They grow up so fast! Windows 9 teased

At the end of this post, I wrote “I’ll update this post as I learn more.” Well boy, did I learn more. You see, this post was written in two parts: I knew the reveal of the new Windows would happen today, and so I wrote up a post ahead of time in anticipation of that and based on what I knew. I was excited about the potential of it and the rebranding of the OS to “Windows,” which I thought would be a nice clean rebranding to avoid confusion as it unifies itself across a wide range of devices such as tablets, watches, PCs, consoles, and many other things.

However, at the unveil today, they skipped the expected “Windows 9” altogether, and instead are calling it Windows 10. That is unexpected, and according to them they are doing it because Windows 9 just didn’t represent the huge jump this version is going to be.

New tile-based Windows 10 start menu (Source: GigaOm)

New tile-based Windows 10 start menu (Source: TechCrunch)

Or maybe it’s because of this. Also, as you all know, “10” is “2” in binary. Think about it.

Either way, it was a surprise, although it showed a lot of what we expected. Tiled start bar, for example, and windowed apps. I’m also happy that we’ll be seeing a more robust command-line capability, the use of multiple desktops (which is a feature borrowed from Linux), and the smart arrangement of apps and windows. My favorite picture is from the Engadget gallery of the reveal, in which there is a slide that says “PXE Boot != Girl Punk Band.” What? News to me! (PXE allows machines to boot from a network drive, and != means “is not” in several programing languages).

Ability to arrange windows and utilize empty space (Source: ExtremeTech)

Ability to arrange windows and utilize empty space (Source: ExtremeTech)

Multiple desktops, each with their own apps and programs (Source: TechCrunch)

Multiple desktops, each with their own apps and programs (Source: TechCrunch, and I couldn’t find a larger image)

Virtual desktops in Ubuntu Linux (Source: ExtreemeTech)

Virtual desktops in Ubuntu Linux (Source: ExtreemeTech)

Here is a video in which Windows Vice-President Joe Belfiore introduces us to the new Windows, and if you are technically proficient or a risk-taker, you can download the preview of Windows 10 and try it out yourself, while providing feedback to Microsoft. My original post continues under the video, so you can see what changed and what stayed the same. I don’t like the name change as just “Windows” would have been better in my humble yet correct opinion, but I like everything else I see.

In the video, he shows two things I really like: The live-tile start menu, and being able to snap four windows to the main screen. I also like the open-program navigator and the use of space if something is snapped only to one side.

An interesting side note, here is an eerie article from last year that was meant as an April Fool’s joke. Quit playing with my head!

Here’s the original post I wrote:

Today is the big day. Microsoft is taking the wraps off its preview of Windows 9, code-named Threshhold, hot on the heels of what some consider to be the fiasco of Windows 8. They aren’t completely giving up on the ideas it incorporated, however, and are integrating its design ethos into the new OS, as is evident in the return of the start button and its Windows 8-inspired design.

They needed to do something since the Windows 8 roll-out has been considered by most to be a mess, and those PCs that have both the desktop and the tiled interface force jarring switches between the two, and the question becomes if the desktop is there, why have the tiled interface at all? On a side note, the tiled interface used to be known as Metro, but had to be changed because of a trademark issue.

The tiled, "Metro" interface.

The tiled, “Metro” interface.

The new version is anticipated to bring back the start menu, and in what I think is a very nice design move, incorporate the tiled design of Windows 8 into the start menu itself. There is also strong evidence that Windows will simply be called “Windows” on all platforms. So no Windows Phone, no Windows 9, no Windows RT, just “Windows” regardless of the platform you are using. That’s to avoid the confusion that has happened in the past, when systems like Vista and Windows 7 had multiple versions. Windows 7, for example, had Home, Home Premium, Starter, Ultimate, Professional, and Enterprise with each having different capabilities and functions and upgrading between them can be confusing since you can’t upgrade from all of them to all of another.

I’ll update this post as I learn more, but I have high hopes for this new version and I’m excited to see how it all plays out. Don’t screw it up, Microsoft!

Going Up