With Microsoft ending the year as the most valuable company in the world, it is fair to say that 2018 was an incredible year for the software giant. Scanning of the thousands of articles we wrote this year, I picked up my choices for the best stories of Windows and PC 2017.
Here they are.
1. Windows as a service (dis)
The controversial scheme of Windows for Windows as a service (WaaS) to update Windows 10 entered aggressively in 2018 with a high note: the two previous updates of features were implemented at an ever faster rate , with the update of creators of fall that reached a percentage of 85% use unprecedented on the eve of the release of the next update of the feature, called April 2018 Update.
But WaaS is eliminating from 2018 with two major defeats behind: the April 2018 update was silently delayed when Microsoft found some showstopper issues at the last minute. But the problems continued even after the update was published publicly one month later. And in May, I have described this statement as "a disgrace".
However, this trial should have been suspended: the next release, called Update of October 2018, was even worse.
On this occasion, Microsoft did not stop the delivery of the update until after It had been publicly unfocused prematurely. And it was obvious that Microsoft had an important software quality problem in your hands. Your answer? Absolute silence For six weeks.
That was, I thought, a fiasco. And at the moment when Microsoft finally started to deploy the update again, no one was ever worried. What was good, since the software giant finally put the interruptions: the update of October 2018 is installed at a low percentage of a single digit of the PC of Windows 10 as we enter the New Year.
If there is some good news here and there is a coincidence. Both updates of functions were light on the new features, unlike previous releases. And that's fine: if Microsoft could know its reliability issues, we could finally reach a version of Windows 10, we all were proud.
2. Windows sank into a great disorder to Microsoft
At the beginning of 2018, we caught the wind of an important change of Microsoft's Windows strategy that triggered some of the other highlights below. But before the big news broke out about Terry Myerson, the software giant made it clear that Windows was no longer his priority.
And then it happened: Microsoft announced that Terry Myerson, who oversaw the development of Windows 10, was going to abandon the company. As part of this change, the central development of Windows would move to the Azure group, a much smaller team will create new Windows user experiences, and no one directly responsible for Windows would be in the Senior Leadership Team of Microsoft (SLT).
This caused a lot of soul searching. For me, seeing Windows 10 became a terrible thing because of box advertising, the crapware grouping and the new absurd functions (the last of which finally stopped last year) has been hard.
I can only expect 2019 to be better.
3. Microsoft Edge moves to Chromium
In May, I thought that "Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 should be rearchitected, created from the beginning, to work as it does on mobile. It should be a shell of user experience, an application for to mobile phones, built on the web browser's rendering engine, which in this case is called EdgeHTML and is "part" of Windows 10. "
Then, in September, I noticed that Microsoft Edge is the one that is wrong with Windows 10. As with Windows 10, Edge is full of nonsensical features that few people will use. This made Edge "a complexity, a mess … full of inconsistencies."
Then the hammer fell.
In early December, Microsoft announced that it would stop wasting time trying to reconcile Edge with web standards: a lost battle, since the browser updates only twice the year and rebuild it to the engine of Google open source Chromium. Yes, there are doubts; there is always But this was the best option for a browser that, frankly, is also one of the best, at best.
Granted, it's Microsoft. Thus, the ad was vague about details and poor communication. But after discovering some important details separately, for example, yes, Edge will support Chrome extensions, even some dubious people started to see the light.
"Microsoft that embraces Chromium is everything at stake," I wrote. "There is no bad news here. And with a sudden and bright future, we can contemplate in 2018, for all its horror, since the software giant finally started fighting against Windows."
4. Windows 10 in ARM is used on the always connected PC
2018 was the year when we finally tried Windows 10 in ARM on real delivery teams. And the experience was … not positive.
The problems were multiple. The initial PCs, based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset, offered a stellar battery life and an excellent connection always in sight. But the performance was terrible, and the compatibility was enormously problematic.
