Microsoft introduced its new operating system, Windows 10, during Tuesday event in San Francisco, which marks the next big upgrade Windows and Start menu comeback. Windows 10, planned to be officially released mid-next year, is the first major update since Windows 8, which was considered a failure by many and virtually ignored by businesses.
“Windows 10 will be our most comprehensive platform ever,” Terry Myerson, head of the operating systems group, told the audience. “It wouldn’t be right to call it Windows 9.”
Taking the stage after Myerson’s introduction was Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of operating systems and the current public face of Windows and Windows Phone design and development, who made an interesting comparison.
“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,” said Belfiore.
“It’s easy to say, ‘Oh it’s Microsoft giving up on touch,’” Belfiore said, pointing out the most obvious criticism of the Windows 8 “Metro” interface. “We’re absolutely not giving up on touch. We have a massive number of users who knows Windows 7 well and a massive, but smaller, number of people who know Windows 8 well.”
The new version of operating system is aimed to run on a wide range of devices, from phones and tablets to PCs and Xbox games consoles, with applications sold from a single store. For business enterprise clients, Myerson noted that “Windows 10 will be compatible with all the traditional management systems used today.”
The behavior of the OS will depend on the type of device with which it is being used. Unlike its predecessor, users will not need to switch between Desktop Mode and the touch-focused alternative. Users will be still able to spread a number of “live tiles” across the screens of two-in-one laptop-tablet hybrids to make them easier to use with both a mouse and finger presses.
As the company has claimed before, the beloved Start menu comes back with a new personalizable space for favorite apps, programs and websites. The updated menu also brings up resizable tiles – similar to those featured in Windows 8’s touch-centric interface on PCs and tablets.
Among others new features is a new Snap Assist feature also helps users work out which way is best to snap apps to. Microsoft has also refreshened the command prompt – now you can paste text into the command window with “control v”. There is also a new thing called “Continum”, which is an on-the-fly mode for 2 in 1 devices that can automatically change mode if it detects there is suddenly no keyboard attached.
Belfiore stressed that the goal with Windows 10 is to “find UI approaches that use the same mouse and keyboard experience evolving from Windows 7 so the touch users get something natural.”
Windows 10 is Satya Nadella’s major effort to position Microsoft as a “mobile-first, cloud-first” company with a particular emphasis on productivity software. The goal is to make products like Office, Outlook and Skype staples for individual customers regardless of the device they’re using, and to transform Windows from a desktop operating system to cloud computing platform that can be accessed from anywhere, reports CNN Money.
The tech giant also announced its Windows Insider Program, a developer’s program to allow enterprise people to evaluate it early, and will be available starting on Thursday. Members of the program will have access to the tech preview build.