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This screenshot of the Windows 10 preview page shows Microsoft’s philosophy for its new OS. Source: Microsoft When Apple released the latest version of OS X (10.9, Mavericks) last year, it was a free update in the Mac App store. Anyone who had the previous version (Mountain Lion) installed qualified for a free upgrade. Installing it was a simple process that maximized the amount of people running the latest version of the OS rather than an opportunity to squeeze dollars out of its customers. Windows 7 led the way with 52.71% of the overall market while Windows XP holds a 23.87% share, Windows 8.1 has 6.67%, WIndows 8 has 5.59%, and the reviled Windows Vista still has 3.07%. Apple’s OS X 10.9 only held 4.05% of the overall market, according to that data, but no other Apple OS made the chart that accounts for 97.6% of all operating systems. There are significant benefits to having most of your customers using one version of your OS. Support costs are lower, it’s easier for partners to develop software, and you never run into the sort of mess Microsoft did when it stopped supporting XP despite the huge number of people still using it. People really didn’t like Windows 8 Windows 8 was ahead of its time and it made people uncomfortable. The OS borrowed heavily from the way people interact with tablets while taking away many of the navigation features they had grown accustomed to over decades. It was also an OS designed for touchscreens and the majority of people using it did not have that technology. The concept behind Windows 8 was correct, but a little ahead of its time, and the execution was awful. Microsoft gave people what it thought they should want rather than what they actually wanted. Everyone thought the Start menu was going to be a Win 8 update Though Windows 10 is a major change from Windows 8, many of the updates — including the return of the Start Menu — were originally promised as future updates to Windows 8. In an April speech at Microsoft Executive Vice President Terry Myerson confirmed the return of the beloved menu, though he did not specify when or in what version of Windows it would be reinstated. “And we’re going to enable your users to find, discover, and run your Windows applications with the new Start menu,” he told the room full of developers.
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