Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Windows 10

Ok so it is free and what is the old saying, “beware strangers bearing gifts”?

First up, whilst downloading (for several days) if you click on the ‘display download progress’ button the current window goes away and no progress bar or anything appears in its place. This may be a forewarning of what is to come.
Finally after more than a week on one PC, it says it is ready to install and then goes off for a further day and a bit to download?? Hadn’t it just done that?
The system finally restarts, but my antivirus software has gone away? No explanation, just gone.
OK so maybe it cannot work on Windows 10, but a warning would have been appreciated.

It has installed Windows Defender, but Windows Defender comes very low on the charts produced by people who know about good protection, so I want my good security software back please.
It next demands that I log using my “Microsoft Account” if I have one, or create a new one if I don’t. As it happens, I had to go through this imposition with Windows 8, so I do have an account and I am not happy that the password is used across the Internet.
It also demands that I log on to use the cloud.
I do not do cloud if I can avoid it. I like to know where my backups are.

I know something about IT security, having worked for a very paranoid organisation responsible for the defence of the realm, and the cloud is not what you may think. It is called the cloud because no one knows what is in it. It is what we used to call a wide area network storage facility. Who owns it? No one knows. Who runs it? No one knows. It is made up of lots of PCs in data warehouses which can be anywhere in the world and owned by anyone who sets up in business and, on the day, complies with the security standards. Where are these computers with all my private data on them? No one knows. So what happens when the company who owns the PCs goes bust, or a regime change occurs, or corrupt staff sells my data on, or a big explosion like the recent one in Beijing happens nearby, or a solar flare knocks out the Internet? That last one may seem a bit Science Fictony, but in 1859, a solar flare, known as a Carrington event, took out the early telegraph services over most of the northern hemisphere and they were using big thick copper cables with no delicate electronics. So that one is still waiting to happen again, only in spades with our present, much more widespread, and terribly fragile technology.
Anyway, off my soap box…

Using Windows 10 is a cross between Windows 8 and Windows 7 so it is a bit less difficult to find the things you need to use and, importantly, to close programs (apps for younger people) than Win 8 was.

The final insult is that on one of my PCs, it has installed a 32 bit version on a 64 bit processor! Is that because it is free? What cheapskates! As a result of this, although I have 8Gb of RAM it can only access 4Gb.
I think I will install a dual boot with Windows 7 or maybe Linux, ore more likely both so that I have a choice when Windows 10 does what all previous versions of Windows have done so far, which is slow down to a crawl after a few months of use and the hackers find all the unsecured aspects of the new system, not found by Microsoft’s software testers.

So all in all am not over excited by Windows 10 but will probably end up using it most of the time simply because it is there.