Windows 10, the latest Microsoft client operating system, yesterday fulfilled its first five years since the release of the first general availability version. A five-year period of lights and shadows, where the system has changed a lot and has improved in some of its sections, but which still has a long way to go to become a resounding development. Perhaps its very base will never allow it.

Microsoft surprised the staff when in September 2014 it announced the new “Windows 10” operating system. Nobody expected it since everything pointed to Windows 9 being the chosen name. In addition, the guys from Microsoft mounted it very well to hide the surprise and a few days before they simulated a leak of the download page of the Technical Preview version that included the name “Windows TH”. All the media echoed the supposed “error” and thus the surprise of Windows 10 was complete.

An anecdote to start a major development that had the mission to overcome the fiasco of Windows 8 (improved with Windows 8.1) and get closer to the successful Windows 7. As you know, Microsoft has a history of delivering good and bad systems that are repeated with each launching. Windows 10 played “good” but … has remained regular in our opinion. And that Nadella proclaimed in the announcement that “they wanted to go from the people who needed Windows, to choose Windows and love Windows. That is our bold goal with Windows 10 ″.

Windows 10 release

Microsoft bet on the concept of «Windows as a service»To end the era of Service Packs and as the great change in the development of the system. A model of continuous updating that would allow the system to be kept up to date and not only in the security section, but also in the solution of bugs, new features and technologies. For this, two major annual versions were planned that would be offered as cumulative updates in spring and autumn, in constant evolution through a rolling release method similar to that used by GNU / Linux distributions.

Windows 10 was created based on a concept cross-platform and multi-device, encompassing the development of desktop Windows, Windows RT, Windows Phone and even the Xbox One dashboard. This would provide a similar and consistent user experience from any Windows device. The strategy should also have facilitated common application development under the concept of “universal applications,” created to work with screen and hardware on any Windows 10 device.

Also, it was the first time that Microsoft offered free operating system as an update of the previous ones. Specifically, Windows 10 would be free for customers with a valid Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 license as long as they were performed during the first year of the system launch. Just as important as the above was the promise of “free upgrade for the lifetime of the device.” In other words, whoever upgrades to Windows 10 will have the next versions of the system for free as long as the hardware allows it.

Well on paper, the goal of the system was very ambitious and Microsoft aspired to install Windows 10 on 1 billion devices in the 2-3 years following the launch, via pre-installations on new equipment or by means of massive expected updates thanks to free access and other new features such as improvements in the user interface; those of security and management; DirectX 12; Cortana; Continuum or Microsoft Edge browser.

Windows 10 problems

Soon Microsoft realized that it was not going to meet the degree of adoption that had been set for the system. Nokia’s purchase had ended in disaster and Microsoft’s exit from the mobile phone business after the abandonment of Windows Phone / Mobile prevented adding millions of mobile devices to the goal of Windows 10 as a single system to “rule them all”.

Acceptance of PC users neither was it expected. Although there were powerful reasons to update, there were also other reasons not to update and even to “skip” Windows. A large majority of users chose not to update and remain on Windows 7. Nerves hit Redmond headquarters and a “mandatory” update campaign was launched so aggressive that lawsuits against Microsoft were filed.

Computers were updated without consent with included uninstallation of apps and data loss, and very unethical “dark” patterns were used, camouflaging the terrible “Get Windows 10” in security updates or with application management designs they were looking for force update without respecting the decision of the users. It was not the best start for such an ambitious system.

He also didn’t like the user interface with a Modern UI created with mobile devices in mind, not the desktop without touch screens. The troublesome start menu with its interactive tiles continues to kick off five years later; the Cortana digital assistant has simply had to be removed from the operating system due to lack of use; the action center does not fulfill what was promised and so we could name a few other sections, inconsistency of design and duplication of internal tools as important as the Control Panel and the Configuration.

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And more problems. Windows applications are another issue that has been raging since Microsoft opted for the universal UWP platform, insisted on the exclusivity of the Microsoft Store and left Win32, the lifelong ones, that we use every day for millions of users and companies. . You already know the result: a fiasco, of no interest to consumers and developers, that has caused a schism in Windows software that Microsoft is trying to solve. And speaking of software, Bloatware is another question to solve.

Another section that penalized the launch of Windows 10 was that of privacy. Criticism of the collection and use of personal information was furious and spoke directly of ‘big brother’ and espionage of everything the user did. Certainly the default setting was terrifying, leaving the user “sold” and the lawsuits followed, including an investigation by the European Commission. Fortunately, it was an issue that Microsoft immediately improved.

And so as not to make the article eternal, the updates. Microsoft has a software quality problem in Windows 10 and installing updates has become a high-risk exercise for computers and files, with serious stability problems that have even led to the elimination of some. The new “Windows-as-a-service” model requires a greater testing and quality control process that Microsoft has failed to implement.

Present and future of Windows 10

With all of the above, anyone would say that the operating system has its virtues. Well it does. Work, when there are no errors, it works and works very well. The minimum requirements are still very contained, allowing it to be installed on a large number of computers, the hardware support is quasi-infinite and the software support is also very broad for all types of applications once the attempt to “force” Windows Store and the UWP.

Microsoft has been improving almost all the sections of the interface starting with a more customizable start menu, without interactive tiles and closer to that of Windows 7 as users request. The new “dark” and “light” modes are well implemented, as is the new, more attractive and modern icon set, under a “Fluent Desing” design model that covers more and more parts of the interface and that is the way to follow for the consistency of Windows 10 of the future. On the other hand, persistent legacy components like Control Panel have yet to be resolved, but we’ve already seen that Microsoft is up to the task.

The late Steve Jobs once said that “Microsoft didn’t like it” and it is sometimes difficult to disagree. The design is not Microsoft’s greatest strength and although it has improved, Windows 10 cannot stand comparison with systems as impressive in design and usability as macOS Big Sur. In any case we expect improvements as we have seen in the Windows 10X variant.

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As for updates, the latest version Windows 10 2004 has gained stability, although it is not without its errors, and everything indicates that Microsoft will end up betting on a single annual version to limit failures. If you’re concerned about privacy, we’ve also seen improvements. Windows 10 continues to collect data (like any service on the Internet), it has improved its management, transparency and personalization.

For the future, important changes are expected from the Windows Core System, the future of Microsoft operating systems under a modular concept as the main feature. A basic kernel to which module-based layers will be added to adapt to each device where it is run. And it would be anyone, from laptops to the Xbox, through the HoloLens or the new folding devices or devices with a flexible screen.

Windows 10 will not replace Windows 7 or Windows XP in the hearts of classic Microsoft fans, let alone “love” it as Satya Nadella promised, but it has been improving in these five years and we hope for news for the future. In short, there is nothing else available if you opt for the Windows ecosystem. You have to participate: What has been and is your experience with Windows 10?