Windows 10

Will Windows 10 save Microsoft? In many ways it's the wrong question since - despite its unpopularity - Windows 8 wasn't the reason the company announced it would shed 18,000 jobs before 2015. (That was mainly to do with the acquisition of Nokia.)

Windows 10, though, still has a hugely important role to play for Microsoft. As I said three weeks ago, it's predominantly about getting businesses on side and ensuring there's a viable upgrade path from Windows 7 and XP. But Windows 10 also needs to resonate with consumers who could otherwise jump ship to Apple's seemingly well-steered craft.

Of course, it's crucial to remember that we're talking about a very early version of Windows 10 and a lot could will change before it launches in summer (or possibly autumn) next year.

The good news is that Microsoft has already stated that it plans to make Windows 10 available to as many devices as possible, so it shouldn't need a particularly powerful PC. It should also be available on Windows RT devices, the owners of which are currently stuck with what is a pretty useless operating system.

For the uninitiated, Windows RT was essentially Windows 8 but without the ability to run old Windows software. All you can install are apps from the Windows Store. But as anyone who's looked recently will tell you, there's still hardly anything worth having.

Now, ARM-based tablets such as the Surface RT will never be able to run traditional x86-based Windows software, but if Microsoft succeeds in having a single app store for smartphones, tablets, laptops, PCs and the Xbox, there's a better chance developers will jump on board.

As for the OS itself, Windows 10 needs to be more like Yosemite, which instead of forcing a mobile-oriented interface on desktop computer users, offers useful tools and features so mobile and desk-bound devices work better together. The good news is that Microsoft has included a dedicated feedback app in the Technical Preview so it can get an accurate idea of what people like and don't like.

Windows 10 can be great, and Microsoft needs it to succeed. So download the Technical Preview and send lots of feedback.

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