Monday, August 8, 2016

Windows 10 Anniversary update: Your Last Chance Microsoft!

There are those in my profession that would call me unprofessional.  Others might even go so far as to say I'm just a disgruntled crank festooned with the requisite tin-foil hat when it comes to Microsoft Windows 10.

Here's the thing....

I don't care what you think.  I know what I've experienced and having spent most of my working career in the field losing countless hours to the cavalcade of flaws that is a new Microsoft OS I say with confidence...

Windows 10 is not an operating system, it's a delivery mechanism predicated on a marketing strategy.

I look at Windows 10 the same way I look at car commercials.  It's full of glitz, glamour and endless marketing campaigns with the sole intent of dangling shiny objects to distract you from it's intrusive and unreliable nature.

So yes, I've used it almost exclusively for a year, accepted the endless updates, 20 minute shutdown times and random lockups.  All with the intention of giving the OS a fair shake and hey the price was right.

In the intervening year between update 1607 and the launch of Windows 10 I've used the OS enough to find virtually no compelling reason to recommend it over Windows 7 for anything but support for the OS beyond 2020.

That Microsoft is now charging a minimum of $119 for the OS is an affront considering how much of a marketing platform Windows 10 is.

There are elements in Windows 10 that depending on the version are absolutely detrimental to an enterprise environment.  For example, in older versions of Windows you could get away with using a "Pro" version of Windows in your enterprise.  Yes, there were stripped down "Enterprise" versions only available to those with a Microsoft Licensing agreement but they were few and far between in my own experience.

A PRO version could connect to a Windows domain and allowed just as much control over the user experience.  The only caveat being a bit more overhead cruft inherited from its "consumer" roots.

Today a PRO version is much the same but unlike previous versions is subject to the "consumer" OS experience.   Meaning Microsoft and not your IT department is largely in control of the desktop experience in your enterprise.

Enterprise gives you all the control you used to have with "just" a PRO version but now you have to pay a subscription fee for that privilege.

I don't like that and I've taken active measures against that strategy including using SpyBot Anti-Beacon, refusing to connect my Microsoft account to the OS and denying the allure of the Microsoft Store.

Have you noticed that I've yet to say anything compelling about Windows 10?  That's because it's not and simply put there isn't anything compelling unless you work for Microsoft's marketing department.

Windows 10 is "probably" a better OS than its predecessors but you'll likely never see the benefit for all the cruft piled on top of it.  That's where the promise of the "Enterprise" versions come in but even they have been stained by the tarnish of a consumer OS.

So with the Anniversary update this is my last stand with Windows 10.  I expect many of my issues to be addressed or I'm jumping off the boat.  I could care less about "features" if they get in the way of what I'm trying to get done.

With that in mind I've documented my latest Windows 10 experience.  That being the installation and review of Windows 10 Anniversary update 1607.

I invite you to enjoy in 20 or so minutes what took me 2 1/2 hours.

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