Microsoft Announces Windows 10, Not 9, Due 2015

John Lister's picture

Microsoft has revealed that the next edition of its flagship operating system will be known as Windows 10, rather than Windows 9. The new operating system represents a further blurring of the lines between full-size PCs and portable devices such as smartphones and tablets.

The choice of new name is largely a marketing tactic. Microsoft wants to get across the idea that the system will be a major relaunch over the much-maligned Windows 8, rather than a small set of minor revisions.

Two Major Differences in Windows 10

There will be two main differences in approach with Windows 10. The first is that Microsoft plans to make it be a single operating system system that will work on all devices, from desktops and laptops to tablet computers, smartphones and eventually its Xbox game console.

To tie in with this, there will now be a single app store for buying software for running on Windows-enabled devices. At the moment, it appears users will be able to buy PC applications from other sources (such as websites) and install them as usual.

Windows 10 Brings a Unified Desktop Across All Devices

The second big change is that the user interface will bring together elements from both the traditional look of Windows 7 and the controversial default mode of Windows 8. Users will no longer have two different interfaces to choose from and switch between when using a mobile device or a PC.

Instead, a single interface will blend together elements of each. For example, the traditional Start menu will be in place from the onset, but it's unclear if that includes mobile devices.

The Windows 10 interface will also continue to incorporate "tiles" from Windows 8, including the option to have them display live information such as the contents of newly-arrived emails. However, the user can resize tiles, even to the point of shrinking them down to look more like traditional Windows desktop icons. (Source:

Windows 10 'Continuum' Adjusts To Device Type

A new feature named Continuum will automatically switch how Windows behaves if the form factor changes, without the need to restart Windows. For example: a tablet with a keyboard attached will perform differently then a tablet without a keyboard. The key differences are that a tablet with a keyboard acts similar to a desktop PC, where a tablet without a keyboard relies on a touch screen for input. (Source:

Exactly how Continuum works will depend on the type of hardware being used, with Windows 10 automatically adjusting to work best with the screen size and the type of input available, whether it's a keyboard, mouse or touchscreen.

In theory, all these changes should mean developers can create a single application that works seamlessly across multiple devices, including a smartphone touchscreen or a giant desktop PC monitor. Whether developers embrace that idea remains to be seen.

Other Enhancements to Windows 10

Other features to Windows 10 include snap enhancements, which make it easier to 'snap' opened window applications to the edge of the screen in a pre-defined manner; a task view button on the task bar that allows the user to see all running applications at a glance; and finally, a multi-desktop mode that allows users to quickly switch between multiple desktops on the same system (for example: one desktop could be used for personal use, and one for business use).

Corporations Must Embrace Windows 10

According to research firm NetMarketshare, only 13.4% of all desktops currently run Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. In contrast, Windows 7 accounts for 51.2%, and 23.9% for Windows XP - which is currently unsupported by Microsoft and is now considered a major risk in terms of PC security.

Forrester Research's David Johnson says that the reintroduction of the Start Menu should help Windows 10 fare better, especially in the corporate world. Quite simply, Windows 10 needs to be a major success for Microsoft.

"It is critically important ... The Start Menu is perhaps the most important thing that will make the desktop experience familiar to business users, and will help reduce resistance to its installation ... For Microsoft to continue to be able to get the best and latest technology in the hands of the enterprise workforce all over the world, it has to have a vehicle to do that - and Windows 10 is its best shot," he said. (Source:

Windows 10 Technical Preview Soon Available for Download

Microsoft will be releasing a technical preview of the new system later this week; it's only available for technical PC enthusiasts and is not recommended for novices. The finished edition of Windows 10 is planned for a release in spring of 2015 according to reports from the BBC; other websites, such as PC Advisor claim its release will be "later" in 2015.

What's Your Opinion?

What do you think of the recent news regarding Windows 10? Have you held off buying or upgrading your PC due to the drastic changes introduced by Windows 8? If so, do you think that Windows 10 will persuade you to finally upgrade? Is the idea of using the same Windows across different types of device appealing to you? Do you think apps designed to work on all devices will be effective? Lastly, do you think the integration of a unified system across multiple devices will help bolster Microsoft's influence?

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Some IT Guy's picture

I was skeptical when I first bought Windows 8 just like most were. I heard all the reports of the problems using it, that everything changed and you can't do anything with the computer. I even tried a laptop early on that had it on there, and I hated it.

However, when I finally took the plunge, and actually got over the fact that the Tile Screen WAS THE START MENU, then it all made sense. Yes, visually, most of the IT functions we have been used to had been moved around or presented in a different way, but they are all still there.

