Windows 10: 7 Predictions Of What's Next - InformationWeek

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1/20/2015
08:00 AM
Kelly Sheridan
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Windows 10: 7 Predictions Of What's Next

Microsoft will unveil more details about the Windows 10 operating system during a special event Jan. 21. Here's what we expect.
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January 21 marks Microsoft's first major event of 2015. During Windows 10: The Next Chapter, the company is expected to shed some light on what consumers and customers can expect to see in Windows 10, which is set to debut in the latter half of 2015.

The stakes are high for Microsoft going into this year. The company suffered a troublesome 2013 and spent much of the following year recovering under the leadership of new CEO Satya Nadella, who turned Microsoft's focus to cross-platform and cloud-centric strategies. Can the tech giant maintain its progress?

Microsoft promises that Windows 10 will integrate PCs, tablets, and phones, as well as Xbox and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. It has been particularly quiet about the consumer version of Windows 10, which will be the focus of Wednesday's event. So far, its announcements on Windows 10 have indicated changes in desktop and enterprise features, but users eagerly await details on what they can expect to see in smartphones and tablets.

[Predictions beyond 1/21: 5 Must-Do's for Microsoft in 2015.]

Current Windows users anticipate -- well, hope -- that Windows 10 will address some of the critical issues found in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, both of which did little to impress the majority of users. The new OS will likely improve on Microsoft's attempt to create different systems for touch and non-touch devices.

It's expected that Windows Phone 10 will take up much of the spotlight during Wednesday's event. According to IDC, Windows Phone so far has captured less than 3% of the market, lagging far behind Google's Android and Apple's iOS. Although Microsoft has recently decided to broaden its smartphone growth in emerging markets, it’s expected to improve on its mobile offerings later this year.

The tech community is excited to see what's coming from Microsoft this week. With Satya Nadella, Windows chief Terry Myerson, Windows Phone chief Joe Belfiore, and head of Xbox Phil Spencer in attendance, it's sure to be a big event. Click through our slideshow to see what we're expecting to learn.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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UberGoober
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UberGoober,
User Rank: Strategist
1/21/2015 | 9:57:11 AM
Re: Yawn
Would I upgrade to Win10 if it's free?  What a remarkably low bar to set!  And yet the answer is a resounding 'NO,' though with a few caveats.  First, some feature might turn up that is either very useful or necessary; I don't know of anything yet, but we have a ways to go before the features get locked in stone, presumably with SP1.  Second, I might put a Win10 image on a Win7 machine that needs a new coat of Windows anyway.  Third, I will probably still have some Win7 machines in production when we reach the end of suppord in early 2020; if Win10 is no worse than it looks now, I might do a free upgrade, though I'd likely use the excuse buy a new machine if the upgrade cost over $50.


I grew out of needing the latest coolest thing a couple of decades ago, and I understand the cost of even a free upgrade in time, disruption, and training.  If Micro$oft actually delivers an OS that adds real functionality that benefits my company, without stupid gratituitous changes that actually make it harder for my user base, I'll happily pay for it.  If they just want to put clown makeup on a previously functional OS, I'm not biting.

 
Midnight
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Midnight,
User Rank: Strategist
1/20/2015 | 8:48:57 PM
wow... End of an Era
I have been using Microsoft OS versions since DOS 1.1 and lived through the evolution of their entire product line.

The current disconnect between the company and the core user base is unprecidented. While the current direction will not be the 'death' of the company, I predict it will definantly hurt it.

The main issue is abstraction. While it is necessary to remove choices/options for the purpose of making a system (that is inherently unlimited by nature) usable by novices, you can go to far. This over-abstraction started in Windows NT 2000 when a simple network plugin gave Windows NT 4.0 load balancing capability for free. (A third party created the plugin and gave it to the internet community) This hurt the larger sales of the "Enterprise" edition of NT 4.0. In the 2000 server edition, the network management component was heavily abstracted making introductions of simple solutions like the load balancing plugin cumbersome. Performance tuning was sacrificed at the altar of Abstraction.

Since that event, there has been a clear march away from control and customization to the wizard and functionally limiting model. Access to what the machine is actually doing has become further and further obscured.

With the release of Windows 10, it is clear that the upper echelons of M$ have not heard or interpreted the market response of the customer base regarding Windows 8.x correctly. The chosen direction is unwelcome, and other migration venues are now being sought. (Yeah, keep ending the support on the versions the customers actually like and see how long the customers stay brand loyal)

Personal experience note - My lady got a Dell "preloaded" with Win 8.1. Before she could even use it she felt "interrogated" for her personal information and required to create subscriptions to Windows live and cloud based components she did not desire. Until the steps were all completed the machine was basically unusable. In tears she vented her frustration to me. So as a consultant I made a break with my normal Windows supporting methodology and looked at linux. After a few hours of review, I settled on the Zorin distribution (it was said to be most familiar for the Win XP/7 user base.)

