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Will Windows 10 address the operating system's biggest weakness?

Ever try using a five-year-old PC to get anything done? That's because over time, the OS decays.

Windows 10
Credit: Microsoft

So the wraps are off, and no one got the name change right. Windows 10 comes with a whole lot of promises, not the least of which is that the company is listening to users and wants their feedback. So something tells me this OS will not be met with the derision of Windows 8.

At the grand unveiling, numerous features were discussed, from the interesting (multiple desktops) to the silly (ctrl-v pasting in the DOS prompt). One of the promises made was that Windows 10 would eliminate the need for reinstalls when a new OS version came out.

Microsoft is promising continuous, ever-evolving upgrades to the operating system so people won't have to erase the hard drive and start over, like all current users of Windows 7 and 8 are going to have to do when 10 comes out next year.

This might not sit well with IT, because they don't like disruption. Microsoft may push out significant updates the way it does bug fixes on Patch Tuesday, but IT might not want them immediately or they will have to test the updates. And then there's the fact that Microsoft released some bug fixes, so the company is putting its own neck on the line.

The real question on my mind is whether Windows 10 will finally address a problem that has plagued pretty much every Windows OS since at least 95: the decay of the system over time. As you add and remove apps, as Windows writes more and more temporary and junk files, over time, a system just slows down.

I'm sure many of you have had the experience of taking a five-year-old PC, wiping it clean, putting the exact same OS on as it had before, and the PC is reborn, running several times faster than it did before the wipe. It's the same hardware, same OS, but yet it's so fast.

This slow degeneration is caused by daily use, apps, device drive congestion (one of the tell-tale signs of a device driver problem is a PC that takes forever to shut down) and also hardware failure. If a disk develops bad sectors, it has to work around them. Even if you try aggressively to maintain your system, eventually it will slow, and very few people aggressively maintain their system.

So I wonder if Microsoft has found a solution to this. Windows 8 was supposed to have some good features for maintaining the OS and preventing slowdown. I wouldn't know; like most people, I avoided Windows 8 like the plague. It would be the most welcomed feature of Windows 10 if I never had to do another backup, disk wipe, and reinstall.

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