Windows 10 is what Windows 8 was supposed to be (and it's awesome)

Some of the features Microsoft unveiled were supposed to be in Windows 8. But gladly they're coming shortly.

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Credit: Microsoft
windows 10

A seamless experience across desktop and mobile. Modern apps that work for you. Innovative software and hardware. These were the buzzwords at Microsoft's Windows 10 unveiling this week, but they were ones we actually heard before.

I remember covering the Windows 8 announcement during CES 2011 and being excited for a cross-device operating system--a single platform for computers, tablets, and phones. Fast forward two and a half years after that dream or vision, and it looks like we might actually see this happen.

One of the best features Microsoft announced on Wednesday was universal apps, with Windows apps adapting automatically to different interfaces. This will be a boon to both Windows users, who won't have to relearn different software menus, as well as developers, who will be able to write apps once for all Windows devices (and Xbox as well). The code, Microsoft said, is identical for both desktop and mobile.

Microsoft is also improving the Modern apps experience (I know it's not called Modern anymore, but they really need to give these a name), not just by bringing them to the desktop but also improving their usability. (Because, let's face it, those Modern apps aren't Windows 8's strong suit.)

Perhaps the happiest news, though, is that Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and above, at least for a year. (Except for Windows RT devices. Sorry.) Maybe we can look forward to a future of free OS upgrades--that alone would make this worth the wait.

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