Microsoft Windows 10 technical preview

As I’m still disappointed with Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1, I decided to take a look into new W10TP:

  • using/creating online account (yeah it’s 2015 and everyone requires some kind of account but still I don’t like to be forced, even Google is not forcing us to use it) so why not allow to skip it. I wanted to unplug network in virtual machine to skip this but for sake of testing decided to log in… OH NO!
  • crowded taskbar, why the hell do we want search, store and internet explorer there? I removed all unneeded things.

windows10tp_first_screen

  • start menu is “back” but it will not go away until you click somewhere else?
    – XPS viewer on my start menu??? Really? I NEVER EVER used that.
    – Powershell? I guess that’s just for advanced users and that they will remove it later
    – Notepad/Alarms/Paint is fine with me tho Notepad and Paint could be a bit improved, they both sucks sometimes. We are not asking for Notepad++ or Photoshop/GIMP, but it would be nice if we could do most of things with basic Windows tools, otherwise, just remove them and give us choice to download what we like.
    – Stock/Sports – I’m really not into this at all, can we pick what we want, don’t put shit there just to fill it with something
    – Uninstalling store app first disabled/removed my Start menu completely, how convenient!!!! But I guess that was a bug since it happened only once.

windows10tp_start_menu

  • Search is taking at least 30% of taskbar but it seems it’s not usable at all, well I NEVER used Windows search so I’ll remove it anyway.

windows10tp_search

  • Touch keyboard is nice feature, but I don’t need it here, just takes my precious space -> removed.
  • I have ADSL Internet connection so please stop forcing me to use Onedrive it’s useless for me. I want to sync my files at 03:00 or 04:00 when nobody is using Internet in my house, since there is no option to set up things like that I disabled this. I use Dropbox portable anyway.

windows10tp_onedrive

  • Notifications, I really do not understand why they decided to hide important notifications, it really dos not help as most of users are confused and call me that they lost it, and they don’t see it etc. Every single time I sit in front of someone’s PC this is the first thing I turn ON: Always show all notifications. Saves me big time troubleshooting.

windows10tp_notifications

  • System notifications: I never found good use of Action Center/Security Center so I always disable this.

windows10tp_system_notifications

  • Task Manager shows nothing, how useful :)))) And clicking more info throws you shitload of options, that’s good for IT’s like me but it would be useful if user could read some basic CPU/memory info without licking More info. This is useful as Network icon in taskbar. It’s easier to say to user to go: Start -> run, write down cmd, then write ipconfig so he can read IP address.

windows10tp_task_manager

windows10tp_processes

  • default Control panel view is still Category. I will never get used to this as I have to click more to get what I need. Small icons is the best thing and is easy to tell people open Control panel, then open “Network and Sharing Center” because if I tell them to open Network and Internet they will likely click “View network status and tasks” or “Choose homegroup and sharing options” and this will lead to waste of time for me and them.

windows10tp_default_control_panel

Ok, now let’s see how can we tweak this to see if I can strip down stuff that most of users never use anyway:

  • Defender -> turned off (never did find good use of any antivirus software)
  • Firewall -> turned off (I have Mikrotik router/firewall) so why waste PC resources
  • Security and Maintenance -> all turned off
  • Remove featurers from “Programs and Features”:
    – Edge CP model (I don’t need help)
    – Internet Explorer (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari…)
    – Media Features ( MPC HC and Kodi is way better)
    – Language Components
    – Print and Document Services (never used Internet printing and Fax)
    – RDC API as I use VNC/putty to access Windows/Linux machines
    – Work Folders Client (no server to test this…)
    – XPS (useless for me)

windows10tp_windows_feauters

  • System protection (no use as I do regular images backup to network drive/server)

windows10tp_resources

What I liked:

  • better service optimization -> less resources needed

… to be continued as no time right now ;P

27.05.2015. Update

I needed one more PC for learning C# so I found some scrap on my attic where is my workplace / storage and managed to build one:

workplace
Workplace

Gigabyte M61-SME-S2  with on-board Nvidia 6100 (later found 9600GSO with artifacts and fixed it with hairdryer :)
AMD 3600+ X2 (later decided to upgrade it to  AMD 7850 for 20€)
2 GB DDR2

So I installed Windows XP which worked like a charm and no issues, but had some free time and wondered if W10 would work on this old scrap… well apparently it worked as I’m typing now from Windows 10 build 10122.

As I was messing around with this PC and tried some old components I was surprised that W10 detected all hardware without a problem, and if there are no W10 drivers, old Vista/W7/8 will work too. Who knows maybe even XP 64bit drivers would work for some legacy hardware as they work in Windows 7. Didn’t try though.

Anyway, W10 looks much better, but still Metro apps are unstable, and they didn’t improve too many things people asked/begged them on Insider Hub. I just cant bear that they split some Control Panel options to Settings. I understand they need it for tablets but why remove it from Control panel?

Second, Metro apps are SLOW, buggy and unstable and they consume just too much memory. I wrote complaint about memory usage and slow start, but yeah they will not listen. I was stumped that one tiny app like calculator loads 1+ seconds, it’s just not instant! And consumes ~13MB of memory?

Calculator
Calculator

I mean I use Total Commander which consumes about 5-10MB but how can you compare TC with some … sry but SHITTY calculator? Metro platform is just bad now. Hope it will be drastically optimized in RTM.

Anyway, I tried to optimise it as much as possible disabling most of unwanted services and seems fine now. Lowest memory usage was only 0.5 GB and highest was 1GB (without any apps) so they did something with memory management and its working. On screenshot it’s with few apps (VNC/AIMP/XnView/Chromium).

Start menu
Start menu

Start menu is a little bit better but a bit laggy for my opinion. Not to mention it was severely bugged after updating W10 TP and I had to fix it with some powershell command I found on Google:

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

For some this worked for some it was not. Well it worked for me :)

Spartan browser newer worked for me, it’s just crashing and crashing in void. I know, stay away from it 😀 But I really wanted to try it. Ok, sometimes it works but then crashes without any error warning anything. Like any other Metro app.. just gone and that’s not promising.

As I have two hard drives I was surprised I’m not allowed to save to D: disk. I know they are worried about security, bla bla, but hey this is my second drive and I really want to save to root without messing with Group Policy.

I had some pain disabling Windows Defender as Windows denied disabling Defender services but managed to take it down with Group Policy. 10+ years without AV so I can live another 10 years without it!

Still no time to take deeper analysis so for now this is it.

31.05.2015. Update

It’s not been long and Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview build was updated to 10130, not too many new things, you can see them listed on Microsoft page.  Customizing Start Menu can break it so be careful, I for instance don’t like recent stuff on Start Menu so I removed it but then Start Menu was not responding. Got it back by turning on Tablet mode then turning it off.

Turn tablet mode on then off to fix Start Menu.
Turn tablet mode on then off to fix Start Menu.
Empty and cold Start Menu  in Windows 10 build 10130.
Empty and cold Start Menu in Windows 10 build 10130.

Virtual Desktops are finally marked so you can find the right one, but Metro apps are so slow it’s just terrible. Loading primitive apps like mail, calculator, alarm and clock, photos, etc takes ages.

If I fire up for instance XnView it’s up instant. Boom it just explodes and I can work with photos! And if I try to fire up “Photos” app it loads, then I have to wait and I’m already pissed and then it works… what is with that MS?