Microsoft has a history of getting every other release of Windows terribly wrong. Windows Vista, for example, was full of bugs until Windows 7 patched things up. So will Windows 10 fix Microsoft’s mistakes from Windows 8? Inconsistent numbering system aside, the answer is still no.

It’s important to note that the software is still in its early stages. Despite this however, Microsoft’s direction for Windows 10 is clearly coherence. As anyone put through the misery of owning Windows 8 will know, it was hugely incoherent, especially if you were using it on a laptop or desktop. A start screen replaced the start menu, full of ‘metro’ apps that were designed for touch screens. Since its release, Microsoft have tried to improve Windows 8 with piecemeal updates, but users still rely on third party tools to restore familiarity.
Windows 10 aims to change this. The start menu is back, with the additional option to add live tiles. There are separate modes for desktop and tablet which automatically switch if Windows detects a mouse and keyboard, or lack thereof. ‘Metro’ style apps can also be ran in a window to work alongside standard programs. The overall aim is to provide one operating system and hence one experience for every device, from Windows phones and tablets to PCs and Microsoft’s Xbox One console. Yet, it still doesn’t look quite right. The start menu, in its attempt to be flat like the rest of the ‘metro’ style, uses horrid colours that don’t contrast well with text. Arguably, metro apps should have no place on a desktop PC, whether they can run in a window or not. Perhaps the worst offenders are the icons in Windows 10. Offensive for the fact that they have not changed, bar the ‘Windows Explorer’ icon which looks like it was drawn with crayons. Windows 10 still uses icons from the Windows Vista era, and if you dig deep enough you can even find some icons from Windows XP.
For a coherent system, this simply isn’t good enough. Apple’s OSX Yosemite, due to be released later this month, is a huge redesign touching the style of iOS8, yet they kept everything familiar to users. They also replaced all the icons!

Microsoft has good intentions with Windows 10, but their project is flawed from the outset. With such a wide variety of devices, it is impossible to create a coherent system without something looking out of place.

Dear Microsoft, please stop. Dig up the Windows 7 code and start over.


  1. I’ve always felt that keeping the icons the same (bar a little polishing), is one of the things Microsoft get right. Makes it much easier to find the things you’re after, even if you’re using an older/newer OS than what you’re used to.

    The emphasis on touch screens is still a problem – touch screens simply don’t offer the same precision as a keyboard/mouse, so will never become more favourable for desktop environments. At least, not with the current touch screen technology.

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