Enterprise software vendor Microsoft on Tuesday announced the launch of Windows 10, skipping the version 9.
“Windows 10 unlocks new experiences for customers — both consumers and enterprises — to work, play and connect,” the company said.
Windows 10 will run across devices – from the Internet of Things, to servers in enterprise data centers worldwide.
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Microsoft said customers are betting their businesses on Windows – in the first half of this year, shipments of enterprise PCs grew 14 percent. In that same time period, shipments of Windows enterprise tablets grew 33 percent.
The software giant said Windows Insider Program, where PC experts and IT Pros will get access to preview of Windows 10 for desktops and laptops.
The Windows Insider Program is intended for PC experts and IT pros who are comfortable using pre-release software with variable quality.
Early in 2015, Microsoft will introduce the consumer chapter and talk much more about other device types and more consumer features.
“We’ll then continue the conversation with the developer chapter at our Build conference, and later in the year we’ll release Windows 10 and look forward to some amazing new devices,” said Microsoft in a statement.
The next version of Microsoft’s flagship product, which runs the vast majority of personal computers and is used by 1.5 billion customers worldwide, is aimed at recapturing the business market, which generally ignored the new-look Windows 8.
“Windows 10 will be our greatest enterprise platform ever,” said Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s head of operating systems, at an event in San Francisco.
Only 20 percent of organizations migrated to Windows 8, which was released two years ago, according to tech research firm Forrester. Many PC users disliked the touch-optimized interface and bemoaned the loss of the traditional start-button pop-up menu.
“Windows 10 adapts to the devices customers are using, from Xbox to PCs and phones to tablets and tiny gadgets,” said Myerson.
Reuters reported that Microsoft faces an uphill struggle in reigniting excitement about Windows. With the rise of Apple Inc’s iPhone and iPad, and Google Inc’s Android devices, Windows no longer plays a central role in many people’s on-screen lives.
From a virtual monopoly on personal computing 10 years ago, Windows now runs only about 14 percent of devices, according to research firm Gartner.
An early version of the software, demonstrated on stage by Microsoft executive Joe Belfiore, showed two modes, one optimized for touch-controlled tablets, and one for PCs using a mouse and keyboard. Users can switch between the two depending on the device.
Myerson did not say exactly how or when the new Windows would be rolled out, but other executives said Microsoft was aiming for a full release in spring 2015. A technical preview can be downloaded from Microsoft’s website, starting on Wednesday, for users to try out and give the company feedback.