Think of Windows 8/8.1 as an extended, really bad, no good, horrible nightmare. Microsoft’s woken up now. They fired almost everybody who ran the Win 8 operation, cleaned out the house, and brought in some truly gifted engineers. Windows 10’s a brand new day. Whether it’s your brand new day, well, that’s another story.

Windows 10 looks a little bit like Windows 7 and a little bit like Windows 8.1. It doesn’t work like either of them, but for the billion-and-a-half Windows users out there, at least it’s recognizable as Windows.

If you haven’t yet taken the plunge with Windows 10, I advise you to go slowly. Microsoft is furiously working on extending the product and shoring up problems. The Windows 10 you know today will change in a few months, and you may like the new one better. Before installing Windows 10, I would simply…count to ten.

For most Windows 8 and 8.1 users, Win 10 is a no-brainer. You can kvetch about some problems — the disappearance of Windows Media Center, for example — and Microsoft cloud storage OneDrive users are going to have a hard time adapting to the now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t interface (see Book VI, Chapter 2) until Microsoft figures out how to fix it. There are dozens of additional details, but by and large, Windows 10 is what Windows 8.1 should’ve been.

Windows 7 users, though, don’t have as much incentive to move to Windows 10. There are some good changes. Microsoft effectively ditched Internet Explorer and built a much lighter and more ...

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