SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft Corp announced its Windows 10 operating system on Tuesday to replace the largely unpopular Windows 8, skipping a number to mark a leap toward a new system aimed at unifying computing and mobile devices.
The next version of Microsoft’s flagship product, which still runs the vast majority of personal computers, is aimed at recapturing the lucrative business market, which generally ignored the new-look Windows 8.
Windows 10 will be “our greatest enterprise platform ever,” said Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s head of operating systems, at an event in San Francisco. Only 20 percent of organizations migrated to Windows 8, which was released two years ago, according to tech research firm Forrester.
He said Windows 10, long known by the project name “Threshold” internally, represented a new type of system for the company, as it seeks to unify computing as mobile devices proliferate. The name represented that leap, he said.
“It’s a bold statement for Microsoft to make,” said Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets. “So far there’s not as much meat on the bone as we would have wanted, although it’s still very early days.”
The new system, due out next year, restores the traditional start button menu, a feature which many PC users demanded back after it was omitted in Windows 8.
An early version of the software, demonstrated on stage by Microsoft executive Joe Belfiore, showed two modes, one optimized for touch-controlled tablets, and one for PCs with mice and keyboard. Users can switch between the two depending on the device.
Myerson added that his team toyed with the idea of calling the new product Windows One to emphasize the unity of all the company’s products, but noted that name already had been used.