Microsoft skips Windows 9 to emphasize advances

Microsoft skips Windows 9 to emphasize advances
This image provided by Microsoft shows the start menu of Windows 10, the company's next version of its flagship operating system. The company is skipping version 9 to emphasize advances it is making toward a world centered on mobile devices and Internet services. (AP Photo/Microsoft)

The next version of Microsoft's flagship operating system will be called Windows 10, as the company skips version 9 to emphasize advances it is making toward a world centered on mobile devices and Internet services.

The current version, Windows 8, has been widely derided for forcing radical behavioral changes. Microsoft is restoring some of the more traditional ways of doing things and promises that Windows 10 will be familiar for users regardless of which version of Windows they are now using.

For instance, the start menu in Windows 10 will appear similar to what's found in Windows 7, but tiles opening to the side will resemble what's found in Windows 8.

Joe Belfiore, a Microsoft executive who oversees Windows design and evolution, said Windows 10 will offer "the familiarity of Windows 7 with some of the benefits that exist in Windows 8" to help business users make the transition.

Microsoft offered a glimpse of its vision for Windows at a San Francisco event Tuesday aimed at business customers. Microsoft is making a technical preview version available to selected users starting Wednesday. It plans to unveil details about consumer features early next year, with a formal release in mid-2015.

Analysts consider the success of the new Windows crucial for Microsoft and new CEO Satya Nadella, who must show that Microsoft can embrace without sacrificing the traditional computing experience.

The new software represents an attempt to step back from the radical redesign that alienated many PC users when Windows 8 was introduced two years ago. But it's not a complete retreat from Microsoft's goal of bridging the gap between PCs and mobile devices: It still has touch-screen functions and strives to create a familiar experience for Windows users who switch between desktop computers, tablets and smartphones.

Microsoft executive Terry Myerson said Windows 10 will be "a whole new generation" and, as expected, will work across a variety of devices—from phones to gaming consoles.

Microsoft currently has three main systems—Windows 8 for traditional computers and tablets, Windows Phone 8 for cellphones and Xbox for its gaming console. By unifying the underlying systems, software developers will be able to create apps for the various devices more easily. Consumers will also be able to switch devices more easily and avoid having to buy the same apps multiple times.

That doesn't mean the apps will look the same on the various devices. Developers will still be able to adapt apps for the various screen sizes, but won't have to start from the beginning for each version.

User interfaces on the various devices may also differ, even as they share underlying technologies. For now, Microsoft plans to keep the current Xbox interface on the game console.


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Sep 30, 2014
They're skipping 9 because Microsoft will have to go back and create Windows 9 after 10 becomes another major flop. Then everyone with Windows 10 will get a free upgrade to Windows 9, which will have the traditional start menu like Windows 7.

Sep 30, 2014
Windows is becoming a sad joke that isn't even worth making fun of. Win 7 is still the only real option for desktop users that want to remain productive. Win 8 proved that MS has little interest in givings customer what they want.

The consistent user interface of windows and monopoly of MS Office are the two key points that windows had for businesses. I can put a long term MS Office/windows user in front of a KDE based Linux desktop running LibreOffice and they are more comfortable with that after 10 minutes that they are with win 8 running MS Office which has become the more alien combination...

Rob
Sep 30, 2014
I am sorry, but there is no difference between windows 7 and 8 on a desktop in the long term. You can configure 8 to behave like 7 and forget that it even has metro. Just because it is confusing and weird to start, it does not mean that it is less productive over the long term. That said, I'd prefer not to have to de-windows8 win8 and still get the faster boot times and other improvements over win7.

Sep 30, 2014
this sounds like a joke to me. come on phys org, pull the other one

Sep 30, 2014
I have to agree. I've had basically the same layout on my desktop since win95 and it didn't take me but about an hour to configure 8 and then 8.1 to look the same way. I've had no problems with 8 or 8.1 other than not being able to run dos basic and a few old programs like that. Since there are modern versions of everything I couldn't run anymore that hasn't been much of a problem either. I almost never have to use the metro screen stuff. I really don't see what the big fuss has been about. If you don't want to use the pad stuff don't use it. It's that simple.

