back to article It walks, it talks, it falls over a bit. Windows 10 is three years old

Sunday is a big day in Vulture Central. No, not the football. Sunday is three years to the day when Microsoft’s apology for the Windows 8 generation was released to computer makers. Windows 10 would hit end users two weeks later, charged with undoing the Metro carnage. The background In 2015 Microsoft was still reeling from …

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Re: Windows Update on 10

Speaking of slow shutdowns, has 10 got any better with aborted shutdowns? Let's say you go to shutdown, an application asks if you want to save first and you abort the shutdown long enough to save and close that application cleanly, then shut down properly.

Last time I tried that 10 crashed horribly.

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Re: Windows Update on 10

Will there ever come a time when Windows can be updated without reboots? Other operating systems seem to manage most of the time.

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Re: Windows Update on 10

Most Windows updates don't need a reboot either, but anything that changes drivers or kernel services needs to reboot. You can't update the Linux kernel without a reboot, and you can't update linux drivers without updating the kernel. You can't do a macOS update without a reboot either.

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Re: Windows Update on 10

True, but how often do you end up being forced to reboot Windows as opposed to Linux?

The megalithic kernel in Windows ends up being rebooted far more often.

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Re: block any specific up/down traffic via firewalls?

Sure, you can, but that's a bit like seeing everything as a nail, right?

Really an OS should just behave itself.

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Re: Windows Update on 10

"You can't update the Linux kernel without a reboot, and you can't update linux drivers without updating the kernel"

You can, actually, but you have to install special software to do it -- that's not how it's done out of the box for most distros.

But even if you're updating the kernel, you know what you don't have to do? Reboot after the update. The new kernel won't get used until you reboot, but you can update your system then continue to use it until you're good and ready to reboot it.

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Re: Windows Update on 10

Almost all Linux drivers can be updated without restarting the machine.

The only exceptions are ones you (or your distro) chose to compile into the kernel - which can be anything from everything right down to nothing (depending on whether you consider CPU microcode to be a driver).

Embedded Linux systems tend to compile everything into the kernel because that boots faster. Server tend to have everything as a module, desktop somewhere in between.

In fact, most Windows drivers can also be updated without restarting.

It only seems to be MacOS that can't do that.

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Re: Windows Update on 10

But even if you're updating the kernel, you know what you don't have to do? Reboot after the update. The new kernel won't get used until you reboot, but you can update your system then continue to use it until you're good and ready to reboot it.

That's the case with Windows too. Until you reboot, you have not updated the system.

This is a "can vs. should" question. The NT kernel architecture is perfectly able to do a no-reboot update - like macOS's mach, it's actually pretty easy to swap services in and out (and unlike Linux modules, they can be compiled independently of the kernel version being installed into). However: can you be sure that all of the innumerable userspace applications that run on the installed base of Windows systems would recover gracefully if that call that "always works" returned an error? Sure, you can "kill the clients", but that's taking an kernel-first view of the system, when the people who paid for the system only care about the applications it's running.

If your goal is system stability, a reboot is better than trying to show off and do it live. That holds true no matter what OS you're using. The best way to get uptime is through redundancy and hot-failover, not by juggling bits of the kernel while your application is running on it.

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Re: Windows Update on 10

"That's the case with Windows too. Until you reboot, you have not updated the system."

True. The main difference is that Windows forces you to reboot. Linux doesn't.

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Anonymous Coward

Windows 10 is a dog

In a personal capacity I've tried Windows 10 three times, and every time has been a miserable experience.

The main problems have been sluggishness (which I put down to memory issues) but more importantly, continual and unfathomable network problems.

Wifi fails to connect to known spots. Home networks are 'unknown'. NAS boxes vanish. I've looked on so many forums and basically concluded that this is something that a significant proportion of uses are suffering from, but there appears to be no clear 'cure' (don't start with Linux here, please).

Meanwhile my Win 7 machines, iPad, phone, NAS box, PS4 and even the damn TV all manage to cope fine in the same environment. It's pathetically bad.

