Microsoft has to get it right this time in light of the unpopularity of its predecessor, Windows 8. Fred Katayama reports.
Microsoft has set a date for the launch of its next operating system, Windows 10, and a lot is at stake. The world's largest software developer said it'll release the new Windows worldwide July 29. That's earlier than its traditional launches in fall. And Microsoft will offer it as a free upgrade for users of recent Windows versions. It's crucial that Microsoft get it right this time in light of the unpopularity of its predecessor, Windows 8. Many users criticized its tablet-like interface. Windows 10 is trying to rectify that by bringing back the Start menu. It'll also replace aging Internet Explorer with a new browser, Microsoft Edge. And it'll feature the digital software assistant, Cortana, that is now only available on Windows Phones. By adding things like Cortana, Microsoft is trying to create an ecosystem like Apple and have one Windows system run across all devices - from PCs to tablets to phones - and thereby lock-in the consumer. For now, Microsoft says Windows 10 will be available for PCs and tablets in July but later this year for smartphones and other devices. Microsoft faces a huge challenge: Many mobile app developers interviewed by Reuters said they do not plan to develop for Windows 10 at all. Microsoft's shares flat this year; they have vastly underperformed those of Apple.