Windows 10: Good, but is it good enough?

Woody Leonhard

As even cave-dwelling monks probably know by now, Windows 10 is out for all the world to see — and it appears to be a qualified success.

Is downloading and installing the new OS a no-brainer? If you use Win8, the answer is almost assuredly yes; but if you’re a Win7 fan, some serious considerations await.

Build 10240: The first-final Windows 10

More than with any previous version of Windows, it’s difficult to talk about a “final” version of the OS. Build 10240 is the official July 29 release, but it’s hardly final; it’ll undoubtedly evolve over time.

When I talked about Win10 build 10122 in the May 28 Top Story, almost all “final” features were intact. They have, however, been tweaked a bit in the official Win10 release — and some will get further adjustments.

For example, we now know that the Universal (formerly “Metro”) Skype app doesn’t work worth beans. So Microsoft cut it loose, offering instead a link on the initial start menu to install the old desktop version of Skype. Even at that, desktop Skype is underwhelming, and there are many rumors at this point that Microsoft will finally come up with something simpler for texting, calling, and video-haranguing.

In a similar vein, Microsoft cut the Universal OneDrive app. Microsoft’s reworking it to bring back “smart files,” the ability to show thumbnails of files in Explorer on your machine while keeping the entire file in the cloud. The result is quite a mess. Win10 setup steps you through the task of specifying which files get stored locally and which are kept in the cloud.

Those files stored on your machine work just as you’d expect. Unfortunately, at this time, File Explorer isn’t smart enough to show you anything that’s cloud-only — you have to go into the browser to see everything.

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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2015-08-06:

Woody Leonhard

About Woody Leonhard

Woody Leonhard is a Windows Secrets senior editor and a senior contributing editor at InfoWorld. His latest book, the comprehensive 1,080-page Windows 8 All-In-One For Dummies, delves into all the Win8 nooks and crannies. His many writings tell it like it is — whether Microsoft likes it or not.