Microsoft has taken the veil off from the next version of Windows, branded as “Windows 10” for public testing on Tuesday in the hope to bring Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 consumers altogether.
Windows 10! Really? It’s not clear yet why Microsoft has skipped the number 9; maybe 9 is the new 13 but most likely the CEO Satya Nandella wants to mark a strong leap forward based on “mobile-first, cloud-first” approach. During the keynote, Terry Myerson explained that Windows 10 is the most compressive platform ever and runs across all device categories: “One product family. One platform. One store.”
The successor of Windows 8/8.1 is designed to be “Continuum” and works on PCs, laptops, tablets, phones and as well as hybrid devices delivering “familiar and tailored” and a more consistent user experience across all form factors.
“There will be one way to write a universal application, one store, one way for apps to be discovered purchased and updated across all of these devices,” he added.
After Myerson, Corp VC of Operating systems Joe Belfiore took the stage and demoed an early build Windows 10 (Build 9841). As expected, a revamped Start menu is back for mouse and keyboard users. The new Start menu is a sort of resizable Start screen from Windows 8 combined within Windows 7 Start menu.
“We want all these Windows 7 users to have the sentiment that yesterday they were driving a first-generation Prius,” he said, “and now with Windows 10 it’s like we got them a Tesla.”
Other noteworthy features include Tasks view, multiple desktops, window-ed modern apps, Snap Assist, supports for common shortcuts in Command Prompt, Snap view for modern apps and Continuum that automatically detects input devices and prompts to tailor the user experience accordingly.
Surprisingly, the preview show was missing the most-talked features like Cortana integration, notification center, Storage Sense and Wi-Fi Sense leaked in Build 9834. Maybe those features have a some rough edges, and we may see them in the near future as Microsoft seemed to be committed to evolving things.
The Redmond developers invite enthusiast users to send comments and suggestions. Starting today, Microsoft will be launching its Windows Insider Program, and the technical preview build of Windows 10 will be made available for desktops and laptops, alongside a version for servers too.
Moreover, the company hasn’t yet set a launch date for Windows 10, but it’s expected to unveil during BUILD 2015.