Windows 10 will be the last Windows: Why it's a win-win for everyone

  • Siladitya Ray, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: May 11, 2015 14:06 IST

It's official – Windows 10 will be the last version of the iconic operating system that Microsoft will release. If you are a Windows user, don't panic.

While it may sound as if Microsoft is killing off its lucrative operating system and not developing future versions, this in reality is part of a big effort by the firm to rebrand Windows as a service, instead of a product.

Microsoft has decided to forego the tradition of one big release every two to three years and will instead offer incremental updates regularly, and this is a good thing.

Multiple versions of an operating system are a thing of the past. Ten years ago, when PCs were the most popular computing device, Windows was the only game in town, but the landscape today has changed with the massive surge in smartphone and tablet usage driven by Apple and Google products.

Now Google's Android and Apple's iOS offer frequent and regular over-the-air updates. There’s a new numeric version (iOS 8 or Android 5.0) at the end of every year but they often iterate on previous versions and add a few new features.

This is what Windows 10 will likely be, regular easy to do over-the-air (dowloadable) updates and that'll make life easier for everyone.

The biggest headache that came with a new version of Windows was compatibility with older devices and software. Often a new version of Windows meant some of your devices simply failed to work and an incremental update system will go a long way to fix that.

Tech news site The Verge reported that Microsoft has altered the way it engineers and delivers Windows. Instead of big releases, there will be regular improvements and updates. Part of this is achieved by splitting up operating system components like the “Start Menu” and built-in apps to be separate parts that can be updated independently to the entire Windows core operating system.

It's something Microsoft has been actively working on for Windows 10 to ensure it spans across multiple device types.

Microsoft is already testing preview builds of Window 10, and apps like Xbox and Mail have been engineered for regularly monthly updates. Even Office for Windows 10 will get regular updates, much like a mobile version, instead of the big bang release every few years.

With Windows 10, it's time to start looking at Windows the same way we look at Android and iOS. There is no boxed version of Android you pay for every three to four years, rather you get to download small updates almost every week.

Windows 10 will be the last time Microsoft will “launch” an operating system and that is a great thing for everyone.


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