Microsoft previews Windows 10

January 22, 2015 08:31 AM

Test Versions

The company hasn’t said when Windows 10 will be available. Early test versions have already been released.

The new version of Word for Windows 10 has a review tab to look through changes from other people and aid collaboration. The recent document list can roam from device to device. There’s also a new Outlook app that mimics Apple Inc.’s iOS in letting users swipe left to delete or right to flag an e-mail message.

A new photo app aggregates a user’s entire photo collection from various devices and eliminates duplicates. Microsoft will also add support for storing music files in its OneDrive storage system, allowing access to music from all devices.

Microsoft also demonstrated an Xbox app for Windows and mobile devices running the software. The company will allow users to stream games from the Xbox One console to Windows PCs and other devices in the home. Xbox Chief Phil Spencer demonstrated how he joined a game as a second player from his PC.

Windows Shift

The Windows team has had to course-correct several times in the past decade. Windows 7 was a bid to recover after the debacle of Windows Vista, which was released more than two years late in 2007 and didn’t work well with popular apps and accessories. Windows 8 itself was a significant revamp -- Microsoft called it “a reimagining of Windows”-- designed to arrest sliding market share, which had dropped to about a fifth of all computing devices sold to consumers.

Windows 10 is a shift from the confusing Windows 8 design, which offered a new touch-screen interface alongside the traditional Windows style. Many users didn’t have touch machines, and corporate customers preferred to use a mouse and keyboard -- so Windows 8 didn’t gain much share on tablets or win back consumers. Instead, it scared off corporate customers, many of which are still on Windows 7, which was released in 2009.

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