Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

Windows 10 defies review.

It's not a finished product. It will never be a finished product, if you believe Microsoft. Like Apple with Mac OS X, Microsoft has decided that the tenth version of their operating system will be the final one -- it will just get updated, year after year.

Only with Windows 10, even some already-announced features aren't quite here. On Windows phones, Xbox One game consoles, and reality-bending headsets like Microsoft HoloLens, Windows 10 has totally different interfaces we haven't even tried yet. Sooner or later, Windows 10 is coming to all these platforms too.

More importantly, Windows 10 is coming to hundreds of millions of PC users, each person installing it on a slightly different computer, installing different apps and using different features. "We're making pizza for 1.5 billion people," Windows 10 user experience manager Mohammed Samji likes to joke. "What topping do you want?"

No one person or publication can review all those different experiences. Not even the ones available today, to say nothing of the ones to come.

Which is why many Windows 10 reviews you'll see on the web are just an overview of the new features you can expect to see, and a cursory idea of how well they work. Not that there's anything wrong with overviews! Here's a great one:

But what we decided to do, instead, is tackle Windows 10 totally anecdotally. These are our experiences with Windows 10. The things we discovered, good and bad. Not necessarily the shiniest new shiny things, but the parts of the new operating system that actually impacted us for better or for worse. Chief among them: the upgrade process itself. What did we find broken after we installed?

This is not a complete list. There's much, much more to test, and so we'll be adding to this post (we've added six since this piece was published!) as we experience new things. Our week with Windows 10 was just the start.

What you should take away from this is that your mileage may, can, and will vary. And, yeah, that you should probably wait a few weeks or months before you upgrade your personal computers. Everyone seems to agree on that.

OK, ok, you'd probably like to read about an operating system now. Here we go!

Why I'm Upgrading to Windows 10

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

One week from today, Windows 10 will arrive. I'm not going to wait. I'm putting it all on the line, starting today. [Read more]

Windows 10, Day One

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

Last night, as promised, I installed Windows 10 on my own personal laptop. I left everything to chance. I didn't back up my data. Hell, I set my Lenovo ThinkPad X240 on the floor of a pizza parlor in San Francisco -- dongle and all -- and let it install totally unattended. [Read more]

Windows 10, Day Two

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

Two days ago, I promised to upgrade my personal desktop and laptop to Windows 10, to demonstrate how wonderful or terrible the migration from Windows 8 might be. Yesterday, I was surprised how painless it felt. Today, I'm feeling a little pain. [Read more]

I Installed Windows 10 and Now I'm Talking to My Computer

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

Unless you're one of the handful of people rocking a Windows Phone, you won't have much experience with Cortana, Microsoft's personal digital assistant. With the roll-out of Windows 10, Cortana is about to make a lot of new friends very quickly -- and like me, they might soon find themselves shouting instructions at their computer on a regular basis. [Read more]

Windows Search Doesn't Suck Anymore

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

The first thing that everyone notices about Windows 10 is that the Start Menu is back. It's a cool feature, but an irrelevant one. Thanks to the absurdly powerful new system-wide Search, you're never going to need a Start Menu again. [Read more]

Windows 10, Days Three and Four

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

This weekend, I took Windows 10 to a LAN party. It was pretty great. [Read more]

Windows 10, Day Five

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

The nice thing about reviewing Windows 10 on my own computers is that there's nowhere to hide. When something goes wrong, I have to troubleshoot on the fly. I can't say "Oh, I'll just go back to my personal computer until I figure this out." You know what's not so nice? When you shoot the trouble, and yet -- somehow -- it survives. [Read more]

Windows 10, On a Mac

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

Tentatively wondering whether it's worth setting up Windows 10 as an alternate boot option on your Mac? I've taken the plunge for you -- here's what I found. [Read more]

Does Windows 10 Make Sense on a Big Touchscreen PC?

