Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Download Windows 10 tomorrow and shape the future of Microsoft's new OS


Microsoft yesterday announced the launch of Windows 10. You can be the first to download the technical preview tomorrow by signing up to the Windows Insider Program. As an IT pro or PC expert, you will gain exclusive access to the beta and help craft what Windows 10 will become. 

For those eager to get hands-on with the technical previews for Windows Server and associated management tools, i'm afraid you're going to have to wait a little longer. These will be launched 'soon after', which roughly translates to 6-8 weeks.

So let's take a closer look at the new launch....

What to expect in Windows 10

Although it's early days in the development of the new OS, Microsoft's statement of intent is clear. Skipping Windows 9 and going straight to Windows 10 suggests that the new OS is less of an incremental improvement,  but an aspirational phase shift to a new generation of Windows Operating systems.

In fact, that's almost word for word what Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Operating Systems group at Microsoft said:

Windows 10 represents the first step of a whole new generation of Windows, unlocking new experiences to give customers new ways to work, play and connect. This will be our most comprehensive operating system and the best release Microsoft has ever done for our business customers,” 

In summary: Expect big things from Windows 10. With a focus on the Enterprise.

New Features

Although specific details are yet unclear, we've been given an advanced screening of what to expect in tomorrow's technical preview:

Start menu: Back by popular demand, the Start returns bringing with it customization features allowing you to add your favorite Live Tiles and Apps.

Everything runs in a window: Just like when opening standard desktop applications, the Windows Store Apps will now open in in the same format. Windows can be resized and moved around with the standard maximize, minimize and close buttons also included.

Snap enhancements: It is now possible to open 4 apps on the same screen with a new quadrant layout. This allows rapid transition between applications improving the ability to mutli-task. Should the 'quadrant layout' not contain 4 apps, Windows will suggest other apps with smart suggestions to fill additional screen space.

Multiple desktops: It's now possible to create different desktops for projects, purposes and jobs roles. A desktop for every occasion so to speak. These can be switched between with consummate ease.

New task view button: Transition rapidly between open files and desktops using the new task-view button found in the taskbar.

Find files faster: File Explorer has been upgraded to include a display of recent files and frequently visited folders.

Check out this video from Joe Belfiore,Vice President for Windows, where he introduces you to all the aforementioned features:

What the experts are saying

Whenever a new system is launched, everyone has an opinion. Having perused my way through every Windows 10 launch article imaginable, here's the buzz.

The Register - Iain Thomson
Microsoft unwraps WINDOWS 10. Evidently, Seven ate Nine

"It's very early days yet, and what we've seen so far is only a small facet of what's coming for Windows 10 and its apparent focus on the enterprise sector. More consumer features will be announced in the coming months but, based on the sneak peek, this new OS may get Microsoft back in the good books of enterprise buyers."

The Next Web - Roberto Baldwin
Hands on with the Windows 10 preview build

"Microsoft made certain the audience understood that we were seeing an early build of its next operating system. Early build or not, for power users that demand multi-tasking, the oddly named Windows 10 looks ready to help you get everything done."

BBC Technology - Richard Taylor
Microsoft unveils Windows 10 system with Start Menu

"The user interface feels familiar yet modern. The "dual mode" - which aimed to satisfy tablet and PC users, but alienated both - has been replaced with a dynamically-adjusting interface and behaviour, determined by whether you are using a keyboard/mouse, or touch."

"Ultimately Windows 10 success will depend on its execution. But at least under the new leadership, Microsoft is showing it is listening. It needs to if it is to stay relevant and stop the march of Android and Apple."

Techcrunch - Alex Wilhelm and Frederic Lardinois
Microsoft Announces Windows 10

"One thing Microsoft clearly learned from the experience with Windows 8 is that if it wants to build a single operating system and user interface for every device, it can’t just optimize for edge cases."

Techworld - Juan Carlos Perez
With Windows 10, a contrite Microsoft will try to atone for Windows 8 mistakes

"Humbled by businesses' dislike for Windows 8, Microsoft has issued a mea culpa, offered the world a first peek at Windows 10 and pledged that the new OS will delight IT executives. But the true test of whether Microsoft can move past its Windows 8 mistakes will come when Windows 10 is commercially released at some point next summer."

Make your own decision

Come this time tomorrow, you could already be getting to grips with Windows 10 and making your own opinion on Windows 10. As well as perhaps making some credible suggestions on how Microsoft can make it better.

I for one will be first to put my name down to see what's in store. Exciting times lie ahead.

About the Author

As part of Firebrand's global marketing team, Edward actively works to serve the IT community with news, reviews and technical how to guides. Working in the industry for almost 3 years, Edward has a wide variety of experience with Microsoft Technologies including SharePoint, Windows Server and Exchange Server. Edward is an active member of the IT community contributing to a variety of tech publications including Microsoft TechNet, Channel Pro and PC Advisor.