What's the latest verdict on Windows 10 LTSC?

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by Coldblackice, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. Coldblackice

    Coldblackice [H]ard|Gawd

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    With the infinite loop of update insanity that is Windows 10, I've considered dipping my toes into LTSC waters again and again, each time thinking (foolishly) "Surely next update they'll iron everything out and it'll all be good."

    Well, I think it may finally be time. In context of current/recent Windows 10 version releases, how would using the latest LTSC (1809) compare? What pros/cons would there be?


    I know the topic has been discussed before and I've read through those, but I'm asking in context of the past recent 1-3 months, and any recent experience from anyone here:
    • Are there any beneficial changes or features in recent non-LTSC that wouldn't be in LTSC;
    • Is there any recent software/support that won't work (or very well) on the latest LTSC?
    • I've seen some who claim to be using modified LTSC that enables Windows Store -- anyone have experience using tweaked LTSC?
    Personally, though not a huge deal-breaker, I think not having the Windows Store would be a moderate con. Not that I seek out the Store, by any means, there are just some developers apps that I've come to rely on from there.
     
  2. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    Personally I wouldn't use WIndows anymore at all. I have a virtual one which I open maybe twice a week for testing purposes. Life becomes so much better when you don't have to stress with Windows.
     
  3. Mazzspeed

    Mazzspeed [H]ard|Gawd

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    If you don't have the Windows store, that means you can't install software such as iTunes that's tied to the Windows store?
     
  4. muz_j

    muz_j Limp Gawd

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    Which would be a bonus from my perspective.
    I run LTSC & it's perfect for my needs, but I tend to run a quite modified installation & I don't use automated (scheduled) windows updates.

    I guess it depends on what you want from the OS.
     
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  5. Mazzspeed

    Mazzspeed [H]ard|Gawd

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    No doubt, iTunes is downright horrible.
     
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  6. Coldblackice

    Coldblackice [H]ard|Gawd

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    Believe me, I would(n't) if I could. Really wish Linux would stop dicking around and catch up for once, as Microsoft needs a competitor to pop them and their abortion of an OS one right in the mouth, to bring things back to sanity with some Microsoft accountability.

    Mind sharing what those needs (generally) are? Wondering how closely I fit that bill.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
  7. Mazzspeed

    Mazzspeed [H]ard|Gawd

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    Many of us have switched with very little inconvenience, even Microsoft themselves use Linux as the backbone of their more lucrative cloud based offerings and are now the biggest contributors to Github. Change is possible for many, but a considerable amount of muscle memory is going to have to be re learnt - For many this muscle memory has been entrenched since primary school, and this is no accident.

    "Everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal"

    "Anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it"

    "Anything that gets invented after you’re thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it until it’s been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really."

    - RIP Douglas Adams.

    Exactly what I was thinking, hence the reason I mentioned it. Linux isn't a software wasteland, in fact it's far from it.

    At the end of the day, I'm not preaching, I'm just clarifying a couple of points and there's no point switching to Linux if you're not ready or if you expect a Windows clone - Just don't believe the haters, they fear change and will do anything to stop it. Can Windows 10 Pro run LTSC or is it Enterprise only? I'm a bit rusty on the whole deal.
     
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  8. MaZa

    MaZa 2[H]4U

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    I agree Linux has come a long way. Thanks to Proton gaming is starting to be a non issue. The biggest things coming from Windows is wrapping your head around the new kind of filesystem, which frankly is unintuitive. More efficient than Windows for sure but hard to wrap you head around. And other thing there really needs to be a standard when it comes to installing software outside of the built in package system, stuff you find from the internet. Like when I wanted to install WoeUSB (which I needed to come back to Windows) from Arch repository made me feel like a fucking hacker.
     
