The past year has been a tough one for Microsoft in terms of scaling back and reversals. There have been layoffs and the shutting down of its Silicon Valley research center. There was the winding down of a couple of Nokia product lines — one just recently launched — weeks after the acquisition. Reports alleged that Microsoft had cancelled its entrance into the small tablet market shortly before introduction. And there was the debundling of the Kinect from Xbox One after the less expensive PS4 got off to an early lead. Even as it enters wearables with the Microsoft Band, the company must accept the limits of its mobile efforts by supporting its competitors.

But, sometimes, what seems like retreat can lead to retrenchment, and the fruits of that may be seen with Windows 10. Its predecessor, Windows 8, tried melding a proven and popular desktop environment and a competitive touch experience…

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