No, seriously. Once you have Windows 10, you will always have Windows.
But many of you are asking, “Where’s Windows 9?”
A little back story. Once upon a time, there was Windows 1, a rather primitive answer to Apple’s Macintosh operating system. Both OS’s stole the pointy-clicky idea from Xerox, but that’s another topic. Windows 2 made this available to the consumer. Windows 3.o and 3.1.1 took the GUI – all the pointy-clicky stuff – that was overlaid with the venerable DOS text-based OS and tricked it all into acting like a seamless OS. (It wasn’t, but it was pretty cool for those of us whose last computer experience was on a Apple IIe back during Reagan’s first term.) Then Microsoft abandoned the idea of Windows 4, 5, ad infinitum by calling the more integrated version Windows 95. It’s new, improved iteration (that needed more improvements) was Windows 98. There was Windows ME, but we shall never speak of this again. That was the end of the original Windows.
In the 90s, Microsoft created Windows NT, a complete operating system. NT 1 & 2 never made it into businesses, but Windows NT 3.51, which looked like Windows 3.0, did. Then came Windows NT 4, with Windows 95/98’s interface as an integral part of the OS. So next came Windows NT 5. Right?
No. Well, yes and no.
The next iteration of Windows NT was Windows 2000, and it’s probably one of the best versions of Windows ever. But to make it available to consumers, DOS was abandoned (Really, it had been taken as far as it could go.), and a consumer version called Windows XP arrived. This was also Windows NT 5, but improved and with more end user toys to play with.
XP stayed for a loooooong time. Microsoft took its time with Windows NT 6. And botched it royally. They called it Windows Vista. And we shall never speak of it again. Bill Gates came out of retirement, yelled at some developers and Steve Ballmer, and created Windows 7, which was still Windows NT 6, just a newer build of it. Then came Windows 8, which is Windows NT 7. And yes, Windows 10 is Windows NT 8.
Hey! What happened to 9?
Well, the marketing geniuses at Microsoft decided that Windows 9 (which is really Windows NT 8) would remind people too much of Windows 95/98, which is an obsolete overlay of the DOS operating system.
Try not to think about it too much. It’s marketing.
Anyway, here we are. Windows 10.
I upgraded my tired Dell Inspiron to the new OS since it’s the oldest box in the house, and it’s likely to be the next machine to be replaced. How did it go?
It took about 90 minutes, partly because I had to go into Windows Updates and tell it yes, I wanted to upgrade to Windows 10. Your mileage may vary. One I did that, it was ready in half an hour. The machine was slow to begin with. So Windows 10, once setup was complete, was an improvement.
While setting up, Windows will ask you if you want to automatically connect to suggested wireless or share your wireless password with your contacts. I strongly recommend no to both these options. It’s a privacy leak. You can still connect manually and store connection info locally.
The first thing I noticed was that the tiles were gone. I didn’t like the tiles on the desktop. It was a stupid idea to make the tablet, the phone, and the desktop or laptop identical. But the tiles aren’t gone. They’re just in the Start Menu now.
Oh, did I mention the Start Menu is back? OK, the Start Menu is back. And the tiles are there. But wait? I have a Surface. I like the tiles. Windows 10 gives you the option to switch back to the Start Screen.
One thing I noticed after using Windows 10 for a few days on my laptop was that it wasn’t nearly the battery suck Windows 7 was. Not that Windows 7 was particularly hard on laptops, but my battery is old, so the power savings were more pronounced.
I also noticed that Windows 10 syncs with the OneDrive more efficiently than Windows 7. Sometimes, you had to goose it by logging into onedrive.live.com to get it to sync. Now you don’t.
People will probably ask about the new web browser, Edge. It’s definitely better than Internet Explorer, only…
It’s not finished. You can’t change your download directory or get it to prompt. Other uses have complained standard functions in other browsers are not present. Edge is fast, more standards-based than IE, but not quite ready for prime time.
Over all, Windows 10 upgraded nicely. I upgraded the Surface to it and will need to finish tweaking it to get my old screens back. But it’s smooth and all my programs transferred nicely.
Now ask me again when I upgrade the tower I use for development. That promises to get a little hairy.