  9. odditory

    odditory [H]ardness Supreme

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    If that's the case then you shouldn't even be looking at LTSC. The happy middle ground for me is Windows 10 Pro, de-fanged and de-bloated with MSMG Toolkit. This allows me to keep Windows Mixed Reality support (Samsung Odyssey+) as well as the Store (Xbox Game Pass for PC is finally something good MS has done for PC gamers), but rip everything else out (Telemetry, Cortana, Edge, Onedrive, useless UWP metro apps, etc). Post-installation I will block automatic updates and install a proper Start Menu.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
  10. Coldblackice

    Coldblackice [H]ard|Gawd

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    I definitely know and appreciate Linux has come a long way, and I'm always open to growing pains with change, but it definitely still has some non-trivial cons:
    1. Software support, e.g. Visual Studio (latest, at least) and Microsoft Office, particularly if you're someone that has to rely heavily on others' Excel workbooks with lots of deep macros and VBA, and I'm not keen on virtualizing
    2. Games + DirectX, though I realize it's been evolving rapidly in recent years with Vulkan + DirectX's fading out, definitely improved but still a far stretch below par to Windows
    3. General third-party software availability and development (I was a big OSS advocate for a while before realizing it's not the panacea it's thought to be; sure, there are some gems that do the job well, but there's much that is/does not, and I understand economically why that's the case)
    4. Overall UI/UX that, while much improved, is still nowhere near the "polish" that Windows has (as much as I hate to admit)
    5. Hardware + driver support, especially for older or non-mainstream device, definitely still below par with Windows
    6. GPU driver performance + development
    7. and finally, every time I've tried to convert to the light side of Linux, though aptly competent at handling such, I invariably grow weary of the extra configuration that seemingly anything/everything requires, and on an ongoing basis: OS, software, updates, hardware configuring, etc.
    Again, I totally get the irony of saying this in a thread like this, of all places, it brings me no joy to admit. And yes, I get the paradox of wanting something to be improved before jumping ships, though by waiting to jump ships, I hinder those improvements from happening: chicken vs. egg sort of thing. I'll be the first to admit I'm a beggar wanting to be a chooser.

    I've been on your exact "happy" middle ground for the past few years (including that same start menu), but unfortunately, it hasn't been a very happy time. De-fanging and de-bloating, while initially great, over time, gradually manifest in a compounding web of problems, minor and nearly imperceptible at first, but with each subsequent iteration/update, start to become non-insignificant. At that point, you're so far de-synced off the expected baseline that the only viable option is to reformat -- which is where I'm at now.

    I've tried debugging many of these issues, some even as far down as machine code, but have realized it's like trying to untangle an infinitely dense singularity of computer cords; at some point, there's less cost to just throwing out the ball and getting new cords.

    That's why I'm now considering coming at it from the opposite direction -- starting with a born-defanged Windows 10 (LTSC), and then CRISPR'ing in any needed genetic functionality, though that's what I'm unsure of being possible.



    Again, I'm not soapboxing trying to sell Windows or throw shade on Linux. I've just personally found it an untenable option for me, personally, at the moment, and am wondering if tweaked LTSC could be a better-functioning stopgap in the meantime.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
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  11. muz_j

    muz_j Limp Gawd

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    It's probably a lack of specific needs or requirements on my part.

    I've been an IT tech support professional for a long time (over 20 years) & have a good handle on how I use my computer.

    As mentioned I don't use regular Microsoft updates of any kind, run a pretty well tuned OS (unwanted services & components are removed and disabled). I have no interest at all in the MS App store (typically I removed its components using power shell) and I can happily resolve my own problems if I encounter any. Cortana is another standard feature I loathe

    So a standardised, bare bones enterprise orientated Win 10 suits me perfectly.
    Think of it as the Windows 10 equivalent to Ubuntu LTS. Standardised, witha set components & features that are intended for use over a longer period of time without being forced to update it every 48 hours
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
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  12. Mazzspeed

    Mazzspeed [H]ard|Gawd

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    Look, I'm not really interested in a Windows vs Linux flamewar - But there are a number of points here that are either a result of learned muscle memory or just not entirely true (for example, you'll find older hardware is actually supported better under Linux in many cases and Microsoft Office is actually fairly incompatible with ISO standards). However, you know what you want in an OS and you seem happy with Windows, therefore it's best to stick with what works best for you.

