Windows 10: Microsoft Officially Unveils Newest Version Of Its Operating System

Chuck Bednar for – Your Universe Online
As anticipated, Microsoft unveiled the next version of their venerable Windows operating system on Tuesday, opting against calling it “Threshold” (its internal codename), “Windows 9” (the logical numerical successor to its previous OS, Windows 8) or “Windows One” (following in the footsteps of its Xbox line) and instead dubbed it “Windows 10.”
Somewhat unorthodox naming practices aside, Microsoft clearly has big plans for the latest edition of its flagship product line, according to Reuters reporter Bill Rigby. In fact, Terry Myerson, the Washington-based company’s head of operating systems, vowed that it would be “our greatest enterprise platform ever” at the San Francisco-based event.
Windows 10 will be the successor to the “largely unpopular” Windows 8, Rigby said, and will mark the return of the traditional Start button menu, much to the delight of the “many PC users” which the Reuters reporter said had “demanded” its return after Microsoft omitted it in the previous, mobile-friendly version. The new OS is due out next year and will feature both touch-control and mouse-and-keyboard control methods for use with different devices.
“Windows 10 represents the first step of a whole new generation of Windows,” Myerson said at Tuesday’s event, according to Brier Dudley of the Seattle Times. In addition to variations based on the type of hardware it is running on (smartphones, tablets laptops, desktops, etc.), the top priority was that the new platform should seem familiar to business users.
Microsoft Vice President Joe Belfiore also took the stage during the presentation to provide a demo of the new system in action, Dudley said. His presentation revealed a Start menu that combines a traditional “most used” list of files or programs, as well as a search box and a panel containing Windows 8-style “live tiles.” Belfiore said that the tiles were popular among customers, and that their height and width can be customized, the Times reporter added.
“It gives the familiarity of Windows 7 with some of the new benefits that exist in Windows 8,” Belfiore said, adding that the menu combines traditional style Win32 apps with programs designed especially for Windows 8 and Windows Phone and distributed through the company’s app store. In addition, he revealed that launching an app will no longer force the client to switch to the modern interface from the traditional desktop or vice versa in Windows 10.
“Windows 10 will also allow users to work with multiple desktops,” added Alex Wilhelm and Frederic Lardinois of TechCrunch. “Thanks to Microsoft’s new ‘Snap Assist’ UI, the company is making it easier for these power users who need these multiple desktops to grab apps from multiple desktops and move them around… And yes – if you really want love your keyboard, you can always drop back down into the command line, too, which has also been improved quite a bit.”
“While Microsoft focused mostly on the regular mouse and keyboard combo for interacting with the operating system, the company stressed that it is not giving up on touch,” they added. “Some of the gestures will change a bit in Windows 10 (swiping in from the left now gets you a task view, for example), but the overall feature set seems to be very similar to that in Windows 8 and even the Windows 8 Charms bar is still available.”
According to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft is expected to release a preview test build of Windows 10 within the next few days, and Wilhelm and Lardinois noted the company will launch a Windows Insider Program on Wednesday which will give PC and laptop users access to a very early beta version of the OS.
Sources report the final version of Windows 10 should be available by Spring 2015, according to Foley. The cost of the software has not been revealed, but earlier this week, Justin Haywald of Gamespot published a report suggesting that Windows 8 users would be able to upgrade to the next-gen version for free. Officials from Microsoft told him they would not comment on those rumors at that time.