Comments on Microsoft Windows 10 (PC version)
This page highlights some of the minor but irritating problems we have had with apps and early versions of the Microsoft Windows 10 operating system.
It is hoped that future upgrades of Microsoft operating systems will have fewer bugs, and these operating systems will have more effective diagnostics so that update issues on home PCs can be diagnosed and fixed by customers without needing a computer science degree.
Our first 'Windows' PC with a graphical user interface in place of MS DOS ran the Windows 98 SE operating system, and it connected to the Internet via a 56 Kbits/s modem and dial up telephone connection. We had no problems except for Norton Internet Security housekeeping damaging the 'Go Back' software.
The next PC ran Windows XP enabling both more than one user account, and connecting to the Internet via a higher speed 'Broadband Router', and landline. The data and voice signals shared a copper twisted pair connection to the exchange and in our semi-rural location the download speed was 2 Mbits/s, a factor of x40 improvement on the modem.
The PC after that had Windows 7 installed.
Windows XP and Windows 7 were both very reliable and provided all the features we needed. Then came Windows 8 which seemed to be Windows 7 with a clunky graphics front end bolted on for people with touch screens such as tablets and phones. With Windows 8 some of the tools for editing audio files and making DVDs disappeared, which was disappointing.
Soon there was a free upgrade to Windows 8.1, not very different, and news that support for Windows XP would be dropped. Soon after, Microsoft offered a free upgrade of both Windows 7 and 8.1 to Windows 10. All this seemed necessary to support people with new touch screen devices, such as tablets and mobile phones, whilst maintaining backwards compatibility with desktop PCs and laptops.
We bit the bullet and upgraded to Windows 10. The upgrade was of the order of 3 GBytes and took several hours to download via our basic BT Broadband and then a further couple of hours to install.
Our reason for upgrading to Windows 10 was the hope the operating system would be better supported in the future than the older ones.
We reluctantly accepted the penalty that Microsoft would impose automatic download of Windows 10 updates - which from a security point of view was undesirable as one no longer had control over either what was put on the PC, or the gigabytes of data downloaded. At this point we upgraded to unlimited BT Infinity which increased our semi-rural download speed from 2 to 13 Mbits/s as Windows updates were taking so long.
Plus points of Windows 10 were that patches would be automatically kept up to date and the operating system incorporated a Firewall and Windows Defender antivirus. Other benefits we noted were the computer started more quickly and no longer crashed when the wireless dongle was plugged into the USB socket. New features we liked were One Note which was handy for maintaining lists of tasks, and One Drive for holding a copy of files in the 'Cloud' so that they can be accessed when away from home.
Problems with apps
There were no problems with the Windows 7 PC which was upgraded to Windows 10 apart from periods in early days when for no apparent reason the PC would start running very slowly or freeze. Over time that problem has gone away. It is still running Windows 10 v1703 and has not updated to the latest v1709.
There were problems with some of the apps which did not work on the PC which was initially upgraded from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 in June 2016. These were:
Films and TV
Suggestions from Microsoft and others on how to fix this were useless, apart from a suggestion to open a new user account, which after several weeks we did; this was an inconvenience as many files and a backup were linked to the old account.
Several months later these apps began to work on the old account, so Microsoft must have found a fix while seemingly not admitting to any problem.
In November 2017 the Windows 10 operating system was updated from v1703 to v1709 which added a few more 'bells and whistles'.
The 'People' app would not run at first, but after some troubleshooting it mysteriously began to work.
Other apps seemed to work on all accounts except:
whose tiles on the start menu were irritatingly greyed out.
Simple fixes were tried like running the Windows troubleshooter programs, System File Checker (SFC), resetting the apps and uninstalling and reinstalling to no effect. Seemingly the Windows Store installation program was not working properly, and some files such as SharedLibrary.dll could not be found.
It is very troubling that the Windows 10 operating system is unable either to identify or fix these simple faults.
Customers should not have to roll back their operating system to a previous version or type dodgy DOS Powershell commands to edit the registry in an attempt to fix such issues.
Ideally what are needed are either prompt updates to fix such problems, or better troubleshooter programs authored by Microsoft to identify and fix such problems, that really work.
Please get your act together Microsoft!
Update on 13th December 2017: Sticky Notes has started working again after uninstalling using Powershell, and reinstalling, consequent on the installation of the 2017-12 Cumulative Update for Windows 10.
The MSN Weather app has not been fixed and continues not to start. Possibly there is a disconnect with software libraries contributing to the problem.
The situation now is that we have got used to Windows 10 and v1803 appears stable.
Our only gripe is that, compared to Windows Live Mail, Windows 10 Mail is less good at finding old emails, and there appears to be no provision at present for address groups whereby you can address a message to a group of people with one click.
Mozilla Thunderbird has been recommended as an alternative email program, but we have not tried it.
Last updated 16th November 2018