On Monday, January 12, Microsoft teasingly tweeted "Keep on starting. The Start Menu is back on #Windows10. More coming 1.21.15." Of course, if you've been following along since Windows 10 was unveiled at the event in San Francisco on September 30, 2014, you already know that the Start Menu is front and center in the new operating system. Certainly, a host of other new features were revealed: A new Task view button, multiple desktops, Snap enhancements, apps that run in a window — just to name a few. However, the return of the Start Menu definitely stole the show as one of the more news worthy features.
So, it makes sense that Microsoft would use the return of the Start Menu to drum up suspense for its next event. This one is being called "Windows 10: The next chapter" and will be held at on Microsoft's Redmond campus on January 21, 2015. The event will be hosted by the Operating Systems Group and will feature sessions by Terry Myerson, Joe Belfiore, and Phil Spencer. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is also expected to make an appearance. Best of all, Microsoft is planning to webcast the event live. (Microsoft will provide more specific details about the webcast on the Blogging Windows site.)
As you would expect, the main focus of the event will be the return of the Windows Insider Program and the release of a new build. When January 21st arrives, it will have been 70 days since Build 9879 was released (11/12/14). That means that Microsoft has had plenty of time to prepare the new build of Windows 10, and we should expect to see that some major enhancements have been made to the new build of the operating system. In fact, in a post on December 17, 2014, Gabe Aul, who leads the Data & Fundamentals Team within the Operating Systems Group, said:
"You'll see some big things, lots of small improvements, and I hope there will be something for each of you to point to and know your influence was felt and appreciated by us. I'm confident that the next build we release will be an exciting one and will show how Windows 10 is evolving with your input."
While there isn't anything concrete in Aul's post, there have been lots rumors and a host of leaked build screen shots to whet our appetites. However, only time will tell us for sure what the next build will contain. In the meantime, we can speculate on what we might see in the next chapter of Windows 10:
- We've had lots of information leading us to believe that we will see the Cortana digital assistant in the new build.
- Recent news revealed that Microsoft has been working on a new browser called Spartan that we might see in the new build.
- Will the OneDrive sync feature be back in place?
- Will the rest of taskbar icons be more flat looking — like the Task View icon in Build 9879?
- Will the PC settings app completely replace the Control Panel?
- Based on the tweet, will there be enhancements to the new Start Menu?
- Will there be additional native apps?
- Will new there be a more integrated Xbox app?
- Will there be light and dark themes like on the Windows Phone?
- We might get some more details on how Microsoft is planning on distributing Windows 10. Will it be free, priced normally, or will it be a subscription like Office 365.
What's your take?
Are you ready for a new build of Windows 10? What features are you hoping to see in the new build? Share your opinion in the discussion thread below.
Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.