Microsoft has been working on its successor to Windows 8.x, internally labeling the operating system Windows Threshold. Today, Microsoft has announced the official name of the shipping product: Windows 10.
We had been hoping for more “togetherness”, with perhaps “Windows One” being a good choice to signify the unification that is taking place with the next generation of Microsoft’s consumer operating system. However, as Windows Chief Terry Myerson joked, “Unfortunately, Windows 1 has been done.”
Windows 10 will be Microsoft’s “most comprehensive platform ever”, encompassing everything from smartphones to tablets to notebooks to desktop PCs. Microsoft is also specifically calling out to Windows 7 users that have been apprehensive about upgrading to Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.
"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," stated Joe Belfiore.
Will Windows 10 be the Tesla Model S of operating systems? That remains to be seen, but Microsoft has a lot in store to ensure that the missteps that it made with Windows 8.x won’t be repeated with Windows 10.
The Live Tiles that have been a dominant presence in Windows 8.x have been relegated to the new Start Menu in Windows 10 (on traditional notebooks and PCs). The Start Menu is accessed from the left hand side of the familiar taskbar, and a Windows 7-esque look and feel.
Windows 10 will also bring with it “one application platform,” which means that unified apps will be available from a single store that will be accessible from all Windows 10 devices.
Other new features include (from Microsoft):
- Apps that run in a window. Apps from the Windows Store now open in the same format that desktop programs do. They can be resized and moved around, and have title bars at the top allowing users to maximize, minimize and close with a click.
- Snap enhancements. Working in multiple apps at once is easier and more intuitive with snap improvements. A new quadrant layout allows up to four apps to be snapped on the same screen. Windows will also show other apps and programs running for additional snapping, and it will even make smart suggestions on filling available screen space with other open apps.
- New Task view button. The new Task view button on the task bar enables one view for all open apps and files, allowing for quick switching and one-touch access to any desktop created.
- Multiple desktops. Instead of too many apps and files overlapping on a single desktop, it’s easy to create and switch between distinct desktops for different purposes and projects — whether for work or personal use.
Microsoft will launch a Windows Insider Program on October 1 that will provide a Windows 10 Technical Preview for desktop and laptop users — it will be available at preview.windows.com. Server builds of the Technical Preview will come at a later date.