Windows 10 first impressions: what Gearburn thinks of Microsoft’s new baby

For all Windows 10 related views, breaking stories and deeper analysis, visit our comprehensive Windows 10 Hub before and after Microsoft’s big launch.

We may be soulless journalists, but that doesn’t mean a software release has no bearing on our lives. As a squad of Windows users (except for one or two in this office), we expect to receive the best user experience constantly. The operating system we use daily doesn’t only affect our productivity, but our sanity.

Microsoft‘s new baby has a lot to live up to especially after the problem children that were Windows 8 and Windows Vista (an OS that barely deserves a mention nowadays).

So, with that said, what does the Gearburn office think of Windows 10?

Creative Spark managing director Matt Buckland believes that Windows 10 “feels lighter, faster and looks more beautiful,” when compared to Windows 8, which is what swathes of other users are suggesting.

“It was largely a positive experience,” he continues, “I think this is a superior operating system to OS X.”

I love the new photo and video manager. The expanded Start Menu, now with tiles, makes much more sense. Microsoft now has a web browser that has finally caught up to the speed and responsiveness of Google’s Chrome and is now a viable alternative.

It isn’t without issue though. Matt cited driver issues notably with his ASUS ZenBook’s WiFi adapter.

Read more: Windows 10: 5 key numbers to know before Microsoft’s big launch

Some in the office were early adopters, using the OS since the Technical Preview debuted in January. Gearburn editor Andy Walker had a more personal outlook:

Tracing the steps Microsoft has made since the Technical Preview was pushed to Windows Insiders, it’s clear that it has made huge progress. It’s great to see a smarter OS — one that adjusts to the user instead of the user adjusting to it (as was the case with Windows 8).

I had issues with corrupt files coming from Windows 7 though, so I’d advise people to hold off the install until Microsoft polishes the rough edges. But with that said, there aren’t really all that many.

He also pointed out that Cortana is lacking in the final build for South Africans. Microsoft has yet to announce an arrival date.

windows 10 cortana

“So far I’m liking Windows 10,” noted Graham van der Made, our startup buff. “I’ve been using the preview builds since mid-May and haven’t had any serious problems with it.”

He’s one of few in the office to like Windows 8, and questions the reasoning for an entirely new OS:

I don’t think it is rubbish, but it is a strange piece of software. The whole thing feels a lot like Windows 8, but with some needed changes. While I’m no software designer or engineer, I have to wonder how many of these changes could have been patched in with a service pack.

He criticised the driver support, citing a huge issue with conflicting Windows display and Nvidia drivers, but has praised the philosophy of the new OS:

“Microsoft says Windows 10 will be their new base OS across all platforms. This will at least make managing multiple Windows devices easier. From a ‘poverty’ perspective, the upgrade is free for the first year. This not only allows users to upgrade for free, but is very clever marketing.”

Others weren’t so positive. Nicole Newman, Creative Spark’s social media manager, noted that it’s Windows 10’s promise of constant updates that would stave her away from installing it:

“Windows’ incessant updates drive me insane. Unlike the rest of the world (I guess), I’m not morbidly obsessed with constant software upgrades.”

windows 10 upgrade notification

She was one user who found the interface “too complicated” which is a fairly stern departure from most opinions. But our editorial intern Chris Wilton reignited the age-old debate of Apple versus Microsoft, as an OS X convert:

“I am new to Microsoft, only left Mac this year in like March, but I miss Apple.”

Finally, senior reporter Stuart Thomas commented on mobile’s influence on Microsoft’s thinking with Windows 10.

So a part of me isn’t actually sure [Windows 10] matters all that much. For the most part all I need from an OS is the ability to access Chrome. Sure I still use Photoshop for image editing, but I could probably commute that to the web, just as I have with documents and spreadsheets. As long as Windows 10 doesn’t crash I’ll probably be fine with it.

He also believes because of this, Windows 10 could find overwhelming success in mobile-first African markets.

Read more: Windows 10: why Africa could be key to its success

“I think the fact that desktop OS upgrades are increasingly free shows how much of an influence mobile has had,” he concludes.

What are your thoughts?

Principle group program manager at Microsoft, Mohammed Samji recently noted that developing Windows 10 is like “ordering pizza for one-and-a-half billion people.” We asked you how you like your pizza:

The real question is: what do you think of Windows 10? Have you installed it yet? Have you come across any issues thus far? Be sure to keep those views, tweets, comments and Facebook messages coming in, and we’ll be sure to add the most interesting quips to the list above.



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