On Tuesday evening, Microsoft unveiled details for their new operating system 'Windows 10'.
It seems strange that Microsoft would choose to skip over the next chronological order being Windows 9. But Microsoft believe that with the changes being made in Windows 10, "rebuilding the way the system works in its entirety, creating a single experience which works across all platforms, it wouldn't feel right to call it Windows 9." Said Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President.
Windows 10 is expected to launch at some point next year, three years on from the release of Windows 8, which failed to impress many due to the major changes that were introduced that (on the surface) massively changed the user experience.
So what can we expect from the new addition to the family, Windows 10?
New (or old) and improved Start Menu:
One of the main problems which Microsoft received criticism for was the traditional ‘start menu' removal from Windows 8, removing the Windows desktop experience for many Desktop PC users. The new and improved start menu will have a blend of both Windows 7 and 8, mixing the metro tiles with the traditional look and feel of the Windows 7 menu.
A new feature to be introduced is 'Continuum'. Essentially this allows your PC to automatically detect how you are using your computer and which is the best layout to have. If you have a keyboard connected to the PC, Windows will be in ‘desktop mode'. If you unplug your keyboard, Windows will be placed into ‘touch mode'.
"One product family, a tailored experienced for each device." Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President.
Windows 10 Universal apps:
As mentioned earlier, Windows 10 has been rebuilt as one platform for all devices. This includes a single app store for all devices, whether it is for your Windows Phone, tablet or PC. Universal apps on Windows 10 for PC will run within a separate window.
Building on the great feature that is ‘Snap', Windows 10 will provide new features allowing tiling of windows, snapping side-by-side and also ‘virtual multi-desktop modes' to spread windows across multiple virtual desktops.
Overall, the new Windows 10 is looking to be a fantastic addition to the Windows OS family. It feels like Microsoft have taken all the good things we love about Windows and refined them to make a polished experience.
If you are interested in trying Windows 10, the technical preview is available following this link. Please be aware that this is a preview of the Operating System, and is in no way stable and issues may potentially occur when using the preview release.
Update, 8th October 2014
Today the media reported that Microsoft is 'keylogging' anyone that has installed the Windows 10 preview. Exactly what Microsoft is tracking, and to what extent, has been varied.
Luckily Pete, our Technical Director, had the opportunity to speak to a Microsoft employee at IPEXPO a few hours after the news broke.
Pete was keen to find out if there's an 'opt-out' option. We have been eagerly testing Windows 10 in the office with good results so far, but without knowing the full picture we're understandably reluctant to continue.
Unfortunately, they couldn't confirm anything about opting out during the conversation, but they did reveal a couple of exciting developments coming our way in November.
I'm sure there will be further reports about this over the coming days. Whilst we, just like any user, would naturally be concerned about 'keylogging' it's important to remember there are two sides to every argument. If Microsoft can responsibly use this information, and enhance a product for the consumer's gain, then is that a bad thing? As Pete says, "it's nice to see they want to listen to us". We will continue to test it, but until Microsoft clarifies what is being recorded, we'll be using testing credentials only!
What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment below.