With the backdrop of Windows 8's failings, Windows 10 has every reason to give the kind of operating system experience that the 2k14 Microsoft user requires – hopefully a melange of classic Windows usability and tablet-inspired niftiness.
As of 13 July 2014, Windows 8.x had taken 20 months to grab just 12.54 per cent market share. Microsoft's other big OS failure Windows Vista managed 19.82 per cent in the same time frame. Windows 7, which followed, was a great success, so we can expect Windows 10 to capitalise where its predecessor fell down.
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The whole thing about Windows 8 is its hybridisation of the OS for tablets and desktops. An engineering achievement for sure, but in use it's awkward, pulling the user in two directions at once. The touch-screen elements jar with the old-style non-touch desktop underneath, or to take the classic Windows user's perspective, the touch-screen bits get in the way of learned Windows 7 navigation routes.
Windows 10 leaks show that the Start menu is to be reintroduced for keyboard and mouse systems. That's going to be great. This navigation centre piece has been part of the Windows journey for over 20 years, so why get rid of it? From screenshots, it looks like tablet-style icons will run up the side, which should prove to be a pleasing mix of new and old worlds. Also, the much-derided charms bar is going from the desktop version, though it may stay on tablets.
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Also rumoured is the inclusion of multiple virtual desktops and the introduction of Cortana for the Windows 10 desktop version.
These new features will hardly dominate though, we hope. It looks like Windows is getting back to where it should be by giving users a little bit of tablet goodness, without sacrificing the desktop experience, and I for one am excited to have a go.