So I jumped into the deep end and tried the update to Windows 10. Not before backing up my entire /dev/sda drive, of course. A short trip to the BIOS to hide my Linux HD, insert the DVD burned before, and here we go!

So it’s a quick thing, at least it feels faster than installing Windows 98 or so. Answer some questions, and… what’s that? Ah, so I’m installing a German Windows 10 over an English Windows 7, so… I can’t keep my apps and settings? What the?!? Since when does the GUI language determine the future of my stuff? Ah whatever, I don’t use apps on the PC, and my settings are going to be all over the place anyway. Do what you must. Now wait, reboot, wait, reboot…

After playing a few games with the kids, I came back to a Windows 10 prompt! Whoa, talk abot painless. Log in… wait… wait a little more… ah, question time again. Let’s tell the system to disable all the spying stuff and hope that it adheres to my wishes. No, I’d like to choose my default photo viewer myself. But… why can’t I choose right here? Whatever. Desktop! Dark, smokey, looks clean, nice. My few desktop icons suddenly take up lots of space. The SSD LED is flashing like crazy. Looking around… no swiping, no stuff suddenly appearing at the screen sides like on Windows 8, no full screen app menu. I like! There’s a “messages” bar with a little button to make the lower row of buttons disappear, how cute. Completely pointless, but cute. Whatever. The SSD has stopped flashing.

Ah, the start menu. Lots of crap apps, unpin, unpin, unpin… done. Now to create the start menu I want, let’s add Netbeans, IntelliJ, Visual Studio, LibreOffice… just… where are they? Not in the start menu at least. No biggie, Explorer still comes up with Win-E. Go to C, program files… What. The. Eff. Nothing there. All my programs are gone. So the “apps” I couldn’t keep actually were… my programs? I have to install everything again, just because the GUI language is different? F*ck that! Could have just done a clean install instead of an upgrade, but then the key wouldn’t have been updated to Win10. Clean install now? Nope, at this point I’m going to look around first, and if I like what I see, I’ll do a clean install. Otherwise, it’s back to Win7.

Fooling around a little, I try some of the apps, but it seems like the only things that work without logging into a Microsoft account are the calculator and the weather app. Meh.

Start the new browser, hate the new title bars, it’s hard to tell the active window from an inactive one. Let’s change that first. Right click, appearance… change design… how do I change the active-window-title-bar-color? I could do that since Windows 95 without any problem, what’s this now? Google for the rescue. Ah, no network, card driver doesn’t work anymore. Um… Wifi stick, install driver, enter network. Download NIC driver, install, reboot, doesn’t work. Settle with Wifi for now. Google around for help with window color settings, find stuff dealing with Registry settings and design files. Helloooooooo, it’s 2015, and the newest Windows can’t do something we could do 20 years ago? Why? Couldn’t be that it took too much space on the DVD image, eh? Too complicated for people to use? Linux distros used to be ridiculed because it was oh so hard to edit some config files without a GUI, and now that there’s a GUI for everything, Windows goes back in time to manual Registry and file editing? No comment. At least not a printable one.

The last straw: Sound card stopped working too, driver is installed but “there is a problem”. Knowing what to expect, I try the automatic troubleshooter, not that it ever worked before, and sure, it doesn’t fail my expectations this time, either. Meh, it’s not like “Windows” and “just works” were ever said in the same sentence without a chuckle. Download new driver manually, install, reboot. No sound, there’s a problem.

Flip a few tables, throw a few chairs around, reboot, un-hide Linux drive, boot into Linux, hdimage to the rescue. 20 minutes later, I have my trusty Windows 7 back, and a few new experiences to share.

My verdict after a few hours of cursing: Win10 may be better than Win8 or Win8.1, but it’s not as good as Win7.

Just like Win7 was better than Vista, but worse than WinXP. Continue with ME and 2000.

It’s like Windows is going two steps backwards, then a single step forward, and somehow that feels like progress. Too much stuff that suddenly doesn’t work anymore. Standard run-of-the-mill network card, standard sound card, both stop working, Windows 10 drivers don’t work, there’s a problem. Visual settings are inaccessible without manual fooling around, lots of standard apps that don’t work without a MS account, the cloud folder sync thing getting on my nerves, stopped using that crap long ago after it ate some of my files, and so on.

Looks like Windows 7 is going to be the new Windows XP. The one companies keep using, because it works well enough, and doesn’t cause too much trouble with nothing really new to show for it. Win10 has a better kernel then Win7? Didn’t notice. What I did notice was lots of privacy stuff I had to disable to keep my figurative bathroom door closed, too much hassle with doing simple stuff that should be simple, and device drivers not working, because “there is a problem”.

So at home, it’s back to Win7 for me. At work, we don’t have any plans of switching, but I’ll try to move a little more in the direction of platform independent code in the future. Just to be sure.

Could Windows 10 be the best thing that ever happened to Linux?


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