The State of Windows 10 in 2019

Posted on January 2, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 77 Comments

Despite two disastrous Feature Updates in 2018, Microsoft did right by Windows 10 in 2018 from a functional perspective: The firm stopped adding nonsense new features to the platform and began focusing on fit and finish, taking the first steps towards realizing my dream of Microsoft actually “finishing the job” for once.

This distinction—between the (lack of) quality of the Feature Updates and their actual contents—is important. The disasters of 2018 were process-related and are truly awful: Microsoft, again, is making lots of vague promises about doing better in the future, and while I’m sure they will try—and even succeed—that work is sort of beside the point. What I’m more concerned with, not just here but generally, is that Microsoft be a better steward of what was once its crown jewel. And is still an important asset, one that is used by hundreds of millions of people every single day.

Microsoft doing right by Windows is a big topic. And there’s a great argument to be made that the company is failing here, too, when you consider such in-box nonsense as advertising and crapware bundling. I will not back down in my criticism of these mistakes, which undermine both Windows and Microsoft. But here, I will be a bit more focused. What I want to know is whether the fit and finish work from the April 2018 and October 2018 Updates is continuing in the next release of Windows 10, which currently goes by the awkward 19H1 moniker and is expected sometime in the first half of this year.

Microsoft has been testing Windows 10 19H1 for several months—in fact, the first pre-release build shipped to Insiders way back in late July 2018, well before the development of its predecessor had concluded—and it has delivered over 15 builds of the system since then. So, we already have a great picture of the overall feature set of this release, and how it will compare to Windows 10 versions 1803 and 1809.

And on that note, I have good news.

Microsoft is making many, many changes to Windows 10 in 19H1. And none of them, so far at least, can be categorized as major new features, nonsense or not. Instead, this release focuses entirely on fit and finish. (Again, so far.)

These improvements are universally welcome. And to experience them, I’ve switched my desktop PC and primary portable PCs to the Insider Program and Windows 10 19H1. Here are the most important changes that are implemented so far.

Windows 10 Setup improvements. Windows Setup routine hasn’t changed much since Windows 8, with only minor revisions in some releases. In 19H1, you’ll see a small consolidation of options in the Ready to install screen on a clean install, but I didn’t see anything of note in the interactive part of Setup, called the Out of Box Experience (OOBE).

Personalization improvements. The default Light app mode (which is really a “theme”) has been completely revamped and, unlike Dark mode, it looks great. There’s even a new default wallpaper, the first time that’s happened since Windows 10 S.

Start improvements. I’m not sure what took so long, but Microsoft is finally acknowledging that live tiles make absolutely no sense when they’re hidden in a menu that’s usually closed. So 19H1 will offer what Microsoft calls a simplified Start layout in which there is only a single column of tiles instead of two. Interestingly, this is how I’ve always arranged my Start menu, as I rarely launch apps that way. Start also offers quick unpin for groups and folders, which is available from a right-click; this will remove that entire group or folder in one action.

Cortana and Windows Search improvements. While it’s not yet clear how this will be implemented yet, it appears that Microsoft is separating Cortana, its digital personal assistant, from Windows Search in Start. Beyond this, the firm is also making several useful changes to Cortana, including Microsoft To-Do integration and improved Alexa integration.

Uninstall more in-box apps. In previous Windows 10 versions, Microsoft Solitaire Collection, My Office, OneNote, Print 3D, Skype, Tips, and Weather were the only in-box apps you could uninstall. In 19H1, you will also be able to uninstall 3D Viewer, Calculator, Calendar, Groove Music, Mail, Movies & TV, Paint 3D, Snip & Sketch, Sticky Notes, and Voice Recorder.

Windows Sandbox. This new feature is an evolution of Hyper-V Client that provides on-the-fly access to lightweight virtual machines for application testing purposes. Its appeal will be limited in this version, but I’m wondering if Sandbox isn’t the first step to a legacy desktop application container/virtualization strategy.

