Two years ago, Windows 8 came out, and while it has certainly yielded its fair share of comments and criticism, Microsoft is almost ready with something new, skipping Windows 9 and going straight to Windows 10.
When Peter Blasina came into work this morning, we spoke about the current generation of Windows, a topic that was on the tip of our tongues thanks to something Microsoft was talking about.
“You wouldn’t believe how many people call into radio to complain about Windows 8,” he said.
But he can believe it. While this journalist has gotten the hang of Windows 8, he can certainly see why so many people have problems with it.
Rather than provide a gradual evolution of the desktop experience, one that Windows 7 felt strong in, Windows 8 was a complete change, designed for the idea that everyone had a touchscreen or at least an excellent touchpad mouse, providing a grid system that was built on similar ideas used in Windows Phone.
If you had a touchscreen, it made some sense, but still took some time to get used to.
If you didn’t, though, and you were like most of the world with a PC — with a mediocre mouse at best — Windows 8 was a disaster that took so much time to get used to, you’d have risked jumping ship to a different operating system or installing Classic Shell to make Windows usable again.
Last year, Microsoft improved things with the Windows 8.1 update, with some patches that brought back the desktop the way Windows 7 people knew it, and even some extras to allow Microsoft’s modern Windows 8 apps being loaded on the desktop, too.
But it’s still not what people want, and Microsoft seems to know that, announcing today that a new version of Windows is coming, and fast, too.
Called Windows 10, it skips a whole number and allows Microsoft to distance itself a little from what Windows 8 was, or is, depending on the mood you happen to be at the time you’re talking about it.
The new version of Windows will return to the desktop style of interface that so many people like, but integrate the live tiles off the side of the menu, bringing the two together in a way that makes both touch and mouse control possible.
Bringing it back to the way things were, everything will run in a window, but you’ll be able to use quadrants of the screen for snapping (above), showing as many as four apps in one screen, as opposed to Microsoft’s insistence on columns,
which has been better in Windows 8.1, but still isn’t what everyone wants.