The next version of Windows will be called Windows 10. It was announced at Microsoft’s enterprise centric event and will debut in early 2015 with a Technical Preview starting tomorrow. (General public need not apply)
Despite the target audience, there were a few noteworthy consumer oriented tidbits including virtual desktops, the return of the Start Menu and the evolution of the “One OS, all devices” vision.
Developers who write applications for Windows 10 can easily target multiple devices from phones to desktops and everything in between. But it’s easy to be skeptical with Microsoft’s claim because their current line up (Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows Phone 8 and Xbox One) didn’t exactly pan out despite their best efforts. To validate the “One OS, all devices” nature of Windows 10, Microsoft announced Windows 10 will share a single app store across all devices. I really hope this pans out for them.
I’m also hoping Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for both Windows 7 and 8 users. It just makes sense to me.
These days, ecosystem loyalty is more important than nickel and diming consumers so it makes sense to give free OS upgrades. Get the OS — especially the new Windows Store — into people’s hands and they’ll be more likely to consider additional Windows devices in the future. If people knew their existing applications and services will work with a Windows device, they’ll be less likely to sever that bond for the sake of convenience and cost.
Everyone will ask why they skipped “9” but I want to know what they didn’t use X. I’m not as critical of Windows 8 as others but even I can see Windows 10 as the maturation of Windows 8’s vision. If Microsoft felt the need to distance themselves from Windows 8 by jumping a whole version number, so be it. They wouldn’t be the first one to do so.
At least they didn’t call it Windows One.