Yesterday, we were eagerly anticipating the release of Windows 9 at Microsoft’s event. Much to our surprise, and it seems all journalists who were there, Microsoft introduced Windows 10 – with no real explanation of the decision to skip straight to 10. Despite announcing it now, the next generation of Windows isn’t expected until late 2015.
Windows 10 will be a universal operating system, designed to run on a broad range of Microsoft devices, including smartphones and tablets. This will bring a more unified OS, backed by the introduction of a universal app store, and one method of updating across all devices.
The announcement showed off a very early build with the new Windows Insider Program. Seemingly, part of the reason for announcing Windows 10, a whole year before it launches, was to encourage developers to get onboard and build compelling apps to help improve the final product. It has also served to keep early adopters up to date and build excitement over the coming year before its launch.
At Microsoft’s Build conference, due to be held in April 2015, more information will be released on Universal Apps – the new name for what was formerly known as either Metro apps, Modern apps or Windows Store apps. Developers will be hoping that the changes that will be announced will make it easier to create apps for Windows and therefore easier to develop apps across all mobile devices.
Here are just some of the new features of Windows 10.
Terry Myerson, executive vice president of operating systems, presented on the importance of enterprise for Microsoft, emphasising that businesses are its primary target. With Microsoft holding 86% market share in terms of the operating system used in businesses, the company is eager to retain its share against competition from Google and Apple. Microsoft focused on its continuous experience and cross-platform usability. It hopes this will help to drive the market share of its mobile devices being used in the workplace. As part of Microsoft’s focus on enterprise, Windows 10 introduces plenty of features, including a customised store and protection for corporate data.
The look and feel of Windows 10 is a mixture between Windows 7 and 8; taking the best of both operating systems to bring the best user experience for both novice and experienced users. The most controversial feature of Windows 8, task switch, is gone. With Windows 10, Microsoft is bringing back the start menu, but combining it with live tiles to create quick access to users’ favourite apps. Along with the new “Snap Assist” interface, which allows users to create multiple desktop environments and enhanced keyboard shortcuts, Microsoft is offering an OS which appeals to both power users and people that rely on visual computing.
This new touchscreen mode has been developed specifically for use in hybrid (notebook-tablet) PCs; allowing Windows 10 to seamlessly switch between a regular desktop and a full tablet experience, to create a true 2-in-1 device. The ability to switch from a windowed mode, to modern apps with a click of a button, or by detaching the keyboard, allows users to use Microsoft devices in any way they want, be it on the move or at a desk.
Myerson announced that Windows 10 is built for a mobile-first, cloud-first world, to unlock experiences to allow users to work, play and connect. As this is still an early build of the operating system, we will have to wait for 2015 to see how Microsoft’s offering will actually help to increase its market share through the provision of this comprehensive platform.
We’re seeing increased demand from companies who want to keep their systems in Windows. It’s likely that Windows 10 has been designed, and announced at this stage, to keep enterprise users with Microsoft, as it prepares to compete against Apple and IBM’s partnership. Windows 10 is designed to be universal, with one message to companies and users to say that it doesn’t matter which (Microsoft) device you own, your applications will provide a seamless working experience.
By Mubaloo’s Marketing Assistant, Donald Sze