I love Windows 10, I really do. The OS has several improvements over Windows 8.1 that make it worth an upgrade. On a Surface, for instance, Microsoft’s OS now makes the hybrid better than ever to use with a tablet mode that forces every application into fullscreen when the device is being used as a tablet. The new universal Windows app platform is also a big draw for me. I prefer to use UWP apps at all times because they are less battery intensive, easy to install and uninstall, and optimized for the OS about as well as can be.
However, its not all sunshine and rainbows. Microsoft’s Windows 10 – as full featured as it is – is chock full of bugs and instability. Take Edge, for example, the new browser that is supposed to replace Internet Explorer. It’s a bit bare-bones at the moment so it doesn’t have features that many would like add-ons, plug-ins, and extensions. What Microsoft touts about Edge is its speed in rendering, drawing mode, reading view and other nice features. These features are nice to have and genuinely make the experience of browsing the web better. Unfortunately for Microsoft, these features don’t mean much if the experience of Edge as a whole is buggy as hell. The browser frequently freezes and crashes, sometimes it just freezes forcing me to use task manager to take care of it. To add to all this, in all my years of using Windows 8 and 8.1, I have never had to download another browser. Windows 10 has me using chrome now for most browsing activities because even if Chrome eats my RAM and battery, it still works.
The same story follows me to the Office Mobile apps, I like them. They are fast, smooth and have just enough features to make using them over office 2016 a good idea. However, they – as well as many other UWP apps – can not survive going into standby mode or being switched away from. They would throw up the desktop equivalent of the resuming screen and instead display a pure white Window. The experience is so frustrating that I’ve (re) joined the Windows Insider Program on my main machine to get the fix for this bug as soon as it comes out (spoiler, still waiting).
To wrap this up, my Surface Pro 3, which I rarely had to reboot, was never sluggish and rarely had bugs with Windows 8.1 is now suffering due to Windows 10. Battery life has taken a tangible hit, and crashes are more frequent. Windows 10 is a good feature update to Windows 8.1 – but in many ways, it still feels like a beta veering on Alpha.