The countdown is on to the most eagerly awaited Microsoft operating system release in many years – Windows 10 – which will aim to banish the difficulties of previous systems and return lustre to the somewhat tarnished Microsoft name.
All set for summer
Windows 10 is due for release this summer, though with no definite date yet, and will be optimised for PCs and laptops, along with phones and tablets, the US tech giant said.
A strong hint of a late July rollout was given by Lisa Su, CEO of processor manufacturer AMD, a key Microsoft ally.
The announcement of the upcoming operating system was made as far back as September last year, and since then the excitement has been building for a replacement for the much-disliked Windows 8, and its 8.1 upgrade.
Looking for the perfect 10
The Richmond, Washington-based company has skipped the Windows 9 name for its new release, opting to go with the more impressive Windows 10.
Microsoft are aiming to achieve what Windows 8 couldn’t: an across-the-board appeal to workstations and high-speed gaming set-ups, through to notebooks, tablets and touchscreen PCs.
What we do know for certain has been derived from the Windows Technical Preview release late last year, which has been visited by almost 4m members of the group’s Windows Insider Program.
What we know
We have been told there will be no fewer than seven versions of the new OS – compared to only four for Windows 8.1. These include: Home, Mobile, Professional, Education and Enterprise. Crucially, Microsoft have also pledged that Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 licence holders will receive a free upgrade to Windows 10 within the first year of release.
Hopefully, the upgrade experience won’t be as long-winded and frustrating as many found the jump from Windows 8 to 8.1.
Time to upgrade
If you are in the market for a new PC it may well be worthwhile holding on until the new OS is up and running, to save any upgrading nightmares. This may also be the time to upgrade your broadband too – the optimum way to enjoy the full benefits of Windows 10 will be via fibre broadband, enabling a super-speedy, secure and dynamic online experience.
What to look forward to
Reviewers are reporting good things about Cortana, Microsoft’s ‘personal assistant’. This is well worth a shot, even if you have been underwhelmed by previous voice recognition programmes.
The new Windows browser is to be called Edge – it previously had the codename ‘Project Spartan’ – and it will replace the decrepit Internet Explorer with a pared down, sleeker system that owes a lot of Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox.
A final piece of vital Windows 10 breaking news is the return of an old favourite – no, I’m not talking about the Start button, thought it is also making a welcome comeback… it’s Solitaire! The addictive card game, bundled into every Windows OS since forever, is back with W10 after its sad omission from 8 and 8.1. Whether we’ll see a comeback for two other stalwarts, Hearts and Minesweeper, remains to be seen!