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29/07/2015 | Webreality

Over the Edge? Windows 10 lands today


The day is finally here. Windows 10 is upon us and Microsoft has now embraced the concept of seamless upgrades, telling us that this is the last "Major" version of Windows.

At first I wondered what manner of deception this was but slowly I realised that this is what I'm already used to with applications such as Chrome and Firefox. Yes, they have version numbers so they can be tracked, but they're simply not used for marketing.

This means we now enter an age where Microsoft no longer considers the platform to be its main product, since it's hardly going to make any revenue from it. Instead it is consolidating its position as a developer of applications.

For me, the most interesting of those applications launched today is Edge, the marketing name for what we've been calling "Project Spartan". Although released alongside Internet Explorer, it's a whole new beast in the browser jungle, with a rendering engine that's designed to be compatible with other browsers (yes, really) and in recent independent tests, has been shown to be significantly faster. How its ECMAScript (that's the real name for what we call Javascript) engine will fare remains to be seen.

Of course, Windows 10 is also significant because it marks the end of Microsoft's attempt to make us all use touch screens, with a welcome return of the Start button for those of us who refused to upgrade to Windows 8.

Windows 10 is a very connected beast, with Microsoft clearly wanting to show us that they can do everything Apple can when it comes to Cloud connected computers. I believe the real test will be to see how the medium and larger corporations take to it. They're always years behind the SME bleeding edge and IT guys everywhere usually wait for "Release 2" or later to even consider rolling the software out to their users. It will be interesting to see how soon Microsoft can convince them to adopt Windows 10. The licence may be cheap but the roll-out won't be. 

In the meantime, as a bleeding edge developer, I'm going to enjoy not using Internet Explorer and experimenting with all the other new toys Microsoft has just given me.