Ah, yes. Windows 10. If you haven’t been using the Windows 10 developer preview (that Microsoft released a few months back), most of today’s visual gloriousness is new to you.
For starters, anyone from Windows 7 onward can get Windows 10 for free — for the first year. After the first year of availability, well, we’ll have to wait and see. Microsoft wasn’t very forthcoming about what happens after this point. The developer preview expires on April 15th and a new build is scheduled for release next week (not exactly “developer” preview). Overall release for consumers is still only listed as “later this year”.
Visually, you’ll see that Windows 10 is pretty similar to Windows 8 with the exception of how the Start menu is arranged and where it’s located. Now, in your traditional desktop, clicking on the Start/Windows button on the bottom left of the display will bring up a more traditional looking start menu with the tiled interface we’ve come to know (and love?) from Windows 8/8.1 alongside on the right. Other than that, it’s all small tweaks here and there with under-the-hood improvements too.
In Windows 10, Microsoft is debuting their own Apple iMessage/Google Hangouts competitor with Windows Messaging. Basically it’s a desktop chat app that will tie into various chat services and allow a more seamless experience. We’re all for integrated messaging and are glad Microsoft is attempting to bring all of these services together, natively.
Rumors of a rebranded/new browser were in fact true. For Windows 10, Microsoft is taking a big new step in regards to web browsing with Spartan. For starters, it’s based off of a new rendering engine and has Cortana voice assistant built in. No word yet on more specifics for Spartan. But just know that it’s a pretty big leap forward on multiple fronts.