Clipboard history improvements. Most Windows 10 users are probably unfamiliar with the system Clipboard’s history feature, which needs to be enabled first in Settings > System > Clipboard, and lets you choose between several Clipboard items when you paste using WINKEY + V. In 19H1, this feature is being updated with a new look so that you can see more copied items without needing to scroll.

Creating and signing-in to Windows with a password-less Microsoft account. I’ve not had a chance to test this feature yet, but it looks like Microsoft is allowing users to set up Windows 10 and then sign-in using only a phone number-based Microsoft account (instead of requiring you to type your MSA’s password). Once you’ve set it up, you can then sign-in to Windows 10 (and your MSA) using Windows Hello Face, Fingerprint, or PIN, so you’ll never need to use the password.

Automated troubleshooting help. Windows Troubleshooting hasn’t really changed that much in years, and I’ve found it to be kind of a crapshoot when it comes to actually solving problems. In 19H1, Troubleshooting is being improved so that it will now proactively suggest troubleshooting actions. (This feature was sort of previewed in Windows 10 version 1809, where you’ll be prompted about fixing blurry apps when running applications that are not high DPI-aware.) And yes, you can turn this off if you don’t like getting help. (And that blurry app fix will now happen automatically in 19H1 with no prompting.)

Task Manager improvements. Task Manager’s More details view provides a multi-tab interface, each with its own view. In 19H1, you can choose which of those tabs will be displayed by default when you open Task Manager by navigating to Options > Set default tab.

Settings improvements. The Settings homepage is getting a new header that somewhat mimics that of the Microsoft Account website and provides options for managing your MSA and “making the Windows and Microsoft experience better.” There are also changes throughout Settings, the most notable of which, perhaps, is to the Sign-in options page in Settings > Accounts. Date & Time settings is also getting several updates, including Leap Second, Precision Time Protocol, and Software Timestamping support.

File Explorer improvements. Microsoft is making a number of small changes to File Explorer, the legacy files management app that, quite frankly, needs a complete overhaul and modernization. But the minor refinements in 19H1 are still welcome: Support for a friendlier date format in the Date modified column, an updated icon that looks better with the new Light app mode, and a new layout for the Downloads folder where downloaded files are sorted by date ranges and then alphabetically.

Fluent design improvements. As you probably know, Microsoft has been slowly adding more and more Fluent Design System user experiences in Windows 10 with each release. And 19H1 is no different. The most obvious changes include the use of Acrylic translucency on the Sign-in screen, a somewhat egregious addition of more Fluent elements and effects in Start, and a new context menu shadow in Store apps.

Office app. The new Office app for Windows 10 replaces the My Office app but pretty much does the same thing by providing quick links to your installed Office desktop applications and recent documents. But it also looks similar to the Office.com website, and lets you install those applications from your Office 365 account if they’re not already installed. (I’m a bit surprised it doesn’t try to install them from the Microsoft Store.)

Notepad improvements. It’s goofy to me that Microsoft bothers to improve this legacy application when it really needs to be replaced with a modern Store-based app. But it will be improved in 19H1 with a number of new features, including an “*” indicator in the title bar when the current document is unsaved and a new Send Feedback option under Help.

Game bar improvements. The Windows 10 Game bar now provides a new Gallery experience so you can view your saved screenshots and videos without leaving the game you’re currently playing. You can also share these items from the Gallery.

Privacy improvements. Microsoft fiddles with the Windows privacy settings in every release. The biggest change in 19H1 is that you can now see which app is using your microphone via a new notification area icon and disable that access if you’d like.

Windows Update improvements. Aside from a nicely-redesigned Windows Update page in Settings, Windows Update is gaining some useful changes in 19H1, including an orange “pending update” notification in the notification area, a simpler way to pause updates for seven days, and the ability to automatically configure active hours based on activity so that the PC won’t reboot while you’re working. Smart. (And, yes, overdue.)

Mail and Calendar improvements. As with Cortana, the in-box Mail and Callendar apps are updated with Microsoft To-Do integration. (I believe this one is rolling out publicly to Windows 10 version 1809 as well.)

