August 5, 2015
It is the scheduled 2nd
Windows 8 revision
(8.2, if you will). It continues
with the UI tweaks, where 8.1 left off... plus app
refresh & new bundle: Edge
browser, Candy Crush Saga, Cortana
& Microsoft Hello,
In addition, various platform packages
are updated in parallel: e.g. Direct-X, WDDM, dotnet Framework,
are announced (and distributed along) with O.S. revisions. Some are also
available as discrete upgrades to older O.S. versions.
Geeky details below
A Brief History
Edition Product Name
|Windows XP Professional
||Vienna aka Blackcomb
with Update 1
During the 80s and 90s, OS versions were part of
the product names: DOS 1.1, 6.2, Windows 1/2/3,
NT3.1/3.5/4.0, etc. until 5.0, which was marketed as
was promoted as "XP" which stands for "Xperience!" and
6 as Vista. Then, the trend returned
to numeric product names, but have nothing to do with the actual
IMPORTANT: Windows 10 is being released as a
new product (purely administrative decision, not technical).
The real significance is that it will have its own Product Lifecycles
and associated EOL schedule--unlike Windows 8.1, which shares that of
Windows 8, as it is officially considered a Service Pack (SP).
development, the internal beta
version number was 6.4. It was
initially destined to become "8.2" but later rumored be 9.0, when the
codename Threshold was established. Later, it
was abruptly changed to 10.0 to coincide with the newly chosen product name.
**In early June
2015, because the release date was unexpectedly
by 2~3 months (for strategic business reasons)... it was
decided that several features will be
pulled, or frozen in unfinished state, to be fixed/re-added in
patches. The original form of Threshold is still scheduled for
formal release in Sep/Oct 2015, currently known as
"Threshold II" wave.
of New Features
"Windows 10" has gone through some very significant and rapid
last-minute changes. There were 3 major builds within 10 days leading
up to build 10240. The following is based on a few days of experience
dissecting systems built from the offcial "RTM" version OEM ISO I received
on launch date.
USER INTERFACE, STYLE & DESIGN
- Free upgrade
for 1 year, to legally licensed users of Windows 7 and 8.1 (but
- Windows-as-a-Service model is still an evolving mystery, and
there is plenty of misconception floating around
support: Standard product life-cycle just like all other
versions - 5 years of mainstream
support period, followed by 5 years of extended support,
where product enhancement (beyond security patches) ceases, and only paid support is available. In the case of XP, it
was unprecedentedly extended twice, and ended up being 14
- 4 Editions:
Home, Professional, Enterprise and Education
requirements: Same as all Win6.x
(Vista, 7, 8, 8.1)
NEW APPLICATION BUNDLES, REMOVALS
- Modern Apps
("Metro") mixed with desktop:
generally ill-advised, actually a hindrance, and severe
corruption of navigation,
for all but the most simplistic app in monitoring-only mode (no
- Start Menu:
Notice I didn't say "returns..."? It never left! I (and many
enterprises) have been deploying them for 2.7 years. Hello?? The
accurate description would be: This 3rd incarnation
defaults to hybrid layout, with cascaded 1-dimensional
menu side-by-side with a cropped Start Screen with the same old
topic warrants its own article.
previously (for 20 years) from Microsoft and 3rd-party as
pre-installed. Only good for 2 very narrow scenarios. I
against it in general. NOTE: This is completely unrelated to multi-screen.
- Action Center: expanded &
tablet mode & desktop mode, for
- no more Charms:
they killed it entirely, to quell
the vocal critics, who didn't realize it's merely
1 right-click + 1 checkbox away from being
disabled. Now it
harms tablet usage. Within a few months, 3rd-party vendors will
shipping app to provide that.
browser is now re-branded
as Edge. The same rewritten "browser lite" in Windows 8, which has only a small
of features, now has a new rendering engine, and gets yet
wave of tweak to its
script engine. Still sports the same Reading Mode,
which I've been recommending (almost as good as text reflow in Dolphin mobile browser HD in fact—better when you're stuck in horizontal screens). Newly added:
& sharing button on toolbar (same as other screen capture
OneNote). Of course, IE11
is still there, same codebase, same build as 7 and 8.1 before.
AND, it's actually the
only browser available to Enterprise Edition on LTSB.
- Unified Search: Windows Search of local hard drive via
will now incorporate web results for your seach terms. NOTICE: This
implies that all local search queries will be reported to and logged at
MS HQ in realtime.
fingerprint scanner and webcam face
recognition in this context. I've been deploying them since 2006 (standard
Acer TravelMate high-end line), and have been stressing that it
strengthen) security, but provides convenience.
- Candy Crush Saga - bundled & preinstalled (PUP). Yes, that famous one from King
- Cortana: now integrated with Windows desktop, just like Windows Phone
- Wifi Sense:
- allows automatic sharing of your wifi with all your FaceBook friends, Outlook.com contacts and Skype contacts.
Yes, your WPA key will be disclosed to their device via MS Server as agent, but
not directly to your friends in a readable form. It's the same feature
that has been available in Windows Phone 8.1
- lets you automatically use open wifi hotspots, as reported via crowdsourcing.
- both you & your visiting friend are using portable Windows 10 notebook/tablet and/or Windows Phone 8.1.
- both of you signed in to your respective Microsoft Accounts
- you have enabled (default=off) wifi sharing with friends feature
- Media Center edition has been discontinued. 3rd-party solutions exist for DVD playing and 10-foot user-interface.
- Forced Update:
the rumor is only partly true...
edition will be on "Current
and indeed have no choice
edition users may opt for ("Current
and defer updates for up to 8
Enterprise edition users will be on "Long-Term-Service
Branch." Admins can
"indefinitely" (technically up to 10 years) with full control. See
- Xbox streaming on PC monitor, play multi-user Xbox games cross-platform
- Direct-X 12.0 (higher game/animation frame rate) and WDDM
- Universal Apps:
A universally misunderstood buzz phrase--it doesn't mean a single
executable (binary code) can run on all platforms! It's merely a
Microsoft initiative of common APIs & dev tools suites, for
software developers to create multiple apps (Arm, x86 & x64) for
Windows desktop, Windows mobile, Windows Phone, Xbox platforms... with "relative ease using mostly common source code." It wasn't even introduced with Win10. It's been in-place since 8.1 (Blue) wave.