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12 things to know about Windows 10

James Niccolai | Oct. 1, 2014
Microsoft promised an OS that will be more intuitive for the millions of workers still on Windows 7 and older OSes. Here's a rundown of some of the key points we learned Tuesday about Windows 10.

-- Developers will get "one application platform," Belfiore promised. "Whether it's building a game or a line-of-business application, there will be one way to write a universal application that targets the entire product family," he said.

Will it still be touch-enabled?
Yes. "We're not giving up on touch," Belfiore said. That means you'll still be able to use touch to do things like scroll and pinch-to-zoom on laptops and desktops.

There's also a new feature, tentatively called "continuum," for people using two-in-one PCs. When you detach the keyboard from a Windows 10 hybrid, it will ask if you want to go into tablet mode. If you say yes, the UI changes to better match a tablet. The app expands to full screen, for instance, and the start menu switches into a larger-icon mode.

Is there a Command Prompt?
You're kidding, right? Well, actually there is. Microsoft showed how it now supports shortcuts like CTRL+C and CTRL+V so you can paste in a directory listing from another app, for instance. Belfiore called it a "niche, geeky feature" but said he wanted to show the diverse range of users the OS is trying to support.

When will it be released?
The OS will launch around the middle of next year, after Microsoft's Build conference. Before that, a select group of "Windows insiders" will receive a "technical preview build" for laptops and desktops on Wednesday this week, followed "soon after" by a preview for servers. Previews of other device categories will follow later.

How will it be priced?
Microsoft isn't saying anything about prices yet, or any incentive programs to get people to upgrade from older OSes.

 

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