Saturday, October 4, 2014

Windows 10 Technical Preview

After Microsoft's worst Windows release ever, Windows 8, they are reverting back to the traditional desktop interface for Windows 10 for desktops and laptops.  More or less anyway.  The tile interface has been integrated into the Start menu which returned for this edition.

There are a couple of things to explain here.

Worst release ever?  What about Vista or Millennium Edition?  Although these releases were dogs, they didn't abandon the GUI and force everyone to use one designed for a small subset of devices.  Windows 8 was a knee jerk reaction to the invasion into phones and tablets by Apple and Google.  And while the tile interface worked well for handheld devices, forcing it on desktop users was just stupid.

Another thing: I abandoned daily use of the Start Menu a long time ago in favor of pinning all my frequently used apps to the Taskbar where they are always easily available.  So I disagree with most analysts that say removing the Start Menu was the reason Windows 8 failed.

So what happened to Windows 9 you ask?  In Microsoft's scrambling to recover from the Windows 8 disaster, they developed several updates to it and as with all corporations, much discussion followed about what to do with them (my speculation). Two were ultimately released as updates (8.1 and 8.1 Update 1).  What else can you do after releasing a botched product?  But Update 1 was most likely Windows 9 at one point.  They also debated releasing Windows 10 as Update 2 for 8.1.  In fact, references to it can be found in the preview.

This is an early beta release of Windows 10, so there is not enough there for me to justify releasing it as a new version of Windows yet.  But apparently there is more to come.  Let's just hope it is not features for the sake of features but rather genuine improvements to a reliable OS.

If you'd like to try it out, you'll have to join the Windows Insiders program.  You can run in it a virtual machine (VM) on your current computer.  I used this article to install it on mine.


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