Windows 10 Will Shortly Be Here (Early 2015)
Microsoft gave the first look at its Windows 10 operating system recently, a major release that will span all hardware from PCs to phones and try to address the ills that have dogged Windows 8.
Microsoft promised an OS that will be more intuitive for the millions of workers still on Windows 7 and older OSes. Here’s a rundown of some of the key points we learned about Windows 10.
So First Up Is Why Windows 10?
The natural name would have been Windows 9, but Microsoft is eager to break with the past. “We’re not building an incremental product,” said Terry Myerson, head of Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group.
Microsoft considered the name “Windows One,” he said, to match products like OneNote and OneDrive and its “One Microsoft” business strategy. But he noted the name was snagged a long time ago, by a young Bill Gates.
Perhaps Microsoft didn’t like the idea of being numerically one step behind Apple’s OS X. Whatever the reason, Windows 10 it will be.
“When you see the product in its fullness, I think you’ll agree it’s an appropriate name for the breadth of the new product family that’s coming,” Myerson said.
What devices will it run on?
All of them. Microsoft demonstrated only the desktop version so far, but Windows 10 will be for tablets, smartphones and embedded products, too.
“It will run on the broadest types of devices ever, from the smallest ‘Internet of things’ device to enterprise data centers worldwide,” Myerson said. “Some of these devices have 4-inch screens, and some will have 80-inch screens. And some don’t have any screen at all.”
Q.Is there a start menu?
There is, and it tries to combine the familiarity of Windows 7 with the modern interface of Windows 8. That means the menu is split: On the left, apps are displayed in the familiar Windows 7 style, while on the right are more colorful “live tiles” that open the modern, Windows 8-style apps. The start menu is customizable, so you can resize the tiles and move them around, and make the start menu tall and thin or long and flat.
Q.Will I still toggle between two distinct app environments?
Apparently not. In Windows 8, when you launch a modern-style app, it takes you into that modern UI, and when you launch a Win32-style app, it launches to the traditional desktop environment.
In Windows 10, “we don’t want that duality,” said Joe Belfiore, a corporate vice president with the OS group. “We want users on PCs with mice and keyboards to have their familiar desktop UI—a task bar and a start menu. And regardless of how an app was written or distributed to your machine, it works the way you expect.”
Q.So how does it look now?
If you launched one of the new-style apps in Windows 8, it filled the whole screen and there weren’t many options to resize it. With Windows 10, the familiar “windows” metaphor is back; you’ll be able to resize the new-style apps and drag them around the screen like an old Win32 app. Conversely, if you’re using an older Win32-style app, it will be able to “snap into place” and fill all the available screen space just like the modern apps.
Q.What else is new?
Some users have been confused by the Windows 8 interface and can’t figure out what’s open on their screen or how to get back to an app. Windows 10 has a feature like OS X’s Mission Control that lets you zoom out and see everything that’s open on a PC, then select any app to enter it.
You can also have multiple desktop configurations open and switch between them. So if you have two apps on the screen for a particular task, sized just how you want them, and then you change to some other apps, you’ll be able to get back to those first apps easily without having to resize them again. You can navigate through several of these desktop displays at the bottom of the screen.
Q.What’s in it for business customers?
This event was focused primarily on business users; Microsoft will talk about the consumer aspects of Windows 10 early next year. There weren’t a lot of specifics but here are a few points:
— Microsoft promises that Windows 10 will be more intuitive than Windows 8. “Windows 10 will be familiar to end users whether they’re coming from Windows 7 or Windows 8. The workers will be immediately productive,” Belfiore said.
— It will be compatible with “all traditional management systems in use today.” Customers are increasingly using “mobile device management” tools to manage phones and tablets. “Windows phones and tablets support MDM today, but with Windows 10, customers will be able to use MDM to manage all their Windows devices” including PCs, laptops and even Internet of things devices.
— Developers will get “one application platform,” Belfiore promised. “Whether it’s building a game or a line-of-business application, there will be one way to write a universal application that targets the entire product family,” he said.
Q.Will it still be touch-enabled?
Yes. “We’re not giving up on touch,” Belfiore said. That means you’ll still be able to use touch to do things like scroll and pinch-to-zoom on laptops and desktops.
There’s also a new feature, tentatively called “continuum,” for people using two-in-one PCs. When you detach the keyboard from a Windows 10 hybrid, it will ask if you want to go into tablet mode. If you say yes, the UI changes to better match a tablet. The app expands to full screen, for instance, and the start menu switches into a larger-icon mode.
Q.Is there a Command Prompt?
You’re kidding, right? Well, actually there is. Microsoft showed how it now supports shortcuts like CTRL+C and CTRL+V so you can paste in a directory listing from another app, for instance. Belfiore called it a “niche, geeky feature” but said he wanted to show the diverse range of users the OS is trying to support.
Q.When will it be released?
The OS will launch around the middle of next year, after Microsoft’s Build conference. Before that, a select group of “Windows insiders” will receive a “technical preview build” for laptops and desktops on Wednesday this week, followed “soon after” by a preview for servers. Previews of other device categories will follow later.
Q.How will it be priced?
Microsoft isn’t saying anything about prices yet, or any incentive programs to get people to upgrade from older OSes.There is a lot to work out.
Windows XP was the first actual Windows operating system designed for home use. It, like all of the later home versions of Windows was based on the enterprise NT operating system.
The earlier home versions of Windows before Windows XP were not actually operating systems. They ran under a DOS shell and their real functionality was limited by that fact.
The acceptance of the Windows Vista operating systems was hampered by the fact that Microsoft developed it in secret. The hardware developers were suddenly faced with the fact that many of the drivers for many of their devices that had worked in Windows XP would not function in the Vista environment. After it was released, many of the hardware manufacturers had to scramble like mad to develop new drivers.
With Windows 7, Microsoft seems to have done a much better job of keeping the hardware manufacturers in the loop. Ergo, the release of Windows 7 went relatively smoothly. Windows 8/8.1 may have been a viable operating, but many users think that the graphic user interface stinks big time.
So What Do We Know As Of Now?
What is it? A complete update of Windows When is it out? It will launch “later in the year” in 2015 What will it cost? We really have no idea. Microsoft will not comment on pricing yet.??
Video From Cortana