Microsoft Skips Windows 9, Announces Windows 10 Start Menu back in move away from Windows 8 By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Oct 1, 2014 3:31 AM CDT 27 comments Comments This image provided by Microsoft shows the Start menu of Windows 10, the company's next version of its flagship operating system. (AP Photo/Microsoft) (Newser) – Windows 8 didn't exactly set the world alight—market research firms say the number of computers running it is a fraction of those still using Windows XP—and Microsoft has decided to skip a number and go straight to 10 for its latest operating system. "Windows 10 will be our most comprehensive platform ever," a Microsoft exec said at a business conference yesterday. "It wouldn't be right to call it Windows 9." Inside Microsoft, the project was called Threshold, and some expected the company to completely ditch the Windows name, the Guardian reports. Some reactions to Microsoft's preview of Windows 10, which will run on a wide range of devices, with apps sold from a single store: The Start menu—whose absence was one of the most jarring changes seen in Windows 8—is being welcomed back. "It is critically important," a tech consultant tells the BBC. "The Start menu is perhaps the most important thing that will make the desktop experience familiar to business users, and will help reduce resistance to its installation." Multitasking appears to have been made easier, with a new Task View feature that displays open files and apps and can be used on multiple desktops. This "worked seamlessly and we were able to quickly and easily switch between multiple applications," writes Karissa Bell at Mashable. The system appears designed to please both Windows 8 users and the many people who didn't bother upgrading from Windows 7. "The new experience is certainly familiar to Windows 7 users, but still seems to provide access to the best of the Windows 8 capabilities," an analyst tells Computerworld. "Of course in the end we will need to see—and use—the experience on a broad set of devices to really understand how well it works." The system will be available sometime in the middle of next year, Microsoft says, and some features have yet to be unveiled, reports the Daily Dot. But one analyst tells the Guardian that skipping Windows 9 may mess up the hit-then-miss pattern of Windows launches: "Every other Windows launch hasn't worked for them," he says. "We had Vista, which was a dud, then we had Windows 7, which was great, then we had Windows 8."