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Microsoft unveils Windows 10

Retooling resembles classic, not 8’s grid-style layout

This image provided by Microsoft shows the start menu of Windows 10, the company’s next version of its flagship operating system. (Associated Press)
This image provided by Microsoft shows the start menu of Windows 10, the company’s next version of its flagship operating system. (Associated Press)
Paresh Dave Los Angeles Times

Windows 10 will be the newest version of the computer operating system from Microsoft Corp., skipping past Windows 9 as the company tries to steer far away from displeasure with its current version.

Windows 10 attempts to unify the look and feel Microsoft presents users regardless of the device in front of them, from smartphones to televisions, company executives said Tuesday.

“Windows 10 represents the first step of a whole new generation of Windows,” Terry Myerson, Microsoft vice president of operating systems, said in a statement. “Windows 10 unlocks new experiences for customers to work, play and connect.”

The user experience more closely resembles classic Windows rather than the grid-style layout Microsoft switched to when it released Windows 8 two years ago. The latter design was panned for confusing users and slowing down tasks, leaving Windows 7 more popular than Windows 8.

As they showed off Windows 10 for the first time Tuesday, Microsoft executives were quick to point out multitasking features meant to improve productivity. Windows 10 is expected to go on sale in mid-2015, according to reports. The last upgrade cost about $40.

It’s the first retooling of Windows since the product’s former chief Steven Sinofsky left Microsoft two weeks after the Windows 8 release. He later joined a venture capital firm, and Myerson took over Microsoft’s operating systems group.

Since then, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer also ceded his reins to Satya Nadella. He’s championed an effort to make Microsoft services such as Office available across platforms as consumers gravitate to popular mobile devices that run on non-Windows systems such as Android and iOS.

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