Every Windows version used to show signs of familiarity. The OS layout worked very similarly across different Windows iterations, which allowed users to upgrade without much confusion. That was until Windows 8 came around.
We are moving into a new era in computing; one where mobility and touch capabilities are essential. Windows 8 was all about moving forward and Microsoft was set on its ways despite consumer complaints.
With all that in mind, it was a bit confusing to see what happened during the Windows 10 announcement. The old was cool again. Features that were taken away on Windows 8 have returned and suddenly non-touchscreen users have a friendly interface again (learn more about Windows 10 in our FAQ post).
What’s going on here?
Windows 8: the good and the bad
Windows 8 was Microsoft big innovation in the touchscreen era. It was meant to pave the way into the future of mobile computing. Offering an intuitive and visually stunning experience, it was a dream come true for tablet and All-in-One users.
The consumer was to benefit great from this fun Metro UI. It was modern, hip and entertaining. That is great, and we must say it really worked very well, but it turns out it was not the best choice for everyone.
Those who did not have a touchscreen ended up with a wonky operating system that simply didn’t cater to them. Clicking on huge buttons, scrolling sideways and dragging the screen with a mouse simply wasn’t feasible. You could switch to Desktop mode, but the experience simply wasn’t the same anymore.
Enterprise users also wanted familiarity and hated that the Start button was gone. And if you wanted to benefit from a multiple-screen setup, your experience was less than optimal.
Windows 10: the savior
Windows 10 continues to improve and we haven’t seen much of it yet, but what we have seen looks promising. Windows 10 is meant to merge all screen sizes and put them under a single code base.
It will work on your smallest devices, as well as your largest monitors or TVs. This can only be accomplished by separating UI designs, which is something Windows 8 really needed.
Those without touchscreens will find a familiar Windows 7-like experience with some design cues imported from Windows 8. And it’s optimized to work great with touch devices, as well.
Meanwhile, the UI will be changed for smartphones, tablets or any smaller devices, showing something much more similar to the Metro UI. The UI, as well as apps, will be able to adapt to your devices in a much smarter way.
By the way, the Start button is back, something Microsoft really wanted to emphasize. But this time it’s improved and even has some live tiled within the menu.
Is Windows 10 a healthy step back or an outdated OS?
…I believe it’s neither. Sometimes you have to move back in order to move forward, and I believe that is what Microsoft is doing with Windows 10. Some say Microsoft is reverting back to its old ways and not helping innovation with Windows 10, but that is simply not the case.
Let’s start by saying Windows 8 was great for the general consumer, but it was not the optimal experience for the masses. Not to mention, those who carry smaller Windows 10 touchscreen devices will continue benefiting from the innovations Windows 8 offered.
Windows 10 is now designed as a more versatile and flexible OS that caters to a broader variety of devices users. I say that is definitely an improvement. As for the Start button? You can’t deny you missed it at least a little!
What do you think? Should Microsoft have stuck to its Windows 8 guns or did they make a good move with Windows 10?