The start menu is back: Microsoft unveils Windows 10, with a technical preview available tomorrow

Andrew Sadauskas /

Microsoft has unveiled the next major version of its Windows operating system, titled Windows 10, with key new features aimed at the business market and an early technical preview for PCs set to be released tomorrow.

In a move addressing many of the complaints about Windows 8, Microsoft has confirmed speculation Windows 10 will feature the reintroduction of the Start Menu, including a customisable space for apps, programs, people and websites tiles.

A key feature of Windows 10 will be that universal apps and a unified app store will be able to target all the devices that run any version of Windows 10, from smartphones to tablets, PCs and servers. On a PC, mobile and tablet apps will default to running in a window, rather than full screen.

A second major feature is the introduction of Linux-style multiple desktops for desktop PCs, along with a new “Task view” option to allow users to switch between any open app or file on any desktop.

In terms of security, a major new feature is the introduction of cloud-based mobile device management (MDM) style capabilities across the entire Windows product line, including desktops and laptops. Business IT departments will be able to use services such as Intune, Active Directory and System Center to remotely manage devices.

Windows 10 will include containers and data separation at the application and file level, as well as user identities to control access to devices, apps and sites. Because data is protected at the file level, users are prevented from accidentally or maliciously sharing data with unauthorised people using a USB drive, email or the cloud.

Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.