What’s to like about Windows

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I’ve used Windows since version 1 (the original tiled window UI). Since Windows 3, the thing I’ve liked best about Windows is the ability MSFT provided to replace much of the Windows UI.

I hated Program Manager (pre-Windows 95), so I used Norton Desktop. I used Windows 95 briefly, much more Windows NT4, and I got into LiteStep and its themes, which lasted me to the end of Windows XP’s days. (I still use a very minimal LiteStep theme in my XP VM.) LiteStep stopped working adequately in Windows 7 (I skipped Vista), so I switched to the even more minimal Emerge Desktop. Since Windows 8, I’ve been using Classic Shell.

I have to give MSFT credit for letting me replace most of the Windows UI, replacing it with what I preferred. If Windows 10 S means the end of customizing Windows, I’m going to avoid it if possible. I value the flexibility MSFT has given me heretofore. I don’t want to see it end. Sadly, that seems to be the path MSFT intends to take.

Comments (2)

2 responses to “What’s to like about Windows”

  1. Tony Barrett

    Yep, Win10S is Microsoft's next step to overarching control of the entire user experience. They will control what you can change (and how much), what you can do, what apps you can install, where you can install them from - all in the name of security, which let's be honest, is a golden ticket for them. Once a user a told 'it will make things more secure', they'll fall over themselves to let Microsoft protect them from that nasty 'ole Internet (while MS slowly lock you in to their services and squeeze that monthly sub from you!)

  2. ErichK

    I'm satisfied overall with Windows 10 (not that everything's been perfect of course), but my hope for the future is they will always find a way to give us a happy medium, where more experienced users or power users can tinker with the OS and install any application they want, while different SKUs exist for the less-computer savvy that are more locked down. But even locked down, I think, shouldn't mean that one shouldn't be able to customize the appearance of the OS a little bit.


    But what if their strategy starts to work ... I mean, I know we can't say this right now -- that the Windows Store is just as robust as the vast ecosystem of Win32 apps out there -- but what if over the years, the Windows Store took over and everything we needed would be in there? Would that be so bad? There once was a time when we thought it would be too hard to transition from 16-bit software to 32-bit software and even 64-bit, but now is it an issue for most people?


    I say this, of course, as someone who does use the occasional Store app, but even I can admit that my main Windows rig has many heavy-weight applications installed on it that definitely did not come from the store, such as DAWs for music making and, of course, many games. But I can't predict the future.