It’s been over a month since the release of Windows 10, so I wanted to give my perspective on the new operating system. My situation is somewhat unique in that I often have access to software very early in the release cycle, yet technical expertise is not a prerequisite for my role on CDW’s team. Most would properly refer to me as a “super user,” so if that’s a term you’re comfortable with, it’s probably the best way to understand where I’m coming from. 

However, because I deal with licensing daily, the conversation often turns technical. For the past few years, I’ve discussed Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 with my clients more times than I can possibly remember. Many common themes reverberated through these numerous conversations and I wanted to address them here. This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive review of Windows 10; I simply want to offer my personal thoughts, not as a licensing specialist, but an employee of a business. Without further preamble, here are my tops thoughts from my first month of using Windows 10:

Start Menu

Yes, I had to start here. It’s been a big topic for a long time and it’s finally been addressed. To be honest, when it was first removed in Windows 8, I wasn’t that upset. My excitement for something new outweighed my frustration at the lack of a Start Menu. Besides, let’s face it, Microsoft Windows, aesthetically-speaking, had barely changed in nearly two decades. However, now that it’s back I have a weird paradox going on: I’m glad it’s back, but I also never use it. It’s sitting right next to Cortana, which is much quicker in the long-run.

Microsoft Edge is faster than IE, Chrome and Firefox. #cdwsolutionsblog

Microsoft Cortana

I wasn’t sure how this would integrate into a desktop operating system. I’m not much into voice-based searching and navigating, but this simple search function right in the taskbar has saved me a lot of time. Rather than opening the start menu and clicking from one menu to the next, I type what I’m looking for and it’s generally the first option on the list. In this way, I am very similar to most people: I tend to use the same programs and files consistently, so making it easier to find is always the key. Some people may like the Start Menu, but I prefer Cortana. It’s even reduced the number of items I save to my desktop for quick access.

Microsoft Edge

This browser is the fastest of the four I have installed (Edge, IE, Chrome and Firefox). That’s where my positivity ends though. It is (obviously) set as the default browser, and that was frustratingly difficult to change. Aside from that, many legacy sites that I rely on simply don’t work in Edge in any mode. It’s promising, but it isn’t there yet.


This is my anecdotal, non-scientific opinion: It’s faster. Much faster. Windows 7 used to take minutes to fully start-up. With Windows 10 on this same machine, I’m working less than 30 seconds from pressing the power button.

There you have it. It’s not scientific, nor is it comprehensive, but if you’re looking for some discussion points, I hope I’ve helped.

Interested in making the shift to Windows 10? Here’s how CDW can help.

2 thoughts on “Windows 10: First Impressions of the New Microsoft OS

  • It may be faster from power-up, but for me it seems to take longer for some apps to open. There’s a lot going on on the desktop and I think all these background programs tend to slow it down compared to Windows 7. I suppose if I double my RAM, it may compensate. (I know I dated myself by not saying “memory.”)

  • Hey Jeff! You’re not dating yourself in any way. It’ll always be RAM to me, and I refuse to believe I’m getting older. When you moved to Windows 10, did you do a fresh install, or an in-place upgrade? With the benefit of some time, and many more installations of the new OS, there are a few things that are slower, but overall I’m seeing faster boot times, wake times and application start times. The one thing that has been a little slower for me (annoyingly so) is when I try to unlock my laptop when it is locked by still awake. For reference, I’m running an HP Elitebook with 4GB of RAM and an Intel i5 1.9GHz CPU.

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