Microsoft said that its next-generation Windows 10 will “adapt to the devices customers are using – from Xbox to PCs and phones to tablets”, as it also indicated it is seeing growing momentum for its current mobile platform.
In a blog post, Terry Myerson, EVP for operating systems, reiterated Microsoft’s “mobile-first, cloud first” mantra, while noting that although the company is targeting one application platform for developers, “we’re not talking about one user interface to rule them all – we’re talking about one product family, with a tailored experience for each device”.
Myerson also addressed the naming convention, which has seen one generation skipped. “We know, based on the product that’s coming, and just how different our approach will be overall, it wouldn’t be right to call it Windows 9,” he said.
In a presentation this week, little focus was placed on the mobile platform, with the emphasis instead being on Microsoft’s heartland of PCs. While Windows 8 has been widely criticised for taking a step too far on the journey to support touch-enabled devices, the company made much of the ability of the new platform to offer quality support for keyboard and mouse input.
This includes a feature that was described as “Continuum,” which will see the interface change depending on whether a “convertible” device has a keyboard attached or not.
And addressing one of the main criticisms of Windows 8, the new OS also sees the return of the Start menu, in an “expanded” role that includes space to personalise with apps, programmes, people and websites.
While Microsoft is making available a technical preview of the platform, the company has been less clear about when the full release will come. Mid-2015 has been given as a timeframe.
With regard to mobile, Re/code reported that Myerson had said that 50 new companies signed up to make Windows-powered phones and tablets since the company made it free to use in devices with screens of 9-inches or less.
While he did not confirm if this strategy will continue with the release of Windows 10, the executive came close by stating that “I expect we will continue it”.