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Microsoft Unveils Windows 10 Preview: The Hybrid of Windows 7 and Windows 8

by Felix Omondi

Microsoft Unveils Windows 10 Preview: The Hybrid of Windows 7 and Windows 8

September 30, 2014. Microsoft puts an end to the speculations going around the internet about its next Windows operating system (OS). On Monday we featured an article about Microsoft unveiling its next Windows, which we speculated will be called Windows 9, while others speculated it would be named Windows Threshold. Yesterday, Microsoft put all these speculations to rest, by christening its latest operating system: Windows 10.

Microsoft Unveils Windows 10 Preview: The Hybrid of Windows 7 and Windows 8

Microsoft has described its new OS as the “most comprehensive platform ever,” that will give users a customized experience across all hardware on just a single platform family.

Windows 10 will deliver the right experience on the right device at the right time. Windows 10 will run on the broadest types of devices ever,” – said, Microsoft’s Terry Myerson.

According to the statement above, we should expect a unique user interface for every different device running the new Windows 10. Currently, Microsoft has three main different OS: Windows 8 for the conventional PCs and tablets, Windows Phone 8 for smartphones and the Xbox for the Microsoft gaming console.

By merging all these system into a singular OS, Windows 10 is set to give developers an easier time in terms of creating apps for the various Windows-operating devices. From the consumer’s point of view, switching from one device to another will be much easier, and you will no longer have to buy the same apps over and over for use on the different devices.

However, this is not to say that the apps will look exactly the same across all of your devices. Developers still have to customize the apps for each particular device; with regards to the different screen sizes, but they won’t have to start from scratch for each device.

Microsoft Unveils Windows 10 Preview: The Hybrid of Windows 7 and Windows 8

Microsoft came out too strong with the touch feature, on Windows 8. This made it not to have such a great run once it was deployed in the mass market; probably because it was more suited to users on the touch-screen devices, and less efficient to users with keyboards and mice. Although, it makes a lot of sense as to why Microsoft took that approach. More and more people are turning to touch-screen mobile devices (tablets and smartphones) for their everyday computing needs. Traditional PCs and laptops with keyboards and mice are becoming less efficient as they are just not as mobile, which led to a significant drop PC sales.

Microsoft, the biggest producer in the PC software market, stands to lose greatly with the declining PC sales. Windows 10, is seen as Microsoft’s remedy to this situation. It is said to be tailor-made to suit both touch-screen mobile devices (tablets and smartphones), while still maintaining the loyalty of longtime PC users using keyboards and mice who found Windows 8 not efficient for their operations.

The success of Windows 10 will be very crucial for Microsoft as it seeks to adapt to the growing popularity of touch-screen devices. At the same time not sacrificing on the traditional computing experience on keyboard-and-mouse devices (desktop PCs and laptops).

Windows 10 is seen as a hybrid of Windows 7 and Windows 8 in this sense. Windows 7 is the best OS for conventional PC users, while Window 8 is rather more suited for the contemporary computing needs on touch-screen mobile devices. Windows 8 failed to garner much popularity among the traditional users, which makes up the biggest percentage of Microsoft’s market. Simply put, it presented users a whole new different User Interface that was not only, not suitable to their hardware, but also not fast to learn. Thereby compromising on their efficiency, especially the enterprise consumers, to whom time and efficiency mean money, but the home consumers were relatively more forgiving and accommodating.

According to analysts, a gradual transition would have made Windows 8 more popular and persuade more users still on Windows 7 to make the transition to Windows 8. This is what Windows 10 is intended to achieve: having a little bit of the old, and a little bit of the new. This  makes some describe it as the “Windows 7.5”.

This is what Windows 8 should have been. Here they are doing the right thing,” – Carolina Milanesi, from the research firm, Kantar Wordpanel.

The new OS has some familiarity of the Windows 7, while still availing the benefits on Windows 8. Windows 10 offers you newer and better ways to use or navigate through files as you would in Windows 7, without forcing you to abandon your old ways, which is exactly what Windows 8 did.

Joe Belfiore, a Microsoft executive in charge of Windows design and evolution. Likened Windows 10 to the process of buying a new car fitted with a more powerful engine and an improved audio system, but does not force you start learning how to drive from scratch.

We’re designing the experience so that you use it, the things you already know are familiar and present, but new value is presented to you at a rate that’s easier for you to ingest.” – Joe Belfiore.

Windows 10 has brought back the ‘Start Menu’ like in Windows 7 but still maintaining some hints of Windows 8. Making it feel new, but still quite familiar. Another new feature is the ‘Task View’ button sitting on the taskbar. It looks quite docile but when you click on it, you are taken to an awesome multitasking view synonymous with Apple’s OS X Expose feature. From here, you can get multiple desktops and easily switch between them with a lot of ease and manage multiple apps in different workspaces. This feature is quite new to Windows but has existed in OS X and Linux/ Unix.

Microsoft Unveils Windows 10 Preview: The Hybrid of Windows 7 and Windows 8

But unlike in its competition, Windows 10 has employed Microsoft’s productivity-focused snap views into the ‘Task View’ feature. Enabling you to snap apps like you would in Windows 7 & 8, but with a new prompt suggesting the various apps that can snapped together or can be windowed in a more complex fashion. We can’t deny users will have some bit of learning to do with this feature, in order to make the most out of it.

The Tuesday event was for the unveiling of the Windows 10 early “technical preview”. More improvement will be done to it, and Microsoft says it will begin selling to the mass market sometime in the middle of the year 2015. The company also fell short of stating just how much Window 10 will cost or how it will be distributed. But analysts are speculating that Microsoft might be thinking of a subscription model, like it did with its Ms-Office software; instead of selling each new Windows version separately.

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