Let’s just get this out of the way shall we. I’m assuming Microsoft called their next OS Windows 10 because 7 8 9.. Geddit? Heheheh. Now we’ve got that God awful pun out of the way here’s some actual news! Yesterday during Microsoft’s Windows event they unveiled the next-generation Windows OS, Windows 10, to the world. In brief, Windows 10 takes everything great from Windows 7 and Windows 8 into one pretty good looking OS, though it’d make more sense if they called it Windows 15.
Microsoft describe the new OS as the company’s “most comprehensive platform ever,” and will offer its users a more tailored experience for all hardware across a single platform family. That’s right, Windows 10 will be universal across Windows Phone, Windows Desktops, and even Xbox One. What’s even better is that the new OS will allow developers to build universal apps that will work everywhere. Microsoft went a little more in-depth about the ambitious plan:
“Windows 10 will run across an incredibly broad set of devices – from the Internet of Things, to servers in enterprise datacenters worldwide. Some of these devices have 4 inch screens – some have 80 inch screens – and some don’t have screens at all. Some of these devices you hold in your hand, others are ten feet away. Some of these devices you primarily use touch/pen, others mouse/keyboard, others controller/gesture – and some devices can switch between input types.”
When looking at Windows 10 you’ll notice some similarities to Windows 7 which is done on purpose as Microsoft have brought back the traditional Windows design, Start Menu and all. The reason for this is because Microsoft want those still on Windows 7 to be able to transition comfortably to Windows 10 better than with the more unfamiliar Windows 8. That doesn’t mean they’ve completely removed all traces of Windows 8 however as the Metro tiles are still very present, this time hidden away in the Start Menu.
“We want all these Windows 7 users to have the sentiment that yesterday they were driving a first-generation Prius, and now with Windows 10 it’s like a Tesla,” explained Microsoft during the event yesterday.
With that being said, the Windows 10 experience you get will depend entirely on which device you’re viewing the platform on, so the desktop version of Windows 10 will offer a more traditional Windows 7 experience with some Windows 8 thrown in there, but for touch devices for example, the UI will be tailored to a touch-friendly experience. “Windows 10 will deliver the right experience on the right device at the right time,” said Microsoft’s Terry Myerson. “Windows 10 will run on the broadest types of devices ever.”
Microsoft has also introduced a more ‘connected’ experience in Windows 10 too with a new universal search tool that’ll not only search for things on the device you’re using it on, but also pull information from the web. They’re also introducing a new “task view” which tackles multitasking on Windows 10 by allowing you to set up different desktops for work, home, and other uses, switching apps between them at will. Microsoft has now added the ability to snap up to four windows on screen which should also help ramp up multitasking.
One of the more notable editions, at least for me anyway, is the ability to copy and paste things into Command Prompt.
Touch devices haven’t been left out in the cold however as Microsoft has said the Charms Bar from Windows 8 will return with its own improvements. For those who own touch devices that also convert into laptops, like the Lenovo Yoga, Microsoft is adding a new Continuum mode that makes continuous switching between tablet mode and laptop mode more seamless. “What you get is a device that operates with the simplicity of a tablet, but morphs itself back to the familiar PC experience,” said Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore.
Right now, certain users who are keen to try out the new Windows can do so with Microsoft’s “Insider Program” which begins today. Windows 10 will officially launch to everyone in late 2015. Microsoft haven’t revealed a price of the new OS or whether the previous rumour about Windows 8 users getting the OS for free, but Microsoft has promised some more information will be released in the coming months.