As the number of Windows 10 builds that are making their way to the web increase it is becoming clear that although things have improved somewhat the situation is just the same as it was with previous releases – good ideas that are half baked and half finished with promises by devotees that ‘it’ll be addressed later on’ in much the same way that a person under the spell of the cult of personality will claim that the great leader knows them personally and cares. The Settings application which is supposed to replace the Control Panel isn’t completed with no long term plans forth coming to give users the feeling that Microsoft has any intention to develop the Settings as anything more than a novel example of what you can do with WinRT but no real long term plan as a replacement for Control Panel or intact WinRT being a serious replacement for Win32 long term. Explorer.exe is another example of something that should have been replaced with a modern WinRT implementation but again we have the Win32 rickety GDI leak prone mess that is being hauled around with again no long term plan presented as to its inevitable replacement. The net result? Windows 10 is released and all the same old crap is still there and there is a lack of a road map mentioned by Microsoft and even when there are already replacements they still keep the old stuff around – why? if Music and Videos have replaced Media Player then why not get rid of it? why have yet another application that’ll cause confusion to the end user?
Then there is the middleware – they want to encourage third parties to jump on the WinRT bandwagon but where is there effort to get their own house in order such as a WinRT version of Skype, Visual Studio, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Visio, Project etc. One thing to note – moving to WinRT isn’t just about ticking a box, it also means high-dpi awareness so you don’t get the cluterfuck mess that exists with Windows 8.1 for example. There is also a mountain of ‘free stuff’ that developers get which help users such as auto-suspend, reduced memory foot print, lower CPU utilisation (including not waking up the CPU as much which helps battery life), system wide spell checking and auto-correct as well as sandboxing, security, portability between Windows 10 on the desktop, tablet and smartphone. In other words the movement to WinRT isn’t just about ‘Win32 is old and icky, we should all be on WinRT because it is new and modern’ but because of all the added benefits that as users we’ll benefit from when applications become 100% WinRT native.
I’ve mentioned the past that in an ideal world I’d love to see a complete re-write where you have a FreeBSD core (updated by removing GNU code, move over to Clang/LLVM, made 100% UNIX 2003 compliant) and have WinRT sitting on top along with a cleaned up DirectX etc. but even at this point I’d settle for the compromise of a cleaned up Windows. What do I mean by a cleaned up Windows? strip off all the legacy crap from Windows, make WinRT natively sitting on top of a clean C++ library from the LLVM project and fix up the various subsystems etc. In other words, cleaning up without completely breaking and throwing things away. Unfortunately though i don’t see it happening so here we are with a half finished Windows 10 – and to think that the most Apple users have to bitch about these days is how the Music application isn’t very ‘Apple like’ and ‘unintuitive’.