Microsoft unveils Windows 10 with Start Menu

Microsoft has disclosed the first details of Windows 10 – its
next operating system (OS).
The name is a surprise bearing in mind it represents a jump
from the last version – Windows 8.
The software will run on a wide range of devices from
smartphones and tablets to PCs and Xbox games consoles,
with applications sold from a single store.
It also marks the return of the Start Menu, which had been
removed from Windows 8.
In addition to offering a list of the user’s favourite
applications, the menu also brings up resizable tiles –
similar to those featured in Windows 8’s touch-centric
interface – on PCs and tablets.
These provide a quick view of notifications from relevant
applications, such as details of new emails, Facebook
messages and weather forecast updates.
The company said the facility was intended to make the
software seem familiar to both users of Windows 8 and
Windows 7.
The behaviour of the OS will depend on the type of device it
is being used on. Unlike its predecessor, users will not need
to switch between Desktop Mode and the touch-focused
alternative.
However, they can still spread a number of “live tiles” across
the screens of two-in-one laptop-tablet hybrids to make
them easier to use with both a mouse and finger presses.
Windows 8 had been criticised for being too different to the
previous version, which deterred some organisations from
introducing it.
It initially lacked a Start button altogether, and when one
was introduced it only switched to the touch-centric tiled
interface or – if a long mouse press was used – provided
access to the system’s control panel and other functions.
Businesses typically wait about a year after a new operating
system’s release before offering it to workers to give IT staff
a chance to get to grips with the new technologies involved.
But it has been nearly two years since Windows 8 first went
on sale and adoption is still low.
“It’s extremely important for Microsoft to get Windows 10
right,” said David Johnson, who covers Microsoft for the
consultancy Forrester.
“Windows 8 is only being offered to employees by about one
in five organisations right now. Windows 7 is still the de
facto standard for enterprise in the desktop environment.
“For Microsoft to continue to be able to get the best and
latest technology in the hands of the enterprise workforce all
over the world, it has to have a vehicle to do that – and
Windows 9 is its best shot.”

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