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Bloggers sound off on Windows 10 problems

Windows 10 has the same migration issues as any OS, but adds privacy problems and might not deliver the type of value IT shops are looking for.

The consumer version of Windows 10 has been available for a few months, and by now, you've probably heard what Microsoft has to say about the OS and read overviews of its features. But what do real users think?

Based on the early adoption rates, you might guess everything is hunky-dory, but Windows 10 problems do exist.

First of all, Windows 10 cannot break free from all the familiar headaches that come with migrating to a new OS. Then there are privacy concerns and a new Web browser that doesn't play nicely with Internet Explorer's application program interfaces (APIs), including Silverlight. Buckle up and find out about the Windows 10 problems some bloggers have experienced.

Migration is hard

Migrating desktops to a new OS is never easy. There are four key considerations to keep in mind when you mull the decision over according to Massimo Mazza on DataBlog.

First, the OS must be compatible with all the hardware that employees use -- laptops, desktops, printers, external drives and more. Next, the software and apps must also be compatible. If users cannot access their apps or developers have to build new ones, you could have significant downtime in your future.  Third, remember security. You must know when support for your old OS runs out because your migration should be complete before then. Finally, keep costs in mind. A new OS comes with new licenses, but you may need to buy different hardware or turn to third-party support to get everything up and running, all of which costs money.

If you want to reduce your risk during migration, Mazza wrote, you must test your production environments on the new OS before making any decisions, and back everything up. You can also take a slow-and-steady approach to adoption to wait out any early bugs or other issues.  

Where is the value of Windows 10?

With all those migration hassles, Windows 10 needs to deliver some serious value. But because today's employees do a lot of work on mobile devices rather than desktops, Windows 10 might not offer enough compelling reasons to move back to their desktops. It doesn't, according to Brian Glick of Computer Weekly. Even with Windows 10, he believes users will continue to turn to their desktops only when they need a physical keyboard or a larger screen.

In addition, Microsoft's licensing deals are antiquated, Glick wrote. The company bases its licensing deals on three-to-five year models that IT departments simply do not follow anymore. Instead IT administrators must see a return on their investment within a year or two.

Privacy a top Windows 10 problem

If the questionable value proposition wasn't enough to make you hesitate to move to Windows 10, the very real privacy concerns might stop you in your tracks.

By default, Windows 10 communicates with Microsoft's servers, which includes sending private information. To make matters worse, changing settings won't help, Shaikh Rafia said in her WCCF Tech blog post. Windows 10 stores keyboard inputs in temporary files and transfers them through encrypted files every 30 minutes to three different servers. This means user passwords are not safe. And even if users don't log in to a Microsoft account, the OS still sends the data.

And the Windows 10 problems get worse. The OS sends data from the camera as well as voice data even if users turn off Cortana. Anything users type into the Start menu gets sent back to Microsoft. And don't even think about trying to use proxy servers  to prevent the flow of information; Windows 10 sends requests to a content delivery network that can bypass them.

App compatibility gets in the way on Edge

With Windows 10 Microsoft also rolled out a new Web browser, Microsoft Edge. It offers a host of features, including Reading View, which delivers webpages in a reader-friendly format and Web Notes, which gives users the power to write directly on a webpage.

Edge cuts ties with common Internet Explorer APIs such ActiveX and Silverlight, according to John Bristowe in a blog post on the Telerik Developer Network. This means if you choose to migrate to Windows 10 and run Silverlight apps, for example, your users will not be able to work with them on Edge. Windows 10 does come with Internet Explorer; however Microsoft will suspend support for its old browser in October 2021. You must figure out if your developers can get apps ready for Edge by then.

If you do decide to move over to Windows 10, Bristowe suggested you give your users a detailed error message in Microsoft Edge telling them why certain apps do not work in the browser and how they can get their apps to work.

It's not all bad

On the bright side, Windows 10 signifies a major shift in Microsoft's approach. The company seems to be moving past the idea that all it has to do is push out a product under the Microsoft name and people will buy it because they need it, Benjamin Robbins said on Remotely Mobile. Instead, Microsoft is trying to create products people want.

As an example, Microsoft is making Windows apps available on iOS and Android. It is also trying to deliver a seamless user experience with Continuum -- which allows users to easily switch between a keyboard and touch screen on 2-in-1 devices -- and Universal Apps, which lets developers build one app to work across a host of devices.

If Windows 10 is really the final OS in the Windows family it clearly has some kinks to work out, but signs indicate Microsoft is willing to change.

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