It’s no secret that Windows 8 wasn’t popular with the masses. It became a service at computer stores to revert new machines to Windows 7 that had been shipped by the OEM with Windows 8. Today, Microsoft hopes to make you forget Windows 8 with their announcement of the new platform, Windows 10.
Many of us in the tech industry had speculated that the new version of Windows would be called Windows 9 considering the progression of events since Windows 7 was released in 2009 and then succeeded by Windows 8 in 2012. However, if you think about it, Windows 10 is a return to their original naming scheme that they had brought about with Windows 7.
Windows 10, What about Windows 9?
Windows 7 was the 7th version of Windows that had been released to the public, at least that was the reasoning that they gave us. Windows 8 followed that trend, but Windows 8.1 was a deviation from that naming pattern. Although Windows 8.1 wasn’t very visually different from Windows 8, they had put in a lot of work in the background to make things work a little differently (read: ‘worse’, in my opinion), but they weren’t ready to call it a new operating system. Windows 10 is them returning to the naming convention that they started with Windows 7, it is the 10th version of Windows. Apparently a lot of names were batted around before Microsoft settled on Windows 10 for this newest iteration of the operating system but if you ask me, it makes sense.
So, What’s Special About This New Windows?
For starters, as we reported a while back, the beloved Start menu is making its triumphant return to center stage. This isn’t going to be completely consistent across all devices, as Microsoft had originally been going for with the Metro Start screen in Windows 8, however. If your version of Windows 10 is on a touchscreen device, more specifically a tablet, then you’re still going to have the Metro Start screen. That’s not to say that it will be exactly the same, though. Microsoft have thought it through and made the new Metro screen easier to navigate for those familiar with Windows 7 and older (or just in general).
In addition, apps are going to pop-out into windows, a lot like we described in our coverage of the alpha version of Windows 10. Another new addition is that universal and native apps can be snapped a lot like in Windows 7, with up to 4 apps being able to be ‘snapped’ at one time. A lot of the rest of Windows 10 seems like it is going to remain the same as in Windows 8.1, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The charms bar is seeing a comeback in Windows 10, which I found to be a lot more user-friendly and attractive than its counterparts in Windows 7. The reason being is that it’s uniform.
If you want to open the WiFi settings, the machine settings, essentially any of the native Microsoft things that reside in the taskbar in Windows 7, they’re all different things that have different looks. In Windows 8 and now Windows 10, they all have the same look and they appear in the same place and that’s a good thing.
Windows 8 also was a major reworking of how Windows managed tasks. Windows 8 was very efficient, which allowed it to run faster and more smoothly, which also made it more power efficient and that’s crucial if you’re running Windows on a laptop. More than likely, these features will carry over to Windows 10.
At the end of the day, Microsoft had to backpedal a little bit to appease the crowd. They’re not going to be able to have a single experience across their entire line of products, and while that is somewhat of a bummer it makes more sense that your desktop computer is aesthetically and operationally different from your phone.
Windows 10 Preview
As has been the case with some of the recent versions of Windows, if you’re a tech savvy individual you will be able to download a free copy of the Windows 10 preview at preview.windows.com and become a “Windows Insider.” This basically means that you will get all of the new features as they become available and be able to provide feedback directly to Microsoft about how you feel about the new OS.
Windows 10 is scheduled to release to the general public in late 2015 and should be a free upgrade from Windows 8.1 if Microsoft is to stay true to their promise. We are certainly looking forward to that day so we can get this wretched Windows 8 off of our machines.