Windows 10: Revenge of Microsoft? – CNN

(CNN)Microsoft is not a company historically associated with minimalism. For quite some time, its operating system, Windows, has been plagued by tedious customization and nettlesome bloat.

In the mid-1990s, Microsoft’s “opt-out” versus “opt-in” approach to add-ons, upgrades, and middleware was notorious. Windows 95 was only exceeded in how annoying it was by the number of times a day “Macarena” played on the radio.

Jon GosierJon Gosier

Microsoft’s approach was the opposite of its competitors Apple and Google, which defined their products through style or a sort of “we’ll take care of it for you” attitude, hiding complexities from users behind sparse interfaces.

But in 2015, a lot of things have been turned on their head. Apple is criticized for the usability nightmare associated with iTunes and Apple Music. Google is unplugging its products with Google Plus, which has been a disastrous and failed attempt to catch up on social media.

For the better part of the past two decades, Microsoft has struggled with its major updates but, refreshingly, the company seems to have found its stride with its recent releases. Windows 10 seems to be making up for lost ground with an operating system that is beautiful, easy to use, and dare I say … enjoyable. Some have compared it to Windows 8 by noting some similarities. But Windows 8 had hiccups with a semi-functional and very intrusive touch interface.

Windows 10 has done a complete about-face to the mouse and keyboard experience that has defined most of Windows’ history. Of course, the touch options aren’t gone completely, they’re just tucked away, ready to be activated when you need them. This means Windows users can still use apps that are optimized for touch.

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