It's 2016, WiFi should work

Microsoft announced Bash on Windows. Basically, it's user-space Ubuntu that proxies kernel-space syscalls through a proxy... what it means is you get something that executes Linux binaries on Windows with little or no performance penalty. Cool.

Given that I'm a sucker for new toys and new stuff, I went out and bought a Yoga 900 to try Windows 10, Bash, etc.

The Hardware

The Yoga 900 is quite a nice piece of hardware. Compared to my 13" MacBook Pro, the Yoga is competitive. It's similar in size, weight, and feel (solid). Is the Yoga as good as the MacBook Pro? No. Is it in the same league, yes.

Windows 10

Windows 10 sucks far less than Windows 8.


The process for installing the "Preview Version of Windows" required to run Bash on Windows is convoluted. Basically, one must sign up for the preview program, wait a day or two, then you get notified that a new version of Windows is available.

After the two day cycle to get approved, updated, restarted, updated, restarted, figuring out how to turn on virtualization in the BIOS, restarting, upgrading, and finally restarting, I had a Bash prompt on my Windows machines.

I'll get to Bash next, but first...

WiFi is unstable on the version of Windows I was using. Yep...

Moving from one WiFi network to another required a reboot.

Adding a new WiFi network required a reboot.

Sometimes a sleep/wake cycle required a reboot to access a WiFi network.

It's 2016... Macs, ChromeBooks, iPads, and even Linux machines deal perfectly well with migrating across WiFi networks. How can Microsoft not get this right?

Oh... and I signed up for a Microsoft account that got linked to my PC. And Microsoft sent me at least 3 emails reminding me about Windows with no "opt out" or unsubscribe link. Really? I just want to use my machine. I don't want spam.

I also spent 20 minutes going through as many settings as I could find in Windows disabling the dozens of ways that Microsoft transfers information from my device to Microsoft for analysis and improving Windows and lots of likely marketing, selling, and NSA-related purposes.

None of the above inspires any sort of trust in Microsoft.

Bash on Windows


Without xwindows support or server process support, it's not really useful for doing development. Will it likely get better over the next year or two? Yeah.

But between Cygwin and running native Linux stuff in Docker, I'm not sure about the value of Bash on Windows.

Firefox runs better

There is one bright spot of Windows. Firefox runs far better on Windows than Mac or Linux. Firefox on Windows is usable as a primary browser which is not a true statement for Firefox on a six core desktop Linux machine.

Will I keep using the Windows machine?


Will I install Linux on the Yoga 900?

That'll destroy the Windows installer and lock me into Linux on the device which is what happened with my last couple of Windows laptops... and they are mostly paperweights.

Maybe I'll give the machine to a family member that can stand using Windows.