Microsoft's responsive release of Windows 8.1 proved it was listening to customer distaste for 8 and today's leap to Windows 10 is further evidence of just how much the tech company wants to distance itself from an OS many thought had no place on desktop computers.
Up front, Windows 8's metro tiles gave many consumer app developers a deeper appreciation for Windows 7. Microsoft's firm push to get users to integrate Windows 8's tiles into their lives was just the starter course, followed by a lengthy registry of bugs that turned the stomachs of consumers.
With Windows 10, Microsoft leaps forward from the satisfactory Windows 8.1 update and gets back to what made the company a powerhouse.
Microsoft says Windows 10 is its most comprehensive Windows platform to date, blending elements of Windows 8 with the familiarity of Windows 7. The new OS is one product family, one platform and one store, says Microsoft.
Microsoft presented a technical preview of Windows 10, build version 9841, at a tightly controlled conference on Sept. 30.
"It's going to be our greatest enterprise platform ever," said Joe Belfiore, Microsoft's corporate VP of operating systems who described the thought behind the new OS as a novel approach to separating business and personal information. Windows 10 will be compatible with all of the "traditional management systems" in use today and enterprise users will be able to customize their storefronts, according to Belfiore.
"We're looking to find the balance, so that all the Windows 7 users get a familiar experience on the devices they already have," said Belfiore, before adding: "We want all these Windows 7 users to have the sentiment that yesterday they were driving a first-generation Prius ... and now with Windows 10 it's like a Tesla. They don't have to learn any new way to drive."
With Microsoft's stated intent to make enterprise users more productive, Belfiore revealed a new "Task View" feature and showed off Windows 10's multitasking elements.
In the new OS, users can click on the Task View button in the toolbar to a view a listing of active programs and processes. On the multitasking side, Windows 10 supports multiple desktops and allows users to snap together windows from any of its desktops.
The Start menu's search has been reworked, allowing users to search both locally and across the Web, if desired. And Microsoft has added details as obscure and technical as using "Ctrl + V" to paste data into the Command program, further evidence of the thought the company has put into making a giant step forward from the horrors of Windows 8.
Maybe if Windows 10's features are a bit too complex for users, Microsoft will scale the OS back and patch it to the missing Windows 9.