Microsoft’s Windows 10 April Update reviewed

I remember at one point in my life being so excited that I finally had Windows XP! No more boring Windows 98 grey taskbar uglying up my sweet desktop made up of bright neon colors with low-res bitmap images copy-pasted onto them! Those were the heady days of the post-2000s, when I was a teenager with a Pentium II desktop with Windows XP and Starcraft. How times have changed. Now I’m a fat old man with a faster desktop, still banging away on Windows playing similar games.

Windows 10 launched roughly three years ago in the summer of 2015. Microsoft later announced that the operating system would receive regular bi-annual feature updates. We’ve just witnessed the launch of one of them for 2018. The imaginatively-named April Update appeared literally on the last day of that month, though you may not have it installed yet. Since you’re no doubt dying to know what the new features in this update are, let’s get started.

Timeline

The most significant addition is the new organizational feature named Timeline. This interface replaces the old task view brought up by Win+Tab. When Timeline is activated, you’ll see a wall with a historical overview of opened browser pages and Office files, along with items opened in third-party applications, if developers add the necessary integration. Windows now remembers what you’ve been working on over the last hours, days, or even weeks. The operating system can also sync this data across your devices if you choose.


Timeline currently displays websites and Office documents from each day, and can even display per-hour app history.

Think of Timeline like browser history, but for potentially everything on your computer and across all your PCs. Were you working with specific websites and Word, say for a Windows April update review on your desktop, and you’re now on your laptop? Simply open Timeline and there’s everything you were working on, ready to be recalled. For now, Timeline is mostly just used by Microsoft apps, as third parties need to update their applications to support it. Timeline support in Chrome is currently MIA, for example. The data sync functionality currently works only on Windows, though Microsoft announced that Timeline support is coming to Edge on iOS and to Android via the Microsoft launcher.

As far as I’m concerned, Timeline works and does what’s advertised. If configured right, it can be quite an excellent feature, and I’m eagerly looking forward to it working on my OnePlus 5T.

Progressive Web Apps

Another major change in Windows 10 is the addition of Progressive Web App (PWA) support, part of an ongoing joint effort by Microsoft, Apple, and Google. This feature may have a larger long-run impact on the Windows 10 ecosystem than any other change in this update. Essentially, PWA support lets websites run web-based apps that appear to the user as native applications. This means web apps can install local shortcuts, notify the user without a browser being open, and behave largely as people expect from a locally-installed application.


Twitter’s PWA doesn’t yet have Live Tile support, but does support push notifications to a desktop.

PWAs let you go to a website, click “download app,” and see a new shortcut or icon on your phone or PC, all without ever visiting an app store. Microsoft had initially required PWA apps to be listed in the store, but pulled this requirement at the Build conference. Ideally, you shouldn’t need to know if the app you’re running is native or web-based. There’s cross-platform support for PWA applications in Windows 10, Android, and iOS.

The chicken-and-egg problem

Whether the needed developer support for PWA and Timeline appears is yet to be seen. Given that Edge currently sits at less than two million downloads on Android and the Microsoft launcher at ten million, the potential number of non-PC users for Timeline isn’t that big. As a result, additional developer support might be a long time coming unless Timeline’s APIs are very simple to use.

I couldn’t find download numbers for Edge on iOS, but it has roughly one-sixth as many App Store reviews compared to the Play Store. That means actual installations are likely few and far between. The iTunes 17+ rating probably isn’t helping, either. At Build, Microsoft pitched its Android launcher at businesses, but whether it’ll be adopted remains to be seen. The fact that most of the Timeline functionality requires you to opt in also means many people will miss out on it.

For those of us who loved Windows Phone devices, PWA support could be a game changer if it plays out according to plan. Like with Timeline, that support is a big “if.” Microsoft’s My People, which appeared in the Fall Creators Update, is also a potentially useful feature that has had basically no developer support. For those interested in PWA technology, Twitter has a write-up on how it built the Twitter Lite PWA.

 

Fluent design and UI tweaks

Microsoft is addressing common complaints about Windows 10’s inconsistent UI, though perhaps not exactly in the expected way. In another swing of the pendulum between flat and glassy user-interface stylings, Windows 10 is doubling down on the new Fluent design language. Fluent includes lots of transparency, lighting, motion, and depth effects, coupled with variety of materials. A fancy transparent-blur material called Acrylic is part of the package. Other materials will come, but right now Acrylic blur is going everywhere, making Windows look not unlike iOS. Mouse pointers now have a light-based hover effect over supported materials, something that makes finding your cursor easier and that I think looks quite attractive.


