Windows 10 was officially released on July 29, 2015. Microsoft’s next-gen OS introduced major changes in terms of features and its business approach.
The Redmond giant adopted a clear strategy with Windows 7 and Windows 8.1: offering its operating systems as products, which was something the company also did with tools like Office 2013 and Office 2016. Office 365 has been one of Microsoft’s major shifts towards a service model, and Windows 10 was born out of that idea.
This means that Windows 10 is not a product anymore but a service, and the updates that the company releases twice a year prove it. Each of said updates are codenamed Redstone, although their release names have had a lot of different nuances (Anniversary Update, Creators Update and the latest April 2018 Update).
The update model adopted by Microsoft has been largely questioned, especially given the major problems it caused users due to errors and compatibility issues, which were not identified during beta testing. However, Microsoft will stick to the same model in the short run, so there will be more updates our way.
A bumpy debut: “get Windows 10 for free”
The arrival of Windows 10 was a true revolution. Microsoft “failed” with Windows 8.1 whereas Windows 7 was still the most popular OS, but the company wanted to change that.
As we have said, the launch of the new OS marked a major transition towards a service model, and the Redmond giant wanted Windows 10 to be adopted as fast as possible. The company set very ambitious goals from the very beginning, being even willing to offer the Windows 10 update for free to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users in order to fulfill them.
At first, it seemed unbelievable but it was true. Microsoft was gifting away its new OS to every Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 user. The reason was simple: the company wanted to make the most out the novelty Windows 10 represented on the market and disregard the price barrier in order to accelerate the OS’ adoption. Such strategy somewhat worked but was controversial.
We say this because the “get Windows 10 for free” notification ended up not working as expected, as our regular readers might recall. The assistant was set to get to a point where it almost ended up forcing the update if the user failed to pay attention to the notifications. Once the update was finished, it could be rolled back to restore the PC, but users could lose their data if there was a problem that crashed the PC.
This sparked a major controversy that took Microsoft to courts, as we read in other articles like this one.
An improvement over Windows 8.1 and major changes
Since Windows 10 was launched, the Redmond giant confirmed it learned from the mistakes it made with Windows 8.1. With the new OS, the desktop was the main focus, everything was better integrated and the system worked remarkably well, although there were still some issues.
Data collection and telemetry options forced Microsoft to take measures and offer the user more options to control the collection of data on Windows 10. This was something that stirred up controversy and even today it has not been solved.
To make Windows 10 more attractive, some advanced features were left intact as system exclusives (DirectX 12 is one of them). Microsoft also limited the support for new hardware to Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, putting Windows 7 in a situation that many people call “planned obsolescence” in order to favor the adoption of Windows 10.
With time and the large updates rolled out twice a year, we have seen major changes on Windows 10: the long-awaited Dark Mode, Game Mode, UI and security improvements including the arrival of Cortana and the “Controlled Folder Access,” which works as an additional layer of protection against ransomware.
A mature OS that still has some things to improve
As of now, Windows 10 is a well-rounded OS that has a great finish and shows a lot of potential. Its performance is great even on low-end computers. It provides a nice array of tools and has a built-in security system that makes using third-party antivirus unnecessary in most cases.
However, the OS still has some elements that need to be improved, like the update system. Microsoft knows this and we have seen in an article how it is working on it. Another element that needs to be improved is the Microsoft Store, a digital software distribution platform that lacks content in a large scale.
Microsoft has tried a lot of different things to try to solve the issue with the lack of apps, but none of the alternatives have taken off.
We will see how Windows 10 evolves in the next few years, but we are sure that Microsoft will keep improving the OS’ security, stability, performance and “creative” elements.
You might like it: 5 things every Windows 10 user should know.