Wednesday, 01 October 2014

Microsoft provided a sneak peek at its next
operating system. One of the big reveals from the news
conference in San Francisco is that Microsoft will go
straight from today’s Windows 8 to Windows 10.
Apparently this is because the new software will be so
awesome that simply calling it Windows 9 would not do
it justice. More likely, some Microsoft market researcher
decided that people don’t like 9s as much as they like
10s. Who knows?
Windows 10 looks to be as much of a step backward as
it is a step forward. Microsoft has given in to critics and
brought back the traditional start menu that people will
recognize from Windows 7. That means consumers can
click on the window icon and have a menu pop up
showing their documents folder, PC settings, command
prompt, and the like. Microsoft has also tried to placate
people that were accustomed to the tile-based interface
of Windows 8 by, in essence, gluing a few tiles onto the
right side of the start menu.
Courtesy Microsoft
The familiar Start menu is back, with some changes
This could be considered a metaphor for Microsoft’s
indecision, except it seems rather literal. Microsoft has
grafted a 2014 interface onto a 2004 interface. Company
executives described the setup as going from a first-
generation Prius to a Tesla Model S. No one wants to
drive something that is half a Prius and half a Model S
because that would be ugly and embarrassing.
The other really big news is that the upcoming version of
Windows will be the same software running across all
devices in the Windows world. From tiny gadgets and
phones right on up to bulky desktops, all will share the
same underlying code and have access to the same
apps. This fulfills Bill Gates’s long-held vision of writing
one operating system to rule them all, with Windows
serving as a unifying force across hardware.
You can now open apps from the Windows Store
Courtesy Microsoft
It’s easy enough to understand how Microsoft ended up
going down this path. Windows 8 offered people a radical
reinterpretation of the desktop, with its tiles and touch-
heavy interface, and consumers responded coolly to the
software. Microsoft gave everyone an out by including
its old, faithful desktop as a background option, and
people ended up grasping that crutch.
With Windows 10, Microsoft is delivering something
familiar, which should be an easier sell for businesses
looking to upgrade machines with minimal hassle. This is
important because Microsoft is facing corporate pressure
from Apple and Google in earnest for the first time in its
On the other hand, Microsoft is copping out once again.
A big letdown with Windows 8 was that Microsoft did
provide the crutch of the old desktop. It felt weird to be
using a modern interface, click on an app, and suddenly
get thrown into the past. Microsoft did not have the guts
to force people to adopt its vision of the future, and the
company is playing it safe once again.

source: Bloomberg via microsoft

Posted by: @djshyluckjimmy

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