Fluent design currently looks quite like iOS, but will have additional textures added as time goes on.

The new effects can be seen in the Start Menu, Settings, numerous UWP apps, and the updated-and-improved on-screen keyboard. They will eventually make their way into more of Windows 10. Personally, I care about how shiny my OS looks and I do quite like these UI tweaks. I ran Compiz for years even though it made my Ubuntu PC lag heavily.

Game Bar

Microsoft also overhauled the design of Windows’ Game Bar design for this update. The functionality of this widget remains the same, though, and to be honest, I’m not sure the new version is an improvement. The pop-up bar incorporates transparency effects and is now much larger. It also now pops up from the right side of the screen to alert you it exists every time you start a game. Game Bar joins Nvidia’s GeForce Experience in offering another overlay I don’t want or need warnings about. Even with the old version, I don’t remember ever thinking “gosh, this bar is too small and doesn’t annoy me enough.”


The Game Bar now has controls for mics and video, but otherwise is just bigger with more prompts.

The updated Game Bar does make broadcasting vastly easier to setup, share, and view than other methods, since it incorporates Xbox Live and Mixer by default. Other streaming setups require you to download, install and configure third-party utilities like Open Broadcaster Software, while Game Bar requires just a button push to put its user on the air. It had a few hiccups when it first launched, but now it seems to work fine.

Near Share

Windows now includes a clumsily-named Near Share feature that makes it easier to share files easier locally by sending them over Bluetooth. Near Share’s functionality is opt-in and works largely like Apple’s AirDrop. However, it’s currently restricted to PCs only. Once Near Share is activated in Settings, click “share” then pick a computer from the list. You can share sites, photos, and files.


See the TV I want to buy? I can send this link to the bedroom computer my wife is on, where she can easily decline my request!

Near Share seems to Just Work, though speeds are restricted to Bluetooth’s low transfer rate. It’s a handy feature, particularly for business environments or when you want your wife to see something cool but there’s no way she’s getting out of bed. In my testing the transfer was reliable, but if you haven’t changed your PCs’ names from Windows’ automatically-assigned monikers, it can be confusing to figure out which computer is which.

 

Edge

Microsoft sharpened Edge in the April Update. That refinement includes the usual bug fixes, security, and performance improvements that always come with an update, but there are also some UI tweaks and new functionality. There’s now a form-filling feature, clutter-free printing that puts the kibosh on ads, and the ability to mute specific tabs.

The browser’s eBook reader functionality has been improved and now includes support for notes, a read-aloud mode, and a scrubber. Edge is a decent-enough eBook reader, but most people will probably stick with their Kindle app. Buying or reading purchased books in Edge is still a USA-only affair, something that’s part of a larger problem for Microsoft (and that we’ll come back to later).


The new Hub is wider, prettier, and more functional. As since I’m in Canada, I don’t have access to books.

The Hub where Edge stores all your books, downloads, history, and favorites has been changed to expand dynamically. It does look better, but I’ve always found the Hub a confusing setup. In my experience, new Edge users can’t seem to find the downloads or favorites section of the browser. I think the Hub’s combined star-hamburger icon is misleading and needs to be changed. It’s ambiguous for new users and probably hurting the uptake of what is now an actually pretty good browser.

Edge is already reliable, fast, and the inclusion of new Fluent design elements means it’s probably the most attractive browser on the market. The Windows 10 Pro version now includes Windows Defender Application Guard for those who enable it. Essentially a virtual sandbox, Application Guard should improve security for those who frequent less-virtuous parts of the internet. Overall, Edge is a perfectly usable browser, and many popular extensions are now available. I switched away from Vivaldi to Edge thanks to the improved integration between Android and Windows, and I’m mostly satisfied with my choice.

Cortana

Cortana got some new smarts in the April Update, although I’m not sure it’s progressed as Microsoft originally planned. The card-based system of the past is on the way out, and you can no longer click the icon to see what’s happening in your day. Instead, the main Cortana screen is wider and more integrated with Timeline. That means that while the search functionality remains pretty much the same, the display of useful info like the weather, calendar events, and news gives way to a Timeline display. Cortana’s alerts and notifications now live in the Action Centre.

The assistant is apparently now focused on providing information without a user prompt, like helping you shop on Amazon when using the Edge browser, making lists, or alerting you if an eBay package has shipped. Cortana can still perform typical tasks, though, like receiving and sending SMS messages, telling you the weather, or opening a program.


