Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Microsoft Windows 10 - Announced Today

Today 1st of October Windows 10 announced, Microsoft have jumped from windows 7 and windows 8 to windows 10.

fever anyone was entitled to say "I told you so", it's those people who told Microsoft from the very beginning that it was heading down the wrong path with Windows 8. And that was a lot of people, but Microsoft refused to listen until the damage was already done.

The concept of Windows 8 was sound, but the execution smacked of Balmer-esque arrogance as Microsoft crammed it down people's throats whether they wanted it or not. The Modern UI tile-based interface has merit and the quest to unite desktop and mobile devices is certainly a noble one. Microsoft just forced too much change on people too quickly – hampering the success of slick Windows tablets and smartphones in the process.

While touch-friendly gadgets were finding their way into our homes, consumers who were familiar with the traditional desktop interface didn't necessarily want their PC converted into an overgrown iPad. Meanwhile office workers had very little interest in wading through the touch-centric, consumer-focused tiles just so they could find the desktop and get on with the day's work.

After two years only 20 per cent of organisations have migrated to Windows 8, according to tech research firm Forrester. Those numbers would be much higher if Microsoft had let people make the transition to Modern UI in their own time.

Instead the software giant has spent the last two years backtracking on Windows 8 in order to appease frustrated users. It could have saved itself a lot of trouble by simply letting Windows boot up into the traditional desktop – complete with the traditional Start menu – and then gradually encouraging more people to use Modern UI.

Arguing whether or not people really need the Start menu is to miss the point. The point is that people tend to resist change and Microsoft did an appalling job of handling this. Had it changed tack, by now Windows 8 might be approaching the kind of take up that it dreamed of, and Microsoft could be contemplating the future – such as tightening the link with Windows Phone 8 to rival Apple's slick ecosystem.

The cross-platform Windows 8 was Microsoft's chance to actually leap ahead of Apple, by creating a seamless touch-centric ecosystem that spread across desktops, tablets and smartphones. But Microsoft also took Apple's "father knows best" arrogance to the next level and in the process alienated an entire generation of Windows users.

The failure of Windows 8 on the desktop thwarted Windows 8 tablets and smartphones – which meant Microsoft didn't achieve the critical mass of mobile users required to make cross-platform compatibility a major selling point. Meanwhile Apple tread more carefully and now looks set to succeed where Microsoft failed, although Apple does have the advantage of a more fanatical user base which blindly accepted whatever Steve Jobs foisted upon it.

You might argue that it's easy to criticise Windows 8 with the benefit of hindsight, but the fact is that its failure was predicted from the very beginning. Microsoft refused to heed the warnings and make simple changes that would have made a significant difference. When you're too stubborn and proud to listen to a chorus of criticism from your own long-time users then perhaps you deserve to fail – a lesson that Apple should take onboard in the post-Jobs era.

Now instead of looking to the future, Microsoft appears to be looking backwards with Windows 10 – at a time when the PC is already struggling to remain relevant. The major selling points of Windows 10 include restoring the Start menu, embracing multiple desktops, fast app switching and letting the Modern UI tiles behave as desktop applications. None of these seem like a major step forward.

There's also a greater focus on "Universal" apps to run across desktops, tablets and smartphones – which sounds promising but would be more appealing if Microsoft hadn't worked so hard to sabotage its cross-device ecosystem by turning people against Modern UI.

Perhaps Windows 10 should be dubbed Windows 7.5 – the stepping stone we should have had before Microsoft forced Windows 8 upon us. Convincing us that it's a worthy upgrade will be the biggest test of new Microsoft chief Satya Nadella. Simply skipping over the number 9 isn't enough to convince long-suffering Windows users that 10 is a major step forward.