Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Microsoft Windows 10 Was Unveiled Today

I have always been highly critical of the way Microsoft callously abandoned Windows 7 users by making the Windows 8 workflow completely schizophrenic and foreign feeling to desktop users, by focusing on the Metro/Modern look and feel, primarily aimed at touch screens and tablet users.

The desktop interface that we were all familiar with was almost an afterthought, rather like the DOS window in Windows. It's there if you really think you need it, but we think you're going to like Metro so bloody well, that you'll never go back. But we went back. Worse yet, Microsoft ripped out the "Start" button/menu. Experienced Windows users no longer had their "anchor" to use as the focal point for navigating around the desktop.

A fundamental rule in software development is you don't remove features; you deprecate them. Meaning that you can hide them, or make them configurable but turned off by default. But no, you're going to use Windows the way we say, and you're going to like it.

Some things improved with Windows 8.1 after the blow-back and slow uptake, which restored some of the worst inconveniences, but it still didn't cut it. Of course, we have gotten used to using Windows 8 over time, but many of us still miss some of the old features, and we still marvel at the screwy split personality of Windows 8.

So Windows 10 appears to have added back better desktop support, seamless transition between touch and desktop environments, and the ability to merge the two experiences without the schizophrenia that plagues Windows 8. I'm waiting to get my hands on an advance copy of Windows 10.