OK, so MS has confounded the pundits and bloggers, and has skipped a version to announce its latest incarnation of the Windows desktop operating system as Windows 10, not Windows 9, or something else completely. At an event in San Francisco aimed at “enterprise”/business users, the company promised to re-establish continuity with older Windows versions, especially and including Windows 7, and to create an entirely desktop-friendly working environment, since most business uses for PCs aren’t exactly touch-oriented (or even touch-capable) at the moment. As has been reported for quite some time now, the Start menu is back, and while tiles remain visible on the desktop, the impetus to force users into the Modern UI has apparently been blunted, if not sidelined altogether. Even so, Windows 10 retains touch capabilities for touch-enabled systems, and will operate across a full spectrum of host devices, including not just PCs (be they desktops, laptops, notebooks, or Wintel tablets), but also “other” tablets (non-Wintel, that is), smartphones, and embedded systems.
A smattering of systems from tiny to titanic, all running Windows 10.[Source: Blogging Windows]
Microsoft VP Terry Myerson explained the reach of Windows 10 this way “It will run on the broadest types of devices ever, from the smallest ‘Internet of things’ device, to enterprise data centers worldwide. Some of these devices have 4-inch screens, and some will have 80-inch screens. And some don’t have any screens at all.” Figuring out the details of exactly how this is to be accomplished, and what it means to work across such a broad device spectrum, and what things must change or stay the same across all of them, will be some of the most interesting aspects of Windows 10 for early and experimental adopters to explore — including yours truly, as soon as I get the chance. MS also claims that the distinction between the Modern UI and the traditional desktop UI will no longer be important. In yesterday’s event, Joe Belfiore a VP with the OS group explained that “We want users on PCs with mice and keyboards to have their familiar desktop UI — a task bar and a start menu. And regardless of how an app was written or distributed to your machine, it works the way you expect.” Here again, it will be very interesting indeed to see how this plays out in actual practice.
As I write this blog post, the Windows Insider page is still proclaiming that it is “almost here.” Later today, users will be able to sign up for the program, and then download the technical preview. As with Windows Updates, I’m guessing that means 9 AM PST (UCT -08:00), which translates into late morning my time. I’ll be aiming my Fujitsu Q704 tablet hybrid machine at this software, and very interesting to see how it fits onto that temperamental hardware platform. Soon, we’ll all be finding out how much of the recent breathless hype translates into something of interest or use in the workplace. For more information on Windows 10 of the official MS variety, check out the Blogging Windows post entitled “Announcing Windows 10;” for third-party reporting and reaction, please run this Google Search.