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2015 will be Microsoft’s chance to regain long lost popularity as they release Windows 10 Windows 10 In Pictures - A Guided Tour Of The Technical Preview Windows 10 In Pictures - A Guided Tour Of The Technical Preview The Windows 10 Technical Preview is now available to everyone. Some bugs aside, it does look promising. We'll guide you through the new Windows one screenshot at a time. Read More , their new flagship and cross-platform operating system. Here’s what happened with Windows 10 in 2014 and the milestones you can look forward to in 2015.

What Happened So Far

In April, Microsoft released the last meaningful update for Windows 8.1 Windows 8.1 Update Is Here! What It Is & How To Get It Now Windows 8.1 Update Is Here! What It Is & How To Get It Now Curious about the latest Windows 8.1 Update or not sure what this is about? KB2919355 is a cumulative update that comes with useful features. It can also be removed in case it causes issues. Read More , which addressed most user complaints, except for the Start Menu 2015!? No Way Microsoft! How to Get Your Windows 8.1 Start Menu Now 2015!? No Way Microsoft! How to Get Your Windows 8.1 Start Menu Now Windows 8 won't get a native Start Menu after all. But why wait on Microsoft? Here's how you can help yourself with third party tools like Classic Shell or Start8 and other workarounds. Read More . By the time the second Windows 8.1 update Is Windows 8.1 Done After This Unspectacular August Update? Is Windows 8.1 Done After This Unspectacular August Update? The much anticipated August Update for Windows 8.1, formerly known as Update 2, has arrived and it's not what we expected; but then we already knew that. Is it even worth bothering? In short: YES! Read More came around in August, Windows 8.1 users had come to terms with the new OS or downgraded to Windows 7 Microsoft Retires Windows 7: This Is How You Can Still Get A Copy Microsoft Retires Windows 7: This Is How You Can Still Get A Copy Windows 7 Home and Ultimate editions have been retired. If you want to get a computer without Windows 8.1, your options are limited. We have compiled them for you. Read More . Fueled by leaked screenshots Windows 9 Leaked Screens Revealing Known Unknowns Windows 9 Leaked Screens Revealing Known Unknowns Windows 9 is dropping its veil. Recently leaked screenshots give an unprecedented insight into what we might expect from the latest iteration of Windows. Read More , the tech world moved on to speculate about Windows 9 What Can You Expect From Windows 9? Threshold Rumors Summarized What Can You Expect From Windows 9? Threshold Rumors Summarized In a few weeks, Microsoft will release its first official preview of Windows 9, code-named Threshold. Let's see whether this new Windows incarnation could meet your needs. Read More .

On October 1st, Microsoft revealed the Windows 10 Technical Preview Will Windows 10 Make Productive People Even More Productive? Will Windows 10 Make Productive People Even More Productive? It's official, the new Windows will be a perfect 10. Why Windows 10? Because Windows 7 8 (ate) 9. And here is what you will find inside the Technical Preview. Read More .

Why Windows 10? Because of its significance and because with Windows 95 and 98 the 9 had already been taken.

After a promising set of Windows 10 preview builds Windows 10 Is Evolving - This Is What's New In Build 9860 Windows 10 Is Evolving - This Is What's New In Build 9860 The new Windows 10 version comes with several new features and provides sneak peeks into future builds. Microsoft is morphing Windows 10 right in front of our eyes. Find out where Windows is headed. Read More , the November Build 9879 showed some serious issues, including failed installations in the presence of Office, File Explorer crashes, and bricked hard drives, to name a few. Fixes were released quickly; it’s a Technical Preview after all Why The Windows 10 Technical Preview Should Not Be Your Main OS Why The Windows 10 Technical Preview Should Not Be Your Main OS If you think Windows 10 is a keylogger, you know nothing about the purpose of a Technical Preview. That's OK because we're here to explain. Read More . No official build was released in December, although some internal builds leaked.

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This is where we are now and here’s what’s to come.

The Next Chapter, January 21st

On January 21st, Microsoft will hold a Windows 10 press event at its Redmond campus. Among the senior leaders responsible for the development of Windows 10, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is expected to make a statement. The event will be available as a live webcast, details to be released soon on the Microsoft Windows Blog.

Windows 10 Event

Meanwhile, in an update on the Windows Insider Program, Gabe Aul talked more about the next Windows 10 build, which will likely be released during the January 21st event. The build branch name, FBL_AWESOME, is meant to remind developers of their objective. You can follow the BuildFeed here. Whether this will be the consumer preview or another technical preview remains unclear.

All other expectations for this event are based on evidence from leaked builds or insider information. For example, the next build is expected to unlock Cortana Discover Cortana On Windows 10 - Her Hiding Places Revealed! Discover Cortana On Windows 10 - Her Hiding Places Revealed! Cortana, Microsoft's voice controlled personal assistant, has been starting to show up on Windows 10. This article reveals her hiding places. It looks like she will come out to play very soon. Read More , Microsoft’s virtual assistant, and Continuum, the tool that will sense the device type and adjust Windows behavior accordingly.

Monthly Windows 10 Builds

Mary Jo Foley writes that the next build will be known as the January Technical Preview (JTP), rather than consumer preview. Her sources also claim that the JTP will be followed by monthly builds called February Technical Preview, March Technical Preview, etc.

Windows 10

Windows 10 Mobile SKU Preview

It’s unclear when the mobile SKU Preview of Windows 10 will be released, but Mary Jo Foley predicts that Microsoft will demonstrate it during the January 21st event. The mobile version of Windows 10 is said to run on ARM and Intel tablets.

BUILD, April / May 2015

BUILD is Microsoft’s yearly Windows developer conference. During their September 30, 2014 event, when they initially revealed Windows 10, Microsoft announced a Developer Preview would be released for BUILD 2015. While this seems unlikely, given that they are planning to release monthly builds, we will certainly hear more about the final release schedule for Windows 10 during this event.

BUILD 2015

Windows Business Model, Spring / Summer 2015

What might also be announced during BUILD 2015 or shortly after, is the Windows 10 business model Subscribe to Windows 10? Microsoft Evaluates Alternative Payment Models For Their Products Subscribe to Windows 10? Microsoft Evaluates Alternative Payment Models For Their Products In the summer, it was rumored that Windows 10 might be free. Recently, Microsoft's Kevin Turner made comments about monetising Windows differently and that services would be involved. Microsoft is changing its business model. Read More . At this point, Windows users are hoping for free or cheap upgrades. Microsoft COO Kevin Turner recently suggested that Windows 10 might be monetized as a service. Microsoft might release Windows components as Software as a Service (SaaS), i.e. with a subscription model, much like Office 365. Turner also announced that we will hear more about this in spring or summer 2015.

Final Release, Summer / Fall 2015

This is the most shaky milestone of all because so much could go wrong before the summer of 2015 rolls around. While Microsoft will most like miss the Back To School sale (once again), there’s hope they will release Windows 10 in time for Christmas 2015.

Are You Ready For Windows 10 In 2015?

If you’re eager to try the preview to be released on January 21st, you can now prepare your computer for the Windows 10 installation by downloading a tool from the Microsoft website. Your computer will then deliver the January Windows 10 release via Windows Update Windows Update: Everything You Need to Know Windows Update: Everything You Need to Know Is Windows Update enabled on your PC? Windows Update protects you from security vulnerabilities by keeping Windows, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Office up-to-date with the latest security patches and bug fixes. Read More .

Alternatively, you can manually download and install the current Windows 10 Preview ISO file, which gives you more flexibility as to when, where, and how to install the preview builds. For example, you could try Windows 10 on Linux How To Try Windows 10 If You're Running Linux How To Try Windows 10 If You're Running Linux Love Linux, but still depend on Windows occasionally? The Windows 10 TP is a stable test system. We show you how you can try Windows for free as a dual boot or on a virtual... Read More , install it in a virtual machine on your Mac How To Try Windows 10 On Your Mac Free & Easy How To Try Windows 10 On Your Mac Free & Easy Even as a Mac user you might need Windows from time to time, be it at work or a public computer. Here's a chance to familiarize yourself with Windows 10 for free. Read More , or dual boot it with Windows 3 Easy Ways To Install Windows 10 Technical Preview 3 Easy Ways To Install Windows 10 Technical Preview You can try Windows 10 Technical Preview for free and help Microsoft polish its new flagship operating system. Before you install it, make sure you choose the best method for your needs. Read More 7 or 8.

What Will Happen With The Preview At The End Of 2015?

Finally, good news for those who already have upgraded to Windows 10. According to Gabriel Aul, Microsoft intends to support a direct upgrade from Windows 10 TP to the RTM (Release To Manufacturing) version. If that happens, users will be able to seamlessly transition to the final release, while keeping all their settings and installed applications. That would be truly awesome!

What is your biggest hope for Windows 10?

  1. john
    January 7, 2015 at 3:53 am

    I repair computers and I work with all kinds of them but what I hear most is why do they change it when it works in the first place? I usually just agree with them and try to explain the advantages of better security for the newer OS. But I am also a user too and I don't like the way some people put "it's so 90's" term into something they only themselves think is right. Manufacturers can advance and improve the OS without the need for changing they way you use it or the way it looks, yes some improvements are needed from time to time but I'm talking about real improvements not somebody's idea of a "better" system when the one they have is good. So leave the things that people like and use, that are functional and productive and improve it under the hood so to speak, give it better security better performance for lower end hardware or if you like put the high performance hardware in it and make it work. I have the 10 preview and it's ok but I'm sticking with 7, it is my main OS (besides Zorin) 7 is the best OS that MS has ever put out and that is just a fact, the flatness of 8, 8.1 and 10 make me look at it and go meh! not so good 7 is still king for MS

  2. Martin Gifford
    January 3, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Why do northerners always assume that that their references to the seasons is global?

    Main thing I hope for in W10 is extensive customisation so that the unique human beings that use it can make it work the way they want rather than the way MS wants. Of course, MS has been pushing in the opposite direction even to the point of using dodgy statistics to prove that people don't want customisation. Hello, if people know how to make the OS work the way they want, then they will make it work the way they want!

    • Giorgos
      January 6, 2015 at 5:55 am

      I believe that, unfortunately, we users are partly to blame for that. If it weren't for the "don't know, don't care one bit to discover" mindset many people have about technology, Apple's iOS with all its restrictions and "we know what's best for you" attitude wouldn't have been so successful. It wouldn't translate into €£$ and Microsoft wouldn't be tempted to copy that in their products. Couple that with the "nothing to hide" argument, and it doesn't even seem a bad idea to push a lot of personal information to servers we have no control or oversight over.

      If we want shiny, but dumbed-down and cloud-dependent computers, that's what we'll get. But we need to realise where we're headed to make that choice.

  3. ADAM T HASSAM
    January 2, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    HOPING: Win 10 - will have the reliability/ COMPATIBILITY of XP , organizing idea of 7, the speed of Win 8.1 could care less about apps on my system, ( WinXP user- 10 yrs) (Win7 user- 5 yrs)

    Wish MS would keep there 3 best OS supported.

  4. Glenn Davis
    January 1, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Win8 seems to be accepted by those who love to play around with their OS until they've finally figured it out. However, I have met many others who are confused and unhappy about the drastic changes to their familiar Windows environment - beginning with the lack of a decent Start menu (on the opening screen). I'm hoping Win10 will cut long-time customers and non-geeks some slack, and provide an easy-to-use "classic" interface for the benefit of those who need familiarity to be a characteristic of their system.

  5. Dinesh
    January 1, 2015 at 6:33 am

    @Doc, I read somewhere that Windows 7 ate 9 :)

    • atsel
      January 1, 2015 at 7:46 am

      funny how isolated cases are assumed as norm. I have used windows since xp, 7, 8, 8.1 and waiting for 10; after uncountable hours of productiveness using Microsoft words alone, I have come to appreciate that sometimes success in life is determined by winning some and not all .

