This is going to be a busy week for Microsoft, for IT professionals and for the internet backbone in general. This week, Windows 10 is released.
I've not kept up with the developments of Windows 10 much, I've seen the basic headlines about the new Edge browser and Cortana, but I've wanted to wait until my machine actually had the new OS before getting out the mallet of judgement. I really want to be impressed by Windows 10, so I want to be able to install it and experience all the updated features like a normal new user would. Even looking at the Windows blog to thieve a few photos for this post, I've found new features I hadn't heard about before.
One of those new features is native Maps - provided by an amalgamation of Bing maps and the excellent HERE maps from the remains of Nokia. There are plans for Nokia to sell HERE maps on to a German car consortium, but Microsoft must have a deal in place already to keep using the tech. Microsoft already bundle maps in Windows Phone 8, but they're trying to make everything run as close to the same OS as they can, so that means getting maps on the desktop too.
There's a lot of other stuff piled in here as well - a more cohesive combination of the tiled interface and the desktop, new social gaming features, and so on. I'm not going to bore you with the details, because if you're reading this you probably already know them.
I'm an early adopter of new technology, and had Windows 8 from launch day. I like Windows 8, I have to admit, for some of the features Microsoft introduced that made a huge difference to someone who builds and tinkers with computers. The main one was the way drivers installed - Windows would insert a generic driver for newly installed hardware so it would work at a basic level, whilst, in the background, it would dial up the proper driver from the web and install it for you.
I liked the shortcuts for the keyboard too, I liked tapping the Windows key and firing in the first few letters of an app to open it quickly (something that's always been there, but was new to me on Windows, Mac OSX has done this for years with the control-spacebar combo for spotlight). I like the way I can set up multiple monitors easily. I can't remember what else I actually like, as nowadays I spend most of my time in Chrome, but I didn't feel as much hate towards Windows 8 as there was in other corners of the web.
What I am going to do is keep an updated story of how the update goes on my home-build, going from 8.1 Pro with Media Centre (never used) to Windows 10 Pro, and what I find after the update. Surely there will be some niggles, maybe I won't get the update on launch day, maybe Microsoft will have so many people chomping at the bit to get the update that their servers melt, maybe it doesn't work on my ageing SSD and my hardware craps out. We shall see.