As a follow-up to Windows 8, Microsoft has released a preview of its newest operating system (launching next year) – and they’re calling it Windows 10.

During a live demo event that happened last September, Microsoft VPs Joe Belfiore and Terry Myerson presented the newest version of their operating system. Here are just some of Windows 10’s features:

  • Universal Windows apps: Windows 10 will switch to a “live” tile interface which will be applied across all platforms, providing a more tailored experience for users and an enhanced focus on productivity, keyboard and touch experience.
  • The new OS combines Windows 8’s most favored design features and the functionality of Windows 7, which is the company’s most widely-used OS thus far.
  • It will run on all devices and, yes, it has a start menu.
  • Enhanced, more user-friendly keyboard shortcuts, such as:
    • Win + Tab – allows you to create and switch between multiple desktop screens.
    • Ctrl + Win +Right/Left – allows you to quickly move between virtual desktops.

Theories as to why they skipped Windows 9

There are quite a few rumors surrounding Microsoft’s name choice. One is that the jump from Windows 8 to 10 was actually a strategic marketing move by Windows to build hype and to get people talking about the OS.

Then there’s one Reddit user with the handle “cranbourne” (who claims to be a developer from Microsoft), who says that the choice to stick with Microsoft 10 was an attempt to avoid getting mixed up with third-party apps who use Windows 9x in a lot of their code.

Another theory is that Microsoft doesn’t want to associate it with its older systems (Windows 95, 98). When asked, Myerson, the executive VP of the Operating Systems group, said “We’re not building an incremental product….When you see the product in its fullness, I think you’ll agree it’s an appropriate name for the breadth of the product family that’s coming.”

Yet another theory is jumping over another Vista situation.

Whatever the reason might be, Windows 10’s performance is yet to be tested – we’ll just have to wait and see if it lives up to Microsoft’s promises.

34 Comments
  1. One can only imagine how this new Windows 10 might look like. What also interests me is how many ideas have been taken from Linux like distributions such as Mint and Ubuntu. I hope that Windows 10 is user friendlier and is slimmed down to the basics in order to keep it light and fast.

    • It’s not really taking much from Linux distros, except for virtual desktops. Other than that, the start menu is back into a menu form, but it’ll still have tiles, rather than being context-menu like. However, that’s good because now it keeps computer users with no touchscreen in mind, and also allows some users with the habit to use the start menu to jump out of a window to keep that habit instead of changing it.

    • I think Windows 10 would be more faster and compact than the previous ones. But I don’t think they’re really copying a lot from Linux and besides it’s pretty much been there before with the overall design since Windows 8.

    • Windows 10 is not going to be a major paradigm shift by any means – it’s going to be as ground-breaking as Windows 7 to 8, by which I mean minimal. We’ll see some cosmetic changes and some stuff under the hood, but for the most part it’ll be something that’ll require some minor adjustment but otherwise be status quo.

    • I agree with you.
      I do also hope Windows 10 is easier to use and access for people who don’t know much about computers. Even though I know quite a bit about computers and Windows in general, if people know what they are doing, Windows 10 would probably be even more preferred.
      I also agree with the lighter and fast part; it’s a big part of my daily life, and I’m going to need to bring my computer around and possibly connect to slower Wifis… so hopefully the computer will stay on my side :).

  2. To be honest I’m not really that hot for this new version of Windows. It’s cool that they brought back the Start button and that they’re really moving back to Windows 7 territory a bit, which as we all know is the best version of Windows since XP, but it’s just a bit annoying that they’re really pushing Windows 8 to consumers even though it’s clear that many people don’t like it.

    • Although I’m probably in the minority that was fine with Windows 8, I do agree with you on the opinion that Windows 7 was the best. I mean, I can navigate and I don’t mind Windows 8, but Windows 7 was awesome.
      That being said, yeah, hopefully they will decide to fully throwback to Windows 7 types of styles when the later versions come out… i’d definitely buy a new computer if they came out with another one like that, because quite frankly, Windows 7 is just the best.

  3. I still don’t understand why they bothered to skip Windows 9 though. Whether it can be associated to other things or not isn’t that big of a deal in my eyes. It’s just weird seeing that you’re suppose to stick to the order of chronological numbers when you’re presenting new products. I don’t know how well this is going to work for them, but they better come very strong with Windows 10 because everyone is not going to expect anything less.

