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Microsoft Unveils Windows 10

Category: Operating Systems
Posted: 07:58PM

Microsoft took the wraps off its newest Windows operating system earlier today, but it bears a name that isn't what everyone thought it would be: Windows 10. It was expected the new version would be Windows 9, considering Windows 8 is its predecessor, but Microsoft decided to change things up a little. Microsoft's Terry Myerson, the executive vice president for the Operating Systems Group, explains the new name is because of a shift in the company's approach to the operating system, with everything as "one tailored experience", and how Windows 9 wouldn't fit with that idea. Windows 10 does, however, hence the name change. The new OS is a blend of the best of both worlds, as it combines the traditional elements of Windows 7 with the touch features of Windows 8, along with some new goodies.

A familiar Start menu appears when you click the Start button, just with the addition of Live Tiles from Windows 8. As seen in the preview video, the Start menu and Live Tiles are customizable, with both the menu and Live Tiles able to be resized. The Start menu can even be expanded beyond the borders of your screen, so you can scroll left and right to see every app (just like in Windows 8). Metro apps now appear in a resizable window instead of fullscreen, so no more having the weather app dominate until you close it. The taskbar has been updated too, as it can now show all running apps in each virtual desktop. Your current desktop is the primary one, but you can switch between several others (or add new ones) for different tasks; so one may be for work, another for play, and others for video chats or anything else you wish. There's still the familiar Alt + Tab command, but it brings up every running app in every desktop now.

Microsoft wasn't willing to divulge every little detail about Windows 10, but expect more of that over time. The touch features weren't really expanded upon in today's event, although we do know of a feature called "Continuum" that switches the system's behavior based on the hardware. So say you're using something like the Surface Pro 3 as a tablet; Windows 10 will show its touch interface. If you then hook up the keyboard cover, Windows 10 switches into the traditional desktop mode that's keyboard and mouse-friendly. Microsoft is still tweaking Continuum, but it sounds exceptionally promising.

Windows 10 is expected to launch sometime during the middle part of next year, but starting tomorrow a Technical Preview will be available through Microsoft's Insider Program. If you're interested in checking out Windows 10 and giving Microsoft your feedback, head here to do just that.

Source: Ars Technica [1] & [2], and Engadget

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