    • Tina
      January 1, 2015 at 11:54 am

      Oh, I forgot about that one, Dinesh. Thanks for the reminder. :)

      @atsel: Couldn't agree more. Although I must admit, Windows has also cost me hours of work doing maintenance and fixing stuff that I shouldn't have been able to break in the first place. As you say, you win some, you lose some.

  6. J. Btfsplk
    January 1, 2015 at 3:00 am

    Congratulations Microsoft! The Windows 10 Technical Preview shows that you can demonstrate nearly all the features I already use in Ubuntu 14.10 like search across hard drive and internet, live tiles (widgets), resize and snap windows, multiple desktops. Now if only Win 10 will be as stable as Linux you might have something. By the way, for the trolls that will soon mock this comment, I just came back from fixing my neighbors Win 8.1 laptop that stopped printing. Apparently print services went offline due to missing dependencies - the owner has no idea how that happened, since it was working two days ago. Funny how I've never had that problem in Linux.

    • Tina
      January 1, 2015 at 11:51 am

      To be fair, many of these features, such as search or snap windows, were available in previous versions of Windows. Anything that wasn't part of the OS could be added on via third party applications.

  7. Alex
    December 31, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    If I install the current technical preview I assume it will it update to the newer versions as they release in the usual fashion?

    • Tina
      January 2, 2015 at 6:35 pm

      Yes, if you install an official version of the Technical Preview, security updates and new versions will be applied as they come out.

  8. Shane
    December 31, 2014 at 10:21 am

    No no no no no why bring back the start button? it's not needed, it's not wanted and is so 90's. We have moved on from having to read a list of words on a menu to having live tiles for a better over view of our apps and programs. If they have to bring it back I hope there is a option to turn it off for these that want a more up to date Windows with live tiles and a more birds eyes view of what on your pc. Windows 8 and then Windows 8.1 has been the best OS Microsoft has released for years, keep up the good work Microsoft and please keep Windows in the 21st century and don't let it be pull back to the 20th century with a start menu just because the odd one or two people liked it.

    • Tina
      December 31, 2014 at 10:41 am

      The new Start Menu will have tiles and a list of programs. You can disable the Start Menu and use the Start Screen instead.

    • Col. Panek
      January 1, 2015 at 2:17 am

      It may shock you to discover that some of us just plain don't like Win 8. Fortunately I* have broken free of Microsoft's grasp (and NSA spyware). I prefer the menu system of Mint Cinnamon over the tiles of Gnome or the buttons of Ubuntu Unity. You may prefer KDE or Enlightenment desktops, who knows. When you get tired of the Windows drama and want to experience what Windows will copy a few years hence, try a nice easy distro of Linux, like Zorin or Mint.

      *and a few friends: https://amiunique.org/stats

    • Imre
      January 2, 2015 at 10:44 am

      Well, not everybody is so keen on using Start Screen and tiles in general, especially on non-touch displays.
      Microsoft is well aware of the fact that more than one or two odd people wants the traditional Desktop back so they made it the default in Windows 8.1.

  9. Azus Smith
    December 31, 2014 at 5:49 am

    I hope, Microsoft Inc. wouldn't repeat mistakes of Windows 8. Till now, Windows 7 is the best operating system.

    • Tina
      December 31, 2014 at 10:39 am

      Do you see any signs of them repeating mistakes made with Windows 8 in Windows 10?

  10. Doc
    December 31, 2014 at 12:23 am

    "Why Windows 10? Because of its significance and because with Windows 95 and 98 the 9 had already been taken."

    What I'd heard is that (badly written) scripts looking for the version string "Windows 9*" (rather than the Kernel version, or the output of the "ver.com" ("version" command) would break, thinking they were running on Windows 9x....not that there's more than a handful of programs written for Windows 9x that are in any way still useful!
    A lousy, made-up reason to skip Windows 9, IMHO.

    • Bruce Marshall
      January 3, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      Interesting... I am runing windows 10 tech preview and the ver command returns:
      C:Usersbruce>ver

      Microsoft Windows [Version 6.4.9879]

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