Windows 10 Instability

Windows is unreliable

If you want predictable, reliable operation, Windows 10 isn’t for you. It updates itself in ways that you can’t stop, and often breaks itself in the process. As a result of this approach you can switch on your computer and suddenly find, at any time and without warning, that it’s effectively become unusable. Microsoft seems to think that’s acceptable. It isn’t. However, many people continue to cling to Windows even though it’s the main source of their IT problems. Better the devil they know?

Forced Windows updates

Windows 10 can be a real obstacle to getting work done. The way that Microsoft can suddenly cripple your computer by imposing an unwanted update or ‘upgrade’ on you is a major pain in the neck, especially if you’re working with a slow Internet connection. The downloads can be huge and take ages. Theoretically you can carry on working while the downloads happen in the background, but in reality the upgrade process can bring your computer to its knees. To cap it all, these upgrades often fail without giving an easily understandable explanation, rewind your system back to the way it was in the first place, then soon afterwards try the whole thing again. It’s a nightmare, and hard to stop.

Windows suddenly grinding to a halt

Another nightmare scenario that often happens with Windows 10 is the system becoming completely unresponsive because the computer’s central processing unit or hard disk drive is fully occupied with some mysterious Windows internal process. This can go on indefinitely, and there’re never any clues about what’s happening. If you look at the ‘Task Manager’ to see what’s running, it never breaks down the Windows processes in enough detail that you can see which one’s using all the system resources, then stop it. Considering how many different versions of Windows there’ve been over the years, you’d think it was about time Microsoft got it right. Windows has certainly become more sophisticated over the years, but people don’t want that, they want stability. Microsoft are always trying to implement additional smart facilities, but in the end, they don’t help people, they just get in the way and cause a lot of trouble. Users don’t need ‘clever’, they need ‘working’.

Dumping Windows

Almost every Windows 10 user that I meet hates the system, but few are willing to take action. They nearly all have a ‘well, what can I do about it?’ attitude. The answer is simple, but requires a leap of faith. Dumping Windows 10 in favour of an alternative operating system can give you back control over your own computer, though few are willing to consider changing. That’s a pity because they don’t know what they’re missing. A new system such as Linux Mint isn’t the answer to everything, but at least you’ll be able to write documents, create spreadsheets, browse the Internet, and handle all your e-mails, without sudden failures or interruptions. The update mechanism is so smooth that you’ll hardly notice it’s happening, and the updates only happen when you ask for them. Nothing is forced on you against your will.

A reliable alternative to Windows

If you want a reliable alternative to Windows, you could do a lot worse than switch to Linux Mint. If you’re worried that it’d be a huge change, there’s a good chance that you’ll find it to be surprisingly familiar. It has a desktop with icons, and runs many programs that you’ve probably used before. It’s not just a system for ‘techies’.

Linux Mint is easy to use

You can still run the Firefox and Chromium web browsers, the Thunderbird e-mail program, Inkscape, Blender, GIMP, and a whole load of other popular software such as LibreOffice. There are some programs that you might not be able to run quite so easily, such as Microsoft Office for example, but many Windows-specific programs can be run within Linux’s ‘WINE’ (Windows emulation) environment. You can even run Windows within a Linux ‘virtual machine’ then run Windows-specific programs within that copy of Windows. It’s also possible to set up your computer so that when you start it up, it asks whether you want Linux or Windows (this is called a ‘dual boot’ configuration). You can always retain the ability to run Windows whenever you want to, but having said that, most people eventually end up switching entirely to Linux and never using Windows again.