Windows 8 – The Ups and Downs
If you are like everyone else, including myself, you were expecting Microsoft to be working on Windows 9. Well…it looks like they want to distance this OS so far from the poorly received Windows 8, that they are just gonna…you know…skip 9.
Being that I am predominantly a Windows user, I have to say that I agreed with most users on my reception of Windows 8 and 8.1 in a way. I didn’t find it incredibly hard to use, it seemed to be fairly secure, and it was typically faster (more efficient use of hardware) than Windows 7, but there were features that I thought were completely unnecessary. I pretty much thought the start screen was a waste of time, and the apps available in the app store were fairly horrible.
I will confess that I have stuck with a dual boot of Windows 7 and Linux Mint on my personal computer. I have yet to own a Windows 8 computer, but I have worked on plenty. All of my experiences with customer’s windows 8 computers have deterred me from purchasing it. It was just clunky, busy, and I didn’t see a benefit to the upgrade.
I did however feel that the tablet version made worked well, and that Microsoft did put out a quality product with the Surface Tablet, that could do far more actual work than most other tablets.
From Microsoft’s OS release history, I have developed a theory. The theory is as follows: Microsoft releases a good OS and then it releases a not-so-good one…lather, rinse, and repeat. Apparently, I am not the perceptive genius that I thought I was, and others have come to this conclusion, as displayed in this timeline found online.
Luckily, Windows 10 is falling on the “good” release, and hopefully this shared theory will hold up.
What We Know So Far
There isn’t a ton of information out there about Windows 10 because the Beta isn’t available until, supposedly, tomorrow. If you are familiar with Beta testing, then you know it can be misleading of it’s final product, because the release is specifically for testing and feedback from users.
What we do know is that Windows 10 will be ditching the Start Screen, and re-introducing the, much loved, Start Menu from Windows 7.
The Start Menu will include that same search bar and program listing as 7, but will include web search and live tiles extended to the right. The loss of the Start Menu was the number one complaint that I heard from customers, and from what I can tell: It seems as though Microsoft listened, and improved upon it.
The App Store
Another improvement is the supposed to come to the Windows App Store.
In Windows 8 and 8.1, when you ran an app, it hijacked your entire screen with no way out, (except for the Windows button, or hovering in the top left, and so on). Windows 10 will be giving your the familiar X at the top right of your screen, so that you can easily flee from whatever mediocre app you are using, as well as re-size them.
Microsoft is hoping to top this off with a more intuitive way to snap your open windows. This feature will let you have multiple apps and software open, and even suggest apps to fill in the empty space. The snap feature cleanly places the open windows side-by-side for quick reference, and they are extending it to four apps snapped on the same screen.
The Linux Influence
Windows 10 is adding a great feature that has been around for a while in the Linux world: multiple desktops. This feature is a good way to keep all your open windows and apps organized. With separate desktops, power users can keep all their ongoing projects separate and shift between up to four desktops.
Beta Testing and the Announcement
Windows 10 is slated for release in late 2015, but here is Microsoft’s official video introducing the Beta. I’ll be grabbing it as soon as possible. Let us know what you think about all the changes!