Well this is a bit weird, instead of unveiling what we thought would be called Windows 9 during their San Francisco event today, Microsoft ha gone ahead and announced Windows 10 as the successor to the Windows 8.1 operating system.
Microsoft announced that the new OS will launch with something called a Windows Insider Program initially, allowing advanced PC users and IT managers to access something called the Windows 10 Technical Preview, after which Microsoft will launch the consumer version sometime in 2015.
“Windows is at a Threshold and now it’s time for a new Windows,” announced Terry Myerson, chief of Windows, at a press event. “Our new Windows must be built from the group up for a mobile first cloud first world. It unlocks new experiences to allow customers to work play and connect.”
But the system will also be geared towards the Enterprise user, with Myerson continuing to state that “Windows 10 is going to be our greatest enterprise platform, ever.”
One of the biggest features with this new OS is its design, which has some features a lot of people might recognise from Windows 7, making the system more familiar to the user. One example of this is that the old Windows 7 Snap view will now work in classic and universal apps on Windows 10.
Microsoft have also claimed to have made the OS more novice-friendly with a new button called task view, which allows users to quickly jump from desktop to desktop whilst multitasking between apps in a new pop up bar that will show all the apps the user has running.
There’s also a new Snap Assist UI, that allows users to grab apps from various desktops and pull them onto their screen in a full-screen view.
Users can also have a Bing search placed along the bottom with the new OS, and finally users can now use the command Crtl+V to paste.
For touch screen users Microsoft added a number of other new features, one of which allows users to swipe to the left to pull up the new task view window, which will feature larger buttons for a more touch-friendly experience.
Users can then swipe right to pull up the settings menu.
There’s also a new design feature called Continuum, which allows the UI of Windows 10 to change depending on the device that the user has. With a mouse and keyboard Windows 10 will run in desktop mode, and as a tablet or 2-in-1 device you will be in tablet mode.
Oh and we probably shouldn’t forget this last part, the start menu has finally made its return! Allowing users to quickly view and access the apps in the old windows 7 view, placed alongside a nice Windows 8 like side menu which shows there pinned applications, it actually looks pretty cool.
A preview of Windows 10 is due to be released as early as next week, and Microsoft expects to finalize the OS by spring of 2015.