Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Windows 10 Review: A Welcome Upgrade, Perhaps Too Late

The new Microsoft operating system reverses the sins of Windows 8 and improves on Windows 7, yet misses chances for the PC to reclaim relevance

Microsoft's new operating system is free to owners of Windows 7 and Windows 8 PCs. WSJ Personal Tech columnist Geoffrey A. Fowler explains why Windows 10 is the best PC experience since Windows XP.

By Geoffrey A. Fowler, WSJ
Updated July 28, 2015 3:28 p.m. ET

Imagine you buy a new car, the same brand you’ve driven for years. But in this new model, the steering wheel is in the back seat. “That’s the future!” says the salesman, rattling off a list of reasons it’s better to steer from the rear. Driving home with your new car, you’d probably end up in a ditch.

The last time Microsoft updated Windows, that’s what happened. In a desperate plea for relevance in a smartphone and tablet world, Windows 8 presented radical ideas about operating computers with fingers and pens instead of mice and keyboards. But it turns out melding touch-based and traditional operating systems was the wrong idea.

Most people avoided upgrading like the plague. With Windows 10, which arrives as a free update Wednesday, Microsoft puts us back in a familiar driver’s seat. Turn it on and, hallelujah, there’s your desktop, unencumbered by gobbledygook. All the important stuff is back where you can find it, including the Start menu.

It’s worth the upgrade from Windows 8 for these repairs alone. You should also get Windows 10 if, like me, you still use Windows 7 on your primary computer. You’ll love its new search. It can do some things other operating systems can’t, like identify your face instead of making you type passwords. It will talk back when you call out, “Hey, Cortana,” to summon Microsoft’s fledgling virtual assistant.

(More here.)

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