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Windows 10 meets the Recycle Bin

My fascination with Windows 10 as the operating system on my primary computer ended this weekend.

The way that I use my computer is as a productivity tool. I manage the PhotographyToday.net site and forum, write, create videos, edit photos and do website work. I don't do much else, although occasionally I do play an older game.

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."

Watch "The Shining," starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall, for an explanation of that line.

My primary issues with Windows 10:

  • There were many programs ("apps") and features I never or rarely used.
  • Cortana was of little use but wanted to know if it could help me. Plus, I couldn't speak to it, because this computer has no microphone.
  • It lacked some basic things, such as a calculator. I had to go to the Windows Store to download a calculator.
  • From Day One, there was some unknown program that would launch itself at startup and remain minimized. It could never be closed. It never had a title, and I couldn't locate it in Task Manager.
  • Once launched, the Windows Store would pop up at odd times, hoping that I would buy something. No, thanks. I just need to work.
  • After using and closing the calculator, it would relaunch itself.
  • Various parts of the Microsoft "experience" would launch themselves in the background, just in case I wanted to rent a movie, go to a restaurant or buy an "app."

Those last three items were particularly irksome. When you close a program, it should remain closed and not re-open itself randomly.

On top of that, all of a sudden, my image editor would launch and then take a two-minute breather before it became usable.

Then, there was the decision to make all title bars white, which made it really difficult to tell which was the active program. With a tablet, the active program is the one that is at displayed on screen. But the PC experience is different.

In any case, a reformat of my main drive and fresh installation of Windows 7 took care of things.

I'm now in the process of reinstalling my programs. I am going to take this opportunity to rebuild my music library, which has become a mish-mash of ripped CDs from the past 12 to 15 years.

I also had to apply the many Windows updates – about 250 of them. Some were necessary to allow me to install my third-party programs. Ironically (or maybe not), the ones that wouldn't install at all until the OS was updated were the Microsoft programs: Expression Web, Expression Design and the keyboard control software.

I'm very pleased with Windows 7. While it's not a modern interface for a mobile device (tablet or phone), it's fine as a productivity OS. I purchased Windows 7 from an eBay reseller - $54. It's an official Microsoft CD intended for people who refurbish computers. The activation key worked perfectly.

Windows 7 is sturdy, stable and predictable. It doesn't interfere with my work, and it doesn't ask me to do something at random times.

I know what I want from an operating system, and Windows 10 is not it. It might be fine for many people, but it fell far short of what I wanted and expected.

About the Author

Mike Elek is a longtime journalist and was one of the original editors for The Wall Street Journal Online. He also has worked as a reporter and editor in Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Vineland, N.J.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; New York City; and Hong Kong. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He shoots with film and digital cameras.