Sunday, 30 November 2014 23:01

Windows 10 Consumer Preview coming late January 2015 Featured

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Towards the end of January 2015 is when the world can expect to finally see a consumer oriented preview of its next Windows operating system, Windows 10, with a stack of new features to be unveiled, including a new touch interface, and presumably Cortana, too.

If you’re a fan of Windows, whether you’ve struggled or not through the Windows 8 and 8.1 era, you’ve undoubtedly heard by now that Windows 10 is coming in 2015, after the enterprise-oriented preview debuted a few months ago.

Now comes news via The Verge that Microsoft is getting set to finally unveil the Consumer Preview (a fancy way of saying beta) of its next major Windows release, and that while Microsoft will be on the ground at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas during early January, that’s not when we’ll see the new consumer preview.

Instead, The Verge’s secret sources have suggested that Microsoft will hold its own press conference in late January 2015, where the world will finally get to see what Microsoft has up its sleeve.

This is the version where we expect to see a stack of consumer-friendly features, such as the Siri-like personal assistant dubbed Cortana, which is currently available on Windows Phone 8.1 devices, as well as a brand new touch interface dubbed Continuum.

Microsoft is also supposed to be unveiling new multi-touch features for the trackpad surface as well, many, many years after Apple first introduced them. Hopefully Microsoft gets it right and copies Apple in this regard properly, because Apple’s trackpad interface is nigh on perfect, with Windows users seriously missing out.

So I genuinely hope Windows 10 finally redresses the balance.

This new ‘Continuum’ touch interface for the tablet screen sounds very interesting too, with Microsoft already having demonstrated elements of the upcoming touch interface design when it first unveiled the Windows 10 Technical Preview - you can watch that video here (scroll down to the end of Microsoft’s article).

The Verge also reports that we’ll finally get to hear more news on what Microsoft plans for its phones and tablets, as well as updates to the Xbox One, and says the world will get official confirmation of this upcoming late January 2015 event before the end of 2014.

Let’s then hope Windows 10 can come out by mid 2015, if not sooner.

Microsoft can’t afford to have Windows 10 get pushed out to the end of 2015 or early 2016 as happened with Windows Vista, it has to arrive much sooner so its PC manufacturing partners have plenty of Windows 10 machines for the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2015, which is the all-important shopping season.

It’s a shame Microsoft wasn’t able to get Windows 10 out by this current massive shopping season, as it would theoretically have made a huge difference against the iPad and Android tablet onslaught.

Whatever happens, Microsoft has a big battle on its hands to get people to love Windows 10 the way they still do Windows 7.

With Windows 10 the ‘third’ big OS after Windows 8 and 8.1 to feature Microsoft’s modern, and post iPad touch era interface, it’s looking likely that, so many years after Windows XP Tablet PC edition debuted in 2002, that they’re going to get it right.

Paul Thurrott's WinSuperSite has a list of his top 10 user requests for the Windows 10 - worth a read!


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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