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Microsoft tries to win back hearts with Windows 10 technical preview
Sanshey Biswas  4th Oct 2014

Windows VP Belfiore announces the comback of |Start Menu in Windows 10

After ascension to the position of CEO in 2000, Steve Ballmer was given the opportunity to take charge of the company that flourished — mainly because of its monopoly with Windows and enterprise solutions like MS Office. Under the rule of Ballamer, a finance and daily operations specialist, the drive for innovation slowly faded away and the pile of failed projects kept mounting. Microsoft Courier, which would have debuted along with the first iPad, got shelved because of the altered version of Windows that it ran on. NetDocs would have been the first solution for managing documents online, a space now dominated by Google Docs. The NetDocs project never saw the light of day because of its conflict with MS Office's market at the time of its development.

Developers slowly grew out of their fascination with Microsoft's platform, while the consumer base depleted and users left the ship for Linux and Mac OSX. With statements such as "Does anyone even use Windows anymore?" becoming common, we realised how much we had started taking the brand for granted. Yes, Windows has grown too familiar and fails at making you feel the magic, as Steve Jobs would say. But when making a choice, you need to address the fact that reliability is also a key factor — how the device will stick with you and serve you till you come up with enough money to make a switch. Closed environments such as Mac, which is extensively curated, restrict you in ways that have you grabbing for cross-platform solution such as Google's cloud services. Microsoft, on the other hand, has proved its commitment to users by providing over 10 years of support to their OS's that get the job done (Windows XP being the poster boy for their long -term support).

The technical preview released on 1 October is aimed at tech enthusiasts who can register with Windows to provide feedback and help in development of the upcoming OS

Keeping in mind CEO Satya Nadella's facility with the cloud services of Microsoft (Azure) and the company's plans to expand its Operating System to mobiles and tablets, the conference at San Francisco on 30 September was aimed at addressing the user's growing discontent with Windows OS. The next version of Windows would have been called Windows One, following the suit of their services like OneNote and OneDrive, but the founder, Bill Gates, has already used that name and hence the name Windows 10. The new OS aims to ease the users into a newer environment, unlike Windows 8, which threw the Metro UI at them, expecting them to find their way around it. The beloved features from Windows 7 and Windows 8 have been blended into a clever package that stays relevant to both the migrants. The technical preview released on 1 October is aimed at tech enthusiasts who can register with Windows to provide feedback and help in development of the upcoming OS.

The biggest challenge Windows faces is staying relevant to phone, tablet and desktop user. The developers have taken care of this issue with the same apps working on all the devices but in an altered layout. A user can now take advantage of a windowed layout on their desktop while an immersive (full screen) version of the same app with minimal code variance loads on mobile devices. This solution makes it easy for coders to build applications that work on all devices, with 90% of code being the same.

For the first time in over a decade, Microsoft is making sure that their customers are aware of their efforts in making amends for their past faliures. The developer conference after Nadella took over the postion of CEO, and the recent technical preview of Windows 10 (with features that would make developers happy and tweaks such as the addition of multiple desktops, upgraded command prompt and resurrection of the start menu) are an indication that Microsoft is listening to feedback instead of just working towards raising their stock prices.

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