Printing improvements. The modern printing experience—which you’ll only see in Store apps—is being updated with an improved layout with visually distinct icons so you can quickly find the options you wish to change.

Focus assist improvements. Focus assist will now be enabled automatically whenever you’re doing anything full screen, including giving a presentation, watching a video, and more. As with other Focus assist features, you can configure the rules that determine what can interrupt you in these situations.

Action Center improvements. Action Center now displays a Brightness slider instead of a toggleable Quick action button.

Network improvements. Aside from some enhanced settings for Ethernet, Windows 10’s networking functionality is getting a useful new icon that displays in the notification area when you’re disconnected from the Internet. This replaces the previous separate icons for disconnected Cellular, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi connections.

Beyond all this, of course, Microsoft will also rearchitect its Microsoft Edge web browser to utilize the Chromium open source project. It’s unclear yet how this will change the user experience and feature set, but I don’t expect this work to be completed until Windows 10 version 19H2 at the very earliest. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if the switch took even longer than that.

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Comments (77)

77 responses to “The State of Windows 10 in 2019”

  1. chiwax

    It's goofy that MS updates Notepad. This point has been exhausted much like people enjoying a digital pen experience. Neither apply to the commenter and yet......there are the remarks. Over and over and over and over. It's no different than bashing a TV show that a person didn't watch past the first episode. It ain't for you.

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to ChiWax:

      I'm not sure what your point is. I use Notepad every single day. My contention is not that no one should use it or that it should not be updated. It's that it should evolve into a more modern app. I'm not bashing anything.

      • wp7mango

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        Microsoft should add a context menu option called Paste Raw, which would paste copied text without formatting. A new keyboard shortcut would be useful for this too.


        Perhaps a Copy Raw menu option would be a good alternative too.

      • Yaggs

        In reply to paul-thurrott: Oddly enough my primary use for notepad is to remove formatting from text that I am copying and pasting from one app/site, etc to another... right now it's the easiest way to accomplish that. Would be nice if there was some way to copy text into the clipboard and NOT have it retain formatting.


  2. tobyburnett41

    What about Sets? Last I heard was that it might return in 2019, but not in this list, so apparently not. Too bad, I liked it.

  3. SupaPete

    I'd like it if MS would finally bring the taskbar to macOS dock functionality level.

    Like allow dragging in app icons (to pin them), dragging them out to remove (unpin) them, them automatically scaling smaller/larger depending on the amount so one can have way more of them in a row instead of it doing that nonsense paging view when i have a bunch of them.

    And for built in video recording features it would be cool if they would add a proper screen recording, too.

    I mean the game bar for recording games is nice but i often want to just record a portion of my desktop or whatever with all windows and content that is there.

    So basically screen recording like in macOS/quicktime etc where one can just drag a rectangle and record that area.

  4. DaddyBrownJr

    I have two laptops that are 6 months old or less (a Lenovo ThinkPad and an HP Spectre) which haven't gotten 1809 yet. I'm not really interested in 19Hwhatever at this point. Why isn't Microsoft keeping new hardware up-to-date?


    I also have a SP3 that had the TypeCover disabled by a firmware update from Microsoft this summer. I'd be happier if MS didn't destroy my hardware with their updates.

  5. spacein_vader

    How can File Explorer be a "legacy application" when it hasn't been replaced by anything? It's not like the need for a files management application has disappeared.

    • longhorn

      In reply to spacein_vader:

      I'm not a native English speaker, but you are correct and Paul is wrong. "Legacy" has specific meanings when talking about software:


      "denoting or relating to software or hardware that has been superseded but is difficult to replace because of its wide use."

      - File Explorer hasn't been replaced by a "Modern" version so not true.


      "Legacy" also often refers to software that isn't actively supported anymore

      - File Explorer is still fully supported on all versions of Windows so not true.


      "Legacy" often implies that something isn't widely used anymore

      - Take away File Explorer and the Windows world would come to a halt so not true.


      And if he means that Win32 is legacy, then Windows itself is legacy, which he actually seems to believe.


      Traditional is a better way to describe something which might not be "Modern", but that we can't live without.