Cortana’s new Timeline integration moves much  of the old information to the Action Centre. Clicking it is more of a quick launch than anything else.

You can add third-party “skills” to Cortana, and in the update the skills management screen has been moved to the Cortana Notebook, making it easier for users to find it. While Cortana skills have been growing in both number and quality, they’re entirely USA-only. That’s right: the bulk of improvements to the assistant over the last year have been available exclusively to one country only. That restriction is still in effect even after the April Update.

Judging from this year’s Build conference, it seems that Microsoft wants to move and position Cortana as a productivity assistant and mostly leave the consumer-focused skills to Alexa. Microsoft announced a partnership with Amazon to mind-meld Cortana and Alexa a year ago, and we’re starting to see the fruits of that work now. I’m not totally sold on voice assistants generally, and don’t regularly use them on my devices. Having said that, I’ve tried to use all the major ones quite a bit (except for Siri) in the expectation that they could do what I wanted them to, not what the companies wanted them to. Perhaps one day we will get our own version of Iron Man‘s Jarvis?

Odd bits and bobs

There are some other minor changes in this update. The built-in Do Not Disturb mode is now named Focus Assist, and by default, it won’t bug you if you’re gaming. There are some improvements to pen input, the best of which is that you can now write in any supported text box, not just the large text box that sits where the on-screen keyboard lies. The combination of pen support and OneNote is excellent, and any student going without a pen setup in 2018 is missing out, particularly in the field of sciences.

Microsoft also improved data usage management, and you now have more control over your device’s data usage, including the ability to set limits. Improved privacy controls have come along for the ride, too. A new and simpler Bluetooth pairing method has also been added. Simply put a supported device into pairing mode and Windows will pop up a prompt to pair. Click it, and you’re connected.

Homegroup has also been completely removed, and I lost all network shares on my home network thanks to that. I had to do a full Windows reset on one of my PCs to get it to see the other machines on the network. On another machine, I had to dive through numerous networking services and set them to to automatically start, since they suddenly stopped doing that. One of the PCs is a Skylake system and the other is Haswell-based, so neither machine is exactly ancient. For me, this update was the most problematic of any yet on Windows 10, and I’d advise caution when installing it on a system-critical PC.

 

Conclusion

This update’s headlining items are Timeline and Progressive Web Apps (PWA) support, along with the necessary backend changes for those two features. Timeline is a strong addition to cross-platform and multi-device work scenarios, but we’ll have to wait to see if it gets the developer support it needs to truly free us from being tied to a single device. Meanwhile, PWA support could help bring a new generation of easily-installed apps regardless of what platform you choose. Near Share is a welcome addition, and the ability to easily transfer files and small bits of data using only OS functionality is more useful than I was expecting.

Features like Near Share bring the Windows ecosystem on par with the competition in many ways, and the added cross-platform functionality is handy and will only be growing in the future. I think April’s improvements to the UI are welcome, and I look forward to more consistency in Windows.

Cortana continues to evolve, and we’ll have to see how the Microsoft-Amazon deal works out regarding voice controls in the future. Edge is finally a strong browser, and one I’m now comfortable recommending. Its feature set is complete, particularly to the eyes of your average user. The fact that it looks pretty helps, too, as does the improved security for Windows Pro users. Pen input in the April Update is excellent, and Windows has what’s probably the best pen support of any operating system. Better privacy control, Focus Assist’s improved Do Not Disturb mode, and better data cap management tools round out this update.

However, Microsoft has a rather significant problem with some of its most important functionality being restricted to the USA, and I’m not sure why. Almost all of Cortana’s more powerful abilities and numerous other Microsoft platform features only work in the States. The company has a long history of offering little to no support for major products outside the US. For a tech company of this size and of this importance, it’s embarrassing and likely hurts its perception and that of its products. It’s simply unfathomable in 2018, and Microsoft’s had this issue for decades. It’s not like the company can’t afford some additional engineers, too.

The upcoming Windows 10 Redstone 5 update is currently previewing in the Insider program, and it looks like it’ll have more significant feature changes when it launches this fall. Keep your eyes on it if you’re brave enough to use a beta OS. All in all, Windows 10 continues to be a strong operating system, and the April update lays the foundation for bigger things to come.

Josh Pozzolo

I WRITE ON THE TECH REPORT ABOUT ALL THE IMPORTANT STUFF YOU WANNA READ

Comments closed
    • End User
    • 1 year ago

    I’ve got two desktop Windows PCs and Windows laptop so having something to share workflows across multiple machines sounds cool. Unfortunately, Timeline/Suggestions is absolute garbage. Thank heavens I can disable both.