Fortunately, Qualcomm has a plan. It launched a second-generation chipset of Snapdragon 850 for PC at the end of 2018 with lower performance gains, and announced a highly improved Snapdragon 8cx by mid-2019 that will ultimately deliver performance at the Intel Core i5 level. He worked with Microsoft to reconcile 64-bit native (but not Intel) applications. And it's also bringing Chromium and Firefox to the platform.
Snapdragon 850 helps Windows 10 to ARM make sense, assuming you can live with compatibility issues. But the 8cx is where this platform really starts off. And that will not happen until next year.
5. Microsoft embraces Linux with Azure Sphere
We have seen headlines about Microsoft "embracing" open source and Linux many times over the last few years. But it was not until the software giant announced its own Linux-based client platform called Azure Sphere that this reality came home. Microsoft chose Linux over Windows because Linux is more a component and can be used on much lower hardware. And, of course, it fits perfectly with Microsoft's "intelligent smart and intelligent cloud" mantra.
One thing that makes you ask yourself if the adoption of Linux in general makes it even more meaningful.
6. Microsoft lied about the number of Windows 10 users
Microsoft has a rich history of making numbers not working properly when it comes to Windows 10, consider that the first team has about one billion active devices in three years, but this is particularly disappointing.
In April, Terry Myerson said that there were "almost 700 million" Windows 10 PC in use around the world. And then this figure did not change. For months Finally, in October, the software giant said that the figure of 700 million was correct.
Have you had the use of Windows 10 sitting for six months?
As a result, Microsoft has been artificially inflating the use, including virtual machine installations, most of which are only used to test. He stopped counting VM at the beginning of 2018, and it was not until October that reality dare with fiction.
In a related note, I spent a lot of time in 2018 trying to figure out how many Windows PCs were in use around the world. But Microsoft finally got clean in October: there are 1,500 million PCs with Windows (all versions) that are used all over the world.
7. Windows 10 S fails, and so is the S mode
In January, I reported that Windows 10 S had renamed a newly created Windows Insider, to Windows 10 Pro in Mode S. A few weeks later, we discovered that this was part of a more review Wide range of Windows offers. And this "S mode" would be something that could be offered for Windows 10 Home, Pro or Enterprise.
Windows 10 S, of course, was an important failure. And there's no reason to think that S mode will not be less than a failure. However, do not worry: Windows 10 Lean demonstrates that Microsoft has not yet neglected this foolishness.
8. Go time: Microsoft finally offers another affordable Surface PC
With rumors suggesting that Microsoft was re-entering the affordable PC market with a low cost PC Surface Pro, I celebrated the move. But the resulting product, called Surface Go, is not delivered in the basics: the performance is terrible, the battery life is terrible, and the keyboard is not full size.
Of course, Brad loved it.
9. The PWAs do not manage to make a difference in 2018
I have been promoting the progressive web applications (PWA) as the future platform for applications for Windows and other sites since 2017, and with the support of PWA on Windows 10 in the first half of 2018, I thought we were point to go to a rebirth of applications.
This never happened.
So far, there is only a handful of high quality PWAs in the Microsoft Store, such as Twitter. And rival rival sets such as Google Flutter, which are only for Android and iOS, threaten to undermine Windows.
In a nutshell, the PWA revolution is off to slow start. And this is not what I expected at all.
10. The strange relationship of Microsoft with USB-C and Thunderbolt 3
Thanks to the inability of Microsoft to understand the importance of both USB-C, which is a type of port, and Thunderbolt 3, which makes this port more versatile than any other, it is painful. So I'll just summarize it here.
Microsoft finished in 2017 by supporting USB-C, but not Thunderbolt 3 on Surface Book 2, giving us all the hope that we could finally see the rest of the programming transferred to this not so new technology in 2018. Surface Go , launched at the end of summer, had a USB-C port. And then Microsoft announced Surface Pro 6 and Surface Laptop 2. Not even they include USB-C.