In this guest post, Abby Perkins from Software Providers shares her insight into what’s coming with Windows 10 and how it will function for users of desktops, laptops, and mobile devices.
Microsoft is a large company (the sixth biggest in the world by market cap), and its customer base reflects the company’s size. Unlike Apple’s customers, Microsoft’s tend to display less brand loyalty across products. The product that unifies all of Microsoft is the Windows operating system. Microsoft’s challenge with the upcoming release of Windows 10 is holding its large family of customers together. Here is how the tech giant plans on meeting everyone’s demands.
One operating system for all devices
Windows 10 will be designed to run on all devices. Microsoft believes its operating system is simple enough to run on the most basic smartphone yet sophisticated enough to keep businesses’ most demanding servers running smoothly. It has also designed the newest version of Windows to run on every size screen, from 4 inches to 80 inches.
Mobile device management for all
Many businesses already use mobile device management (MDM) to manage all portable devices used for work. Most MDM systems are specifically designed for mobile, however. There are not many smooth ways to move from a desktop computer or server to a smartphone. Windows 10 will change that—Microsoft is expanding MDM to all windows-based devices, including the immobile ones. Mobile is not just for mobile anymore!
Bring back the start menu
If Windows had a mascot, it would be the start menu. Since Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0, the start menu has been an integral and iconic part of the operating system. It is what Apple’s operating system does not have.
Microsoft will bring the start menu back for larger devices with Windows 10. It did away with the menu in Windows 8, which catered to touch-screen devices. With Windows 10, Microsoft hopes to integrate the modern feel of Windows 8, including its touch-screen sensitivities, with beloved standby features of Windows 7 and prior versions.
In Windows 10, the start menu will be highly customizable, letting users decide how to strike the balance between the modernity of Windows 8 and the tried-and-true features of prior versions. Users will be able to set both the height and width of the menu. The left side will feature a list of applications, as traditional start menus do, and the right side will have app icons like Windows 8 does. Users will be able to select which icons they want to appear and the size of visible icons.
Going back to Windows
With Windows 8, Microsoft abandoned its operating system’s namesake feature: windows. Instead of opening in a window, most apps take up the full screen in Windows 8. Windows 10 will once again feature the tiling windows that can be opened, minimized and closed, at least when it is used on computers. Apps will take up the full screen on tablets, phones and other mobile devices. Devices that can be used as a tablet and laptop will let the user choose whether they want a traditional desktop or an app-based interface.
Zooming In and Out
For the Apple-envious members of the Windows family, Windows 10 will include the same zoom-out feature for selecting open programs that Macs and Chromebooks currently have. Users on touch-screen devices will be able to zoom out and see all open applications; clicking on one will pull it up. You will also be able to switch between multiple workspaces, just like you can on a Macbook, and zoom in by pinching on touch screens.
Keeping Everyone Happy
Will Microsoft be able to keep its entire family of customers happy with Windows 10? Can every device be run on one operating system? Will businesses and Apple-envy consumers both be happy with the features included for them? WIll Microsoft find the right balance between app-based touch screen computing and old-fashioned Windows familiarity?
We will have to wait until Windows 10 is released next year to find out. For now, Microsoft is still working on developing the operating system that will appease everyone in the family.
Abby Perkins is Editor in Chief at Software Providers, where she writes about people, technology, and business solutions.