Microsoft unveiled Windows 10 at an event in San Francisco today, lifting the lid off the highly anticipated Windows upgrade, though not under its expected name, before a gathered group of journalists and analysts.
Microsoft's Terry Myerson said the new Windows needed to be built from the ground up for a "mobile-first, cloud-first world," the mantra Microsoft has adopted ever since CEO Satya Nadella took over.
To that end, Windows 10 will run on more types of devices than ever before, and Microsoft will bring forth a single application platform, complete with one integrated Store, to deliver Windows experiences across devices.
Myerson called Windows 10 "our most comprehensive platform ever." Windows 10 is scalable across devices big and small, and developers can create across platforms using a "core common code."
You may notice Microsoft jumped straight from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, leapfrogging the expected Windows 9 release. Myerson maintained that when users get their hands on the new OS, they'll see "Windows 10" is more fitting than "Windows 9."
Beginning tomorrow, Microsoft is launching a Windows Insider Program. A preview of Windows 10 is due out next week, and Microsoft expects to ship the OS later in 2015.
Windows 9 ... er 10 ... for enterprise
The event was billed as an enterprise-focused affair, and Myerson wasted no time getting into the business side of things.
According to Microsoft, Windows 10 offers a modern management platform that provides familiar, compatible and productive service.
Enterprises will get a chance to try an early version of Windows 10 before anyone else. The new OS will be able to run all of Microsoft's legacy Windows enterprise apps.
IT managers will be able to create customized internal app stores for employees to access, and managing Windows 10 should be a streamlined breeze as it will be accessible on phones, tablets, PCs and more.
Windows 10 features
By design, Windows 10 has some clear hark-backs to Windows 7.
The company wanted to give users something familiar to work with, a complaint that plagued the jarring Windows 8.
For example, the traditional Windows 7 Snap View works in classic and universal apps on Windows 10.
Microsoft also wanted to make its OS more novice-friendly to help them multitask better on the platform.
A button called "task view" is now present on the task bar, and launching task view will pull up all the apps users have running. Multiple desktops live along the bottom of the screen, and users can jump from desktop to desktop while keeping all their apps running.
A new Snap Assist UI lets users grab apps from various desktops, pulling them onto their screen in one full-screen view. You can have Bing search along the bottom, a Word doc on top, a PowerPoint to the side and your finder open below it.
In a simple fix - one that should have been added long ago - users can now Crtl+V to paste a command prompt.
While lending plenty of time to Windows power users, Microsoft also addressed the touch-first crowd it tried to attract with Windows 8. The Charms bar isn't going away in Windows 10, though Joe Belfiore said he expects it to change over time.
Swiping to the left on a touch-enabled Windows 10 device will pull up task view, complete with larger buttons for a more finger-friendly experience. Swiping to the right pulls up the settings menu.
A new design feature called Continuum lets the Windows 10 UI change depending on what device someone is using. Clicking away on a mouse and keyboard? Windows 10 will show in classic desktop mode. Jump to a tablet or a 2-in-1, and you're in tablet mode.The idea behind Continuum seems to be a consistent yet device-optimized design to give users the best Windows 10 experience, no matter.
Myerson said there will be more to share on the consumer side of Windows 10 early next year, and the Build 2015 conference will feature talk on Universal apps.