpeter
    Windows

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Windows-7-Search-File-Contents

    So its been there all the time, thanks, I'll see if the necessary settings are 'allowed' at work. I was searching on indexing software &stuff.

  15. Roland6 Silver badge
    Trollface

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    You kids and your love for traversing menus, Is it really that hard to open cmd and type "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe"?

    Yes! Especially if you're running a 32-bit version of Windows...

  16. DropBear Silver badge

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    "Yes, I could remember that. But why should I have to when there's no need?"

    Funnily enough that exact reason is why I have zero use for "searching" for programs. I simply have no idea what they're called - what was that again, "fruityfoglia"...? Ah, no, "Piriform defraggler" - and I would have found it even in my sleep right in the "System Tools" start menu folder where I keep such things. Yes, I can remember "Visual Studio", but I can't remember the names of 90% of the tools I use - I just know to hit up everything I find under "Recovery Tools" whenever something gets deleted that should not have been. Same for various media conversion tools. Or audio editors. Or esoteric CAD format viewers. Or hex viewers. Or CPU fan speed / temperature testers. Or whatever else. I have no idea what any of those are called, so I CAN'T search for them. But I sure CAN browse, and let me assure you, my first-level start menu is a single column wide. I can reach anything I have within 2-3 levels, tops. But search is NOT discoverable - and Windows is welcome to shove it where the sun don't shine just as much as Ubuntu is, as far as I'm concerned.

  17. DJV Silver badge

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    I wish they would put Quick Launch back in fully - it takes up far less room than the "pin to task bar" crap. It's still possible to use it (even on Windows 10) though attempting to get some of the "modern apps" to live in it is a bit fraught - shoving Edge in it will lose the icon on the next reboot.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    "I normally just press the windows key and type "visu" by the time thats in there VS is top of the list ready for me to hit enter and it to load... who needs a menu?"

    ...And here I was thinking I was clever for opening Visual Studio by clicking on a shortcut...Whatever I use frequently enough I have shortcuts for, for all the rest there is search

  19. Whit.I.Are

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    My experience of your average user is that they click 'Save', but haven't got a clue where they saved it to and don't know how to find it again.

    Personally, yes, I can remember where I saved the last thing I worked on, but I have a heck of a job finding anything even a few months old...

  20. P. Lee Silver badge

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    > Since the brain doesn't apparently work like that, I don't want to be filling it up with ever more clutter when the computer can remember for me.

    The brain works like a muscle. If you don't use it, it "prunes" that capability. If you play dumb, you become dumber.

    Is it just me who uses keystrokes with menus? That rather requires fixed menus, not some search system which may reorganise the menu because someone has saved another document with a similar name. Really chaps, I know you'd love Bing to be successful, but can't I use alt-s for the W7-style start menu (with search box) and ctrl-alt-s for your new-fangled search?

    I've also been shaped on my internet connection after busting my download limit this month. Would my desktop PC now become a bit rubbish at finding local data because its taking ages to reach bing? How do the search results come back? First-found at the top? alphabetical? Docs/Apps/Web? Does these re-order as more results come in? Hands up who wants to tell Bing about their local pr0n collection every time they try to find something, even if its just a mis-type? Does MS feel any sense of irony in desperately trying to get rid of the "personal" part of the PC?

    Sorry MS, must try harder.

    12% extra for DX12 might be cool, but I see many games moving away from MS-only which means open-gl. I look for speed bumps every 5 years or so, when I upgrade the hardware. Nice though it is, Indie games rarely need raw power anyway.

    As pretty much the last remaining OS I can pay for, I expect to be protected from privacy-invaders. If you can run cortana on my local PC and upload relevant (voice recognition etc) data to my local PC rather than taking it off my PC then great. Otherwise, I'm not interested. Yeah, I'm one of those weird people who does naughty things like download youtube videos locally because I hate people prying on my activities over time.

    Give me a new OS design. Its time that we stopped pretending there are only users, not programs on the system. Give applications a security manifest not just a user to execute as. As a user I may want to execute a screen-saver or "run-as" to elevate my privileges. I may also want to run Flash videos from the web. (I know, I'm perverse). Both systems need to run as me. However, how often do I need Flash to be able to write anything to disk or access *any* executable outside of its own directory? How about if *at installation time* there is installed a *read-only* list of libraries it can access. Likewise with screen-savers. Is there any requirement for a screen-saver to ever have a child-process running as a different user, or indeed, be able to spawn cmd.ex? Can't we get the OS to control what software can access based on install-time manifests rather than mere user-rights? No Flash, you may not spawn any child processes, access anything other than your approved list of dlls, nor write to disk. I don't care what the executable is trying to do, I've told the OS to step in and prevent access to those resources. Word doesn't need to access the web, why let it just have all the user's privileges?

