Windows 10 Will Be 'Last Version of Windows,' Microsoft Says
The next version of Windows to be released by Microsoft -- Windows 10 -- will also be the "last version of Windows," said Developer Evangelist Jerry Nixon during this week's Ignite developer conference. Set to be released at a yet-to-be-announced date later this year, Windows 10 will be upgraded and updated on an ongoing basis, rather than as a discrete generation of the operating system.
That's a reflection of Microsoft's all-new approach toward its products and services, and how it develops those behind the scenes, Nixon said. The other big change arriving with Windows 10 is that it's the first time the company will release a single operating system to drive every kind of Windows device.
Wrapping up today, the Ignite conference is the second gathering in as many weeks (Build met in San Francisco last week) at which Microsoft gave developers a deeper look into the inner workings of its new operating system. In addition to driving a multitude of devices from a single OS, Windows 10 will also enable a new browser (Edge, which will replace Internet Explorer), a smarter digital assistant (Cortana) and holographic computing (supported by a computing headset called HoloLens), according to Microsoft.
'New Culture at Microsoft'
"Microsoft is in a brand new state that it's never been in before," Nixon said Wednesday during an Ignite presentation to walk developers through Windows 10's new levels of support for tiles, notifications and the Action Center.
With past releases of its operating system, Microsoft was already working on the next generation at the same time it was walking developers through its latest release, Nixon said.
"But that's not what's happening today," he said. "Right now, we're releasing Windows 10 and because Windows 10 is the last version of Windows, we're all still working on Windows 10 and it's really brilliant . . . That's really exciting for me to be able to say because that's a new culture at Microsoft, that we are now not always just thinking about what's not here today."
No More 'What Version Are You On?'
We reached out to Microsoft to learn more about what that means for Windows 10 and how it will be updated in the future. A spokesperson told us, "Recent comments at Ignite about Windows 10 are reflective of the way Windows will be delivered as a service bringing new innovations and updates in an ongoing manner, with continuous value for our consumer and business customers."
The spokesperson added, "We aren't speaking to future branding at this time, but customers can be confident Windows 10 will remain up to date and power a variety of devices from PCs to phones to Surface Hub to HoloLens and Xbox. We look forward to a long future of Windows innovations."
When Microsoft first announced its plans for Windows 10, it said the new operating system would be available for one year as a free upgrade to customers running Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1. It has not yet revealed details about how the OS will be priced and delivered after the first year.
"We think of Windows as a service -- in fact, one could reasonably think of Windows in the next couple of years as one of the largest Internet services on the planet," Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President of Microsoft's Operating Systems Group, wrote in a blog post in January. "And just like any Internet service, the idea of asking 'What version are you on?' will cease to make sense -- which is great news for our Windows developers. With universal Windows apps that work across the entire device family, developers can build one app that targets the broadest range of devices -- including the PC, tablet, phone, Xbox, the Internet of Things, and more."
Chris Hartley - Toronto:
Posted: 2015-05-10 @ 4:06pm PT
We've com a long way since Windows 3.1 and WFW. We look forward to the upgrade.