So I’ve been using Windows 10 since the Consumer Previews released via the Windows Insider Program (of which I’m still a member) with only a couple minor glitches and a single actual blue screen of death.
I know that because it is Windows this post will have lots of people who disagree with it. More so because this is about Windows 10. To those detractors who can’t say anything good about Windows 10, I ask you to remember Windows XP’s release when everybody complained about the changes and then think about how fast everybody (including me) figured out that XP was a great platform for work and play. Yes Microsoft has made some missteps throughout it’s history, but they have also done a reasonable job of responding to the community of users and fixing the issues. Give Windows 10 a chance, once you get used to some changes, minor and a few major, you may be surprised to find you like it.
I have to say that I’m very happy with it performance wise and with its stability. It starts faster than Windows 7 or 8/8.1 on the same hardware and to date has run all my software without requiring me to go buy an upgrade for it. That said, some software will require an upgrade to run which you may or may not need to pay for.
My basic use scenario is web surfing for research and Microsoft Office most of the time with photo/video editing and some rare gaming thrown in the rest of the time.
Software that I would suggest for most people to add based on my experience:
- VLC Player – http://videolan.org – For DVD and Blueray playback since Microsoft has really limited this in Win 10.
- CCleaner – http://www.piriform.com – For basic system maintenance.
- Backupper – http://aomeitech.com – for cloning and backing up your drives/data as needed.
- Adobe Reader – http://get.adobe.com/reader – Because Microsoft’s builtin PDF reader does not work with third party apps consistently.
- You office suite of choice, I prefer Office 365 which I subscribe to. LibreOffice and OpenOffice both work as well if they meet your needs.
- Google Chrome – https://www.google.com/chrome – My personal choice of alternate browser for limited Flash support.
- Mozilla Firefox – http://www.mozilla.com – Also a good alternate browser, support Flash and Java still for the time being.
- Paint.NET – http://www.getpaint.net – Free image editing software for Windows. It’s not PhotoShop, but it is easy to learn and relatively powerful.
- Microsoft Live Essentials- http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/essentials – For those who don’t need a full blown Office installation with Outlook this includes a more basic POP/IMAP capable mail client that works with third party software email links, something Windows 10 Mail can’t do yet. Choose a custom install and just install the Mail and maybe Writer if you like to blog and want a simple blogging client for WordPress or Blogger and the like.
- Anti-Malware/Anti-Virus – This really should go without saying, but everybody has a preference. Install your choice solution and protect your computer. Personally I use Vipre from http://www.threattracksecurity.com and have been very happy with it’s low impact on system performance and effective protection. If you choose to run Windows 10 without third party protection, Microsoft has beefed up the internal protection in Windows 10 and I have a test bed that I leave up all the time and surf from some which so far still scans clean with third party scans after 6 months of nearly continuous running.