Why is metered bandwidth usage so terrible

Windows 10 is great except for the parts that are terrible

Windows 10 is a great upgrade. Microsoft paid close attention to the feedback that was ignored in the development of Windows 8. Unfortunately, for some inexplicable reason, some parts of Windows 10 are bad and user-hostile.

While Windows 10 as a whole shows Microsoft, while listening to feedback, parts of it show the same old Microsoft that dug its feet in and announced products like the original Xbox One and Windows 8 without caring about many users.

It uses your upload bandwidth without telling you

CONNECTED:How to prevent Windows 10 from uploading updates to other PCs over the Internet

By default, Windows 10 will automatically upload Windows updates and apps from the Windows Store to other PCs over the Internet. This is a great feature when limited to the local network. However, Microsoft by default enables all users of the Internet part, using the upload bandwidth for something that doesn't help you.

Worse, there is no indication that it only happens when you read about it online, when your internet connection is slow, or when your internet service provider contacts you about using your limited upload bandwidth.

It can be shown as an option in the custom setup process or a note about it could appear somewhere but doesn't - it just works in the background. You need to find a special option hidden five clicks deep in the operating system to disable it.

This potentially helps anyone download updates faster - it's basically like BitTorrent for Windows updates. However, many people, especially outside of the US, have connections with upload data caps. Microsoft saves money on bandwidth bills by using customers' internet connections without telling them.

Some automatic update options may hurt people with limited internet connections

CONNECTED:Prevent Windows 10 from automatically downloading updates

Windows 10 forces all home PCs to download and install updates automatically. This is good in some ways as Windows systems are safe at home.

However, this has one major problem: it is not being respectfully implemented. You can only configure the time Windows will restart - not when updates are downloaded.

Many people - once again, especially outside of the US but also in remote or rural areas in the US - have Internet connections with bandwidth restrictions. You can't necessarily download hundreds of megabytes of updates every week. Some people only have unlimited bandwidth at certain times - maybe in the middle of the night. Windows 10 does not offer a way to instruct Windows to only download updates during these times.

The only solution for home users is to set a connection as "metered". Microsoft recommends setting any connection with a data cap as a metered connection. This gives you control over when you download updates.

There's just one big problem: Microsoft won't let you set a wired ethernet connection as a measurement connection. If your ISP has data limits at home and you're connected with a regular Ethernet connection, you can't restrict these Windows updates without spending $ 100 on the Professional Edition of Windows 10.

This is reminiscent of the original Xbox One, which required an internet connection almost always available. Microsoft just assumes that all users have broadband internet connections with no data restrictions and doesn't seem to understand the connections many people struggle with.

People are upset about privacy and Microsoft doesn't communicate well

CONNECTED:30 ways you can connect Windows 10 computers to Microsoft

Windows 10 is currently under a firestorm of controversy - even now still debated in the mainstream media - over privacy concerns. Windows 10 is a big change from Windows 7 and includes many more features that the mothership comes home with. Some of them can't even be turned off. For example, the telemetry function can only be completely disabled in Enterprise versions of Windows.

Microsoft should explain this much better, and make it easier to understand. We categorized 30 different privacy settings across the Windows 10 user interface and across the web, some of which had confusingly vague explanations. If Microsoft had arranged these options better with more explanations, they could have at least limited some of the criticism. We think much of the criticism is exaggerated, but Microsoft is not helping itself by being silent.

Worse still, Microsoft still expects criticism. Updates to Windows 7 and 8.1 add the telemetry service from Windows 10, so Windows users stick with older versions of Windows for privacy reasons.

"By using this service, you can add benefits from the latest version of Windows to systems that have not yet been updated," said Microsoft's patch note. This is just a ridiculous explanation: Microsoft may be able to take advantage of telemetry collection, but the average Windows 7 or 8 user will not get any benefit from the latest version of Windows after installing the telemetry service.

Microsoft will not give you any patch notes. deal with it

Microsoft is pushing its vision of Windows as a service that plans to keep updating Windows 10 with new features in the future. With all of these constant updates, you - or companies that fear change - may want to see what these updates actually do.