    So Windows has more flexible access-control than unix. Well done. We have some sort of hybrid of Unix and Netware. Can we not move a little further forward than that? Can we not have some sort of BSD Jail / inbound-outbound proxy firewall running at an application level? Have it as a "high-security execution mode" option. Would it be slower? Yes. Would it sell? I think so.

  21. moxberg

    Is it really that hard to open cmd and type?

    Of course not. I never came across a smarter TAB-completion than Windows'. They must have copied it from Amazon. It makes suggestions along the lines of "People who reckon this would've been a nice path also tried something totally unrelated". Why always follow the beaten track?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    I wish they would put Quick Launch back in

    I use a little system tray launcher app called SE-Tray Menu. I keep my most used items in that.

  23. CmdrX3

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    Yes.... yes it is.

  24. Lallabalalla

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    IME once you get into the habit of finding everything by typing the first few letters into a search box and accepting what is usually the top hit, you never go back, especially when the box can be opened with a key combo instead of a mouse click, which makes it even faster than hunting with a mouse (hate the things anyway).

    Even though I usually can remember where it is, this approach removes the need to have to bother to remember, so after a while you do forget through lack of use of the knowledge, which is either a vicious circle or a self-fulfilling prophecy depending on your POV. Jury's out IMO as I suppose I have the capacity to remember other stuff instead.

  25. EtonBears

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    Plenty of people have difficulty with working out where stuff is. This is mostly because:-

    - They have been discouraged from understanding disks and directory layouts

    - Microsoft have had Sooooooo many different default places to put stuff over the years

    - Libraries just confuse people that have no idea they are virtual collections

    There is an argument to be made that trying to get devices to work down to the lowest level of knowledge and/or stupidity is not necessarily the best way to advance the state of mankind.

  26. Les Matthew

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    "Once you've got a decent amount of applications installed, it soon became a mess"

    You can manually customise to tidy it up and suit yourself.

    Well up until 7, can't speak for any after that.

  27. EtonBears

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    Fine-grained permissions for applications are not new, and they do exist in iOS/Android and even more so in later versions of the Symbian OS. But frankly, they are a pain in the rear to manage as a developer, unless you are writing very tightly-defined function.

    The designed-in inflexibility of fine-grained permissions means that there is a significant management burden needed to deal with the way application behaviour is typically extended over time, and limits the dynamic or personalized behaviours that can be accessed. If a developer shifts this management burden onto the user ( by making them continually fiddle with permissions ), they typically will not retain that user for long.

    The result is developers simply install applications with as many permissions as they can get, which rather reduces the value of fine-grained permissions in the first place, and OS makers like Apple and Symbian try to become arbiters of what you can and cannot develop, reducing the role of both developers and users in deciding how devices are used.

    Something better is needed, I agree, but probably not fixed fine-grained permissions for code objects.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    The screenshot of the two control panels illustrates the problems with the Win 8/8.1/10 GUI.

    The new settings app has flat, abstract, monochrome icons. The Win7 control panel has 3D, multicolor icons with transparency. I can glance at the Win7 one and see which icon I want, instead of looking at all the icons in the new settings app.

    Why? because I'm used to it, or ---- because <b>making icons look like real things makes it easier for the brain to recognize them maybe?<b> A colored, 3D world with continents vs a circle with a few curves...

    Abstraction makes the GUI HARDER to use.

    I remember reading something funny about how Visual Studio 2015 will let me use Hi-Res icons

    "Yes," I thought, "super hi-res! - as long as they only have two colours".

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    And the best new feature I love about Win 10 is WinFS!

    It just makes everything so much easier to search!

    What do you mean "I'm dreaming?"

  30. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    You kids and your love for traversing menus, Is it really that hard to open cmd and type "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe"?

    On the rare occasions when I must use the accursed thing, I generally start Venomous Studio by typing "devenv" in a Cygwin bash window, yes. Of course I have PATH set properly, so I don't need to enter the complete path explicitly.

    That said, I don't know why some people are so opposed to using the search function. When I want to run something not in $PATH, I hit Ctrl-Esc and type the appropriate prefix, then hit Enter. It's the desktop analogue of $PATH, and I find it works pretty well.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Just one thing left to make it good

    "And here I was thinking I was clever for opening Visual Studio by clicking on a shortcut"

    Clicking a shortcut means taking my hands from the keyboard, its quicker to hit 5 keys (win V I S ENTER) than it is to grab the mouse, navigate to the start menu and then click the link.