    Combining Timeline/Suggestions into the show desktops UI is a slap across the face to end users.

    • Shobai
    • 1 year ago

    This update is the gift that just keeps giving: my preferences, on my work machine, have apparently been reset to default. How would you tell how many have changed?

    ‘Category’ view, rather than small icons, for Control Panel, and Power Options back to ‘sleep after 2 hrs’ at a bare minimum.

      • Shobai
      • 1 year ago

      Oh, and immediately after the installation finished: [url=http://imgbox.com/iiIlJ16e<]"Select Troubleshoot"[/url<]

    • Convert
    • 1 year ago

    SSK – Thank you very much for this review, I’d really like to see more of the Win10 changes noted in the future. I try to keep on top of the changes but it seems more often than not I read the “This is what’s coming, in a few months, maybe” and then I can’t find a follow up article laying out the final changes and how it all really works in detail.

    Again, this review was much appreciated!

      • derFunkenstein
      • 1 year ago

      +3 – same here. I had no idea some of that stuff was in there, and it’s nice to read about things that might be useful.

    • Shobai
    • 1 year ago

    Hold hard: where’d the power menu go from the lock screen?! Do I really now have to log in to power off? Or am I just missing the obvious, somewhere?

      • EzioAs
      • 1 year ago

      I can still see it on the bottom right corner.

        • Shobai
        • 1 year ago

        It’s there on my work PC, where the upgrade process was straightforward. On my own PC, where it seems like perhaps a refresh-install has occurred [I have a mass of dead links to programs that were previously installed and are now completely gone…] it did not appear when I looked. I’ll check it out again tonight, hopefully.

        • Shobai
        • 1 year ago

        Here goes nothing: [url=http://imgbox.com/Vme1VT93<]a shot of the lock screen on my personal PC, showing the lack of power menu[/url<]. [edit1: fix url] [edit2: running Pro, it turns out it's fairly easy to re-enable: there's a Local Security Policy entry for it].

    • dragontamer5788
    • 1 year ago

    Okay, I was trying to share files through Homegroups. I thought it was “buggy” but I didn’t realize that the latest update straight-up removed homegroups from Win10.

    I was video editing: so we’re talking about ~10GB of files for this one task I was working on. I ended up pulling out my hard-drive and transfers from my laptop -> hard drive -> desktop computer in that manner, but that’s obviously non-ideal. And these sorts of tasks can go up to 50GB to 100GB (so USB Flash drives don’t work).

    I preferred Homegroups for this kind of sync: its local and can handle that level of load. I’d hate to have to use my NAS to do Laptop -> NAS -> Desktop, but is that the only way to handle this kind of local file sharing now?

      • bfar
      • 1 year ago

      This drove me mad. Is there no other way to do this now?

        • sweatshopking
        • 1 year ago

        You can still transfer files. It is just handled through network discovery instead of homegroup. Essentially the same but without needing the setup and the password.

    • chrcoluk
    • 1 year ago

    PWA just seems a massive security/privacy problem waiting to happen.

    I dont like this drive from the OS vendors on making it easier for app developers to invade devices. Its all about handing control from end users to developers.

    • auxy
    • 1 year ago

    [i<]reads complaining about Windows 10 features added since v1607[/i<] [i<]laughs in LTSB[/i<] ( *´艸`)

    • chuckula
    • 1 year ago

    Screwed with the networking on my Xeon-D server by claiming that it “can’t find the driver” for a fully functional Intel NIC.

    But after a few reboots the problems magically fixed themselves.

    Thanks Microsoft [just wait until I don’t need an SQL server installation… just wait].

    • ptsant
    • 1 year ago

    Edge is surprisingly fast and much, much faster than firefox on my system. Maybe it’s because of the (few) plugins that I use, but the difference is astounding.

    I hope some of the more interesting features get traction. Unfortunately, this is not always the case when MS innovates. See Windows Phone (which was great!) as an example.

    • ermo
    • 1 year ago

    This is one of the better reviews I’ve read in a while. Do keep doing these. :thumbsup:

    I don’t use voice assistants and only use Windows in the Wintendo sense and where the functionality doesn’t yet exist on Linux, but still…:

    [quote<]Perhaps one day we will get our own version of Iron Man's Jarvis?[/quote<] Yes, PLEASE! \o/

    • NimbusTLD
    • 1 year ago

    I was looking forward to some of your trademarked frametime performance testing! Came away disappointed 🙁

    Any chance you can do this? I’m reading conflicting anecdotes on whether this update introduces stutter, or removes stutter introduced in previous updates.