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

I own a Dell XPS One 27 -- a giant touchscreen PC. It's basically a huge monitor with an entire computer crammed inside. The Windows equivalent of an iMac. [Read more]

The Windows 7 Upgrade to Windows 10 Isn't So Scary After All

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

I liked Windows 7 -- so much that I almost didn't want to give it up. Vista was horrible, and I balked at the dramatic changes in Windows 8 and 8.1. Upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7 is not quite as seamless as the move from Windows 8.1, but it's close. [Read more]

Settings Are Better in Windows 10, But That's Not Saying Much

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

Computer settings in Windows 8 were a hot mess: they were split between PC Settings and Control Panel, two completely separate ways to change most settings, but with enough differences that you had to use both. Windows 10 makes things better, but I still wouldn't give the engineers a gold star. [Read more]

Microsoft Forgot To Fix One Major Thing in Windows 10

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

There's been exactly one thing keeping me from buying a Windows laptop for the last three years: Windows sucks at handling high-resolution displays in small laptops. [Read more]

I'm Playing Xbox on Windows 10, And You Can Too

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

Yesterday, my wife wanted to play some Kingdom Hearts. I was in the mood for Titanfall. We only have one TV. So I pulled out a Surface 3 tablet, plugged in an Xbox One controller, and started streaming the game from my Xbox to my portable PC. It's a new Windows 10 feature. [Read more]

Windows 10 Battery Life Is Better -- Except When It's Worse

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

I've had a devil of a time trying to figure out whether Windows 10 is helping or hurting when it comes to battery life. The answer: It's complicated. [Read more]

Windows 10 Is Hiding a Great Video Capture Tool

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

The latest version of Windows is hiding a very welcome and well-executed feature: a video-capture tool baked right into the operating system. [Read more]

Your Computer Probably Can't Use One of Windows 10's Coolest Features

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

How did I just do that? I'm using Windows Hello, a new feature of Windows 10 that can log you in with your face instead of a password.

Yes, You Can Use Cortana in Windows 10 With Any Old Microphone

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

One of the coolest new Windows 10 features is talking to your computer. For many people, it will be the first time they have had a voice-activated personal assistant on tap. And yet, most computers won't have Cortana turned on by default. Here's the easy fix. [Read more]

The Ultimate Guide to Windows 10 Keyboard Shortcuts

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

If you want to give the impression that you've been using Windows 10 for years, learning a few keyboard shortcuts is the best way to go about it -- you can navigate around the interface, get apps in position, trigger events, change settings and more with a couple of taps on your keyboard. Here are the shortcuts we've been finding most useful. [Read more]

14 Things You Can Do in Windows 10 That You Couldn't Do in Windows 8

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

If your Windows 8-toting friends ask you exactly what you can do with the new Windows 10 that they can't do on their own machines, here's what to tell them. [Read more]

Here's The Incredibly Hacky Way to Disable Windows 10 Updates

Windows 10 auto-downloads and auto-installs updates. This is mostly a Good Thing for general security, but becomes a Bad Thing when said update installs a glitchy graphics driver that breaks your desktop. There is a way to disable auto-updates, but it's not pretty. [Read more]

Windows 10 Uses Your Bandwidth to Distribute Updates, Disable It Here

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

Every time Microsoft releases a new version of Windows, its servers get slammed. To help alleviate this burden, Windows 10 can download updates from other users' computers. The problem is, it can use up your bandwidth. Here's how to turn it off. [Read more]

Download Offline Maps on Windows 10 and Never Be Lost Again

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

Windows 10 comes with a Maps app built in. In uses Nokia's nifty (and good!) Here Maps, and Microsoft even lets you download regions for offline perusal. [Read more]

How to Skip the Line and Upgrade to Windows 10 Now

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

If you've reserved a copy of Windows 10 but haven't gotten the upgrade prompt yet, here's a secret: you can skip the line and upgrade right now. (from our sister site, Lifehacker)

PSA: Windows 10 Isn't a Risk Free Upgrade

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

Reviewers agree that Windows 10 is awesome. Reviewers also agree that you should probably wait till bugs get fixed. But maybe you've heard that you can simply revert to Windows 8.1 if you don't like it. Well... I just tried it, and it's not quite that simple. [Read more]

How to Do a Clean Install of Windows 10

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

Windows 10 is finally here, and your computer will automatically prompt you to upgrade. But if you'd rather start fresh, you can do a clean install -- you just need to follow a few steps in the right order. (also from Lifehacker)

Check These 5 Settings After Installing Windows 10

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

You've taken the plunge and got Microsoft's brand new operating system up and running on your machine -- now what? Before you start familiarising yourself with the ins and outs of the software, take a tour around these five settings and make sure Windows 10 is working the way you want. [Read more]

Windows 10 Meta Review: Download It, In A Month or Two

Windows 10: The Gizmodo Review

You can now go get Windows 10 -- if you registered for the update months ago, and if Microsoft has rolled it out to your PC. But should you? Here's the collective wisdom. [Read more]

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    Tried it out on a friend's Surface. It's ace. I have an iMac 5K but I'll definitely be buying a Surface Pro 4 when the opportunity arises.

