They grow up so fast! Creating an OS is tough business, and Microsoft learned the lesson once again with Windows 10. The modern operating system is five years old today.
And it has evolved substantially from its original release.
After entering preview in the fall of 2014, Microsoft launched Windows 10 on July 29, 2015. And with it, ushered in a new concept of what it called Windows as a Service. Rather than giving us a new version of the OS every three years or so, Redmond just regularly updates it with new features and options.
This was done so that Windows no longer competes with itself, with the added benefit that the user base is no longer fragmented between different versions.
As one might expect, almost everything from the original version has changed in the latest release.
Windows 10 version 2004, the newest iteration, has a revamped setup and onboarding experience, does away with most of the annoying apps that came bundled, and in their stead packs in a handful of useful applications like Game Bar and Your Phone.
Yet, at the same time, many of the promised features never quite made it to production.
Things like Sets and Story Remix, either never made the cut, or were cut down implementations of what the Redmond based company had pledged. Worrying still, five years on, Microsoft is yet to completely transition over the classic Control Panel to Settings, or unify UI elements across the OS.
Still, overall, things have changed for the better, and continue to do so.
Although the focus on Windows 10X means that the software titan has toned down the number of new features that are added to the mix, the company is doing a good job of refining the current ones as well as keeping all the main apps updated.
In between all this, the company is pursuing the Fluent Design philosophy, seriously this time. Furthermore, it looks like we will finally be getting only one major update a year for the operating system, which is again something that the user base has been asking.
Microsoft finally seems to have gotten the hang of things.
And it took just five years!