And no, Microsoft, I don't want effing Candy Crush in my start menu. Grow up.

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Re: Windows 10 is a dog

Your NAS is using an old version of samba, and is defaulting to CIFS/SMB1, which is highly insecure.

To mitigate it, Windows 10 disabled SMB1 support by default. You can turn it back on (I'm not going to tell you how, because you shouldn't, but it's not hard to find the instructions), but you're better off to log into the NAS and change the samba config so that it defaults to SMB2 or later.

I agree with you about Candy Crush, but it was easy to delete.

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Re: Windows 10 is a dog

>> And no, Microsoft, I don't want effing Candy Crush in my start menu. Grow up.<<

I've found that if you install Windows 10 (both Home and Professional) without an Internet connection you don't get Candy Crush and all of the other 'rubbish'.

If you make another user account after the install of W10 then make sure you're disconnected from the Internet when you sign into the new account for the first time or that account will get Candy Crush, etc. even if the main Administrator account didn't get it.

I'm not sure if running something like O&O's ShutUp10 before connecting to the Internet has something to do with it as well but that's how I've done it and so far no sign of Candy Crush and it's ilk returning. The next major update to W10 may be a different matter, of course.

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Windows 7 holdouts

What also "helps" get Win 10 on more machines is that the new batch of processors and motherboards are hard coded to make installing Win 7 on them either very difficult or impossible -- I believe the terminology is "not compatible with Windows 7." So if you have an aging machine that you want to update but keep the same OS (like what I'm looking to do in the next few months), you'll be SOL.

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Re: Windows 7 holdouts

They're not "hard coded". The newer CPUs have features that the kernel in Windows 7 doesn't support. Take the example of the new low-latency clock-speed adjustment features of Intel's Kaby Lake and later CPUs: the CPU will throttle its speed semi-automatically, but the kernel needs a method of knowing that this is happening, and overriding it when it isn't appropriate. Without those hooks, the hardware can't be used optimally - you get worse battery life, or slow performance. Windows 10 has these hooks, Windows 7/8 do not.

There's also the question of drivers for the support-chips on the board. Once Windows 7 stopped being sold as a pre-install, motherboard manufacturers no longer needed to write chipset drivers for it, or test their BIOS with it.

So yes, you could shoehorn Windows 7 onto one of these boards, but it wouldn't perform properly, and some I/O mightn't work.

It's not a conspiracy, and there are board suppliers who have solutions for industrial and commercial users who need Windows 7. You can go to them, but it won't be cheap, and you will not get the very latest CPU and chipset if you insist on running a six-to-ten-year-old OS that cannot properly take advantage of it.

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Attitude

The OS in itself seems pretty stable. But the underlying attitude isn't. The whole "We'll force you to keep our favoured apps in the Start menu where we decided to put them." thing i.e. unmovable and unremovable just stinks.

And the simple networking is just plain crap. I find that shared folders and even the whole other device will just randomly refuse to be seen. Which I put down to them wanting domestic and SOHO users to use their Godawful "Home groups".

See also elsewhere on el reg their removal of proper Onenote 2016 to make users use the shitty cut down store version.

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Traditional stuff

1999 - Bah Windows 2000 heap of junk give me NT4 any day

2001 - Bah Windows XPensive heap of tellytubby junk give me Windows 2000 any day

2009 - Bah Windows 7 heap of junk, give me XP any day that was a decent OS

2018 - Bah Windows 10 heap of junk I'm sticking with good old Windows 7

(we'll skip over Vista, 8, 8.1, as the less said the better)

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Re: Traditional stuff

Don't forget ME and 98 first edition.

In general every other Microsoft OS sucks badly, but thanks to the new system you no longer have the option to skip it.

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Re: Traditional stuff

"In general every other Microsoft OS sucks badly..."

I've used literally every version of Windows, and I have never experienced this flip-flop that people keep citing as fact:

Windows 1.0 - weird but interesting (what's "multitasking"??)

Windows 286/386 - considerably more usable, but still fairly weird.

