Microsoft's Windows 10 PC OS keeps evolving, but its future is uncertain

The Windows Insider Program is one of the most exciting and interesting things Microsoft is doing with Windows in 2017. It's a bold program to permanently open-beta an OS even across various levels of development (Slow, Fast, Skip Ahead), but while the program made a lot of sense in the early days of Windows 10, where is the OS heading in 2018 and beyond?

I ask the question because all OSes – including iOS, macOS, and Android – can suffer from "feature fatigue." That is, after a while, it seems we are being given features for the sake of something new. Windows 10 – especially with the Fall Creators Update – is starting to feel that way.

Fixed update schedules set lofty expectations

Part of the problem with modern OSes in the commercial arena, especially in mobile, is the continued expectation of being wowed on a yearly basis. Each year, Google, Apple, and Microsoft need to come out with something new to keep people talking about their platforms.

A lot of the innovation is legitimate, often focused on new hardware technologies. This year, augmented reality (AR) for mobile appears to be the "next big thing." It's not that everyone just decided this is the year, but rather the hardware, including cameras, sensors, battery life, and processors, has reached a point where AR makes sense.

Microsoft, however, is in a unique situation since its mobile play is almost nonexistent. That means it tends to miss out on many of these novelties. Most of Windows 10 these days is focused on the desktop and laptop experiences, which, going by its market share and strength there, makes sense. However, there doesn't seem to be much that's exciting beyond digital pens, Windows Hello, and soon HDR displays for PCs.

While Windows Mixed Realty is fun, I'm not yet convinced it will go beyond niche in the immediate future. It's smart that Microsoft is building Windows for a world without 2D screens, but we are years away from that.

Windows 10 updates are on a twice a year cadence, which means Microsoft has two attempts to wow customers to get a new PC or laptop, but the well seems to be running dry on innovative ideas. Even OS-level features that were cut from the Fall Creators Update, such as Timeline, Cortana pickup (besides Edge), Cloud Clipboard, and 3D Story Remix, while fresh, never seemed like must-have items. And the things that are coming, including My People, feel supremely under-baked.

None of this is to say that there aren't improvements, fixes, and optimizations – there are plenty of those, and they're welcomed – but this is the first major Windows update since Windows 10 came out that feels bland. I usually run different builds across different PCs, and there's always a moment where I'm excited to put production machines onto the Fast Ring finally. That's not happening this time.

Maybe this isn't even all Microsoft's fault as there is only so much you can jam into Windows 10 that is thrilling, but the company has certainly created an atmosphere of expectations for users. What's hurting Microsoft, of course, is the lack of any movement in mobile, which is where most innovation is happening.

Windows 10 Redstone 4 and the future of the desktop

The reason I bring all of this up is that we know Microsoft has "Redstone" releases planned well past the current Redstone 3, a.k.a. the Fall Creators Update, including Redstone 4, 5, 6 and 7.

Certainly, the company has milestones and project goals to hit presumably around Home Hub initiatives, Surface innovation, Windows Mixed Reality, Fluent Design, and more – which is great. But what will Windows 10 look like in 2019 that's so different than what we have today? Renaming apps and moving things around the Taskbar or Action Center can only continue for so long.

Maybe this is a lack of imagination on my part. Ask me what new feature I'd love to see in Windows 10, and I couldn't tell you. Sure, a new Movie Maker app is sorely overdue, and I want to see the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) get more features for apps, but beyond that, I'm not sure what would blow my socks off.

I'm starting to have doubts that Redstone 4, due next spring, will suddenly spark a new wave of creativity for features, at least not without being a significant player in mobile. Phones, personal tablets, or whatever Microsoft may be cooking up for new hardware are where the future of computing is, and without these things, there is only so much that can be done for your laptop.

Time to dial back Windows 10 "major" updates?

Maybe the solution to all of this is for Microsoft just to have smaller, feature updates for Windows 10 that are announced through its blog and social networking. There's no shame in releasing a new Story Remix app or adding some new features to Windows 10 without having a giant press event for them. Continue all the challenging work on making Windows 10 the best – and only – desktop solution on the market for consumers.

If Microsoft wants to continue to keep audiences interested, it can't just prop up Windows 10 for PC as the most exciting thing around. It did all of that already. Microsoft made OneCore, UWP, and is continuing to evolve the Windows Shell to be modular, which is all huge. But the OS for desktop feels like it is pretty much done.

Surface Pro

Surface Pro

The rest of the world is moving to smart devices, wearables, more powerful phones, connected speakers, and seemingly more advanced AR. In those areas, Microsoft is struggling for mindshare. That is where it should be sinking all its efforts. Make Microsoft yearly events around those categories and allow Windows desktop just to ride this massive wave of success. There's no need to force excitement with minor updates masquerading as bigger ones.

