Since Windows 8 did more damage to my computer than the average virus, I converted from Windows 7 to Windows 10 with some trepidation. However, for close to a month all went well until……
On the plus side, the new operating system cleared a couple of minor bugs that had been causes of irritation. It was also considerably quicker than the previous version and to an extent provided a cleaner interface. So far, so good.
However, over the weekend some problems arose. Put simply, I could not get into the start menu and Microsoft Edge, the relatively basic Windows browser, also broke down.
Microsoft being Microsoft and not doing things by halves, the problem also slowed my PC down to not far from standstill.
After considerable effort, I managed to find a free helpline and, to be fair, a lady from the Philippines called back pretty quickly.
Her response to my explanation of the system breakdown was that this was a known error. For the next two hours, she talked me through reconfiguring my computer to the point that Windows 10 was fully operational.
At the start of the process, having been through the heartache with Windows 8, I asked the question "will this leave me exactly where I was before". The answer was “yes”. This might more accurately have been expressed as “no”.
Having gone to considerable trouble to configure Windows 10, it reverted back to the starting point. This comes as no surprise since the cynical might suggest that the whole purpose of the upgrade was to provide as many selling touch points to Microsoft as possible.
Much of the data that had been in Outlook must be sitting somewhere on my computer but it is not obvious where. I lost all of the Favorites on my browsers and the passwords to websites such as AccountingWEB. In addition, the speech recognition software that I am using to write this article broke down.
This latest bad experience begs lots of questions. The most obvious are
Why do Microsoft not perfect their products before they launch them?
If Microsoft knows about problems, why does it not fix them?
Equally, with known problems surely it should publicise them?
Finally, what are the best alternative operating systems?
Sadly, the answer to the last question is that there is very little out there at the moment. As we have all come to understand, Microsoft has created a global monopoly, meaning that it is very hard for others to break into the market.
In any event, having just wasted a fair chunk of the weekend putting my computer back together again, I feel reluctant to switch to another system that will require a similar exercise.
One wonders whether this global megalith has become so large that not even the US or Chinese governments dare challenge it.
As we have seen at home, while the UK government goes to incredible efforts to maximise tax revenues, some global corporations still appear able to write their own rules.
Ultimately and rather depressingly, the solution for those of us hit by Windows failures is probably just to soldier on.