Windows 3.0 - fantastic!!

Windows 3.1 - even better!

Windows 3.11 - and still more better!!

Windows 95 - nicer

Windows 98 - incrementally nicer

Windows NT - never crashes, shame about the UI

Windows Me - not exactly better (but not horribly worse)

Windows 2000 - stability of NT plus UI of 98 - what could be better??

Windows XP - Windows 2000 for the masses

Windows Vista - oops!

Windows 7 - Vista UI plus viable 64-bit - it's all good!

Windows 8 - WTF???

Windows 8.1 - WTF continued

Windows 10 - OMFG!!

No alternation of any kind. From version 1.0 through 98 Microsoft made steady, massive improvements - then introduced amazing robustness through the separate NT track. Windows Me and Vista were the only notable mis-steps, and they came several versions apart. Whereas the more recent Windows 8, 8.1 and 10, all hideous blunders, came one after another.

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Re: Traditional stuff

Disagree about Windows 98. Less stable than 95.

Disagree about Me, a heap of crap.

Vista was terrible, I tried it and reverted to XP.

W8 was shocking, but W8.1 is to-date their best effort. Most stable, once you get the drivers. You can configure everything, switch off metro, add a start menu, HAVE COMPLETE CONTROL OF UPDATES. Faster than W7 in my experience. The last true OS that the user owned and controlled.

W10 is WAAS and for that reason alone should be avoided like the plague. Not least but for out of user control updates.

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Windows

Window 10

can be summed up quite nicely with

"No matter how well you polish..... its stull a turd"

<<hiding from the works laptops that have win 10 on them..

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Childcatcher

Re: Window 10

An addendum to that I learned recently is quite apt...

You can't polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter.

And MS are getting to be experts with glitter

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Reasons why Windows 7 is far superior

In Windows 7, you have a proper and logical start menu whose goal is to make it easy to do things and not to push apps through an app store where Microsoft profits.

In Windows 7, you can choose which updates to download, when to download them, and when to install them.

Windows 7 is pretty; Windows 10 has the dog-butt ugly flat look.

Windows 10 is slowly replacing the control panel of Windows 8, 7, Vista. But as it does, what was once 1 step is now 5 steps.

Windows 7 never tries to trick you into giving Microsoft your email to log in.

Windows 7 has a full backup program.

Windows 10 took away the free games and replaced them with games with ads. Why? The games were stable, all you had to do was keep them and do nothing else.

The Windows 10 email app is pure garbage. Unfortunately, Microsoft no longer lets you download the old pretty good Windows live mail program. So you email program choices are garbage, Thunderbird, or something that costs money.

I do not want the app store icon put back on the taskbar after every update. I do not want my telemetry and privacy settings undone after every update. I do not want to use the illogical and confusing Edge browser so stop bugging me about it; I don't care how much faster it is, if it is difficult to use that is all irrelevant. Windows 7 has none of those annoyances.

I have concluded that the purpose of Windows 10 is to make money off you after day 1. I don't care how much better it is in other areas, when it is annoying and difficult to use, all that other stuff is irrelevant. A program or OS should focus first on making my life easier; but Windows 10 cares not about that. It only cares about making Microsoft money after the first day.

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Re: Reasons why Windows 7 is far superior @Wade Burchette

Several good points there. However...

"Windows 7 has a full backup program."

WinXP had a FULL backup program. If you're satisfied with the Windows 7 backup, it is still included with Windows 10.

"The Windows 10 email app is pure garbage. Unfortunately, Microsoft no longer lets you download the old pretty good Windows live mail program."

I'm sure you're the first one around here who would call the Live Mail program "pretty good". I thought it was just a rehashed, dumbed-down Outlook Express.