    A big thank you in advance 🙂

    • odizzido
    • 1 year ago

    W10 just pisses me off anytime I have to deal with it. It’s garbage.

      • elites2012
      • 1 year ago

      what problems to you have with it? im just curious.

        • odizzido
        • 1 year ago

        For me personally, essentially removal of features, loss of control, and ads. Some people have their OS reset on them in the middle of doing things. I constantly hear about drivers and programs being removed. W10 is a nightmare, I honestly don’t understand why people use it.

          • meerkt
          • 1 year ago

          What about the GUI design and looks?

    • DPete27
    • 1 year ago

    Homegroup is gone? Have they replaced it with something else?

      • ptsant
      • 1 year ago

      The homegroup still works, but is not shown. You might have to type the address to your shares manually. Ie if you enter the address that you used previously, the files will be shown.

      The replacement has been present in W10 for some time and is based on network discovery and per-user access. I don’t know how it is called, but it is supposed to be more transparent, and therefore much more cumbersome to debug when things go wrong, which is often.

        • chrcoluk
        • 1 year ago

        funny that things that get removed tend to not be talked about in articles.

    • setaG_lliB
    • 1 year ago

    Windows 10 seems to need a beefy CPU to really pull off that quick and responsive feel. My work laptop (i5-7200U, 860 EVO SSD) has a fresh install of the April update. I swear, the only thing that seems to truly benefit from the SSD is boot time. Launching programs–especially many at once–just isn’t as speedy as it should be. It’s almost as if my applications are loading off of a really fast HDD rather than an SSD. The CPU fan ramps up too, leading me to believe that the performance bottleneck is the processor.

    My Win7 desktop at home is powered by a much older 4.6GHz 4930K, and it has a lot more get-up-and-go. I don’t think it’s only the processor that’s making the difference. Win7 in general just feels less…single threaded.

      • sweatshopking
      • 1 year ago

      You’re comparing a heavily multithreaded CPU to a dual core. That’s likely driving the noticeable difference. Performance hasn’t increased all THAT much since Haswell.

        • Redocbew
        • 1 year ago

        The i5-7200U is also a dual core chip, but dual core with hyperthreading. Not sure if that’s what you meant by “heavily multithreaded”.

        Edit: I’m a numpty. Nevermind.

          • Vaughn
          • 1 year ago

          His point is 2 core + 2 hyperthreaded cores does not equal the performance of 4 real cores.

          Not to mention the Desktop cpu tends to have larger caches and more TDP to play with higher clock speed, Faster Ram etc.

          That is why the desktop feels faster.

            • Redocbew
            • 1 year ago

            Yes, that’s true. It’s a common misconception that hyperthreading does that when in fact it does not.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 1 year ago

            Yeah and the difference is magnified when you’re talking about a 50% clock speed boost on top of 200% more cores and threads (the 4930K is a 6-core chip). The desktop might be older and have Ivy Bridge E but that extra memory bandwidth and the extra cores/clock/cache all make a huge difference. As it should for 5x the TDP.

      • Waco
      • 1 year ago

      6 cores versus 2 cores and a dramatic difference in TDP. Why is this surprising? 😛

        • synthtel2
        • 1 year ago

        Because CPUs like those two feel notably more differentiated in Win10 than in Win7 or Linux. With high-end CPUs, any of the OSes are fast enough it doesn’t much matter, but basic desktop stuff in a non-Gnome Linux setup is very much snappier (and more reliable IME) than Win10 on weaker CPUs.

          • Waco
          • 1 year ago

          Windows 10 is a very different beast than 7 or most *nice variants.

            • synthtel2
            • 1 year ago

            Different than *nix, certainly – that’s more of a reference point to show that OSes don’t have to be slow. I haven’t heard of any particular changes from 7 advertised that seem likely to be responsible for this, though, and IME 7 still handles weak CPUs far better than 10.

            If it’s supposed to be about security, 10’s general non-determinism (especially on weak CPUs) and as obvious a security issue as spurious wifi auto-connects having slipped through the net make it difficult for me to trust, even if some improvements under the hood are great.

            • Waco
            • 1 year ago

            I would bet a lot of it can be attributed to Windows 10’s tendency to thread out a lot more than Windows 7 – so if your CPU has 4 threads, all will go active, and the clocks will drop proportionally. On a Windows 7 install, one core/thread can peg at max turbo for quite a bit longer. I’ve found Windows 7 and 10 pretty interchangeable in terms of performance (even on cheap CPUs) if you have realtime virus protection running in Windows 7.

