Weekend Scripter: A Week's Worth of Windows 10

Doctor Scripto

Summary: Ed Wilson, Microsoft Scripting Guy, talks more about his first impressions of Windows 10.

Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, is here. I will admit that I am not a typical user—of anything, as far as that goes, but certainly not of desktop operating systems. So my thoughts about Windows 10 may or may not, be relevant.

First of all, I can say that I have been “using” Windows 10 for about a year because I get the daily builds. But this is not all that true because installing Windows 10 and immediately launching Windows PowerShell hardly counts as using Windows 10. So in reality, my only real experience has been this past week.

I have two experiences to report:

  1. I did a complete fresh installation on my laptop. The reason for this is, well, I am old school, and always believe that a fresh installation of Windows is a good thing. In fact, in the Windows 95 days, I did a complete reinstall every three months. Your mileage may vary.
  2. I let Windows Update do the upgrade on my beloved Surface Pro 3. This device is my favorite device, and I was halfway intending to keep it running Windows 8.1 for a while. But I have Windows 8.1 running on my Surface Pro 2, which is also a great device, so I figured I could risk it.

Fresh install versus Windows Update

Because I have been installing Windows 10 nearly every day for a year, I did not think about it too much. I logged on to MSDN, downloaded the ISE, burned it to a DVD, and fought with my laptop to get it to boot off of the DVD. I mean, Windows 8.1 boots so quickly that there is little time for pressing F1, or F2, F10, or F12, holding down ESC, or whatever other secret combination a laptop maker tends to dream up for whatever current model they are shipping.

My Surface Pro 3 was easy. I clicked the pop-up balloon, and it started.

I finally got the laptop to boot off of the DVD, typed in the key, and it was off to the races. Oh yeah, at some point, I told it to wipe out my existing partitions and go from there.

Note  Prior to doing any upgrade, it is always an excellent idea to perform a data backup. This is especially important if you intend to delete your existing partitions, reformat the drives, and do a fresh installation.

When the installation began on both devices, the Scripting Wife and I headed to the library and out for dinner. When we returned, there was a simple prompt on both devices. I answered a question or two and it was done.

After installing/upgrading, now what?

After the fresh installation on my laptop, I had to search around for a few minutes to find where we had hidden Windows Update because there are always security updates and bug fixes. I found it at:

Windows flag > Settings > Update and Security > Windows Update

I forced it to check for updates, and then did this a couple more times. I installed Office 2013 and checked for more updates. This time, it did not seem to find anything, but I know there are lots of Office updates that need to be applied. I then remembered that Windows Update on Windows 10 likes to run in the background and do everything itself. So I left my laptop on and checked back the next morning.

Upgrade results

On my Windows Surface Pro 3, things were streamlined. I already had Office 2013 installed in addition to a bunch of apps. So following the upgrade, everything was seamless. I did not have to do any new installing. I clicked my Facebook app, and I was able to immediately make posts. I clicked the new Windows 10 Mail app, and my online email account immediately worked. Unfortunately, it lost the settings for a different legacy email server. That was rather annoying, and it required some time to fix.

My biggest shock on my Surface Pro 3 was that it went immediately into “Desktop mode,” and the Start screen (which I love on a mobile surface device) was basically gone. I did a few searches on the Internet trying to figure this out (I remembered that Windows 10 was supposed to detect the type of device and switch “modes” on the fly.

I guess, this means that with the keyboard attached (95 percent of the time, I keep my keyboard installed because it folds back and makes a nice stable platform for using the device in “Tablet mode.” Unfortunately, I never did find the correct answer for how to switch modes. I finally stumbled across it in the settings. It is really easy to switch modes:

Windows flag > Settings > System > Tablet mode

Then I clicked Make Windows more touch-friendly when using your device as a tablet and When I sign In. Then I selected Automatically Switch to Tablet Mode.

That is it. I guess all of the “bad advice” I found on the Internet was applicable to earlier beta versions of Windows 10.

By the way, the “touch mode” is disabled if your device (such as an old laptop) is not touch-enabled.

So I can say that the upgrade on my Windows Surface Pro 3 has been flawless. I mean, really, it went perfectly. It kept my installed apps, remembered 99% of my settings, and has worked perfectly. On my laptop, I have had to reinstall everything—including existing apps that I had previously owned. This is actually a little surprising, because when I installed Windows 8.1 and signed in with my online Microsoft account, it remembered which apps I had and reconstituted my Start screen. I miss that.

And of course, Windows PowerShell 5.0 in Windows 10 is awesome. All in all, this has been a great week. It is like a birthday week for a geek with new toys coming every day as I discover more reasons to love Windows 10. It is like all new devices.

I invite you to follow me on Twitter and Facebook. If you have any questions, send email to me at scripter@microsoft.com, or post your questions on the Official Scripting Guys Forum. See you tomorrow. Until then, peace.

Ed Wilson, Microsoft Scripting Guy 


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