Windows 10 - Go or no-go?

I, along with probably half the known world, got the "Reserve your Windows 10 upgrade" task bar icon last night.

I've done the reservation, and so now I have until at least the 29th July*3 to work out if or when I go through with the upgrade. I've typically been a slow adopter to new versions of Windows (still feeling pretty smug about dodging Vista!). I generally agree with the new direction of Windows...incremental updates makes far more sense than big-bang every 2-3 years, and getting rid of the massive variety of OS versions out there can only make developers lives easier*4. I've been running with auto-updates ever since I made the step away from desktops to laptops.

I have a fairly decent spec laptop, so don't really have to worry too much about the minimum specs, and most of the "depreciations" don't impact me (I don't have a DVD Drive, use Media Centre, or use the built-in games. Can't remember the last time I even saw a 3.5" floppy disc!)

I'm currently on Windows 8 64-Bit, and getting on OK*1 with it. I'd had a bit of experience with other machines on Windows 8, so knew how to get rid of all the shite tile-based navigation pretty quickly. I think my main worries about upgrading are;

1) Drivers - while I have a pre-built machine, it's not got the most common hardware (26 similar system tests in 3DMark for Sky Diver), so there is a risk that once I upgrade, I'll find some hardware doesn't play nicely.

2) Loss of installs - games I'm a bit less worried about, as pretty much all of them are on my Steam account, so can be re-downloaded (a PITA, but nothing else). I have a fairly old version of Office (2007) on the machine, which I got as part of the Microsoft Home License scheme, which my company doesn't support any more (fortunately I kept the install files and the key when I originally bought it a few years ago)

3) Horrific Bugs / Design choices - this is what has kept we away from new OS'es for a couple of iterations previously...while on the face of it most of the design choices seem to make sense (Start button is back), there is a reasonable chance that there will be some sort of fairly serious issue on day 1, simply due to the large variety of hardware that needs to be supported (and as mentioned above, I don't have the most common hardware, gaming laptops being somewhat of a niche market).

4) DirectX 12 - not sure if this is good or bad. Early rumours suggest that it will help AMD a lot. I've struggled to find out if my current hardware supports all the new features*2

My gut feeling is that I should probably sit on my hands for a couple of months, and let other, braver early adopters take the initial hit in terms of pain...

*1 You'd struggle to tell, as I've installed Classic Shell and Fences to sort out navigation.

*2 I have an nVidia GTX970M GPU...*5

*3 as I understand it, you have a year once Windows 10 is released to do the free upgrade...after that time it may be charged, though of course this may well become a moving goal-post.

*4 The latest Steam Survey shows that there are almost as many people still using XP as using Windows 8 64-Bit edition...

*5 After a bit more digging, looks like it does support DirectX12, with Feature Level 12.1, whatever that means...


Been using the Release Candidate at work and it's super. Love it. Going to upgrade at home as soon as possible. Then again, I didn't have Win8 once I'd turn down the arse.

The BIG difference between Win10 and all the others is the licensing model. You buy it once, either OEM or as a box in a shop. After that, you won't get charged. Why? Because that's not where Microsoft are making their money and the idea of charging for an OS is becoming difficult to justify. They know this. They're going to stop charging for Visual Studio and MSDN, their model is going service based.

brainwipe's picture

Hmm, but I do believe that you were the one trying to convince me that Vista was good?

babychaos's picture

Vista was better than XP. But not better than Win2k.

brainwipe's picture

We'll have to agree to disagree there.

In this case, I think that everyone*6 will have to upgrade to Windows 10, I think it's more about the timing. The majority of Windows releases have had (how do I put this politely) teething problems on initial release, and it's taken a Service Pack release to get them halfway sensible. I'm less inclined to have an experimental rig, I'd rather just have a machine that turns on and "just works" (I'm getting rather used to it now).

