Microsoft claims its new Windows operating system -- Windows 10 -- will be its best ever for business users.
Redmond has unveiled its hotly anticipated new operating system and bypassed the expected Windows 9 name and gone straight for Windows 10.
The firm says Windows 10 represents the first step for a whole new generation of Windows and hyped the release as its best ever for some customers.
"This will be our most comprehensive operating system and the best release Microsoft has ever done for our business customers, and we look forward to working together with our broader Windows community to bring Windows 10 to life in the months ahead," Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the operating systems group at Microsoft, said.
Alongside the release of Windows 10, Microsoft also released its new Windows Inside Program, which will see participants receive technical previews of Windows 10 and regular updates through the development cycle for them to try and give feedback on.
Microsoft is plugging Windows 10 on two key factors: familiarity and consistency across devices and a design that will meet the challenges of modern business. The operating system will run across devices from Xboxes to PCs to phones and tablets, Microsoft said in its announcement.
It will also deliver a converged application platform for app developers, who will be able to write an app once and deploy it across multiple device types.
For business users, the firm said, user identities have been developed in order to improve resistance to breach, theft or phishing. The new operating system will also tackle data loss by using containers and data separation at the application and file level, meaning that protection stays with the data wherever it goes, be that from PC to USB drive to cloud to email.
The system also features in-place upgrades for Windows 7 and 8 and a function to enable businesses to be able to customise an app store specific to their needs and environment.
"The intent is an app store that will allow for volume app licensing, flexible distribution, and the ability for organisations to reclaim or reuse licenses when necessary," Microsoft said in its announcement.
Microsoft claims that the early technical preview of Windows 10 demonstrates new levels of flexibility, navigation and familiarity through the Windows experience.
The key features it highlights in its announcement are as follows:
*Expanded start menu
The familiar start menu is back, providing quick one-click access to the functions and files that people use most, and it includes a new space to personalise with favourite apps, programs, people and websites.
*Apps that run in a window
Apps from the Windows Store now open in the same format that desktop programs do. They can be resized and moved around, and have title bars at the top allowing users to maximise, minimise and close with a click.
Working in multiple apps at once is easier and more intuitive with snap improvements. A new quadrant layout allows up to four apps to be snapped on the same screen. Windows will also show other apps and programs running for additional snapping, and will make "smart" suggestions on filling available screen space with other open apps.
*New task view button
The new task view button on the task bar enables one view for all open apps and files, allowing for quick switching and one-touch access to any desktop created.
To prevent apps and files overlapping on a single desktop, users will be able to create and switch between distinct desktops for different purposes and projects - whether for work or personal use.
Jessica Meek is US editor at Channelnomics
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