Results of the first five-year plan of Windows 10: comforting and not so
Windows 10 release in the summer of 2015, without a doubt, became extremely important for the software giant, which by that time had burned itself badly on Windows 8 and is not widely used due to the controversial interface with two desktops – classic and tiled, called Metro. …
⇡#Work on bugs
Working on creating a new platform, the Microsoft team tried to take into account all the criticisms of the coolly accepted G8 market. It even launched the Windows Insider preliminary testing program – the largest project in the history of the corporation to interact with users who had the opportunity to participate in the development of the operating system. : download test versions of the OS, communicate with developers, send your wishes and comments. This hitherto unprecedented openness of Microsoft allowed the company to release a high-quality product that fully meets the user audience’s needs, which appreciated the new system.
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StatCounter statistics for the Windows desktop operating systems market, data from July 2010 to July 2020
A well-built marketing strategy, which allowed the free installation of “dozens” for owners of previous versions of the OS, played its role in the rapid growth in the popularity of Windows 10. Such a broad gesture of the Redmondites did its job and provided a good start for the latest Microsoft platform: in the first 24 hours after the release, it loaded the operating system about 14 million times. Passed the 50 million install mark about two weeks after the platform’s release, and it took two months to install 100 million copies. Not surprisingly, the new product quickly replaced Windows XP / 8 / 8.1, and two and a half years later removed the market favorite – Windows 7, which had a strong position in the corporate sector.
The most popular Microsoft OS in the world is window 10. According to the analytical agency StatCounter, “ten” is installed on 73.1% of computers, while the “seven” is 20% of PC owners. The third in demand is Windows 8.1, but its share is a modest 4.5 percent and is steadily declining. In general, various versions of Microsoft software platforms occupy 77.7% of the world OS market for personal computers. Another 17.1% comes from macOS, about 1.9% from all kinds of Linux.
⇡#Change of priorities
With the release of Windows 10 for personal computers, Microsoft switched to a new OS update model – the so-called “Windows as a service” concept, which implies the release of major updates twice a year and their support for 18 months. An exception is made only for the platform’s corporate and educational editions, the fall releases of which are support for 30 months from the release date. To the change, it is enough to consider that in the old years, Windows updated every three years. Now the development process has accelerated six times, which inevitably affected the quality of the products.
For five years of work on the platform, the software giant specialists managed to release nine service packs that significantly expanded its functionality. And this is an indisputable fact, the confirmation of which could be easily found in our review and news publications dedicated to Windows 10.
If we compare the top ten of the 2015 sample with the current version, one cannot fail to notice how much the platform has changed and evolved over the years. The OS received support for 3D technologies, mixed reality (Mixed Reality), DirectX 12 Ultimate, game mode, and the ability to pair with external Bluetooth devices instantly. It includes tools for fast data exchange between devices, new tools for working with multimedia, network, and entertainment content, added the ability to reinstall the system from the cloud, and support for the “picture in picture” mode, which gives you to place a small window on top of other active programs and thus perform several cases at the same time. The safety functions have undergone significant improvements: mechanisms have been added to protect against malicious ransomware and potentially unwanted software, tools to lock PCs in the absence of a user automatically, and the Sandbox component, which allows you to run applications of dubious origin in an isolated environment safely. The list of changes and improvements is imposing.
Peace, friendship, Open Source
With the release of Windows 10, Microsoft has taken a big step towards open source technologies, and this change, of course, has been praised by the Open Source professional community. From work done in this direction, we highlight the Edge browser based on the Chromium project’s source codes and the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) subsystem. In addition, Microsoft is leading active work on integrating the software platform with Android devices. In the future, it will make it possible to launch and use any applications created for Android through the Your Phone program supplied with the OS. All this makes Windows 10 a great tool for IT administrators of multi-platform systems, programmers, web developers, and anyone who works with open source applications or is merely interested in Linux-based platforms.
Microsoft has done a great job integrating Linux into Windows.
⇡#Less is Better
Now it’s time to talk about the sad. Namely, in pursuit of frequent releases of the Windows 10 operating system, Microsoft has begun to pay less attention to its flagship product’s quality control. This is evidenced by numerous complaints and reviews of users who now and then face various problems after installing OS updates. In specialized IT forums and the media, a considerable amount of materials on this topic is presented.
For the first time, Microsoft became aware of serious problems with the development, debugging, and testing of software in 2018. The company released frankly “raw” major autumn update, bypassing the stage of preliminary testing Release Preview under the Windows Insider program. As it turned out, this was not the best solution, as a critical bug was identified in October 2018 Update that deleted user files stored in the Documents folder on some PCs. Microsoft acknowledged the problem and paused the rollout of the update. After restarting the update, many bugs and problem areas were again discovered, including at the system level, accompanied by the appearance of the Blue Screen of Death (BSoD). Also, the company had to take a break in the distribution of the update package for the “ten” – and so on several times.
There was no such disgrace under Steve Ballmer.
The apotheosis of the software giant’s programmers’ professional skills was the recent release of a significant Windows 10 May 2020 Update with ten (sic!) Known issues on board, leading to critical platform errors up to BSoD blue screens. Compatibility issues have been reported with Thunderbolt, Nvidia graphics cards, Conexant Synaptics audio drivers, Realtek Bluetooth NICs, Intel Optane memory, and other PC components. The scale of the flaws turned out to be such that Microsoft had to suspend a few days after the release of the May 2020 Update. Deployment of a significant update for problem computers.A problematic update package for the “ten”? Why rush to release a product that is not ready for a broad audience? There are a lot of questions, but I can not find the answers to them.
For some PCs, it is still not possible to install Windows 10 May 2020 Update
According to experts, the root of the problem lies in the updated OS development scheme, which involves releasing extensive updates with new functions twice a year. With such a Stakhanovist impulse, you cannot go far. And is it possible to deliver a high-quality product when the developers’ efforts are thrown not at fixing bugs but at continued improvements to the Start menu and notification bar, adding new icons in the style of Fluent Design, and expanding the kaomoji emoticon set? Why are these cyclical roundabouts and twisting of “nuts” in the system’s user interface when programmers cannot cope with the heap above of problems? “Ten” long ago, with a light hand, Microsoft turned into a testing ground for experiments – recently not very successful.
Whatever one may say, but the picture is not the rosiest. We can only hope that a series of scandals with updates for Windows 10 will improve the situation in software development by Microsoft. There are prerequisites for this. The corporation has already changed its approach to testing new OS builds as part of the Windows Insiders program. According to network sources, Microsoft’s leadership is considering making significant changes to the strategy for releasing updates to Windows 10. If major updates are released in spring and autumn, the new schedule will assume only one such update per year. And it is right.
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⇡#Chasing two hares
Curiously, against the backdrop of apparent failures with Windows 10, the company is actively creating a new Windows 10X platform, which is being developed with an eye on dual-screen and foldable devices. It is expected that the system will receive a radically redesigned user interface and built-in support for virtualization tools for running Win32 applications. The first hardware solutions with Windows 10X on board are expected to appear in the spring of 2021. At one time, Microsoft has already made unsuccessful attempts to gain a foothold in the mobile market using Windows 10 Mobile. With the announcement of the “dozens” for hybrid devices, the company intends to perform in the adjacent territory and firmly believes in its event’s success. Isn’t it too early?