      I like Paul's writing, but he makes sure to annoy all of us from time to time with his questionable word choices. I think it's on purpose :)


  6. Craig Jackson

    Live tiles make no sense now. Be more useful as a hover popup when an app is on the taskbar

  7. jimchamplin

    I worry about the care given, honestly. There’s been a graphical error I’ve talked about several times regarding the top single pixel border in UWP apps. It’s shaded incorrectly. There are several Feedback Hub threads, including one where Jen Gentleman of the Windows Shell team replied and said it was fixed during 1809’s development.


    It’s still there in the shipping version, and in current Insider builds of 19H1. I brought it to the attention of Ms. Gentleman herself, Stephen Rose, and Dona Sarkar on Twitter, and there’s not been a response. Even linked to the thread where it was erroneously claimed as fixed. When something like that is being ignored in the official channel, and in public, the message is that it’s not “important enough” to fix. It’s amateurish and pitiful, both in the quality and the response.

  8. reason42

    Microsoft should put all of their effort fixing DPI scaling - it is an utter mess.

  9. Thom77

    I just want windows not to download an update when im on a insanely slow public wifi.


    Is that too much to ask?

    • Jorge Garcia

      In reply to Thom77:

      Almost everything about the way Windows updates is awful...and the average consumer will not understand exactly what's going on, only that their bandwidth is sucking and that their disk space is shrinking. Then they will go and turn on their laptop the next week and wham! they cannot get any work done for half an hour! That is such a disgrace in this day and age of computing. They need to be transparent and much less forceful about all the things going on in the background without your permission. I believe this is the main reason why Terry Myerson was let go. In fact, I feel that the OEM's should fight back against MS, as the unfair "stealthy" updating strategies of Windows can really make THEIR hardware look like it is performing more poorly than it actually is. The uninformed consumer won't know to blame MS, they'll blame HP or Acer at first...then start saving up for a Mac.

  10. gmsa

    I use my Windows10 PC for some very important stuff just like many other people.

    For me , these windows updates have a detrimental effect on my work as a professional and it is reaching a stage where I need to take a seriouse look at changing to something else.


    The problem is that my entire career has revolved around PC and I always had control. If I think about all of this , it is actualy very unprofessional for me to allow these updates to take place like this. I suppose as long as I can one day show my professional body that I did try and disable these updates then I may get away with it. But they are probably going to be asking me why I dident move over to an alternative operation system when I knowingly knew of the flaw.


    Dont get me wrong , I love doing updates . Its just that I have to have full control.

    I also normaly only do updates once a year during December when our country basicaly shuts down for 6 weeks.

    This is the only time I can allow updates to take place. The windows timing on these updates is incompatible with my work.



  11. crp0908

    Microsoft did add a "nonsense" new feature in 19H1 - the blurring of the login screen with no way to shut this feature off and revert back to the old behavior of showing the Windows Spotlight photograph.


    On some systems such as the ones that we only RDP to, this new feature completely breaks Windows Spotlight, because we no longer see the photographs, ever.

  12. Jorge Garcia

    I know I speak for many when I say MS... 1. Yearly (or even less often) updates. 2. Much less obnoxious updates - when I turn on my computer to do something, I should ALWAYS be able to do that something! (I do believe there are fair ways to accomplish this)...3. If you're going to eat up our resources and our bandwidth with your stupid updates, let us know about it fairly - maybe put a little persistent meter in the corner telling us how far along the download is, or something. "Stealthy" downloads of massive update files gives the uninformed customer the impression that there is something wrong with their PC! Not a good look, Microsoft! 4. Give us built-in Android App support already...even if it's not through the official Play Store.

  13. irfaanwahid

    I haven't read this anywhere but Windows Sandbox should have a saved state.

    Wiping everything when you exit is not a very good idea.

    Windows XP mode in Windows 7 allowed saved state. It was basically a virtual machine seamlessly integrated. You could install an app on Windows XP Mode and use it in Windows 7. That was awesome.

  14. irfaanwahid

    And whatever happened to Sets? I guess we are not seeing Sets in 19H1.