It did take me a bit to find the instructions to make a bootable install with the ISO, but that was due to my own dogma about using wanting a DVD vs thumbdrive. So, bootable thumbdrive in hand, I booted the Dell from USB and... it loaded faster than Windows 8. I brought her in to play with it and she was dumbfounded. Community and paid versions of major software solutions, fast performance, and a familiar desktop environment. She was about ready to start installing software when I told her she was still running off a thumb drive. clicked an icon on the desktop and let the wizard do the install to hard drive. She's very happy with it.

Her main comment after the migration was, "I feel like I own my computer again."

Microsoft are you hearing that loud and clear? You just lost a user and any hope of her being a return customer. Guess what, I'm next. But with me it means servers, customer's servers, migration away from the Office 360 subscriptions and migration into private hybrid clouds.

The sad thing is Microsoft, you were warned that this backlash was coming. One that I am only a single example of. You were warned at Vista, and about the Office "Ribbon" interface. Get back in touch with your core customers, quit talking to fricken' Apple design people. Their gig is marketing inferior technology to posers and they do great at it. Quit looking at the "Latest and Greatest" technology with a ME-TOOO sized crowbar in hand. It makes you stop looking like the juggernaut that you are. It makes you look directionless and vulnerable. That is unless you really are ready to go the way of Novell, due to loss of innovation and relevance. A well noted but retired chapter in the IT saga.

Writing is on the wall, the net, and the wall street ticker. Your customers are speaking, are you listening yet?
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
1/20/2015 | 7:47:27 PM
Re: Yawn
UberGoober
I kinda agree with the yawn, but let's see what happen tomorrow.
but I can't in my most fevered dreams imagine actually 'upgrading' a working Win7 machine to Win10.
How about if it's free, would you upgrade?
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
1/20/2015 | 2:41:28 PM
Re: Better and better
@midmachine, I have all the flagship devices on the respective platforms (recently bought a lumia 930) and I can agree to you on that. Windows seems to be a middle ground between Android like customizations and iOS like simplicity. I too find that the battery lasts longer in Windows phones than android or iPhones. 
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
1/20/2015 | 2:38:49 PM
Re: Price and "good enough" performance will make inroads
Although Windows phones really took up the pace a while back, the interest on them are still wavering. I recently met with a panel of tech enthusiasts and they all agreed that the Lumaa 930 is the best smartphone they've reviewed in a year. When I asked them about sub 300 dollar windows phones they seemed not too interested, instead told me to buy an android phone. The market of windows phones seems to be saturated at the high range levels.
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
1/20/2015 | 1:34:57 PM
Price and "good enough" performance will make inroads
I balked at buying my 13-year-old son an iPhone, so for $49, I got him a Nokia a couple years ago that proved capable enough for his needs and far more durable than the multiple iTouches he dropped and cracked. Well, that Nokia finally bit the dust when he dropped it while running, so we upgraded him to a Nokia 635 (must be old, as Microsoft is dropping the Nokia name). My son is more than happy with it, and he and a friend were recently marveling over the speaker quality while listening to a song I didn't exactly like hearing. "Sounds better than my iPhone 5C," admitted my son's friend.

I predict low cost and high value will eventually win Microsoft plenty of market share.
UberGoober
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UberGoober,
User Rank: Strategist
1/20/2015 | 10:25:15 AM
Yawn
Wow!  Highlights as big as 'new animations for windows minimize and restore" aren't going to sell an OS.  It does appear to suck MUCH less than Win8 (by being more like Win7), but is it a significant improvement in functionality over Win7?  Maybe if you are a gadget-oriented consumer, but not so much if you are in business IT.  We'll probably use it once it gets settled in, but I can't in my most fevered dreams imagine actually 'upgrading' a working Win7 machine to Win10.
midmachine
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midmachine,
User Rank: Strategist
1/20/2015 | 9:53:45 AM
Better and better
Been running the preview and very impressed so far. These anticipated updates/improvements and features are very welcome and exciting; especially the WP offering. Love my 8.1 phone - will nvree use Android or Apple. It's quick as a bunny, I have all the apps I could possibly need and terrific on battery life. I hope that we can test out the 10 verioson on the phone as the aticle thinks may be possible.

The OS for desktop is a pleasure to use - has the fmailiarity of Win 7 for those that need it and abundant features that appear to may be jsut the tip of the iceberg of what will be offered come roll out day.
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