Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Microsoft announces Windows 10: questions and answers

In a small media event in San Francisco earlier today, Microsoft officially unveiled Windows 10 - the successor to Windows 8.  Microsoft also announced Windows 10 on their blog.  While I didn't attend the event, here are a few of the questions and answers I assembled from various sources on the web:

Q: What is Windows 10?
A: Windows 10 is the successor to Windows 8.  Windows 10 is designed to power not just PC's and tablets, but phones, Xbox and the Internet of Things.   While Windows 10 is one platform, it is several user experiences - optimized for the device.  In the past, Microsoft offered multiple platforms and user experiences that weren't optimized for the device and input methods.

Q: What happened to Windows 9?
A: While the original name was supposed to be Windows 9, Microsoft decided to change the name to Windows 10 and to position it as a major upgrade.  Microsoft also appears to want to distance itself from Windows 8 which hasn't been a great success.

Q: What was the focus of today's event?
A: The focus was on enterprises rather than consumers.  Why? Enterprises have been slow to adopt Windows 8 because it doesn't offer a compelling reason to upgrade.  However, Windows 10 will also be targeted to consumers and we'll see more consumer-oriented features coming soon.  The following blog from Paul Thurrott has a great overview of the enterprise features.  I'm most interested in the data separation and protection features.

Q: What features of Windows 10 were shown at today's demo?
A: Automatic switching between mobile and desktop interfaces (Continuum), return of the start menu, floating universal (Metro) app windows, multiple desktops, notification center and more.

Q: When is Windows 10 expected to ship?
A: 2015

Q: How much will Windows 10 cost?  Will it be free?
A: Rumors abound that Windows 10 will be free (like Macintosh Yosemite) but Microsoft did not reveal price, versions or licensing for Windows 10 at today's event.

Q: Where can I get the Windows 10 Technical Preview?
A: Windows Insider Program (coming soon!)

I've included a video from Microsoft below

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