Y'all know how I always want all the Windows latest and greatest, right? So like a fool I installed Windows 10 Build 10074 on my laptop about a month ago. I have to say I loved me some 10074. The Start Screen was priceless and everything seemed really good. So when the new build came out (10122) of course I jumped on that, too, thinking "10074 good, 10122 better!". But it is not. The 10074 Start screen I once adored is gone. Instead of a long strip of a menu along the left and a perfectly centered set of Metro-style tiles I now have an off-center set of strangely even larger-looking Metro-style tiles, and no long strip of a Start menu at all.
So how does this confooblery come about? Well, I can't explain why MS messed with something perfect, making it decidedly less so, but I can explain that there is now a hamburger icon in place of the long, lean, left menu. Click it and poof! the left menu drops down out of nowhere. But won't stay...it can't, it's got a hot date. So as soon as you leave the Start screen for a desktop or applet or whatever, you have to click the hamburger icon again to re-access the (very busy) missing menu. This is what I call "hell", and I feel similarly about MS devs right now as I did when I wrote this and this about the devs over at Mozilla.
That was just the beginning of my problems with Windows 10, though. Unfortunately, I also put it on my phone, which was running the 8.1 Denim update before I shifted it over. Denim ran like a monkey with its tail wrapped around its neck...much slower than 8.1 Cyan, with no redeeming features to make the so-called upgrade worth the resulting slowdown (and that was without getting to try the "Hey, Cortana" feature I've been pining away for). So as I'd become a Windows Insider on my phone, anyway, just to get Denim, I figured what the hell...rather than roll back to Cyan, I'll try out the latest Win 10 phone build.
Before I start bitching about it, let me deliver a stern lecture to Win 10 phone devs - you had better unbarf-up all the things wrong with it because I really love this OS. I can't help that it self-destructs within a few hours, forcing me back to using Win 8.1. But you guys can make it stop self-destructing by its hopefully mid-summer release so I can try it out again. Because the way it looks, feels, operates and what it offers is all absolute genius compared to 8.1-anything but it's so damn buggy right now you basically can't use it at all.
Onto everything wrong with it...
- A lot of settings are hidden (go to Settings, search, type the letter "A", hit the back button, scroll down for an alphabetical list...it's the only way to find everything)
- The Start screen has once again been tampered with, making the tiles slightly bigger and much more ugly in some subtle way I can't quite explain
- Your first inkling the Win 10 phone OS will completely self-destruct is the bluish-black "Loading..." screen when you try to open any app. If you see this baby just once then get a Recovery Tool and start rolling back. I could've saved myself hours of confusion and mind-numbing grief if I'd only known. But no, of course I had to learn the hard way.
- Your other inkling of imminent OS self-destruction? App crash. As in...all of them. It started, as most things in the world of Windows do, with IE crashing. Oh, a mere IE crash...how routine. An IE crash cannot make me blink. 29 consecutive IE crashes might make my lids pop a little, but hey, I was raised in the old school of "Did you try restarting it?™" a registered Microsoft trademark. Us trained restarters know everything will go wrong with Windows but restarting will fix damn near all of it. (If not, then it's a virus.)
- But after six restarts all the apps crash and shit ain't funny anymore. Like my phone app is crashing now. Can't make calls. Settings are crashing. Can't change settings. After an hour or two I got freakin' scared, y'all...I need a fucking phone that actually dials numbers.
- So *sigh* like a fool I tried the "reset" button buried deep I don't even know where anymore within Settings (yes, after restarting my phone endless times just to get Settings to no longer crash). When the phone finished resetting an hour or so later it no longer had a phone app. Or a Messaging app. Or a Settings app. Or any of the stock AT&T apps. Or any of the Lumia apps. There was only one tile left on the Start screen (IE, wouldn't you know it?) and maybe six apps in the App folder, none of them related to making a phone call or sending a text message or using email in any way, shape or form. And Cortana, who never worked before I reset the phone, had also left for greener pastures.
- Now I was terrified, so I got online, got the Lumia Recovery tool, and I seem to have 8.1 back in working order. But if Win 10 for phones would just work (and not be the fastest and most vividly spectacular example of "vaporware" I've ever witnessed) I would cling to it forever.
So yeah, I'm distressed right now. I swore I wasn't going to perform any of the above hijinks in a previous discussion but, as usual, the "Don't touch the wet paint" signs have got the best of me.