      Just another option for you if it fits. If you don't need the touch interface, then why not just wait for BootCamp to be updated and just install Windows 10 on your Mac?

        You can already install Windows 10 via BootCamp

          I know but experience (at least first hand to me) is to wait a while as Apple of late use a best effort for the BootCamp drivers.

          When I installed Windows 8 I had no end of headaches because the drivers were only good enough for Windows 7.

          Like Snow Leopard, good BootCamp drivers are a thing of the past and it helps to exercise some caution and at least wait for another version to come out before a major update of Windows on one's Mac.

        I had Windows 8 installed on my MacPro before I sold it, it's fine, but I had 4 hard drive bays in the MacPro so I could dedicate a drive to Widnows.

        I don't want to partition my 1TB Flash in the iMac. I only have 200GB left as it is.

    It's awesome for the most part. Only annoying thing is the blurry text when trying to enlarge at high resolutions. This was also present in Win8 but could be fixed using the "Let me choose one scaling level for all my displays". Unfortunately MS removed this in Win10 and instead have the option to change some (definitely not all) the font sizes. This still doesn't fix a lot of menu options and apps (e.g. Steam, which looks horrible). Needed to trawl through many threads before I found a script you can run on logon which mostly helps.

    Last edited 12/08/15 1:14 pm

    I installed it on my PC and laptop in the last week. Zero problems so far, and some of the things that broke when I upgraded my laptop to Windows 8 are now working again in Windows 10! Magic! (Although I should add that I upgraded the laptop, it appeared to have all sorts of issues with the proprietary Lenovo software, but then did a clean install and everything works fine.

    Install took about half an hour on my desktop with SSD, took about 3 hours on my laptop with physical HDD.

    I agree that the settings/control panel mix is confusing. I don't know why they haven't integrated all the detailed control panel stuff into the new settings under "advanced settings". Other than that I highly recommend upgrading, especially if you're on windows 8.

    I know this isn't really the place to ask, but my desktop hasn't got the notification for upgrade and I believe it's legit. What do?

      I was in the same boat so I downloaded the Media Creation Tool which is used to create installation ISOs. Plus it means I didn't have to download the upgrade separately for PC and laptop.

      You can download the upgrade immediately, effectively queue jumping people who have "reserved" their copy through the update tool. One thing to note is that booting/installing directly from the ISO didn't work for me because it wouldn't accept my Windows 8 product key, but running the installer from within Windows 8 worked fine.

    So far win10 has been a pretty good upgrade from windows 7 ultimate - relatively trouble free.

    My main pain is drivers. At the moment I no longer have no 5.1 channel sound since the update and my Samsung ssd software doesn't recognize win10 as an operating system, so rapid mode doesn't work :(

    My PC specs for reference - 980ti (gigabyte g1 gaming), 16gb ram, 4790k cpu (noctua 14s cooler), Maximus Ranger mobo, Samsung 850 evo ssd (250gb), 4tb storage hdd & 850 watt psu - with a bit of an overclock

    I've ruined one tablet by installing Windows 10 on it. I can't see any way to roll it back to Windows 8, so I'll be putting it up on eBay in the hope that some idiot will think they are getting a good deal. Beyond that, Microsoft have a helluva lot of work to do before I'll be putting Windows 10 on ay of my other PCs.

    I downloaded and installed Windows 10 yesterday 8/11/15, and deleted it within 4 hours. Every time I clicked on a program it would freeze up and I would have to shut my laptop completed off, and it would freeze up again and again. So I restored my previous version of Windows...8.1.

    installed it and loved it, couldn't get GTA V running without a random D3D crash to desktop error. Rolled back to 8.1 until they fix it

    I had major dramas with my install, mostly because I moved my User profiles off my SSD, and onto D:. Win 10 didn't consider this (despite perfect Junction links). So I had to do a clean install. It took me a couple of attempts to find you can't simply log into Admin and move the folders and junction them as you could in the past.
    The only way to do it in Win10 is with Sysprep, running an unattended install script. After I did that, all has worked well so far. I have my Users on D:, and my OS on C:.
    The instruction I used, that worked fine is below, Method 1.

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