Microsoft have announced that their successor to their desktop operating system (OS), Windows 8.1, will be available on the 29th July this year (2015).
This highly anticipated major update of Microsoft’s popular Windows desktop OS has built and improved on many of the lessons learnt from the mixed success of the Windows 8 release. Windows 8 always seemed better suited to a tablet use-case, rather than that of a desktop OS, though that said, with the increase in touch sensitive screens on laptops, and some desktop monitors some of the touch-centric features found in Windows 8 have had more direct application as time has passed.
Microsoft has made the Windows 10 beta publically available for sometime now, and the feedback from the tech community has been mostly positive, sure there have been the expected bugs and random gotchas along the way though the last few updates have addressed many of these and the Windows 10 OS as a whole has felt more ready for show time. With just under two months until the GA release of Windows 10, no doubt Redmond are hard at work to address any remaining bugs, and to make a few last minute refinements here and there.
Microsoft is offering a free upgrade to Windows 10 for all Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 users, the only catch is that you have a year to upgrade and take Microsoft up on this offer. Windows RT users (ie: some Microsoft Tablet users) will also benefit from this free upgrade, which will no doubt be welcome news. This free Windows 10 upgrade path follows Apple’s new approach to providing free major OS updates, since its Mavericks OS release.
I’m still running Windows 8.1 in my home environment, and am happy with this version, though will probably wait until the first major service pack update before making the jump to Windows 10. This will also give the software development houses time to update any of their utils and apps if needed.
Here’s a basic video from Microsoft which outlines some of the new features in Windows 10. Microsoft is obviously trying to get across the message (after the drastic UI change with Windows 8), that the familiar start button and menu structure that everyone is familiar with from Windows 7 and before, is still very much central to the OS – just improved upon.
Have you been running the Windows 10 beta, and how have you found it? Will you be making the jump once it is released?