The launch of Microsoft’s latest OS, the Windows 10, seems to be justifying the lyrics of the famous song “Wake me up when September ends,” by Greenday. Having been released on the last day of September, this new addition to the Windows series came much as a surprise, mainly due to the fact that the name was revealed to be 10 instead of 9 (which was the obvious expectation in keeping with the series).
This is truly a next-gen creation because it blends the best of both worlds perfectly. Now you have the highly preferred and effective start menu along with the colourful live tiles that were evident in its predecessor. But things don’t just stop here. The OS has been designed to understand the behaviour of the user and by using this data, the OS would be able to adjust its behaviour. Microsoft wanted to show that this new version is not merely an addition to the series, but it is in all senses a marvellous leap ahead into the future. This probably why they decided to skip 9 and go straight to 10 in the nomenclature of the operating system.
Here is a quick rundown of the things that have changed in Windows 10.
The Start Menu is Back!
The one thing that every Windows user felt relieved about is the dropping of the “Metro” interface that was prominent in Microsoft’s entire device line, from desktop PCs to Surface tablets and Windows Phone devices. The new version has done a perfect job in combining the best aspects of the metro and the retro with the live tiles being integrated into the start menu. This would suit the needs of every Windows user, irrespective of whether the use prefers a complete touch interface or an input device based interface.
Myerson, a Microsoft representative, said at a press conference, “Windows 10 will run on the broadest amount of devices. A tailored experience for each device. There will be one way to write a universal application, one store, one way for apps to be discovered purchased and updated across all of these devices. We believe that, together with the feedback you provide us, we can build a product that all of our customers will love. It will be our most open collaborative OS projects ever.”
Say Hello to Continuum
In the current scenario, devices have become compatible with dual operational state wherein it may be used with or without supported accessories. In order to handle such changes, the UI needs to be tweaked and this is exactly what Microsoft has been up to. The company has been working on a “continuum” mode for devices that support both operation modes. This feature has not been integrated into the Windows 10 as of now, but there is a possibility of it being integrated soon enough.
When input devices are disconnected from the system, the start menu would be similar to the one in Windows 8 and a back button would be provided for convenient navigation. Even the menus would become larger to accommodate easy viewing and selection. However, when the input devices are attached to the system, then the UI changes back to the desktop mode and the start menu disappears. This will help the OS to adjust the UI on the basis of the device on which you are currently working. Such adaptability of the devices certainly ensures greater productivity.
The Price Tag
Microsoft has not revealed any business plan yet, so there is no confirmation as of now with respect to the pricing of the new OS. If reports released earlier this year were to be believed, then this OS could come free of charge (similar to the OS X upgrades provided by Apple), or there could be a nominal charge levied for it. These are only speculations and we would have to wait some more for an official confirmation from Microsoft.
When Can You Get It?
You can expect the OS to be released anytime in 2015. As of now, no fixed date has been announced. But it should be released after the company’s Build Developer Conference in April. Additionally, the company also announced about its Windows Insider Program. This program would allow people (those in the enterprise) to evaluate the OS before it is brought out in the open. However, this particular version will be a “tech preview build” and not the one that would be commercially made available globally.
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