While many critics have decried Windows 8 as another Microsoft misstep, I think they’re wrong. After using the new operating system in all its incarnations on a phone, on Microsoft’s Surface tablet, and on several desktops, I’ve come to regard it as truly transformative. Windows 8 will well serve the needs of those nontechnical users who just want to access their online social networks, watch Netflix, and go shopping—especially since the underlying system provides more security while making it easier for them to find, download, and install their (Microsoft-approved) apps. Windows 8 does a poor job of catering to knowledge workers like me who earn a living by synthesizing information from multiple data sources or use application programs that have hundreds of specialized features. But those brain-heavy office workers do not represent Microsoft’s present or future.