Microsoft has revealed its next version of Windows due in late 2015, Windows 10.
Yes, 10! Not nine, like the number the sequentially follows the last couple of iterations, Windows 7 and 8, but 10. Perhaps it's trying to distance itself from Windows 8 as much as it can, given the operating system's less than stellar reception.
While Windows 8 tried to use a tablet-like tile-heavy interface on a PC, much to many people's chagrin, Windows 10 will tailor its UI depending on the sort of device it's running on.
"Windows 10 will run across an incredibly broad set of devices - from the Internet of Things, to servers in enterprise datacenters worldwide," Microsoft stated in its blog announcement about the upcoming operating system. "Some of these devices have four inch screens - some have 80 inch screens - and some don't have screens at all. Some of these devices you hold in your hand, others are ten feet away. Some of these devices you primarily use touch/pen, others mouse/keyboard, others controller/gesture - and some devices can switch between input types."
"We're not talking about one UI to rule them all - we're talking about one product family, with a tailored experience for each device."
Windows VP Joe Belfiore demonstrated Windows 10's Start Menu in the following video. It's back to the good old-fashioned toolbar like the day of yore, though we get one of those fancy schmancy tile layouts once you actually click on the Start Menu.
You can also snap different apps to different quadrants of your screen and even create multiple desktops, each with their own toolbar. This is useful if you want to separate your work stuff from your play stuff without them crowding each other in the same interface.
Interestingly, the BBC noted that "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's most likely referring to the following image from Microsoft's Windows Blog that shows a screen with Ori and the Blind Forest and Need for Speed: Rivals on it next to a Kinect, signifying that Windows 10 will be compatible with the Xbox One.
Could this mean that Xbox One will be getting every Windows 10 game? When we posed the question to Microsoft, this was its reply, “Our focus at Xbox right now is on offering the best games this Holiday. We will have more to share on additional Xbox plans at a later date.”
We also asked if the images unveiled today show the next UI change for Xbox One, to which the Redmond-based software giant replied: “The Windows 10 technical preview showed an early sample of Windows 10 on the broadest types of devices, including Xbox One, which is the OS powering apps on the console. We will have more to share on our Xbox plans at a later date.”