Windows 10, 5 years on – The GOOD

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Windows 10 turns 5 years old this July. As Version 2004, just released, will be the newest release during that time (20H2 releasing after) I thought: why wait until the end of July to do a look-back. So here’s my thoughts on 10 GOOD things about Windows 10 (MEH and BAD to follow in separate posts).

TOP 10 GOOD

YOUR PHONE: assuming you own an Android device, then it has been constantly getting-better, and is a genuinely-useful feature. It would be better though if (1) it didn’t require Bluetooth, and could connect over Wi-Fi or mobile-data; (2) the pairing was as-simple as pointing your phone/tablet at a QR code on your Windows 10 device, and didn’t require a Microsoft Account sign-in on either-side and (3) more devices were supported by it. (As for iOS devices: Microsoft should either really reach-out to Apple here, or just drop-support.)

RESET & REFRESH: a super-easy way for end-users to do a reinstall or reset of Windows, including a nice-option to do a secure-wipe. Far-better than the “OEM Recovery Partition” days-of-old! It could be made-easier to access though on PCs which will boot, but not log into Windows (say due to a virus or malware). Few people know about the login-screen “hold-SHIFT-then-click-Power-then-Restart” method to access the Recovery menu. And Windows 10’s boot-up sequence goes too-quick for F5 or F8 to invoke anything.

XBOX GAMEBAR: another great feature that is improving over time, and given the amount of YouTube/Twitch game-streamers, is a relevant, modern-tool for today’s audience.

DARK MODE: no further comment required!

NEW MICROSOFT EDGE: a great-alternative to Google Chrome, and one I can see many businesses switching/defaulting to, especially once it starts to ship as a preinstalled part of the OS. Still missing some features of the legacy Edge for now though (and I think the enterprise option to load specific, GPO-defined sites using the IE-engine inside an Edge tab is limited currently to just the old Edge?)

ACCESSIBILITY FEATURES: another area that continues to improve over-time, with new features, such as eye-control, being added, and older features being much-better than in previous Windows versions, such as Narrator. Anything that makes Windows more-accessible is obviously a good thing! (Though for people who use screen-reader apps, apparently most don’t work well reading-aloud websites in any-browser other than legacy IE, so perhaps for their new Chrome-Edge this should become an urgent area-of-focus.)

SUBSYSTEM FOR LINUX: won’t appeal to the vast-majority of Windows users, but I’m sure there’s a decent audience for it, and those who do use it seem generally pleased by it.

DPI SCALING: while still not-perfect, continues to improve as time goes by.

WINDOWS VERSION UPDATES: getting quicker to install with each new major version: gone are the days of 1 hour+ wait times, and multiple reboots.

TASK MANAGER: provides a lot of useful hardware-specific information, such as L1/L2/L3 CPU cache sizes, RAM speed and physical slots used, and type of hard-disk, compared to the older one, meaning less-reliance on third-party utilities.  Though it is slower to load-up than the legacy Task Manager, and I still dislike how they can’t just program it to remember the last tab you were on (instead of having to use Options > Set default tab).

(You could also include some app-specific improvements, such as in Notepad and Snipping Tool.)

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