Microsoft has announced more details about the new Windows 10 slated for release this fall. As is usual with Windows OS releases the information will be spotty with each announcement but will gradually tell us what to expect when the upgrade comes out.
Probably the most significant item in the list of many that were part of the announcement was that Windows 10 will be a FREE upgrade from not only Windows 8 & 8.1 but also from Windows 7. Reports do not give us the parameters of what will qualify for a free upgrade from Windows 7 but this is significant since Windows 7 is still the prominent version of the Windows OS useed worldwide. Of course one of the key things will be the hardware profile that will permit the upgrade to Windows 10 and what features of the software will be most critically available on hardware that supports Windows 7.
Certainly many of the new features of Windows 10 are going to be oriented to support on touch screen enabled hardware as was the case with Windows 8. The ability to use these newer platforms with hardware that is keyboard and mouse focused has been one of the big issues that is evident with much of the Windows 8 & 8.1 releases and it would be expected to continue to be an issue with Windows 10. Many reviewers are suggesting since many computers running Windows 7 are getting pretty old that much of the push for the shift to the new OS will be driven by hardware replacement.
This may be good news for hardware manufacturers since it might see those reluctant to upgrade and be forced to move to Windows 8.1 (the current release delivered on most new computers today) willing to take the leap to Windows 10. For businesses with large install bases it may be easier to see their change to bypass Windows 8 and go to Windows 10 directly. Of course the biggest issue for many business upgrades is the willingness for vendors of key business operating software programs to develop the upgrade versions needed to support the new OS. This reluctance has been an additional impediment for businesses thinking of moving from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 or pushed to do so with new hardware purchases.
According to recent articles in IT World Canada one of the key features of the new operating system is the strength of the personal assistant Cortana which is built into the interface. This tool is designed to make ti easier for users to address many of the underlying tools in the software and it will be interesting to see whether it really works.
One of the objectives of recent Windows upgrades has been the ability to provide a more common interface for mulitiple modes of device; mobile, tablet, laptop, workstation and large format. With Windows 10 this is promised with the intent that utility across multiple modes including a proposed large format display with touch capability and ultra high resolution will be available.
For the millions of users who are happy in the PC interface the promise of a new enhanced operating system designed to take advantage of the recent advances in hardware technology is to be welcomed. For many this fall is too far away and they will be looking to try to figure out how they might get this upgrade sooner.
Photo Credit: By Microsoft Corporation (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons