Picture the scene. I am sitting at my desk early morning, having just arrived, checking my email in my laptop. A colleague says 'Time for a cup of coffee?' 'Splendid idea', say I, 'Just let me shut down my laptop'.
As I was shutting down I noticed Windows 10 was installing some updates. That was the last time I saw the laptop working for over a week.
When I got back from coffee I wanted to show my colleague something I had on the laptop so I started it up again and . . . nothing. The lights were on but no one was home. The Windows 10 update had bricked it.
Let me say that again. Through no action of my own, only Windows 10 automatically installing an update, my laptop had been rendered useless. A very expensive brick.
Now I am not incompetent when it comes to IT matters, so I have the resources and skills to do something about this, but it irritates the hell out of me having to spend 10 or more hours re-installing and configuring a PC. Imagine if it had been someone less IT literate. Imagine if said someone had all their photos on the laptop.
By the way, did I mention this was from a fully automated update that I could not turn off?
To continue, after much F2, F8 and F12ing (and in a really bad mood), I re-installed Windows 8 for the Dell recovery option, then painfully installed as many Windows 8/8.1 updates as I needed, and finally re-installed Windows 10. All seemed to be going well when . . . I noticed a Windows 10 update being installed at shut down.
And yes, you guessed it. At the next re-boot, to my horror and huge irritation, it was back to being a brick.
OK, now this is an expensive Dell XPS-12 (flip screen) laptop, so just throwing it away seemed to be a bit of a waste of over $1400. I really wanted to get the thing back on its feet, so this time I took the sledge hammer approach. Kill all the hard disk partitions and a completely clean install of Windows 10, to eliminate any possible problem caused by Dell drivers or other 'helpful' Dell software.
And of course I immediately turned off automatic updates. Or so I thought.
After a tentative re-boot and a bit of playing all seemed to be going well, until (yes, you guessed it), and update at shut down . . . and (yes, you guessed it again), back to brick status.
Now, I know Windows 10 is free, but at this point Microsoft owe me about $2500, just for the time have spent on re-installs. Pleeeeeeease, all I wanted was to turn my expensive flat black brick into a usable machine.
So, the only option left: Windows 8.1. Clean install. From scratch.
Wow - now I have a working laptop! Amazing!
After all that, is the operating system so important to most users? I am finding that once all my applications are installed everything works pretty much as I need and I spend very little time doing 'Windows' stuff. In fact the only problem area comes from the horrendous 'Metro' apps that come with Windows 8.1, most of what have now been eradicated.
Microsoft are slowly, but surely, turning a person who generally appreciates their efforts, into someone who is just tired of all their crap. This emotion I have is not hate, or resentment. I am just tired or having to argue their cause. I think I will stop.