As a life-long Windows user that’s always jumped at the chance to try out their latest operating systems, I have to admit that I’ve been one of those nerds that have pre-ordered a copy or hit my local Walmart at midnight just to become an early adopter.  I can still remember the awesomeness of Windows 98 Second Edition and the utter failure of Windows Millennium, yet none of them have disappointed me as much as Windows 10.  Here is my completely unbiased review of Microsoft’s latest operating system.

When I first installed Windows 10 a little over a week ago, I will admit that I felt a little bit like a kid in a candy store.  It was a sleek new interface with plenty of features to explore, yet it still felt familiar enough that I wasn’t grasping at finding my documents or accessing a program.  Our time-loved widgets are gone, however, but the start button returned with its own Windows 8 like gallery of apps, news feeds and favorites.  It seemed like a fair tradeoff.

While there was somewhat of a learning curve (for example, you have to right-click on Word documents to bring up things you recently worked on), I really appreciated the balance between new features and simplicity.  You’ll fall in love with Cortana just seconds after you ask her your first ridiculous question and she comes right back with some sass in her voice, and having the ability to link just about anything to the taskbar also made a lot of sense.

Just about the time I was going to officially declare Windows 10 the best operating system ever, something peculiar happened- the damn thing stopped working.  Not a crash, mind you or some type of situation where you’d expect that you were infected with malware, but many of the features just flat-out stopped working.  For example, I haven’t been able to talk to Cortana in three days and the start menu now resembles Windows 7…but without the Windows 7 functionality that lets me set it up in a way that makes logical sense.

After doing a little bit of research, I discovered that this was a bug reported in testing over a year ago in the Windows 10 Technical Preview (build 9926).  To fix it, users have to log into Windows Powershell as an administrator and run the following command-

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}

Once the program runs for 5-10 minutes and give you about 50 error messages that will make absolutely no sense to you (the tutorial I found said to ignore them), Windows 10 should technically work again.  Maybe.  Or maybe the command I just posted is some type of malicious program that screws you over even worse.  I don’t know because Microsoft hasn’t made an announcement either way…which is a massive, massive problem since they’re telling people to download it.

So know this- if you install Windows 10 for free over the next few weeks, it may be completely awesome.  Then again, you may end up like me and have an operating system that only does a fraction of what’s it’s supposed to.  For example, I can no longer use the calculator- I get a message that it’s not supported in this version even though I was using it fine four days ago.  I can’t use my keyboard shortcuts either, nor can I access quick links to files and folders.  Cortana still won’t talk to me either

Overall, I really liked Windows 10 when it worked correctly…which were 4 out of the 9 days I have had it installed so far.  But at this point, anyone who downloads the software is merely a beta tester on an unstable system with tons of glitches and problems.  It is nowhere near ready for public consumption at this point and rushing it out was a foolhardy mistake on Microsoft’s part.

Even for free; it is nowhere near worth the asking price.  Windows 10 is one gigantic headache that users simply do not need to deal with.  Once it’s stable, however, then it will likely become the most popular Windows ever…if Microsoft doesn’t chase everyone into Apple’s lap before then.