"I do not want to use the illogical and confusing Edge browser so stop bugging me about it"

Neither do I use it, but it doesn't seem any more illogical or confusing as e.g. Chrome. You're still free to use IE if you want the full Win7 experience. ;-)

I'm a Firefox user and Windows doesn't bug me about Edge.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Live Mail program "pretty good"

well, he might be the first to call it pretty good, I'm the 2nd. And there are quite a lot of folk who share this view. And, even though it does have a few (infuriating) quirks, I've been happy with outlook express / live mail since... hell, since 1990s, I think. Yes, they never bothered to implement some basic, reasonable precautions, etc. (same as web-base hotmail inteface, it took them about 20 years to get convinced about ctrl+N combination). But, looking broadly, , it's the most useful and pain-free FREE contributions MS have made towards the progress of human civilization.

ok, ok, a disclaimer: "...in the narrow field of free e-mail client". Narrow, but pretty vital over the last 25 years or so.

Actually, I struggle to name any other MS (software) to be that useful. ICE was good, until they decided to to make the installer about 3 x as large, performance at best the same as before, and insert ads. IE - you know it's there, let it be. ... yeah, that's about everything that the MS have ever done to us...

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Re: Reasons why Windows 7 is far superior

Sad but true

Microsofts Windows audience is not tech savvy desktop users anymore though! Its people slowly being accustomed to being bent over and anal probed on a daily basis by facebook and google/android. It works for Google and Zuckerberg, why shouldn't it for Microsoft (it will too)

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If only!

"the Windows 7 hold-outs should finally feel able to make the upgrade" -- Not here!

Not till Windows 10 actually works well with music production software like Cubase Pro and DJ software like Traktor.

I have tried and tried but the OS is just a nightmare and kills off creativity within minutes (creating music etc requires a working machine that just lets you get on with it).

Sadly with Windows 10 I spent more time trying to workout why ASIO was failing after an update, oh and the display driver was forcibly replaced with a non working one that just BSODs the machine!

Creative Update my arse!

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Re: If only!

"Creative Update my arse!"???

Not at all, there is so much creativity invested in making the users' life a misery before.

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Re: If only!

the Windows 7 hold-outs should finally feel able to make the upgrade

How? I own a Samsung laptop, a few years old, but still perfectly usable in Windows 7. During the Great Nag I finally decided to try Windows 10, but the installation failed because of hardware incompatibility.

The hardware in question is an Intel processor with integrated GPU, about as vanilla as possible. I need hardly add that none of the Linux distros I've installed has had any problem with it.

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Not an apology

Windows 10 is not an apology for Windows 8. It's retribution for our rejection of Windows 8!

Windows 8, unlike Windows 10, can be redeemed. Classic Shell to get rid of the start screen and to block the corner hotspots (bye bye charms), Old New Explorer to get rid of the ribbon, a custom theme to get rid of the flat look, and if you're a scorched earth type like me, a script with install_wim_tweak to forcibly evict all the apps, including Windows Store.

After that, Windows 8/8.1 become a really decent OS. One that doesn't force updates, one that doesn't break at least twice a year for feature upgrades that no one asked for anyway, and that doesn't try to monetize you at every turn. It doesn't screw up your carefully chosen drivers or uninstall things without asking, and it doesn't change your settings. There's no Candy Crush installations or ads in it.

All of that bad stuff is new since Windows 8.1, and makes Windows 10 far, far worse than 8 ever was. It's ridiculous to have to use Classic Shell and other such programs to get a usable UI, but you still do with Windows 10 too. They just shrunk the dumb start screen down, but it's still full of those stupid touch-oriented tiles.

Windows 10 isn't a compelling anything other than a compelling reason to abandon Windows. It's not any better than it was three years ago, because the most profound things wrong with it are still wrong with it. Windows 7 hasn't had the equivalent of a feature update (SP1) in 7 or 8 years, and it's still more popular than Windows 10, and that's with Microsoft's unprecedented and ongoing effort to force 10 on everyone, without which it surely would have flopped so badly that Windows 8 would look successful.

You want to talk feature updates, MS? Stability is a feature, and so is having control over my own PC. Keep your timeline and Acrylic and gaming mode... I want the kind of control over my own PC that I had with every other version of Windows (over updates and everything else) and maybe I will have a reason to reconsider. Otherwise, you and Windows 10 can go hand in hand while you take a long walk off a short pier (and for extra points, tie an anchor to Windows 10 first).