    Also, they are making zero improvements in Tablet Mode.

    Have they forgotten their own SP4 and Surface Go has a tablet form factor and they are completely ignoring improvements on Tablet mode.

  15. colossus

    Windows 10 is improving but every old configuration screen needs to be replaced with a modern interface.

    e.g. Go to 'Power and Sleep' configuration settings screen (new UI); Click 'Additional Power Settings' and you go to the old Windows 7 power screen. From a UI and consistency perspective, it's jarring.

  16. brettscoast

    Good wrap Paul A lot of these items in your post seem to be generally heading in the right direction. I would think most users would be happy with stability fit and finish over new features most days of the week. File explorer improvements are welcome and notepad while still useful and used by many should be a store app makes sense.

  17. donaselfies

    > Microsoft fiddles with the Windows privacy settings in every release.


    Until they finally provide the telemetry opt-out switch everyone's wanted since day one, it's just lipservice.

  18. Rob_Wade

    I wouldn't argue that all these are "universally" welcome. I'm certainly not welcoming many of them. We use full-screen Start in our household and we force Tablet Mode when at all possible (it's impossible to do on multi-monitor devices, frustratingly). For example.

  19. Simard57

    I dont see a clipboard setting in system. Is this just for 19h1?


  20. will

    I think it would be great if they did nothing but finish what they started for all of 2019. There are lots of areas that are not completed, and while it would not add new features per say finishing and completing the job in may ways will feel like brand new features.

    Imagine a dark mode that was nice and clean just like macOS did, across the entire stack. That is just one UI feature, but there are tons of others areas that they could work to improve. I for one hope to see them spend 2019 making Windows a leaner, polished OS vs the frankenOS from the past few years.

    • siv

      In reply to will:

      I totally agree.


      They should definitely get rid of control panel, but make sure that everything you could do in control panel is available in Settings and indeed make some things much more simple than it was in control panel.


      One of my biggest frustrations with Windows was being able to set the network type between home, public and work, it was a nightmare in the control panel and is much easier to do in Settings. If more niggles like that were fixed everyone would be a lot happier.


      I'd much rather see that, than adding stupid new features that are about Apple envy than helping their actual customers.

  21. simont

    Is Cortana still set to MAX volume as part of the setup? That should be an easy change for Microsoft.

  22. Tony Barrett

    Fit'n'finish for me actually means consistency, usability and stability, but in this list, I'm still seeing a lot of what I'd call 'new features' - it still seems MS feel compelled to deliver these twice a year to keep people's interest up, but they're also depreciating features literally within 1-2 releases. This indicates that MS aren't talking to customers about what they actually want - it's more of a throw it at the wall and see what sticks mentality.

    It's also almost certain MS won't learn anything at all from the 2018 mess they're still mired in. They'll plough on, make some vague promises about not allowing this to happen again - blah, blah. It will happen again though, and Win10 will continue it's march towards a cloud subscription model, whether you want it or not. Eventually, MS will release a single cost, monthly subscription that includes Windows (as a managed desktop), Office365 and whatever else they can throw in to attract customers. Trust me, it will happen, and once they've got you, it will be very difficult to change.

  23. glenn8878

    What’s this about a Store based app for Notepad? I use Notepad to remove all formatting from the text. If Microsoft wants to add features, I have no problem. I see no point to have several versions of the same Notepad and Microsoft is incapable of supporting these varied versions that they will eventually merge or discontinue.


    The Start Menu with one column? There already is the left column. The tiles can be non-live by default and use icons instead, but we should be able to group frequently used icons or tiles.

  24. Daekar

    Regarding Notepad in the Store... couldn't they just... do that? Package up the program, stick in the Store, deprecate the old one, and leave it there just in case some other application calls on it specifically?

  25. donaselfies

    The state of 10 is exemplified by that screenshot with the schizofrenic start menu thats like a mix of Windows 95, and the ugly, tiled home screen of a Windows phone just crowbarred into the middle of it for no good reason.


    Clinging to those awful metro tiles = watering a dead plant at this point. They repel consumers.

