If you’ve seen Microsoft’s announcement for Windows 10 earlier today, you might have had the same thought process I did. “Have I been living under a rock? Did I completely miss Windows 9?” Or quite possibly:
The good news is that you’re fine and you’re not in a perpetual time loop. Microsoft is just really proud of the next generation of Windows software. So proud that they’re just skipping Windows 9 altogether and going right for the 10. According to Microsoft, it’s just going to be that substantial of an update. I hope for their sake that they’re right, because Microsoft could really use the morale boost on all fronts. I think it’s pretty safe to say that Windows 8 hasn’t exactly been a home run hit for the company, especially when it comes to their smartphones.
Microsoft isn’t without their merits, though. Windows Phone is much better than Windows Mobile could ever be, and the overall concept of Windows 8’s design works very well in the form of a phone or a tablet. That being said, Windows Phone was, and on some fronts still is, missing a lot of elements that made smartphones so easy and great to use. The lack of notification center (pre 8.1) and the initial and continuous lack of several mainstream applications make adoption of the platform wary for users. There’s also the issue that only Windows Phone and BlackBerry currently experience, and that is no Google Apps (which many people heavily depend on).
Now that 8.1 has Action Center and folders, there’s not a whole lot left to do in order to make Windows Phone a true contender among more popular options. Really, all we need is more app support (both for more mainstream applications and also better app support for popular apps already in the market, as often times it is clear that a Windows Phone app was only haphazardly created) and, if possible, the addition of Google Apps. I’m sure there will be a couple of design changes brought with Windows Phone 10, but I also don’t think it will be anything too drastic given that Windows Phone is extremely minimal when it comes to design. It doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon, as it shouldn’t. Minimalism is part of what makes Windows Phone so unique and easy to use.
While Windows Phone 10 wasn’t the main focus of today’s event, we did learn a little bit about what we can expect from the new platform, and that’s unification of all devices running on Windows 10 whether it’s phone, tablet, or computer. According to Microsoft, this means any Windows application will be able to work across any type of device, and the apps will be scaled accordingly. So, that’s pretty cool if you have more than one Windows product. It’s what they call “... the next natural step up from Windows 8.1.”
I’m not sure if the fact that Microsoft skipping 9 and going straight to 10 means there are too many major changes coming for Windows Phone so much as the changes being made to the desktop software (like the return of the Start Menu, yeuhhh boi!) but given that it’s going to be another year or so before we actually see the platform(s) released, I suppose we’ve got a few months to start figuring out what exactly we need to make Windows Phone a great alternative platform to the almighty Android and iOS. I still feel that there's a lot of potential within Windows Phone that hasn't been used yet, and I'd like to see it happen before it's too late.
Now that we know about Windows 10 and some of the plans for the future, what do you hope Windows Phone 10 will get out of the deal? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!