Microsoft hasn’t been in the best spot lately. Despite the company’s presence the industry for more than a while, the company has its fair share of feuds over the years.
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With the launch of Windows 8 back in 2012, Microsoft made a complete disaster by launching an OS with a UI that most people weren’t prepared for. Fast-forward to 2015, Microsoft seems to be confident into fixing all of the hate they’ve earned with the launch of Windows 8 and 8.1. The whole motivation for poor Microsoft was to create a unified computing experience for general consumer and with Windows 10, they’re slowly nailing it.
When Microsoft first announced Windows 10 back in 2015, I was pretty unimpressed by the fact that Microsoft continues to move forward with this whole Metro UI like theme. The only major change that everyone was able to perceive was the fact that native Windows 10 apps were draggable, resizable and that it was free at launch. Microsoft went into full desperate mode to push loyal Windows 7 users to Windows 10 with the free upgrade program, and I was one of them to be honest. I personally loved Windows 7.
You see, when Windows 8 was first announced, I felt very muffled with the UI experience. It was like someone had launched a new soda company by mixing a can of Sprite and Coke together. When Windows 10 launched, it felt like Microsoft was getting somewhere. Microsoft had learnt that making such a major change, could bring massive disruption. It was literally a Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 mashup for the desperate.
Over time, I’ve became more and more confident in the steps Microsoft has been taking ever since their initial launch. Now, no one could defend them for the horrible stuff they’ve done over time. But by now, I’ve gotten over it. *Cough cough* blocking updates for 6th, 7th and 8th generation Intel systems.
Since I was a Windows 7 avid, I used to find myself go back to Windows 7 all the time after a few months. I mean like, why not? Windows 7 allowed to be overclock precisely (BSOD codes), felt way cleaner than Windows 10 without all of the pre-installed apps and lastly felt way much more streamlined compared to any other OS I’ve used. I’m personally from the XP days.
Microsoft was moving too fast it seemed to me, with the launch of Windows 8. But with the release of their Surface hybrids, Microsoft has learnt a ton lot. Microsoft has done what Apple hasn’t able to achieve, that’s creating an enticing, streamlined PC workspace that supports touch devices as well as pointers. Sure, Apple’s lineup of devices has to be applauded, but the approach Microsoft made after the death of Microsoft Mobile has to be equally applauded.
Perfecting “seamless” computing
The seamless interaction between tablets, PCs and many other workstations shows me that Microsoft was thinking ahead of its time.
With the launch of the Surface Go, it seems like they’re trickling down into everyone’s daily lives. The Microsoft Surface Go is a 2-in-1 $399 hybrid from Microsoft that runs on Windows 10 and packs a decent punch for everyone to take their computing needs outside of their workspace.
Just think about the uses for such a device. I’m sure many casual users, web developers and enthusiasts would be happy to carry such a device in their backpack. Given that its touch-enabled simply puts another level of convenience onto the deck.
The Gaming Side Of Things
The next thing that has to be applauded has to be for Microsoft’s strides in the gaming industry with the launch of the Xbox One. There’s no hiding in the fact that the Xbox One had some of the worst launches of all time. With Phil Spencer taking the lead of the Xbox division, it seems like Microsoft is trying to make everything as consumer-friendly as possible.
From enabling cross-play to allowing players to access their best games on the PC along with their progress with the Xbox Play Anywhere program. This puts a ton of confidence into Microsoft’s moves lately.
There’s a plethora of features with the Xbox Play Anywhere program. PC and Xbox One players could engage in multiplayer titles, as well as access their games on either console and continue head on. On top of that, titles that are a part of the program don’t require you to purchase the games on both platforms, a single purchase should do it.
Sure, copying isn’t a good thing. However, if its for good, no one minds it right? Ask the Chinese brands how they feel about Apple.
Back to the point, Microsoft also introduced their Backwards compatibility program a year after Microsoft launched the Xbox One. This meant that players who missed their Xbox 360 library would finally have the chance to play their favorite titles again, as long as they were supported, this is.
A similar situation was also introduced with the Xbox Game Pass. Basically, its a subscription-based gaming center where you have access to some of the best games across the generation of Xbox systems. From Midnight Club LA to Sleeping Dogs from back in the back in the day. For a few dollars, you could have access to the full version of these games for no biggie.
The introduction of 4K HDR gaming to consoles has to be appreciated as well. The Xbox One S, as well as Xbox One X bring some massive changes to the table. The One S supports 4K video in a very small package. While the One X supports 4K 60FPS gaming with its 6TFLOPs of power in selected titles.
These are massive boosts for gamers and a very open-minded ecosystem from Microsoft that have to be appreciated.
The Windows Are Open – I Mean… Really!
Microsoft’s open-minded approach has allowed a ton of people to get into the Insider program. Through this, Microsoft learns a ton lot about what needs to come next when the push updates to Windows 10 users.
The best update for me, had to be the inclusion of the dark mode on Windows 10. Back in the day, people had to download tools such as uxstyle to customize their OS and the Explorer Shell’s color scheme. With the official introduction of the dark mode, Microsoft has showcased that they’re willing to hear the community regardless of their platform.
Several other UI changes were made down the line as well. From customizing the task bar, to customizing the Start Menu. Everything is very well appreciated and a welcome change.
With Microsoft’s Xbox division finding itself busy fighting with Sony, the Windows team has had the Windows Xbox side of things. With Windows 10, Microsoft tried to push the Xbox One app as much they could. And why not? It allowed you to speak engage with your Xbox One friends as well as record your gameplay on the PC.
Looking back, Windows Mobile 10 wasn’t bad. While I haven’t owned one, I’ve definitely used one. Looking back, it’s really sad that Microsoft has to ditch the whole idea after years of fighting Android and iOS. There’s an excellent video by Quinn from Snazzy Labs on YouTube.
With all of these changes and with Microsoft realizing that they have a ton of their audience satisfied, it seems like Microsoft would love to continue working on Windows 10 for more than a while. Given that Microsoft has taken the long approach with the Xbox One generation, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Microsoft being quiet about their next OS over the next few years.