Good News: Windows 10 is Coming!
Wait, what happened to Windows 9? No, you didn’t sleep through it, though many users have chosen to sleep through Windows 8. Microsoft chose to skip #9 and call the last major version of their flagship operating system Windows 10. Here's how you can get a sneak peek at what's coming...
What's Coming in Windows 10?
Microsoft has released a rough draft called the Windows 10 Technical Preview that brave geeks can download and test-drive. Before you can install it, though, you will have to agree that it is “experimental” and anything bad that happens to your computer is entirely your own problem. (But isn't that the case with all releases of Windows?)
Wait, “last major version of Windows?” Yes, there will be no more dramatic and traumatic releases of radically different “improved” versions of Windows. That doesn’t mean that Microsoft is getting out of the desktop operating system business. It means that Windows will henceforth be upgraded in smaller, more frequent increments much as Google Chrome and Firefox browsers are. The result should be far less weeping and wailing about the steep learning curve of “a whole new user experience.”
The Windows 10 user experience includes the Start Menu that everyone missed so badly in Windows 8. It’s been tweaked a bit since Windows 7 but it’s comfortingly familiar and works much better than Win 8’s bizarre moving tiles. This back-step alone should ensure that Windows 10 sells more copies than Windows 8 in a comparable period of time.
The dual interface of Windows 8 that users found both confusing and annoying is gone. Whether you run a traditional mouse-and-keyboard Windows program or a modern-style touch-enabled app, it will happen in one seamless environment.
From the screen shots I've seen, it looks like all those tiles are moved to the Start Menu, and the associated programs will run on the desktop like any other windowed app. If your hardware supports touch, you'll be able to scroll with a finger or pinch-to-zoom, just like you can on mobile devices today.
Windows 10 Will Adapt to You
For people using hybrid, convertible or two-in-one PCs, a new feature called Continuum will detect when the keyboard is detached, and ask if you want to go into tablet mode. (See Windows 10 in Pictures)
Multiple virtual desktops are in Windows 10, a feature that Linux and iOS users have long enjoyed. Several desktop spaces can be open at once, and in each many different apps can be running. You can drag an app from one virtual desktop to another. It’s a great new way to organize your work and play. If you can't wait, you could just install a second monitor today and skip the "virtual" piece of the multiple desktop experience. (See Dual Monitors: Six Good Reasons to Upgrade.)
Windows 10 is designed to look and act consistently across the many hardware platforms that are in use today. The final version of Windows 10 will even replace Windows Phone on mobile devices, according to insider reports. And true geeks who love the command line interface will be happy to learn that the Command Prompt is still alive and well in Windows 10. In fact, Microsoft has finally graced it with standard text selection, copy and paste tools.
And Windows 10 will be the last version you’ll ever need to buy, according to Gartner analyst Michael Silver. The switch to small, frequent updates means there is no big package to sell every few years. "A consumer isn't going to give Microsoft a credit card and say, 'Charge me for a new release whenever one comes out,'" Silver told Computerworld. "It's very likely that consumer releases will be free."
But I just don't see Microsoft giving up on the Windows cash cow. I’d say it’s very likely you will pay an annual subscription fee for Windows similar to those paid for premium antivirus applications. Microsoft has not released any information on pricing or upgrade incentives.
The computer hardware industry will find the “steady trickle” model of updating Windows problematic. PC and laptop makers, especially, have counted on major releases to spur replacement of older machines.
Rumors, Warnings and Unanswered Questions
Finally, about the rumor that Windows 10 includes a keylogger – it doesn’t. The preview edition collects limited data about the files you open and what you do with them, but it doesn’t log every keystroke and mouse click you make. This info goes to Microsoft to help debug and improve Windows 10 before final release. Remember, this is experimental software; if a file contains sensitive data, you should not be using it with this beta version of Windows 10!
Microsoft warns that the Windows 10 Technical Preview is not for everyone. Ideally, you should have a spare PC to test with, and be willing to put up with frequent updates, and a user interface that's in flux. You'll need to know how to format a hard drive, download an ISO file and install an operating system from scratch. You should also understand that some printers and other devices might not work with the new version, and there could be compatibility issues with antivirus and other software.
We don't know exactly when to expect the release of Windows 10, but the company is holding their Microsoft Build 2015 conference next April, at which time they are expected to announce a release date. For now, they are saying "later in the year" in 2015. This is very good news for those users who have stayed with Windows 7, hoping that whatever comes after Windows 8 will be more like the familiar Windows experience they have known for years. But there will be no hurry to upgrade... Windows 7 support will continue through January 2020.
Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 14 Oct 2014
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Good News: Windows 10 is Coming! (Posted: 14 Oct 2014)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved