Updated: Microsoft shows Windows 10, preps public preview build for tomorrow

— 1:19 PM on September 30, 2014

After dropping that naming bombshell, Microsoft gave the first public demo of Windows 10 at its press event this morning. The company also announced the Windows Insider Program, as part of which folks will be able to grab a Technical Preview build of Windows 10 starting tomorrow.

Though Windows 10 will run on phones and tablets, the public demo centered mostly on the desktop—and covered a lot of ground already trodden by recent leaks. There were a few surprises, however. According to The Verge's liveblog and the official Windows Blog post, attendees got a look at:

  • The new Start menu, which combines the classic Win7 style with live tiles.

Source: Microsoft.

  • Windowed Modern UI apps, which can be snapped to the side of the screen just like regular windows in Win7.

Source: Microsoft.

  • Task View, a multitasking manager that lets users switch between virtual desktops and open apps. Task View also includes a Snap Assist interface that allows users to "grab apps from multiple desktops," in The Verge's words.

Source: Microsoft.

  • An improved Command Prompt that—drumroll—finally lets you hit Ctrl-V to paste text. (The current version requires a right click.)
  • The Charms bar, whose demise has been greatly exaggerated. Yep, it's still there. Microsoft's Joe Belfiore, who presented the demo, did however suggest that the bar will change in later builds.
  • ...and Continuum, which I'm not totally clear on. Apparently, this feature simply switches from desktop to Modern UI modes on convertible two-in-one systems. But the taskbar doesn't go away. Or something.

Microsoft also teased new enterprise features for "separating corporate and personal data across all devices," adding that Windows 10 will be its "greatest enterprise platform, ever." None of the enterprise stuff was demoed, but it's pretty clear that the company is trying to woo corporate customers that will soon look to upgrade their Windows 7 systems.

More details about Windows 10 will be revealed early next year, including at the Build conference in April. The completed OS is scheduled for release in mid-2015.

Update: Microsoft has put up a video introduction to the upcoming Technical Preview.

If you skip past Belfiore's monologue to around the 1:35 mark, the video includes a brief tour of the new features. (Thanks to TR reader SH SOTN for the link.)

Update 3:49 PM: Microsoft has put up this morning's entire keynote on YouTube. You can watch it below:

Belfiore's demo starts about 10 minutes in, if you want to skip straight to the fun stuff.

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