  26. dcdevito

    I just want transparency to save in command prompt windows and I'd be happy :)

    But..."Start also offers quick unpin for groups and folders, which is available from a right-click; this will remove that entire group or folder in one action."


    Hallelujah.


    And..."sign-in to Windows 10 (and your MSA) using Windows Hello Face"

    Sweet! I just purchased a Surface Pro 6 and it's my first time using Windows Hello. This is by far the most underrated feature in computing history.

  27. madthinus

    One of the areas where Windows as a Services is the biggest lie is in the deployment of the OS. You are downloading an ISO that is being deployed in effectively the same way as Windows Vista. After it has touched 1000's of files unnecessarily, it boots you into Windows and then download a further gigabyte plus in updates to apps that is included in Windows 10. I would love to see Microsoft address this. Change this monolith of an OS into chunks that can be updated more smartly than what we do now.



  28. Pbike908

    The CONSUMER future of Windows will be dependent on how well Microsoft can execute "Windows Lite" or whatever once to call it to be as simple to maintain as say a Chromebook. A big part of that is of course Chromium based Edge and ARM performance/compatibility.



    • skane2600

      In reply to Pbike908:

      What do you believe the average Windows user does to "maintain" Windows that is simpler on a Chromebook? And if Chromebooks have such a great advantage why haven't their sales taken off? The general public doesn't know what ARM is or cares.

      • Jorge Garcia

        In reply to skane2600:

        Just give it time. ChromeOS is barely getting into its stride, and Google will have Fuchsia ready to replace it - presumably in a fairly seamless way. The younger generations will not be buying any Windows machines unless their boss forces them to. The only exception would be for PC gaming...but there are efforts underway to turn x86 PC's into game-console-like standalone players that negate the need for owning an actual Windows Rig.

        • skane2600

          In reply to JG1170:

          People need a reason to buy a computer with a new OS. Merely being "not Windows" isn't going to be enough. What magical attributes of a future version of ChromeOS or Fuchsia (if it ever becomes a product) do you imagine they will have that would make them superior to Windows?

          • cadrethree

            In reply to skane2600:


            Integration with Android and its billion plus users and apps is pretty compelling for buying a new computer. What does a typical Windows user do on the computer? Maybe surf the internet, pay bills online, light Word and Excel? Organizing their picture and video collection? Their not going home to do some power coding or PowerPoint for fun. Most people can do the typical stuff with their tablet or phone on the couch while watching TV. Or hey in a pinch I can do all that stuff when stuck in traffic without my PC? Mind blown. Why go thru the hassle of building a PC when it's going to sit unused the majority of the time.

            • skane2600

              In reply to cadrethree:

              If your theory about what a typical Windows user does is correct, the question is: Why aren't they doing those things on their phone? Obviously they must see some advantage in using a PC when they are not "on the go".


              But beyond that there are many things people can do on their PCs that are difficult to perform on a phone or tablet that aren't highly sophisticated like writing code.

      • cadrethree

        In reply to skane2600:


        Windows for the consumer is a overbloated mess, with too many programs that perform the same function. Simplicity usually wins out for you're average user. Eventually the tide will turn and Chromebook will overtake the traditional PC form factor, unless Google kills it off. I can see a future where Windows home is only a web browser based OS based on ARM. With applications bought through the Windows software store. Put your old win 32 program into the machine and it automatically installs and runs from Azure. Fed back through the browser. No start button or live tile nonsense, just the web browser button. Pro Windows would be just like your traditional computer today, installed and run locally. All the typical bloated Windows. Xcloud business support for running full Windows on any device with a 8 inch screen or larger. So run full Windows on Apple, Android tablet with Xcloud. Microsoft Android phone that's fine tuned for battery life and security at rom level, pre-installed with all their business apps, and Google playstore. Or their own store?

        • skane2600

          In reply to cadrethree:

          Too many programs that perform the same function? Unlike iOS, Android, Linux, MacOS and Chrome OS?


