With Microsoft finishing the year as the world's most valuable company, 2018 is an incredible year for the software giant. I've searched the thousands of articles we've written this year and picked my selection for the best Windows and PC stories of 2017.
Here they are.
. 1 Windows as (Dis) Service
Microsoft's aggressive Windows as a Service (WaaS) schema for upgrading Windows 10 aggressively entered 2018 with a high note: The previous two feature updates were deployed faster and faster with the case creators Update reached an 85% usage share on the eve of the launch of the next feature update called April 2018.
But WaaS limps out of 2018 with two big defeats behind it: The April 2018 update was quietly delayed when Microsoft was at the last minute has found some showstopper issues. However, the problems continued even after the update was released a month later. And in May, I described this release as "a shame."
However, I should have scared this verdict: the next release, the so-called October 2018 update, was even worse.
This time, Microsoft The delivery of the update was only interrupted after it had been prematurely put to public use. It was obvious that Microsoft had a big problem with software quality in their hands. Your answer? Absolute silence. Six Weeks
This was, I think, a fiasco. And when Microsoft finally made the update available again, nobody cared anymore. That was alright as the software giant finally took the breaks: The October 2018 update will be installed on a few low single-digit percentages of Windows 10 PCs as we move into the New Year.
If there is good news to be had here, it is a coincidence. In contrast to the previous versions, both feature updates took into account the new features. And that's a good thing: if Microsoft could ever figure out the reliability issues, we could finally come up with a version of Windows 10 that we can all be proud of.
. 2 Windows crashed in major upheavals at Microsoft
At the beginning of 2018, there was an important Windows change in Microsoft's strategy that triggered some of the top stories listed below. But before the blockbuster news broke over Terry Myerson, the software giant made it clear that Windows is no longer its priority.
And then it happened: Microsoft announced that Terry Myerson, who oversaw the development of Windows 10, would leave the company. As part of this change, Windows core development would move into the Azure group, new Windows user experiences would be created by a much smaller team, and no one directly responsible for Windows would be a member of Microsoft's Senior Leadership Team (SLT).
This triggered a lot of soul searching. For me, it's not polite for Windows 10 to be terrible because of in-box advertising, bundles of crapware, and amazing new features (which were finally discontinued last year).
I can only hope that 2019 will be better
3. Microsoft Edge Moves to Chromium
In May, I thought that "Microsoft Edge under Windows 10 should be re-examined – created from scratch – to function as it would on mobile devices. It should be a user experience shell, a mobile app based on the web browser rendering engine, in this case called EdgeHTML, which is a "part" of Windows 10. "
Then I noticed this in September Microsoft Edge is what's wrong with Windows 10. Like Windows 10, Edge is full of nonsense features that few users will ever use, making Edge a" complexity. " to a mess … full of inconsistencies. "
Then it hit hard.
In early December, Microsoft announced that Microsoft would not waste time making Edge compatible with web standards – a loss The browser is only updated twice a year, and rebuild it in Google's open source Chromium engine Yes, there are doubters, there's always But that was the right choice for a browser, that, honestly said, it is also a run at best.
Granted, it is Microsoft, so the announcement was vague in the details and was poorly communicated, but after I had worked out a couple of important details separately – For example, yes, Edge will support Chrome's extensions – even some doubters began to see the light.
"Microsoft hugging Chromium has everything upside down," I wrote. "There is no bad news here. And with a promising future, we can look back on 2018, at a time when the software giant was finally fighting for Windows. "
. 4 Windows 10 on ARM heralds the era of the always-connected PC
2018 was the year we were able to try Windows 10 on ARM on real shipping PCs. And the experience was … not positive.
The problems were many. The first PCs based on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 chipset offered excellent battery life and excellent connectivity. However, the performance was terrible and the compatibility was extremely problematic.
Fortunately, Qualcomm has a plan. At the end of 2018, a second-generation Snapdragon 850 chipset was launched for PCs with marginal performance improvements. For mid-2019, a significantly improved Snapdragon 8cx was announced, which will finally offer Intel Core i5-level performance. It worked with Microsoft to support native 64-bit apps (not Intel). And it brings both Chromium and Firefox to the platform.
The Snapdragon 850 helps Windows 10 on ARM make sense, provided you can live with the compatibility issues. But the 8CX is where this platform will really stand out. And that will not happen until next year.
. 5 Microsoft Embraces Linux with Azure Sphere
Over the last few years, we've seen many headlines about Microsoft embracing open source and Linux. Only when the software giant announced its own Linux-based client platform called Azure Sphere, was this reality a real hit. Microsoft chose Linux over Windows, because Linux is component-based and can be used on much lower-priced hardware. And of course, it fits in perfectly with Microsoft's other "intelligent cloud, intelligent edge" mantra.
You may be wondering if embracing Linux is even more useful.
. 6 Microsoft lied about the number of Windows 10 users.
In the past, Microsoft has misspelled the numbers when it comes to Windows 10. Consider the early accumulation of about 1 billion active devices within three years. This is particularly disappointing. 19659002] In April, Terry Myerson said that "nearly 700 million" Windows 10 PCs are in use worldwide. And then that number has not changed. For months. In October, the software giant finally said the 700 million figure is correct.
Had the use of Windows 10 been silent for six months?
No. It turned out that Microsoft artificially inflated its use by adding virtual machine installations, most of which are used for testing purposes only. At the beginning of 2018, no more VMs were counted, and only in October did reality catch up with fiction.
I spent a lot of time in 2018 finding out how many Windows PCs were used worldwide. But in October, Microsoft finally came clean: 1.5 billion Windows PCs (all versions) are in use worldwide.
. 7 Windows 10 S fails, and then S-mode
In January, I reported that Windows 10 S was renamed to S-mode in a Windows Insider build currently in Windows 10 Pro. A few weeks later, we discovered that this was part of a larger overhaul of Windows offerings. And this "S-mode" could be offered for Windows 10 Home, Pro or even Enterprise.
Windows 10 S was of course a serious mistake. And there's no reason to assume that S-mode is no less a failure. But do not worry: Windows 10 Lean proves that Microsoft has not given up on this stupidity yet.
. 8 Let's go: Microsoft finally offers another affordable Surface PC
With rumors that Microsoft wanted to re-enter the affordable PC market with a low-cost Surface Pro PC, I celebrated the move. But the resulting product, called Surface Go, has been cut short: the performance is awful, the battery life is awful and the keyboard is not full size.
Brad loved it, of course.
9. PWAs make no difference in 2018
I've been advocating Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) as a future app platform for Windows and elsewhere since 2017, and PWA support will come to Windows 10 in the first half of 2018. We thought, we are on the verge of a renaissance of apps.
That never happened.
To date, there are only a handful of high quality PWAs like Twitter in the Microsoft Store. Competing cross-platform tools like Google Flutter, which target only Android and iOS, are threatening to further undermine Windows.
Put simply, the PWA revolution begins slowly. And I did not expect that.
10th Microsoft's Bizarre Relationship with USB-C and Thunderbolt 3
Showing Microsoft's inability to understand the importance of both the USB-C port type and the Thunderbolt 3 port is painful. I'll just summarize it here briefly.
Microsoft ended the year 2017 with the support of USB-C (not Thunderbolt 3) in Surface Book 2. So we all hope that the rest of the cast will finally be postponed there. Not quite as new technology in 2018. Surface Go was released in the late summer and had a USB-C port. And then Microsoft announced Surface Pro 6 and Surface Laptop 2. None of them contains USB-C.
What the what !