Over the past few months, I’ve been playing with Microsoft’s technical previews of their forthcoming Windows 10 operating system. It’s the version of Windows that is supposed to marry the best features of Windows 7 (which was designed for traditional PCs with a mouse and keyboard) and Windows 8.1 (which is designed for both traditional PCs and devices such as Tablets that use touch for input).
It’s safe to say that Windows 8.1, and Windows 8 before it, has had a poor reception in the market. Acres of newsprint have been spread with the cries of pain, and vitriol, from many users of traditional PCs. Personally speaking, I singularly fail to see what all the fuss is about. I use Windows 8.1 on both my PCs and Tablets, and am perfectly comfortable in both environments. I took to the new operating system like a duck to water, and could not countenance ever going back to Windows 7.
Nonetheless, perception is reality, and Microsoft have realised that their challenge is to introduce a new version of Windows that keeps as many users as possible happy, no matter which camp (PC or Tablet) they are in.
So, as I say, I’ve been playing with the previews of Windows 10, and I’m coming to the dismaying conclusion that, as a user of a Windows 8.1 Tablet, I just don’t like it…
While the Desktop side of things has improvements, from my perspective as a Windows Tablet user (Lenovo ThinkPad 2 and Lenovo ThinkPad 10), the UI experience in Windows 10 is significantly worse than that delivered by Windows 8.1.
From what I’ve seen so far, Microsoft is bending over backwards to pander to traditional desktop PC users. They are removing valuable UI features (the Charms bar has gone) from the Tablet experience, or poking desktop features into the Tablet UI (I do not want the Desktop Taskbar to be present in the Tablet UI, but there it is, whether I want it or not).
Now I know that it’s a Technical Preview, but if Microsoft are going to deliver the final version in summer 2015 as promised, then it’s more than likely that the major features are now locked down, and all that remains are bug fixes and minor tweaks (e.g. improving the Toytown icons in File Explorer).