The next version of Microsoft’s client operating system Windows 10 will be available for general release “sometime” after April 2015.
In the meantime over one million technical users have signed up to preview and test it. Although some call this a beta version, in reality it is closer to an alpha version as many of the predicted features like Cortana are not available yet.
For those who assume that if the next version is Windows 10 then Windows 9 must be currently available then they should think again as users will go directly from Windows 8.1 to 10 skipping out Windows 9.
For the Microsoft bashers of whom there are many, suggest that Windows 10 is a cobbled conjunction of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Certainly Microsoft did not cover themselves with glory over the release of Windows 8. It was reminiscent of the Vista debacle and has meant that the enterprise sector is holding on firmly to Windows 7 as the preferred client platform. Still it is probably unfair to characterise Windows 10 in that way.
Microsoft are aiming to have a single client operating system across every type of device from desktop to tablet to smartphone. They are bound to be keeping a close eye on the “Internet of Things” the concept that predicts much greater inter connectivity of devices and applications on the Internet. Gartner predicts that there will be over 25 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020.
Interestingly of the one million “testers” 44% have loaded the new operating system on PC’s with only 2% on tablets. Of course this reflects the nature of the typical Microsoft user profile.
As two thirds of Microsoft users are corporate in nature this writer feels that this time Microsoft will get it right for them, while at the same time developing their product suite to compete with Apple and Android.