Microsoft misses out 9 in operating system numbering scheme; analyst says new OS should 'prevent collapse in enterprise revenues'.
When it unveiled its Windows 10 operating system on Tuesday Microsoft was vague on its reasons for skipping out number nine, but one thing was clear: it sees the new version as a new start for the OS.
"Windows 10 represents the first step of a whole new generation of Windows, unlocking new experiences to give customers new ways to work, play and connect," said Terry Myerson, EVP of Microsoft's operating systems business, in a statement.
Windows 10, the successor to Windows 8.1, is designed to provide a consistent experience across all device types and screen sizes; as Microsoft said, it "will run across the broadest range of devices ever from the Internet of Things to enterprise datacentres."
The most widely noted feature is the return of the Start menu, which was removed from Windows 8, although Microsoft reintroduced a Start button with Windows 8.1. Windows 10 also includes improvements in the way apps run, in the use of multiple apps at once, and the ability to switch between distinct desktops.
"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," said Myerson.
Those business customers are key to the OS's success.
"Windows 8 is of no interest to the enterprise and Microsoft is hoping to keep corporate spending going by encouraging companies to skip straight from 7 to 10," said Richard Windsor, founder of Radio Free Mobile.
He noted that Microsoft has made a number of improvements to the OS that are geared specifically to IT administrators, such as the ability to manage any Windows device from a single console.
However, Windsor is cautious on the revenue impact of the new OS.
"While, the improvements look good, I doubt that this is going to cause enterprises, many of whom have only just upgraded to Windows 7, to rush out and upgrade to Windows 10," he said. Windows 10 essentially enables Microsoft "to catch the upgrade cycle that should have happened with Windows 8," he explained.
"I don't see Windows 10 causing a bump up in revenues but rather preventing a collapse in enterprise revenues by providing a product that companies can justify using," he predicted.
Windows 10 is expected to be available in mid-2015.