What kind 2022 was Microsoft testing for? The company has made some big moves this year, including a huge acquisition near $70 billion — mired in controversy — and it also brought its first major feature update to Windows 11 operating system. Let’s take an in-depth look at Microsoft’s performance over the past year on the hardware, software, and gaming fronts.
Windows 11’s Big Update (And the Annoying Upgrades)
Windows 11 is still relatively young, arriving in late 2021. The biggest thing to happen to the operating system this past year was the arrival of its first major update. (Remember that there will be only one feature update per annum now, as opposed to twice per year in the past. The Windows 11 2022 UpdateIn September, 22H2, also known as 22H2, was released. It featured a lot more polish and some useful improvements to the interface. Microsoft’s new terminology for small updates, called “moments”, was also introduced to us. These are smaller updates that can be applied more easily as needed, outside of the annual feature upgrade.
One of the most notable improvements was the introduction tabs for File Explorer. This allows multiple files to be opened in one File Explorer window. This was the long-awaited Microsoft feature. The taskbar has also been a focus of attention. With the advent of the taskbar control panel, a lot was said about it. Finally, drag-and drop functionality has been added to the taskbar after much yelling by many Windows 11 users.
In fact, something of the year seems to be that Microsoft is listening more to user feedback and needs, as someone else complained a lot about an aspect of the taskbar — the removal of the option to ungroup apps on the ribbon, part of existing functionality in Windows 10 — seems to be ready for treatment. Or at least this facility was present in the testWindows 11 is coming soon. It will be available for those who don’t want to consolidate multiple instances on the taskbar.
It still feels like Windows 11 is a work in progress, with Microsoft needing to do quite a bit of refining and revamping to give different parts of the interface a better look (and remove old, cluttered corners of the UI) — plus frustrating bugs were still an issue.
Although there were no Windows 11 bugs that caused problems in 2022, we still reported many glitches. Some of these are serious enough to be considered serious. These include Printers that contain a lot of functionsYou can also see them here gremlins that have reduced levels of performanceIn a different waysAnd the The players have been shotIt also has some serious bugs that can be annoying. File Explorer’s flaws were particularly apparent, which is worrying considering that File Explorer is the mainstay of the user interface (the files you use every day).
The real test to determine the success of Windows 11 in 2022 will be to see how many people have installed it (or migrated to it). Statcounter numbers show that 16% of Windows 11 users use Windows 11, according to the most recent version at the time of writing. This is not a good result for an OS that’s been around for more than a year. Especially when you consider that Windows 7 holds nearly 10% of the market share. This means that an obsolete operating system is not far behind.
Windows 10, a year after its debut as Microsoft’s top operating system, has seen nearly 30% adoption. This is nearly twice the number of Windows 11. Windows 11 is somewhat limited by the fact that not all users can upgrade to Windows 11. Their PCs don’t have the stricter requirements (especially on security). Microsoft expected this to slow down the migration. in the design and implementation of the operating system.
Windows 11 has made good progress in implementing important interface modifications, but we would prefer to see more progress, especially in fighting bugs.
As every year, a new batch of Surface devices was released.
We saw the Surface Laptop Go 2 in June. It wasn’t radically different from the original, but it had some useful improvements and is still a great choice for a small laptop.
This isn’t the best Surface hardware Microsoft has produced. The Surface Laptop 5 doesn’t impress us at all, coming out impressively middle-of-the-road. Although it’s not bad, it’s hampered somewhat by performance issues that are certainly not worth its high price.
The Surface Pro 9 was definitely a better device than the Pro 8. It took some great steps forwards from the Pro 8. It also had two flavors. One with a Qualcomm SQ3 CPU (ARM), and one with an Intel processor. While the latter is a great option for many (business people on-the-go, for instance), the former is the best. albeit with gremlins associated with ARM in the works. The Pro 9 is still expensive, but it’s a great overall device and a decent upgrade to its predecessor in the performance stakes.
Surface Studio 2+ received only a minor upgrade (instead of the 3,), but Microsoft implemented solid changes, though nothing especially exciting. Which sums up what happened on the Surface front overall: nothing bad by any means — certainly not with the Surface Pro 9 — but nothing great, either.
in january, Microsoft decided to buy the gaming giant Activision BlizzardIt is a massive acquisition worth nearly $70 billion. Yes, Activision. It is the company that owns franchises such as Call of Duty, Diablo and Overwatch.
This deal is huge. It means that Xbox Game Pass owners will be able to get their next Call of Duty game for next-to-nothing as part of their subscription. PlayStation fans will need to pay the cash and we all know how expensive it is. It’s amazing for gaming right now.
The ripples of this deal still exist, in fact, because it was completed at the time this article was published. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) suedTo stop Microsoft from buying the Xbox console, arguing that it could suppress the competition.
Microsoft has given us numerous assurances that it won’t be anti-competitive since taking over Activision. However, there are many skeptics and the FTC points at Microsoft’s history and ZeniMax, Bethesda. Although promises were made in this instance that games would not be withheld for other consoles, the FTC pointed out that Xbox exclusives such as Starfield and Redfall have been made.
Microsoft’s acquisition by Activision could still be a success if all goes according to plan.
Ads nauseating – but with some hope of something positive?
While you might expect ads to appear in your web browsers, you won’t see them in your operating systems. You know that you paid a lot for this OS (or for the hardware it came with, and that was part the bill).
But ads that take up real estate in Windows menus or panels again become a concern in 2022, as Microsoft tested — and note that these were just experiments that didn’t make it into Windows 11 release — ads for OneDriveIn the list (shutdown), user session. The company is even more angry. Flirt briefly with ads in File Explorer, tooThis is the central pillar of Windows’ interface. They were equal TestedIt is a real concern.
All of this might have you thinking ads would be a thorn in the side for future Windows 11 users — especially given Microsoft’s previous look, which is nothing new, of course — but instead, another possibility has emerged late in the year.
Which is the idea that Microsoft could move toward lower-cost PCs that are subscription-based, cloud-based, and ad-supported (to make them cheaper — so there would be a benefit in this case). This was just a rumorThis was captured (in November by Microsoft’s job posting), but earlier in July, Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, spoke about integrating advertising into its products.
There were clearly grumbles at this prospect. However, as we have noted, in a cost of living crisis, not everyone may be financially able to buy a new computer. This could be a good thingTo make Windows PC more affordable to people who are in financial hardship.
Get your head high in the clouds
Microsoft has seen a significant increase in cloud services for cheap ad-supported computers during 2022. Strong since the beginning of the yearThen, in October, Microsoft’s financial results for the first quarter of 2023 showed that while the Windows division had faltered — down 15%, in fact, due in part to the slump in PC sales this year — Cloud revenue increased by 24%Comparable to the same quarter 2021.
Microsoft made $25.7 billion in just one quarter — more than half of its total revenue for that period — if you were in any doubt about where the future lies for the software giant’s bulging coffers.
Microsoft’s year was not the best for PCs. However, cloud revenue was a highlight. Microsoft also tried different advertising methods in Windows 11 and may be able to monetize its future business in a new way with low-cost ad-supported platforms. .
2022 was a great Year for Surface devices, with some solid upgrades to some devices. Windows 11 was similar, with some decent progress being made in the main, but with some thorny issues in the form bugs. Windows 11 was notable for its willingness to listen to user feedback. However, some of the new features that were introduced based on popular demand could have been addressed faster.
It is worth keeping an eye on the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which will have enormous ramifications in the gaming industry over the next year if it continues. However, there seems to be a real possibility of a derailment.
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