Microsoft’s reveal of Windows 10 last week marked the start of a new era for the company. With its introduction of Windows 8 and the updated that followed, Microsoft made it clear that its next-generation computing vision revolved around slowly moving notebook and desktop users to a new environment like the Start Screen. The company was always clear in its assertion, that at some point PC buyers would get used to the Start Screen and the new way of doing things coming in subsequent releases of Windows.
Let’s just say Microsoft’s Terry Myerson and Joe Belfiore made it clear, that’s not their vision for Windows 10. Instead, Windows 10 is an operating system that rights the wrongs of Windows 8 and will eventually be at home on a desktop or notebook as much as it is on a tablet with touch. With folks hearing that Windows 10 restores the Start Menu, a lot of users are already trying to download the operating system on their notebooks or desktops. If this were the final release I’d say maybe they should go ahead. After spending a week with Windows 10, I’d say it’s a very, very bad idea to go installing Windows 10 now. In fact, I’d say don’t install Windows 10 in the immediate future.
It’s a Technical Preview
Big, full-scale Windows releases don’t come all that often. Since Windows Vista, they’ve come roughly every three years. This slow release schedule means that there is usually a lot of pent-up demand for a new version of Windows to fix all the problems users had with the previous version. That has never been more of the case than it is today with Windows 10 and Windows 8.
The Windows 10 release we have publicly available today is specifically tailored to fix Windows 8 problems. There are options for the new Start Menu included, and Windows Store apps now open directly on the Desktop. Here’s the problem, though they sound pretty basic to include in Windows, they’re both extremely technical to pull off and I’m afraid the Windows 10 Technical Preview doesn’t do it flawlessly.
It’s a preview, after all. Apps like Mail crash with astonishing frequency. When apps aren’t crashing, they’re failing to install correctly. This thing isn’t baked yet and that’s a huge reason to stay away from it. Sure, its fun to test out new features, but it’s not completely indicative of the user experience we can expect.
You’ll Have Issues Going Back
Windows 8 wasn’t all bad. The operating system introduced two features designed to make getting rid of broken Windows installations more convenient. One is called Reset and the other is called Restore. With them users can go back to the factory settings on their Windows 8 PC at any time. They can choose to delete all of their data, or keep all of their data and still get a clean install.
According to Microsoft, installing the Windows 10 Technical Preview on your machine completely breaks this functionality. To put it more specifically, if you install Windows 10 on your machine, you’ll lose the ability to easily Reset and Restore your PC back to Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. Instead of being as simple as pushing a button, you’ll actually need to have created a restore disc for your PC, boot from that restore disc and then reinstall everything. Restoring a device in this manner completely deletes any files you may have had on the hard drive.
It’ll Break Your 2-in-1
The Windows 10 Technical Preview available from Microsoft’s website right now may have a lot of cool features that notebook and desktop users have craved for a long time, but it’s missing a lot of key things as I found out first hand.
The mouse and keyboard experience is amazing, touch and convertible experience is a bit rough. As a guy who spent three years running Windows 8, I liked the idea that I could make Windows Store apps full-screen. The Windows 10 Technical Preview opens Windows Store apps on the Desktop by default and includes a rather annoying Titlebar. You can go full-screen on the app, but the moment you close it, it resets and turns back into a Desktop app. The Windows Taskbar is always visible too. I went into the Windows 10 Preview expecting these issues.
Microsoft has plans to address this, it’s already talked about Continuum a new user interface that sits somewhere between the Desktop and the Start Screen on convertibles. Unfortunately, it’s entirely possible that we won’t see Continuum arrive until next year. If you’re using a Surface Pro or any convertible you do not want to be stuck running Windows 10 on right now. At least wait until the rumored Windows 10 Consumer Preview arrives next year.
Read: What is Windows 10
Overall, I happen to think Windows 10 is heading in the direction. That’s coming from someone who mostly enjoyed using Windows 8. You may be excited to get the Start Menu back and all, but it’s not worth the pain right now. Definitely don’t install the Windows 10 Technical Preview just yet.