Andrew Connell

Windows 10 looks more like Windows 7.55

After 2.5yrs on Windows Phone, I switched in March 2013 back to iPhone (and love it). In December 2013, I switched from a Lenovo w520 with Windows 8 > MacBook Pro with OSX (the switch was under duress and planned to only last a few days while I finished a project and could order a new Lenovo, but their 14day return policy worked on me: I kept it and loved it). I use Windows only when I need Visual Studio or when I need to manage my email rules in my Exchange mailbox using Outlook. In early 2014 I traded in both Surface RT’s my wife & I had and replaced one with an iPad Mini. I’m not a Windows hater but one thing jumped out to me after being on OS X & iOS for a while: the OS doesn’t matter… in the sense that it didn’t get in my way. It’s all about the web experience & apps. I feel like Apple’s platform gets out of my way… I don’t feel the same about Windows. I saw nothing yesterday that changes that… and that’s very disappointing.

I found myself last night searching for new things in Windows 10… I looked for a while actually because I couldn’t get past the “that’s it?” feeling. I’ve looked at a ton of blog posts & articles from MSFT & the tech media (ArsTechnica, The Next Web, TechCrunch, links on HackerNews, etc)… If you’ve got a good one, PLEASE share. I can’t knock this “this can’t be all of it” feeling. So far, I don’t see any innovation in Windows 10… it looks like a mea culpa to Windows 8 release. So much stuff that Windows 8 tried to ram down your throat has been rolled back or mitigated. Some of the fundamental precepts of metro have been chopped up. Taking something that we’ve had for a decade (decades?) and adding it to the command prompt is one of the big take aways from yesterday? I’ve got some strong opinions on Windows right now, but I’ll hold those punches as quick reactions. Yesterday was the first official thing we’ve seen… it sounded like they were a year away from release… let’s see what the preview folks have to say about it.

Universal apps has promise. Writing some code that works on all Windows platforms rocks. I wish the marketing part of it wasn’t “write once, deploy anywhere” because that’s only true for PART of your application. You still will have different codebases for each device. How you experience & interact with your phone, tablet, laptop and TV are very different and a good app developer will tailor them for each experience. They all may share some small codebase, but I can’t really see 50%+ of an app’s codebase being shared across all platforms.

Personally I still don’t care for a unified experience of tablet + desktop. Years ago I thought it was brilliant but I’ve yet to see the execution by anyone that nails it. How you interact with a phone (one-handed with fingers… unless you’re a Galaxy / iPhone 6+ and need hands), tablet (two hands), laptop/desktop (keyboard + mouse) or XBOX (controller) are so different that I’m skeptical when someone says they can nail them all with one solution. So far, I haven’t seen it executed well – and by that I mean that while it may be well implemented, the customers aren’t grabbing hold with the concept… and THAT is what dictates what works.

This from the same company who’s been on an absolute incredible streak of innovation out of the Azure division and, in just a few short years, has come out with a killer piece of hardware (Surface 3)? We saw three iterations of Surface in less time it took to go from Windows 8 > Windows 10.

I’m more disappointed in the company more than anything. A lack of vision & innovation from the Windows group after how many years? Is there anything in Windows 10 that makes my life better on a device? I didn’t really see it. Do names matter? For a tech guy, no… I could care less. But they do matter to many people… so going from 7 > 8 > 8.1 > 10… they said they picked 10 because of how big of a jump it is. Sorry… but from what I saw, Windows 10 sure seems like Windows 7.55 (half-way between 7 & 8.1)… 7.55 is a lot more appropriate. It looks like if you went Windows 7 > Windows 10 > Windows 8.1, you would see a progression… but with the way reality has played out, 10 looks like a regression back to Windows 7 (and rightly so). Unlike how the naming suggests… this is a small update… a tad bit more than 8 > 8.1. Am I missing something?

To be completely fair, the latest rev of OS X due out in the next few weeks isn’t chock full of crazy innovations I must have, no matter how many superlatives executives with black shirts & jeans use on stage. Although I can’t wait for the ability to answer/make calls from my cell phone (which might be downstairs) through my laptop and do text messages (with everyone, not just iMessage folks, but even you on Android & Windows Phone) on my laptop as well… THAT will make my life better.

While I know we are a very small subset of the market and those of us SP folks with on-prem VM’s that we use for test/dev likely represents 0.0001% of the Windows market… tablet mode kicks in when you disconnect the keyboard… can’t wait to see how this is implemented in a virtual machine…

Andrew Connell
Developer & Chief Course Artisan, Voitanos LLC. | Microsoft MVP
Written by Andrew Connell

Andrew Connell is a web developer with a focus on Microsoft Azure & Microsoft 365. He’s received Microsoft’s MVP award every year since 2005 and has helped thousands of developers through the various courses he’s authored & taught. Andrew’s the founder of Voitanos and is dedicated to delivering industry-leading on-demand video training to professional developers. He lives with his wife & two kids in Florida.