In a bid to keep their customers happy, Microsoft has ditched Windows 9 and gone straight to Windows 10, and they are bringing back the much missed Start Menu.
The new Windows 10 has been adapted to work with both mouse controlled computers and touch screen tablets and smartphones, so that people can have the same operating experience on all their devices.
It is thought that Microsoft decided to skip launching Windows 9 in an attempt to correct the flaws of the much maligned Windows 8. Joe Belfiore, corporate vice-president of operating systems, admitted that errors had been made in Windows 8, but revealed that this was because Microsoft was attempting to appeal to the growing touchscreen market:
“Windows 8’s focus on touch, the large start screen, the notion of apps running full-screen as they do on tablet devices…that was to salute the idea that this would be more productive,” Belfiore said. “But we didn’t get it right. With Windows 10, we think we got it right.”
Windows 8 split opinions, with some new customers adapting easily to the new layout, but many staunch fans of previous versions missed the logical feature of the Start Menu.
Terry Myerson, executive vice-president of operating systems, said the company was now operating in a “mobile-first, cloud-first world”, and had to adapt to that. Microsoft debuted the new software at an event in San Francisco, and demonstrated the new operating modes designed for touch screen controlled tablets, and one for PCs with mice and keyboard.
To compliment the two new user modes, there’s also a new feature called Continuum which allows people who are working with a desktop to view the new system in a classic desktop mode, but if they swap to a laptop it will suddenly switch to a tablet, touchscreen mode.
And although the Start Menu is back, the recognisable tiles of Windows 8 are still around, but this time users can resize and customise them around the Start Menu.
David Johnson, an analyst at Forrester Research, told the BBC:
“It’s extremely important for Microsoft to get Windows 10 right. The Start Menu is perhaps the most important thing that will make the desktop experience familiar to business users, and will help it reduce resistance to its installation. It is critically important.”
Myerson said that he hoped new users will appreciate the compromise between the tiled display and the Start Menu, but advised that the main reason for the change is to encourage people to use the system on a range of products:
“Windows 10 will run on the broadest amount of devices. A tailored experience for each device,” Myerson said.
Windows 10 will also feature a new Snap assist UI which allows users to split their screens into quarters, enabling them to work on different applications at the same time. And there’s just one single app store which caters for all devices.
“There will be one way to write a universal application, one store, one way for apps to be discovered purchased and updated across all of these devices,” Myerson added.
Microsoft are hoping that Windows 10 will bring customers back as at present, only 13.4pc of desktop PCs are running Windows 8, while 51.2pc still prefer Windows 7 and 23.9pc run Windows XP.
Windows 10 is due to be released in the middle of next year.