By Matt Smith

Published January 22, 2015

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Joe Belfiore, Microsoft corporate vice president, Operating Systems Group, showcases the new Photos app for Windows 10 on Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015.(Ron Wurzer/AP Images for Microsoft)

Wednesday's Windows event was the flashiest to grace Redmond in years. The company pulled a number of projects, like HoloLens, out of its skunk works in an effort to convince finicky geeks it isn't out of ideas.

Whether this gambit was successful is hard to say (the Twittersphere seems impressed), but in a few weeks it will also be irrelevant. Microsoft's problem has always been execution, not imagination. Kinect, Courier and even Windows 8.1 are examples of ideas getting ahead of reality.

Yet this event wasn't entirely about concepts and prototypes. Alongside holograms and room-sized tablets, the company also displayed a number of improvements and innovations that could once again give Windows an edge. Practicality, not pizzazz, will win back the confidence Windows 8 lost.

We've got your feedback right here

The Windows 10 Technical Preview is only the latest in a long line of beta builds used to test out new editions, but its rollout has been different than those prior. Built-in feedback tools have helped users direct their concerns to the people in Redmond who can actually fix them.