Windows 10 makes up for past flops

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Microsoft has always been a risk taker with its products, often releasing them to the market before they have been properly readied.

We have seen this time and time again with Windows Vista, the Surface line of products, and most recent prominent instance, Windows 8. After the Windows Vista disaster, Windows 7 came in to save the day. After several iterations of its Surface tablet, the new 12-inch Surface arrived as the product that Microsoft should have been producing all along. Windows 10 answers the complaints about Windows 8, an operating system that could not even manage to achieve a 15 percent adoption rate among Windows users.

As the market moved toward mobile devices, Microsoft became well aware that it needed to become more touchscreen friendly or die. However, releasing Windows 8 as a response to this trend was much too radical, plaguing mouse and keyboard users with large tiles and hidden menus that were clearly not optimal for their peripherals.

However, with Windows 10, Microsoft may have finally hit the nail on the head with its dream of “One Product Family, One Platform, and One Store.” They appear to have finally created an operating system that tailors to touchscreen users, while not throwing desktop users aside.

First and foremost, they have restored the coveted Start Menu. Nearly 20 years after its creation, it is finally making its return and, with it, Microsoft is finally doing what it should have done all along. Instead of plaguing desktop users with a giant fullscreen view of their tiles, a much more user-friendly start menu — complete with a resizable dynamic tile menu — greets new and returning Windows users.

For desktop users, full-screen “modern” apps can now be run in resizable windows, along with legacy Windows 7 applications. Microsoft has not forgotten about the desktop, and the company is now adding loads of features, including a smarter snap and an updated command prompt and desktop search.

However, Microsoft has equally considered touchscreen users. For devices without physical keyboards, users will still be greeted by a modern user interface (UI), optimized for touchscreen. More impressively, when they attach to a keyboard with the new “continuum” feature, the desktop — along with more mouse- and keyboard-friendly UI features — will take the screen.

With Windows 10, Microsoft will also add universal apps to the Windows Store, which will run on all Windows 10 devices, everything from mobile to computer to television-connected media devices.

While its implementation was overly radical, Windows 8 and similar progressive ideas will help Microsoft continue to generate in order to remain prominent in the market. However, while progressive ideas are imperative, Microsoft must make sure that it is not too radical in implementation. Windows 10 should be a major improvement to Windows 8, restoring functionality to traditional users, while continuing to bring touchscreen and mobile users into the future.