From Windows 7 to Windows 10 and back again
I just downgraded my Windows 10 machine back to Windows 7. If you aren’t PC literate, this means I intentionally reverted back to an older operating system. It’s like trading in your 2015 Lexus for a 2008 Honda Accord. It took a few days to actually make the conversion. One of the niceties about Windows 10 was the less rebooting every time you changed a driver. I forgot about that and was reminded of it by Windows 7. Every driver install. Reboot. Windows 7 required no less than 250 updates after it was installed which meant A LOT of rebooting. Windows 10 is more polished than Windows 8.1 was and felt like more of an upgrade when I initially installed in back in 2016. Windows 8 was Vista revisited.
Many of my annoyances with Windows 10 are about little things. Things that use to take me 1-2 clicks in Windows 7 began taking 3-5 in Windows 10. For example, if you are accessing a wireless network like at…Starbucks….you’ll have two clicks to go online in Windows 7. In Windows 10, I have 4+ including having to click on the annoying “show available networks” link from a huge Windows 10 pop up window I didn’t have in Windows 7. I understand why Microsoft did it. They were attempting to integrate a mouse based system with a touchscreen based system. On this respect, they did a great job with Windows 10. That’s no easy task. Perhaps in a decade, we truly will have PCs that look and feel like Star Trek where you touch the screen and talk to the PC. But I don’t have that. I have a laptop with a pointy device. I’ll admit I might feel differently about Windows 10 if I had a touch screen based laptop, but I don’t so for me I didn’t like having to take the extra steps.
But there’s another issue out there about Windows 10 and it’s a big one. It’s the 800 lb guerrilla issue of Windows 10: forced updates. Before I went to law school, I use to work in Information Technology (IT). So I understand the need for updates because I was on the side of supporting PCs in a corporate environment. But I absolutely detest forced updates. No. I hate them. I hate forced updates. And I’m not alone. There’s been a groundswell of criticism regarding forced updates that has peculated in forums across the internet. You won’t find much about this issue in any IT trade journal or conventional IT media. They toe the corporate line of take your medicine. When the IT media was confronted by us angry peasant-network-users about this new “feature”, they downplayed our criticisms. Woody Leonhard, a blow-hard apologist for Computer World,
demonstrates the prevalent media attitude towards us peasant-network-users. Woody Leonhard’s message is read your EULA and go pound sand you worthless peasant.
I’ve wondered if Microsoft really worked hard at making these forced updates the most miserable experience possible. Have you ever noticed that Microsoft forces them upon you at the least desirable time? Microsoft claims Windows 10 has a built in feature that allows you to set your forced updates to install while you sleep. I set my for 3 AM. Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, the system doesn’t update at 3 AM because the computer always seems to be sleeping. Microsoft also thinks it’s important we peasant-network-users conserve electricity. Who knew Microsoft would be as bad as the EPA? I really don’t want my computer to sleep. I’d prefer to keep it running non-stop so it’s always on and ready. Plus, if it would stay on, maybe the 3 AM forced update feature might not be so bad? But it doesn’t. Microsoft waits until you really want to use your computer and then it spits this dreaded message across your screen:
This all boiled to a head for me last summer. I had a last minute motion that needed to be filed and we were against a deadline. I was working in both Microsoft Word and Excel preparing pleadings and converting them to pdf’s for uploading through ECF. I needed about 15 more minutes to finish the job and get the motion filed. That’s when Windows 10 decided it was time to update. The OS instituted a forced reboot on me at the worst possible time. I was not a happy camper and I’ve never forgotten about this incident. Is it sad that I find it somewhat therapeutic that I am comforted by the knowledge that others have experienced my displeasure with forced updates? Misery loves company, right?
Well not this morning. I arrived to a machine still up and running from the night before. No mandatory sleep. No forced updates. Just my good ol’ plain Windows 7. It’s good to have you back.