Windows 10 first look

It’s October and here in Seattle the leaves are changing colors, and it looks like Microsoft is right in tune and adjusting to its own seasonal changes within the Windows group.  The Windows operating system is going through a new next generation revision, so get ready, set, and go with Windows 10!

There’s been quite a lot of buzz around this.  For starters, why the jump from Windows 8 to Windows 10? It could just be to drive home the one OS deployed to many screens features in this version which is eventually intended to be on PCs, tablets, and phones, with the expectation that Xbox is coming in the foreseeable future. However others are suggesting a more pragmatic reason for skipping over Windows 9. A Reddit user claiming to be a Microsoft developer said ‘testing with the name “Windows 9” ran into problems with code some third-party developers used as a shortcut to detect when apps are running on Windows 95 or Windows 98’.

The company announced the new Windows version on 30 September, 2014 to a small invite only gathering of about 50 members of the tech press. The focus so far appears to be targeting enterprise customers who have been reluctant to adopt the touch driven Windows 8 release. The current technical preview version of Windows 10 introduces a number of features current Windows 7 users will feel comfortable with. The biggest of these is the reintroduction of the Start menu that was removed in Windows 8. This start menu looks almost identical to the one in Windows 7, but allows the user to pin Windows Live Tiles to it as well. The approach is an attempt to bring one of the best features of Windows 8 to the familiar and much missed Start menu. Below is a short list of some of the new features in the current version:

  • Start Menu – gives quick access to power and user log in/out and lock controls, PC settings, universal search, file explorer, and recently used applications among other options
  • Task View button – clicking this new button in the task bar lets you see every window you have open and you can easily switch from one to another
  • Multiple desktops – this feature allows you to have completely unique desktops running at the same time with different applications open in each. It helps you keep more processes open without over cluttering your desktop view
  • Windows Store apps in windowed views – in Windows 8, store apps operated only in full screen or snapped modes, Windows 10 allows those apps to run in resizable windows alongside other traditional desktop applications
  • Windows Store apps title bar menus – this brings all the former functionality of “charms” to the now windowed store apps such as search, share, play, project, settings and full screen

These are some of the more noticeable changes. It’s clear that each of those features is geared toward traditional keyboard and mouse use. They are still working on the revisions for touch devices and will release those updates as they become available. Microsoft has also made clear that this release is a work in progress and many more features and possibly even significant changes will result from the feedback provided by the early adopters in the preview process.

Microsoft will also be consolidating the multitude of app stores with this new OS roll out. For those of you eager to test out its refreshed new bits, take a look at the Enterprise Technical Preview site.

If you sign up via the preview site, you’ll be enrolled in the Windows Insider Program. Once inside, you will most likely receive regular updates in the coming months. Windows Insiders will  also be asked to provide invaluable feedback around Windows 10 features. Last but not least, Microsoft officials advised that a more consumer-focused preview will come sometime in early 2015.

Check back with us, we’re just as excited to follow this next generation release as you are!

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