Microsoft have announced that their new operating system, Windows 10, should be ready for release later in 2015. If history is to be repeated, we can look forward to new machines being shipped with it in August, and the general public can get their hands on it in October; which is what happened with Windows 8 back in 2012. That’s not a very long life for Windows 8, which was frowned upon for having lost the “Start” menu (brought back for 8.1) and generally being designed for tablet and touch screen users rather than those on a traditional desktop. Personally I have always liked Windows 8, even if it did take some getting used to. Yes 8.1 is better than standard 8, and much more user friendly, but I think the dislike towards the current operating system is because Microsoft made a change from what it’s had people get used to for the last 20-odd years. Windows 10 looks to bring that format back, using a mix of the traditional start menu, and a slight mix in of the “metro” interface from Windows 8.
I think Windows 10 will bring as much peace to Windows as it’s ever going to have (there will always be people who hate it) because of the re-introduction of the start bar, but also for the initial price point. It is anticipated, and I think this will happen too, that a lot of Windows 7 and Windows 8 users will take advantage of the free upgrade to 10 when it is released. Personally I will be one of them. As long as it doesn’t break any of my programs (not that I have many) and my virtual machines still work, I will be happy. I’m certain there will be teething issues, but the reasons Microsoft gave for the free upgrades seem valid on the surface of it; they want to make things easier for developers, and by having a lot of people oon the same version of Windows, developers will not have to worry about older versions of Windows which just refuse to die (XP and Vista, I’m looking at you!).
There’s also a security benefit to having people on the latest version, namely people no longer being unsupported and therefore as exploitable by existing issues which have been found, but won’t be patched. It also means that we (as in those of us who do web development in one form or another) might finally be able to stop worrying about ancient versions of Internet Explorer (as that’s going to be killed off for a new browser, by all accounts).
No doubt Windows 10 will bring a lot of new tech together in one package, and on the surface (no pun intended) it looks like it could be a really good OS. I’m looking forward to getting an advanced preview of it and seeing what it can do, and I hope the uptake is a good one to keep people on a single platform for developers to work towards, rather than having multiple versions to write for.