Tick….tick….tick…. Judging by my experience with Slow Ring Windows 10 Preview Build 10130 yesterday, I am beginning to grow just a tad nervous. Well ok, more than a tad. I understand that these are preview builds and some glitches are to be expected, but assuming that I may see, possibly, one more slow ring build before Windows 10 goes live to the world on July 29th, I don’t expect that premier version of Windows 10 is going to be something I will be recommending on day one. Or, maybe even day sixty.
The download and update process on my Yoga Pro 2 to Release 10130 went without a hitch. Guessing it took 40-50 minutes to complete. The first thing I noticed when it asked me to login for the first time was that, “login via pin”, was gone. Only option was to use my Hotmail account password. The pin option was there up until yesterday morning. WTH. It’s still available as an option in Accounts/Sign-In Options. Just not in the most important place, the login screen. Next, I discovered that I was not connected to Wi-Fi. But I wasn’t just “not connected”. The Wi-Fi icon wasn’t even visible in the Action Center. As if Wi-Fi had disappeared completely. Finally after a cold boot, then checking Device Manager to see if my Wi-Fi card had any conflicts, then Network manager to see if Wi-Fi was there, the Wi-Fi icon came back to Action Center and my SSID was available. I clicked it and then Connect. The spinning wheels went for a good 2-3 minutes, with a checking settings message before I grew frustrated and moved the Yoga to the other room, and a wired connection. Once I plugged the Yoga in, I was connected again. I went back to Windows Update, thinking that maybe there was some additional update that might correct the Wi-Fi issue. Remember, I had not be connected to the Internet since Release 10130 downloaded to my device. I did find some updates; a dictionary update, a Windows defender definition update, and two Office security updates. But nothing that would indicate a fix for Wi-Fi.
After the updates downloaded and installed, I unplugged the wired connection and the Yoga immediately switched to Wi-Fi, but there were no networks available. Nada. Note that now my Wi-Fi router was about 4 feet above my head sitting on a shelf. I plugged back in again and tried the little network wizard thing and it came back to tell me that Wi-Fi was not working. No shit, Sherlock. It did something in the next step, but it still came back with an error. I unplugged my wired connection anyway, expecting that I might need to get ready to rollback this update, or maybe even revert back to Windows 8.1, when I decided to check one more time. My wireless network was visible and I was connected. Whoop de do! No idea if Windows 10 was doing something in the background configuring whatever, but it was a tense 10-15 minutes, while I contemplated my options. Note that this is the first time in 15 months I have had any problems connecting to a wireless network with this device.
With that out of the way it was on to some Windows 10 exploring. Action Center had a message from the Insider Hub relating to a challenge of sorts. It asked me to make sure I had tried everything in the below numbered steps to complete the challenge. One of the questions were, are your printers working. I though Outlook Mail would be the best place to test that out. In previous builds I had a problem connecting my Live and Hotmail accounts in Outlook mail. They were installed, but had a little triangle next to them indicating they needed some attention. I finally got the Live account working a week or so ago, using an App password as my login password (my regular password or an Authentication code would not work), but my Hotmail account, my “primary” account on this machine, would not sync. As you can’t delete the primary account, I tried recreating it. This time, when setting up the account it asked for my Authentication code, and now all is good. Finally. But back to printing. I selected a random email and tapped the … to reveal the print option. That in itself was a relief, as the first release of Outlook Mail had no option to print. Nada, nothing. So this was progress. I decided to only select the first page of the two page email (another improvement over the current Modern mail in Win 8.x) and I selected my HP Laserjet, which has a fixed IP and is hard wired to my wireless router. So really easy to get to. I clicked print and waited. And waited. Didn’t hear the printer wake up. So I got up and checked. Green power light was on, all was good. Went back to the Yoga and printed another email. This time a one page message. Sent it to the same printer and got the same result. Nothing. I navigated to Settings and Printers, and found my HP. Printed a test page and it immediately popped out of the printer, but still no emails. Gave up on that and decided to check out the Music app, another part of the challenge. About two minutes later, the first email came through the printer. About a minute after that, the second email. Now smarty pants, don’t tell me the test page woke the printer up, cause it was third in line. No, Outlook Mail was doing something to prevent the mail from printing. Not sure if they had a bunch of Monks in a back room somewhere re-transcribing the messages, or something like that. All I know is it wasn’t right.
