Microsoft went the whole nine yards to turn the tables on the colossal flop that’s been Windows 8, but we’re guessing they didn’t want it to seem like the operating system reached its ninth and final life.
Over the course of its near-two-decade existence, the closed source platform that came to dominate the PC décor relatively quickly survived plenty of near-death experiences. Windows had its ups, but also its downs, knowing flack and criticism primarily for its ME and Vista variations.
Meanwhile, Win 8 and the slightly improved 8.1 never quite hit the hatred peaks of its two grossly ill-advised ancestors, but since they rolled out during the toughest recession in the traditional PC’s history, they perhaps affected Microsoft’s business in the most extreme way.
Clearly, the tech giant is still a long way from collapsing. But put another one in the lemon column, and you can kiss classic, Windows-running laptops and desktops good-bye. Luckily, for them and for us computer enthusiasts, Win 10 might well be for 8 what 7 was for Vista.
It doesn’t look like a revolution, at least not in the pre-release, unfinished and unpolished form Microsoft is demonstrating, but we never needed that. Just a subtle, incremental, stable update to make sense and run smoothly on both touch-enabled and non-touch devices.
And puzzling name aside, Windows 10 certainly fits the description. It doesn’t ditch Metro, but makes the switch from it to the traditional UI seamless. If you don’t want to use the “Modern” interface, you don’t have to, and the oldie but goldie Start Menu is always just one click away.
And then there’s augmented multitasking, courtesy of a brand new virtual desktop system, as well as the ability to run Windows Store apps within windows on the desktop, not necessarily in full-screen mode.
Since development is far from over, and at the earliest, Windows 10 will be ready for a commercial run in mid-2015, you can imagine many details remain cloaked in secrecy or subject to subtle change. But overall, Win 10 is basically a cross between 8 and 7, and that’s probably the wisest call.
Oh, and although MS is yet to spell it out, all signs point to Windows 10 bringing true “familiarity and consistency across devices”. Be them phones, tablets, laptops or desktops. So don’t expect any Windows Phone 10 or RT 10 deviations. All Windows machines will be the same (more or less) in software terms, and that once again is a very wise decision. Good Microsoft!