Microsoft has gathered a bunch of reporters together in its Redmond, Wash., headquarters today to show off the next version of Windows.
Windows 10, expected to come out late this year, is Microsoft’s chance to re-establish Windows as relevant in the modern mobile age.
It will be a slight step back from the jarring changes in Windows 8. The touch-first interface introduced in Windows 8 will still be there, but it will only show up if you’re using a tablet or touch-screen PC. You’ll see a more traditional Windows desktop if you’re using a regular PC.
Microsoft has also portrayed Windows 10 as a single operating system that works on all kinds of devices. That’s a slight exaggeration – there will still be at least two slightly different operating systems, one for phones and small tablets, and one for bigger tablets and PCs. But the promise is that programmers can create an application for one operating system, then with very little additional work port it over to the others. There will also be a single store that works across all platforms, so if you buy an app on one of your devices, you’ll be able to download the same app (if available) on other devices.
We also expect to see the first glimpse of a new web browser to replace Internet Explorer, integration of Microsoft’s “smart assistant” Cortana, and the first look at Windows 10 running on a smartphone. We may also see a touch-first version of Office, as Microsoft has already released for the iPad. Plus, perhaps some surprises.
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