Microsoft is ready to show off its newest desktop operating system, Windows 10, to a wider retail audience as soon as January of next year, according to reports.
In an event planned for late January of 2015, Microsoft aims to show off the new operating system to reconcile with fans who were disappointed with the performance of Windows 8. The tech company decided to skip straight to the "10" number to further distance this new piece of software from Windows 8.
Windows 10 was first revealed back in April of 2014 at the Build Conference as an OS upgrade that allowed the operation of Windows Store apps inside desktop windows. Then in July, Microsoft's new CEO Satya Nadella hinted at a more streamlined OS that would connect the current three versions of Windows, including Windows Phone and Windows Embedded, into one single operating system.
Once codenamed "Threshold," Windows 10 was officially named on September 30, 2014 during a media event where it was called the "most comprehensive platform ever." It was said that Windows 10 would take the user interface mechanics from Windows 7 that were lost in Windows 8 to re-establish a strong touch-screen presence in the new OS.
Microsoft's Terry Myerson noted during the September event that the next installment of Windows would evolve the touch interface even further than it already has, comparing what was available with Windows 7 as "a first-generation Toyota Prius hybrid," while Windows 10 would be more like the high-end Tesla.
The popular Start menu is making a return after the seemingly outdated feature was missed in Windows 8. The user interface is said to automatically tailor itself to the type of device it's on, further backing the notion of an all-in-one OS. An anticipated new feature called Continuum will better handle the transition between touch-based input and non-touch input. This will allow the use of new hybrid laptops in either touch or keyboard modes with a quick interchangeability between both.
Windows 10 will also ship with DirectX 12 which is said to provide console-level efficiency between hardware resources and graphics drivers.
The Windows 10 Technical Preview was launched on October 1, allowing members of the Windows Insider program to see very early versions of the software before it's release-ready. The preview is available to download if you're curious about the direction of Windows 10, but Microsoft warns that the unfinished product could potentially be harmful to your computer, so you'll be installing at your own risk.
This first tech preview has a focus on the business advantages of the OS, but the January event is expected to focus on the consumer enhancements that will be featured in Windows 10, including its ability to serve as a single platform between Windows-based PCs, tablets, phones, and Microsoft game consoles like the Xbox One.
Microsoft said back in September that they would be revealing the consumer highlights of Windows 10 in "early 2015," so this special even would put them right on track.
While there is no release date yet for WIndows 10, we expect it to be revealed during the January event. More information on the exact date of the event and the retail release of Windows 10 will be reported as soon as it's revealed.