Test Driving Windows 10

Wednesday, July 29, Windows 10 began rolling out to 190 countries around the world. To celebrate the event, Microsoft held launch parties in Sydney, Nairobi, London, New York City, and Seattle, to name a few, and every Microsoft Store in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Canada held special in-store activities. Within the first 24 hours, more than 14 million devices received the upgrade.

Windows 10 launch event in Sydney, Australia. Source: blogs.windows.com

I’ve been using Windows 10 for about two and a half hours now, so allow me to indulge in a short, spontaneous review of the experience so far.

The last time I manually upgraded a Windows operating system was when Windows 95 shipped as thirteen 3.5” floppy disks. Since then I’ve always purchased machines with an OEM copy of Windows already installed. When it came to Windows 10, I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I braced for a headache. I started the upgrade and after about an hour of colorful screens with those hypnotic white dots that travel in a circle to let you know that something is happening, the upgrade was done. Boom. That was it.

I logged in and immediately looked for Cortana. Expecting to find a blue ring hopping up and down, spinning to get my attention like a modern Clippy, I was surprised to find the digital assistant minimized to a shortcut in the revived Start Menu. I clicked the shortcut and lo, there was Cortana, now a gold circle, pulsating above a question. I didn’t feel like going through the setup—even though I’ve read it’s only a few questions—so I ignored it and proceeded to poke around elsewhere in the new Windows.