    • They probably skipped Windows 9 for the publicity… higher, two digit numbers always seem better to (most of) general public. It’ll probably cross people’s minds that, “It’s advanced so far, it must be good!”
      That being said, I do agree with you. Ideally, they would stick to 9 and be truthful (in a sense) about it. But yeah, those who know better will not be fooled by this, and obviously recognize this. But those who don’t….

  4. I honestly believe the Reddit user when it comes to the reason why Microsoft jumped over “Windows 9.” It’s better to save time detecting for “9x” instead of “95” and “98.” Then again, Microsoft could’ve tried to keep the naming scheme by putting in something before the “9” in the version number in the registry, but I think skipping to “10” is better. It rolls of the tongue a lot more than “9.”

    • I think it also makes sense that subsequent service packs will make things difficult too. Look at Windows 8.1, you’ll end up having Windows 9.1, 9.2 and onwards, where you may end up at 9.5 and then some less technically adept people might start getting confused.

      Still though, I feel like an incrementing number is really the only efficient way to delineate version changes in software. Anything else (I’m looking at you, Apple) is just clunky.

  5. They could’ve just dropped the Windows 8 thing altogether. It’s annoying. I don’t get how MS kept on changing what they already did great. The Xbox, Windows 7, I mean come on those things are great but they had to ruin it with the next installments.

    • Would you buy a computer two years from now if they tell you it has the exact same speed and functionality than the one you bought 2-3 years ago? Chances are you won’t.

      As much as hardware vendors have to give people reasons to upgrade their machines, software makers have to re-invent their products on a consistent basis to be on top of technology. People look for innovation all the time. While some pieces of software are in fact great “as is”, software developers just can’t stop innovating.

      Imagine if everyone would be using Windows 3.11 because it was the best windows in the 3.x branch and the consensus were there was no need for further improvements!!

  6. When I heard that windows 10 was announced people where saying that 8.1 was the 9th version of windows. When they said the reasons they named it windows 10 I think it was a good name change. Window 10 just sounds more modern than windows 9. But I will be one of the early adopters of Windows 10, Microsoft finally got back on the right track.

  7. I don’t know if I’ll be ready for this Windows 10 since I haven’t really used Windows 8, but I hope that it doesn’t have a lot of unnecessary add-ons like Windows 8. I don’t really concern myself with the fact that they skipped Windows 9; if you feel like your program has made that big of a leap or whatever the reason may be then I say go with whatever floats your boat.

  8. I think Windows made the right call in skipping 9 to avoid confusion. It also generated significant publicity for them, which is always a good thing!

    Hope that Windows 10 will outshine Windows 8 in most, if not all ways.

  9. This is interesting, and the improvements sound solid as I would expect from Windows.

    I’d be interested to know what you think of the latest Chrome OS, I have just picked up the new HP Chromebook 14 and turned by back on Windows. Early signs for me are very positive, Chrome seems faster, smoother and life on the clouds is great!

    • Personally, (not David, but might as well weigh in) I find the Chromebooks limiting.
      I just feel like you can do so much more with Windows, though I do agree with you- it feels faster and smoother at times (especially without the amount of programs I have downloaded onto my Windows computer).
      Honestly, as a secondary computer- the Chromebook is excellent.
      But as a primary computer or a gaming computer… I don’t think it even works at all for any of the newer games.

  10. It still seems strange that they’ve skipped Windows 9. If true, it either feels like a silly stunt or poor forward planning. Regardless, I just hope that it’s a bit more stable than Windows 8 was on some machines. I found it really annoying at first.

  11. I just got a new computer with Windows 8 two months ago and now they are coming out with a new one. Slow down people! I can’t afford to keep updating my stuff. I am barely getting by here, I am so lucky to have a computer at all. While I’m sure there are plenty of people who are excited for new things, I feel like for many of us it is so hard to keep up and I do not look forward to the day when my current computer is no longer usable because it is obsolete. I fear that may happen all too quickly at the rate they are going these days.

