Technology

Tuesday Buzz: The Windows 10 Story, So Far

Reviewers offer their early takes on Windows 10, which comes out Wednesday. Also: Google makes a big shift in its social-networking strategy.

Is Windows 10 worth the upgrade?

The reviews are in—and, for the most part, they’re positive. Already, that’s a big change from Windows 8, the drastically updated interface that led many users to skip over the upgrade entirely.

But to hear it from folks at PCWorld, Computerworld, and Gizmodo (in the latter case, reviewer Sean Hollister upgraded all of his machines cold turkey), the platform has managed to get around many of the headaches of the earlier version, offering in its place a fully usable experience.

It starts with the Start menu, of course, which got some strong reviews.

“The Windows 10 Start menu is more than just a redone version of its Windows 7 predecessor,” Computerworld reviewer Preson Gralla said of the menu. “With it, you run both Windows 10 apps and desktop apps, which goes a long way towards making Windows 10 feel like a truly integrated operating system.”

Also popular was the added voice functionality with Cortana, Microsoft’s take on Siri.

“I’ve also gotta say: the ability to just speak to your computer and (for instance) ask it to turn off Bluetooth is a real trip,” Sean Hollister said in his second-day review.

But one feature that is a little lacking, says PCWorld‘s Mark Hachman, is the much-hyped Internet Explorer replacement, Edge.

“Edge will undoubtedly improve over time,” Hachman wrote. “But Chrome fans would always joke that Internet Explorer was ‘the browser that downloads Chrome.’ Right now, Edge looks to be more of the same.”

For those who have tested Windows 10 so far—what are your thoughts? Worth the upgrade?

A Big Minus for Google+

For years, Google has been trying to give Google+ a leg up—by tying all of its other products to the social network. This has had mixed results—as any YouTube commenter and anyone who loved Google Reader can tell you.

So now, Google’s trying a new strategy: It’s untethering Google+ from Google’s other offerings entirely, instead offering what it calls a “more focused” Google+ experience. Soon, you can have a Google account without using Google+ at all—a big shift in strategy.

“When we launched Google+, we set out to help people discover, share and connect across Google like they do in real life,” the company’s Bradley Horowitz wrote. “While we got certain things right, we made a few choices that, in hindsight, we’ve needed to rethink.”

The move comes more than a year after the company’s Vic Gundotra, who led the company’s leap into social, left the company.

Other Links of Note

Happy Chrome user? This list of Chrome extensions highlighted by Lifehacker could make you even happier.

Finding a hotel online could become a more curated experience if this trend reported by The Los Angeles Times takes off.

Socrates, data management expert? Abila’s blog, Forward Together, makes the case.

(Rickey Rogers/Reuters)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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