    I'm still wondering if Windows 10 Pro can run LTSC or do you need Enterprise?
     
  13. odditory

    odditory [H]ardness Supreme

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    LTSC is its own SKU.
     
  14. muz_j

    muz_j Limp Gawd

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    Correct - it's a version of the Enterprise Edition.
     
  15. Mazzspeed

    Mazzspeed [H]ard|Gawd

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    So 'legally' speaking LTSC is unachievable for the enthusiast anyway as there's a difference between activation and what's legal.
     
  16. 70 Polara

    70 Polara Limp Gawd

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    I run LTSB 2015 and love it. After some service tweaking it's incredibly lightweight and very fast (the 32-bit version has turned my lowly Atom N550 2GB + SSD netbook into a completely usable system again coming from Win7 Starter - idles around 600MB of RAM usage), plus all telemetry can be completely disabled from what I can tell too. It is extremely stable. No bloat, no store, no edge, no weird changes every major version update, just security updates only. Tried all 3 (LTSB 2015,2016 LTSC 2019). They are all great if you like your Windows minimal and to stay out of the way of what you are doing. Granted my desktop PC is used for web-browsing and gaming and netbook is used for web-browsing only. LTSB 2015 has the original Win10 RTM start menu and settings interface which I prefer to the newer versions. Only drawback that doesn't seem to effect me so-far is .NET Framework 4.6.2 is the newest supported on 2015 and nothing newer can be installed. For me, these are the only versions of Win10 I have any desire to use, and I'm quite enjoying 2015. I also feel 2015, 2016 are best suited to my archaic hardware, whereas LTSC 2019 is more suited to modern hardware.................

    I have found this link fairly accurate to explain the differences:

     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019
  17. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    Linux works perfectly as it is, even gaming is now widely supported with Proton. I use OSX as my daily driver. I was an Apple hater until I started using OSX as my work desktop. Granted it helps to get the hardware as a job perk but I have to say I would not return back to Windows for any price. Life is so much easier on OSX. No forced reboots/updates, stability, ease of mind...
     
  18. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    Use of Microsoft Office is the number one business liability busineses have. It's the most common threat even large busineses have, home brew Excels that are self maintained and more often than not, broken. When the developer of the Excel quits his job the enterprise is left with a mess that nobody else understands. It's a big big mistake to build your business logic on Excels.
     
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  19. AltTabbins

    AltTabbins [H]ard as it Gets

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    LTSC is a mixed bag. I've run LTSB and LTSC on systems and had different results depending on the use case. For a personal/gaming OS, its ok but has some deal breakers for me that had me switch back to Windows 10 Pro at the time. The biggest being that it has issues with Steam's VAC system and staying connected. I would constantly get kicked from CSGO servers because it would lose connection with VAC servers. I've tried several computers all with the same results and my friends who gave LTSC a shot had the exact same issue. If you need the Microsoft store, there are ways around getting it installed, but honestly the omission of the Microsoft Store is one of the biggest draws of the OS. You still get updates, they are still forced, and you will still need to reboot your system for most of them. You will reach a point (like LTSB did) where a lot of games will stop support for that version of windows. I believe LTSB ran on 1709, so at one point Blizzard cut off support for their games making it a huge headache. We still use it at work for task-specific machines like our digital displays or manufacturing equipment that require Windows. For that it works fine. Just so you know, there are simple and legal ways to get LTSC. They aren't as simple as getting a Windows 10 key but there ARE legal ways where normal users can get LTSC.

    Linux is a good solution but not for everyone. Despite what a couple people here would say, some offices need Office. Whether its because of exchange integration, active directory, or proprietary software that only works with Office or Windows. For home use, I'd say give Linux a shot and see if the games and programs you use have an alternative or a way of installing them. Lutris is great *when it works, Steam's Proton is great *when it works, and overall performance is generally better *when it does work. Those '*'s are the big gotcha though since not everything works. Not everything that "works" according to other people actually works either. The best way to find out for yourself if Linux will work is to just give it a shot. Try out a couple different distros and see if one will. It took me years to finally switch over since I couldn't find a distro that I didn't have critical issues with. I found one a year or so ago (Pop OS) that just works for me, so now its on my laptop and I run my work desktop on it with a Windows VM for stuff that just wont work on Linux. I'm a DBA and do some dev work for my job and I like the granular control I have using it.

