Microsoft sends revival message, names next OS ‘Windows 10’
Redmond learns Win-8 lessons; dual-mode prototype embraces touch, productivity
Microsoft Corp has elected to skip a numeral in naming its next operating system, opting for "Windows 10", online media reported.
Redmond may have been trying to put some distance between the new platform and the much-maligned Windows 8, which met with little affection from enterprise and consumer users. Enterprise migration was particularly slow amid complaints from early adopters that the touch-optimised OS was ill-suited to productivity tasks. There was also widespread condemnation of Microsoft's decision to abandon the Start button, which had been present since Windows 95.
In a prototype of the new OS, two modes are provided, one for touch operation and one for traditional keyboard-and-mouse use.
Windows still runs on the vast majority of desktops and notebooks, but on only 14% of devices, according to Gartner figures cited by Reuters. Since taking over in February, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has acknowledged the shrinking PC market by steering the firm towards a single mobile-and-cloud strategy, in an effort to win mobile users. He presided over the launch of Microsoft Office for the Apple iPad, as part of ongoing efforts to put Microsoft products on some of the world's more popular form factors.
Microsoft's head of operating systems, Terry Myerson, hailed Windows 10 - which had been referred to internally as "Threshold" and almost everywhere else as "Windows 9" - as "our greatest enterprise platform ever," at an event in San Francisco.
"Windows 10 adapts to the devices customers are using, from Xbox to PCs and phones to tablets and tiny gadgets," said Myerson.
Windows 10 is slated for a spring 2015 launch.