Windows 8/8.1 successor gets officially announced, dubbed Windows 10. This version sees the return of the desktop based start menu found in versions before Windows 8/8.1 like Windows 7. Now though the start menu is back, its not without a twist, not wanting to alienate those who actually loved the Metro UI(tiles) start menu, the new start menu is a hybrid of both new and old.
Among other things getting a facelift, Metro apps can now work in desktop mode, allowing things now possible before like minimize, maximize, close and finally snapping(this allows attaching an app window to one side of the screen and attaching another to the other side, in essence allowing you to work in different apps side by side). Also added to the snap feature is suggestion based by the OS snapping based on open apps and snapping upto 4 apps at once.
Also introduced is multidesktop interface, something linux users are used to, this is where you can have your desktop workspace divided up in different desktop environment each unique in its own way.
Start menu search is also back but borrows from both of its younger siblings by incorporating both local(offline data stored on the harddrive) and online data as introduced in Win8/8.1.
Multitasking dubbed “Task View” will bring Mac OSX Expose(finally Apple users have something to claim others genuinely copied from them other than a round edged shape) feature or mobile multitasking to simply things, where it brings up open apps overview so that you can work more efficiently, this thing was introduced in Windows Vista and 7(via an enabling script) but to what i have seen, from the announcement, Win10 will be the best implementation of the feature on windows yet.
While most of the features I just listed above are meant for the desktop, windows 10 will cater for both desktop with emphasis on mouse and keyboard use, but not neglect touch based devices like hybrid laptops, phones and tablets, those with touch input retain the full Metro UI with charm buttons , those pesky buttons that appear when you move your mouse to the edge of the right side of the screen like devices,share etc, still present(not on the desktop version any more).
So in short the interface for all devices running windows 10 will be uniform in design approach but still be uniquely optimized for each device’s strengths. This is a move away from the approach where they assumed everyone owned or wanted to own a touch based interface, a move I believe most end users will appreciate.
The developer preview will be available later today for download for those who would want to try out the new features before the official release of the full version in 2015. But for now, here is the introductory keynote video by Microsoft VP Joe Belfiore, I could never learn to say his name right.