Windows 10 marks an important transition for Microsoft, much in the way Windows NT did in 1993, Windows XP in 2001, and Windows Vista in 2006. These milestones marked drastic changes to the Windows Operation system; ranging from the kernel, stability, security, and adopting emerging hardware.
Windows suffered from legacy requirements of previous milestones. Probably the longest and hardest legacy to free themselves from was DOS. The resources required to maintain two kernels and two user interfaces prevented Microsoft from being truly innovative.
Windows 10 is the first release where Microsoft has thrown off all of the shackles of the past and is moving forward with vigor. Once again, the focus is on unification, but this time it is less technical and more personal.
Someone must have said "Why are we still doing it this way? Why not see how people are using existing technology or how they want to use the technology and make it work for everyday users." This bodes well for the computer industry.
I'm sure there was some push back in Microsoft "What about revenue? We can't risk losing revenue on such a drastic change!" The response might have been "The hell we can't!"
The Technical Preview and the Insider Program allowed people to tell Microsoft how they wanted to use technology. This was a change in itself - regular people, not just the technical folks, got an early look at Windows 10. Much earlier than any previous release and with a much larger sample of users.
Windows 10 started out as Windows 8 update 2, then became Windows 9, and in a bold move by Microsoft, they skipped a release number and branded the Technical Preview as Windows 10.
Being basically a minor build of Window 8, Windows 10 started off very strong and very stable. Then the real Technical Preview began with subsequent releases. Features were added, the user interface was changed, new delivery mechanisms were employed. Things were fixed, things were broken, and things were changed - that's just part of the preview (alpha) phase. There were also a lot of behind the scene changes going on at Microsoft. The feedback mechanism was improved, help pages were better organized, updated and improved, Bing, OneDrive, Outlook.com - all showed single minded changes in the move towards Windows 10.
This is unusual and impressive for a company Microsoft's age and position. The briefing on 21 Jan was a lot of hype and marketing - that's ok. Events get the word out and generate interest and excitement about a product. Windows 10 is much more than a product, it's a conceptual and perceptual change to the way people view and use technology.
The briefing offered the first real glimpse of what Windows 10 will look like when Insiders install the next release. From what I saw, it looks as though Windows 10 can finally stand on it's own. Gone are many of things carried over from the Windows 8 base, new features have been added that make Windows 10, not only catch up to features already offered by their competitors, but perhaps surpass their competition.
22 Jan 2015