Shortly before Christmas, Microsoft announced that the upcoming Windows 9 will actually be called Windows 10. The executive vice president of Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group, Terry Myson, said that the reason behind the name change is the new One Microsoft internal strategy. The release date is rumoured to be mid this year sometime and it is also rumoured to be free for some users.

Whilst a number of Windows 10 features have already been announced, we wanted to take a moment to share with you some of our favourites and some that we are really looking forward to.

  • “New” Start Menu
    One of the most noticeable changes to the operating system is the new start menu, which actually looks pretty similar to the old one. It includes some features straight out of the Windows 8.1 start screen (such as live tiles) and it can also be resized.

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  • New Task View
    After dumping the Windows 8 task switcher, the new task view in this version will allow users to switch between virtual desktops. This is because Microsoft has finally realised that novice users utilise the taskbar rather than switching in other ways.

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  • Continum
    This is probably the feature that people are most excited about. Continum is an on-the-fly mode for 2 in 1 devices that automatically changes mode if it detects that there is no keyboard attached. A back button, for example, will appear to help you navigate via touch.

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  • Universal Apps
    The operating system will also introduce a new app model, which has been called Universal Windows apps. Windows 10 is believed to run on all devices, from phones to servers, and there will be a single app store spanning them all for users to access.

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  • Floating Universal Apps
    These apps will also work on the desktop and will actually ‘float’ in their own windows. This is a result of Microsoft trying to eliminate the separation between the Modern user interface and the Desktop. The charms from the right hand side are also gone.

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Now that you are just as excited as we are about the launch of Windows 10, you will just have to wait until a release date is confirmed. On the 21st of January, Microsoft unveiled the consumer preview (which showcased many of these features), as well as announcing that the operating system will be free for existing Windows users running 7, 8, 8.1 and Windows Phone versions.