However, Microsoft has no plans to actually provide these patch notes so you can find out what's changing. Microsoft can occasionally provide information about major changes if they choose to, but that's it. There have been reports now that Microsoft may provide companies with some patch notes, but it would be.

Microsoft plans to update Windows 10 on an ongoing basis with more than just security and bug fixes - with new features, changes, low-level modifications, and much more. However, Microsoft is unwilling to notify its customers of any changes.

The start menu is noticeable and it lacks basic functions

CONNECTED:The start menu should be sacred (but it's still a disaster in Windows 10)

After years of Windows 8 and then 8.1, every Start menu seems like a big upgrade. However, the Windows 10 Start menu isn't great compared to Windows 7. Microsoft has added eye-catching live tiles and removed useful features. It may not work as well as it used to, but it will bombard you with information about hamburgers and Lady Gaga and soccer when you open it.

There's no way to pin apps that you use regularly, for example on the left side of the Start menu. Worse, the Start menu now works very differently. It only supports 500 entries and will cancel after adding more than 500 shortcuts. It just doesn't show any shortcuts to applications you've installed. They cannot be called up via the search function of the start menu either. That's just sloppy, and shows that Microsoft is more concerned with creating an eye-catching live tile Start menu than a tool that is robust in the real world for the PC users who need it most.

Metro apps are still practically unusable

OSNews' Thom Holwerda writes that Windows 10 only gets high ratings because it's free and because the reviewers didn't force themselves to only use the Metro apps, now referred to as Universal Apps.

Still using mostly desktop apps, I want to have a good experience with Windows 10. Microsoft itself doesn't seem too sure about universal apps either. Microsoft unceremoniously ended the universal version of Skype a month before Windows 10 came out. They want you to use the desktop Skype app instead. The Metro versions of Office 2016 are all called the "mobile" versions so that you don't use them and instead get the traditional desktop apps.

Even apps that see a lot of development aren't ready yet. Microsoft Edge has a lot of problems even when dragging a tab out of a window.

Remember, Windows 8 came out in 2012. It's been three years and these Metro / Universal apps are still not convincing. Microsoft worked on the Metro platform for years before Windows 8 was released. So Microsoft's best and smartest have had 5-6 years to release some great apps and show everyone how it's done. Instead, the Skype team turn back to the desktop app, and the Office team instructs users not to use the universal apps on PCs. These universal apps are only intended for smartphones and small tablets - that's what the Microsoft Office team tells us.

Perhaps they will be more successful if developers can easily port their iPad apps to the Windows Store. Unfortunately for Microsoft, most PC users probably don't want to use iPad apps on their desktop.

Windows 10 includes Get Skype and Get Office apps, which are literally just universal apps that just ask you to download the desktop apps. Microsoft also uses these ads to spam Windows 10 users with ads so that they have a different function.

Mandatory driver updates can damage some systems

CONNECTED:Uninstall and block updates and drivers on Windows 10

Mandatory driver updates are another problem; instead of just sending Microsoft's Windows updates to everyone, Microsoft is forcing you to install the latest drivers that you think will work on your computer. There is no way to disable these drivers if they don't work for your hardware. Install your own custom drivers and Windows Update will repeatedly install its own drivers over your own custom drivers.

There is still a "Would you like Windows to download?" Driver software typed into Windows stating that Windows Update is no longer able to install the drivers but is not working. However, Microsoft didn't bother to remove it, which just puzzles everyone.

The only way to get around this is to block individual driver updates with a special tool that you have to download from Microsoft's website. However, you will get new drivers if a newer version is shown in Windows Update.

Mandatory Security Updates Are One Thing, however, Microsoft should allow PC users to take control of their specific hardware drivers when they need them - even if that's just a hidden option that you need to enable.


These are just a few of the ways Windows 10 can fail flat on your face. There are certainly others. The continued separation between the Settings and Control Panel apps is silly. The white title bars are ugly for a lot of people and a sad step back from the colorful Windows 8, although Microsoft seems to recognize the bug and is adding the color picker again.

People who depend on the functionality for unique placeholder files in Microsoft OneDrive on Windows 8.1 will be disappointed that they have been completely removed in Windows 10.

Photo credit: TechStage on Flickr