*6 Well, those that want a supported operating system will anyway...

babychaos's picture

I've hit the reserve button too but am unsure if I'll actually upgrade when the time comes. Both of my current machines (laptop and desktop) are running 8.1 which has it's good and bad points. I'll probably upgrade and then regret it when nothing works and I have to wait for service pack 1 to fix things :D

Evilmatt's picture

I feel left out ... no reserve buttons yet :(

Bigger Rob's picture

Then I found it, but for some reason I can edit the original blog, but not edit or delete my post ... why does this technology taunt me so?

Bigger Rob's picture

I shall be the brave among us and upgrade asap.

Dwain's picture

Not got the reserve thingy yet. Bastards.

brainwipe's picture

It's weird I've gotten the reserve thing on my main machine and on one of my old win7 laptops but not my gaming laptop I'm not sure what the criteria is for when that little icon shows up

Evilmatt's picture

I am now reliably informed (by the little icon) that my Windows 10 upgrade is now available.

I haven't seen much in the way of news...good or bad...about the upgrade so far. I'm not sure if thats a good sign or not?

babychaos's picture

I ran it on my main machine, it was quite painless, although time will tell if it is going to be trouble.

Saying that I am having a minor problem with the taskbar not wanting to auto hide and also staying on top of a full screen window I want to see.

Bigger Rob's picture

My main machine has yet to get it but my old spare win7 laptop just downloaded it last night I didn't have time to finish the install yet but I'll probably give it a go tonight.

Evilmatt's picture

I have encountered my first big problem, occasionally the machine turns itself off while booting ... which doesn't seem to be the best thing it could choose to do.

I thought it was just me the first 2 times as I wasn't watching and found it turned off when I thought I had turned it on, but the third time I saw it happen; a few seconds into the windows logo and then nothing ... it turned itself off.

Bigger Rob's picture

It also seems the default privacy settings are a bit interesting and they have removed media player (replacing it with a crap DVD player which if you don't upgrade from Win7 directly you have to pay £12 for; apparently it also deletes Solitaire, Minesweeper, and Hearts.

Bigger Rob's picture

I knew about removing Media Player (not really an issue, I don't have an optical drive on my laptop), and the removal of the games. Again, not really an issue...

I have a couple of set-up features that I'm wary about on the upgrade...specifically Classic Shell for Windows 8.1, and Frames on the Desktop. I need to check on those before considering running the upgrade.

babychaos's picture

Well, it seems the media player and games problem are mostly crap, I still have media player after the upgrade and solitaire and the other free games have just been moved into a new gaming app.

The only bugs I have seen so far are:
1. the task bar stays on top of some widows and auto hide doesn't work if any active window has an icon in the bar.
2. The task bar search function can lock up and requires you to terminate the process in order to bring it back to life.
3. Sometimes fails to boot and turns itself off; although after looking at the event logs I think it might be GFX driver related.
4. Not really a bug, but Minecraft: Windows 10 edition ... just doesn't feel right.

On the plus side, boot time (when it actually does it) is crazy fast now.

Overall I am quite happy with the upgrade, I am thinking of it as a Win7 service pack rather than a new OS.

Bigger Rob's picture

Fuck it, I'm going for it. This may be my last ever post...

babychaos's picture

Hmmm....suspiciously painless, and seems to be behaving itself.

Having trouble logging into a Microsoft account, but that's only as I've totally forgotten my password. I like how the mail client and calendar happily accepted my GMail account, and have synced to that.

babychaos's picture

I've installed this on my spare laptop (currently the only machine to get the upgrade all the others are in the waiting queue) and it was relatively painless it sat there churning for a while and eventually came back with all the same sorts of things happening that did before including an odd persistant error message about some mfc thing that I can't seem to get rid of. If it weren't for the the slight change in looks I wouldn't have noticed anything was different

Time will tell whether it was a success or not.


by the way Rockpapershotgun have this useful guide for how to turn off the worse of Windows 10's spying features where it does things like share you wifi password with your contacts and give you a unique advertiser id that companies can use to track you and or brand you with a big barcode on the back of your head.

Evilmatt's picture

I found this to be an interesting gamer's perspective on the windows 10 changes:

Very short answer, things should be no worse; but there are some interesting things in the works.

Bigger Rob's picture

I'm liking it. I did a clear down at the same time and all my stuff works.

brainwipe's picture