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Metro ?!

The Interface Formerly Known As Metro

Registards remember TIFKAM but this article only mentions Metro in passing.

Does the fact that The Reg has now forgotten is own acronym for Metro mean anything in terms of improvement to W10 ?

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Windows 7 to 10 "updgrade"?

I stopped calling software updates upgrades when it meant "taking away 5 things you desperately want, and giving you 50 new things you desperately don't"

Very glad to still be on Windows 7. Hope I will be 10 years from now.

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Where are actual improvements?

e.g. Start menu, LEDBAT, BBR, paging automatic huge pages?

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Borked my Game!

I will always curse the Creator update for breaking Battlefield. That put a crimp in my spare time.

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Cost

Do they still charge for Windows, or is it free yet? Because, presumably that will happen at some point?!

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Microsoft’s apology for the Windows 8 generation

I was part of a group that went to Redmond for a week to act as guinea pigs for Microsoft's training materials for Windows 8. We were supposed to stick with the program and just make suggestions about how to improve the training materials. What actually happened was total shock at the dog's breakfast that was being presented to us as "the new Windows". We were horrified and protested loudly to any Microsoftie that dared to enter the training facility. It was obvious even then, before the official launch of Windows 8, that Microsoft was already aware the market response to 8 was probably not going to be "good". Shortly after my trip to Redmond a colleague made the same trip to sit in in the training materials for Server 2012 and the horror intensified!

So here we are lo these many years later and, yes, Microsoft has performed yeoman work to clean up the mess and make 10 so much more pleasant to use (and Server 206 and 2019, too). But you really do have to wonder at the thinking processes that were followed that allowed Microsoft to squander the general goodwill that had built up around Windows 7 for the travesty that was Windows 8. Satya and crew would be wise to keep it all in mind as they keep the rapid cadence of change rolling in Windows and the various Cloudy bits.

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Linux

Windows and Linux

Windows Subsystem for Linux is surprisingly good ... it's good enough that my main rig is fitted for all of the software I want to run from both worlds. (And a wonderful program called MobaXterm makes it ridiculously easy.)

Still, although progress has been made in the UI, I would like to see Microsoft admit for good that their mobile efforts have failed, and optimize Windows 10 for desktops, which is still where 99.9% of its installations live. Come on Redmond, just a couple of beveled edges on those buttons would make us feel like we're using a computer again, and not an overgrown phone.

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Linux subsystem for Windows is _really_ good and well thought out to the extent that it could be used for production.

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Anonymous Coward

Microsoft schitzoidism gets a free ride once again

Many comments cover concerns over Win10 Slurp. So why is the media giving Microsoft a free pass? First up below is Microsoft being presented as a biometrics-privacy human-rights-abuses champion. Next, is the MSM taking pot shots at Facebook for dressing up Onavo as a VPN when its really a sneaky analytics privacy violator. Yet isn't that what Win10 is?

Its a work in progress at all the above! Ultimately we are all victims of Banksters. Its 2008 all over again, because of how big tech makes promises to Wall Street. Compare the Wall Street promises to what the Chairman thinks Microsoft does? How is this schitzoidism personality disorder escaping scrutiny vs Google / Facebook? All 3 are abusers!

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https://www.rte.ie/news/world/2018/0714/978671-microsoft-regulation/

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-07-16/don-t-break-up-facebook

https://www.computerworld.com/article/2917799/microsoft-windows/microsoft-fleshes-out-windows-as-a-service-revenue-strategy.html

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-30/if-microsoft-finds-another-linkedin-deal-chairman-is-all-in

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Re: Microsoft schitzoidism gets a free ride once again

"So why is the media giving Microsoft a free pass?"

Because, with a small number of exceptions, the tech media consists of a bunch of untrustworthy hacks who are happy to say whatever they're paid to say. Prior to the 90s, there were only a handful of tech media outlets that could be described that way. After the 90s, there are only a handful that can't.

