Windows 10 Rant: Too Many Changes for the Sake of Change?


Rant of The Day

rantWindows has dressed up some of its long standing applications and as you might expect they have created something that tried to please everyone. I don’t know if this technique ever works, I believe that in many cases, it is better to just leave “well enough” alone, particularly if they are working fine and my comfort level is as close to perfect as I require.

Having said that, I fully understand the need for change when change is needed, I am just questioning the need. The next three paragraphs are just me ranting on the unnecessary changes Microsoft does. If rants are not your thing, skip to the end of this post where I do give an example of how Windows has changed the new calculator.

Let me step back a second and state that I have always believed that many of the changes to the Operating Systems and programs like Office were updated or changed, in my opinion, more to generate capital than because a change was needed. That’s fine, to me it is no different than car models changing every year, they are a business and are trying to make money.

However, these are not the changes I am talking about. We always had a choice on the upgrade in the past. If you did not want to move to Office 10 because Office 7 was working perfectly for you, you didn’t. I know hundreds of people who kept chugging away with Windows XP through the new releases of Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and 8.1, and even Windows 10.


Why Did They Change It?

head scratchWhat I am talking about is the day to day applications and commands within the software or operating system, why change them? Is it really necessary? I have scratched my head on more than one occasion wondering why! I have used every iteration of Windows created. I felt I had to if I was going to service them. Every release has created issues which have irritated several of my customers and it got me thinking why does Microsoft do it, particularly when I believe there is a better way. Keep both versions in the initial release to allow individuals to at least wean off the old while practicing on the new. Microsoft has done it before, you had the option of using the new or classic views in Control Panel, Start Menus etc. But, it appears they have decided to abandon that route for a “this is what you get whether you like it or not” approach. Let me give you a perfect example.

Windows Calculator

The Classic - Gone But Not Forgotten

The Classic – Gone But Not Forgotten

The classic Windows Calculator was a thing of simplistic beauty, if only in the fact that it worked perfectly every time I used it. It could have had a few improvements, like a simulated paper tape or whatever but it worked and I liked it. Adding to the original version would have made sense, made the program better and kept customers familiar with it. That is decidedly not what Windows decided to.

The calculator in Windows 10 has added a new Programmer calculator to the Standard and Scientific calculators that comprised the old version but they have omitted several of the conversions that were part of the Windows calculator plus, like currencies and consumption, but they did include a new selection of ready-made converters. The programmer calculator is a nice addition to the original calculator and the entire calculator layout is clearly meant for compatibility with tablets and phones.


However, the layout for the PC is completely different from the original and unless you modify the default size, it first appears like some “number tiled” monster on the screen, it is much too large to take seriously.  The image below is set at the default size and I have clicked on the Volume Converter.

new full

A full screen calculator just to compute volume? Really?

new small

It can be reduced to look OK.

I have modified it to a usable visual layout but I am still not a fan. My biggest complaint is why did they not include the original with the new version. I seriously can’t believe it was size, granted the new version is only 32k but the old one was only 112k. Windows is so bloated that adding that 112k would have been meaningless. In their effort to make it “clean & neat” they have made it, well you tell me. I personally think it is “too metro”.

If you are not happy with the new calculator all is not lost. There are options. Instead of a button to view the classical version or at least a notification telling you that one existed, which would have been a nice touch, they have kept a version online that you may download. The Microsoft Calculator Plus from the Microsoft Website.  It does include both the Plus version and the older Classical version  together.

The default look of the MS Calculator Plus can be switched to the older classic view.

The default look of the MS Calculator Plus can be switched to the older classic view.

I took the opportunity to download a third party calculator Moffsoft FreeCalc, shown below. The free version only has the standard display but it does have a simulated paper tape that I really like.


Actual Buttons Again and a Paper Tape View

Actual Buttons Again plus a Paper Tape View

Summary

Alright, in the bigger picture, complaining about a calculator does not seem too important but you get the idea. The calculator just pushed my buttons, (pun intended). There are many more changes that Windows 10 has brought about and I feel the same way about many of them. Albeit, some of the changes are superior to the original. Has Windows 10 made changes that you wish were left alone. Either way, let me hear from you.

Jim

 

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About the Author

Jim Canfield

My interest in computers was a natural transition from all things electronics. I was hooked after building my first Heathkit computer around 1976, which evolved into a TSR80 and a long list of Windows computers. My first full blown program was a graphics program which started my career path in graphic design and IT work for 40 years. I now run a small computer repair and service company focused on helping veterans and retirees in our area with computer and software training classes.

6 Comments

  1. yeah man, a rant is always good for the soul. and i agree with your rant. over the years i have more and more gone to third party or open source programs to replace standard windows ones. and i have used mosoft calculator for years (although i do like the traditional color scheme) i love that the function buttons are large and easily seen. also the windows explorer, i use explorer ++, and start menu X…plus several others. i gave win10 a close look and a lot of research and will stick with my win7. let the herd go for their free operating system. i have put in a lot of time and effort getting win7 just the way i like it and its like turning on an old friend each day and not going to school. Clas

    • Clas, you correct, ranting is totally good for the soul. If you only have one OS I agree, I have xp, 7, and 10 on my system but if I did not have the room, I would have stuck with 7.

      Jim

    • John, not a doubt in my mind it was for money, pushing the advertisements on games that used to be standard and free makes it a little hard to swallow as anything other profit motivation. If the games are better fine, but they are basically the same thing.

      Thanks
      Jim

  2. Ranting is good for the soul, in my opinion. I do agree with you. MS hasn’t changed the calculator, since, 1998 or earlier – Why do it now??? Why must you go to the MS website, to download the older version, when it was working fine??? Most of us, do NOT need the Scientific calculator and that easily could have been done with a download. Plus, just how many of the Windows users know, to download the older version???

    I also, think that many users who have used the 32bit version of Windows, for years and through multiple upgrades, will have a rude awakening with Windows 10 NTFS version!!! The users who have used the Pro version with NTFS, will have no problems. But, I remember, when I chose to use NTFS, there was a learning curve. In particular, playing your Casual Games. Most of that has been settled, I just wished that I could play some of my favorite games from Win 95 and Win 98. The NTFS version has been more stable, than the 32 bit version.

    Now, I did upgrade to Windows 10 and within the week, went back to Win 7 Pro! I simply, did not like the whole Windows 10 thing. First of all, I did back up a Win 7 Pro image, like it was suggested. When I upgraded, I had lost ALL of my Casual Games!!! I was floored!!! Why, didn’t they make the upgrade??? Please, don’t tell me that Windows 10 just couldn’t do that – I have upgraded from Win 95 to Win 98 to Win XP Pro to Win 7 Pro and haven’t had that issue with ALL of my Casual Games. Yes, I would lose a few, Win 95 games, just won’t work in Win 7 Pro and I also lost a couple of my Win 98 games, as well.

    I have also, decided to wait, until most of the bugs are worked out, like I have with every other upgrade. 🙂

    • MmeMoxie, you are correct, the games seem to be some of the hardest hit with Windows 10. I have a lot of customers asking me to get them back to Win 7. I really thought MS was listening to the customers on this version and in many cases they did but there were several request to not fool with the games but appear to be ignored. As I mentioned in an earlier reply, it is for profit. I don’t know that I can fault them for that but it would not have hurt to keep the older, less flashy games as an option. They certainly could have done it. It will not be long before Windows 7 will no longer be supported and meet the chopping block like XP. That is one of the reasons I run both, I just installed my Win7 on two disks and then overwrote one to Win10. It has been a year now and no problem.
      Thanks for the comment,
      Jim