          It must be frustrating when average users don't live up to the expectations of their more tech-savvy counterparts. They don't know what "bloat" is. They don't know even know what ARM is let alone want an ARM device. They don't want to do real work on a tiny phone screen or a relatively tiny 8 inch device.

          • cadrethree

            In reply to skane2600:

            I not sure what you meant, but ex-Windows power users make up a legion of Android or Apple users. Doesn't make us slow. If Xcloud gave me the ability to tap an icon on my Android tablet and get into my full Windows anywhere in the world that I had a connection, that would be pretty useful for your "power users". Whether that be for 10 minutes or an hour, it's pretty useful when out of the office. A virtual replication of my actual work desktop on my tablet. That as a Windows as a service sold to businesses make sense. I'm sure some Microsoft engineer is rolling his eyes saying we'll get right on that after we finish cloning the unicorns and creating the pixie dust. ?

            • skane2600

              In reply to cadrethree:

              I don't know what your definition of "power users" is but I doubt that many sophisticated Windows users gave it up and are now doing everything they used to do on Windows but are now doing it on iDevices and Android devices (I feel sorry for them if they do). Of course, I have no trouble believing many people own smartphones regardless of what other computing devices they use.


              What I keep mentioning is that regardless where a version Windows is running whether it's on the device or on a server, a phone or a tablet is a terrible place to run Windows Programs (i.e, not UWPs). Without at least a real keyboard (and optimally with a mouse) it's a very awkward and inefficient process. It's fine for a "look what I can do" demo, but not something people would want to use on a daily basis.

              • Jorge Garcia

                In reply to skane2600:

                I personally feel that OEM's are missing the boat BIG TIME by not making decent quality Android laptops. A terrible Chinese company that bought the rights to "RCA" does make them, and they are slowly improving, but there should really be Dell and Hp offerings as well. Those mobile-like machines would satisfy the computing needs of sooooo many people. All they want is a better way to interact with their phone...namely a keyboard and a larger screen...that is it. Android laptops achieve this. Best Buy/Insignia released a fairly credible (but still too underspec'd) one in 2018...by my estimation, it sold like hotcakes and then was suddenly discontinued. I luckily purchased one for my 75 year old mother..and she LOVES it, unlike the other Windows laptops and desktops around her house which she hates.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to JG1170:

                  Why do you believe that an OEM would profit more from making a Android laptop than a Windows laptop? A lot of Android's popularity on phones is due to the fact that you can get the smartphone experience for a lot less money than an iPhone. But a laptop is primarily used for different things than a smartphone and there's nothing equivalent to an iPhone that would make an Android laptop look significantly cheaper than alternatives. The minimal price of laptop components are pretty much a constant regardless of what OS it uses. This is one of the challenges that Chromebooks have faced - you can't really sell them for less than Windows laptops.

                • Jorge Garcia

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  Windows is just far too cumbersome and off-putting for a large swath of people these days...and it is faaaaar more OS than they need. I'll say it again...all most people need (at home) is a mobile OS, with a larger screen, a keyboard, and a moue/trackpad. Google has convinced OEMs to go the ChromeOS route, which is fine...but they should also have quality Android based offerings in their stable, if they want to reach everybody.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to JG1170:

                  People only need a mobile OS for .. wait for it .. mobile use. Something that can't be achieved when connected to a large screen, keyboard etc. Of course the only reason mobile users need a "mobile" OS at all is due to the practical characteristics and limitations of a portable device. It must be small, light, and minimize power consumption (among other things). Android and iOS were designed from the ground up to match these characteristics some of which aren't appropriate for more traditional platforms.


                  ChromeOS despite its functional limitations and its lack of market share isn't subject to those design constraints that Android and iOS have been designed around. Consequently, ChromeOS is more appropriate alternative to a Windows laptop than an Android or iOS laptop would be.

