Microsoft has just recently announced that its next operating system, known as Windows 10, will launch some time early next year. I sat down with my friends at WBIR to discuss the new OS, and what we can expect.
To add to what I say in the video, I had the opportunity this morning to hear the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, speak at the Gartner Symposium ITxpo2104 and he had some additional things to say about the next generation of operating systems coming from Microsoft. Let's dive in to a few of his comments.
First and foremost, what happened to Windows 9? Microsoft has been tight lipped as to the exact reason for the jump in naming scheme (though there are some interesting theories out there), except to say that "It wouldn't be right" to call it Windows 9… Whatever that means. When asked directly, Nadella jokingly responded simply that "It came, and it went"… Nothing new or helpful there. Not that I really matters.
Another interesting topic that Satya tackled was that of the user interface. In the segment I point out that previously, Microsoft was pushing a singular interface across all devices. This interface made sense if you had a touch screen device, but maybe not so much if you were using a standard laptop or desktop. The Metro interface, which I personally like, was not well received in the market place and people are seemingly more attached to their desktops and start menu than Microsoft guessed. Nadella admitted that Microsoft "got it wrong" with Windows 8, and now they are pursuing a "consistent experience" but one that will have unique characteristics to the device type you're using. Nadella made it clear that Microsoft was "in it to win it" when it comes to mobility, but his vision for mobility is somewhat different than most of what you'll read today in the industry. Nadella sees mobility as a user and app discussion, and not simply a discussion and "celebration of the latest handheld device". Combined with this, Satya explained that a common control plain is needed to help facilitate all this seamlessly. I think this helps further explain his idea for "consistent experience" as being bigger than simply a user interface, which should let all the die hard Windows Start Menu lovers out there breathe a little easier.
One additional note on this common control plain, Nadella briefly discussed the Internet of Things, putting forward the idea that they intent on being a strong force in that segment. He mentioned several times that some "core" of Windows would be able to run across a multitude of devices, allowing enterprises to consistently manage them. So when discussing the statement of "Windows 10 will run on all devices", its important to hear that it is just a "core" of Windows, which we've seen traces of this previously in Windows Server Core and Windows RT. This is NOT to say that the desktop OS will run on your smart watch.