Windows 10 for PC is here, and we're all good, Microsoft.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • "There's no need to force excitement with minor updates masquerading as bigger ones."
    PERFECT Daniel, perfect. No one couldnt say better.
  • I think the problem is something else: Windows is dead as a consumer OS.  And enterprises don't care about the wizbang new fads--at least, not about being on the leading edge of them. Smartphones are exciting because smartphones are where we spend our free time.  A new smartphone really improves your day. The way to make Windows exciting again is to put it onto the devices people enjoy using.  But that will never happen.
  • Windows certainly is not dead as a consumer OS. Yes, people are using smartphones and tablets a lot, that doesn't mean they aren't using laptops and PCs anymore. Hyperboles don't really help your argument.
  • I don't think it's hyperbole at all to say that Windows is dead as a consumer OS.  I think it is reality. I suppose high-end gamers are the niche exception that proves the rule, but other than that, I see no role for PCs outside of work-related tasks. There are still a lot of "pro-sumers" who have PCs at home, but those folk are using those PCs for play and work, and probably wouldn't have them were it not for the latter; I would count myself in this group. For anything and everything else, personal email, social media, messaging, media consuption, basic browsing, the PC is irrelevant.
  • Sorry but I disagree. It is hyperbole. What you describe is not how the world works today, at least not in those countries where PCs found widespread adoption even before smartphones (unlike many developing countries). Just to be clear, when talking about PCs, I'm talking about laptops mostly. Look at the numbers of phone web usage vs PC web usage. Yes, there are many countries where phone web usage has surpassed PC web usage but they are not a majority. Even where this has happened, the difference in usage is not so big. Even if the difference was bigger, calling PCs "irrelevant" for those use cases is quite a longshot. There are millions of people using PCs for all those things you say the PC is irrelevant for even if they don't use their PC for work. There are millions of people without a smartphone or who only use it on the go and only for the things they can't use a PC for. These are completely normal people. Not "pro-sumers", regular consumers. Not everyone is crazy about smartphones, using them for anything and everything all the time. That is a narrative that gets pushed around quite often around this place (perhaps in some cases by hurt WP fans who want to see Microsoft's attitude towards WP bite them back) but it does not reflect the real world to the extreme that I often hear it. Not to pretend the people that I know are representative of society overall but as a personal anecdote, I've met more people holding out on getting a smartphone for quite a long time (or not getting one at all) than people without a PC. And even when they get a smartphone, they only use it for the basic things. People aren't doing all those things on tiny screens all the time, and many wouldn't stop using larger screens if they didn't need their laptops for work either. Don't counter this with tablets because tablets where never sold in quantities that would make it a viable argument that tablets have replaced laptops for the things you say. Even if those things are done more on mobile devices on PCs these days (which at least for social media and messaging is definitely likely, I'll give you that) that doesn't render PCs irrelevant for those things. PCs still have two basic advantages over phones, namely the bigger screen and the keyboard. That isn't going to change anytime soon and even if mobile usage keeps increasing, the utility of the PC/laptop form factor isn't disappearing. People are still using PCs for those reasons, even for the things you listed. Another part of said narrative is that PCs are "boring" to people and smartphones are "exciting". This isn't an accurate reflection of reality either. In reality, most people don't care about flashy features, they just use a few apps every day and that's it. This is not much different to PCs, of course, where most people just do their things in the browser and don't care about most new OS features. I guess you could argue, going from this, that Windows is dead as a consumer OS because most people don't care much about the OS at all and there may be some truth to that, but the truth is also that most PCs still sell with Windows, so effectively it is not dead because it is still what most people use on PCs, and yes, people still do use PCs, yes, even consumers and yes, even if they don't need to do any work on their PC. There is certainly truth to what you say, don't get me wrong. That phones are used predominantly for many things you could only use PCs for before is undeniable. However, the way you present it is too radical.
  • Unfortunately, the reality is that Windows as an OS is becoming less and less relevant. I build large scale web applications and we now almost invariably see that a majority of traffic comes from mobile (usually between 40-70%) with tablet coming in second. Desktop usage (that's laptops as well) is almost always the lowest of the three and usually drops off in evenings and at weekends. Additionally, the mobile and tablet traffic is always overwhelmingly skewed towards iOS but that might be a UK thing as iOS adoption is much higher here than the rest of the world. All is this tells us that the time of consumers sitting at home and powering up their laptop are done outside of particular demographics and, if nothing else, it's declining. People still use PCs but it's usually during work hours so we can assume that's while they're at work. This isn't just a going trend either. I've worked on sites specifically targeted at older people (cruise industry, specific charities) and the stats are the same. This isn't anecdotal, it's factual.  Anecdotally though, I don't know anyone without a smart phone or tablet. Colleagues, friends, elderly grand parents... where as I can't now imagine my mom sitting down at home with her laptop. She currently has no use for it. I'm a huge Windows/ Microsoft fan but they need to break back into the consumer mindset otherwise their competitors will start to edge in on enterprise (what percentage of work devices are Macs compared to 10 years ago?). As mentioned above, their current saving grace for people like me is the "1 device to rule them all" factor. I'm currently looking for a device to replace my Surface Pro 3 and I now have options for a single device that can act as work laptop (Office, browser, email), desktop (gaming and more intense work), tablet (large touch screen, media consumption and easy protection to other screens and just enough apps to get by) without any compromise. I can't really get that on any other platform. If they can crack that final step and put that device in my pocket (mobile with Nvidia 1060 and 12 hour battery life please ^_^) then that's the paradigm shift they need to move us into the "post smartphone" era 
  • Thank you very much for your input, I found that very insightful. Still, I would argue two things: 1. The fact that iOS usage is so strong for your sites might mean that your sites also attract a particular demographic that is not entirely representative. 2. Still, even if 1. is true, that does not negate that laptop and PC traffic is probably on third place most of the time by now (second if we combine phones and tablets). However, this does not really negate my point. Even at a third place of usage, I think this does not make PCs irrelevant, even for those use cases - at least so long as usage has not fallen too low. However, one thing does become obvious and your comment has put that into perspective - phones have become the dominant platform for consumers. There is no denying that. My argumentation was simply to whether that makes laptops irrelevant for consumers or simply much less important than they were before, and at least at this point in time I'd go with the latter.
  • Have you tried doing your taxes on a phone it a web app?
  • I agree PC is not dead even though a large group been screaming at the top of their lungs for years now. I have a tablet PC (Hauwei) and damn I love it. I can visit any website without it switching to a mobile version or not getting all the features of the web site. I can have all that power in a slick form. I can watch movies any format any site beside VOD because they are mobile first through my tablet PC. The new window 2 in ones really gave window what it need, a shot in the arm to show it versatility that mobile just can't do.
  • You should know by now that while PCs are still required, newer smartphones will provide that experience when needed.  It should have been continuum, but since Microsoft just buried their chances on mobile, it will be android. Desktop PCs are going to die, that does not mean desktop experiences will too.  Microsoft killed Band and Windows Phones and its last shot is the Windows Mixed Reality, if they fail at this too they might as well just make Alexa and Cortana hug and cry because thats the only thing both companies are going to get in the future.
  • I agree this is quite possible. Even for a desktop experience, which I don't think is going to die anytime soon, most users may actually be better suited (and probably are) with something like Android or Chrome OS. However, consumer intereest in solutions like Samsung's Dex seems to be very limited so far. It may turn out that most consumers are too apathetic to replace their laptop with a docked smartphone solution. It's probably too early to tell, though. I disagree with your last sentence, not so much because of Cortana but rather because of Alexa. So far Alexa dominates the home speaker market and while that's certainly not guaranteed for the future, Google and Siri may fail to gain enough traction in that market to make Alexa irrelevant. The cooperation of Cortana and Alexa may turn out to be very beneficial for both parties as well. Again, we will see.
  • I am not saying Windows 10 will die anytime soon, smartphones are not powerfull enough just yet to replace a desktop and even android has not evolved enough to do it, but its the way things are headed. Also, just like Mac didnt "die", Windows will not die too, it will just have a small marketshare, focused on some niche market while android dominates the rest. If you go outside US (or rich countries) you will realize most people cannot afford a Galaxy S8 with DEX, it is too pricey right now but that will change in a few years.  Also, Cortana is just terrible on other languages and Alexa is inexistent.  Google Now and Siri on the other hand works great.  It is really easy to see Cortana or Alexa as great devices in the US but that is the reason iPhones lost a lot of marketshare to Android (and still do) Since Apple makes a lot of money selling  its hardware, they can live with a small marketshare, but Android and Windows will compete only in the software battle.  Yes, Microsoft does sell some hardware, but then again, it does not sell enough and in most countries they are not even available, very different from Apple. AWS and Azure will lose the cloud battle to google in the long run if they do not change their strategy, Microsoft is trying with Windows Mixed Reality and i hope they succeed because most of my work is around Microsoft products but i am moving a lot of things to Android due to Microsoft failure in the last years, just like many others.
  • If phones were the norm, Microsoft wouldn't be selling all of those Office subs.
  • Rubbish, at least in my opinion. Yes I have a smartphone which I use a lot, but I can't spend time browsing on such a small screen - the majority of my time is spent using my pc. Which I also use for some casual gaming, cataloguing my vast collection of vinyl, CDs and films. Nothing I do on my pc is work related. I even use my PC for Instagram as it's far easier to view my feed on a big screen
