Over a third of Windows 10 users are running the OS on a virtual machine
Microsoft caught the tech community off guard when it skipped over Windows 9 and jumped directly to Windows 10 -- so for much for those rumors of Windows 9 being a free upgrade for Windows 8 users! Alternative theories aside (such as lazy coding), the move to Windows 10 is a marketing ploy, and if the goal is make users curious, it's working. Over the weekend, Microsoft's Windows Insider Program hit 1 million registrants.
Microsoft has a chance to atone for Windows 8/8.1 with Windows 10, the operating system that Windows 8 probably should have been, though things are getting off to somewhat of a rocky start. Complaints are starting to roll in that the Windows 10 Technical Preview is overstepping its bounds with the amount of information it collects, and some have even categorized the OS as a keylogger of sorts.
Microsoft confirms that DirectX 12 will be included in the final release of Windows 10
In case you were wondering, Microsoft fully intends to bake DirectX 12 support into the final version of Windows 10 when it releases next year, the company confirmed in a DX developer blog post. Oh, and also in case you were wondering, Microsoft thinks "it's going to be awesome," which is much better than the company saying, "Meh, it's simply okay. Actually, it kind of sucks, but we're including it anyway."
Windows 10 will go up against Windows 7, not Windows 8/8.1
Now that Microsoft has unveiled Windows 10 and is even serving up a Technical Preview for curious folks to check out, Windows 8 is already feeling like old news. Some felt that way even before Microsoft's announcement, which might explain why Windows 8 lost market share in the desktop OS market in the month of September. At this rate, it won't be long before Windows 8's share drops back into single digits.
Microsoft surprised quite a few people yesterday when it unveiled its next generation of Windows. It wasn't that Microsoft announced a new version of Windows, but that it decided to skip over Windows 9 and go straight to Windows 10. The reason behind the decision is because the new version is the beginning of a new era for the Windows platform, so Microsoft decided it warranted a numerical skip. Curious about the new OS? If you join the Windows Insider program (free), you can download and install the Windows 10 Technical Preview today (also free).
"It wouldn't be right to call it Windows 9" - Microsoft
You're probably familiar with the argument, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Well, Juliet may not have cared about the name of things, but Microsoft does, which is why you'll never see a Windows 9. Instead, Microsoft today skipped a number and announced Windows 10, the OS formerly known as Threshold and the successor to Windows 8/8.1.
If we're being totally, completely, 100 percent honest, we settled for Windows 8. That's not easy to admit, especially after applying some well needed Updates (previously known as Service Packs) that zapped some of our original complaints. Don't get us wrong, it never was, nor is it still a terrible operating system -- the comparisons to Windows ME or even Windows Vista's early days are off base -- but certainly Microsoft didn't have our best interests in mind. By "our interests," we're talking about power users, enthusiasts, and generally anyone tech savvy enough to know the difference between RAM and a hard drive. Hell, Windows 8 designer Jacob Miller admitted as much several months ago (Microsoft's good at coming clean after the fact).
Truth be told, Microsoft catered to the lowest common denominator -- the ones who call you up every 3-4 weeks because their PC is riddled with pop-up ads again -- and attempted to hold their hands as Redmond walked them through its vision of what would one day become a beautiful walled garden where new and experienced users frolicked happily among the colorful tiles singing songs of praise. Our apologies if you just threw up in your mouth a little bit.
Here's the thing -- we've grown accustomed to Windows 8, and having spent copious time with it, we no longer feel the rage we once did every time the Start screen would load. That's partially because we're now able to boot directly into the Desktop, but the bigger reason is the one we stated above. We settled, plain and simple.
With that said, Windows 9 is on the horizon, and this is Microsoft's chance to atone for Windows 8 and earn back some street cred with power users. It's a do-over, and no, it's not too late. If Windows 9 comes out and blows our minds with levels of awesome we've never seen before, all will be forgiven (just as we've done before). But in order for that to happen, Microsoft has to get it right.
That's no easy task, so to help our friends at Microsoft, we came up with a list of 9 things we want to see in Windows 9. Are you reading this, Redmond? Good, because these 9 wishlist items conveniently assembled into a photo gallery collectively represent your golden ticket back into our good graces. Hit the jump to see what they are.
When Google first announced Chrome OS in 2009, among the few people who were polite enough to not dismiss it outright, and predict for it either a stillbirth or an early demise, were those who saw a merger with Android as its ultimate fate. Of course, let alone a full-blown merger, we have yet to see substantial interplay between the two platforms. The best we have seen, all these years down the line, is the ability to run a grand total of four Android apps on Chrome OS — and that too is a very recent development. Even now, Google is only working with “a select group of Android developers” and is unlikely to bring more than a handful of mobile apps to Chrome OS in the near future. Well, that’s what hacks are for, right?
Microsoft is finally ready to talk about its next version of Windows
Up to this point, we've mostly had to rely on leaked photos and videos of Windows 9, codenamed Threshold, to understand what Microsoft has in store for us beyond Windows 8. Well, the wait for official information is almost over. Microsoft has begun sending out invitations to members of the press for a "Windows event" it plans to hold on September 30, 2014, in San Francisco.
See Windows 9’s Notification Center, Start Menu and multiple desktops in action
Microsoft may not have officially lifted the curtain on Windows 9 (a.k.a “Threshold”) but if sites like WinFuture continue to have their way, the Redmond-based company will have very little new to show us when it finally does get down to unveiling its next desktop operating system. (We don’t have an issue with these leaks, though.) The German site, which recently posted a bunch of allegedly leaked screenshots of the rumored-to-be-upcoming Windows 9 Technical Preview, has now taken to posting videos that showcase some of the upcoming OS’s features.