There is little doubt that Windows 8 was a big mistake for Microsoft. An operating system caught in two minds, it didn’t know whether it was a touchscreen OS or the desktop update to Windows 7. Consumers were frustrated, and sales of Microsoft’s line of Surface tablets suffered as a result.
Windows 10 looks to correct the mistake of Windows 8. While a true Windows 10 review is ahead of the game, considering the operating system is still in beta, early reports appear to be very promising.
5 Reasons Microsoft Got Windows 10 Right
So here’s a look at five reasons that Microsoft may have gotten things right this time with Windows 10.
1. Windows 10 Easily Switches from Desktop to Touchscreen Mode
One of the major problems with Windows 8 involved it trying to shoehorn a touchscreen interface into an operating system that also ran on desktop computers. Veteran Windows users wondered where the start button went, and it was difficult to switch into desktop mode when simply using a mouse, keyboard, and a regular monitor.
Windows 10 appears to have fixed that issue by detecting which input devices are connected to the computer. If a keyboard and mouse are hooked up, the system switches to desktop mode. If the mouse is removed, it switches to the tiled Metro touchscreen interface. This is a simple and obvious solution that should have been in Windows 8.
2. It is Possible to Upgrade Directly from Windows 7.1 to Windows 10
Sure, Microsoft would like to forget Windows 8. The fact that the company skipped Windows 9 in the branding of the OS emphasizes that Windows 10 is a new start for the tech giant. Redmond is also making it easier for consumers and businesses to skip Windows 8, by allowing users to upgrade to Windows 10 directly from Windows 7.1.
Applications, preferences, and settings all come along for the ride when updating. This should be a boon for businesses who stayed away from Windows 8 in droves. Microsoft is stressing compatibility between Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10, claiming that everything should work as it should after updating.
3. Improved Multi-finger Gestures Increase Usability
Microsoft is taking its lead from Apple in greatly improving the use of multi-finger gestures in Windows 10. The three-fingered touchscreen features that so many iPhone users are used to will be better implemented in Windows 10.
While multi-touch gestures are more obvious on a touchscreen device like a tablet or smartphone, if you are using Windows 10 on a desktop computer with a track pad installed, you’ll get the same functionality, similar to what Mac OSX users have enjoyed for years.
4. Windows 10 Will Be a Universal Interface Across All Microsoft Devices
Xbox One fans take note. The Windows 10 interface becomes the new standard across all Microsoft devices. This means that desktop users, Windows Phone users, tablet users, and Xbox One users all get to use the same interface. Expect other synergies between devices running Windows 10 to be announced closer to its release date in 2015.
Considering the success gained by Apple with their own eco-system, Microsoft definitely wants to build something similar with their new operating system.
5. Improved Support for Multiple Monitor Setups
Windows power-users — be they involved in music recording, graphic design, software development, or gaming — gain better support for multiple monitors in Windows 10. Both the tiled Metro apps and the traditional desktop apps benefit from snapping them side by side across multiple monitors. Supposedly, it is also easier to run Metro apps within their own Windows when in desktop mode.
With the operating system still in a technical preview status, a proper Windows 10 review isn’t possible. The first consumer preview will be available for download in January of 2015, with the expected release of Windows 10 scheduled for next summer. Rumors even state that the new operating system may be a free update for registered Windows 7 and Windows 8 users, but of course, your device — be it desktop, laptop, or tablet — needs to have the horsepower to run it smoothly.
Expect to read more about Windows 10 right here when it hits the market next year.
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