Windows 10 launches to favorable reviews, cautions about bugs and feature gaps
Early reviews of Microsoft's latest operating system — released on Wednesday — have been generally positive, suggesting that it solves problems with Windows 8 while advancing the Windows platform towards the future.
Reviewer Tom Warren described Windows 10 as "hugely exciting," claiming that he rarely uses his MacBook Air anymore as a result. He praised aspects such as the return of the Start Menu, which incorporates Windows 8's tiles in a side panel, and features like integrated Cortana voice and text commands and solid built-in apps, such as Mail and Xbox.
The OS is still said to have some rough edges however, such as bugs, which in some scenarios can cause crashes and audio drop-outs. Other built-in apps are reportedly missing features, such as the new Web browser, Edge, which (temporarily) lacks extension support and makes it difficult to change the default search engine away from Bing.
Walt Mossberg, a long-time Apple fan, said Windows 10 was "probably not going to revolutionize PCs," but should make Windows users happy thanks to the Start Menu, Edge, and Cortana voice control. Apple's own voice assistant, Siri, has not made its way to desktops, Mossberg noted.
He nevertheless complained that there are bugs and other shortcomings, and promised to elaborate on them in a full-length article. Edge is said to have one significant new feature, which is the ability to sketch on webpages and share and save these annotations.
The Wall Street Journal
Joanna Stern came away impressed with Windows 10, but noted in her review that the new operating system actually ran best for her on Apple hardware. Her tests found the MacBook Air to be the best Windows 10 laptop available, using Apple's BootCamp to run the new update.
"It may not have a touchscreen," she wrote, "but it was snappier, and beat the Dell and Surface for normal scrolling and navigating. (The three-finger swipe wasn't enabled during my tests, however.) Windows 10 is in desperate need of a worthy PC laptop."
But while she was impressed with Windows 10, Stern said that Microsoft lacks the coherent ecosystem that Apple boasts. As a result, she won't be returning to Windows PCs full-time, and plans on remaining a Mac user — Â with Windows 10 installed on a separate partition.
The site argued that Windows 10 "bridges the gap between PCs and tablets without alienating anyone," by combining the best of Windows 7 and 8. It also noted that the upgrade is "mostly painless," and currently free for most users of Microsoft's last two operating systems.
Unlike some other reviews, CNet suggested that many new features, such as Continuum — which transitions smoothly between tablet and desktop modes — will be useless to people who don't have a touchscreen. It also said that Cortana is better for smartphones than computers, and warned that Microsoft's plan for automatic, mandatory updates could potentially cause trouble.
Long-time Microsoft-focused columnist Mary Jo Foley commented that she likes Windows 10 more than Windows 8, and is glad to have it on her touchscreen laptop, but is "not entirely sold" on installing it on her touchless desktop system. The OS is allegedly missing apps and functions that will make it feel finished, like fleshed-out OneDrive support, though major updates are coming this fall.
Foley noted that she doesn't need the Xbox app, Continuum, or even Mac-like desktop organization features such as Task View and Virtual Desktops. Things like Cortana and the new Start Menu were considered pluses though, as were Edge's speed and minimalism.