When Microsoft unveiled its legendary Start Menu in Windows 95, it changed everything. The usability resonated with consumers, arguably leading to a huge increase in personal computer sales. While the menu remained mostly unchanged for many years -- apart from small additions and appearance tweaks -- Windows 8 replaced it with a Start Screen that consumers largely rejected. Things were looking bad for Windows for a while there.
So the latest iteration of Windows has now been unleashed, and as has become tradition at Linux Format, we pit the Redmond-ian OS mano-a-mano with Linux to determine the ultimate operating system.
Of course, in reality this is comparing apples and oranges: One is a free codebase which can run on most any hardware imaginable, the other is a proprietary product with an undecouple-able GUI that, until recently, has run only on x86 PCs. Our approach will be to consider features from Windows 10 and compare them with like-for-like equivalents from various Linux distributions.
Microsoft announced today that around 14 million people have installed Windows 10 on their computers. Windows 10 began rolling out in phases on Wednesday and the offer of a free upgrade from Windows 7 and 8 seems to be something that a lot of people decided was too good to pass up.
"We still have many more upgrades to go before we catch up to each of you that reserved your upgrade," Microsoft marketing boss Yusuf Mehdi said.
In November 2014, Microsoft said that "there will be Windows 10 upgrades for all Lumia Windows Phone 8 devices" - a fairly unequivocal statement that leaves no doubt that all of the company's devices released with WP8 onwards would be upgraded. But details now provided by Microsoft on its website suggest that availability of Windows 10 Mobile will be limited to only certain devices - at least at first.
Microsoft Windows 10 will have a number of improvements when it launches tomorrow, including a revamped Start menu, a speedy Microsoft Edge web browser, a built-in Cortana digital assistant and the ability to stream games from an Xbox One console to another device. But there is a controversial feature shipping with Windows 10 called Wi-Fi Sense — which will be enabled by default.