Ars’ take on the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, due out today.
For now, the Anniversary Update is an incremental update that makes Windows 10 incrementally better. For Windows 10, the decision to upgrade is obvious, and in many cases, there’s no decision to be made. In fact, home users will be getting it whether they like it or not. They shouldn’t fear this; if nothing else the revised Start menu layout makes the upgrade worthwhile.
But the decision for Windows 7 and 8.1 users is rather different now than it was a year ago. A year ago, upgrading to Windows 10 was an easy decision to make, because the upgrade was zero cost. Unless upgrading was absolutely impossible (due to an incompatibility or being particularly wedded to Media Center), then upgrading was the obvious thing to do. Windows 10 is a better operating system than those two, especially for $0.
I’m pretty sure there’s loads of people who’d much rather hold on to Windows 7, for a multitude of reasons, but that’s just me.
Honestly, I’ve been out of the loop on this whole Anniversary Update, mostly because Windows (and OS X and desktop Linux for that matter) just isn’t very exciting. Windows got exciting with 8, which, while deeply flawed and inherently broken, at least represented some form of progress from what had come before to something new, but in Windows 8, that “something new” – Metro – was incomplete, buggy, slow, broken, and effectively useless.
We’re Fiona knows how many years down the line now, and it’s still an incomplete, buggy, slow, broken, and effectively useless mess. There’s not a single Metro application that’s worthy of anyone’s time, and there’s a better – albeit less attractive-looking, at times – Win32 alternative in virtually every instance. This leaves Windows 10 as a Windows 7 where you need to turn a whole bunch of useless crap off or hide it to make it work properly.
It’s far from ideal, and the idea many bloggers are peddling – that Windows 10 is a must-have upgrade over Windows 7 – seems rooted more in a sense of “the shiny” than actual merit.