Microsoft unveils Windows 10
Microsoft is to put some numerical distance between its poorly received Windows 8 operating system and its replacement by calling the new version Windows 10.
The new operating system, expected to be released next year, comes three years after the launch of Windows 8. It was announced at an event aimed at business users in Seattle.
'Windows 10 will be our most comprehensive platform ever,' Terry Myerson, head of the operating systems group, told the audience. 'It wouldn't be right to call it Windows 9.'
The launch is one of several pre-briefings expected over the coming months to sell the new system to different groups, many of whom were critical of the old system.
Windows 8 introduced major changes in Microsoft's operating system, aimed at improving the performance on tablets and other touch-operated devices. The changes came as the software giant continued to struggle in mobile against Google's Android and Apple.
The overhaul failed to impress many users and businesses who felt the new software did not deliver for desktop PC users, and who disliked its unfamiliar tile-based interface. Many declined to upgrade from its predecessor, Windows 7.
Before the launch, some had speculated the company might signal a new era at Microsoft by dropping the Windows name altogether. Internally the project had been called Threshold.
In an era dominated by mobile devices and cloud computing, Microsoft has been struggling to adjust. New boss Satya Nadella has been moving away from the aggressive focus on Windows and PCs that was the hallmark of his predecessor, Steve Ballmer.
But the choice of Windows 10 acknowledges how the operating system remains at the core of Microsoft's image and its bottom line. Myerson pointed out that there were about 1.5bn PCs in use on the planet, about the same as the total estimated number of Android devices. But Android's growth rate far outstrips Windows.