Microsoft is ready to move past what many have called a tablet operating system, but, with Windows 10, the tech company is far from down with releasing platforms that can scale to suit everything from mobile devices up to desktops.
Microsoft says Windows 10 is one product family, one platform and one store. That's the way Microsoft introduced Windows 10 Tuesday, which illustrates the company's continued efforts to forward its "cloud first, mobile first" strategy.
Microsoft demoed Windows 10 at a private press conference and answered questions about the new OS. While many features in Windows 10 are still up for development and revision, Microsoft has made clear its intent to bring the full-fat desktop experience across all platforms.
The people who use phones, tablets and PCs to work are the same who use them to play, said Microsoft representatives during the Q & A section after the presentation.
Microsoft wants its latest operating system to build on what Windows 8 tried to do -- delivering an experience that's "agile" enough for mobile devices and complex enough for desktops in an enterprise environment, says Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft's operating systems group.
"Today, devices outnumber people -- connectivity is like oxygen," states Myerson. "The tension between the desire for agility versus stability poses a huge challenge for IT Pros. Experiences -- no matter what device you're on -- just need to work. The only thing that hasn't really changed is the situation for developers -- still too much to do, and not enough time."
Myerson says Microsoft's Operating Systems Group spent a lot of time talking with customers from all demographic backgrounds.
Among enterprise business users, Windows enterprise tablet use grew by 33 percent in 2013, according to Myerson. Myerson said Microsoft needed to completely rework Windows 10, code-named Threshold, before intoning Microsoft's "cloud first, mobile first" mantra.
"One way to look at it is that Windows is at a threshold :-)," states Myerson. "It's time for a new Windows. This new Windows must be built from the ground-up for a mobile-first, cloud-first world."
Back in July, Microsoft revealed it will offer Windows 10 at no cost to original equipment manufacturers of devices nine inches and smaller. And to ensure there was no ambiguity in its intentions for mobile devices, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reiterated his company's stance.
"We are clear that our experiences are going to be available on all devices," stated Nadella. "We have a specific goal for multiple Microsoft applications to be available on every home screen. This is why we brought Office to the iPad and now there are more than 35 million downloads of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote."