Developers and other keen early adopters have been testing the Windows 10 preview for a few weeks now, but without the benefit of touch interaction. According to an article by Mary Jo Foley on ZD Net, that could change soon.

  • At its TechEd Europe conference in Barcelona on Oct. 28, Microsoft showed off a new build of Windows 10 that will include new trackpad gestures and the ability to snap application windows together across multiple monitors.
  • Microsoft’s Continuum touch features that allow users to switch in and out of touch interface mode with their devices – by making touch icons appear when a keyboard is disconnected, for example – could be in the hands of testers by the end of the year.
  • Users with Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or later can expect to be able to upgrade to Windows 10. Microsoft says the goal is to “preserve the apps, data, and configuration from the existing Windows installation, taking care to put things back the way they need to be after Windows 10 has been installed on the system.”

Making up for a disruptive OS

Microsoft’s execution on Windows 10 is going to be made even more important after many users were dissatisfied with Windows 8. Taking away the key UI elements that long-time Windows users relied upon proved to be a deal breaker for many. A seamless flow between touch and keyboard modes could help solve that problem, and supporting an in-place upgrade directly from Windows 7 to the new OS also helps.

After many were unhappy with Vista, Microsoft restored its reputation with the light and capable Windows 7. Can it once again repair relations with disaffected users?

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