Next week, Microsoft launches the replacement for Windows 8, and it’ll come free for quite a few PC owners. While we can’t say too much ahead of our review, here’s what we’re excited to see.

You don’t need to touch it

Quite possibly the biggest gripe about Windows 8 was that you really needed a touchscreen if you wanted the operating system to be useful, or even to be easy to use.

Let’s get this straight: you didn’t actually need a touchscreen, and quite a few of the computers we reviewed and played with worked absolutely fine, but you did have to memorise touchpad gestures to get the most out of Windows, and you needed a decent touchpad as well, which not every Windows computer came with.

Microsoft tried to clear things up with Windows 8.1 and a sort of return to the Start button, which went walkabout on Windows 8, but it didn’t make things that much better.

So we’ll say this right now, because you’re all probably thinking it:

What were you thinking, Microsoft? You took the excellent OS that was Windows 7 and upgraded into THAT? Into an operating system that people struggled with, that made people wonder why they suddenly needed a touchscreen for regular work? 

Goodbye Windows 8. We're not sure you'll be missed.

Goodbye Windows 8. We’re not sure you’ll be missed.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, by far, the biggest feature we’re looking forward to is that you don’t need to touch your computer anymore, not unless you want to.

And to that we say “Thanks, Microsoft.”

And also “why did you bother in the first place.”

Followed promptly by “again, thanks, Microsoft.”

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The reality of Windows 10 is that it will support touch modes if you want them and have a touchscreen computer, and keyboard and mouse friendly modes if you don’t want them and don’t have that touchscreen computer.

Microsoft has made it so you can mix and match, changing when you want to, so not even Surface owners have to use that touch interface if they don’t want to. It’s totally optional here, and that’s awesome, not like that force touch thing Windows 8 pushed out. Blah.

The touchscreen variant of Windows 10.

The touchscreen variant of Windows 10.