  • I don't have a smart phone and I have no plans to get one.  I do have a tablet, a five year old one that has been abandonware from Samsung for four years, which I haven't even touched in weeks or months other than to keep the battery topped up so it won't die completely.  I don't consider iOS or Android fit for purpose, and I haven't tried Windows mobile, not that it seems to matter these days.  I like the PC form factor.  A lot.  I remember in 1990 when I built my first one... it had a 14 inch monitor that had such a massive, non-adjustable letter box effect that it was in effect a 13 inch (which in those CRT days, meant 12 inch viewable).  My first hard drive in that machine was all of 40 MB-- only five times the system RAM I had (people thought I was nuts to have 8MB of RAM.  What could I possibly need all that for?). Over the years, displays got bigger and bigger, and so did the storage space available.  The 15 inch CRTs gave way to 17s, and at about that time the LCDs began to emerge.  People always wanted bigger, faster, better, and why that was required no explanation. So now, after all of that, the six inch phablet or an even smaller phone is supposed to have replaced all of the desire for big displays and big storage?  I found my tablet frustrating to use for browsing... the screen was just too cramped, the touch mode of operation too clumsy and imprecise.  If I had to make do with what I could carry easily, it would do in a pinch, but it would be like replacing a luxury car with a moped.  It will get me there, but it will be a lot less comfortable, and probably take a lot longer too. I have a bunch of PCs, and I use several daily outside of work purposes, by choice.  They're wonderfully flexible devices, far more ergonomic than anything handheld.  If you have to be connected out and about, a phone or a tablet is great, but if the limited mobility of a laptop or the immobility of a desktop isn't an issue, they're vastly superior to phones or tablets for every purpose.  I don't find talk about phones exciting at all.  I might be more interested in PC happenings if not for Windows 10; I would not touch that train wreck with a/an (ahem) ten foot pole.  I think it's great that AMD is competitive once again with CPUs, but if Microsoft is going to fight me every step of the way when I install something older than 10 on it, it's just not worth it-- and that's even more true now that older gear like mine is more relevant now than it has been ever before.  I do use Linux as well as Windows, and the plan is to transition away from Windows completely when 8.1 runs out of support, but that's not for six years.  If Windows is still around and has somehow evolved into something decent once again, my plans to go penguin full time can change, but I am not betting on that.  Hope for the best, plan for the worst. 
  • Agreed. On the go, my smartphone suffices but when available, I prefer my big screen, big storage AND the luxury of typing on a real, full size keyboard.
  • x I'm tc. Away from work, I'm a writer, one who also is extensively involved in social media. It is far easier for me to write, including on social media, on a pc than it is on a phone. A phone has the advantage of mobility and compactness. I use an ergonomic keyboard, and I'm not about to cart it around with me. I'm about to get the iphone 8 or whatever it will be called, but park me in front of this XPS 27 any day. A phone is a grudging compromise, accepting its lesser capabilities and useability in exchange for portability. 
  • You've obviously never tried writing a letter or doing a spreadsheet on a phone. Basic everyday things that need a big screen and a keyboard.
  • I use my windows 10 devices EVERY day for Hours a day...Just as I use my ipad, iphone etc.   It all has a place.  WIndows 10 is by far the best desktop/laptop OS available now.  It is Way more advanced than MacOS and Chrome OS.   
  • I also think that smartphones are also saturating. Seriously, take any flagship Android or an iPhone from 2 years back, and you are not really missing anything compared to today's flagships. This is what the PC industry which is much more mature and saturated has been experiencing for a while. We notice it in desktop PC processors especially - my Sandy Bridge core i7 and Xeon chips from 2011 are really still strong performers even today, maybe a little more power hungry, but more than adequate for my tasks which are quite heavy duty. Yet Intel has to keep annual chip updates with somewhat minor performance improvements.
    Sometimes, the craze for innovation just for its own sake gets superfluous (hence the reason I only use like 30% of the features on my phones - both android and WM), most so-called 'exciting' features never get used on phones and PCs, but we like to have them anyways. I think this is a natural trend for Windows (10) - there is only so much a PC things a PC can do for a human being..
  • Smartphones are still getting better at a rate that outstrips PCs, but you are right that they are reaching their limits, too.  But the world around smartphones is exploding. It is quite possible to live a state-of-the-art, wired life without a PC, but you simply cannot get by without a smartphone anymore, and that is because the ecosystem.  Drones need a smartphone to work.  Banks need a smartphone to deposit checks.  Person-to-person messaging is done by SMS or apps, which usually don't work well or at all with a PC.  My washer and trying will try to self-diagnose problems, but need a smartphone to talk to.  Smart lights and smart thermostats and smart doorbells all need a smartphone to be smart. Etc., etc., etc. The PC is not required, and usually not even supported, as a way to accomplish these digital tasks.
  • Thank you for this comment. It is what I have felt for a while, and it was nice to see someone else articulate the same thoughts.
  • If I could use my PC to program everything I would. Oh ya, that's right it's coming thanks to Cortana and Alexa. Smartphones are garbage compared to a entry level PC or desktop.
  • This statement was correct in 2005. I hope Microsoft moves beyond 2005.
  • you simply cannot get by without a smartphone anymore,
    I get by just fine without a smartphone.  My bank allows me to use my scanner to deposit checks from my PC, which is the reason I chose that bank.  Person to person messaging is done by... email or voice phone, take your pick.  I don't text (SMS).  As for IoT things, I don't have any, definitely don't want any, and if I ever found myself in a position where there was no "dumb" alternative on the market, and simply turning the "smart" off or leaving it without WAN connection was not an option (I heard about a "smart" TV that would take it upon itself to associate with any open wifi network it finds if you didn't give it yours... that's all I need, a TV stealing my neighbor's bandwidth without my knowledge), I'd have to creatively break the connectivity on the things before I'd use them.  The security implications for all of these "smart" devices that will never get a firmware update is staggering.   If the PC isn't good enough for any service provider for a service I actually do want, I can vote with my feet, as I did with my bank.  The rest of the stuff, which apparently has no PC option from anyone, I would not want even if I did have a smartphone.  
  • x I'm tc... try writing and editing a novel on a smartphone. 
  • @Nelle Douville While you certainly could do that, and pretty easily, as long as you attached to a larger monitor and used a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, I imagine most people would use a PC for that (I certainly would).  But writing a novel is "work."  Windows devices remain critical for productivity, so enterprise and prosumers depend upon them.  But in the consumer space (i.e., persoal life/recreation) nope...they're dead.
  • As mentioned, I spend a significant amount of time on social media. It's far easier on a desktop, from typing to sharing. I'll use my phone away from home, by necessity. At home, it is idle. I can't think of a site that is easier to use on a phone. 
  • +1
  • Windows os is still a must for a consumer. For files, games or even education, consumer will take windows os ( or mac os )
    Internet cafe and libraries use windows os.
  • and 90 percent of people will buy Windows computers because they are priced properly...not overpriced for fashion like the "other guys"....
  • I wonder what percentage of people would say they spend most of their free computing time on a smartphone. I've no idea, and I can only speak for my experience. My phone is what I use when my desktop is unavailable to me, and it delivers a lesser experience than a desktop. (For clarity, I have an iPhone 7+.) 
  • agreed.  My phone,  no matter what one I pick no where near as awesome as my dell 2 in 1 for doing computing things.  But for being iphone mops up EVERYTHING!
  • We are all entitled to our opinion, but windows isn't dead on the consumer level. Most tasks excluding social media and basic Web browsing are still more productive with keyboard and mouse. I'm in my 20s, desktop is still my favorite way to browse the web. When I want to get something done I'm at my desk with my large monitors. Laptop is a good substitute while away, but a phone or tablet is still a joke for anything but consumption of media.
  • I am in my 30s and find my self still picking up my Nexus 6 to browse even when sitting at my multi-screen gaming rig. Keyboard and mouse feels awkward to me. I wouldn't have a PC but there are still games I need it for. If it wasn't for them, I think I would be ok not using Windows.
  • Smartphones are no longer exciting.
  • I actually find smartphone less and less interesting over the years... Need new app? No.
    Mobile gaming... I play some... but not my main focus. Getting lazy and lazy trying out new games.
    Would I care about phones other than Nexus / Pixel? (The altered api phones or custom roms are kinda problematic) No.
    Newest phone a compulsory? No.
    Would I want to dock a win10.arm on my gamepad for XPA gaming? (Acceps win32 and uwp.pc SKU right?) Sure, and when that happens... I'm happy to jump. win10.arm
    * support surface pen
    * support uwp.pc SKU
    * 5" or 6"
    * support one drive files on demand
    * cloud sync between win10(s), win10.arm and Xboxes
    I can live without Android. I work in a major game studio (4k+ employees) as main programmer, I use PC for work.
    At home / in my free time, I use my PC for programming experiments.
    * Visual Studio, Unreal, Unity, Adobes, 3dsMax, office, Directx, Havok, etc are not available on mobiles.
    I'm quiet a lazy programmer myself, so, I hack apps and websites, injecting codes to do my automation (even at work), I can operate Windows without pointing devices (except Adobes or 3dsMax those typpa graphical applications).
  • same here... +1
  •  the problem is a lack of that vision for something new.  I think that connected home is the best way to innovate.  Rather than encouraging people to be conveyed through these central servers that are open to abuse, i think the pc can become personnel again.  It was the move AWAY from distributed  computing that allowed the explosive growth.  For years in sales, i found ways to show customers a benefit from spending their money.  As a consumer now, i  fail to see the "bang for the buck". A better effort by MS in mobile may gain market share, but it's likely too late.  From a revenue standpoint, i think that MS gets a tidy sum from ios and android products due to licensing, connected home could capitalize on all of these.
  • Many people didnt like windows but didn't have much choice before the smartphones. You wanted to go to internet you needed a computer and most of the time windows. Once given the opportunity to go to internet without having to deal with windows many are very happy to ditch the pc altogether or just most of the time. 70% of the world cannot afford to have many devices like tablets, pcs etc. To many their smartphone is the only way to the coveted internet.
  • PC´s isn´t going away anytime soon, yesterday at my regular electronics shop there were truly crowded around the PC area with the Microsoft in-store rep getting swamped with people asking for advice on devices while the apple/samsung tablet areas had exactly zero visitors in the half an hour I was in there. I hear from my own clients daily that they buy laptops (more pc then mac due to price) since they "want something with better oversight and getting things done more easily" and that is my own feeling too.   And about windows upgrades, I would like to see more polish on the little things like quick glance on documents and especially pictures in file explorer. I love my Galaxy S8+ and can easily do much of my daily mail harvest and random googling on it, but if I need to type out letters/protocols/ real comparison of products/prices etc I very much prefer my 27" screen and just bought a new amazing mechanical keyboard since it has a superior typing experience.  We have in the household my stationary desktop, a surface pro 4, macbook pro, android phones, samsung tablets and ipads and our destop and laptops see way more use when it comes to "getting things done" then any of the more portable devices like phones/ tablets. I think that now with the market reaching saturation in mobile and people realize the limitations within apps and the fact so many new 2in1 devices offer portability AND productivity features why even bother working on inferior devices like a tablet when trying to edit pictures or movies? Surface pro devices revolutionized my way of working with photos since I can use the FULL power of Adobe photoshop on the fly instead of some ****** crippled app, for that single reason I can´t see why anyone would spend tons of cash on a much inferior tablet running android or ios.   Just my 2 cents.
  • Only if your still in high school. For the rest of us who need fill desktop software full fat Windows is our bread and butter.
  • Well said Daniel!!!!
  • The real question is what should an operating system do? The answer is it should managed hardware access and control and it should load and run progams on that hardware.  Everything above and beyon dthat  is really outside of the OS. Perhaps its time to write a really great kernal that works on all hardware and let the market add features to it. We really don't want the operating system to be everything.  We can see that is a dead end of  diminishing returns in terms of new features. Creators update  won't run on my 3 year old laptop because te TCP/IP protocol stack won't bind to the networkinterfaces  for the realtek and atheros chip in my Tohiba Laptop.  This suggests that there is a fundamental flaw in the core of the OS in creators update.  My main laptop is now confined to 1607 nad I have had to exclude the 1703 update using hte showhide updates utility. Microsoft second level support has no solution and has suggestd tht I might want to look at a new PC!
  • Microsoft needs to get into developing the personal robot assistant that follows you around aka R2D2. This is the future. Like in Star Wars. Companies are still thinking small with pocket devices or thin 2 in 1 PCs. The future is in robots.
  • And yet Cortana is still so dumb 😪
  • A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away...
    -opening sentence in Star Wars... But, I agree with your comment on the future.... ;-)
  •   While I like like Windows 10 and appriciate new versions, 
    I found that in many cases Linux does the job for me equally well.  Most "critical" stuff these days resides on mobile phones  
    - and Microsoft has nothing to offer in that space
    other than a bad history. .  Maybe the Desktop is not as important as is used to be.  Windows 10, Moac OS, Linux ... they all get the job done. Internet browsers these days are operating systems
    that reside on top of an operating system ... ... which sometimes remindes me of those old Windows days
    where DOS whas the real OS and Windows just a User Interface.  Microsoft will have an ever harder time to improve the Desktop 
    and provide "added value". Interesting to see how things are develeoping.    .
  • MS blew it. They NEED a mobile presence for mindshare and because all the advanced stuff they have cooked up with Surface pens and Hololens is getting eclipsed by Samsung Note pen and Mobile AR like snapchat and ARKit. Such a shortsighted decision to abandon their mobile products for some unknown re-set. Not to mention Cortana, What good is she at this point? I have OK Google, Bixby, and now Alexa all on my Galaxy S8+ (Which Microsoft themselves gave me) and any one of them blow Cortana away. At this point i'm not sure i can trust MS again. I've been buying their stuff since Zune and none of it has lasted beyond my Surface Pro 3. I just can't see myself giving them more money until i really see some traction and with virtually nobody having Windows Phones anymore, i just don't see how they are going to survive as anything beyond Azure in the long run.
  • I agree, I don't think they can survive in the consumer space, with exception to Xbox. Azure is the big growth engine for the company, along with other cloud services like Skype and Office. There just isn't any way to reclaim the consumer market for them.
  • Gosh even Skype is dead. Anytime i need to Skype with someone at work they want to use GoToMeeting and anytime i want to Skype with a freind or family member they want Google, Facetime, or What'sApp.
  • HoloLens was supposed to be an Xbox product before Nadella turned it into a Windows enterprise product. I still think they can salvage Hololens as a platform if they turn over the tech to 3rd party hardware manufacturers as something like an Ultrabook spec. The problem is MS wasted the last 3 years with Hololens and sacrificed their first mover advantage. The company moves way too slowly with hardware. Hardware platforms need to advance every 6-12 months, but it is almost 3 years without any advancements on HoloLens.
  • I feel people are making a mistake pretending mobile AR is the same as the discrete Mixed Reality devices MS is pursuing. It's not, just like mobile and PCs are not the same, and there are uses and applications for both. Even if mobile AR gets to be used more than discrete AR in raw numbers, doesn't mean discrete AR will be replaced by it.
  • What is this difference you speak of? Being tethered to a PC?
  • The differences are graphic power, screen quality and hands-free operation. Phone-based AR may be cheaper (because you already have a phone) and more mobile (because it's untethered and you don't need to walk around with a headset) but it lacks in all those other departments.
  • Yeah, that makes sense. Those gaps will be filled with time and hardware improvements. What hands free operation is there?
  • Hands-free as in not needing to hold the device in your hands and being able to interact with your hands or with controllers. Mind you, I'm talking about mobile AR, not VR. However, mobile VR faces even a bigger challenge than AR regarding graphic power. Of course, mobile devices will get better suited for AR/VR with time. However, dedicated devices won't stand still during that time either, advancing to the point where they won't have to be tethered to PCs anymore, at least unless you need a crazy amount of graphical power. And I do suppose that when that happens, when talking about VR the phone-based variety does have the advantage of not needing a separate device. However, phone-based AR is at a clear disadvantage against a dedicated device of the size and weight of Google Glass (but with the capabilities of a HoloLens today or even better). Not all innovations in consumer tech from now on are going to develop out of phones, even if many hurt WP fans seem to like the thought of Microsoft's bad handling of WP to bite them for all eternity.
  • I disagree, Phones are almost all people use for computing nowadays. Sure there are desktop and laptop PCs in offices and homes everywhere that people use to do actual work, but everyone has a phone too and they rely and their phones more and more for basic tasks as well as for fun. It's much easier to get a billion people using AR on their phone, which gets smaller, faster, and more powerful yearly than to put on a headset which is heavy and to some extent removes you from the normal world. Once you are locked into an ecosystem then that's your thing. Since VR and AR are both niche markets right now, the first person to make it big gets huge advantage. Which is likely going to be Apple with ARkit. Most people don't want something on their head, but holding their phone up, they have no problem with. The average consumer isn't going to see a need for a Headmounted device when they can just toss their phone into a headset. This is the same thing as the average consumer not realizing the difference between Clear/Smooth motion and not on their TVs.
  • If you have to use a controller, that isn't hands-free. Smartphone based AR will share apps with head mounted displays and you can just mount your smartphone on your head and not require extra processing power. AR is basically over at this point. Microsoft has lost because they have no Mobile presence. Android and iPhone​ will immediately have 100s of millions of device on their AR platforms and Microsoft will struggle to have sell even a million tethered headsets. By the time Hololens is ready, Android and iOS will have a mature AR app catalog and Microsoft will just be starting. It is over.
  • In the long run you'd be able to operate hands-free, controllers are just one possible input. You don't have any choice if you need your hands to hold your phone. As mature as the tablet app catalogue? Look, what you say is certainly a very plausible scenario, I'm definitely not arguing against that. The mistake you're making is assuming that is the only possible scenario and the way it has to be. It is not. It's not that simple. There is no guarantee there will be a mature AR app catalogue because there is no guarantee people will be interested in AR where you have to hold your phone in your hands all the time. There is no guarantee headset apps would be shared with phone apps, though certainly possible. There is no guarantee that if a decent headset based solution rolls along it would be iOS or Android based. Samsung Gear runs on Tyzen. And if it's not based on iOS or Android, it could still operate well with those. Look, the scenario you describe is very possible, I'm not disputing that at all. In fact, it may be more likely than any other scenario I could describe to you. All I'm saying is it's not the only possible one, not even the only remotely likely one. Don't act like it is and like it's all settled because it's not. This has just begun. Apple and Google are in good positions. Does not mean they have automatically won. We could have said the same about the tablet market a few years ago and we know how that turned out.
  • Agreed MS needs a mobile presence.  And they still have chance.  They do need to focus on marketing and do some cool stuff to keep consumers interested.  Because those consumers that use items for personal function will translate that over to the work world.  I don't think it will go the othe way around. We are going backwards....Android is going to move from a mobile OS to a ful fledged desktop OS and people will say 'oh wow!  what a great idea' At least MS is getting into automobiles....Maybe Cortana will be driving my next car....
  • I agree! I understand they decided to focus on the desktop after the criticism they got from the business sector of Win 8. And although I loved Win 8, I must agree that Win 10 is a better desktop OS. However if they are just going to keep on focusing on the desktop, making minute improvements, al the effort they put in OneCore and UWP will have been wasted. They could have saved a lot of time and just given Win 7 a visual makeover. Win 10 for the desktop/laptop is good enough for a few years. Microsoft should start expanding their ecosystem. Use OneCore for what it was meant to be!
  • UWP and OneCore has no object or purpose without mobile. It's as good as dead at this point. Over the last decade MS was mostly waisting huge amounts of money on failing projects and acquisitions.
  • I think a lot of the problem is ... the Windows Insider program. Not only do we get exposed to all the features long before they're released to the public, but we go through constant ups and downs of features coming along and going away/delayed/canceled that we just go numb to any legitimate WOW factor that does come along. Eye tracking and other input improvements are VERY cool... not for everybody, sure, but they're impressive and show that Microsoft is doing stuff their competitors are ignoring.   And I don't want to harp on the Insider program for petty reasons-- of which there are some notable ones-- I'm just speaking purely to the perpetual beta. It gets... exhausting after a while. AT least once per year I take myself off the Insider builds for a 2-3 month stint to just gather feedback from a regular user's perspective for a while, and it helps a lot.
  • Windows insider is voluntary, you don't have to be in the perpetual beta.
  • Well, pretty much whats already been said; mobile is where the action is and the relentless drive for retrenchment was short sighted and removing yourself completely from the market for years is a mistake. They seem happy enough to adopt ios and android as their mobile platforms so maybe thats enough for them as long as they are making profits elsewhere.
  • Most "new" features are useless to me and many more people  i assume . Under the hood improvements in stability , security and the core OS are always good though . 
  • this is the first major Windows update since Windows 10 came out that feels bland.
    I blame this on Cshell. Seriously, back in early June I guesstimated that RS3 would be feature complete by the end of July/beginning of August, so we supposedly still had a lot to look forward to; not only that happened much earlier but insiders also got their inbox app updates frozen for two months now and at least another month still to go with the update release date being October 17. RS3 has even less new features to be excited than RS2, the way I see it it has to be Cshell the reason for that: rebuilding the Shell is a monumental effort, it has to be taking the bulk of resources in the Windows team that could've gone to Timeline, Cloud Clipboard, Home Hub, etc. Cshell couldn't be done sooner enough IMO.
  • Definitely an interesting theory on Cshell holing up the real big changes/features for Windows 10. I'd like to believe that is the case and fingers crossed it's accurate. Guess we'll find out in the next year or so.
  • I'd go a step further than this, honestly; MS's work on Windows 10 in general, and for Redstone releases especially, has been fundamentally architectural, rather than feature driven specifically.The groundwork to enable Fluent Design goes back to the composition apis that shipped with the Anniversary Update, for instance, and while delayed, the Timeline and cloud clipboard functionality is all being driven off work on Project Rome and Microsoft Graph that's been ongoing, publically, for over a year. The adaptive cards work that Timeline relies so heavily on comes out of work with their chatbot framework. So it's not just a matter of CShell eating resources, though that very likely is putting a drag on other feature development; it's also very much that we are watching MS build out the necessary underlying frameworks and apis in real time, instead of that work being done behind closed doors for 2-3 years leading up to a major point release. There will be huge updates and feature additions to Cortana, device interoperability, cloud integration, UX, UWP and the Store, and AR/VR over the next year or two. The frameworks and api updates to enable all of that are just finishing up/reaching a point of sufficient maturity, and work can't really start on features until it's done. Edit: I should add, MS speaks to different audiences at different events. Build, for instance, is not for consumers, it's for developers. UWP getting full .Net Standard 2.0 support is a huge deal and pretty exciting, to a developer. So that right there is a massive exciting Fall Creator's Update feature, to the right audience. But when they want to excite consumers, they tend to do it via hardware events, and those aren't necessarily going to sync up with Windows 10's release cadence. 
  • Oh, that's interesting, I wasn't informed enough about Timeline to know its underlying framework requirements, thanks for the insight! Yeah, I named Cshell as the one to blame because it's a major architectural change, if not THE major change, Windows 10 is currently undergoing and that, as we both know, takes a lot of time and resources to complete, but we definitely shouldn't forget that Microsoft's major frameworks for its future endeavours - .NET Standard, Graph, AR/VR, etc - still aren't mature enough and it'll take a year or two more before we get powerful features out of them.
  • I like to believe that work on CShell is why Feature2 Branch came into being. No point in developing Mobile Shell further if the mobile part of CShell works differently. Having said that Mobile Shell needs to still be functional so that they can copy bits off of it, no point copying over something thats already broken due to OneCore changing!
  • I think that's a great theory.  While I agree it couldn't come soon enough, I certainly don't want it unless it's "ready".
  • Exactly. Windows on ARM will be the future. If the CShell won't be perfect, ARM Windows will fail and this is the end gaming I think. 
  • Why does WoA need CShell? It isn't for phone experiences according to Joe Belfiore. WoA is for PCs, laptops and tablets, CShell isn't required, W10 is already fine for these forms (it arguably sucks on tablet, but they aren't that important). WoA will be successful if it allows thinner laptops without sacrificing performance while bringing much better battery life. CShell has nothing to do with it.
  • Cshell ( and Andromeda ) is ( or are ) compacting Windows to a smartphone form factor.
  • Without knowing exactly and entirely what CShell is I dont know how it can be claimed that its holding anything up.
  • Without knowing exactly and entirely what CShell is I dont know how it can be claimed that its holding anything up.
    We have a good idea of what CShell is - - and I have an IT background to know that refactoring AKA rewriting of code that's working to improve manageability AKA the bulk of the work going on in building Cshell from the ground up, while desirable, is generally avoided because a) they risk breaking what's working and b) they use up resources that could've otherwise been used to add new features. Take that as you will.
  • That article is 3 months old and was based on leaks and rumors. We have no idea what CShell actually is or if Microsoft is seriously pursuing it.
  • That article is 3 months old and was based on leaks and rumors. We have no idea what CShell actually is or if Microsoft is seriously pursuing it.
    Microsoft is absolutely seriously pursing it, as WalkingCat proves through his datamining/reverse engineering of Windows insider builds: In other words, the desktop shell in Creators Update already had a few parts of it rewritten with Cshell in mind, and a lot more rewrites of it will come with Fall Creators Update.
  • Awesome! Thanks for the links. I wonder why Windows Central doesn't write more about these things. They are always struggling for a reason to write a "Windows Mobile Isn't Dead" article.
  • WC is soo lagging on the fact based editorials, Zdnet, neowin, hell even thurrott gets more facts straight, while all we have here is the big picture dream fantasies.
  • From a business perspective, I am having trouble with 3rd party business software providers keeping up with the pace and blaming any flaw that appears on "the recent Windows 10 version". Some are legit - an Adobe PDF in the browser viewer causing bluescreens, struggles with the change in high DPI resolution scaling - but most are not. It puts the burden on me to prove their issues are more extensive than the latest W10 release; and has created some adversarial situations with one or two of our software providers. I would think a slower release pace would be beneficial. A maniacal focus on UWP app development is needed, and that hopefully comes following CShell and WoA. Of all the W32 line of business apps/solutions we use, none are being envisioned for remake in UWP. If any change is contemplated, its to a web front end, nearly always targeting Chrome. As a business subscriber, I would like to see Microsft really, really concentrate to hook Office365 deep into W10. Also - What is MS's goal for Edge? Or the browser in general? To me, it feels like its heading down the path of Windows Phone - being left to drift and eventually wither away. Of the web resources we use, those that were IE dependent are being redeveloped and making the leap from having required Compatibility mode over to Webkit/Chrome foundations and focus. Which isn't an improvement in my mind, Chrome I feel is largely the new IE6. But a lost opportunity for Microsoft, and one that, again, is largely being driven from the mobile space by others.
  • I am facing a similar issue in my classroom. I used Windows update after the summer break on all my Win10PCs. Foe some reason, none of them can now log into the network accounts, only the local Admin account. This is complete trash. Microsoft says i have to pay for support or use the district support account (which obviously being just a lowly teacher i can't do) and my tech department's solution will be to re-image them to an older version of windows 10. This is again, complete trash. I should not be prevented from doing updates because it breaks things, and my tech department doesn't want to be innundated with basic requests like doing a standard update.
  • One thing you could try is logging in as a local admin and opening powershell as administrator (elevated) Then type in Reset-ComputerMachinePassword /server /credential Once the password is entered in the diolog box it should restore the network connection.
  • Thats /server [domain controller] /credential [domain name\network admin user] but I cant edit it because Windows Central comment section is full of glitches. 
  • This year Windows on ARM and CShell are the most important moves next to Mixed Reality. So many things Windows needs to improve to become a modern competitive OS. Live tiles need to advance to something more interactive. They need to integrate better with devices in your home. Cortana needs to do a lot more. Amazon doesn't even have a legit OS and they're doing a better job with connecting devices in your home than Windows/Cortana are. Sell the home products that connect with Windows/Cortana in MS retail stores. They need to get serious about working with retailers and smoothing out mobile commerce with Microsoft Wallet. Give away a cheap MS bracelet that handles NFC payments on any phone to establish MS Wallet app as the industry leader. You can hand out cheap NFC bracelets at retail outlets or any place commerce happens. The low end of the market for wearables is being ignored and this can be made profitable through widespread MS Payment, most people cannot afford a smartwatch. Windows Mixed Reality needs to place emphasis on 3D app development, not just VR games. They need 3D apps that can be easily translated to an AR headset or AR phones. HoloLens needs to become a standard spec like Ultrabooks, made by OEMs competing on design and price. The hardware standard needs to advance every 6 months, not every 3 years. The Surface Dial and Pen can become a controller, writing implement for HoloLens devices. Skype needs to become more social and group-focused (record a daily/weekly video or status message that any of your friends can view). Give people the option to pin their friends status updates from Skype on their Windows taskbar.
  • I suppose I agree that I haven't been "wowed" recently, and I suppose that a dialog around this is interesting to have...  But it seems like we are so conditioned these days to be entitled for more, forgetting anything cool or fun that was just bought yesterday.  I feel like for myself, I need to slow down and take things easy.  I'm finding more and more that I live in a world where the perception is everything is wrong in the world.  Now of course none of that works in the corporate world I get that.  I just suspect though that no matter how awesome the next thing MS, Apple, Google, or anyone else brings, we will just want the next.  I think I'm going to just pause for a minute and think about just how cool that stuff we get to play with these days is.  
  • I agree with the seemingly increasing entitlement culture around tech, but I think some of that is on Microsoft for building up/hyping these twice-a-year updates. I'm so totally fine with them building and improving the desktop experience, doing more for accessibility, etc., just not sure we need to have big "themed" releases. Like, what will this all look like in 2020? I think they should either do one big yearly update or just spread it out more with less hype.
  • I think two releases are okay but the strange and forced theme and the hype are unnecessary. The Creators Updates have pretty bad and unfitting names. I think they should go back to the way it was with version 1511, it was a good update with decent and useful changes - like they still continue to be - but it was pretty low-profile, setting the right expectations.
  • Honestly, I don't think the average user really cares about updates like this. If I asked my wife what the creators update was she wouldn't know. Same with fall creators update. If you ask the average user their opinion on OS updates they'd likely just find them annoying, as you can't use the computer while the update is in progress... One of my non-tech savvy coworkers avoided rebooting her computer whenever possible because of waiting for updates to finish before she could use her laptop again...
  • Daniel.  The biggest thing MS can do now is STOP ANNOUNCING STUFF,  before it's 100% ready and complete.  They keep shooting themselves in the foot.  One update per year...Look at MacOS...they get one "update",  and its the same os since mac started really.  Dock at the bottom,  stupid commands to do things,  lack of touch, pen etc.   Windows is already FAR ahead of MacOS.   BUT...what apple does is NOT announce crap before its' done.  MS has done this repeatedly since Nadella took over.  But they have to makes them look like amatuer hour.  
  • I think the upcoming release is fine and adds a lot for the gaming crowd. Fluent design will help finish the look, but not yet. I always expected the updates would match cadence with the rest of the industry once MS reaches parity with Apple and Android. I mean with features not necessarily apps.
  • Lets take fluent design as an example.  That should NOT have been mentioned before it was 100% ready to be put in the ENTIRE OS.   IMO,  just parts of windows 10 will have the fluent design and other parts won't because its not ready for primetime.  Also,  they may even ditch it because it's not ready like so many other things.
  • Oh, there is still so much to be done. Take the current implementation of fluent design for example. Then things like taking screenshots, screen recordings, creative suite from MSFT including something to make music, move maker, etc. If you would give me a day I could plot out a giant feature list with many cool things to implement. Explorer could also use a refresh. So there is no reason for those updates to be boring. It is just that MSFT seems to be focused on other things (we maybe do not see yet). Or they are just sitting on a**
  • Of course, there's a lot of little things that needs to be done, definitely not saying that. But I feel the big features, the core basics are done already.
  • Agreed.  windows 10 could be done now.  and just add some cool features to it every year.  Market it more so we can get more first party apps rolling in the store,  and well as more integration.  I noticed that H/K has a new google speaker....and looks as if they ditched the cortana version.
  • I think they could release 1 new build a year, say right around their Build conference, and it would keep me and most of the insiders happy. It is a very mature operating system and shouldn't have too many big "wow" features, but 1 or 2 well fleshed-out new bits of functionality per year seems doable. I just want to see something similar happen in the mobile space too so that we can finally enjoy the promise of a single well-integrated ecosystem where our PC's, tablets, phones, TV's, IoT devices, digital assistants, cars, VR/AR systems, etc. can all effortlessly share the same design language, apps, and data.
  • Daniel is on point here. I hate to say it, but take a page from Apple's book here. Scale back major releases. Win smaller victories with app-centric updates. Push all your big ticket items once a year. What are those items? I don't know. Keep focusing on creatives. I go to Adobe MAX every year, and I can say that it seems to be working. They're noticing Windows more than ever.  Whatever you guys are doing with mobile, do it soon. You are already late to the party, so start your own party with something "category defining" and see if anyone comes over. But do it soon before everyone gets too drunk and just passes out.
  • I think technology in general has peaked. There are only so many features a user needs in software and hardware.
  • Completely agree with you, especially in the sense of the 'strict' PC. If you observe where 'innovation' is these days - in mobile for example, they are branching more than ever out of the 'phone', we should just consider them pocket cameras/music/video/game players, health and fitness devices and computers as the original telephony is only an afterthought these days - think about it: water-proofing, health and fitness sensors, dual cameras, wide angle lenses, stronger mobile gpus, high quality audio DACs, active digitizer screens, 4k recording etc. these things used to be standalone devices, now they are integrated into a single device as the modern 'smartphone'. There is only so much we can expect of Windows (10) without these added hardware, I think the traditional productivity PC is now as mature as it's going to get. MS has to get on the ARM SoCs where all the 'innovative' toys are (with the associated portability) which I believe is what they are doing..
  • I agree if you mean smartphone technology. General technology is what helps the species survive!
  • Tech has peaked??? Ahahaha. Every time I sit in a car, use a smartphone, a PC, talk to an AI assistant all I ever think is how we are still living in the dark ages of technology and wish things would advance faster. It is not hard to just look at some big sci-fi movies to realize how much better technology can get and will get. Almost everything you've seen in sci-fi not only will we achieve but will be surpassed eventually. What I need most right now is for Hololens to advance rapidly and make most of my existing tech obsolete.
  • Maybe his statement needs to be clarified a little. Think of your car for example, you notice that the petrol engine has really practically peaked - how different is say a modern 2011 petrol engine from a 2017 one? Only very minor improvements to the core engine, it's mainly the electronic toys that are getting integrated into cars under the guise of 'innovation'. In some ways, this is what is happening to the strict desktop/laptop PC which is the main home of Windows 10. The so-called 'innovation' is now in the 'toys', the core desktop functionality has pretty much peaked.
  • Although I agree wih your premise, the ICE probably wasn't the best example. There is a lot of research being done and advancements being made with engines, even in the short time span that you mentioned.
  • There is still tonns of feautures i want thats not in Windwos 10 yet.
  • Everyone seems to think MSFT has given up on mobile, not true! They HAVE given up on the smartphone! And rightfully so because that market had been decided even before Ballmers stupid acquisition of Nokia. Ask yourself this, in 10 years will I be carrying a smartphone in its current form? I bet not, but I bet that I will have a Windows device that will make calls and a whole lot more!
  • If it won't back to mobile seriously, in 10 years Microsoft will be as IBM is now compared to 10 years ago (insignificant)
  • Technology in particular is highly unpredictable. Your statement about mobile would have been made about desktops 10 years ago - until Apple changed the game with the iPhone. You never know what the tech landscape will be in 10 years, we may be about to hit another major curve as significant as the original iPhone, who knows??
  • G Sumner (sting ;-) ), They said that exact thing 10 years ago when the iphone 1 came out too!
  • It wouldn't bother me much giving up on the smartphone, if MS had spent the last 3 years establishing a meaningful headstart on Augmented Reality and wearable computers. It wouldn't bother me much giving up on Windows mobile if MS had spent the last 3 years making Cortana more powerful and connected to more devices than any other AI in existence. Augmented Reality, wearable computers, and AI were obviously the most important long term projects and I see MS stumbling on each of them. AR should've been a consumer platform developed by Windows PC manufacturers improving rapidly every year like Android phones do. Wearables like MS Band or a smartphone powered Hololens should've been an opportunity to sit on top of competing OSes to develop an exclusive app store like Samsung Gear/Fitbit Ionic/Google Chrome on Windows. Cortana should be connected to every device in your home like Amazon Alexa. Microsoft might be right about the direction of the future as they were with PocketPC and SPOT, and now HoloLens, but they aren't doing anything to own the future they saw coming.
  • Microsoft can't afford to join the race after 10 years when all other platforms have developers invested billions into it. It is quite possible that they couldn't be profitable with phones for some time. But that is the price of staying in the race for many many billions of dollars in the future. What you say is exactly like saying OEMs will produce the phones when Microsoft back ups. They won't. Developers will come to the platform when we release it after 5 years. They won't, or it will be extremely hard.
  • "Maybe this is a lack of imagination on my part. Ask me what new feature I'd love to see in Windows 10, and I couldn't tell you." - Daniel Rubino ---------------------------- "A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them.” - Steve Jobs "How can people tell you what they want if they haven’t seen it before? If we ask them what they want, we’ll end up doing Swan Lake every year!” - Mario D’Amico “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” - Henry Ford 
  • Daniel Rubino is not a person that those people did refer to. Of course that people that can't spend more than 1 minute a year thinking about possible improvements of the produce and having no knowledge about them can't provide the answer on what could be better most of the time.
  • Those are great quotes but when I look at FCU I don't see evidence of any of that innovation/mind blowing/game changing stuff happening. It's also not really my job to know what patents, hardware, and manufacturing capability is working with...that's on them ;) As is all of this. I'm ready to be wowed, I'm open to new things, but they have to have something to actually show me too ;)
  • That's because they didn't actually show to us nothing so "special" new and innovative today. It was nice, but we heard about it already before. you remember when they presented Surface Studio for the first time? It was a huge surprise. So we are waiting for some more (good) suprises in the near future :)
  • Was it a surprise? I don't understand the Surface Studio at all. A new gimmicky desktop in a time when desktops are quickly becoming irrelevant?! Where is it today?
  • The surface studio is in more and more photographers, graphics designers etc offices every day.  It is far from "gimmicky" as you say.  It's another device that pushed A.I.O. devices forward.  After it came out,  HP, Dell and more revamped their all in ones.  When apple released the Imac Pro,  I laughed.   Its a dark grey Imac.  Having touchscreen, the dial,  the way the hinge works,  makes the surface studio 100 times better than the dark grey Imac.
  • Win95/98/ME/2000 - Too fast! We are getting too many updates and because of all the updates we do not get any substantial changes at one time. Slow down Microsoft!
    WinXP/Vista/Win7/Win8 - This is going too slow, too many big changes and people are overwhelmed with the changes they are getting. They need to speed up their product lifecycle to spread out the changes because the competition is more agile and able to incrementally catch up.
    Win10 - Too fast! We are getting too many updates and because of all the updates we do not get any substantial changes at one time. Slow down Microsoft! Wash, rinse, repeat.
  • Great write up Daniel... Way to keep things fresh and honest. Although, you may need to help out one of the contributors Jason Ward with his blogs. It is getting like eating a salad with year old lettuce over there.
  • There are already devices that we want from them, and we are still waiting. Wish they also come with something we didn't expect. For business/education or enterprise, they should come closer to people.
  • Time to dial back Windows 10 "major" updates? No. It's time for new leaders. Apple probably has smaller teams. Yet they can deliver much more. Microsoft has a leadership problem. For too many years the consumer side has been let adrift. They will end up like IBM. Start replacing the heads of the Windows and Devices division.