    • Technology is moving at a quick pace, and as you fear there are computer models that are already “obsolete” by today’s standards. However, Windows 8 is still good enough if you do not expect hi-spec programs to run. For gamers though, it might spell a difference between a win and lose on some games.

  12. I really don’t know whether this is gonna be as great as they make it sound. The skepticism isn’t in vain though, I’m pretty sure the users who switched from Windows Vista to 7 to 8 would agree with me. I just hope that windows introduces the OS to users soon enough, even though I’m criticising it right now i like windows most by far than iOS or any other OS.

  13. For those of you who may not have had a chance to try it, you can download the development preview here:
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/preview-iso

    You’ll need Hyper-V if you use Windows 8, or some other hypervisor if not. Oracle’s VirtualBox is a great free one and you’ll likely be able to find a guide or two on how to spin up a virtual machine pretty easily.

    • Okay, thanks very much nonsiccus for the link!
      Although I’m probably not gonna try it for a bit, most likely I will try it in the future.
      However, to those who have tried it already:
      What are your initial impressions on it?
      Is it more similar to Windows 7 or 8 in your opinion?
      How are the new features?

      For those who answer it, thanks in advance…. I would like to see how other people think about this.

  14. I heard about this, they kind of rushed presenting it as Windows 9. Hopefully they won’t rush making it, because if this ends up as another Windows 8, it’s going to crap Microsoft. Anyways, I never update OS right when they come out, because that’s when errors/mistakes/glitches come to float. And so far I’m not really amazed by the features, but I’m sure they’ll add some breathtaking features in there.

  15. I think I have to see the new Windows for myself to see if I really like it and if it’s worth the number skip. ;D Hmmh, now you have me wondering why they skipped 9. These are the times I wish I could be a bug on the wall, and hear what the designers and executives are up to. 😀

  16. I tried reading through the entire article because I keep reading Windows 10 as Windows Eight. I can’t imagine having to test something like Windows 9, and then build codes and programs using the language, just to have it skipped. I think this must be one of those developer’s internal struggles being highlighted in a process-oriented approach. We have to keep on focusing on the progress.

  17. I often have to use a windows computer for work and will be excited to see the new features when this is released next year. I am definitely one of those people who is happy about the start bar.

  18. I’ve been sort of confused about this whole ordeal. I still miss the old windows start menu and was thrilled when I heard they would reinstate that in a windows 8 update or windows 9 as a free upgrade. I don’t know if this is the case anymore however.

    I hope windows 10 is going to be good. They always seem to make a good one and then a bad one, alternating like that between each release.

    I kind of like windows 8 now however. I’ve gotten used to it and it’s not that bad. 🙂

  19. I’m sticking to the Vista situation.

    I’ve been a windows user for year and I used to love Windows until they released Windows 8 and prior to that, Vista.

    Have you noticed how every 2nd Windows edition is….less good? Here’s an example:
    Windows ME that came out a long time ago was a total failure due to some serious security issues that it hadn’t covered up. Following up they released Windows XP instead which was a success that a lot of people bought. After that Windows Vista came out and much like ME it was pretty…terrible, but right after they released another successful operating system, Windows 7.

    Now that Microsoft decided to name their operating system Windows 10 and skipped Windows 9, I can’t wait to see whether it’s going to be another failure or not, much like Vista and ME.

    I shouldn’t be so judgementally fixed though. Let’s see what Microsoft has in store for us.

  20. I still can’t work out what happened to Windows 9! What happened to it? Or was it just a case of “seven ate nine”?

    • The assumption of many relates to the perception Microsoft seems to have a success followed by a failure when dealing with Windows versions, so they eliminated Windows version 9 to give the message that there will not be a failed version this time. Rather curious numbering option I must say. It reminds me of Winamp version 5, resulting from adding 2 + 3; there was no Winamp version 4.

  21. Yeah, part of why they chose 10 over 9 is that when you type “windows 9” into a search bar in your browser for example, you’ll get “windows 95” or “windows 98” in the autocomplete or even in the search results because of their precedence and their popularity at the time. It can get a little confusing and I think they want it to be as distinguished an OS as possible.

  22. It seems like Microsoft just doesn’t know what to do these days. They promote a product as the next best thing, ten they scrap it for a new one before people can get use to the first one. Hopefully Microsoft gets it act together.

Leave a Reply