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The end game for Windows will occure during 2019

The end of support for Windows 7 in January 2020 will be a decisive and critical driver for the long heralded rise of Linux.

As more and more people realise just how easy it is now a days to have a dual boot machine, by simply selecting that option from from nearly all the main Linux distros from their live DVD (iso) download.

When people do that, they will realise that a) they have literally nothing to lose, and have resulting in literally losing nothing of the original Windows, and b) have become aware of just how advanced Linux has become, to the point of comparing favourably with the legacy of Windows.

It will finally be up to users whether they select the existing Windows or the Linux system, each time they switch the PC on, without ever having to lose the option.

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Re: The end game for Windows will occure during 2019

The end of support for Windows 7 in January 2020 will come and go and absolutely nobody will notice except for the tech media. Anyone still on W7 at that point will stay on it indefinitely or until their hardware dies, but that won't be a simultaneous mass event.

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Re: The end game for Windows will occure during 2019

"The end of support for Windows 7 in January 2020 will come and go and absolutely nobody will notice except for the tech media."

It might be a repeat of the XP EOL, postponed by Microsoft coz people wouldn't budge off it. XP is still popular in lots of places.

I was surprised on Monday while I was checking out what hardware and software all the office computers, in the seniors place I volunteer at, are running. Found a Windows XP server, a Vista desktop, a 8.1 laptop, but most where Windows 7. The one outlier was the laptop they gave me to use, I had installed Linux Mint on it to replace what ever Windows version was on the HD that was half dead. The screen on that laptop is also on it's way out, I'm thinking of replacing it with a dual boot ARM based laptop, Linux (Devuan or Mint) and Android.

I told the boss that Win 7 is due to EOL in about a year and a half, he said he knows, but didn't seem worried. Would not surprise me if they stick with 7, they seem to hold Windows 10 with the same low regard that I do.

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Anonymous Coward

I guess few people really want the bug* that is Windows 10, but soon we won't have a choice anymore.

They've already artificially limited W7 to specific CPUs (even though it apparently worked with the OS pre-"update") and whatnot.

*bug=Covert listening device, or bug, commonly used in espionage and in police investigations.

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LTSB

Been using it since it became available, despite MS claiming it to be niche usage case only, we use it on *everything* - mainly due to registry & policy features not available in other versions that stop or limit slurp.

It's entirely possible to install 'apps' using Powershell to install store or just the individual bits you want / need (news and weather are the most popular). We have a lot of laptops, mainly Panasonic CF-52's running various vehicle manufacturer diagnostics and have not experienced any crash, incompatibility or installation issue. We install Classic Shell, Office 2016 & Palemoon as the default browser but have to fall back to IE11 on occasion - in every case due to compatibility issues with manufacturer training providers... Don't suggest Chrome as anything Googly is verboten, as is facebook & twatter....

WRT dual boot, I can do work & superfluous stuff in Windows, why would I choose to do work in Windows, then reboot into Linux to do the superfluous stuff just to 'stick it to the man'?

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Re: LTSB

"Don't suggest Chrome as anything Googly is verboten, as is facebook & twatter...."

I find it humorous that your workplace wisely bans Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc., and yet is fine with using Win 10.

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Windows 10 RS3 and Windows 10 RS4 are the worst so far...

Windows10 is a mess already by itself since its first version.

Completely unusable unless you disable all the Microsoft spyware crap using 3rd party tools.

Windows10 RS1 and RS2 when all the known Microsoft spyware crap is off become usable but still full of bugs anyway with the system doing wrong things for unknown reasons all of a sudden while the same thing never happened using Windows7 SP1

But Windows 10 RS3 and RS4 are a shame. So full of bugs and a new spyware mess like never before. Microsoft is the worst.

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I have found that when "upgrading" from win7 or 8.1 to winX, it´s better to sign in with a local account than a microsoft account. Less hassle regarding parental unit phone calls...

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Apology?

Windows 10 has to be one of the most backhanded apologies ever.

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