Sep 30, 2014
I think they're skipping 9 because they've already used 9 in Win 95 and Win 98 and they don't want people making making fun of the new system by associating it with those old systems.

Sep 30, 2014
Funnily enough, I could use a system that runs Win95, because I've got a 1998 CD-ROM catalogue whose 'front end' will not run on anything later...

Oct 01, 2014
Funnily enough, I could use a system that runs Win95, because I've got a 1998 CD-ROM catalogue whose 'front end' will not run on anything later...

Win98 should be able to run it. About a year ago I figured out how to install Win98SE on a newer machine that it was never supposed to run on. If you do enough research it can be done. Drivers may refuse to install, but once you learn enough you can force them to install even if installation routines say they can't.

The upshot is that the operating system runs like a son-of-a-bitch. I have that machine on my KVM switch and only use it for certain old apps. I crack up laughing every time W98 starts up or shuts down. It is unbelievably fast! Helps you understand what bloatware OS'es Microsoft produces every generation. MS seems to assume hardware advances in speed and capacity belong to them, not you!

Oct 01, 2014
"developers will be able to create apps for the various devices more easily"
So there will be no console only games any more and developers can code their games for PC, because they do not need to migrate the game afterwards to the console section. This will be much better then the other way round. It will also give MS an advantage towards Sony.

Oct 01, 2014
I am sorry, but there is no difference between windows 7 and 8 on a desktop in the long term.

Superfically.

But all the system settings and configurations are still scattered all over the place with some settings accessible by the metro interface, others by right-clicking various bits and bobs, and the stupid design changes in how the system works are still there.

For example, I just learned that the font rendering in Win8 no longer uses sub-pixel rendering but simple anti-aliasing. This makes small fonts more blurry because subpixel rendering allowed to trade color accuracy for accurate edges, whereas anti-aliasing just smears the pixels to blend them in.

It works if you have tiny tablet device screens with hundreds of DPI at your disposal so you have to use huge font sizes anyhow, but not on ordinary PC monitors where you might want to use your screen-estate to actually fit more stuff in.


Oct 01, 2014
All this churn about the damn name is a hint. Marketing trumping actual substance. Remember back when products kept the same name, and version numbers offered a clue as to the degree of change? If Vista were instead labeled, say "DOS 9.0", this would more honestly be named something like "DOS 9.3".

Oct 01, 2014
I am sorry, but there is no difference between windows 7 and 8 on a desktop in the long term. You can configure 8 to behave like 7 and forget that it even has metro.

So why would I want to upgrade (read: pay) for windows 8?

In any case: it has proven quite useful to skip every second OS they put out.

Oct 01, 2014

So why would I want to upgrade (read: pay) for windows 8?


Because aside the user interface disaster and botched features, it's about 50% faster and more efficient than windows 7?

It's about a third faster to start and stop, and enter sleep modes, and it uses about 10% less cpu/ram resources.

Oct 01, 2014
i actually make quite a bit scaling win 8 back to win 7. and i expect i will still be busy when win 10 comes out. People do not like change, on the whole, and for those who like to know where things are, people like myself are always more than happy to help them out.

Oct 23, 2014
Here is Microsoft's logic: scatter the same settings all over the OS, change the interface, remove features, remove compatibility for hardware and software and call it a new OS. Most people won't realize the bait and switch. The failed logic is this, for the little performance gain due to the upgrade, people who miss the features and compatibility are lost. So for each upgrade, Apple and Linux gain momentum. From windows XP to windows 7, it took more clicks and more time to do the same task ( FYI just because the OS boots a little faster is not justification for constant pain of using OS ). Now with windows 8, it takes more click, waiting, and even more swipes. For what you ask? To please those who love spending time tweaking and tinkering with an OS instead of using the applications which are supposed to run on an OS. The gratification of upgrading to windows 10 will be getting back features which are available in windows 7 or even windows xp? Who pulled the plug on common sense?

Oct 23, 2014
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