    I heard a good analogy the other day that I think is fitting. Your operating system is like a car. Not every car is the same and some other better than others for certain people who need certain things. Windows is like your basic modern car. Its the most common car and works for most people. With the change in technology, sometimes it gets in its own way too much and it seems like with every new year, you lose more and more of what makes driving fun. Linux is like a tried and true project car. It might not have A/C, bluetooth probably wont work, you have to pop the hood every now and then, but once you get it running its a unique and fun drive. My friend didn't mention OSX, but I'll just call that an electric scooter for sake of completing the analogy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
  20. Stanley Pain

    Stanley Pain 2[H]4U

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    Why is nearly every one of your responses basically "Install Linux LOL"?
     
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  21. KarsusTG

    KarsusTG 2[H]4U

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    Pretty much this. Unless you are using advanced excel or access functions, you can do all your office stuff in the browser. Or bring online a remote windows box on azure or similar for the few times you really need it.

    Honestly, the only reason to NEED windows is if your pc is a glorified xbox, you have some hyper-specific proprietary software that is windows only, or you do some specific c# development that has to have it. Don't get me wrong, Microsoft can be great(ish) when you are managing a network of thousands of computers, but for home users it's basically not necessary.
     
  22. AltTabbins

    AltTabbins [H]ard as it Gets

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    Because thats the circle jerk meta of this subforum. Don't give solutions to problems, just suggest Linux.
     
  23. Stanley Pain

    Stanley Pain 2[H]4U

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    But do you run Arch? :ROFLMAO:
     
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  24. Stanley Pain

    Stanley Pain 2[H]4U

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    Let's not conflate what YOU think are needs compared to what others may need.
     
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  25. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    Most people do not KNOW what they really need. They're in tunnel vision mode windows windows windooooows, other things scary.
     
  26. Stanley Pain

    Stanley Pain 2[H]4U

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    Sort of how you and a few others in tunnel vision mode about Linux being the be all end all answer to everything eh? ;)

    There's a time and place for Linux. The desktop for your average computer user is not it. Nor is it there for the gamer (even though DXVK and Proton and Wine et al have made tremendous strides over the last year or two), or anyone who does any kind of corporate work (Office), etc. I'm an Arch user myself but I deal with the real world and the reality is Linux isn't the answer for a lot of things.

    And to re-iterate. Your needs are not my needs are not someone else's needs.
     
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  27. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    Nobody needs Microsoft Officce products to work. Absolutely nobody. There are many who are in the false illusion that they do, unfortunately. Everything Office does can be done with free open source tools. The Excel macro monsters are a bane of corporations and they should be completely banned. They've wasted countless hours and millions of dollars in damage from people cleaning up the mess after an excel guru retires, migrates or dies away.
     
  28. Stanley Pain

    Stanley Pain 2[H]4U

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    This is some serious horse shit levels of wrong. Do you have 0 knowledge of how large corporations work? End users don't need anything. All required software is provided. Why should they care otherwise? Nothing wrong with macros via Excel or any other spreadsheet. Not sure what you're getting at otherwise.

    By extension nobody needs Linux either. Well except for you Linux zealots who just love to evangelize the good word eh?..
     
  29. Mazzspeed

    Mazzspeed [H]ard|Gawd

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    Macro's are actually a massive security problem under Microsoft Office. You call B00nie a Linux zealot, do you realize you're just as much of a Windows zealot? Relax, you've turned this thread into the usual shitfest.

    Employee's adapt to the software that's available, if they cannot adapt they're baggage and should be shown the door. There's no room in modern business for people stuck in their ways.
     
  30. Stanley Pain

    Stanley Pain 2[H]4U

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    I'm not evangelizing anything. I'm promoting neither Linux nor Windows. You're way off the mark if you think you're going to fire people for that reason in a company of 26,000+ My CEO would hang me if I brought that idea to him.

    Like I said before I run Arch @ home on my own computers. I do also use Windows. No one wants or needs anyone telling them what OS they should use especially as an answer to some problem they are having that's completely unrelated.
     
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  31. Mazzspeed

    Mazzspeed [H]ard|Gawd

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    I know plenty of companies that change software for security purposes, new contracts or simply to reduce overheads or add new features and staff adapt. Those who say it can't be done are hindering those doing it.

    Plenty of companies using Gsuite or Libre Office nowadays, we're not in the Microsoft only dark ages anymore and you're acting like a Microsoft zealot no matter what you use at home. This is all I'm saying on the matter, let it rest and lets get this thread back on topic.
     
  32. Stanley Pain

    Stanley Pain 2[H]4U

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    One of the Dudes derailing thread with "Install Linux LOL" is telling me to get the thread back on topic. That's rich.

    I'm not arguing the merits of Windows vs. Linux. I'm saying that people coming into threads saying to switch OSes to Linux need to fuck off. Is that straight forward enough for your comprehension? Telling people to switch to Linux does NOT help answer the question in any way.
     
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  33. ManofGod

    ManofGod [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Well, no one except those who want to stay in business.
     
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  34. Mazzspeed

    Mazzspeed [H]ard|Gawd

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    I never told you to install anything.
     
  35. AltTabbins

    AltTabbins [H]ard as it Gets

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    Not sure if this has been answered or not. LTSC is an update from Enterprise. More like a branch. Either way you need to have Enterprise installed and then you can apply the license for LTSC.
     
  36. Mazzspeed

    Mazzspeed [H]ard|Gawd

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    So no different to LTS and non LTS branches of Ubuntu, except it only applies to Enterprise. Got it.
     
  37. AltTabbins

    AltTabbins [H]ard as it Gets

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    Yeah it’s kind of like Ubuntu LTS with the mark in the “minimal installation” box. I’d say that it wouldn’t come with the Ubuntu Software Center but that’s not a fair comparison since the Microsoft Software Store is a hot dumpster fire where the Ubuntu Software Center is fantastic.
     
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  38. Mazzspeed

    Mazzspeed [H]ard|Gawd

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    I think the Microsoft Software Store has the potential to be fantastic, the problem with a Microsoft Software Store is Microsoft's greed.
     
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  39. AltTabbins

    AltTabbins [H]ard as it Gets

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    Personally I think that they do not filter out the garbage enough. There are way too many knock off apps and apps that are created by 3rd parties to just harvest data. If it was anything like the Ubuntu Software Store where it had all legit software it would be different. I do have some software through it and the experience is good, they just need to make it worthwhile and so I don’t have to swim though garbage to get what I want.

    I honestly think LTSC should have been the default “pro” version of Windows 10. I think they need to look to the older versions of Windows for inspiration. In the XP, Me, 98, NT, and 95 days they had stuff like the Windows store and all the apps that come preloaded on 10, but they came as optional software packs. They were marketed as a value add on for new PCs but you could install it yourself or you could uninstall it if the OEM installed it for you. Imagine getting a new pc from the 90s and every piece of shovelware that came with the pc back then was pre installed and could not be removed. That entire cd wallet of “bonus software” on your computer and running on the first time you boot it up. That’s how I feel about Windows 10 and honestly the worst part about it. I can look past the telemetry since it’s a part of life now, but I always hated how much stuff comes on 10. It’s not a Linux vs Microsoft thing for me either, I thought 7 was great and would go back to that if they decided to support it again.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019 at 8:09 AM
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  40. Mazzspeed

    Mazzspeed [H]ard|Gawd

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    Agreed, LTSC should have been the Pro version of Windows. Furthermore, Microsoft need to stop stripping features out of Windows 10 Pro.
     
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