Microsoft promises Windows 10 convergence across mobile and desktop

Microsoft has given a preview of Windows 10, announcing expectedintegration of the new operating system across desktop and mobile platforms, as well as Internet of Things devices and global data centres.

Skipping a whole number entirely, from 8 to 10, Microsoft claims that the new OS will be ideally suited to all aspects of both personal and professional life.

“Windows 10 represents the first step of a whole new generation of Windows, unlocking new experiences to give customers new ways to work, play and connect,” said Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President of the OS group at Microsoft. “Windows 10 will deliver the right experience on the right device at the right time. It will be our most comprehensive platform ever.”

Our applications and daily services are increasingly being stored in the cloud (such as e-mail, Facebook, banking, music), and the OS we use on mobile platforms is seemingly becoming less relevant. Whether it will be advantageous for Microsoft to create a ubiquitous OS, or whether they’re playing catch up still with this announcement, remains to be seen. What we do know for sure at this moment is that Microsoft is keen to create a consistent user experience across every device we use.

Of course, this is all hypothetical at the moment, and until a both a release date and more functionality details are confirmed, we are no closer to really knowing how Microsoft intend to create a cross platform operating system which appropriately scales to the way in which different devices are utilised by the user.

Despite Microsoft’s protestations to the contrary, there appears to be a “one OS to rule them all” mentality, to paraphrase  Tolkien. The biggest challenge Microsoft is likely to face in developing an entirely converged desktop-to-mobile-to-everything-else platform is related to integrating the experience and functionality of applications between desktop and mobile platforms. Apple is yet to converge Mac OS and iOS, while Android is a mobile-only platform. Microsoft may face an even stiffer challenge considering that Windows has been around, in varying forms, for the best part of 30 years.

Microsoft claims there will also be a converged application platform for developers, across all devices, with a unified application store. It states that developers will only need to write an application once before it can be deployed across the entire suite of devices running Windows 10. It only seems logical that a unified operating system can operate any application across any device; one may question the entire point should the user experience be anything but seamless.

Windows 10 is available to test through a beta-phase “technical preview” from today. The technical preview will allow PC users to experiment with new, and returning, Windows functions, and submit feedback and suggestions before Microsoft commits to a release date. With no specific date announced as of yet, it appears that Windows 10 proper will be released at some point in the second half of 2015.

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