...today, after a great deal of thought on the matter, I've decided to remove Windows 10 (build 9926) as my primary OS, and revert back to Windows 8.1.1 as my primary OS. This is not a decision I made lightly, especially considering that restoring a full image of my 8.1.1 setup (150+gb) takes over three hours on my huge but slow c: drive.
I've been running Win 10 full-time for seven weeks now, so I certainly cannot be accused of 'not giving it a chance', and regular readers and fellow members of SevenForums or EightForums will be well aware that I'm not 'frightened' of any OS merely because it is different. Although the OS itself is reasonable enough to use and all my programs work (it allowed me to keep ALL my programs when I installed it as an upgrade over the 8.1.1 setup, without any hitches at all, which IS one big plus-point in 10's favour), the many niggles and dislikes were, well... many, niggly and disliked.
**IE has never worked properly since Day One. All the bugs in Win 8's IE are still present, and MS has even managed to add a few more. Google search breaks at least 50% of the time, and lock-ups are common. Understandable there are no bug-fixes since they're apparently killing it off anyway, but why break it further? And there's nothing about its replacement that appeals to me personally, from what I've seen. I happen to like IE and am perfectly satisfied with it. I don't buy the anti-IE hype that seemingly floods the internet.
**The new 'Settings' panel is superfluous, non-intuitive, and ugly. What's wrong with Control Panel? It's worked just fine since at least Windows 3. All settings and options should be there, not scattered about all over the system.
**It's bland, with nowhere near enough eye-candy. I can't recall ever seeing an OS that's been hit so hard with the ugly-stick, or so unnecessarily. Put the full Aero experience back as an option for those who want it, or at least make it easy for 3rd-party programs to do so. At the very least, replace the overall 'look' of 10 with that of 8.1
**The new Start menu is not as good as Win 7's, and I prefer to use Win 8.1's All Apps screen as my start menu anyway. MS should look at users being able to select whether to have Start Screen tiles or All Apps tiles in the RH pane (and the choice of how they are sorted, as we can in Win 8.1.1's All Apps screen). That one thing would make the new Start menu not only acceptable to me, but quite welcome. As it stands, though - no, thanks.
**When I search, unless it is in a browser, it means I want to search my computer, NOT the entire known universe.
**Just how much unnecessary junk does MS think we need in the LH pane in File Explorer? ALL I want to see there by default are my drives, my libraries, and Control Panel. Another backward step from 8/8.1 with no obvious option to get rid of it all. Icons and arrows in the ribbon are almost invisible to the naked eye against the background. And the Details pane STILL isn't back at the bottom of the window where it belongs.
But all these niggles (and more) I could have (or already had) either lived with or worked around.
No, the killer for me is this idiotic idea of forced updates. I put up with it for a while, eating into my limited monthly allowance, because I could see a reason for it, up to a point. But recently Realtek released a new audio driver for my sound chip, and Windows 10 treats it as an essential update (it's not). The problem? My laptop has 5.1 surround-sound built in, with Dolby Home Theater installed by the manufacturer's (Acer) sound driver. This is a Windows 7 driver, which Acer has not updated because it was unnecessary, as it works perfectly in Win 8/8.1. I know from experience that it also works perfectly well in Win 10, as does the Dolby Home Theater software. But Win 10 insists upon installing this new driver every time I restart the machine, and it totally zaps my 5.1 sound. EVERY restart. I'm sick of having to roll-back or re-install the 7 driver on an almost daily basis. There is no way to update DHT on its own, it is 'tied' to the audio driver.
Another is that three weeks ago I used Win 10's 'Rollback' feature (after taking a system image) to roll back to Win 8.1 in order to take any updates and keep my 8.1 system up-to-date. I do have an older 8.1 image I could have used instead of the rollback feature, but again, it came down to a limited monthly data allowance. It also gave me the opportunity to test the rollback feature. And it worked just fine, I took all the updates for 8.1, imaged it (this is the setup I've just re-installed and it feels like a comfortable old pair of shoes, after 10), and then restored 10. Now, it appears that the rollback option, which used to appear on start-up giving you the choice to boot through to 10 or roll back to 8.1, is gone or broken.
I'll still be installing 10 in a VM (which I can isolate from the 'net thus avoiding these unwanted updates), just to play about with, and will be following future developments with interest but, at this stage, 10 is not, imo, a worthy successor to 8.1.1 in any way. I certainly see nothing at this point which makes me want to 'upgrade' to it, even if the upgrade is free. In fact, I actually prefer the original Win 8 (which I DID pay for) even with its (largely perceived rather than actual) faults. I wouldn't be at all surprised if 8.1.1 follows Win 7 in becoming the 'new XP' at some time in the future. I'll still be remaining a member here, as well.
Oh, I do like the new folder icons in File Explorer. That's about it for the positives, sadly.
I composed this post on the Win 7 machine while the 8.1.1 image restored on the 'big' laptop. It's the first time I've used the 7 machine since around New Year, and the difference between the two, appearance-wise, is simply stunning. It makes 10 look even uglier by comparison than Win 8.1 does. It also made me realise that, nowadays, I much prefer 8.1 to 7 from a usability point of view, although I'll always love Win 7 regardless.
Of course, these are only my views and opinions, your mileage may vary. But I'm definitely getting a sense of just how many Windows 7 users must have felt and still feel when confronted with Windows 8.