From a unified core from the ground up, to the literal same operating systems and platform across Phone, Tablet, Console to general PC, this is the next version of Windows, or what we know so far about Windows 10 … because 9 just wasn’t good enough right?!
We should point out before we begin, Windows 10 is not expected to be released until next year, likely at Build 2015, what we are seeing here are just a small handful packed in the Technical Preview available right now actually from http://preview.windows.com which you can check out at your own risk.
What happened to ‘Windows 9’
We previously reported that Windows 9 would be the name of the next major version of Windows, and let’s face it so did everyone else. The apparent departure of the number “9” is apparently due to the fact that Windows 8.1 was codenamed ‘Windows 9’ at Microsoft, but to keep branding (as amazing as that is at the moment at Microsoft) consistent they went around the 0.1 route, plus this is the tenth version of NT. That doesn’t take away the fact that this is exceptionally confusing, but regardless let’s see what was shown off.
If you’re expecting the whole list of features of Windows 10 you’ll be disappointed, but the small list (6) that were shown off, pretty much alleviate all current criticisms of Windows 8.1.
We’ve previously shown Microsoft’s plans for the Start menu, and all those come in Windows 10. If you missed all the functionality of Windows 7 Start Menu but are happy to check out Live Tiles but in a more muted way, the Start menu in Windows 10 literally answers your call, as that’s exactly what it does.
Could it be a bit more elegant, absolutely, but functionally we’re looking forward to checking this out in real world use.
NOTE: It is important to note, the Start menu is optional in Windows 10, users can still use the full Start Screen layout should they prefer.
WINDOWED ‘STORE’ APPS
Windows Store applications, which normally completely take over the display on your device, can now be displayed in a windowed form, including resizing, minimising, all naturally engaging with other Windows programs, such as those .exe files.
NEW MULTI-TASKING VIEW
This is the new view for Multi-Tasking on Windows 10, I’m actually a big fan of it as it is straight to the point and simple. At the bottom of the view is ‘Add a desktop’, which we’ll get to below.
Shown just above the Start menu in the above image, Multiple Displays is surely not a new feature to the world of Desktop Computing, in fact Microsoft are last to it after Linux introduced it, followed by Apple with OS X 10.5 with Spaces. The workings of Microsoft’s take is the same as well, you’ve multiple “virtual” desktops on your Computer at which you can launch applications and manage multiple workflows on one machine.
RECENT/FREQUENTLY VISITED FILES/FOLDERS IN EXPLORER
Again similar to the competition, in case Apple’s “All my Files” in Mountain Lion and later, in the Windows Explorer, you have the option to view recently opened files, or visited folders on your, or even other, drives. Seen as we hate this feature in OS X, it will likely be not used in Windows 10 either, but for finding that latest created, or managed, file, this feature will be greatly convenient.
Since Windows 8, Microsoft introduced the ‘Snap’ view, essentially allowing you to run, initially, two full screen applications side-by-side, a feature later adopted by Samsung in their TouchWiz UI on Android. Whilst ‘Snap’ evolved greatly in Windows 8.1 with customisable sized snapping, that really was it, until Windows 10.
In Windows 10, you will be able to ‘Snap’ up to 4 applications at the same time, using a quadrant view of applications. Call it a borrow from the ones who initially borrowed the feature originally. Unless you’ve a massive display, we can’t see much real world use of this feature, but it’s there for you to use should you wish.
Download for yourself
Windows 10 is available to download right now as a free download, but do bare in mind this is a Technical Preview, so please install either on a Virtual Machine, or on a secondary machine. Download link for Windows 10 Technical Preview available below;
Don’t know about you, but we’re very excited to see where Microsoft takes Windows 10, as let’s face it, they kind of need a break from all the hate of Windows 8, and we’ll scratch off that dismissal of a Windows 9 if they can do it with Windows 10.