              • cadrethree

                In reply to skane2600:


                Power user is more a mindset nowdays. Use to be that a power user worked in a office with all Windows products and services. That user went home and booted up the computer first thing to check emails. Then this user starting doing work at home, writing proposals, letters, answering emails for the night shift, etc. Writing Excel programs for the next day, word. Turned on TV, surfed the net, did some PC gaming then went to bed. Did this on weekends to, that was a power user. Now most of this is done on your phone or tablet. Now yes a keyboard is needed sometimes, but a Chromebook fulfills that need. Everything Windows did is dispersed and online, now.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to cadrethree:

                  Chromebooks can do a subset of what Windows can do so they definitely have some value, but you can't really argue the viability of phones and tablets as general purpose computing devices on the basis of throwing a Chromebook into the mix. Substitute a Windows PC for the Chromebook and you can do even more but that's not a proper way to compare the options.



        • irfaanwahid

          In reply to cadrethree:

          I tend to agree with you.

          I think, the world we live in, for most consumers (or average users) don't need the bulky, humongous OS like Windows. That's for guys like me (Prosumer/Enterprise user/developer).

          Many of the average users who are already used to doing things in a simplified manner (with mobiles) may just prefer the same on desktop OS.

          In my opinion why Chromebook or other OS don't get enough user base is simply because of the vast usage of Windows and all the compatible ecosystem around it.

          The day that shift happens where PWAs or something else takes over, Windows as we know will not be so relevant, specially for the home users.

          • skane2600

            In reply to irfaanwahid:

            The trouble comes when the tech-savvy imagine what average users "need" rather than paying attention to what they want (which they vote on with their dollars). And what they want isn't related to tech priorities. The average user wouldn't be able to tell if Chrome OS is more or less "bulky" or "humongous" than Windows. That's developer-speak. They don't operate at that level of abstraction.

            • cadrethree

              In reply to skane2600:


              Honestly any user can tell if a program is bulky. Look at the typical startup menu. Too much stuff, too busy. Too complicated. Speed is another. A new install of Android on a fast phone in my experience is blazing fast for web browsing, etc. Side by side with Windows which seems slow and poky. Plus the little shortcuts on a mobile os to accomplish a task cause they realize you don't have a mouse or keyboard. Until Android magically starts to slow do after a year, which is when they want you to replace it?

              • skane2600

                In reply to cadrethree:

                Generally more capability requires more programs but it's not as if the typical Android device is delivered with just 2 or 3 apps. Android's "start menu" is just scattered over multiple pages in a somewhat disorganized fashion.


                Speed is also a function of capability as well, although a low-end Android device can be very slow as well. Despite the Apples and Oranges comparison between Windows and Android at least if you want to do a speed test you should choose appropriate devices. A high-end Pixel is quite fast but then so is a PC with an i7 processor.


  29. Winner

    "Acrylic translucency".....???!!!

  30. bluvg

    "Windows Sandbox. This new feature is an evolution of Hyper-V Client"


    From their post (https:// techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Windows-Kernel-Internals/Windows-Sandbox/ba-p/301849), it appears already not to be based on Hyper-V, but rather Windows Containers.

    • lvthunder

      In reply to bluvg:

      And what do you think Windows Containers is based on? All these containers and emulators share the same technologies.

      • bluvg

        In reply to lvthunder:

        Yes, Sandbox does use Microsoft's hypervisor and containers and traditional VMs are similar, but the implementation is quite different from traditional VMs. The article covers some of the high-level differences.


        I should have worded my comment more carefully, as it was in reference to whether or not this is a container solution--we have that answer already (yes).

  31. llewen

    Do what I did six months ago—switch to a Linux based OS. It has been a steep learning curve. Linux isn't perfect, but overall, I have very few regrets. My OS does what I tell it to do now. It doesn't harvest my data and try to sell me crap. I'm a gamer, and I like old games, and so far I have found no games that I didn't eventually get working just as well, if not better on Linux/wine than they did on Windows 10, with or without compatibility modes, and even though getting them working wasn't painless, the effort level was not out of proportion to the effort level required to get old games working on Windows 10.


    In fact on my particular system my entire computing experience is pretty uniformly better. The drivers for my processor on Linux are better than they were for Windows 10, and I could go on. It's a little difficult to fathom how a corporation with the kind of resources that Microsoft has can, in the final analysis, do it's one main thing, so very badly.

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