Should I upgrade to Windows 10?

A lot of people have covered the Pros of upgrading to Windows 10. So I’ll go ahead and mention some Cons for a change.

By the way, here’s 10 Overlooked New Features in Windows 10.

Now, for most people, the following probably wont count as cons. But best to know these before taking the leap.

  1. Forced Windows Update
    In the previous Windows versions, remember seeing couple of options on how to handle Windows Updates? Like do not update all all or download automatically but don’t install updates or opting for manually selecting which all updates to download and install? Well, all of that is gone in Windows 10 – at least for the time being and we can pretty much be sure that it will stay so.This isn’t necessarily a con. Windows remains one of the top used OS on the planet and hence is the main target for security attacks. By this forced updates, users will automatically get all the patches & feature updates released by Microsoft. The downside is if MS, by accident, releases a botched update – which by the way has happened before – & even if the user knows issue is with the update, you cannot sidestep it anymore because all updates are forcefully installed.On a security level, if someone ever finds out a loophole to disguise viruses or malwares as Windows Update, that again will be forcefully moved into your systems and all other Windows 10 systems everywhere. This is highly unlikely though.

    There are work-arounds for this problem though : How to Prevent Windows 10 From Automatically Downloading Updates

    Links for reference and further reading :

  2. Windows Update Delivery Optimization
    This is a new thing MS has come up with for improving the update process. They have essentially made Windows Update into sort-of a torrent like system.

    Delivery Optimization downloads the same updates and apps that you get through Windows Update and the Windows Store. Delivery Optimization creates a local cache, and stores files that it has downloaded in that cache for a short period of time. Depending on your settings, Windows then send parts of those files to other PCs on your local network or PCs on the Internet that are downloading the same files.

    So? Why is this bad? Well, MS is basically using the bandwidth you are paying for to provide Windows Updates to its other costumers. So, if you’re not on a unlimited internet connection, this will be part of your internet bill – unless you have specified in connection settings that the connection is capped or metered. I don’t think anyone really even knows of such a setting.

    The feature can be turned off though – by going a bit deep into the settings. But I’m pissed that MS just kept it ON by default and did not even ask me while doing so. That’s just arrogant.

    Links for reference and further reading :

  3. Wi-Fi Sense
    So what is it?

    WiFi Sense connects you to WiFi networks around you. It can do these things for you to get you Internet access:

    • Automatically connect you to open WiFi networks it knows about by crowdsourcing networks that other people using Windows have connected to. These are typically open WiFi hotspots that you see when you’re out and about.
    • Automatically connect you to WiFi networks that your Facebook friends, Outlook contacts, or Skype contacts have shared with you after you’ve shared at least one network with your contacts. When you and your contacts share WiFi networks with each other, you give each other Internet access, but you don’t see each other’s passwords. No networks are shared automatically. When you first connect to a network that you decide to share, you’ll need to enter the password, then select the Share network with my contacts tick box to share that network.

    That sounds great! So what is the problem? Well, as always, MS does not explicitly ask you before turning ON such a crucial feature – assuming you used the Express settings. It’s just ON by default.

    Thing is, these are very new software features and are yet to be time-tested. It’s the kind of feature which if has a hidden flaw a hacker could exploit, could lead to disasters. Even if Microsoft has taken measures to encrypt the exchange of credentials, there’s always the potential for motivated crackers to find ways to circumvent the security protocols. And keeping features that has access to critical things like your Wi-Fi credentials ON by default, not a fan of that at all!

    After all, how difficult is it to just tell the passphrase frineds and

    Links for reference and further reading :

  4. Miscellaneous Privacy Issues
    These days, privacy is pretty much a myth and of course apart from the above things, there are some privacy concerns with Windows as well.

    • Cortana is now integreated into Windows. Over time, with access to your mail, calendar, searches and files on your system, Cortana – and MS in turn – could  learn a lot about you.

      When you use Cortana, Microsoft collects and uses information including your device location information and location history, contacts (People), voice input, searching history, calendar details, content and communication history from messages and apps, and other information on your device. In Microsoft Edge, Cortana collects and uses your browsing history.

      This information is saved on your device, in your Cortana Notebook, and in the cloud on the Bing dashboard.

      In order to personalize your experience and provide the best possible suggestions, Cortana collects information about your contacts (People) including their title and/or suffix, first name, last name, middle name, nicknames, and company name. If you communicate with someone via email, or SMS, Cortana collects that person’s email address or phone number.

