Yes the Windows Start Menu is back!!!
It’s definitely a big improvement, the key worry for me as an IT Consultant with Windows 8 and even 8.1 was that the only way you could sell it to businesses was to patch it with Stardock’s Start8 or some other similar Start Menu replacement so that the business was not facing a huge training bill.
Most businesses have spent thousands on getting users where they are and don’t want to have to purchase new training materials and employee training companies to get staff moved over to this new paradigm. Particularly as the economic environment was not the best at the time Win 8 came out.
The last thing you need as a business in a recession is staff taken out of the business doing training courses as it a) costs money for the course and b) you lose the person being trained from productive work.
It didn’t also help that the Metro Apps in Windows 8 were so Noddy that they were embarrassing to say the least. If you want to sell the new Metro Interface you don’t want to do it with sub par applications and there was little and still is little, that is compelling to business users in the Metro/Modern/Universal format. The issue still hasn’t changed and I don’t think ever will that business users need the precision of a mouse and keyboard to do productive work, poking about with your finger is never going to be optimal for a spreadsheet user, an accountant or a typist.
That is why I think if they can pull off the switch in format between desktop mode and tablet mode within the one O/S they are onto something with Windows 10. During the day you use your computing device in a docking station with a keyboard and mouse and it behaves like Windows XP or Windows 7, undock it and take it home in tablet format and it instantly switches to “poke with your finger mode” which is useful when doing consumption things like reading web pages, watching videos, playing simple games.
From what I have seen of Windows 10, (I am running my work PC with it. I have to do that or I just won’t use it in anger and really flush out the bugs and find all the new features. I am capable of wiping and re-installing all my stuff should I hit a showstopper, but I wouldn’t recommend that to my clients), in the 15 days I have been running it, is that it’s stable and very usable.
I really like the fact that you can run Metro Apps in a Window and tile them alongside traditional Windows applications. I hated the way Windows 8 forced a full screen shift on you hiding your task bar and generally being a very jarring experience.
I like the multiple desktops a la Linux, I have one desktop for development work, another for Outlook and Office. The multiple desktops need a bit more work as it’s not intuitive yet but I am sure they are working on it.
I like the combined start menu it looks a bit strange at first, but you soon get used to its mixed personality. They could do with making the way you size it better, I would like it to be more tall than wide and you can’t really size it in all directions (or if you can I can’t figure how you do it).
Overall 8 out of 10 and I hope if they really are listening to us testers it will reach 10 pretty quickly.