Since the Windows 10 roll out is starting, many people who actually use computers for a living are wondering if they should upgrade.  We tested Windows 10 on a computer so that you do not have to be first.

There is a good caveat on dealing with any software coming from Microsoft – Watch out for the default behaviour.

The first issue is that if you have a HP with Client Security, File Shredder, or an encrypted drive you will have to decrypt and remove these applications before you can upgrade.  No word as of yet from HP as to when Windows 10 compatible versions will be available.

Install of Windows 10 went rather smoothly.  Easier than previous versions of Windows and everything other than the above mentioned items remained installed.  Microsoft has even improved the indication of percentage complete in that it seems to represent a much better estimate of the time remaining. During the process you will get options to set up a Wi-Fi network and set options.  There will be more on security options below, but it would seem that, for at least some of these settings, Microsoft will just ignore your input and use the defaults instead.

Microsoft seems to have put some sort of a pre-cache on boot up for Favourites and Recent Places. Since often people EPDM local views are here this will result in a rather long time staring at a completely blank screen before the EPDM log in pops up and you can set off-line mode or log in to continue.   For most of you, there will be only a single Vault and you will be connected to the network that it is on so this should be a minor issue.  However, for the record, if you have a couple of dozen local views from Vaults on different networks that you cannot simultaneous connect to from one network this part of the process will be longer than the rest of the install.  This is only a first time event. Subsequent restarts do not have the same delay.  On the HP Zbook 17 this was tested on boot time with Windows 10 was noticeably less than Windows 7.

Security – This has never been Microsoft’s strong point and they seem to have gone to efforts to weaken it.

The first thing you will wish to turn off is Wi-Fi Sense.  This was one of things that you were presented in the install options, but as mentioned MS seems to ignore your selection and turn it on by default.  From the Start Menu, click on Settings, Network and Internet, Wi-Fi and scroll down to the bottom and click on Manage Wif-Fi Settings.

The first selection is to connect you to any open hotspot.  Having this on is generally not a good idea.

The second is a little bit more insidious.  Give and get access to networks you or your contact share without having to reveal passwords.  This does not seem too bad until you drill down to the fine print: This includes even your Facebook contacts – Even that guy named Slarti Bartfast that you forgot you accepted an invite from.  I would hope that there is a group policy that will prevent this from being turned on, but for now,01 on the Settings is the best place to do this. Additionally, Microsoft is off-loading some of the bandwidth of its servers onto the users.  There is a setting under the advanced options for the update settings to download and serve Windows updates to other computers in the local network and internet.  While a business case can be made for serving updates between computers in your local network the option to also share and receive is a security risk and should be disabled.

It would also be good to review the settings under Privacy, Updates and Security.  These will have been reset to Microsoft defaults.

Microsoft loves the idea of everyone to have a Microsoft account.  For some things you do need one but they would like you to use it for everything.  If you are using something like Office 365 you will have to log into your Microsoft account in order to activate the Office 365 install.  When you do so, Windows will switch you from using your ‘local’ password to log onto the computer to using your Microsoft account password.  Currently this happens with no warning and upon reboot you will need to know your Microsoft account password.  It is possible to toggle the log in back to the local account from the settings message but it would appear that any subsequent use of a Microsoft account on the computer will toggle the log-in back to using the Microsoft account.

This comes with a few included ‘features’ (bugs) that mean that if a Microsoft account log in is allowed then anyone designated as ‘Family or Friend’ on the Microsoft account may also be able to log into the account.

Fortunately, there is a solution.  After logging in with one Microsoft account (if needed for any Office 365 or other MS application use), use the Settings, Account to toggle back to local account.  Then go into the Group Policy Editor and change the settings for Accounts: Block Microsoft Accounts as shown.  This will restrict log in credential to local or domain settings.

We tested the Zbook with SolidWorks 2014 SP5.0, 2015 SP4.0.  At this point in time SolidWorks has not officially announced compatibility with Windows 10 and it should be noted that for many of the higher-end graphics cards there are no Windows 10 compatible drivers.  (Caveat:  This was a test to see what issues are likely to occur.  At this point in time upgrading to Windows 10 should be considered experimental and not recommended procedure.)

As for the SolidWorks testing the surprising information was that there was no surprise. Everything seems to perform as expected.  SolidWorks 2014 Benchmark results: 13/39/23/75.  This is essentially the same as under Windows 7.  EPDM connects and performs as expected.  Did not test Office plug-in. SolidWorks update manager connects and downloads as expected.  Activation Wizard can transfer and activate licence.

General notes on Windows 10 itself:  The boot time is quicker, especially to the log screen. Bluetooth connectivity has improved.  I am not sure how they pulled it off, but I can walk away further from the computer with headphones before they disconnect.

Windows Media Player loses entire library and will not preserve library location or setting.Windows 10 has a new player called Groove.  It feels like a beta release.  Sound quality has improved and it will play a broader range of audio file types.

VOIP phone does not function.

Learning this system will be fun for IT departments trying to maintain data security.  Windows10 is like your own in-house hacker trying to leak information out.

HP fingerprint reader is non-functioning.

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