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Windows 10 Is Coming

Microsoft has been working hard on a new Windows operating system release that will be made available later this year. Windows 10 is currently in the final stages of preparation and should be ready for roll-out to 190 countries this summer.* Early indications are that Microsoft will make a Windows 10 upgrade available at no cost to users of Windows 7, 8 and 8.1. Their hope is to garner early acceptance of this new OS among their corporate clientele, moving them from ver. 7 straight to ver. 10.

Opting to skip version 9 to go straight to version 10 was more than a marketing decision for Microsoft. The less than stellar acceptance of Windows 8 and 8.1—designed more for touch screen use in tablets and smartphones than desktop computers—have caused the company to reemphasize their core business, the corporate enterprise. Thus, Windows 10. An operating system that promises to be right at home in the corporate enterprise and other desktop environments.

Among the new features announced by Microsoft is a browser that will eventually take the place of Internet Explorer. This new browser has “features tailored to the modern Internet…emphasizing reading and allowing for tools like the integration of Microsoft’s voice-activated assistant (called Cortana) and annotation of Web pages.”* Internet Explorer will continue to be shipped with desktop and laptop computers for those clients who depend on legacy applications.

Another new feature being discussed is a login screen activated by facial recognition or thumbprint. While this technology has been around for awhile, Microsoft joins Apple, Google and other tech giants in the move toward doing away with typed passwords. These companies have known for years that typed passwords are inherently insecure and that countless users have notoriously weak passwords.

As a Windows user, I look forward to seeing what Windows 10 has to offer. While Windows 8 received low acceptance and lots of negative press because of its UI (user-interface) and lack of a “Start” button, I found it to be quick, reliable and very easy to navigate. Some features were easier navigate with the Start button, but the alternative in Win 8 was not a deal breaker for me.

Nevertheless, the ball in in Microsoft’s court. It is up to them to listen to their client base and stay close to their core business. Doing that while still trying to make inroads into the smartphone and tablet world will not be easy, especially considering the behemoth Microsoft has become. Yes, they have trimmed some fat and the new CEO has a different point of view than Steve Ballmer did, but the road ahead still has some potholes they need to navigate.

More to come…

* See http://venturebeat.com/2015/03/17/microsoft-is-launching-windows-10-this-summer-in-190-countries-111-languages/
** © The Seattle Times, March 17, 2015,  http://www.seattletimes.com/business/microsoft/passwords-may-be-pass-in-next-microsoft-windows/
Also see http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/03/17/microsoft-internet-explorer-project-spartan/24909091/.