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article imageWindows 10 launch mired by annoying bugs for many

By James Walker     Jul 31, 2015 in Technology
Microsoft's worldwide rollout of Windows 10 is now well under way but it hasn't gone through without its fair share of issues. Users have been reporting a wide range of early bugs including install failures, broken Start menus and crashing, unstable apps.
Microsoft saw over 14 million installs of Windows 10 in the first 24 hours of release. The company delivered a 1GB bug-fixing patch on launch day which will have been automatically installed with Windows 10 itself, but with so many people trying out the new OS, some of them are sure to still encounter bugs in this first release. That is exactly what has been happening.
The most prominent and widespread issues appear to surround the Windows Store. Several users have reported that they cannot install any apps from it, preventing them from making the most of their computer or trying out new apps like the Windows 10 edition of hit game Minecraft.
There is also an acknowledged issue with the Start Menu which can lead to the all apps list destroying itself. Like in previous versions of Windows, the shortcuts themselves are stored in an ordinary folder, accessible to the user. Unfortunately, the new code powering the Start Menu then indexes those shortcuts into a database which for some reason has a seemingly arbitrary limit of 512 items.
The Start menu on Windows 10
The Start menu on Windows 10
Photo courtesy Microsoft
If you have more than 512 items in the All Apps list of the Start menu, you may find that they all suddenly vanish and never return again. Microsoft is apparently working on a fix but the hardcoded limit in the database seems to have been set far too low for people who have lots of programs and links installed.
There are other issues with Start too. Like in the preview builds, some people have found the Start menu often won't appear when the Windows button is clicked. For others, the menu appears but is unresponsive.
Elsewhere, some ancient Windows features appear to have mysteriously stopped working. PC World reports that there is an issue where the Ctrl+C keyboard shortcut to copy text simply doesn't work and that pressing the mute button with headphones plugged in sometimes makes it impossible to unmute them again. Ars Technica describes the Mail app as "beautiful but bug-ridden", calling out a long list of major and minor issues.
Mail in Windows 10
Mail in Windows 10
Unfortunately, some people haven't even had the chance to judge Windows 10 for themselves. Downloads have been mired by installation errors and failures, some of them unexplainable and seemingly without cause. Even using the official Media Creation tool to create USB install media sometimes fails with a not-exactly helpful "Something happened" error message which is being satirised across the Internet.
I've been having installer issues on my new Asus Eeebook X205TA laptop. I've successfully upgraded all my devices using USB media with the exception of this laptop which keeps failing with an obscure recovery environment related error as soon as the installer starts.
Unfortunately, it appears as though Windows 10 itself corrupted the recovery environment the first time that it unsuccessfully ran. The laptop is currently stuck on 8.1 with no way of upgrading to 10 and no way of factory resetting. Other people have been seeing the same error message but it appears uncommon and there is no word from Microsoft — as with so many other similar issues.
I have been running Windows 10 on my powerful AMD A10-7850K desktop system, my aging Intel Pentium laptop and my Intel Atom tablet since launch though. I have also encountered my fair share of issues.
All three devices were a pain to get upgraded and only my desktop actually pulled device drivers across successfully. My tablet ended up in such a dire state after the upgrade that not even the touchscreen or battery sensor worked.
Although everything returned to normal with the correct drivers installed, this would be a horrible experience for an average consumer as this happened after using the official upgrade option. I had to use a USB hub to connect a mouse and keyboard and install the drivers — with the tablet's display locked to portrait mode.
Meanwhile, my laptop's display resolution is locked to 1024x600 until I get round to installing the graphics drivers there. Oddly, my desktop completed the upgrade without any issues and is currently operating as smoothly as on Windows 8.1 — with one exception.
The new animations in Windows 10 are one of the first things you'll notice, especially on a high-end system that can run them at the full 60 frames-per-second. Unfortunately, the Start menu doesn't seem to be anywhere near as smooth. On my desktop computer - where everything runs at 60fps with no issues and graphically intensive games are no problem - the Live Tiles appear with a noticeably choppy fly-in effect and the entire menu feels unresponsive and slow at all times.
Action Center in Windows 10
Action Center in Windows 10
Another major issue for me is how notifications are handled. The Action Center icon keeps going white to indicate unread notifications when there are none there. When Outlook 2013 receives an email, the notification appears in Action Center but isn't removed after I've read the email. You have to manually remove it from Action Center every time.
The same thing happens when dismissing toast notifications that appear in the bottom-right corner of the display. Clicking the close button dismisses the notification but it still ends up in Action Center and has to be dismissed again later.
I've found other minor issues. The new apps occasionally stutter and crash. As others have found, the Microsoft Edge web browser won't scroll down a page until after it has fully loaded. The Outlook 2013 mail client simply will not send any email, although it is receiving as normal.
Microsoft Edge in Windows 10
Microsoft Edge in Windows 10
There are some annoying continuity issues too. As Windows Central pointed out recently, depending on where you click you'll see any of up to six different styles of right-click menu. The experience is jarring and doesn't fit at all with the new idea of a single, cohesive Windows.
I have similar issues with app title bars as Modern Windows apps and desktop programs have slightly different styles. The enforced bright white theme is also hard on the eyes and looks frankly awful against my dark-themed desktop background. A dark mode is in the works and I'll definitely be enabling it when it comes.
It's not all bad though. Animations are generally lovely, the all-new sounds create an entirely different and less-pressured atmosphere and virtual desktops make it easy to keep open apps organised. Being able to run Modern apps on the desktop as if they are normal programs is also really positive. It's just a shame that there are so many bugs to ruin the experience.
The good news is that Microsoft should be able to start releasing patches and updates for all of the issues very soon, through Windows Update. It is thought that a large bug-fixing release could come as early as next week but Microsoft clearly has a lot of work to do before this version of Windows 10 is as stable as Windows 8.1.
It's in the company's best interests to get things working quickly though. In the meantime, articles like this will probably be putting lots of people off upgrading. Although I haven't encountered any really major issues yet, what I have seen is a series of very annoying minor niggles that combine to give the general sense of "this really isn't finished." Other people online have had it far worse.
More about Microsoft, Windows, windows 10, Bugs, Issues
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