            • synthtel2
            • 1 year ago

            Idle CPU use is still very low (when WU isn’t running) though, and if the OS is doing stuff because the program the user is interacting with asked it to, anything they can do (including spinning off a thread or two even at 2C4T) to get results back quicker should be a win for most programs. If that synchronous kind of work is bogging things down, either they’re burning a lot more total cycles on some manner of real work, or MS screwed something up. Asynchronous work branching off from user actions (like real-time AV) could definitely bog things down if multithreaded (or if it’s heavy on memory access), but that sounds like work that should stay single-threaded and have memory access efficiency prioritized over computational efficiency for exactly this reason.

            Basically, if threading itself is mainly responsible, Win10’s threading has got serious problems.

            One impression I definitely get from Win10 is that a lot of work that would be better off synchronous got turned asynchronous, but that’s again more of a clue than a cause.

            • Waco
            • 1 year ago

            It should be, but older CPUs sometimes throttle down a LOT more when loaded up with threads versus a single heavy thread. Threading out is generally good but there’s overhead associated – if you end up splitting a single heavy task into multiple smaller ones that all somehow end up running slower thanks to TDP limits / turbo limits, it’s not too surprising that things are slower overall.

            • synthtel2
            • 1 year ago

            I was filing most of that under “MS screwed something up”. IMO, most OS work that can’t get fairly linear gains from multithreading shouldn’t be multithreaded – when 4C8T CPUs are the baseline that can be relaxed a bit, but there are rarely so many CPU cycles to go around at 2C4T that an OS (which should have “stay out of the way of the real work” as a high priority) can afford to burn them on threading overhead.

            If something the OS needs to do is time-critical and can be multithreaded with near full per-clock efficiency, it’d have to be a pretty weird situation for turbo effects to make that work complete later when threaded than when not. Doubling threads doesn’t halve clocks.

            The remaining problem should be the case where the OS goes to this trouble to speed up work that might be time-critical but actually isn’t. If a program has a soft real-time thread and a background thread, and the OS keeps bringing all of the CPU’s power budget and/or memory bandwidth to bear on the background thread, that’ll be a problem. Win10 on weak CPUs still feels more consistently bad than that to me though, unless they’re going so far as to regularly over-subscribe thread counts, in which case it’s right back to “MS screwed something up”.

            • tipoo
            • 1 year ago

            Interesting theory and jives with what I’ve noticed – the problem not being that Windows 10 uses too few threads, rather it seems to use all I can throw at it. Perhaps it needs to be smarter and realize sometimes more threads don’t scale performance enough to offset the lower turbo clocks.

      • ermo
      • 1 year ago

      I see the same difference from my dual-core i5 6xxx w/16 GB RAM ThinkPad vs. my old i7 3770k@4.2 GHz 32GB desktop, even if both use an SSD.

      Quite frankly the difference is startlingly in favour of the desktop.

      • ptsant
      • 1 year ago

      Isn’t the 4930K faster in aggregate performance? Sure, the 7200U may turbo a single core higher for something like 1.5sec, before it exceeds its TDP.

      You may also suffer from some bug or driver incompatibility or some pesky antivirus or defender setting. Can’t say. Win 10 seems pretty fast in every PC I have, with the exception of boot times in PCs without SSD.

      • joselillo_25
      • 1 year ago

      I should live in another world. My ancient Q6600 sits at 5-10% max with this tech report tab open in chrome.

      windows 10 is the best OS I have ever used in this machine, that have go from xp-vista-7-8-10. The people that said that w10 takes a lot of resources probably are smoking something illegal.

        • synthtel2
        • 1 year ago

        Four real cores is a pretty significant advantage, and this problem doesn’t seem to be reflected in idle CPU consumption.

        There were already hints that memory performance doesn’t matter for this, and aside from memory performance, a Q6600 is still a fine CPU.

      • khelben1979
      • 1 year ago

      The truth is Microsoft has difficulty limiting functions to it’s applications, that’s why you get the sluggish performance. Just look at what they did to Skype, not pretty!

      • tipoo
      • 1 year ago

      >Win7 in general just feels less…single threaded.

      I’ve noticed the rest of what you’re talking about, with the caveat to this point that it actually seems very threaded, Win10 will use all my cores appropriately if I watch it for a while just doing things like opening explorer or task manager. The question is more why it needs all that CPU, since it doesn’t seem single thread bound.

