Windows 10, Microsoft's next OS, will bring back some of your favorite features

Microsoft is skipping Windows 9, but provided just a few details on the new OS

Published: September 30, 2014 03:45 PM

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If you’ve been waiting for Windows 9, forget it. Microsoft today announced it is moving straight from Windows 8 to Windows 10, but it's bringing back a few elements of prior OS versions that some users have missed.

The company compared Windows 7 to a first-generation Prius and Windows 10 to a Tesla, without mentioning Windows 8 in that comparison. It evoked a similar mood felt during the Windows Vista era—Vista was not among the most popular versions of Windows.

In a very short press conference mostly geared to corporate users, the company said Windows 10 would be built for PCs, tablets, and phones. It’s building just one platform for all those devices, with a universal store and the same applications for all devices.

Live tiles (dynamic widgets that show real-time data), introduced in Windows 8, will remain in this OS, but the Start menu—popular among many Windows 7 users—is making a comeback, including options to shut down and restart Windows. The interface looked like a hybrid of Windows 7 and Windows 8, with a list of items down the side, and live tiles attached to the right of the list.

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A new taskbar button called Task View will debut. With Task View, you’ll see multiple desktops at the bottom of the screen, with individual windows containing open applications. You’ll be able to access different desktops with multiple apps in each individual area. It’s similar to Apple’s Mission Control.

Microsoft said to expect changes to the Charms bar, which currently lets you swipe to return to the Start screen, search, share content, or change settings. The company also said that so-called Modern Apps will no longer open in the Modern interface, which disoriented many Windows 8 users. We'll have to wait to find out exactly what that will look like.

More consumer-oriented features will be announced early in 2015, with Windows 10 available later next year.

—Donna Tapellini

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