At an event held in San Francisco, Microsoft Corp. unveiled the last version of their next Windows operating system and unlike speculations, instead of calling it Windows 9, they have gone straight to Windows 10. The new version of Windows comes with a slew of advancements designed for business, a new updated user-experience and enhanced security and management capabilities. The company also introduced the Windows Insider Program, kicking off its largest-ever open collaborative development effort to change the way Windows is built and delivered to best meet the needs of customers.
“Windows 10 represents the first step of a whole new generation of Windows, unlocking new experiences to give customers new ways to work, play and connect,” said Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President of the Operating Systems group at Microsoft. “This will be our most comprehensive operating system and the best release Microsoft has ever done for our business customers, and we look forward to working together with our broader Windows community to bring Windows 10 to life in the months ahead.”
During the unveiling, Microsoft said that Windows 10 was also designed to bring familiarity and consistency across devices and that it’ll adapt to the devices customers are using – from Xbox to PCs and phones to tablets and tiny gadgets – and with this they hope to enable even greater productivity with the consistent, familiar and compatible experience. Windows 10 will run across a wide range of devices ever from the Internet of Things to enterprise datacenters worldwide. Microsoft is also delivering a converged application platform for developers on all devices with a unified app store, which means developers will be able to write an application once and deploy it across multiple device types, making discovery, purchase and updating a much simpler affair for customers.
Another highlight during the event is how Windows 10 builds nearly everything that businesses need right into the core of the product – including enterprise grade security, identity and information protection features – in ways that can reduce complexities and provide better experiences in other solutions. One key area of advancement is in the work Microsoft has done with user identities to improve resistance to breach, theft or phishing. Windows 10 will also help advanced data loss prevention that follows the data as it goes from a tablet to a USB drive, email or the cloud.
Management and deployment have also been simplified to help lower costs, including in-place upgrades from Windows 7 or Windows 8 that are focused on making device wipe-and-reload scenarios obsolete. Businesses will also have the flexibility to choose how quickly they adopt the latest innovations and influence continued improvements. In addition, organisations will be able to customise an app store specific to their needs and environment. The intent is an app store that will allow for volume app licensing, flexible distribution, and the ability for organisations to reclaim or reuse licenses when necessary.
Finally, Windows 10 will of course come with a new level of flexibility, navigation and familiarity through the Windows experience. On top of that, it was designed to undo the many flaws that came with Windows 8 and includes features such as:
- Expanded Start menu. The familiar Start menu is back, providing quick one-click access to the functions and files that people use most, and it includes a new space to personalise with favourite apps, programs, people and websites.
- Apps that run in a window. Apps from the Windows Store now open in the same format that desktop programs do. They can be resized and moved around, and have title bars at the top allowing users to maximise, minimise and close with a click.
- Snap enhancements. Working in multiple apps at once is easier and more intuitive with snap improvements. A new quadrant layout allows up to four apps to be snapped on the same screen. Windows will also show other apps and programs running for additional snapping, and it will even make smart suggestions on filling available screen space with other open apps.
- New Task view button. The new Task view button on the task bar enables one view for all open apps and files, allowing for quick switching and one-touch access to any desktop created.
- Multiple desktops. Instead of too many apps and files overlapping on a single desktop, it’s easy to create and switch between distinct desktops for different purposes and projects — whether for work or personal use.