Belfiore says, "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." It's a better vehicle that won't force you to relearn how to drive.
Windows 10's charming new and returning features
Many of the previously leaked elements were spot-on thus far, including a new button called Task View that opens multiple desktops with multiple apps running in their own space. A new feature called Snap Assist (an update to Aero Snap) allows you to grab apps from multiple desktops and snap up to four windows. An improved command-prompt experience allows you to paste in directories using Ctrl-V. Metro applications or apps are now known as Universal apps, and they work in tandem with classic Desktop apps.
Search returns to the Start menu, no longer housed in the Charms bar. (The Charms bar's fate is unclear, though Microsoft has said it will stick around in a reimagined form.)
The technical preview for desktop and computer users should be available today. Microsoft says it wants users' ideas sooner than before. Yes, this technical preview is launching around the same time as for Windows 8, and complaints then and in the two and half years since were largely ignored. But Myerson says this time Microsoft is listening and wants to "build a product that all our customers will love."
The release date is unknown, but it appears that the next big step -- a consumer preview? -- will come at the Microsoft Build conference in April, with Windows 10 launching later in 2015.
A lot of questions remain to be answered: What other enhancements or new features are coming? What kind of pricing and upgrade paths are we looking at? What are the plans for ARM-based devices? Microsoft evaded these questions from the press yesterday.
Can we believe in Windows again? Yes
I've been unhappy with Windows 8 since its earliest days, but I really want Windows to be great. After digesting the Windows 10 preview, I had to ask myself bluntly if I believed the promise this time.
I do, though not because I saw a slew of new features and ideas that wowed me. I can honestly say I wasn't wowed by anything I saw. But that's not what I was looking for. The stuff that truly wows me is under the hood, such as security and enterprise capabilities, and I've been happy with the inner workings of both Windows 7 and Windows 8.
The UI never really mattered to me -- until Windows 8. To believe again, I needed to see in Windows 10 that Microsoft is listening to its customers and developing an OS that, as Myerson says, "all our customers will love."
Please, Microsoft: Don't crush that renewed faith. Everyone deserves a mulligan once in a while. Don't waste the number 10 on a mulligan.
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