Windows 10 on one surface, not the other

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I wont be downloading windows 10 on my 2nd surface. I want to savour the excellent tablet oriented design  of Windows 8. Design that didn’t assume that a physical keyboard was attached. That’s how I use my surfaces. I’ll miss Windows 8. It looks like Microsoft has focussed the design of Windows 10 on the assumption of a keyboard attached as the primary use context. Not designed for me, or people that enjoy the tablet form factor (without they keyboard). Ho hum

Here are a few moments I went through with the windows 10 upgrade process, rated on a scale of 0 thru 5 where 0 s atrocious and 5 is excellent, followed by a description of what I’ve rated

5* It downloaded in the background

2* It has completed downloading – now install – message  not displayed on tablet UI, I missed it for a couple of weeks

5* I liked be able to set when to install. I choose midnight, when I’d be asleep

0* It actually start installing until when I wanted to use my computer in the morning, not at midnight. A significant, unexpected, disruption to my planned use time

0* I had to reset my preferred colour scheme and desktop background after installing. Come on! These are personal settings that should be migrated!

2* After install was set-up. Just when you think you’ve finished, you have to do something else

2* Set-up encouraged accepting default options that included sharing information with advertisers to tailor advertising to me. I used the option to review and set all the options rather than accepting defaults to remove this default, and the automated sharing of location information. I was unsure what some of the options really meant, for example the automated connect to networks. It offered to automatically connect to my contacts networks. Interesting, but I opted out of this, I want to know what networks I’m connecting to and approve that connection

2* Very new UI that gives prominence  to the “Desktop” interface, is not immediately intuitive, takes time to learn. M experience of everyday use MAY  be better once I’ve learned it. But the first experience of the new UI is not inspiring or encouraging

1* The “start menu” is back. Undoubtedly a crowd pleaser, but the way they’ve constructed it is to move (downgrade) the tablet selection UI and ‘squeeze’ live-tiles into a space within the start menu space, effectively making what was once  “All programs” into a group, scrollable, tile selection.  Leaving the left hand side of the stat menu a a traditional work list.  it’s a strikingly conservative design.  They’ve got lots of old crowd pleasers in the start menu like “file explorer” the power menu, and settings. And they’ve ‘forced’ a grouping on the live tiles rather than re-using my groupings. They’ve added things tracking the stock market! What does that say about the product development team! Hah.  I’ve been ‘un-pinning’ these personally irrelevant things from the menu and trying to regroup everything and rename it back to my original arrangement. The live tiles have lost a lot of functionality, e.g. for showing summaries of their contents

0* Had to trawl through virtually all the PC settings to find out how to ‘get back’ some of my windows 8 positive experiences. Glad to be able to set the menu as full screen tiles. Disappointed windows didn’t detect my lack of keyboard and set this as default that could be offered for adjustment when a keyboard is first attached

0* Keyboard auto-arrival is SO MUCH WORSE. I have to manually open and close the virtual keyboard

0* inconsistent and rare screen reformatting when virtual keyboard is opened, much worse than windows 8. I’m often unable to see key instructions or entry fields on my screen because they are obscured by the keyboard, previously this was not a problem

3* It hook quite a lot pf use o work out how to move between my Apps an desktops. The new multitasking navigation model. This could be god for on going use. I’m still not confident I fully understand it

3* Resetting passwords for things that Windows didn’t already know my passwords for – it’s gathering knowledge of all my passwords. I’m not overly happy with the forced linking of all that knowledge about me. I can see this is a step towards being able to upgrade without having to reset all the passwords, but its a standard pain in the upgrade process and I wasn’t expecting it this time round

*1 Skype asking me to install an update again, feels like about 4 in the last month, but I may not of completed them to the software’s expectations because the process was so convoluted and unintuitive. Maybe I’ve only done this 2 times. I hope this second time has re-instated the effective use lf my tablet camera. I doubt it given all the other enhancements have been a step backward for tablet users

0* I got so frustrated on the first hour after installing that I rebooted the surface – just out of learning from past experience, mot any help or advice from windows or it’s apps. It installed updates! I guess the settings changes I made required rebooting. They should have advised me. But maybe it was something else… the update was from Microsoft, within an hour of a Microsoft update, so I feel justified in directing my anger and frustration towards them

5* The ability to roll back to windows 8 within 4 weeks. But the fear of facing equal resetting pain after the roll back is a blocker…  not yet sure whether to roll back..

Windows 10 on one surface, not the other
2 votes rating 4.5

3 bits of lovely banter on “Windows 10 on one surface, not the other”

  1. James Sutherland writes:

    That was a fascinating read! I got a Surface myself over the summer (quickly followed by a keyboard, since the on-screen keyboard is an abomination which should earn its creators the death penalty multiple times over). Until then, my only experience with Windows 8 was on desktop PCs – where, of course, all the tablet-centric UI you loved on your tablet is about as much use as a leaking fire hydrant on board the Titanic.

    The upgrade process did go smoothly, on two of the three machines I’ve applied it on so far (the third failed with an odd error message I haven’t investigated yet). The user interface is a colossal improvement on the braindead abomination from 8, since somebody reminded the designers that 99% of the users have physical keyboards permanently attached. There have indeed been far too many separate updates since public release; a lot of observers seem to have concluded MS rushed a late beta out before development was really finished, and have been patching to reach a proper release quality since that.

    No idea about multiple desktops, I haven’t tried that yet, but alt-tab works fine. I think there’s a swipey thing you can use to achieve something similar on touchscreens, but since only one of the 3 Windows 10 machines I use at the moment has one, I don’t want to get reliant on that sort of thing.

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  2. wendy writes:

    The keyboard appears to be working more effectively today… some delay in applying the process?
    I’m liking some of the contextualised tips for interactions – that help me learn when I’m doing something
    The notifications that I should act on after I’ve logged in disappear to quickly for me to act on them – annoying now, but I’ll get faster….

    I may keep this….

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  3. wendy writes:

    Ah, it restarted overnight, and has just told me it needs to restart AGAIN. That will be about 4 restarts since install, it does get better each tome…. but really…4….i’m not sure my surface pro 1 will survive with it’s older hardware and tiny memory…. and I’ve no real way of easily checking in advance, what with me being computer naïve and all…

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