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Tuesday September 30, 2014 11:34 am

Windows 10: Microsoft previews the next iteration of Windows

Microsoft Windows 10

Today, Microsoft officially announced the next version of Windows: Windows 10. If you’re confused, you’re not alone. The currently-available version of Windows is 8.1, which means that Microsoft has inexplicably decided to forego version 9 altogether. Rumors that the next version would be called Windows TH, Windows One, or Windows 9 have now been dashed—Windows 10 is the future of Microsoft’s desktop operating system. It’s also still technically the 9th release of Windows.

At an unveiling event earlier today, the company called Windows 10 the “most comprehensive platform ever,” as it will run on all displays, from 4-inches and up. That means Windows 10 will run on phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, servers, and high definition television screens. “Windows 10 will deliver the right experience on the right device at the right time," said Microsoft's Terry Myerson. "Windows 10 will run on the broadest types of devices ever."

Optimists will say that Microsoft is listening to all of the negative backlash that was met with the release of Windows 8, taking in that feedback, and reverting a bunch of changes to give customers what they want. Others will point out that Windows 10 looks like a mashup of the beloved Windows 7 and the polarizing Windows 8, with a bunch of Mac OS X features (like Expose and Mission Control) thrown in, and is an obvious step backwards. We see both sides of the argument, but it’s also very early to tell, as Windows 10 won’t ship until late 2015.

You won’t have to wait that long if you want to get your hands on it, as Microsoft is rolling out a Windows 10 Technical Preview, which will allow “Insiders” early access, starting tomorrow. Additionally, all Insiders will be able to give feedback about any and all features, bugs, and anything else directly back to Microsoft through a dedicated feedback app that will be built in to the software. Microsoft says it wants to build the new Windows with the users.

Microsoft put together a video showing off just a few of the changes that it thinks will make people fall in love with Windows all over again, which includes the return of the old-school Start Menu, now with Live Tile integration. Task View is basically OS X Expose, allowing you to see all apps that are running concurrently for multitasking improvements, and search bars are now found in the Start Menu and task bar areas, and will pull in both local results as well as Bing search results from the web.

You’ll be able to sign up for the Windows 10 Technical Preview starting tomorrow.

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