Windows 10 is finally here and already installed on millions of devices. Windows 10 is probably Microsoft’s biggest bet yet in terms on OS because of the ever increasing challenges from Apple and Google (Chrome). No doubt windows 8 (or 8.1) was pretty good but some people felt the UI a bit confusing. I am a life-long user of Windows from Win 98 to Win 10 (so far). Like everyone I hurried to adopt Windows10 since it was a free upgrade (I had windows 8.1 license). There are some cool additions to this edition of windows (like very less discussed 3D Builder & Sway) as is the custom for every release. But in this article I want to share my feedback, as a long time user, about where Microsoft didn’t meet its customer expectations. It is painful to see how such a successful company is beginning to loose track of its customers actual needs and is focusing on features that are still not mainstream.
It is not a technical review, on the contrary, it is a very simplistic expression of needs of an everyday windows user. But it reveals challenges that Microsoft might face in case of mass rejection of its OS.
[Note] Apart from Microsoft products I am also a user of Linux (Ubuntu) and Google (Chrome and Online Docs) and I am not an amateur user (if not expert) and this review will reveal challenges faced by similar demography.
Gmail, Google Docs and Microsoft Edge (Windows 10)
First I’ll begin by sharing that how life is essentially painful for a Microsoft Edge enthusiast and early adopter. Google Online products simply do not work as smooth in Microsoft Edge (rest IE) as these do in Google Chrome. I do not know (and do not care to know) if this is a Google conspiracy or Microsoft failure. The wide scale adoption of Gmail and Google Docs is no secret and Microsoft’s inability to improvise user experience on its native browser is an open invitation for all its user to let’s download Chrome!.
Three immediate challenges are listed below, rest will be updated as readers will share feedback:
- Drag and Drop functionality to attach files, works in Chrome but not in Microsoft Edge. A person who uses email a lot (and who not!) is bound to prefer Chrome over MS Edge.
- Similary Copying (Text) in Google Docs is a nightmare in MS Edge but not in chrome. Especially in GDoc spreadsheet, highlighted cells can not be copied by simple means. (further exploration of this bug is left for MS Edge team)
- And above all, we can not customize download path, in MS Edge, for email attachments! (infact for any attachment). This is such a basic task that MS Edge fails to facilitate.
To Quote from a frustrated user in MS forums:
We all are waiting for working operating system for desktops, not for gadgets.
This simply summarizes where Microsoft failed to understand user expectation while in its drive towards “Continuum“.
Continued Confusion over Apps vs Softwares in Windows
Continued from “Continuum” approach, MS product team appears to be confusing users (though it may not be actually their intentions). Apps were for Mobiles & Gadgets and Softwares were for Desktop OS (traditionally). Microsoft seems to bridge these two concepts but is losing in some aspects.
Apps that are perfect for Mobile are useless on Desktop. The way an App behaves is entirely different from that of a software that makes the App worthless on Desktop. (in most cases if not all). For example, consider Acrobat PDF reader desktop software and app (and other PDF reader apps), both offer same functionality but Software feels more native on Windows rather than app. The Apps does not blend well into the windows experience. Same is the case for Image editing software and Games.
Privacy Concerns in Windows 10
With Cortana and other real-time features blended into Windows, privacy is a major concern. Thought it was a concern with Apple and Google products, but Microsoft followed their trail rather than adopting a better strategy. Recently “pro-pakistani” had summarized privacy issues in Windows 10, which is an interesting point to remember always.
That’s all from me for the time being. Readers are welcome to share their case studies, these will be updated here with proper credit to the author.