I now have Windows 8.1 on every system except my gaming rig. I love it, and if you use Solid State hardware, it is lightning quick. However, I have a good chunk of cash sunk into 8.1 now, and that was done mostly in 2013/2014, so I am not running out to get Win10 on release in 2015.

I know Microsoft wants to make more money, but I think they need to slow down on releases, or drop the price tremendously. At $100 a copy, I am not going to plunk down another $600 to upgrade all my PCs and tablets. If it were more like $29 a copy, then I could see doing it. I think that may also be the concerns of businesses as well.

Dennis Faas's picture

I chatted with a visitor on the site today regarding which install media will be used to install Windows 10. Up until now, CDs and DVDs have been used to install Windows on PCs.

But, I think optical media is on the way out and will be replaced by 'the cloud'. If Windows 10 will run on all devices (including mobile), it will surely need either a Micro SD or cloud install.

If that's the case, I hope there are more options to install Windows 10 on PCs, including USB or thin client / web-based installations.

DavidFB's picture

I suspect it will go cloud, perhaps with a download manager or some such. They've been doing that with major service packs for awhile. For techs, there will be a downloadable version for distributed installs and such.

Nice to see them consolidate but on the other hand it means the range of where updates conflict with something or 'tother will grow. But at least they won't have to build for and test in different versions - just different hardware.

Fabian Silva's picture

if you can't use windows 8 because that "tiles", then you can install "Classic shell" (it is freeware) and will have a start button like windows 7, that make more people to use windows 8.

on my work machine, I have windows 8 and frankly the first that I made every time is to touch "desktop" tile and from that start to work... I have pinned the apps that usually I use and all is good :D

On windows 10 I not have idea what thing microsoft will do, but if they continue to think that tiles will save them to make something "good and diferent" that people like, Microsoft will have poor reception from public. they have to clone some Android functions on tablet, as they do with win 3.1 copying most UI from Os/2 and Mac... then they will sucess. they have to make a evolution, not a revolution.

gi7omy's picture

This is similar to what they did before - rather than upgrade to Vista SE, they renamed it 'Windows 7' even though the internal version showed it to be Windows 6.1 (Vista was 6.0). MS do fudge things to make people believe that the upgrade is a completely new version

blueboxer2's picture

So there is to be an interface that can take a web page suitable for a 17" screen or even bigger monitor, and shrink it down while retaining usability on a 4" phone screen? This I gotta see!
As an octogenarian I can't guarantee being a potential Microsoft customer much longer, and I am going to need much persuading before I invest in a new OS for our five family XP/Win7 computers. I got burned on the upgrade from XP to Win7 which is far more difficult to use in my contexts - too many "convenience" features that take endless tampering before they behave themselves, self-willed behaviour such as deciding I don't want certain icons on my launch bar or task bar, or moving them to the desktop without direction, or messing up everything with the libraries for which I have never found a use, or - well, XP had it right, they have only messed it up since, and now want me to swallow more. Enough to drive me to Ubuntu and likely will soon enough.
I want an OS I can re-install after a crash, or which will accept upgraded hardware, or swallow all the relatively minor changes without demanding paranoid revalidation from some intricate mechanism a continent away. I bought it, I paid for it, and I want it to hand on the installation disc or thumb drive - with repair console and mode and without hassles.
I'm too old to relearn an operating system every 24 months because Microsoft wants to fatten the bottom line of the quarterly report without delivering any value for the money. Virtualize if necessary, but XP forever.

Dennis Faas's picture

The entire screen won't scale, but would work similar to how this website works when you shrink your web browser. It's built on a 'mobile first' or 'responsive' platform, where portions of the screen automatically realign and adjust in a block-like fashion to fit the remaining white space.

PaiaDave's picture

I like Win 8 too. The search function is so powerful. You don't have to do anything (like click a start button)to start a program or see help with whatever information you need. At the Start screen just type what you what to do. It's so easy...Add the X button to close programs if you use a mouse, it all works very well. I think most people missed the power and the now copied powerful search (by Apple's new IOS)of Windows 8. You what to get modern, get Windows 8. I think Windows 10 will downgrade the strengths of 8 with going back to a Start button. I have read that one does not have to use the Start button in 10 but just the screen shots I saw made me think of less power full. Back to my point, at the Start screen, just type Word, Handbrake, Control Panel, Device Manager, or any name of a program or idea you need; Bing Search will show you lots of information without doing anything but typing on the keyboard at the Start Screen. Now add being able to change your Start Screen to show what you need or want....You have the fasted access on a real computer device that you can get right now. I like 8.