      Reference : Cortana, Search, and privacy: FAQ – Microsoft Windows

    • Advertising ID , surprise surprise, is ON by default. Windows 10 automatically assigns an advertising ID to each user on a device tied to the email address that’s on file. Using that ID, the company can tailor ads for web-browsing and using certain applicationsReference : Privacy and advertising in Windows 10: Both sides of the story
    • Some wordings in the Privacy Statement are also a bit worrying:

      Finally, we will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to:

      1. comply with applicable law or respond to valid legal process, including from law enforcement or other government agencies;
      2. protect our customers, for example to prevent spam or attempts to defraud users of the services, or to help prevent the loss of life or serious injury of anyone;
      3. operate and maintain the security of our services, including to prevent or stop an attack on our computer systems or networks; or
      4. protect the rights or property of Microsoft, including enforcing the terms governing the use of the services – however, if we receive information indicating that someone is using our services to traffic in stolen intellectual or physical property of Microsoft, we will not inspect a customer’s private content ourselves, but we may refer the matter to law enforcement
    • There are a few more. Go through this article for further reading : Digging into and Understanding Windows 10’s Privacy Settings

Sai Sujit Madiraju

Sai Sujit Madiraju, Avid Windows Enthusiast and User

19.9k Views • Upvoted by Bart Loews, Been administering windows since 3.11, 3 time MCSE

It is a major improvement from the touch-optimized Windows 8. Here are some of the major features of the new OS:

1. The original, desktop-style Start Menu is back in Windows 10. 
The Start Menu is a useful tool of Windows, allowing users to easily access commonly used apps and features. In Windows 8, it’s experience was catered more to touch screens but now a more familiar and desktop friendly interface for it has returned. It now combines both the beat of the traditional and metro features of Windows, by including “modern” apps with updating live tiles with the traditional list of programs and folders. The Start Menu also has an optional translucent Aero look, brought back by user request, and can be customized with a nice range of colors.

2. Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant is heavily integrated into Windows 10.  This is a very intelligent and useful tool that responds to both voice commands and text input. As you begin a search, Cortana automatically presents relevant information. For instance, if you start typing the name of a restaurant, Cortana will begin giving you it’s location, hours, and more. It can also regularly show general info like weather and reminders, and can even operate applications.

3. Microsoft’s Edge Browser is a large improvement over Internet Explorer. It loads pages quickly and easily with support for modern web standards. Edge also allows you directly annotate, mark, and note on Web pages for your reference and share your markings with others. This is a true browser that can compete with others like Chrome and Safari.

4. Continuum allows Windows Phone users to easily pick up on whatever they left off on their Windows PC on their phone, and vice versa. This is possible due to the new Universal nature of Windows which allows the OS to be more interconnected between desktop and mobile. As a result, many apps will be able to seamlessly transition from one platform to another, as similar to iCloud Drive and Reading List for OSX and iOS.

5. Windows 10 now runs DirectX12 which can help improve gaming performance.

6. Windows 10 can run “Metro-style/Windows 8 Style” Apps as regular desktop windows, rather than as fullscreen mobile replications. On top of that, many Metro Apps like Mail and Calendar are major revamps of the old versions are now actually pleasurable and convenient to use alongside normal desktop apps.

7. There is now a convenient action & notification center that effectively does its purpose, displaying messages clearly -along with a mini “control-center” underneath that provides access to commonly used settings, like WiFi and Bluetooth.

8. Windows 10 has support for multiple “virtual” desktops. For those who haven’t heard of these or used these before, virtual desktops essentially create multiple desktop environments, or numerous “copies” of your desktop. Different desktops can hold different windows, allowing users to divide desktops based on usage – i.e. one desktop can have all windows and apps open related to work purposes, while another can be used to maintain all running entertainment applications.

The bottom row of 4 screens represents four different virtual desktops this computer is currently running. 

9. The new OS allows users to multitask efficiently with easy quadrant “window-snapping.” A different window can be placed of the screen’s four quadrants as shown below –

Windows can also be snapped two at a time, side-by-side.

10. Windows 10 makes it very easy to assess hard drive space – it divides the storage space used into categories and can even display space occupied app by app for easy cleanup.

11. Windows 10 supports a biometric program called Windows Hello, which, when combined with the appropriate hardware, can use fingerprints, iris scans, and facial recognition to unlock the computer. Although probably not a widely usable feature quite yet, it is still a great example of Microsoft’s innovation.

12. Not very important to most users but for power users and programmers, Command Prompt now supports Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V to copy and paste! Those of you who use Command Prompt understand what a savior this is 🙂

The overall UI and style of Windows 10 is amazing compared to old versions – it finally got a modern, sleek look! Both the taskbar and Start Menu can be given a beautifully translucent appearance. Window borders and the taskbar are no longer obnoxiously basic and dated solid colors, and windows themselves now display a pleasant little “bounce” or “snap” when minimized or maximized. Even minor things like folder icons and context menus have seen some long-needed aesthetic upgrades.

Windows 10 was named so to show how distant and how much better the OS is from the poorly-received 8. It’s Microsoft’s last-ditch attempt to win back the love and loyalty of its customers. And looking at this new iteration of Windows, I can confidently say it successfully has and will continue to do so!


Antony Pallupetta, The stereotypical Indian IT Guy!

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