Book Review: Heads You Win

Migrating to Windows 10 and Cortana

Windows 10 was released on 29th July and I decided to upgrade my Office laptop to make sure that it was safe for others to do so!   I wanted to do it from my home since I would have the 50 Mbps all to myself!

Upgrade steps were quite straightforward.

Since I had "reserve" a Windows 10 update a few weeks back, I just had to click on that icon in the system tray.  It asked me if I wanted to upgrade right away or do it later (implying it would be downloaded in the background).  I recklessly chose the "right now" option.

The system restarted (the way it does for update install).  Then it displayed a message saying it was "downloading" the files.  

I had not bothered to check the size of the download to get an idea of how long it would take.  It was 6.45 AM and I would need to leave home by 9 AM.  Since it was work laptop, I did not have the luxury of leaving it behind as it installed.   These thoughts came up only after the files had started downloading.

To make it faster, I connected a LAN cable from my router to the laptop (the wired speed is faster than wireless).  In 15 minutes, the screen had moved to the "installing" Windows 10 screen with the message "Your system will reboot a few times.  Sit back and relax"  There was also a progress pie chart with percentage starting from 0%.  There were also three sections below (Copying files, installing, configuring settings - each with its own progress indicator).

The copying also happened in 15 minutes (which set the overall progress to about 25%), then the installation.  That took another 15 minutes and we were now in "Configuring settings". The overall percentage moved from 75%. It stopped for a long time at 83% and I imagined the various use cases if it did not progress further.  But progress it did, and in another 15 minutes, I was running Windows 10.

The best part was, all the existing software that I had worked.  But for the User Interface changes, I did not notice any change - a good thing indeed!

As for Windows 10, I see many of the OSX features making its way in.

If OSX has Command Space to search for anything, Windows has Windows key and type whatever you want.  Earlier this used to take user to a different screen.  Now everything happens on one single screen - a big relief!  All Windows apps also open within the screen and can be resized, minized, closed.  (Perhaps it was there in Windows 8, but at least here it happened by default).  A new "Task View" icon, which is similar to the 3 finger operation in OSX

And then I looked around for Cortana and found that it was not "available for India"!  Now, we had to fool Windows into believing I was not "Indian"!   (See this) Change Locale and Language to English (United States) and restart and lo - Cortana was working!

Other than weather, I could see "her" opening the default browser and searching by the string I had uttered.  To her credit, she could correctly interpret what I asked (though I did not put on any accent).  No reason why Microsoft should not enable it for India!  

The initial impressions of Windows 8 are good.