H Street Business Solutions
Contact Us
Foggy Bottom Houses

June 2016

Dear Reader

Please send feedback. Anything you'd like to know more about? Questions?


No specials this month.


Microsoft promises that Windows 10 is the best Windows ever ... and it’s free … so get yours now before July 29th. Many of my customers are singing a different tune. I have seen computers crippled by the Windows 10 upgrade. I have seen computers rendered slow and/or flaky. Many times, the only permanent fix is to reinstall an earlier version of Windows. On one computer, reverting to Windows 7 and then attempting to upgrade to Windows 10 resulted in a notice that that computer could not run Windows 10. So how did Windows 10 get onto it in the first place? Take a look at the web and see similar stories. So what’s going on?


If I were to buy a new computer and Windows 7 weren’t available, then I would hold my nose and buy one with Windows 10. I believe that it’s an improvement over Windows 8 and 8.1. I would then do my best to avoid Microsoft’s “features” and try to pretend that it’s a Windows 7 machine.

Let’s take a quick look at Cortana, Microsoft’s over-hyped artificially intelligent personal digital assistant.
This from the web: http://lifehacker.com/everything-you-can-ask-cortana-to-do-in-windows-10-1721725525
From the author: “Cortana is easily one of the coolest new features of Windows 10.”
Behold some of the questions that Cortana has the answers to:
  • What’s the weather like?
  • How tall is Jeff Goldblum?
  • How long is Age of Ultron?
  • What’s the theme song to Firefly?
  • What time is it in California?
So who is dumber: the person who doesn’t know Jeff Goldblum’s height or the person who wants to find it out? Most of the comments I’ve seen are that Cortana is interesting as a novelty; but, that few people use it on a daily basis.

Something else to get excited about: Windows 10 is better than Windows 8. Sorry Microsoft, in my opinion, that’s not saying much.

Microsoft Edge: Microsoft’s new “not ready for prime time” web browser. If you’re looking for a web browser that makes Internet Explorer look good and shares Windows 10’s penchant for useless features, then Edge is for you! My personal favorite useless feature is the ability to annotate web pages. Now I can annotate an image of Jennifer Lawrence with “Wow, this pic made my jaw drop!”.
See: http://www.absolutelywindows.com/blog/2016/1/26/microsoft-edge-is-not-ready-for-prime-time.html

But wait, there’s more. There’s better integration with X-box, improved swipe interface for people reading their email on a touchscreen, and an Action Center that saves pop-ups for later perusal. At the risk of sounding like a teen: seriously!?


See one person’s rant here:

Some of the more troubling developments:
  • Little privacy: tracking by Microsoft of – pretty much everything you do on the computer
  • Inability to disable or selectively install updates (note that I’ve been able to save several computers by disabling updates, when otherwise the computer would use all of its resources trying to figure out which updates are needed)
  • Advertising galore, for-pay apps (including for-pay, ad-free Solitaire), this might be Microsoft’s new way to make money
It’s been said that with Windows 10, Microsoft has completely lost touch with its customer base.


Microsoft is so anxious to get their users onto Windows 10 that the Windows 10 is being called a “necessary update” by Microsoft so that Windows 10 is automatically installed on Windows 7,8,8.1 computers - usually when the computer has been idle (like when somebody gets lunch) – and usually at an inconvenient time. Furthermore, the update cannot be stopped. It may take an hour or more and must run its course or risk system corruption. Worse, the upgrade process has been known to mess up computers in all sorts of unflattering ways.

See: http://www.techtimes.com/articles/167308/20160628/woman-wins-10000-judgment-against-microsoft-over-unauthorized-windows-10-upgrade.htm
which reports that Microsoft settled with a woman claiming that an unauthorized upgrade to Windows 10 cost her business $17,000 in lost revenue.

In Microsoft’s seemingly desperate attempt to get people to upgrade, it has resorted to all sorts of computer-bullying type manipulation. Some examples:
  • selection of “please do not upgrade me to Windows 10” check box mysteriously becomes unchecked
  • clicking “Red X” on upgrade screen signals Microsoft to begin upgrade
  • pop-ups galore (sometimes several times a day) urging Microsoft users to “Get Windows 10”
  • upgrade pop-up with choice of “upgrade now” or “schedule upgrade” – no alternative
For all of these reasons and more, Windows 10 has generated an unprecedented amount of hate among its users.
See https://www.reddit.com/r/Windows10/comments/3ysnvt/the_amount_of_hate_ that_windows_10_gets_is/

Many say that Windows 10 just plain looks UGLY.
See http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/insider/forum/insider_wintp-insider_personal/the-ui-is-so-ugly-an-there-are-no-options-to/d5d716ef-443d-49cf-a3ef-719bf65df0d6?auth=1
See http://www.gamedev.net/topic/670476-windows-10-is-hideously-ugly-any-tips-on-how-to-fix/
One of the things I give Microsoft credit for is in how far they’d come in making things look attractive. I remember when my co-worker would work on Windows 3.1 with a “puke pink” (magenta) desktop background. I couldn’t even stomach to look at it. Icons, fonts, and desktop wallpapers have all seen dramatic improvement , culminating with Windows 7. Unfortunately, Microsoft seems to have taken a step back.

Finally, instead of reverting or making optional many of the things I liked least about Windows 8, Microsoft seems to have chosen to combine the old with the new into some kind of General Grievous-type amalgam. Can’t I have a Start Menu without the dancing icons? Can’t I see a simple list of available programs? Can’t I have a Control Panel menu item on the Start Menu?

Many have said that Microsoft does right on every other operating system. 98-good, ME-bad, XP-good, Vista-bad, Win-7-good, Win-8-bad. With Windows 10, Microsoft seems to be bucking the trend. I have high hopes for Windows 11, maybe Windows 12? (if they skip 11 like they did with 9), maybe a Mac?

Your Local IT Solution for home and office. Serving Silver Spring, Rockville, Bethesda, Montgomery and parts of DC and Prince George's County