The first 6 changes Microsoft will make to Windows 10

The crystal ball says Microsoft will make several customer-friendly changes

It doesn't take a Great Woodini to say that Microsoft is going to make major fixes to the way Windows 10 works right now. Here are my top predictions:

Windows 10 prediction No. 1: Microsoft will change the default Wi-Fi Sense setting to Off

The setting, which I believe betrays the Windows team's phone roots, has raised a stink from here to Krebs and back. I think it's overblown, but the bad publicity isn't helping anybody. You can perform a preemptive strike: Go to Start > Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > Manage Wi-Fi settings, turn off all the options, then make sure at the bottom, under Manage known networks, all of the networks are set to Not Shared.

Windows 10 prediction No. 2: Microsoft will turn off the update sharing setting

At least, it will change the default to get updates from and send updates to "PCs on my local network." The press is crying about Windows Update Delivery Optimization, saying it "hijacks customer bandwidth." While that's literally true, for most people (who don't have metered upload links), I think it's overblown. Anyway, the press is bad enough, the default setting should be scaled back or zapped.

Windows 10 prediction No. 3: Microsoft will figure out how to let everyone block updates (at least drivers) before they're installed

The current situation is silly. Obviously nobody thought this one through. The only alternative on offer is convoluted, unwieldy, and basically broken. Microsoft clearly needs to give everyone -- whether they're attached to a server, whether they're running Pro or Home -- a way to block bad driver updates. Whether it gives us a more general blocking ability depends a lot on how the patches go over the next few months.

Windows 10 prediction No. 4: The new Universal Mail app will get a major update

There are so many complaints, in so many places, that Microsoft has to fix it. Of course, all the other apps need updates, too. But Mail's one of the worst -- and most visible.

Windows 10 prediction No. 5: Edge will get an easier way to change search engines

I don't know what possessed Microsoft to make the selection of a search engine so obscure. Perhaps the EU antitrust lessons no longer apply? Or maybe somebody decided that the penalty (such as the €561 million fine for "forgetting" to put browser choice in Win7 SP1) isn't worth the effort.

That said, I don't think Microsoft is going to bring your default browser choice across on upgrades. The press hasn't been too kind on that point either, but I think the technical foundations are more defensible.

I also don't think there's a snowball's chance in Bing of Microsoft ever divulging how many people signed up for the Win10 upgrade, how many actually performed the upgrade, and how many rolled it back.

Windows 10 prediction No. 6: Microsoft will go back to patching on a regular schedule

Enterprise customers will go nuts if they have to field patches coming at unpredictable times on unpredictable dates. Whether the patches will come out on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, arrive weekly or every two weeks, or whenever, admins at the places I know are already skittish about Windows 10 patching, and the unpredictability doesn't help matters one bit. A little bit of advance notice wouldn't hurt, either.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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