      My work laptop has a 3Gb/s SSD and I notice the same, Windows 10s early builds seemed to be some of the fastest Windows since 7 but the subsequent builds seem to have higher overhead, this SSD doesn’t seem as fast as it should and every little thing seems to peg the CPU cores.

      That desktop is still more powerful than your laptop though, four physical high performance cores seem like what it takes to make Win10 feel fluid.

    • albundy
    • 1 year ago

    wow, that’s awesome! so how can we disable all this crap?

      • DragonDaddyBear
      • 1 year ago

      I’m sure there is a GPO for it that is hidden deeply in the documentation.

    • swaaye
    • 1 year ago

    It broke Bluetooth volume adjustment. I get a weird beep sound when I try to change windows master volume and it just either goes max volume or mute.

    Tried a in place update install and no fix. Also reinstalled Bluetooth driver and tried repairing the sound bar.

      • e1jones
      • 1 year ago

      I’ve seen something similar. A – windoze no longer remembers the volume between either sleeping or the bluetooth head phones reconnecting while charging and B – I get the annoying beep as I lower the volume via my keyboard volume roller. I guess at least the volume does change ~

      oi….

    • tipoo
    • 1 year ago

    Fluent design is great.

    They just need to start deprecating their other 6 UI designs.

      • tay
      • 1 year ago

      Clever

        • tipoo
        • 1 year ago

        No like there’s 6 literal different Windows UI paradigms that all exist within 10 lol, you can still find a Vista era menu here, a 98 icon there.

        I like Fluent, but then Fluent /all the things/.

    • Shobai
    • 1 year ago

    Wow, SSK, I knew you were in the upper echelon at both TR and MS, but to have had this update installed since January (as per that last pic) you’re obviously positioned higher than I gave you credit for!

      • jihadjoe
      • 1 year ago

      For reals! I thought the sweatshop would be some garments factory in Bangladesh, but it turns out SSK is a far bigger king than I gave him credit for.

    • Vaughn
    • 1 year ago

    I can’t even install it I still get a Error 0xc1900101.

    And with the home group removed I see that causing problems on my side so maybe its best that it won’t install.

      • sweatshopking
      • 1 year ago

      The goal is that sharing is just handled without home group. You would have similar functionality, generally, without the need for configuring. That’s the idea anyway. Once I reset and configured it it’s been consistent.

    • anotherengineer
    • 1 year ago

    For Edge, does MS continually update like chrome and FF or only every 6 months?

      • sweatshopking
      • 1 year ago

      Feature updates seem to be rolling out every six months.

    • anotherengineer
    • 1 year ago

    ALL I REALLY NOTICED IS THAT SSK WROTE A PIECE FOR TR. PARDON ME WHILE I PICK MY JAW UP OFF THE FLOOR 😉 LOL

    GOOD JOB JOSH!!!!

      • superjawes
      • 1 year ago

      I THOUGHT HE WAS ALWAYS PART OF TR? LIKE HE HAD PARTIAL OWNERSHIP OR SOMETHING.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 1 year ago

        Co-founder.

        [url<]https://techreport.com/blog/26153/introducing-tr-subscriptions?post=806979[/url<]

      • sweatshopking
      • 1 year ago

      [url<]https://techreport.com/review/33389/civilization-vi-rise-and-fall-expansion-reviewed[/url<] <3

      • Wirko
      • 1 year ago

      Not only does he have multiple personalities, he can switch between them with a simple press of a dedicated key on the keyboard!

        • Bobs_Your_Uncle
        • 1 year ago

        This remarkable OS feature is called [b<]Multiple-Personality Macros[/b<]. Though little reviewed this brilliant AI-driven application will reformat your basic bland text input into a finely crafted communique that reflects your mood at any given moment. The user selects from options displayed in a handy list of [b<]Pre-scripted Personalities[/b<] which includes such familiar favorites as: [i<]- Fun-loving Fanboi - Hot-headed Hater - Tempestuous Bridge Troll - Solipsistic Snark Beast - Agent Provocateur - Captain Sarcastic - Thoughtfully Rational Responder ([u<]rarely[/u<] seen in the wild; even less so on the inter-webz)[/i<] And it's as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4! [b<]1.)[/b<] Simply select the hotkey macro that's been mapped to whichever "[i<]personality type[/i<]" you'd like to present in any given message (threaded comment posts, IM, email, etc.) [b<]2.)[/b<] Type the specific idea and/or content you want to communicate [b<]3.)[/b<] Preview (for proper tone, misspeeellings, ect.) and click/press "Send/Post"! [b<]4.)[/b<] Flame On Friend!

