I have been reading and hearing about Windows 10 recently, and it seems like Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 just came out—they’re moving on already? My company hasn’t even moved from Windows 7 to Windows 8 yet. Should I just skip Windows 8 and jump on to Windows 10?
My, that’s a lot of questions! First of all: Yes, it’s true. Windows 10 is due out some time in 2015, and there should be a public “beta” version of the operating system available sometime in early 2015. If you’re adventurous (and have an extra computer, or a really good backup of your current one), you can give it a try. We can’t say this firmly enough (and we’ll say it in upper-case letters so it will feel like we’re yelling): DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER INSTALLING THE EARLY VERSION OF WINDOWS 10 ON THE COMPUTER YOU USE FOR “REAL” WORK. Install it on a separate computer, in a virtual machine (assuming that’s something you’re comfortable with), or leave it alone. It can be fun and informative to work with the latest and greatest from Microsoft, but you’re working “without a net” when you install a preview version of an operating system.
So, what’s new in Windows 10? There’s no complete list yet, and anything you read now is subject to change, but we’ve read that the Start menu is coming back, in a slightly altered format; Modern apps come to the Desktop, in individual windows (as opposed to requiring you to switch to a different layout); multi-tasking and multiple desktops will be improved; you’ll find a new command prompt and updates to the touch interface. In addition, Microsoft is working to standardize Windows across all its platforms (desktop, tablet, and phone). You can review basic information about Windows 10 here: http://lifehacker.com/all-the-new-stuff-in-windows-10-1640838152. You can find more current information here: http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/windows-10-release-date-features-preview-download-and-price.
And yes, it’s true: Many companies have yet to migrate from Windows 7 to Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. We’ve heard that many of these companies will skip Windows 8 altogether, and simply move from Windows 7 to Windows 10. That’s most likely a wise move for companies that haven’t yet moved to Windows 8.
Wondering what happened to Windows 9? Why the skip from Windows 8 to Windows 10? We’ve heard lots of rumors, and they’re all vaguely apocryphal. We’ll let you research this one yourself, rather than spread rumors ourselves!
We’re both running early versions of Windows 10, and like what we see so far! If you’re in an experimentative mood, you might want to give the public beta a try once it’s released—just don’t install it on your main computer. You will be sorry. We promise.