Music looked good. Didn’t try to play a song, but it looks like the app found all my tracks. Same for the Video app. To complete the challenge I had to check the Photo app. It looked like the app found a few, meaning three, folders. But not the other dozen or so with the bulk of my photos. I guess there are two ways to see your photos, Collections and something else. Wish I could tell you what, but the app crashed, and continues to crash. Anyway, both ways to view your photos is by date. Or, by date. That’s it. Now, not sure how viewing my photos by date will help with the 20 photos of variants of my company’s logo I have in a folder. Or the photos of Mom, which spans about 25 years worth of scans. But hopefully somebody realizes that Folders are “still a good thing”. I had to memorize dates in History class. Why do I have to remember dates to find my photos. Thought I was done with school. In any case, I clicked on some collection thing or whatever and different photos started appearing below the top three, with dates associated with them. I noticed something in the top right of the screen saying 65% completed, or something like that, and then boom, the Photos app closed. Clicked on it to open and after 1-2 seconds it crashed again. I went to the beta Store and found Microsoft Photos. Not sure if it was the same as Photos, I selected it to download and it did something. After a minute it said installed. I looked for Microsoft Photos, but it appears to be the same as Photos, with the same icon. So I clicked the app again, and again after 1-2 seconds it crashed. I unpinned it from the Start Menu and tried launching it from the App list. Same result. Of course, you can’t delete this app as it’s part of the OS I suppose. Oh, and now it won’t let me repin it, although the option is there. So now it’s broken and probably only another test build will, maybe, resurrect it.
Back to Outlook Mail. I wanted to share all my tribulations of the day with my staffnotify brethen, so I started typing an email, doing my best to use this new build as much as possible to feed as much data back to Microsoft as I can. Got to the second paragraph of my email and boom, the app closed. Just like that. I don’t think I pressed anything, or my palm tapped anything on the touchpad. The app just closed. So I opened mail again, expecting to find nothing. It had defaulted back to my Live account, which is a the top of the list, although AOL and H for Hotmail come before L for Live. But I digress again. Went back to my MD staffnotify account and found my message in drafts with the last line or so missing. So I started typing again, and after another minute or so, boom, crashed again. I reopened the app and the draft long enough to send it along. Then went on to continue my rant to fellow staffnotify users with my phone. I don’t know, some auto-save glitch. Sounds like a bit problem to me. It was a long day of testing and I was tired of fighting technology, so I shut it all down and went to Boston Market for a turkey dinner and pecan pie. Comfort food.
So, is there any good news. Well, the People app is back and appears to be working. There are zero settings/options available, so you can call the app raw. But at least it opens. And the new Alpha selection, same as on Windows Phone is really nice. Much easier to find an app. But, I wanted to use my inSSIDer app to check my wireless networks and I couldn’t find it. So I installed it again. It was only later that I discovered that the app was hidden in the MetaGeeks folder. Actually, the only thing in the MetaGeeks folder. No way to change/renames folder yet. Who woulda thunk. Guess I have to start typing the app names in Cortana’s search box, if I can remember the name of the app. Oh, and Package Tracker, a third party app, is working again. Has been dead on Windows 10 for a couple months.
Maybe it’s me, but I just don’t have the confidence in Windows 10 launching without a glitch. Or more precisely a bushel basket full of glitches. I tried Windows 8 at a preview stage. And while not perfect, it was certainly usable. This build of Windows 10 I currently have on my Yoga is light years away, rendering it useless for any real work. I know everyone reading this will probably update to Windows 10 on July 29th, despite the warnings, cause that’s what we do. But how about your noob friends that need help with, well everything technical. Are you going to update them on July 29th? Or, maybe wait till July 28th, 2016, or at least Jan 1, 2016, to see if most of the kinks have been worked out before burdening a friend with a bunch of uninvited problems. Now would be a good time for Satya to approve some serious overtime. And order a couple, no a few, pallets of 5 Hour Energy, as a backup plan. Just sayin’.