It has often been said that Microsoft’s Windows operates as a one good, one bad, metronome. XP was good; Vista bad; Seven good and most recently Windows 8 bad. That means that the next version of Windows which has been called 9 or Threshold internally by Microsoft is suppose to be a good one.
Microsoft sent out invitations a couple of weeks ago saying to join them “For what is next in Windows and the enterprise”. I expected that they would release access to the Windows 9 Technical Preview – in effect an alpha or beta copy and we would find out when Windows 9 would come out and what it would be called.
The event was not streamed online but was well attended by live blogs.
As expected Microsoft got straight into it – the next version of windows will be called Windows 10. It is designed to run on all sizes of devices, including phones, tablets, TVs and computers replacing both Windows 8, and the Windows Phone operating system. It will have a single app store across all of these devices with apps that scale automatically.
Windows 10 is working already and will be available for testing by large enterprises immediately. Keeping legacy software running is very important for big companies and it is promised that 10 will be backwards compatible, but Microsoft seems to want to get it out there to encourage uptake – particularly after Windows 8 was poorly received.
As expected the Start Menu is back in the classic desktop, although it looks a little more full featured than that of Windows 7. All the styling we were able to see referred to Windows 7 rather than 8.
“We’re looking to find the balance, so that all the Windows 7 users get a familiar experience on the devices they already have.
Metro style apps will still be available but will launch by default as windows on the classic desktop. Those that are designed for touch should now automatically work with a mouse and keyboard as well.
A multiple desktop feature has been added – this lets you run several sets of apps at once and switch between layouts. It is something that Linux has had for a long time and while it sounds a little confusing once you get used to it it can be useful and let you be more productive.
Windows 10 Technical Preview will be available for people who join the Windows Insider Program from tomorrow. There will be a lot more information given out at Build in April next year and the full version of 10 will be available later in 2015. The Technical Preview is likely to be very buggy and not supported in any way – do not think about downloading this unless you are a superuser and have a spare system to install it on.