Windows OS Shouldn’t Be Regressing

Windows OS Shouldn’t Be Regressing | Ken Walker WriterWhile the tech world was abuzz recently over the news of a Windows 10 update coming this fall, I can’t profess to feel much excitement.

Not when I’m longing for the ease and intuitive features of Windows 7.

I got a reminder of how much I loved the older operating system when a friend who had been out of town for a while stopped by recently for a visit.

A gamer, he wanted to access our wireless network to download some older games that he can play offline.

Longing for the Past

After giving him the network key, I noticed his computer had a familiar appearance. When he confirmed it was Windows 7, I said with a sigh, “I’d give anything to be able to go back to that.”

That touched off a long conversation in which he recounted the headaches he experienced after downloading Windows 10.

He couldn’t get anything to work—literally. Finally, he called Microsoft. The computer techs installed a copy of Windows 7 on a thumb drive to boot up his system.

To his delight, it worked. The techs wiped 10 off his computer and he lived to see a brighter day.

Hesitating to a Mistake

The key to his success: acting quickly.

That’s something I desperately wish I had done last year, after seeing Windows 10 downloading itself onto my laptop.

Not sure how to stop it, I watched helplessly as it went through its paces. Then I decided that trying to revert to 7 would be as big a headache as learning how to maneuver my way through 10. Big mistake.

After more than a year of working in Windows 10, I still only have a cursory idea of what in the heck is going on. I find regularly myself escaping into nostalgia: if I could only go back to 7.  

Airing Complaints

Having rarely availed myself of Cortana, I’m not even sure how the message showed up a month or two ago. But there it was: someone with Microsoft asking if I would recommend Windows 10.

“No,” I quickly typed. “I hate it.”

That’s it. No one ever got back to me or ever asked for further feedback on why I felt this way.

But that’s the way of the modern world. Finding someone who would listen even listen to a complaint, let alone actually process it, is so futile and time-consuming you learn to just adjust and move on.

Were someone at Microsoft to listen, I would tell them the following:

  • Whose bright idea was Groove? I went into my settings and changed the way I listen to recordings back to Windows Media Player. At least I can figure out how it works.
  • By this many incarnations of one’s web browser, I would think you could up with something better than Edge. It reminds me of Internet Explorer, which is why I never use it.
  • The opening menus for files are also worse. Can’t we go back to the way they were in Windows 7?

Now, to be fair, I must say the photos that appear when my computer goes into screen saver mode are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. But not enough to compensate for the drawbacks.

Costly Conversions

Several friends and my brother, who have all converted to Macs, tell me that’s the only way to go. I always reply: “Two problems: cost and learning curve.”

I simply don’t have money or time to change to something else. But to me, trumpeting new developments in Windows 10 is like bragging about your Lamborghini when you can’t get your sedan started.

The Intrusive Operating System

The Intrusive Operating System | Windows 10I’m running Windows 10 now on my laptop—but not voluntarily. Now, I had already familiarized myself with Microsoft’s latest operating system over the past six months, having installed it on the desktop computer that serves as my back-up system.

Yet, the Windows 7 Ultimate that my grandson installed on his laptop before I bought it was the most user-friendly, easy-to-use operating system I ever ran. In fact, it made me detest the Windows 7 Home Premium I had installed on my desktop two years ago.

Given that I had until this July to download Windows 10 for free, and the fact that it takes an hour or two to install, I kept putting off the step. Even though I had tinkered around in Windows 10, I didn’t it that fantastic nor that huge a leap forward. Like XP before it, Windows 7 Ultimate worked just fine.

Involuntary Conversion

However, a few weeks ago as I went to open a file, my laptop started to shut down. Then a message popped up saying, “Downloading Windows 10 updates.”

“What?” I thought. “I didn’t ask for that.”

Not sure what to do to stop it, I watched helplessly as it took forever to reboot and then started into its extended installation phase.

Since this all began on the verge of an important interview, I frantically switched on another computer and searched for the file where I had stored the questions I wanted to ask.

Fortunately, that interview got postponed until later in the day because of the subject’s need to tend to a personal emergency. By the time we talked, my laptop was back in gear.

“You’re Getting New Tires!”

I wasn’t too happy about this forced conversion, though. It felt like someone walking up me at a red light, saying, “You’re getting new tires!” and proceeding to jack up my car and stick them on. That, even though the current tires were just fine.

In adThe Intrusive Operating System | It felt like someone walking up me at a red light, saying, “You’re getting new tires!” and proceeding to jack up my cardition to the “here comes your download” surprise, I didn’t care for the wrinkles posed by new file management and various copying, pasting and deleting options. Much of it struck me as a type of rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Sure, it’s different, but when you get down to it, how does it made things any better?

Then there was the noticeably slower processing when clicking on web links. But the feature that drove me absolutely nuts was the new photo viewer. After struggling mightily to download several photos, I talked to a friend who works in computer services at Marshall University, asking how I could return to Windows 7.

He gave me several options, but as I tinkered with them that night, I discovered how to return to the former photo viewer and make it the default selection for all pictures.

Leaving Well Enough Alone

Because downloading and viewing photos was no longer a hair-pulling challenge—and because I envisioned additional headaches if I tried to revert to Windows 7 without some kind of tech adviser on hand—I decided to let things be. At least, for the time being.

However, I can’t say I’m too pleased with the situation. You can imagine what you’d feel like if I walked up and started changing equipment on your car—whether you asked for it or not.