It took me a while to get the release Windows 10 installed on hardware which does it justice. I’d been trying the ‘insider’ builds on an old machine which only gave me a chance truly test one aspect of Microsoft’s latest operating system: how well it runs on minimal spec hardware.
I thought it was impressive Windows 10 installed on a 4 year old Netbook—Atom processor, 2GB ram, 1024x600 screen—at all, let alone run acceptably! It was useful to evaluate the desktop focused user interface improvements in 10, if not their performance.
Fixing Windows 8(.1) for the desktop?
Although it seems few ‘desktop’ users liked Windows 8 UI, on a touch machine the radical changes from 7 mostly made sense. Perhaps the biggest fault was a reliance on ‘discovery’ of the fly-out controls/menus and, even in 8.1, dismal explanation of the changes for new/migrating users.
I’m one of the minority who preferred 8, even more so 8.1, on a desktop too. With frequently used apps pinned to the taskbar I rarely used the Start menu in 7. In 8 I found the ability to configure and name tile groups for lesser used apps on the Start Screen far more convenient than 7 Starts limited pinned icons, apps list or (even worse) a desktop full of application icons.
Yes, 8 jarred when the full screen menu appeared but the ‘Use desktop background” Start option introduced in 8.1 helped with that. The option to launch direct to the desktop meant you could almost avoid the Start screen altogether if the desktop was your focus.
Irrespective of that, and given the market reaction, Microsoft had to ‘fix’ 8 and their focus on the desktop in 10 is entirely understandable.
The thing I most worried about through the 10 preview was touch as it didn’t seem to get much attention until late in the process. Now I have the release 10 on my ATIV hybrid tablet I’m happy to find ‘fixing’ the desktop, ‘restoring’ the Start menu, hasn’t broken the touch interface.
I haven’t seriously used CAD/BIM on 10 yet and Autodesk do not yet officially support it (click for current details) for the design applications I own but they seem to launch and run OK.