Microsoft have today confirmed that their new Windows OS to be released has been confirmed in San Francisco as Windows 10. “10?” I hear you say. Well, apparently “it wouldn’t be right to call it 9” quotes Terry Myerson, Executive VP, Operating Systems. Windows 1 was also in the short-list but it’s already been done.

It appears users are to be treated back to more familiar territory with the return of the start menu absent from the companies most recent OS releases Windows 8 and 8.1.

Listed so far in in the live event:

  • The Windows 10 Technical Preview will be made available tomorrow, for laptops and desktops. Servers will follow after that. It’s part of a new thing called the Windows Insider Program.
  • Windows 10 to feature the live tiles on the start menu.
  • Windows 10 will work across every platform, screen size. One app store for applications to be purchased, updated across all platforms.
  • You can resize the live tiles (as per the leaked Technical Preview video). It seems he’s using a mouse to show off the new Windows 10 desktop by the way — not touch.
  • Metro start screen also included, with a list of apps/folders down the left hand side.
  • A “tablet mode” that is enabled when you tap the touch screen.
  • Microsoft wants to support the people who loved Windows 7, but also the people who loved touch on Windows 8. Touch support in Windows 10 isn’t going away, but it’s going to “evolve.” Despite leaks to the contrary, the Charms bar is still here — but it will probably change over the next few months. Swiping in from the left gets you the new Task View.
  • The command prompt has been improved. Just general usability stuff. You can ctrl-v to paste text in.
  • Task View. It’s meant to help novice users at multitasking. It shows you all the apps that are currently open — big thumbnails, not the small ones that you’re used to with alt-tab. It’s a bit like Windows-Tab on Windows Vista/7, if you’ve ever done that before.
  • Microsoft will talk more about the consumer experience in 2015, probably at the Build conference in spring. There’ll be more about universal apps, too. Windows 10 itself won’t ship until “later in the year” in 2015 — summer, perhaps.

Q&A time, all from the live event:

Q: Any incentive for Windows 7 and Windows XP users to upgrade?
A: “We want to talk about the overall product family.” No news on upgrade pricing, etc.

Q: Can you talk about the name? Seems weird going from Windows 8 to Windows 10.
A: This product, when you see the product in your fullness I think you’ll agree with us that it’s a more appropriate name.

Q: You mentioned screens ranging from 4 inches to 80 inches. Is Windows 10 the next version of the phone operating system too?
A (Befliore): We’re trying to blend the experience across PCs, tablets. The best way to think of it, it will be a natural step forward from the Windows 8.1 model.

Question about the challenge of designing a platform across all the devices?
A: We’re building a platform that scales, from small devices all the way up to Azure.
A (Belfiore): Part of the reason we organized the way we did, is there will be champions of every device type. It was intentional to put together the PC, tablet, phone. Similar capabilities, but at the end they differ.
A: You’re likely to be an owner of both devices. The real rub comes in the middle… convertible devices. There’s a lot of magic in the devices that can be a great laptop and also flexes to be a tablet.

Q: When it comes to your enterprise customers about Windows 10. How big has the push back been to get Windows away from Live Tiles, back to Windows 7 stuff?
A: We don’t hear pushback that we don’t like Live Tiles. We hear pushback about too much training.
A: If you look at Windows 8 users on touch devices, they have higher satisfaction than those on Windows 7 devices. Windows 7 users have higher satisfaction on mouse and keyboard devices than Windows 8.

Q: How are you going to handle feedback?
A: It’s a little bit of a journey, we’ll learn.
A: We’ve never done this before. Hopefully you become an Insider, you’ll see things you haven’t seen before. There will be forums available for discussions amongst insiders, and our engineering team will be available.

Q: How much of a threat does Microsoft consider Apple and Google in the enterprise?
A: We’ve listened to the customer, what they need from us. The core, we’re product people. What we do is build a product.

Q: How long will Windows 10 last?
A: There’s these different devices in the Windows world. One of the things we offer for enterprises is a mission critical level of support. Microsoft will support them for a long time. We have ways to support our products for well north of 10 years.


Play3r’s Dave says: “It looks as though Microsoft were aiming today’s presentation at the enterprise market. Still, it’s an good inclination as to what we can expect with mainstream Windows 10 next year”.

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