Windows 10 is the name for the next Microsoft Windows operating system.
The internal Microsoft codename for Windows 10 was Threshold and the presumed final name wasWindows 9 but Microsoft decided to skip that number altogether.
See What Happened to Windows 9? for more on that.
Windows 10 will introduce an updated Start Menu, a notification center, and support for virtual desktops.
Cortana may also be available as an app in Windows 10, even for traditional computers.
It’s also rumored that Microsoft will remove the Charms Bar in Windows 10, first introduced in Windows 8. However, current pre-release versions of Windows 10 still include this feature.
While this is not confirmed, I’ve also heard that Windows 10 may be a free upgrade for Windows 8 owners.
Windows 10 Release Date
While no official release date has been announced by Microsoft, Windows 10 is rumored to be released on or close to April 15, 2015.
Windows 10, once released, will be the successor to Windows 8, Microsoft’s most current version of Windows.
It’s very likely that Windows 10 will be released in three phases, similar to how Windows 8 was released.
First is Windows 10 Enterprise Technical Preview, which is a beta release for software and hardware makers, as well as testers. This version of Windows 10 was made available on October 1, 2014.
Second will likely be a Windows 10 Consumer Preview – or maybe Windows 10 RC (Release Candidate) – which is an almost-ready, limited-time-use version that Microsoft will release for free to a wider audience, in return for feedback. This should be released in early 2015.
The third and final release will be the final copy of Windows 10, which will be referred to at Microsoft and to computer makers as Windows 10 RTM (Release to Manufacturing). This is the version of Windows 10 you will be able to purchase in April, 2015.
Windows 10 may be the last major version of Windows ever, with smaller, more incremental, improvements made via updates in to the future.
Windows 10 Editions
Rumor has it that Windows 10 will be available in three editions:
- Windows 10 (for inexpensive tablets; possibly called Windows 10 RT)
- Windows 10 (for traditional PCs)
- Windows 10 Enterprise
It’s unclear yet whether or not Microsoft will further split out any of these editions, as in Provs Standard, etc., but most of the feedback I’ve heard is that customers want less choices when buying Windows, not more.
All versions will likely be available in 32-bit or 64-bit editions, but a 64-bit exclusive version of Windows can’t be too far off.
Windows 10 Minimum System Requirements
No information on the minimum hardware required to run Windows 10 has been released, but expect it to be similar to the requirements for Windows 8:
- CPU: 1 GHz with NX, PAE, and SSE2 support (CMPXCHG16b, PrefetchW, and LAHF/SAHF support for 64-bit versions)
- RAM: 1 GB (2 GB for 64-bit versions)
- Hard Drive: 16 GB free space (20 GB free for 64-bit versions)
- Graphics: A GPU that supports at least DirectX 9 with a WDDM driver
If anything does change in this regard, an increase in the free hard drive space required is probably the most likely change from Windows 8 to Windows 10.
More on Windows 10
My site, PC Support, focuses mainly on maintenance, troubleshooting, and the generalsupport of computers and operating systems – like Windows 10.
However, About.com does have a Windows site that focuses more on general Windows use and no doubt when Windows 10 is released, you’ll find a lot of great information there.