Microsoft gave everyone a peek, and a time table of sorts, to the new Windows OS today. According to various rumors, the new edition was to be called Windows 9, or Threshold, or just plain Windows. Microsoft surprised everyone and christened it Windows 10, emphasizing that this is not just an upgrade, but a whole new way of doing business.
This is, in many ways, re-envisioning the Windows environment in light of the Internet of Things and devices big and small. The new OS will adapt to all users, all screens and all devices for a tailored experience, but with a common simplified family of products. There are going to be fewer names and brands, and mouse users won't feel like unwanted house guests.
Terry Myerson, Microsoft Executive Vice President of Operating Systems, wrote today that,
"It’s time for a new Windows. This new Windows must be built from the ground-up for a mobile-first, cloud-first world. This new Windows must help our customers be productive in both their digital work and their digital life. This new Windows must empower people and organizations to do great things."
Microsoft’s future rides on their success with Windows 10, especially with Apple making a strong bid for a place at the table. There are still roughly twice as many XP users as Windows 8.1, in part because of the flat-out rejection of Windows 8 by businesses worldwide. Microsoft has to convince corporate America that they are listening.
According to the Microsoft News Center, the new OS will demonstrate new levels of flexibility, navigation and familiarity through the Windows experience.
Some of the features include an expanded Start menu that users can customize, apps from the Windows Store that will look and act like regular windows, a new Task button that will make viewing and switching apps a snap and customizable desktops that can be created for task specific purposes.
Windows 10 will launch publicly sometime in 2015. We still don’t know if it will be free to current Windows 8.1 users, or even follow a rumored subscription model, but at least there is relief in sight.