    Maybe that's just me - I prefer to do things with the keyboard where possible, if theres a keyboard shortcut its going to be faster than the mouse (In VS for example commenting a line using the mouse means taking your hand from the keyboard, selecting the line(s) then moving the mouse to the top of the screen and clicking on the button (if you can find it, there are loads of them!) as opposed to CTRL + K + C 3 keys, done.

    I'm not here to get into a debate about keyboard navigation vs mouse etc.

  32. Dave 126 Silver badge

    I'll be making a system image backup before trying Windows 10.

  33. AceRimmer

    That would be the sensible thing to do before making significant changes to any OS

  34. Elmer Phud Silver badge

    I'm betting that most won't as the largest seperate storage medium they will have is a 16gb USB stick.

  35. Planty Bronze badge

    That's fine. Just hope it doesn't gobble up your licence to go back to windows 7

    Media is only a small part, you need to be able to licence and activate. Anyone know 100% that it's not a one way trip to windows 10???

  36. hplasm Silver badge
    Devil

    Re: Anyone know 100% that it's not a one way trip to windows 10???

    As in '"Express elevator to Hell- going down!" ?

  37. gubbool

    Re: Anyone know 100% that it's not a one way trip to windows 10???

    Installation was demo-ed at TWiT last Saturday... there were some issues, but I think they all based on 'what's happening, now' as the network was a bottleneck. They did back out and return to 8.1 - a 30 day option.

  38. dogged

    > That's fine. Just hope it doesn't gobble up your licence to go back to windows 7

    First thing I tested this morning.

    Answer? No, it doesn't. Your license still activates Windows 7 after upgrade use both from in-place upgrade and ISO installation.

  39. keithpeter
    Windows

    Local backup options

    Elmer Phud has hit the nail on the head here.

    Assuming someone has bought an external hard drive, what is the backup software like for backing up content (images, music, documents &c) locally?

    Anything like MacOS Timemachine built in or available that can be recommended to civilian users?

  40. dogged

    Re: Local backup options

    > Anything like MacOS Timemachine built in or available that can be recommended to civilian users?

    Yup, it has the same (or similar, I haven't checked the backups for differences so maybe an algorithm has changed, who knows) invisible incremental file backup as Win8.x

  41. Planty Bronze badge

    Did Microsoft remove the keylogger in the final build, or is it still sending keystrokes back to Redmond? It was still in there 2 weeks ago...

  42. dogged
    Thumb Up

    That's a good question!

    According to Wireshark (which really does get uglier by the iteration), Win10 is not sending keystrokes to Microsoft except for anything typed into the Search/Cortana box.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Secure Boot

    Windows 10 Antitrust

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Secure Boot

    Or it just kills the warez aficionados?

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 10: YOUR ULTIMATE GUIDE to Microsoft's apology for Windows 8

    The ultimate insincere apology.

  46. Spasticus Autisticus
    Coat

    Re: Windows 10: YOUR ULTIMATE GUIDE to Microsoft's apology for Windows 8

    I read 'Windows 10: YOUR ULTIMATE GUIDE to Microsoft's apology for Windows 8' as....

    Windows 10: YOUR ULTIMATE GUIDE to Microsoft's apology for an OS

  47. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Some things are just unknowns...and others.. who knows.

    1) Author says this will not be a subscription service. Is this just for the first year or forever?

    2) The App Store... I've not seen anything on costs yet. It would be nice to be able to figure out the cost of ownership including apps.

    3) Updates from other PC's on the Internet. Now this is truly scary. What's to stop this from being an attack surface?

    Personally, I'm not seeing any compelling reason to jump to Win 10 unless it's for "hey, guess what I've got" bragging rights. Corporate issued out a statement here that "in due time, but not yet" so any corporate devices will not be upgraded and nor will IT support Wn10 on BYOD for at least 6 months. They will let us run a PC's for testing and learning.. so I guess I get to fire one up in the next month or so.

  48. omnicent

    You may need to readjust your glasses

    "1) Author says this will not be a subscription service. Is this just for the first year or forever?" - You have 1 year to take advantage of the free upgrade....

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "3) Updates from other PC's on the Internet. Now this is truly scary. What's to stop this from being an attack surface?"

    Not really, provided it's done properly. Linux package managers have been happily using "untrusted" mirrors all over the globe since forever. Packages are signed by the distro, you retrieve the package from an untrusted source, compare the keys with the distro keys, if they match and the package hasn't been modified, happy days, otherwise discard the package and get it from somewhere else.

    So long as there are enough sources with the legitimate package, there's no problem.

  50. janimal

    Done properly

    ...is not a phrase I often associate with Microsoft, and definitely not with Windows

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