windows 8+2? windows 10 [EN]

One OS for every deviceWindows 10 topic is getting lots of buzz in the IT world currently. This freshly arrived new version of Windows operating system symbolizes a new step in Microsoft history. Even though, this could’ve been another Windows 8 update (e.g. Windows 8.2), but it seems that Microsoft tries to shy away from that version, which haven’t reached wide popularity, also skipping the 9. This way they want to emphasize Windows 10 importance in the new idealogy “windows as a service”. Although this principle looks suspicious so far. Maybe there going to be monthly or yearly fee introduced at some point? But after watching Windows 10 presentations it becomes clear that the biggest company’s goal is to attract developers and users into the application store (“Windows Store”) which is expected to generate a revenue. Of course there is no abandoning of OS selling to hardware manufacturers market. Free upgrade from Windows 7 and 8 is valid only for one year (for now, who knows whether it will be extended, if this move justifies itself). When buying a new computer, OS cost will be already included. Also big companies still be paying yearly fees for the ability to use any OS version they need, along with Windows 10 (“Software Assurance” program). The thing that free upgrade was offered and the offering and distrubution method shows that Microsoft is hoping for the biggest and fastest impact. Windows 10 campaign was interesting and even a bit aggressive, when it wasn’t limited to events and ads only. Windows 10 users received a message to their computers with an offer to upgrade, and it looks like many did agree. Based on Microsoft data Windows 10 spread after the final release is really huge. Of course, the question is how many people were surprised to see a significant change on their computers’ screens after “some update”. Well, not as significant as in the Windows 8 case. Microsoft admitted after all that not just mobile users exist and that many requires a desktop and.. yes – Start menu. Microsoft’s privacy policy settings in the new Windows versions were widely discussed. On one hand, this is natural to be able to provide a user the most personalized experience (“Corana” assistant, which is learning your habits, so it could help you better; typing errors fixing tool). Also they want to provide the same experience in all user’s devices. That’s why usage information is sent to Microsoft servers, along with other telemetry information about the system state, usage patterns, etc. Some are too paranoid making huge deal out of it. The others close their eyes on this. Personally, i do not consider Microsoft being an embodiment of evil, but i question the need to send this information, if i’m not using all these services. Also this can be a question of security and trust in the manufacturer in the case of companies.

Even before the release Windows 10 marked a new open Microsoft policy. Entuziasts have been invited to contribute to the new version’s development. Windows Insiders program has been launched, in which i have also participated (and still do, as i haven’t quit:)). People were able to try out early operating system’s versions (“builds”), share their opinions with the company, report errors. Windows 10 face was formed based on this faceback. Of course, Microsoft reserved for itself a right to take a decision and not every feedback has been heard (in some cases for the good). This is a good precedent in the industry. Although beta versions in software existed before, but not in a such scale.

The future is unclear so far. This fall a big update should be released. Some nuances of this update are already seen in the still being released testing versions. But differently than before, with a new Windows version being released, these functional updates will arrive to the users automatically via the Windows Update service. Declining to update you are losing the security fixes. For a home user this is not such a sore point, but in the case of companies this can be a tricky situatuion, when some functional update is not suitable, but you are forced to update, otherwise you won’t receive security fixes. And also already mentioned unclear “windows as a service” thing.

In our institution we are still holding to Windows 7. We have skipped Windows 8 and so far have no plans to go to Windows 10. Because other than declared  better security (though after the final version release a lot of security fixes were released, so nothing new here) no other new features won’t be useful, but would demand tweaking deployment and configuration processes for the new system, some training of users. And they (users) won’t start working better bacause of that, but would rather be distracted by a flashy Start menu 🙂 Another important thing for a company – updates distribution. Before the release Windows Update for Business was announced, but we haven’t heard any specific and detailed information on this. What is this, how will it work, will i be able to continue using WSUS system, which in our office is updating lots of various Windows systems, or will i have to use something additional for Windows 10? Also looking suspicious enabled by default distribution of updates from other computers (“torrent” based), but not from Microsoft servers. And various minimal things in the user interfacem which if not make support and administration harder, but will create unneded confusion, require additional steps to achieve. Especially, if some Windows 7 systems will remain in your household.

Windows 7 remains in my own PC also. First of all, because i’m lazy 🙂 On the ohter hand, if the new system is not able to charm you in that way and can’t deliver such new features, which would force to overcome my lazyness, then there is nothing that special about this new version after all.

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