Back in Action: Windows 10 is the Future of Microsoft
There's good news for everyone who didn't like Windows 8. Tech giant Microsoft recently revealed the successor of the much-criticized 8 - and no, they're not calling it Windows 9. Instead, they're naming it Windows 10.
Well, we really have no idea as to why they skipped a number, but what's inside all those codes and algorithms is what matters. Luckily, the guys who have laid their hands on its technical preview have given us a sneak peek at what to expect for this OS to be released in 2015. Here's what we know so far:
The Return of the Start Menu
Yes, yes, we're aware Windows 8.1 did bring back the Start Menu to life after non-techies whined about the Metro UI. Nevertheless, Windows 10 - or Threshold, as it was called back then - finally makes the Start Menu's return permanent.
The preview shows that the new Start Menu would fuse elements from the Start Menu we're all familiar with and certain features of the Metro UI. This means you have the typical list of programs on the left side and some live tiles of Windows apps on the right side. So far, it's the best compromise to integrate elements of the Start Menu and the Start Screen in one. But worry not, Start Screen fans, you can still revert to using the Metro UI when you feel like it.
Improvements on the Interface
A new OS is a chance to improve the interface, and Microsoft believes that they got it right this time. The tech giant has made some enhancements on the snapping features of their windows, which now includes a "quadrant layout" wherein you can place four apps on the screen at once. The task view (the one that happens when you press Alt+Tab or Windows+Tab) also received a few changes. Metro apps would be less intrusive, too, as you can finally let these run in windows instead of being forced into full-screen.
But perhaps the most important of all is the inclusion of virtual desktops in Windows 10. Although Linux OS-es have used this in the past, it's the first time this feature will be native to a Microsoft OS.
Emphasis on Compatibility
The public griped against Windows 8's sudden shift of focus to touch devices, but Windows 10 will address that issue now. No longer would keyboard-and-mouse users be limited to touch-centric functions. Windows 10, by default, will be compatible across all devices and will adjust depending on what it is running on - be it a laptop, a desktop, or a tablet.
This matches with the vision of Microsoft since Satya Nadella stepped in as CEO: to unify products under the brand. Windows 10 is set to run on nearly all devices, including Xbox consoles. There is also a single store that houses all apps for the OS.
Siri's Rival Might Show Up
Let it be clear that the technical preview DOES NOT contain the voice assistant Cortana yet, but news stories indicate that Microsoft is working on what appears to be Siri's rival. Although Cortana is already present in Windows phones, the voice assistant will likely exist in the desktop versions of the Windows 10. Nevertheless, we'll have to wait for 2015 to see whether or not Cortana will indeed make her debut outside Windows phones.
Clearly, the tweaks on Windows 10 focus more on performance than aesthetics. With this, one question remains: can Windows 10 revive the public's love for PCs?
Yes, it's possible. The big deal now is how Microsoft will handle the feedback from all the testers and release the right updates at the right times. Of course, there's still the stiff competition against smartphones and tablets, but the PC can work just fine. Besides, Windows 10 is applicable to all devices, anyway. What matters now is how Microsoft will seize this golden chance to prove that they're still running to dominate the tech world once more (even though they didn't really disappear).
Put frankly, Windows 10 is shaping up to be the next big thing for Microsoft. If improvements from the technical preview feedback prove sufficient, Windows 10 can easily put Win8 on the sidelines the same way 7 toppled Vista.