  • Smartphones are not the future in my opinion. I'm actively trying to remove mine from my life. They are a jack of all trades, matter of none type device that was great 5-10 years ago but now services & technology has moved on and I think we have better, more focused, replacements. I also think Microsoft promises a lot of features for W10 but hasn't actually delivered on them yet.
  • What is replacing the smartphone?
  • The foldable coffee machine
  • It sounds like Microsoft has something under development, so I'm keen to see what, but in my opion nothing should directly replace it. The paradigm is wrong. The features provided by a smartphone should be implemented in other ways.
  • also i accidentally reported this, sorry, i was trying to scroll
  • "Microsoft's Windows 10 OS for PCs feels complete," stopped reading here
  • The only evolution with windows 10 is its continued transformation into a cell phone os shoehorned onto the desktop with the goal of eventually murdering windows altogether.
  • Depending how you look at it, windows hasn't changed much since Xp. Sure it looks different, there's some more modern features built in, but it's the same basic computing experience.
  • Until, they fix tablet mode and make all native applications (File Explorer) UWP or at least modern they are not finished.  It may not be exciting but they are not finished.  There is a lot of low hanging fruit that could be plucked easily in built in Apps and features.  They don't seem to be focusing on those for what ever reason.  I could come up with Dozens of features that wouldn't be difficult to impliment that would make for an exciting release.
  • "The rest of the world is moving to smart devices, wearables..." If that last bit is true, will say it again...MS prematurely dropped the ball (again) by ending the Band product.
  • The band wasn't a viable platform. They killed it because it had no where to go.
  • I agree the band was not the wearable answer,  but that nokia branded smartwatch WAS!  They had it and dropped the ball.....
  • There is no limit for what you can build with software!!
    MS keeps surprising us with hardware and features every now and then (even if they don't release, they still innovate)
  • "That is where it should be sinking all its efforts. Make Microsoft yearly events around those categories and allow Windows desktop just to ride this massive wave of success." I dont know about this.. if you've got a successful product, you don't just ride the wave, you have to keep on top. Innovate, even if you aren't revolutionizing anything. Keep the core product in peoples minds, keep them excited about it UNTIL you're ready to shift to the next thing, then combine those into one event and slowly start shifting the event. 
    You can't focus on mobile if you don't have a mobile play. Same with AR, connected speakers, wearables, etc. I don't mind dropping the phone.. they had lost.
    They're late to the game with their speaker.. jesus, get it out already!
    The one that really bothers me is the band. They had the best tech for the best price. The only issue was the build quality of the band portion. Fitbits new Ionic is barely going to be better (adds water proofing, loses several other sensors), but its twice the price!
  • With the rapid advancements in cloud computing, AI, and now on the horizon quantum computing. There may not be a Windows OS in 10 years. Neither MacOS, Linux, or Android, they may all be gone or unrecognizable. In 10 to 20 years we may all be running quantum computers that fit in our pockets. Smartphones will likely be replaced. The future is such an exciting unknown!
  • Windows 8 and 8.1 are the last versions of windows that introduced new features I actually used, because they made me love touch devices running windows. The UX was revolutionary, and it made my life as a student very easy. I used to have a windows 7 slate (Asus EP 121), but windows 7 handicapped it's touch capabilities. I currently have a surface book i7 with dgpu, and i see no benefits in running windows 10 on it, i basically use it as I used to use a windows 7 laptop, and I rarely get to use it as a tablet since in my opinion, the touch UX of windows 10, is a huge downgrade from windows 8 and 8.1. Touch on windows 10 is closer to touch on Windows 7 which wasn't great. So if MS keeps focusing on the traditional PC, then there's really no added value it can provide on windows, since the traditional use and interaction of a PC has not changed, and Windows 7 was the final great revolution. Windows 8 opened windows to a new way of interaction,amd thus a new set of practical user cases, and now Windows 10 has retrenched back to the traditional. I think wi dows has reached the point whereby just regular patches will be sufficient.
  • I think one of the many reasons we are not being wowed, is that Microsoft appears to still be playing catch-up with everything they ever showed (not neccesarily announced). This is very clear in RS4, which we believe most of the features coming are features that were originally planned to already be here. The hardware side seems to have some play to this as well. You and I tend to wait for reasons to upgrade our hardware to get the most out of our money, maybe Microsoft is waiting too much on future hardware innovation they know is coming down the line? The problem with waiting too long is another chapter in Windows Phone.
  • Need.A.Mobile.Solution. The end.
  • There are so many fundamental areas where Windows 10 could improve dramatically that it's ridiculous to think that there is no room left for updates. I'm thinking UI consistency and animation and File Explorer being obvious areas that need massive improvement. 
  • Perhaps part of the problem is the oversaturation of coverage in an attempt to drive traffic to blogs every day.    We hear so much about the Insider builds and leaks that by the time the actual product is released there is no reason to be excited.  I think after 3 years of a products release, a shift to a 2 year major cycle would create more stable tech but the world wants agile releases. 
  • Got it, we'll stop covering Insider releases. Less work is fine by me. I mean, clearly this is our fault as Microsoft here is infallible. I'll be the first to admit that it is weird a place called Windows Central does deep dives into...Windows updates, but screw it, we're only interested in traffic. We'll go all silent on it so we don't ruin the surprise of how underwhelming the FCU really is. Joking aside, if Microsoft doesn't want media coverage on this then don't do the Insider program and make your releases so public.
  • Smartphones are handy things, to bad MS did miss that totally under the stewardship of Ballmer. He didn’t get it at all. Huge difference compared to when Gates in the 90s sat down a week or two and surfed the infant internet, he did get it. I remember self when I got a 9600 modem in the 90s, wow this is the future. The same with my first smartphone (android). Of course, it was infant stuff in the beginning but the potential was obvious. An iPad is crap compared to an Surface 3, as I have. Win 10 works great on it and, it has its hardware limitations, but I can do almost “everything” on it. Almost whatever special stuff you want to do there is windows programs for it. Connect whatever I want and so on. The iPad have much better touch experience, but that is one of its rare advantages. Too bad MS ditched the good stuff in the Win 8 tablet GUI. And they seriously must get a grip with Edge, it’s not good even if it’s the only browser with usable touch experience for windows. A world with merely iOS and Android for consumers will be a less good computer world.
  • Was there anything good in the widely hated Windows 8 tablet GUI?
  • I don't know if I agree with ALL of the Windows features packed in their update packages, but I don't see them stopping any time soon.  When I'm home I do everything on my Surface 3, that inlcudes texting through my Surface to my phone.  That's why I'm looking forward to whatever MSFT comes up with for their multi-functional device. The All My People feature looks awesome and convenient.  The only caveat is for now it's only Windows 10 centric. As far is Windows being a dying's still the #1 desktop OS and as long as MSFT continues to integrate Xbox and Mixed Reality, I don't see MacOS or Chrome competing much.
  • While so many are moving over to using their phones and tablets (sorry as a man getting closer to 60, phones are a no no for my eyes over long periods of time, 12" tablets are really hard to find and are so rediculous in price that it's a total turn off for those of us on a budget) but The one thing that folks forget.... is that graphics artists, audio and video makers STILL use workhorses to create allot of what you see on the web.  I work part time in a 3D cottage industry making content.... I'm sure as hell am not going to strain my eyes on a tablet trying to do that.  So yea, I hope that Windows OS will continue for years to come but I'm all for putting more into  the phones and tablets for the masses. 
  • I agree. And when some of these 20 and 30 somethings pass 40, they will find that browsing the internet on a small screen, whether phone or tablet, is just not very pleasant.
  • It's dreadful if W10 for desktops really is "done". The problem is this: most of the UI is horrible for keyboard/mouse-based machines. All the new dialog boxes and OS features such as "Settings" are designed for touch - they are enormous compared with their W7 counterparts. I bet my mouse mileage has doubled from W7 to W10. Microsoft's idea of a UI that works on every platform appears to be nothing more than forcing a mobile UI onto desktop users. Hardly very sophisticated.
  • UI fixes and improvements falls in line of small, quarterly, or even monthly updates that don't warrant a "brand release", which is clearly what I'm talking about. We all get it: Windows 10 needs lots of little fixes, that's not the issue I have, which is BIG features. The nuts and bolts is done. Aligning hamburger menus is not the stuff of excitement or worthy of coverage.
  • I really wish they'd introduce a set of UI elements of similar size to those in W7 for desktop machines. It could easily be done.
  • Windows 10 for PC is here, and we're all good, Microsoft. So no, sorry - we aren't all good.
  • You're confusing system improvements, stability, maybe UI fixes with big, banner features, which is the point of this article. But entertain me: what does this laptop OS need for major new features? If you bring up aligning hamburger menus, I'm walking.
  • So we only differ on the definition of "big, banner features". For me, a proper mouse/keyboard workstation UI in Windows 10 (instead of forcing a mobile UI on workstation users) would definitely count as a big, banner feature.  Daniel: maybe you don't use W10 on a mouse/keyboard workstation - at least not any heavy duty way - but if you did you'd know just what I'm talking about. I've tried to post a picture to illustrate the point, but it doesn't seem to work.  But if you follow the link, compare the mouse-friendy UI on the right with the touch-friendly equivalent on the left.  It's fine for touch, but a hopeless waste of space and hit on productivity for mouse users who's mouse mileage has probably doubled or tripled in W10. Fixing this definitely would be a big, banner feature for every serious workstation user.  