    • synthtel2
    • 1 year ago

    All I really noticed from it:

    * Installing it obnoxiously reset a bunch of settings to MS defaults again. I had those changed for reasons dammit, and when it’s something like disabling fast boot to get R/W access to Windows’ partition from another OS, it’s not quite as simple a fix as “go change the setting and have everything fixed up within 15 seconds”.

    * I now can’t stop it from auto-connecting to its usual wifi network unless I want to manually tell it to forget every time before shutting down.

    * Mic permissions (and presumably others) in the new settings interface now apply to all programs, and if this is breaking your mic, it will do absolutely nothing to help you figure out why your mic is broken. Good change in the long run, though.

    I’m sure all this new stuff is useful to someone somewhere, but they’re not helping me out.

      • Ifalna
      • 1 year ago

      Yeah that mic permission bug also got me bad after the upgrade.

      I ended up formatting the system drive and doing a clean reinstall to get rid of it b/c I assumed sth. broke during setup.

      As for the timeline: Uuh no thanks. I always disabled the “last used” stuff ever since 98.

      • TheMonkeyKing
      • 1 year ago

      The update crapped all over my settings. I had to help a couple of friends where UEFI was not compatible with the update and would not even boot to Windows. They kept getting hung in the pass to the Windows UI.

      Yeah, the removal of Homegroups really messed with my network. Might as well move everything to a NAS network now.

        • Redocbew
        • 1 year ago

        I’m just assuming that every update to Windows will completely bork the system now. It’s like what Episode 1 and 2 did for Star Wars. If you go in expecting things to suck, then you won’t be disappointed.

        I don’t want to be all “I stab at thee!” on Windows, but I also just don’t understand where this stuff is coming from.

          • kvndoom
          • 1 year ago

          The Windows 7 Death Clock is at 19 months as of yesterday. I hope by then windows 10 will be out of beta.

            • meerkt
            • 1 year ago

            Still very much alpha:
            [url<]http://reactos.org/[/url<]

          • Ifalna
          • 1 year ago

          Well, that’s a bit harsh.

          So far I believe we had 4? Big upgrades? This was the first that actually made me reinstall, so that’s an acceptable track record.

          That being said: I always create an image with Clonezilla before patching. I’m paranoid like that. ^^

            • Redocbew
            • 1 year ago

            How is that acceptable? If a reinstall is what’s required, then that’s what the patch process should be doing behind the scenes. A patch that leaves the system messed up afterwards, or just screams and dies part way through isn’t anything but a failure.

            • Ifalna
            • 1 year ago

            If I had known, that a simple click on mic-permissions would have solved my problem, I would not have needed to format.

            So the only error is MS not properly informing me of this new system.
            Setup did it’s job as it was supposed to.

            • Shobai
            • 1 year ago

            Could you give a run-down on what the process is now? From what’s been said it sounds like it’s now all-or-nothing, rather than per-app. Is that actually the case?

            • Ifalna
            • 1 year ago

            Sorry, but I can’t.
            After formatting and doing a clean install, the mic behaved as I am used to.
            I never set any permissions.

            • synthtel2
            • 1 year ago

            [url=https://imgur.com/a/njykI5V<]Here's[/url<] a screenshot - it seems to be all-or-nothing for win32 programs, and still doesn't do much of anything to clarify what it affects.

            • Shobai
            • 1 year ago

            Ta!

      • jihadjoe
      • 1 year ago

      The recent W10 update also nuked display drivers installed by remote application software.

      We are using GraphOn Go-Global where users can log on from their desktop or notebook via LAN or internet, and heavy (or expensive) apps like engineering software are run on an application server. The main difference from RDP is instead of sharing the entire desktop only the application window is captured and sent to the client using a custom display driver.

      Took me a while to figure it out after I got some calls from people saying there we able to log in as normal but nothing was happening after launching their apps. In retrospect it should have been obvious that this was down to W10 messing with drivers during OS updates.

      God I hate W10 sometimes. The engine powering it is great, but there are a lot of loose nuts and bolts that could use tightening. At no point in its life so far has W10 (or W8/8.1 for that matter) ever felt as polished as 7.

      Edit: Might as well specify what stuff we were using.

        • TheMonkeyKing
        • 1 year ago

        Geez, I can see that actually happening to my former company who runs half their computing units from thin clients.

        I hope they took my advice and just turned the TCs into web-shells. (Everything is delivered, driven through kiosk mode web browsers)

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