If you’ve been waiting for Windows 9 to replace Windows 8, like many users and businesses apparently have been doing, Microsoft has announced that it’s skipping Windows 9 and going directly to Windows 10.
The Windows version that’s been under development under the codename Windows Threshold, anticipated to be called Windows 8, now will be called Windows 10.
It appears that Microsoft is trying to further distance the new Windows version from the user frustration with Windows 8, when it forced a tablet/phone interface onto desktop computer screens. By skipping the antipated version number, it seems to be counting on memory tricks to push Windows 8 further back in Windows history. "Oh, that was back in Windows 8, this is Windows 10."
But, it’s not all smoke and mirrors…
The new Windows is expected to run on a broad range of devices, but provide a customized experience on each. The Windows
Windows 10 promises new features in addition to the return of the lost Start Button.
The new Start Button looks different from the Windows 7 one. Functionally, the previous features should be there. But, it also has a new feature — a Tiled App section to the side that displays live-updated tiles of your selected apps (you should have control of what’s in the tiled part of the Start Menu, just as you do with the regular text part of the Start Menu).
Another nice feature is that everything now runs in individual windows. No more tiled apps taking the whole screen. The tiled (Windows 8-type) applications will now be in their own windows, which can be resized, maximized, minimized and closed easily.
There’s a new task view button on the Task Bar. Windows has long had a feature allowing quick switching among open windows, by using the Alt-Tab key.
If you’re not familiar with this trick, hold down the Alt key and press-and-release the Tab key, while continuing to hold down the Alt key. This will display small displays of all open windows.
Repeated presses on the Tab key, while continuing to hold the Alt key, will cycle between the windows. When you get to the one you want, release the Alt key, and now it will be the active window.
Windows 10 will also give us multiple virtual desktops. That’s a great way to group related windows and functions.
There’s more to come. Microsoft is inviting PC experts and IT pros to sign up for their Windows Insider Program, which will give them access to multiple, unfinished, pre-release versions of Windows 10. The goal is to get feedback on the interfaces. Presumably, this also includes help and feedback on bugs.