  • I don't think Win10 is a finished piece of work. On the contrary, Win10 feels like it's in a constant transitional phase to something better and Microsoft doesn't seem to make up their minds about what they want to do next. For example, they haven't yet finished removing all the Win32 ballast and legacy stuff that you can still find in their UI, Control panel and other system tools, but they're already jumping onto the next step, Fluid design. Their OS is not even fully transitioned to the old metro, flat UI and they're already moving some apps to Fluid. Seriously, how can you call this finished? Far from that. It probably has at least a few more years to go before they complete this transitional phase from still-carrying-Win32-legacy-stuff and having a fully cohesive interface and set of features. Also, I think Microsoft has some other plans too, considering their Continuum concept. By bringing new features to Win10 they're not only building a better experience for desktop PCs, but also improving whatever their whole platform is capable of doing on any devices that can run Win10. This is not wasted effort. And if rumours prove true and they come out with some kind of new concept of portable computing device that is supposed to supersede smartphones, then their effort to improve and further develop Win10 makes sense. I can think of lots of new features that would be cool to have in a 21st century OS. Windows doesn't have a proper font app, like macOS, for example, where you can manage all your installed fonts. It doesn't have the same packaged software like macOS does (GarageBand and iMovie). Sure it has other cool things that macOS doesn't (Mixed Reality, Paint 3d, News app etc). What all consumer OSes lack is an actual OS theme editor, where you can customise almost everything about how your UI looks like. Even Linux allows for more flexibility in customising your interface. On Windows customising your interface is an experience that sometimes can border on madness. Some options are still buried in the old Control panel, whereas the basic options have been moved to the new, sleek Settings app. But if you want to make your File Explorer window background a specific colour, get ready for a wild ride. We used to be able to create custom toolbars on the taskbar that you could pull and snap to another side of the screen (this feature worked in Win98 SE, for example). Being able to completely hide the system taskbar and create your own custom toolbar would be a cool option, one that neither Windows not macOS offer. Both systems are really closed down and locked when it comes to customisation. I could go on, but this post is turning into a wall of text, so I'll stop here.
  • oh dont you believe your fellow colleague that its all part of the plan, the mount rushmore, for the ultimate mobile device.
  • Most of what MS is doing in Win 10 is change for the sake of change.  They keep breaking things long fixed, forcefully remove old software that you need without warning, the installations frequently break but won't tell you why, they hide basic tools like control panel, they can't make up their mind between Settings and CP, they love introducing new bugs and reintroducing old ones.  Networking frequently breaks.  And instead of a major nightmare from upgrades every year or two, not its twice a year.  We wait as long as we can - and apparently MS now seems to like that.  My daughter's laptop still didn't offer the Spring update, though we could obviously get it, and finally did.  Same with my son's.  I guess if you wait until the following update is about to be released, you stand a better chance of the one you are installing having a lot fewer bugs.
  • How freaking hard is it for Microsoft to create a XBOX One mode for Windows 10 PC's just like they have tablet mode? A mode which switches you into the XBOX One-style environment on your PC connected to your TV and launches XBOX One UWP apps within this environment? Why can't they compete with Roku this way? This is the one true feature I've always wanted, because I'm not willing to pay $$$ for an XBOX One. Is it really that hard to do? Am I missing something? And while they're at it? Why not ditch DIAL and Mira-Cast and actually develop their own Google Cast protocol reciever and sender API to Windows 10 and get Netflix, HBO-Go, Hulu, DirecTV-NOW, Plex and every TV channel from here to timbucktu to support it, the same way Google has with Chromecast? I've waited and waited and waited! This crap needs to happen for Windows and it needs to happen fast!
  • I so agree with you!!!
  • I love windows 10, no viruses or Trojans or any problems like that as defender seems to be awsoem. I also like the tiles too but for the first time in my windows history all the way back from windows 98 I feel we have the most unreliable os in many other ways. you have to remember I have built many windows 10 pcs, I have installed and formatted and updated many dozens of my and friends pcs and laptops. First edge is awful. Not only are you not able to change the search engine easily, so most people would either use edge or go else where, and ive never seen more people thrown off by this edge and ie edge button as most of my friends in the last 12 months have moved to firefox or even chrome. Ill be soon to follow as I cant open my new tabs to my home page or even drag and drop and full size tabs in a multi screen envoirnment in edge as efficiently as ie.
    Every time I do a new pc or reset files, even windows 98 with a full format and instal took about 1 hour. windows 10 to install and update fully takes close to 4 hours almost every time. Yeh only yesterday I set a laptop to reset all files and after a 5 mile walk(1.45 hours) a bath(45 minutes while you tubeing) and 20 minutes for some dinner was the laptop at 85% done lol, and yeh it was nearly another 2 hours later before I had a working laptopn. Ive had friendfs return surface pro 3 and 4s from new casue 4 hours was just taking the micky to have a 800 pound new tablet working out of the bax later lol. No ipad or mac book my friends owned or I have tempory had for family has been anywhere near that tewrrible time frame.
    Then thers the whole inconsistency thing with skype. 1 day its working, another day it isn't and this is on the official versions and its been like that's for a good year or 2.
    I was prompted to write this as my outlook mail inconsistently works. it stoped showing me my emails on the right, yet more bugs.
    Even Cortana which used to be awesome hasn't been able to do a simple alarm by voice. and still no plex support that actually works. Its a strange thing to see groove try and open a movie with Cortana hearing everything you said and groove was not even part of the picture lol.
    as much as I love windows 10 and its viruses and maleware busting defender software, as much as I love living in a desktop and tiled work I think microsoft needs to do some major changes and fast, the only reason I'm betting were all on windows currently is casue there is no other choice for gaming and productivity, but you know what, I see that changing in 2018-2019 and I fear microsfts snail pace on pc desktop, laptop and phone and tablets are really gona kick in.
    I know some people are gona try to spin my comment around but your talking at least 40 pc desktops, 6 laptops 3 years on windows 8,8.1 and 10 all on mobile too and 1 surface pro 3 and 2 surface pro 4s, all the things ive talked about came true on every single device. all desktops had 520-540 ssds, and 100mg internet broadband conections so there really isn't any excuses or pretence you can offer me in excuses. Microsoft get your finger out of your bum plse I don't want apple or android but already my s7 edge was forced to replace my 930 as no ebay app, no paypal app and no myfitness pal was just the tip of the iceberg.
  • 100gb not megs lol
  • and again haven't benn able to reply or edit a comment properly on this sight for about 12 months.
  • turn off your ad blocker....and how did you put this comment up if you cannot rely????
  • I disagree . windows is far from complete . If you look at the android updates, There hasn't been anything really significant since a long time. But the thing is that android is hyped up by the smartphone manufacturers as gods greatest gift. Windows Still need a good theme manager, a file explorer , movie maker ,  better AR, more ink apps and much more . Microsoft also needs a needs a better store with dedicated apps by its own engineers. We still have no theme support on touch keyboard on windows tabs , no virtual gamepads , no good apps for touch . All these because the windows touch devices are so expensive that common people cant buy them , leading to a smaller consumer base and no developer interest. all ms should do is bring cheap windows devices , so that ot can get a user base , windows tablets have a ton of potential snd can easily destroy android if done right. Focussing on a losing market where it has no base and no chance of victory that is the mobilemarket will be suicide for Microsoft.
  • agreed regarding movie maker...100 percent disagree with regards to theme manager, file explorer, and inking apps.  THOSE ALL are already in windows 10 and working great.  
  • They need to un trench 10 mobile too!   
  • If you could sideload memu onto a windows 10 moible device.....WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!
  • Everyone know (except maybe Nadella) that without mobile Microsoft is doomed in the consumer Market. They thought they could do without by putting their products on other OSes, but the awakening in one or two years will be difficult. And THEN it will be too late.
  • MS should make the tablet mode more touch optimized.
    The current tablet mode is kinda want u to use mouse on that.
  • I have a kind of novel idea here and I am ready to be shot down for it.   How about Microsoft just make a stable, core operating system that does what it says on the box.  BE AN OPERATING SYSTEM.   Anything else, release as feature packs (preferably free ones).  I have a Lenovo M93P, basic, but rock solid PC that I use for day to day computing.  I don't need all these extra "features" burnt into my OPERATING SYSTEM.  I want a basic, clean, stable Operating System and then, if I desire to install them, have the features as optional feature packs.  Hell, they could be made available in the MS Store and boost store activity. Maybe we are all wrong, Google, Apple, everyone.  Maybe the focus should be actually having a good OS and then add the features as needed.   I know most of the features in iOS and Android I never use, and I sure as hell don't even know half the features Windows has, which means I don't need most of them either.
  • I generally agree with this but it’s not a long term sustainable business model. Without those other features Microsoft won’t be able to wow non-business consumers. My wife is good example of this as we had to sell her Surface Book. We bought it to replace her MacBook Air but it didn’t have a built in movie maker, it didn’t combine with her phone in a meaningful way, it was too aggressive in selling MS services, etc. We ended up selling it for an iPad Pro which she loves.   It might make sense for you or I who just want a simple OS so we can do the rest of the heavy lifting but casual consumers don’t want that generally. They need everything built in. And that’s what put Microsoft at an unfortunate crossroads... if they appeal too much to busnuess, youself, or I, they lose the general consumer business. But if they want to appeal to consumers they need a successful mobile component and more focus on built in tools.   Their complete lack of mobile success has basically put them in this position and until they fix that they’re going nowhere fast.
  • People have gained a sense of entitlement. They think that Microsoft owes them something and complain when they don't get it. It's like how they automatically expect DLC forever for every game.
  • I think in time dropping the fan-fare releases is a good course of action. For now, the big releases will drive users to the update, once that behavour is normalised you can then start to phase out the press releases and "big features".
  • Win10 is amazing. It will probably be the next Win7 where users will hesitate a lot to switch to a newer version.
  • In my humble opinion as a Medium Sized Business IT Administrator - - MS needs to stop trying to create a "One Size Fits All" operating system. If Windows 10 Pro is for Business then it should leave all the Glitz and Glamor out. At my business and I am sure many other small and medium places - - the PC (desktop or laptop) isn't for entertainment, and users don't use any "apps", they run the same programs year after year. I agree with Patrick above and several others who feel similar. MS can get as creative as it wants but it should not try to include that in the business world of PCs. My users in Accounting, Purchasing, Sales, Customer Support, Consulting and Production don't give a rip about an "App Store" or "Movie Software" or if it will talk to their phone. OUt users in Marketing have a mix of PC and MAC for the "creative" stuff. I am pretty sure that the demographics of where Windows is used may lean slightly towards more users in the business segment than consumers. Even if I am wrong - it is my opinion that MS should not try to combine the non-business stuff with all Windows versions and in fact, work even harder to make the business version as rock solid and bullet proof as possible.