Earlier this week, Microsoft officially gave the public a first look(video) at its new operating system. Focused primarily on enterprise features for the time being, many of the announced changes will still affect commercial users.
The biggest change is probably the step back they took regarding the Metro UI (or whatever it’s called now) on the desktop (or other device without a touchscreen). I was never a fan of Metro on the desktop, even though I thought it was a decent interface for touch devices. If you’ve spent any amount of time on the internet in that last few years, you’ll know I’m not alone with this sentiment. It’s also a major reason why Windows 8 adoption has been slow, especially in the enterprise. This change is Microsoft admitting that they were wrong, listening to the feedback they received, and finding a better implementation of their vision for the future of their operating system. Windows 10 is what Windows 8 should have been.
Without a doubt, the new start menu and windowed Metro apps on the desktop alone will surely make Windows 10 to Windows 8 what 7 was to Vista. Users won’t be forced between interfaces optimized for different use cases. All the while, touch devices will retain the tiles and full-screen apps. Hybrid devices will benefit of both interface designs depending on current usage. It’s bound to be great way to make users feel at home with their computing devices, which ever it might be - keeping at the same time a common underlying system for compatibility and facilitating mass software distribution across a vast horizontal gamut of devices.
Windows 8 left me disappointed but 2 years later its to-be successor already has me excited, and that’s a good thing.